The Incredible Miracle of Her First Son

She kept hearing God say she would have a son. His promise became the divine comfort she needed.

Posted in , Jul 25, 2022

An illustration of a pregnant woman; Illustration by Nomoco

I’ve seen a lot of miracles in my life. After all, I’ve been talking to God since I was a little girl! But there is one event in my life that I keep going back to. Many times. An occurrence that even now still leaves me amazed. A moment back in the summer of 1964…

At the time, I was a young wife and mother. I’d met my husband, Perry, a few years prior. Those twinkling eyes and Marine physique were hard to resist. After he proposed several times, I accepted, and we were married. We spent a year on the Marine Corps base in California before moving back to Oklahoma. A few months later, I gave birth to a daughter and, a couple years after that, another girl. We eventually felt the call to move back to California and settled near Bakersfield.

One afternoon, as usual while Perry was at work, I sat on a blanket in the backyard of our little duplex, overlooking the rolling hills, and watched the girls play with a ball in the grass. I took a deep breath and, for a minute, let the stillness of the day surround me. This, right here, was heaven. A little home with a grassy yard and a family of my own. I sat back, soaked it in and—

“You are to have a son.”

I sat up straighter. I knew God’s voice. But me...have a son? My younger daughter was only eight months old. We couldn’t afford a third child. This was not a good time. And my last pregnancy had been difficult. So I brushed the voice aside.

But every time I took the girls outside to play in the backyard, I heard it: “You are to have a son.” Again and again. Sometimes I’d argue back. “God, we can’t right now,” I’d say, presenting all my excuses. Still the voice persisted. This went on for a good three weeks.

Finally, one night, I broke down and told Perry. “Every day I take the girls outside to play and I hear God telling me to have a son,” I said, the words coming out in a rush. To my surprise, he smiled. “Well,” he said, “if that’s what God wants.”

Two weeks later, I was pregnant. In those days there was no way to tell what the baby’s gender was before birth, but I trusted what God had said. My church group even threw me a shower with all things “boy.” I couldn’t wait to meet the son God had promised me.

The pregnancy went smoothly and around my due date, I went into labor. But the closer the contractions got, the more I hemorrhaged. Nine hours in, the nurse came to check on me again. After she examined me, she placed a call to the doctor. “You need to get here immediately,” I heard her say.

I was wheeled into the delivery room, and Perry was told to wait outside the double doors. The doctor rushed into the room, still putting on his white coat. He and two nurses stood on either side of me, pressing on my stomach, trying to move the baby down. I screamed out in pain.

“Give her oxygen!” the doctor yelled, urgency in his voice.

“I can’t,” the nurse said, trying to put an oxygen mask on me.

I could hear the terror in their voices. And I knew then—I was dying. My baby was dying too. “Don’t touch me!” I yelled. The nurses held up their hands, and the room stood still.

“Lord, you promised me a son! Why are you taking him now?” I shouted, my eyes filling with tears.

It happened then in an instant. One second, I was on the delivery table. The next, I was hovering above it. I saw myself sitting up and screaming in pain, a nurse on either side of me. But I couldn’t hear any sound. And in the quiet, I felt it. Surrounding me, lifting me up. Peace. I was being cared for. As I continued to watch the scene below, I saw the doctor catch a baby. My baby! But he looked…blue. The nurses took the baby to a table, massaging his arms and legs. I wasn’t afraid. Because God had made me a promise.

I dropped back to my body. Before I could ask about the baby, one of the nurses walked toward me, a bundle in her arms. “Mildred,” she said, “you have a son.”

When the pediatrician came by the next day to check on us, he was astounded. My placenta had started to detach too soon. He couldn’t believe that my son was healthy. “He’s going to be okay,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”

A miracle that, even almost 60 years later, leaves me amazed. I can still recall that scene, that great sense of calm. Later in life, when I became a caretaker for Perry, who suffered from Lewy body dementia, it became even more of a comfort. Watching him succumb to his illness and dealing with the aftermath was heartbreaking. But whenever I despaired, I’d revisit the incredible miracle that happened the day my son was born. And I knew, without a doubt, that God was lifting me up. Just as I know he always will.

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