In the Suburbs: Do I believe in miracles? You bet. Now we have two.
When our daughter Stacey adopted our grandson from China in 2017, my wife and I accompanied her on the trip of a lifetime and returned with a treasure, Lucas, who will remain in our lives forever.
We have been filled with joy ever since and Lucas has brought so much happiness to our daughter and us. There is just no way to describe it.
But, in early fall last year, as we were planning a trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving, our daughter told us that the fertility clinic with which she had worked some 10 years ago, had a new program with better odds for older women. The doctor from the clinic had approached her with the prospect of implanting a totally fertilized embryo.
Of course, the thought that Lucas might have a sibling was exciting and daunting all at the same time. She had been so disappointed the first time she tried in vitro, experiencing three pregnancies that lasted barely one trimester, and our only question was whether she wanted to go through the same emotional roller coaster again.
Her response, “I have a child and if this doesn’t work, I can always return to China and adopt again.”
Of course, we encouraged her to take the leap, since the clinic was more optimistic about the odds with this new program. So, on Dec. 1 a week after our return from Thanksgiving in Virginia, she was implanted.
We were ecstatic two weeks later, when she learned that she was pregnant and was beginning her journey again into the unknown world of maternity. The most skeptical person among us was our daughter. Even with prayer chains working overtime and ultrasounds sounding more and more encouraging, her “If it works, it works and if not I won’t be unhappy” state of mind, gradually shifted.
At the four-month ultrasound, her technician asked Stacey whether she could be just a little more excited. That morning, she smiled for the first time and the ultrasound physician told her she was carrying a little boy. From that point on, the journey continued at its normal pace and Stacey began to plan for bringing this new little boy into her life and her family.
I thought so often about writing about our miracle baby to be, but in the end chose to wait. The last thing I wanted to do was subject my readers to any disappointment. As the months continued, I found myself constantly grabbing a book at our bookstore in Fairfield called “Pregnancy Day by Day.” The book explained exactly what was happening and became my bible for this journey.
Meanwhile, our regular family conversations revolved around how large Stacey was getting and how strong the baby’s heartbeat was. By May, our miracle baby had a name — Caleb Abraham — named after my late father and my late grandfather, all part of Judaic tradition.
Lucas was understanding more about what was happening to his mom and became increasingly excited. Of course, when we asked him how he felt about a baby brother, he just looked at us with glassy eyes. This whole experience was very overwhelming and he just wanted to spend more time with mom.
All too soon, it was roughly two months from delivery and Stacey’s friends were talking shower and celebrating. And despite all that excitement, I still had moments of doubt and disbelief. “Would this miracle happen? Would everything be all right?” This experience was so new for all of us.
A week ago Friday, with delivery set for Aug. 16 and the doctor saying that the baby would likely be late and probably not on time, I was chowing down at a favorite diner and the phone vibrated. It was Stacey. “Oh, I’ll just call her back,” I thought. I’m sure it’s a routine call.
The phone vibrated again and a text followed: “Running around here like a chicken without a head. I think water may have broken. On my way in 15 minutes to the hospital.”
I nearly spilled the rest of my coffee, texted my wife who hardly ever picks up and rushed out of the diner, almost forgetting to pay. I texted the dog sitter, praying he was available to take our two guys for a change (I had put him on alert, but not before Aug. 16).
Thank goodness he was available and I told him I couldn’t promise how long this would take. “No worries,” he said. “Now just go!”
“I’ll spare you the rest of the details. On Saturday morning at 10:45, after 30 hours of labor and a decision to do a cesarean section, Caleb Abraham Gaynes arrived with a loud cry. His grandmother was there to cheer Stacey on and I received the most magnificent early 75th birthday present I could have wished for. He was 6 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long.
We celebrated my birthday a day early with our bigger family at home. Ask me if I believe in miracles. You bet! I haven’t stopped crying for a week. I believe we are the luckiest grandparents on earth with two grandsons in two years.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.