Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Miracles Still Happen?

Do miracles still happen?

So many people talk about babies that make it as fighters, oh, and if you pray hard enough, with enough faith, then your child will live. And let`s not forget positive thinking. You know, if you fight, pray, and know without a doubt you will have a positive outcome then, of course, you will.

We came home with Eva for 11 glorious days before she died. We had no clue she would die on August 15th. We just lived, loved and took way too few pictures. If I had known that these would be the last days with our girl I would have video recorded every moment.

I made thank you cards for all the people who had supported us so much during her hospitalization.  The card had 6 pictures of Eva on it and in the middle...

Miracles Still Happen. Many thanks for being part of our journey. Love from Eva and family.

We had about 100 made. I have over 50 of them still sitting in the box from costco. They taunt me and mock me sitting there on the shelf with no one to give them to...I feel so dumb to have made those cards, so dumb to think we had our miracle.  I never had time to give them all out...instead I ended up writing an obituary and making bookmarks out of them...we have plenty of time to make sure everyone has one of those.

We thought we had our miracle. When we were first admitted to the Stollery she had a 1/3 chance of surviving. Her odds increased as she didn't need ECMO. Her odds increased as the rhythm was taken under control. Her odds increased as she was discharged from PICU. Her odds increased as she was allowed off the floor (but stay in the hospital), her odds increased as she was allowed to Ronald McDonald House in the city (but don`t go home), her odds were at an all-time high when we were sent home (5 hours from the hospital).  She would only need to come in for check-ups now. Nobody could believe this laughing, healthy-looking child came with the very thick chart!

On August 15th, a beautiful summer day I will never forget, we drove into the city for her first check-up with the pediatric cardiologist. The check-up was for Tuesday the 16th. We never made it. Scars from her heart surgery ruptured and her heart stopped at 8:30 that night, in her daddy's hands. Medical teams were unable to resuscitate her and she was declared dead in the ER at 9:15pm. She never even made it back to the PICU. My heart breaks with missing her...

There were thousands, literally thousands, of people praying for Eva. People were praying across 2 continents. Great prayer warriors with more faith than my meager share. There were prayer vigils in churches around the clock. Oh, and she was a fighter too...she didn`t go into cardiac arrest in PICU, not even under anesthesia when they had the whole ECMO team on stand-by as they did the cardiac catheterization. She had the highest doses of multiple toxic drugs and tolerated them better than many adults. She had no food for over a week, and was tiny to start with. She lost 2 pounds in the PICU. If you think that`s not much, she was only 14 pounds to start with. Now, on to positive thinking. We had made cards saying she `made it`. Many thanks for being part of our journey.  On the morning of the day she died, I don`t think you could find a family anywhere who thought more positively than we did. We had made it! We still had our little girl!

So, next time you talk to someone about their kids making it through something because they were fighters, or they had enough faith, or they had positive thoughts, remember Eva. Eva wasn`t any less of a fighter, our faith isn`t worthless because God had other plans than the road we wanted, and positive thoughts...well...I think I`ve summed it up.

Remember Georgina, who was born at 23 weeks and lived for 3 days...she tried to take 3 breaths on her own. Remember Molly, who fought for 3 hours. Remember Mira, who lived and died in her mother's arms. Remember Auggie, who fought so hard to get out of NICU but died suddenly at 5 months old...joining his sister, Bea, in heaven. Remember Gabriel, whose lungs were not developed enough to breathe outside the womb, and suffocated in his mother's arms after fighting valiantly for half an hour. Remember Wyatt, who was only supposed to live 10 months but survived for 3 years. Remember Marlo, who had a heart defect but lived for 4 days without medical intervention. Remember Nathaniel, who had a chromosonal defect, incompatible with life, but still lived for half an hour and died in his mother's arms. Remember Frazier who was born with a heart defect, was on the transplant list but had a stroke at 2 weeks old. Remember Nathan who was so strong he showed no effects of being sick until, at 6 years old, he collapsed at church, and died 72 hours later. Remember Thomas, who valiantly fought cancer for years, finally to be declared cancer-free, and died less than 6 months later. Remember Faith, who survived for 2 months in utero with no amniotic fluid. Remember Nolan, who fought cancer for months and finally died on his terms. Remember Kelly, who had a chromosomal defect but defied all odds and lived for 9 weeks. Remember Ariadne, who was born too early and too sick because her mom had appendicitis, she fought for almost a month in NICU before she died.  Remember  Bryce, who had every chemo side-effect under the sun for months before ascending to heaven.  Remember Grace. Remember Joseph. Remember Danny. Remember Eden. Remember Emily. Remember Jonah. Remember Freddie. Remember Casey. Remember Charlotte. Remember Ellis. Remember Ryder-Lee, Remember Kaleb. Remember Simone. Remember.

