I’ve been reading over my sporadic journal entries from my pregnancy. I think the biggest comfort has been the record of prayers lifted and being able to see just how specifically God answered those prayers. Adam and I were over the moon ecstatic when we found out baby McGough #2 was going to be a boy. It would have been so much cheaper to have a girl… we literally had everything we needed, but a boy was an exciting new challenge. We didn’t get to enjoy that moment for very long though. Within 30 minutes of being introduced to George Mason, we found out he was sick. As I imagine most parents do, we had been praying for a healthy child but now there was a diagnosis that required more specifics. This precious life inside of me needed very specific miracles in order to get to the point of healthy and happy. 

They told us at 25 weeks they didn't expect our son to survive to 28 weeks. We are now at 31.5 weeks and at my OB appointment this morning we were told his heartbeat is strong! I am feeling good movement despite the cramped conditions of this pregnancy and am continually thankful for baby hiccups. Lastly, George Mason is seeming to take after his daddy and is measuring on the larger end of average. Every day he can cook is another day of him getting bigger and stronger and ready to fight when he's born. It's a long road to 37 weeks - the gestational age the nephrologist is most comfortable with regarding his delivery - but we continue to pray boldly and with faith that our little fighter continues to survive. 

Over the next 6ish weeks we will be praying for wisdom for the doctors that are guiding us through this process. We are praying that despite the seemingly terrible conditions for growth that his lungs would be able to develop and his heart would keep beating. We are praying that pre-term labor would not be a word in our vocabulary and that this strong little man would be delivered at the appropriate time for his best shot at fighting. Lastly, we are praying that our family would be prepared for whatever the Lord brings us and we continue to be thankful for the family and friends He has placed in our lives that love us so well. 

As I look at those words and the prayers we coveted, God is really amazing. I was so thankful for baby hiccups and the many, many swift kicks to the ribs I was receiving. Those were the things that got me through each day. They were the assurances that I was still carrying a living baby. I kept telling myself I didn’t know what I would do if this sweet child died inside my womb. - God knew what I would do and exactly how to handle it. If things had turned out that way, He would have provided but I’m certainly thankful for the blessing of a living, breathing, crying, baby boy on February 10 - I couldn’t imagine laboring and birthing an already dead child… His heartbeat was strong. I can’t believe I ever even wrote those words given his circumstances, yet at every ultrasound and every appointment, his heartbeat was strong. Thank you, Jesus, for that miracle and answer to prayer. 

We prayed that this little man would be born at the perfect time. That his doctors would have the wisdom they needed to make the best medical decisions possible for his precious life. God brought George Mason on his own. There was no plan in place to deliver him early or with any sort of urgency. He had survived so much already, he could certainly make it to February 13th. God had different plans. George Mason came in his own, perfect, timing. I was terrified when the labor pains started, but looking back, I’m so thankful for God’s timeline. Adam and I made no decisions about our son’s life. We knew we had to trust that God was in control and we were going to ride out the pregnancy in whatever shape and path that took. For us, that means we talked with each doctor about our options so that we could pray over any possible decisions. We educated ourselves with as much information as we could. In the end, things played out in a way that there were no options; no decisions to be made. God was in control. He was God, not me, not some doctor, not anyone but God. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish things had gone differently. I miss my son and I want him here. Some days I’m angry with God about that. Some days I’m disappointed in the outcome. Some days I’m relieved that my son didn’t live a long life of sickness. I don’t even really like to admit that, but its true. This grief over George Mason’s life is intricate and layered. There are so many ways that I experienced his life and it was only 16 hours. I have the rest of my life to think back on those 16 hours and peel back the many versions of his story. I’m so sad that he’s not here but I’m so very thankful for the assurance God gives of heaven and eternity with Him. My precious son was a witness to many of God’s power and love. He defied many odds in his short life. Today, I feel the weight of losing him but have great peace in knowing He is no longer suffering. I will probably never really know that magnitude of George Mason’s impact on God’s kingdom but I will forever be grateful to have been a part of his story. God made me his mama and that wasn’t by mistake. 

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. - Isaiah 30:18-22