Fritz Hager was a CEO turned seminary student back in 2009. He had just accepted a position as Executive Pastor at Bethel Bible Church in Tyler, and was taking his five children and wife Sarina who was pregnant with twins on their final family vacation before the move when things quickly changed.
"On our anniversary, June 27th she woke up around midnight and said I think my water just broke," said Fritz.
Sarina said, "that feeling when your water breaks was a familiar one to me and I knew it was way too early for me to have hardly any hope of survival for either one of them."
Sarina lost one of the twins, but the other baby was still alive.
Fritz said, "unfortunately they said what is likely to happen is you'll now deliver both twins and at 18 weeks, there was no chance for the second twin to survive."
"The doctors there told us that even though we had been counseled that we would probably lose both of the babies that there was a small chance that they could save Sam," Sarina said. "He lifted his hand during that sonogram and waved. I swear he waved at me. And when I saw that tiny little baby wave his hand it was as if he was saying mommy I'm right here. Fight for me because I'm here and I'm alive and I don't want you to give up on me."
The Hagers just happened to be a short flight away from Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. One of the only hospitals in the country that specializes in a procedure called delayed interval delivery. Doctors would deliver the baby who died, give Sarina a lot of medication to stop the delivery, then wait.
Sarina said, "we of course prayed and had everyone in Tyler praying, everyone in my hometown in Port Arthur praying, everyone that we ever knew in our lives was praying for us and we needed those prayers because at times we didn't know what to pray."
"Trying to juggle all of these things I knew I couldn't do that. I really needed God's help to do that and the way you communicate with God is through His word and His prayer. So I couldn't have made it without either of those," said Fritz.
"When we heard that if we had been in Dallas when this happened, that the doctors wouldn't have even tried to save Sam, we just knew that the Lord's hand was in it completely," Sarina said.
The procedure worked. Now the Hager's have six children, including two and a half year old Samuel who was delivered at 26 weeks, weighing two pounds, three ounces. He spent 14 weeks in the newborn intensive care unit, but is now a healthy and happy toddler.
Fritz said, "we have friends in health care who say that when you hear the term miracle baby they now put Sam's face on that term. That he really is a miracle baby."
Sarina said, "the doctors could reassure me, my husband could even reassure me, my pastor could pray for me and reassure me but it was the hope of God's word in those quiet moments when it was just me and the Lord and a lot of questions that my prayers gave me the comfort and the peace I needed to make it another day."
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