A Mother's Love
GOSHEN, Ind. ---As Mother's Day comes to a close, ABC 57 has a story of a special family who was forced to make a difficult choice, a choice no parent ever hopes to face: follow a doctor's advice and end a complicated pregnancy or choose to carry a baby nine months knowing it may not live more than a few seconds, if at all?
Craig and Cacia Angel of Goshen had to make that decision during a routine appointment several months ago.
At 20 weeks pregnant, they thought they were just going to learn whether they were having a boy or a girl.
They say they didn't really mind which one it was, they were just excited to give their 2-year-old son, Eli, a little brother or sister.
"I remember in the waiting room and saying honey I am scared that something is not going to be right,” Cacia said.
Call it a mother's intuition. While the sonogram revealed they were having a baby boy, that joy was masked by something else the doctor found. It was a devastating diagnosis.
“He said we don't know exactly what is wrong with but something is very wrong with the baby,” Cacia said.
It was Trisomy 13, a rare chromosomal disorder that causes organ defects so severe, babies only live days if at all.
“I asked what does it mean? He said it's lethal. He said your baby is not compatible with life,” Cacia said.
The doctor gave his best advice based on all extraordinary medical odds.
"If you want to just end the pregnancy now I would feel comfortable inducing you,” Cacia said.
But the Angels said those medical odds left one thing out- their unwavering faith.
“It wasn't our choice to decide when he would pass away, it is our job to nurture him as long as we could,” Craig and Cacia said.
And now they are determined to do just that. Nurture, celebrate and capture pregnancy photos with the baby boy the family named Joshua.
"We hope to get to hold him alive. That would mean a lot. It would be amazing to see him alive,” Cacia said.
And each day Cacia gets closer to her due date, the greater the chance that could happen. It's what she clings to- the precious sound of her baby's first cry.
“It's hard because we are preparing for his life, but we are also preparing for the day he will probably die. It's like, how do you prepare for that?” she said.
Prepared or not, Cacia's due date arrived.
She checked into IU Goshen and got to hear Joshua's seemingly healthy heartbeat.
Doctors led a bedside prayer for the Angels begging for Joshua to greet the world breathing and screaming.
After 10 hours, labor finally set in and so did the reality of what this day could bring.
“I will never forget what you told me that one night that one day we will see him and he will be all healed and healthy and beautiful,” Cacia said.
As the pain intensified, the pushing began and finally little Joshua arrived.
Nine months then nine silent seconds passed before a gurgle and a cry brought the uncontrollable tears of a mother's answered prayer.
Each sound of life seemed sweeter than the last for this young couple.
The baby perceived as not compatible with life, filled the room with hope, joy and unconditional love for 71 precious hours.
It's more than they ever expected and all they ever needed.
Moments and memories the Angels will cherish for a lifetime; the time they had with their baby Joshua, their angel here on Earth.