This Couple Lost A Baby, But They Never Lost Their Hope
Elizabeth Salmon risked life-threatening pregnancy complications, clinging to the hope that God would fulfill his promise.
Jamie and Elizabeth Salmon shared the dream of being parents even before they married.
Elizabeth knew she had a condition that would make getting pregnant a struggle, but she and Jamie were hopeful. Both had felt a strong calling on their lives to raise children to love Jesus and change the world. They believed nothing was impossible with God.
When the couple were ready to try for a baby, Elizabeth got a prescription for fertility medication. But before she had a chance to take the medicine, she discovered she was pregnant. It seemed like proof to the couple and the friends who had prayed for them that God was involved.
Elizabeth’s pregnancy was healthy and normal until 23 weeks. Suddenly, Elizabeth began to display symptoms of severe preeclampsia, with Hellp Syndrome. This rare, life-threatening condition destroys the mother’s liver and can cause fluid and blood to fill her lungs.
The doctors told Elizabeth the only “cure” was to deliver the baby. But Elizabeth refused to accept that her unborn child would likely have to die.
Everyone prayed for the impossible as the life of mother and baby hung in the balance. As each day passed, the tiny chance that their child could be born and live increased. But on the fifth day, Elizabeth’s condition grew increasingly grave: Jamie had to persuade his wife to place Bella's life into God’s hands.
Bella survived for 45 minutes, and Jamie and Elizabeth held and loved her the entire time.
Throughout the ordeal, Jamie and Elizabeth were held up by the love and support of their close friends in a NewSpring Group.
A new hope
In the months to follow, Jamie and Elizabeth were heartbroken, questioning why they had brought home a box instead of a baby. But they refused to accuse God of wrongdoing. This God-given pregnancy wasn’t a failure, they said, but a perfect fulfillment of the life God had planned for Bella.
As they grieved Bella’s loss, they clung to the hope that God was good and faithful in all his works. He had promised them a child, and they believed God wasn’t done. Despite the high risk of similar life-threatening complications in a second pregnancy, Jamie and Elizabeth were determined to try again.
It was a faith and courage that Jamie and Elizabeth’s friends knew could only have come from God himself.
Less than a year after Bella's loss, Elizabeth found herself pregnant again. In the months that followed, Jamie and Elizabeth fought with faith through the pregnancy fears with the help of their friends.
Once they passed the first trimester, and then the emotional threshold of Bella’s death at 23 weeks, Jamie and Elizabeth's confidence slowly grew week by week.
Jamie and Elizabeth had prayed for their child to reach 30 weeks. That was the least amount of time they thought a premature baby would need to have a good chance of survival. And at 30 weeks and one day, Elizabeth again began to display symptoms of Hellp Syndrome, and she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section.
Thirty minutes after she went in for surgery, Baby Joshua was born, weighing 3 pounds. He was healthy, albeit 10 weeks premature.
After 7 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, Jamie and Elizabeth took baby Joshua home. Their boy was living proof that Jesus is a promise maker and promise keeper.
Watch the video to see how the Salmons' journey from the tragedy of Bella to the joy of Joshua revealed Jesus as the anchor of their hope, and left a lasting impact on everyone around them.