This morning on a national Christian radio program, the husband and wife team were presenting questions about “miraculous pregnancies” in the Bible and inviting listeners to call in with answers. The segment I heard was about Elisha and the Shunemite woman (2 Kings 4:7-9). It was interesting to me that this particular topic happened to be on the radio this morning because just ten minutes before I had been on the phone with a young woman who was telling me an incredible story about her own pregnancy.
A week ago she had gone to the doctor, after having a positive outcome on an over-the-counter home pregnancy test. The doctor did a sonogram and had distinctly observed two 7-week-old bean shaped fetuses and had detected two heartbeats. She had called me with those results and had been in a state of shock for the last week, trying to figure out how she was going to manage as a single mother in her mid-30’s, and having had a daughter 18 years ago (whom she gave up for adoption) and a son 13 years ago who lives out of town with his father. Although she was counseled by a relative and two non-profit agencies to get an abortion, she was insistent that abortion was not an option. The father involved in the pregnancy, too, rejects the abortion option and said he intends to support the children.
Two days ago she began to have some symptoms that suggested that a miscarriage might be imminent, so she’d scheduled a doctor’s visit for yesterday. After a repeat sonogram and exam, she was told that there is only one fetus, not two, only one heartbeat, not two. Furthermore, the fetus was three times larger, with differentiated limbs and was determined to be 10 weeks old. She had the sonographs from each visit. How does one explain the change? How did two 7 week old fetuses transform into a single 10 week old fetus in only 1 week? Did one fetus simply absorb the other? Did one spontaneously abort without detection? Were there never really 2? Is there now really only 1? What are we to believe? She is confounded, but relieved at the same time that she doesn’t appear to be having twins.
Is this a miracle (beyond the obvious miracle of human development that occurs with every pregnancy)? Did God change the circumstances in response to her faithfulness in rejecting abortion and her anxiety over expecting twins? No one knows. I do know that she is relieved and feeling better able to deal with this unexpected pregnancy. It’ll be interesting to watch how it progresses and how she handles it all. Since I am now a part of her sphere of support, I’ll have the privilege of watching this “miracle” pregnancy up close.