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She almost lost her daughter, but never gave up hope

5-year-old Maggie

5-year-old Maggie

PPROM (Preterm premature rupture of membranes) is a rare condition that happens when the amniotic sack breaks too early in pregnancy.


It sounds horrible, and it is. My friend Lee Cordon, writer of etiquette blog Do Say Give, experienced it with her daughter Maggie.


Because a baby can’t develop lungs without amniotic fluid, Maggie had little to no chance of surviving outside the womb. So the doctors encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.


But Lee refused to give up. She’d gotten to know this baby, felt her kicking, and knew ending the pregnancy just wasn’t the right thing to do.


So she did the only thing she could – went home and prayed for a miracle, along with her family and church. She stared a blog to keep people updated. 


Lee says it was during this time her faith was the strongest. “When you don’t have any other hope, you have to rely on the promises of the Lord.”


During the seven weeks she was in the hospital, she remembers a distinct moment when she felt God providing for her. A kind hospital cleaning lady who she saw regularly told her the baby was going to be OK. She said a prayer for her in Spanish and told her to believe. Lee says she was a guardian angel.


Maggie was born 29 weeks through an emergency C-section. Lee wanted to be awake for the first few moments of her daughter’s life, knowing they might be the last.


She was rushed to the NICU and amazingly, lived. The doctors couldn’t believe it. Maggie was a miracle.


Still, the doctors said she would have major disabilities.


Maggie came home and they spent the first three years going to appointments. Lee says it was a big blur of all-nighters and feeding tubes.


But Maggie made it, and she’s doing great now – running, playing, and doing things normal kids do. She’s bright and happy, with a fighter’s spirit. She still has therapy, but Lee and her husband can't complain. She’s alive, and that’s something they thought might not happen.


For moms going through a similar experience, Lee says never give up hope.


“During periods of hardship and suffering a tiny glimmer of hope can get you through the most difficult days. Cling to that hope and don't ever give it up.”


Have you gone through something similar? Leave a comment below.




A Mother's Faith for Her Children


A Mother's Faith for Her Children

children's portrait drawing

All moms could use some help with the huge responsibility and challenges of raising kids. To further my mission of helping families celebrate their children, I’m working on a book of motherly wisdom that I've collected from the moms I serve.  

One such mom is my friend and collector, Kristen, who recently came over to my studio with her two precious girls, Caroline and Gracie. What touched me most during our conversation was how refreshingly open and honest Kristen was about her struggles and her faith. When I asked her what are the biggest worries she faces, she laughed, saying she wasn’t sure if she could list them all.


Memphis artist portraits


Like most of the moms I’ve talked to, Kristen worries that she’s not parenting the right way or doing the right thing, and that she might be “screwing up” her kids. It’s a daily battle that began the day she found out Caroline was coming into the world. But, she says her faith gives her the hope and reassurance that God is in control. She can trust in Him, because He loves her and her girls even more than she does.


Without her faith, Kristen says she couldn’t be a mom.


Faced with the huge responsibility she’s been given, Kristen says one of the most important lessons she’s learned is humility. It’s easy to forget that she’s not the one in control. Like another mom said, your kids are going to be who God created them to be. Let go! Kristen says that because of God’s love for her and her girls, she can rest in the fact that He has their best interest at heart.


Charcoal Portrait in Tennessee


The most touching thing she said during our talk was how amazed and overwhelmed she is by how much she loves her girls. She says it’s a true, unconditional love that comes from God and is a picture of the way He loves us.


Her parting words of advice of a mom-to-be are? Enjoy it. You blink, and your babies are grown. So try to find joy in every stage and embrace the constant change as best you can.