When Meagan Sheiman was pregnant with her first child in 2005, she began to encounter unforeseen complications. Then doctors diagnosed her with two rare diseases: medullary sponge kidney disease and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Although she was able to give birth to a healthy little girl, she decided to have a hysterectomy soon after.
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In 2013, Meagan remarried, and she and her husband– Josh– desperately wanted to have baby. The couple was thrilled when they found a surrogate in 2015 in their hometown of Humble, Texas. Their surrogate– a single mother putting herself through law school, named LaToya– had a healthy child of her own and was eager to help Meagan and Josh bring their baby into the world.
Meagan and LaToya became fast friends, and LaToya quickly became pregnant with a boy. Then, one night in January 2016, LaToya called Maegan with scary news: she was being rushed to the hospital bleeding.
Maegan and Josh hurried to the hospital after her. When they arrived, LaToya was screaming in pain.
“I knew something bad was happening,” Meagan recalled. “I didn’t think that he would be born alive.”
Doctors informed the family that the baby was on his way. There was no time to give LaToya any medication. Just 45 minutes later, Beckham was born weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. “I got a glimpse of him and have never seen anything so small in my life,” said Maegan. “I did not know that a human could be that small and look like a human.”
Doctors told the Sheimans to be prepared for anything; they didn’t expect Beckham to last beyond his first few days in the NICU.
185 days later, Beckham was not only still alive, he was much improved and finally ready to leave the NICU and head home.
LaToya also recovered from the difficult birth, but she faces long-term health problems. Any future children she has are more likely to be born prematurely. Meagan calls her a superhero. At the Sheimans’ insistence, LaToya now regularly visits Beckham.
This past January, Beckham had his first birthday, and who better to be his guests than the doctors and nurses who kept him alive those first 186 days of his life?
Meagan wanted to give a speech to thank the guests, but– instead– she recited this poem:
I’m just a mother not big and not small
An ordinary mother and that is all
I have a child my sweet baby boy
Who has never been just an ordinary boy
He came to this world 1 pound and some ounces
His parents unsure if they could announce
His early arrival of 24 weeks
At 12 inches long we weren’t ready to meet
To the NICU is where we were quickly sent
Overwhelmed by this new place our time would be spent
You were covered in tubes and kept in a case
On meds and support, what on Earth was this place?
Noisy and dark we were filled with fear
All the while we could not hold you near
So overcome by percentages and numbers
Treatments and surgeries, survival rates stole our slumber
Through incubators, warmers, lights and lines
One day we were told you would run out of time
We cried so hard and couldn’t stay strong
So you showed everyone that you could hold on
When one thing was fixed another would break
From your bowels to infection, lungs and your brain
Your heart and your liver what more could go wrong
You never gave up you always stayed strong
You had countless transfusions, PICS and scans
The blood tests sometimes just got out of hand
The numbers we tracked and monitors watched
Was all forgotten once in my arms you were caught
But there’s more to this boy than his numbers and stats
His procedures and therapies, appointments and chats
It’s not how he started that makes him so grand
But what he accomplished and who held his hand.
It’s the doctors and nurses, therapists and techs
Who have given their all to save our sweet Becks
Who studied and fought, collaborated and led
And stopped at nothing to get this boy fed
It’s not just our preemie who suffered and fought
But also his team who we care for a lot
It’s more than the meds and treatment plans given
It’s the comfort and guidance the things that were hidden
The things that you know others won’t see
Only the families you treat and have to let be
We come and we go and you send us away
You jokingly tell us to never come back your way
But we never forget the 185 days
Where we were all a family with this boy to raise
To help him to grow and fight and to live
So that he may go home and love we can give
We appreciate all you have sacrificed
And a quick goodbye just doesn’t suffice
You will always be family this we know
And I hope you continue to watch Beckham grow
It is because of you that he is here
In our hearts, you, we hold so very dear
We love you so much and it was so hard to go
You have given our family this time to grow
Sure it’s been hard he has the scars to prove it
His machines and that g-tube how we want to remove it!
He loves to set his alarms off every night
And yank on his tubes to give us a fright
Now he is one he smiles and he laughs
He grabs and he cries and he bites his giraffe
He sits and he stands and even rolls over
He screams and he bangs until mommy comes over
He may still have quite a long way to go
And the whole way we know we’ll be kept on our toes
He will never be ordinary this we all know
And before we all know it he’ll be on the go
I have no doubt he will continue to amaze
We will ooo we will ahhh at all of his ways
As he shows us what it truly means to overcome
This life he fought for he surely has won
So I say happy birthday to my unordinary boy
Who has given us worry overcome by joy
What a miracle he is to be here in this world
He has made this “just mom” an un ordinary girl
Share Maegan’s heart-wrenching story and beautiful poem today.
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