Huss Family Miracle

When the doctors explained to Paula Huss that her baby would have to come out 14 weeks early or face possible death, she searched inward and found unexplainable peace. When the news was relayed to her husband John, in his own mind he rewound ten years to the beginning of the story.

The Huss family expected their new baby, Andrew, in November – not August. On a summer afternoon at Children's Hospital, doctors explained to the Husses that they had a choice; deliver early, or risk both of their lives. John's mind spun ten years back in time. This wasn't the first time the Husses faced this choice.

John's mind settled on the birth of his first child, Max. It was an equally terrifying time for the Husses. Paula's pregnancy with Max had also been a far cry from a walk in the park. Also at risk, Max was born 13 weeks early. At the time, there was no explanation for Max's inability to survive in the womb.

"We had absolutely no idea what was going on when Paula had this condition with Max," says John, "And sometimes ignorance is bliss."

After Max's heart rate dipped dangerously, doctors performed an emergency Cesarean section to save his life. But today, Max is a healthy, normal child—a fact that the Husses consider a blessing.

After Paula's pregnancy with Andrew followed the same trajectory as her pregnancy with Max, doctors buckled down and diagnosed Paula's condition as Preeclampsia. The malady tricks the mother's immune system into seeing the unborn baby as an invader. The mother's body goes into overdrive to reject the baby before it comes to term.

When Paula became pregnant, her doctors took precautions to avoid a similar situation with Andrew's birth. Medications abounded, but to no avail, unlike the results with their second child Gina. As Andrew's due date edged up on Paula, her body stopped processing fluids. It became painfully clear that a full term with Andrew would not be possible.

Andrew came into the world weighing just over two pounds. From the start he was surrounded by doctors and family, hope and fear.

"When a baby comes that early, doctors don't give you much to bank on," says Paula, "But Andrew cried quickly after he was born. It was a good sign. It meant that his lungs had developed enough to push air out."

But Andrew wasn't even close to being out of the woods yet. Shortly after Andrew's first cries, Doctors began yelling out grim numbers as they moved quickly to keep Andrew alive.

But the roots of a miracle took hold. After being placed in isolation and strapped down with oxygen tubes, Andrew's breathing improved dramatically. He stabilized.

For weeks after Andrew's birth, the ups and downs were nearly intolerable for the Husses. In a brutal cycle, progress was routinely followed by new adversities. As Paula would say, Andrew would take one step forward and two steps back. Says John, "If he was good one day, that was great. Tomorrow we'll worry about tomorrow."

Finally, steady improvement became the norm. By November there were far more good days for Andrew than bad. His vital signs gained strength. Since Andrew's birth 100 days ago, John and Paula have travelled from their home in Edmond multiple times a day to visit Andrew in the hospital.

"I would say that by now we know every inch of that stretch of the Broadway Extension," says Paula, "Total, we've spent over a week's time driving from our house to the hospital."

John serves as a pastor at Edmond's Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. He categorically believes that Andrew's life was saved through faith and prayer. This faith, born on the first Christmas, is the faith that allows Andrew to celebrate his. Follow the Huss family blog at http://holytrinityedmond.org/htlc/huss_blog.

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