When I was four years old, my mother prompted me to pray with her for my future babies: their organs, vessels, skin, nervous systems. Everything. Of course I didn’t understand what Mom was talking about then—and she didn’t explain it to my little girl brain—but later on, I realized God must have given her an early glimpse into my future. It’s like she had this profound insight that becoming a mother wouldn’t be easy for me.
Fast forward to college, when doctors diagnosed me with uterine fibroids that I was told would make it tremendously difficult to conceive a child. But mom’s prayers followed me like a prophetic echo, sustaining me with hope and faith that I would have a baby anyway.
Then a miracle happened in 2019, when I was 43 years old. My husband Jermaine and I finally became pregnant…with twins! Though almost no one believed we were pregnant, overshadowing our joy. Doctors couldn’t even see our babies on the ultrasound because fibroids obscured them. During my first fibroid removal surgery that December, the surgeon discovered that our babies only made it to 15 weeks in utero, leading to an unplanned and painful dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. He told me that if they had survived, they likely would have entered the world deformed because they had partially attached to my uterus and fibroids with little access to nutrients. I was heartbroken.
Because people doubted my pregnancy, I suffered through loss silently while feeling lonely, confused, and depressed. Yet I felt relieved that doctors had confirmed the twins' existence at all. I was learning how to carry both devastation and peace when the stubborn fibroids returned, causing severe bleeding and pain. Not to mention my hope took another beating.
So I did all I knew how: prayed for God to place a different surgeon in my path to operate again. I was doubtful and discouraged but still knew in my bones I would birth a child. During an unexpected conversation, my cousin referred me to a fibroid surgeon with a high success rate. Though the surgeon seemed too confident I would become pregnant three months post-surgery, I took a chance on him in October 2020 with my second fibroid operation.
I remember waking up one January morning thinking, “Hey! It’s been three months! Could this actually happen?” A week later, Jermaine and I conceived our daughter Jeriah, a healthy baby girl born last year. A miraculous gift shaped by God’s perfect timing!
When reflecting on these last decades, I notice a woman holding joy and grief together. God’s promise of a child fueled me with perseverance, while suffering and doubt threatened me with setbacks, loss, and not knowing when I would become a mother.
But as only God can do, He sweetened the deal with another answered prayer: that I would have a friend with whom to share my pregnancy. He sent me Sarah Lampley —also pregnant at the same time—to celebrate with me and pray for my precious Jeriah.
God is strategic in how He connects us to particular people for our specific experiences and circumstances. He has shown me the power of strong relationships and community, prayer and hope, and focusing on goodness in spite of hardship. I’m eternally grateful.
As I pray for Jeriah and hold her close, I recall my mother’s early prayers: their strength. Her voice. An unshakeable sound.
RJ is like a sister to me. I’ve known her since she and Jermaine were dating. I witnessed their wedding day and followed RJ’s difficult journey of becoming a mom, praying for and supporting her along the way. Jeriah was due around Legend’s due date. We surprised each other with pregnancy test photos on Valentine’s Day 2021 and experienced a beautiful time of being pregnant together. Then RJ saw me through my grief of losing Legend, giving me space and time to heal before sending me pictures of Jeriah or asking me to meet her. She protected my feelings and cared for my heart, and our transparent, give-and-receive sisterhood has brought us both comfort. It’s a blessing to share in each other’s joy and suffering. I’ll forever be deeply connected to RJ and sweet Jeriah.