“I’m sorry, but your baby is not compatible with life.” A phrase no mother or father should ever EVER have to hear. These words echoed in the minds of Aleisa and William for 99 days after they were given that devastating news during a ultrasound. Through prayer, reflection and endless amounts of support, Aleisa made the promise to her baby girl, “I will carry you.” Many would have “opted out” of their pregnancy like some doctors often suggest because with the diagnosis of Trisomy 18, if you are even blessed with life outside the womb, the quality is not there. Choosing life was the most admirable, inspirational, selfless and faithfilled act Aleisa and William could have ever done. The emotional roller coaster she describes in her blog was often unbearable for me to even read. She openly discusses her raw emotions and it’s more than evident how her faith is the only reason she’s made it this far. I believe when she accepted this cross to bear, in her true testament of faith, she became a disciple in Christ. She’s exemplified such unconditional love that the pieces of God’s elaborate plan for them and Nora especially, are beginning to fall in place. Her selflessness has brought thousands together in a community of prayer, which is only a small part of the big things happening because of this sweet baby girl. Because she saw this as a blessing and NOT misfortune, look at the reward God gave them yesterday. Amazing. We were in complete awe, as we witnessed a miracle right in front of our eyes. They prayed their way through the pain of the (likelihood) chance of stillbirth and pleaded with God to allow her life here on Earth. With immense fear, Aleisa pushed Nora out. She was peacefully alert, only having a little struggle in the beginning. As you watch in the slideshow, Aleisa is praying with all her might for God to spare her baby. A sight that was so heart wrenching, everyone in the room was sobbing. None of us were in control. No one could bear her cross. No one could ease the pain of a mother knowing every.single.breath has the potential to be her baby’s last. After a little oxygen help she let out music to her mama’s ears, a big healthy cry. Through the grace of God, her vitals became and remained stable and Nora continue to fight for her life just as she had the previous 9mths in the womb. Once she was back on mommy’s chest, the family poured in with great anticipation to see the breath taking site of a beautiful breathing Nora Rose. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. Love filled the room to the brim and slowly the panic and anxiety lingering in everyone’s heart was peacefully calmed by the sweet sighs and sounds of a fresh infant. She was passed around, kissed and embraced by all, myself included. After awhile, everyone crowded around as their friend from their church baptized her. They wanted me to photograph her with all the wonderful gifts they received, including a beyond precious dress and headband aunt Sarah made for her. She modeled so gracefully and didn’t mind the paparazzi in her face at all times. To follow along and watch Nora conquer each day, go to Aleisa’s blog. It seems as though the whole world is rooting for this beautiful baby. How wonderful. This baby is changing lives.
It was such an incredible honor to be part of and witness the power of prayer. Small miracles happen every day, but BIG ones like these don’t take place often and I was so blessed to document God’s mercy for this family. Not often does one have the opportunity to know they are fulfilling their purpose in life. On april 17, 2012, I knew for certain, this is EXACTLY what He has intended for me to do. It is such an incredible feeling and I thank you Aleisa and William for allowing me to be a small piece of your puzzle. God be with you every second of this journey.
Much much love, Melanie.