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Miracle baby brings mother peace

The birth of our son Theo, took Brent and me five long years. Two miscarriages shattered our hopes each year, leaving us exhausted physically and emotionally. Within five years, we consulted with six doctors, tried various treatments and procedures, but nothing seemed to work. It took an immense toll on both my body and marriage.

Eventually, we reached a point where we accepted that maybe it was just meant to be us, and we resigned ourselves to that possibility.

When my younger sister announced her pregnancy, I felt a mix of emotions. There was a pang of jealousy and hurt, feeling like maybe God had forgotten about us.

But a deeper part of me was immeasurably happy for her. I knew first hand the struggles of trying to conceive and I did not want her to experience my pain and struggle. Her pregnancy became a blessing, not just for her, but for our whole family. It brought the hope that we needed to keep going.

Then, unexpectedly, it happened. I had this strange feeling one night before going out with friends, like I needed to take a pregnancy test. I followed my spirit and took the test which turned out to be positive.

I dismissed it at first, thinking the test was expired, but it indeed was a positive. After years of negative results, seeing that positive test was surreal. While fear was present, I felt a sense of great love and wonder.

Unfortunately, I was put on bed rest for a significant portion of it, constantly worried that something might go wrong. The fear of experiencing another miscarriage was always lurking in the back of my mind, threatening to overshadow any joy.

In order to get through the uncertainties, I spent most of my time in prayer. Reciting my rosary every day to get me through. Every chance I got to sneak away, I would go to the Blessed Sacrament.

When I felt his first kicks, I experienced God’s love personified and it all became so real! And I began letting go of the anxieties.

The day Theo came into this world unfolded in a blur of unexpected events. Spotting turned into contractions, and suddenly, he was coming sooner than expected. The rush to the hospital, the emergency caesarean, it all happened so fast.

I was overwhelmed, unable to process everything that was happening. I remember them bringing Theo to my side, his perfect being, and breaking down. I longed to hold him. Our miracle baby.

I would admit, I expected an instant bond, but it didn’t happen that way. The caesarean left me in pain, physically and emotionally. Theo was whisked away to the nursery, and I struggled to connect with him amid the chaos.

The first few days in the hospital were a blur of pain, exhaustion, and attempts at breastfeeding that left me feeling inadequate. Even though chaos was present, I remember waking up periodically and asking for my sweet Theo, who was lying next to me, peacefully, bringing me the peace I needed, I yearned for.

I remember coming home and feeling a sense of relief as I laid Theo in his bassinet. He was and still is the most precious gift I have ever received.

What started off as a joyful experience, transcended into the beginning of a challenging journey. Being a new mom is hard. The early mornings, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation all hit me at once which led to the postpartum depression.

Anxiety gripped me, making every moment with Theo fraught with fear and uncertainty. I longed for my old life, for the freedom and spontaneity I once had. But I refused to give in and continued showing up relentlessly for our son. Through the tears, I recognised that Theo was our prayers being lived out!

What can I say about Theo? Theo’s unwavering love became a lifeline in the midst of my despair. Despite my struggles, he remained a beacon of hope, a spark of joy, a reminder that we were not alone in this journey. With Brent’s steadfast support and the help of medication, I began to confront my postpartum depression head-on.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself reflecting on the journey that brought me here. I still can’t believe I am here. Despite the challenges and setbacks, Theo’s presence has brought immeasurable love and purpose to my life.

The road to motherhood was far from easy, but looking into Theo’s eyes, I’m reminded that the greatest gifts often come from the most difficult journeys. The meaning of Theo, ‘God’s gift’, which he truly is… every laugh, coo, and snuggles, is a gift from God, to remind us of how much our God truly loves us.


Lauren Branker is the Communications Officer at the Secretariat of the Antilles Episcopal Conference. Lauren and Brent will celebrate their seventh year of marriage in December.