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How Constant Prayer Gave Her a Miracle Baby

After struggling to have a second child, prayers and her son’s remarkable premonition guided her out of infertility.

Photo credit: Johnny and Emmy Sundby
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“We’re all finished,” said the doctor. “But you’ll have to lie there another twenty minutes or so before you can go.”

I felt my body relax. The hard part was over, now I just had to wait. I was used to waiting. After all, infertility itself was a waiting game.

Beside me sat my husband, Eli. He’d been there throughout the procedure, his comforting presence giving me strength. Once the doctor had left the room, Eli took my hand. “How do you feel?” he asked.

“Okay,” I said. “It didn’t hurt at all.” I’d read as much when I did my own research on IUI—intrauterine insemination—in the weeks since the doctor had suggested the procedure.

After several years of trying for a baby with no results, Eli and I made an appointment to see a fertility specialist. There was no obvious reason why we couldn’t conceive, especially since we’d done it before.

Our son, Colin, had just turned four and almost every day he asked us for a sibling—a brother or sister, it didn’t matter. He wasn’t picky. Neither was I. Eli and I had always intended to have another child. But every time I got my hopes up, I was disappointed. At this point, hope itself was becoming painful.

The specialist finally found the problem when she asked Eli for a sample. The likelihood of us conceiving on our own was less than half of one percent. Even if this procedure went off without a hitch, our chances only increased to two percent. Colin had been no small miracle. I knew we couldn’t count on receiving another one.

“You can get up now, Angie,” the doctor said when she re-entered the room. Please, God, I prayed as I slipped out of the cotton hospital gown and back into my clothes. I would love just one more miracle.

Before we left, the doctor stopped us. “We’ll know in a couple of weeks,” she said. “But I’m going to be honest with you. You shouldn’t get your hopes up.”

I’d told myself that 100 times. But it was like telling me not to pray. What else did I have? Eli and I went home, spirits dim. We tried not to say aloud what I was sure we were both thinking: This was never going to work.

The next morning, I put on a happy face for Colin. We hadn’t told him about the doctor’s appointment and what it could mean. The last thing we wanted was for him to get his hopes up. Dealing with my own struggles to stay realistic seemed like enough.

Colin and I were driving across town to the library to return some books when he piped up from the back seat. “Mom, when I get my sister, she’s going to sit right here,” he said. Sister? I glanced in the rearview mirror as he pointed to the spot next to him.

My voice caught in my throat. “Oh, yeah, buddy?” I finally said, trying hard to keep my tone cheerful. “You think so?” But Colin didn’t let up. He continued to talk about his “sister” as if she were already on the way. It was hard to dismiss his enthusiasm, his certainty. Hope was a dangerous emotion to indulge in, yet there it was, working its way into my heart, despite the doctor’s orders.

I couldn’t wait out the month. I broke down and bought an over-the-counter pregnancy test. I kept telling myself it would be negative. I had to be prepared for the worst. But when there was one line instead of two, it still felt like a punch to the gut. I’d been hoping for a miracle in spite of myself. In vitro fertilization was the next step, but it was out of our budget. This was our last chance. The time for hope was truly over. My prayer now was for acceptance. Colin would grow out of his imaginary sister. How could I?

By month’s end, though, there was still no sign of my period. Since the pregnancy test I’d bought came in a pack of two, I tore open the second. Why do you want to torture yourself like this? I thought. Of course it was negative again. Or was it? Was there a faint second line? My heart raced. The longer the test sat, the clearer the second line became. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to my husband to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, that I wasn’t just getting my hopes up again to have them come crashing back down.

I wasn’t. A blood test at the doctor’s office confirmed it. I was pregnant! And eight months later, I gave birth to the little sister Colin had already saved a seat for.

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