by Laura Knox, Options Now Staff
Sometimes, as Options Now staff is praying at the end of our monthly team meeting, some of the clinic staff will share about a particular patient situation to ask for prayer or to share a particular praise. I remember one of our nurses excitedly sharing about a sonogram during which she discovered twins. But as months progressed, Rochell's excited updates on her twins turned to broken, tearful requests for God's intervention as the family took an unexpected journey of grief and loss.
Jaleesa and her husband, Eric, had come to Options Now for support during their pregnancy, and Options Now sonographers first shared with her the unexpected news that she was carrying twins. Jaleesa went into labor unexpectedly at 22 weeks, 4 days, and prognosis for the twins was grim. "Viability" is currently considered 22 weeks, and even then many medical interventions are required for a baby born so early to be able to survive.
Eric, Jr. did not survive being born so prematurely. And at 22 weeks, 4 days, Erian faced a very long road ahead. The delivering doctor sent Erian to Macon to a facility that would be better equipped to handle such a tiny preemie. The road was long as this little family grieved the loss of their son while dealing with the uncertainties of a preemie with an extended NICU stay.
When I finally met Jaleesa & Eric at their photoshoot, I felt like I already knew them. And when I laid eyes on this angelic little one, I was astounded to see this miracle with my own eyes. Our partner photographer, Meredith Klapp, did a phenomenal job capturing this beauty while keeping our little preemie warm enough & not tiring her out too much.
As I continued to get to know Jaleesa at the session, she shared an unbelievable treasure with us. After Eric, Jr. passed away, the nurses at South Georgia Medical Center took his tiny footprints for Jaleesa & Eric to keep. To see how tiny the twins' feet were at 22 weeks, 4 days was breathtaking. To know that Erian had grown from such a tiny footprint...was almost unbelievable.
Options Now believes that every life is sacred. We believe that life is sacred in the womb and outside the womb. We included Eric Jr. in our calendar because, in a culture that devalues life in the womb, we want to stand up and tell our community that we value life. Someday, when Erian sees the calendar with her gorgeous baby photo in it, we wanted her to know that her brother's life was honored and valued.
Do you want to take a stand for Life? Do you want to be part of a ministry that sees all life as precious? Options Now needs volunteers, prayer partners, and donors to make our life-affirming ministry possible. Contact Maryann Meli at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. You can join us as we take a stand for Life in our community.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Read other calendar posts here.