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Woman Goes Into Labor at 19 Weeks and Prays for a Christmas Miracle

Melissa Payne says she was devastated when her water broke at just 19 weeks, but she refused to terminate her pregnancy and prayed to God for a miracle.  She shares her story:

“My husband came with me. We went to hear that first heartbeat. They hooked up the Doppler on my stomach and right away found a very strong heartbeat. (We were) just overwhelmed with joy that we were going to be able to have another child, that the Lord had blessed us. We found out at 15 weeks that we were actually expecting a girl. We decided on her name even before she was born.”

“I woke up in the middle of the night, to find out that my water had broken. I was really scared. The doctor was laying out the statistics for us and the odds of the pregnancy. He said most women go into labor within 24-72 hours and the baby would not be able to survive. He would recommend that they admit me to the hospital and just go ahead and terminate the pregnancy,” Melissa explained. 

“I just kept looking at the heart beat on the screen and I was not going to be the one to stop her heart. So the doctor came back in and told us to go to the specialist. I started texting, asking for prayer.”

Melissa’s doctor remembers her visit after her water broke. “We did a follow up ultrasound here which showed a very limited amount of amniotic fluid. (It was) a very, very poor prognosis. But we told her that as long as the baby was alive, we were going full court press. We maintained her at bed rest at home,” said Clayton L. Cox, M.D., FACOG. 

“When I was alone though, I would really just plead, ‘please save the baby. Please let her be a miracle,’ said Melissa. “When we started asking for prayers I immediately felt a little bit calmer because I knew I wasn’t alone. God was on our side.”

Melissa turned to her friends and church family for prayer.  “They encouraged that. They wanted people to pray for them.  They believed in the power of God to answer prayer,” said Dr. Tom Smiley, Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville, Georgia. 

“We knew we were going to have a C-section.  At 26 weeks and 2 days, they found that her heart rate started disappearing off the monitor for minutes at a time,” said Melissa. “The baby was definitely going to come that day. I was put under anesthesia and went to sleep and then I woke up in recovery and immediately asked where the baby was, even though I was fearful of the answer.”

“I saw my husband and said, ‘Where’s the baby?’ He said, ‘She’s in the NICU. She’s not breathing on her own but they are able to ventilate her lungs.’ I said ‘How big is she?’ He said, ‘She’s tiny. She’s 1 lb. 12 ounces and She’s about a foot long.’”

“We set out on our NICU Journey that was full of ups and downs. Everyday that we got with her I would thank God. I put my hand in the incubator and I grabbed her little hand that was about the size of my thumbnail. And she wrapped her hand around my thumb and she just held on.”

“When you have a newborn baby and it’s a little girl, you’re excited about putting the dress and the bows but we didn’t get to have those times with GraceAnne… until 2 months later.” 

“They said I could get her dressed and I just wept tears of joy because I felt like at that point, that she was my baby. She was going to survive and come home. And she did,” said Melissa.

“After 97 days, she was able to come home, just in time for Christmas.”

“When we got to carry her over our front door (threshold) and let her big sister hold her. It was really at that moment, we had experienced a miracle that Jesus had worked in her life and all the prayers had been heard.”

“Today, GraceAnne is 15-months-old. She’s small for her age but she’s developing right on track. She’s actually ahead a little bit physically.  She’s walking. She’s babbling. She’s playing with her sister, trying to copy everything she does. She’s very spunky!”

“It’s absolutely a miracle. The medical profession, God’s given us knowledge and tools that we can use, but this little girl wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for God and I think it truly was a miracle,” said Dr. Cox. 

“Sometimes we have to let go of our own power struggles and just get on our knees and ask.  Ask for what we need.  And we asked for GraceAnne’s life and it was a big request. But He saved her and she’s here!”

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