1. Freda, Margaret Comerford EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, EDITOR

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I'm not really sure I believe in miracles. I would like to, however. Some days it seems that miraculous things happen everywhere I look, but then I start to dissect them, and it turns out everything can be explained logically. I'm not able to explain, however, what recently happenedin my own family.

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Since I've been MCN's editor, I have been privileged to write editorials about the birth of each of my grandchildren. Each has been an incredible blessing, and I felt the need to write about their births and share with all of you. Now I am delighted to tell you that my newest grandchild, Jack, has been born, but his story is a bit different. He seems to be a miracle baby. He is the baby who shakes my belief in all things logical and makes me think that sometimes miracles can happen, and those of us who experience them need to stop dissecting and just be grateful.


Carrie, Jack's mother and my daughter, is one of those young women who has had to struggle with fertility. She and I even wrote a book about it, in an effort to help other young women who miscarry after infertility treatments. Carrie's reproductive life has been pockmarked with incredible effort, terrible sorrow, and occasional over-the-top joy. The birth of her first child, Abby, after years of infertility treatment was one time of incredible elation; her many years of treatment and lack of conception, and her miscarriage were difficult to deal with. Two years ago, she and her husband resolved that they simply could not take the emotional and physical tortures of infertility treatments anymore and were going to be thankful for their daughter and discontinue further medical treatments. Carrie began reading widely about infertility and came upon a book about alternative forms of therapy which might be helpful in conceiving. Shortly thereafter, she began acupuncture treatments with a practitioner who suggested that sometimes women conceived after these treatments. She didn't really believe it, but did not see a reason not to go, so she went. She found it rather pleasant, and at least it was a weekly 30 minutes of lying quietly with lovely music playing. Nothing to complain about.


Fast forward 6 months. It was time for her annual gynecologic examination, and Carrie went, expecting nothing. You can probably guess the ending to this story, can't you? Carrie was pregnant. This young woman, whose adult married life had been consumed by fertility testing, hysterosalpingograms, hormone injections, countless examinations, ovarian ultrasound examinations too numerous to count, intrauterine inseminations, and in vitro fertilization, suddenly found herself pregnant without the help of any intrusion of modern western medicine. How? Why?


Jack David, her beautiful son, was born on St. Patrick's Day 2006. I wish I could tell you that her labor and birth were tranquil and beautiful, but they were neither. No matter the fact that she had 36 hours of induction, an emergency cesarean birth, and a wound dehiscence on her first day home from the hospital, Carrie was philosophical about all of it. She had a baby. A baby she never thought she would have. A perfect little boy. (Well, can you call a 9 pound 12 ounce baby "little"? Perhaps not. I imagine his size had a lot to do with why a cesarean was done.)


Is it necessary to ask why? Is there any possible explanation? My other daughter says that Carrie could not conceive before this because she just had to wait until Jack was ready to come into her life. I suppose that explanation is as good as any. Is Jack a miracle? Of course he is, but then again, so are all newborns. Those of us in this specialty might take these miracles for granted sometimes, but we should not. Some things defy rational explanation. You just have to accept and be grateful. We are certainly grateful for Jack, our precious new family member, and for Carrie and her husband, who waited for him.


Margaret Comerford Freda, EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN