January 14, 2021
Myles, Lauren, Alana and Mason Grim (Photo by NLA Weddings)
EDITOR’S NOTE — We cherish all of our TAB Tots for sure, but one little guy gripped our hearts beyond what we could have imagined. Hear his story from his sweet and amazing mom, Lauren, who oversees the layout and design of the pages you read each week.
“He’s breathing.” That’s the first thing my husband, Myles, said to me as the doctor delivered our 1 lb. 14 oz. baby via emergency C-section the night of Oct. 3, 2018. A team of doctors and nurses swiftly whisked away “Baby Boy Grim,” as they called him, to the NICU floor there at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women in Memphis, Tennessee.
As I lay there on the operating table I tried to process what just happened and the fact that I was no longer pregnant at 24 weeks.
We hadn’t even named our baby yet. I honestly had been putting that off for months because I had such a tough pregnancy. I knew if we named him it would be that much harder if something were to happen to him. I didn’t want the connection that a name would have given us. But as the doctor was sewing me up, we decided to name the baby Mason.
During my pregnancy, there were times when I just knew I had lost him. I went to the ER fully prepared to not hear his heartbeat on the ultrasound. But every time I thought he was gone, there he was with his heart beating away.
I had a hematoma, which is a pooling of blood between the placenta and the uterine wall. During my first appointment with a high-risk doctor, I was told to go straight to the hospital and that I could expect to stay there possibly until my due date. This was in September, and my due date wasn’t until January. I burst into tears and immediately thought of my 2-year-old daughter, Alana. I couldn’t leave her for possibly four months.
So there I was on the antepartum floor of the hospital. I had no clue how long I would be there. Six days into my stay on a Wednesday afternoon, I was working on laying out a page for The Alabama Baptist from my laptop while I sat in my hospital bed. I started feeling a little off, so I decided to take a nap. Then I started having contractions. Doctors and nurses tried to stop them but couldn’t. Thankfully we were already there in the hospital, or Mason probably wouldn’t have made it.
I don’t believe it was an accident this happened on a Wednesday night, either. Many people who were aware of our current situation were at church. Mason was born at 6:08 p.m., right in the middle of prayer meeting. People at our church in Hernando, Mississippi, and even the youth group were pleading with God to spare the life of our little baby born way too soon. When news was relayed to them that Mason was born breathing, the room full of youth erupted in applause.
We were surprised Mason was born breathing on his own. Lungs are one of the last things to fully develop in babies, so breathing issues are common in micropreemies — babies born before 26 weeks’ gestation.
After two weeks of breathing on his own with the help of a CPAP machine, his body got tired and he was put on a ventilator. He stayed on a ventilator for three and a half months. And during that time, he endured more than some people experience in their lifetime — respiratory distress syndrome, apnea of prematurity, pulmonary interstitial emphysema, retinopathy of prematurity, blood transfusions, pneumonia, chronic lung disease, brain bleed, hernia, hydrocele, feeding tube, etc. Each day, we prayed so hard for God to let him live.
On Feb. 19, 2019, we brought Mason home after 139 days in the NICU without any medicine or hospital equipment. Today he weighs 27 lbs. and is healthy as can be. He is developmentally about 4–5 months behind other babies his age, but we are doing physical, occupational and speech therapy weekly to help him close that gap so he can reach his milestones. Mason is proof that God still performs miracles.
As Sanctity of Human Life Sunday approaches on Jan. 17, I can’t help but think of my little Mason. Even though he was born at just 24 weeks, his tiny life still had value.
Even at 1 lb. 14 oz., he ministered to people and showed them God can use the smallest of humans to speak to people’s hearts. So many told us that our story and faith touched their lives. When they see Mason, they say “there’s God’s miracle right there.” Every life matters. Even a micropreemie can have a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness.