A 47-year-old mother of triplets offers a life lesson for us all, according to Courier-Post columnist Danny Henley.
As my youngest daughter, Anna, is about to turn 18 years old later this week, I have found myself in a reflective mood.
Last week I took a couple of minutes out of my day and re-read my “A Little Salt” column from Sept. 25, 1995. It was in that column, my inaugural “A Little Salt” article, that I announced to the world that my wife, Nancy, was expecting our fifth child.
While surprised that my bride, who at the time was in her late 30s, was pregnant, it wasn’t the largest procreation-related shock that I’d ever experienced. That had occurred some 13 years earlier when Nancy unexpectedly delivered not one, but two baby girls. SURPRISE!!!
Combine those two experiences – having a wife pregnant at 39 years old and the arrival of unanticipated twins – and it doesn’t compete with the story I happened upon this past week which featured a 47-year-old woman who took home from the hospital last week her triplets.
Sharon Lewis, who managed to conceive without the aid of any hormone or fertility treatments, admitted being shocked when technicians identified that she was carrying, not one, not two, but three babies.
"But I was good. Once I grasped it, I was OK,” said Lewis, a school cafeteria monitor.
Compounding Lewis’ shock was her assumption that at age 47 it was impossible for her to become pregnant. While not impossible, the odds were at best one in hundreds of thousands, according to Dr. Salih Y. Yasin, an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and delivering multiple babies.
“It was a miracle that she got pregnant. A miracle that she got three. And the miracle is all of them are healthy and normal, and she is fine," said Yasin at a press conference last week at Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, as he held one of Lewis’ new sons. “Getting pregnant is 1 percent, but to be twins it’s probably 1 percent of that. Triplets is 1 percent of 1 percent of that.”
On March 18, Lewis gave birth at 30 weeks through Cesarian section to the triplets - Dylan, Denard and Denere. Each of the boys, two of which are identical, weighed about 2 pounds when they were born. All three have been breathing on their own since their second day of life.
In case you’re wondering, Lewis already has two children, a 25-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son.
It’s ironic that I would happen across this story at this time. Nancy and I have been listening to a series of sermons from the book of Genesis and the most recent message was about the birth of another baby, Isaac, whose parents – Sarah and Abraham – were definitely well beyond normal child-conceiving years at 90 (Sarah) and 100 (Abraham).
While any number of lessons can probably be drawn from this biblical account of geriatric parents, one statement made by God to Abraham should never be forgotten: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14, NIV)
Despite the formidable age-related issues that faced Abraham and Sarah, they did not present a challenge too big for God to overcome as he fulfilled his promise to bless them with a child.
As she took her three babies home, Lewis expressed faith that it would not be too hard for God to help her make it through the challenging days, weeks, months and years that lie ahead.
"I felt that it was nobody but God that had blessed my womb at 47 and I do believe that he brought me to it. He’ll bring me through it,” she said.