Lainie's last few birthdays had been dreaded reminders that she was still single and childless. Being the product of a large family, five siblings to be exact, she yearned to have a child of her own. She worried, she stewed, and studied her financial situation. Once sure she could handle all aspects of being a single mother, she discussed the situation with close friends, as well as her mother. After a bit more deliberation, she opted to go for it. As if by design, her first attempt at invitro fertilization was successful. Lainie was thrilled!
The first 27 weeks of Lainie's pregnancy were perfect and each day her excitement soared. At 28 weeks things changed in a heartbeat; the situation became critical and she was terrified. When preeclampsia reared its ugly head, an emergency C-section was the only option. Moreover, it came with no promise of survival for Mother or child. Lainie had already named her unborn son, Chance, and she prayed to God for just that a chance of survival for her child.
Weighing in at 1 pound and 15 ounces, the premature baby boy had been aptly named, for he was given a 50-50 chance of making it through his first night. Should he survive, he faced the probability of numerous health problems: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness, and cystic fibrosis, to name only a few. The doctors were straightforward and not encouraging.
Lainie remained in intensive care for 10 anxiety-ridden days while her tiny son struggled to live. She held him for the first time when he was one week old. After three months in Neonatal Intensive Care, an overjoyed, yet fearful Mother took her still-fragile infant home. Lainie's mother traveled from Kansas to aid her youngest daughter and brand new grandson.
Due to chronic lung disease in premature babies, Chance would not be a daycare candidate for 2 years and Lainie was forced to make several major decisions. She left California and moved into her mother's roomy home in Kansas. Mom was more than willing to provide the emotional support Lainie needed and to help care for her young grandson.
Lainie was unable to continue her established career path in Kansas. Instead, her employment took the route of temporary jobs. Chance's therapy sessions and endless doctor appointments required her schedule to be flexible.
At 18 months of age Chance lags behind developmentally for a child his age, but he makes progress daily. It appears he has avoided all of the possible maladies that once loomed in his future. Furthermore, Chance dodged two additional obstacles that were thrown in his path those being, kidney and heart surgery. Both issues resolved themselves with no logical or scientific explanation! Since birth, it seems Chance has been cradled in God's loving hands.
When I last visited Chance, his bright eyes danced and he giggled while giving grandma high fives one after the other. In addition, the smile that graced grandma's proud face was priceless.
Despite all adjustments and challenges encountered, Chance fills Lainie's life with love, light, and joy daily. With mountains of love, a multitude of prayers, and the grace of God, chances are that Chance will lead a completely normal life...(Kathleene S. Baker)