So, while, I still do believe that miracles still happen...and I saw one yesterday in our bathroom...and I saw 3 little boy ones running through the house today. I also know that sometimes God has a different plan than the one I wanted more than anything on the little Eva, my little Breath of Life.

Our prayer has always been and continues to be that Eva`s sick heart would bring many hearts to True Life. Maybe that`s her legacy...her breath of life...her miracle. Miracles still happen. Yes, maybe even to us.


  1. Oh Em. Oh you've made me cry. I have a lot of struggles with the words 'miracle' and 'fighter' particularly in relation to babies. I think what people forget is that they are all miracles. Your Eva and my Georgina are no less miraculous because they didn't survive. And I would defy anyone to tell me to my face that my little girl wasn't a fighter. I know that Eva was too, she went through so much in her short life. My heart just aches for you and your daughter and all that she endured. Those beautiful cards made with such positivity and relief. Oh it is all just too, too unfair.

    I agree with you, it isn't for a want of fighting spirit,or positivity or faithful prayers or wanting and wishing and to suggest it might be is incredibly hurtful to families who don't get the miracle that they hope for with all of their hearts. But yes, miracles still happen and I choose to believe that our daughters, Eva and Georgina, were amongst them xo

    1. Thank you for mentioning my Georgina by name. All of those children are miracles. I truly believe that. Not diminished by death. Still miraculous x

  2. thanks again for sharing.
    I would love the card with the 6 pics of your Eva...and also the bookmark to keep in my Bible.

  3. em, I've been thinking along these same lines also. Maybe i'll blog about my thoughts someday, but I think we (general) put too much emphasis on the "power of prayer" and the "positive thinking" that we forget the One who actually answers those prayers.
    Sometimes i get angry when people tell me they talk about how much they are praying for me, how Joshua can still be cured from his diabetes, how Joshua's platelets are up and isn't it so wonderful about the power of prayer! I groan inwardly and I just want to yell, yeah well the 'power of prayer' didn't save Emily!
    How about the power of God who is able to save souls from hell? Let's put more emphasis on that!
    anyway, just venting along with you.
    much love, Renee

  4. What a beautiful, heartfelt post, Em. I'm so touched that you mentioned my Molly, along with all of those other precious babies. So, so touched.

    I was thinking about this very thing the other day after reading something online in which a woman was soliciting prayers for a sick baby. The baby pulled through, and I'm happy for that family. But there were so many comments like, "Thank you for the prayers, they worked," "He's a little fighter," and "God is good." And while it's nice to have so many people thinking of your baby and rooting for his or her well-being, I think these comments really miss the mark and can be hurtful to those of us who have lost our babies. People prayed for Molly, too....Did they not pray hard enough? Did God think they didn't really mean it? Was God ignoring all of us? Was Molly just too weak? Was I?

    I respect your faith, but I'm not sure about God or miracles. What I *do* believe, if there is indeed a God, is that God really could care less about who wins the Superbowl and is rather more concerned with the state of people's hearts. At least, I would hope so.

    Your thank you cards break my heart. Thinking of you and your sweet Eva. xo

    1. You know, I still do believe prayer changes things. But I don't totally know how things change. I often have wondered if Eva may have died sooner without prayer. If our gift was our glorious 11 days with her. I also need to remind myself that when we pray for healing, heaven shouldn't be the second choice that it usually is. I'm sure God was not ignoring your prayers or mine. I have come to the conclusion that I will not know this side of heaven why Eva (or Molly) thing I want to make darn sure of though, is that when I die my destination is heaven and I know Eva will be waiting for me, just on the other side of the veil...she is waiting for me, and cheering me on.

      And that woman who said the prayers worked, well, I think she should really be thanking God for the reprieve and grace He has allowed rather than saying the prayers worked. The prayers didn't 'work'. God worked. And He worked for us too, just not the way we wanted with all our prayers.

      And, you know, you're right, I'm sure God is way more concerned with the state of our hearts than the state of our bodies...and still, I would trade all the wisdom, all the growth, all the insight I have gained from Eva's death, just to have her back in my arms.

  5. This post is beautiful. But oh so heartbreaking, too. Too many babies gone too soon.

    I will remember your sweet Eva.