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This baby wasn’t expected to survive past childbirth, but she’s defying all expectations

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Photo courtesy of María Moreno García

Loreto was born with a severe illness. Her parents have embraced her with faith and much love.

Miriam Esteban Benito - published on 09/02/22

When Maria and Israel found out their unborn baby would die soon after birth, they chose to see her life as a gift from God.

Loreto was born with an important mission. Like all of us in every second of life, Loreto has the opportunity to fulfill the destiny for which she was born.

This child’s arrival has turned upside down all human plans and protocols by affirming, with her presence, the enormous grace hidden in the Lord’s mysterious design.

Maria and Israel were already the parents of 4 children when, in the 16th week of their fifth pregnancy, they were informed that they were expecting a baby girl with a very serious prenatal diagnosis: holoprosencephaly. The medical statistics clearly showed that their daughter would die either in the womb or shortly after birth.

Despite the fears that naturally appear in such a situation, they understood very clearly from the beginning that Loreto’s life was an immense gift, a soul that God had planned and created with great love. Her life depended on her parents only up to a certain point, and after that they could only trust in God’s plans.

Strangely enough, the central themes of this story are not pain or bad luck. The real protagonists are the Lord and this couple’s complete acceptance of His plans. They’re a husband and wife who remember that they promised before God to share the good and the bad; a couple who, despite their own limitations, are giving their all and expanding their lives to welcome God’s unexpected gifts.

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A post shared by Israel Coronado Romero (@coronadorom)

Loreto, against all odds, is now more than one month old. She was born prematurely, in the 30th week of gestation, and was baptized by her father at the moment of birth. In her short, silent life, she bears witness to the value of existence and the power of love.

When she was born, her father said in an Instagram post, “After a very complicated pregnancy, with a diagnostic that barely gave her any possibility of life, with less than 8 months, Loreto’s already here. We don’t know how long she will be with us—hours, days—but every second we’re together with her is a gift from God. Thank you very much to all you who have prayed all this time, some with more faith than we, to make this miracle possible.”

Surviving premature birth

Loreto has overcome the challenges of premature birth better than some other babies, she has moved hearts and, although her very serious diagnosis is still there, she continues her journey making us grow and increasing our faith.

Maria and Israel are thoroughly following the path of their vocation as parents. They themselves admit that they are not perfect but that the Lord is giving them strength and wisdom to handle the circumstances of his mysterious plans.

A lesson in managing fear of suffering

The easiest option would have been to take the route many doctors would recommend, that of abortion to eliminate Loreto and her illness, for fear of their own and their daughter’s suffering. But no: embracing the difficult circumstances of their fifth child, recognizing the dignity and value of the gift of human life, they have become witnesses to human dignity.

They live each day trusting and confirming the hope that life is never in vain but always hides a great mission. They are experiencing how God accompanies those who suffer, not necessarily removing their pain but sustaining them by His presence. And He becomes present to them  through the faces of the people around them who love and support them, through people of flesh and blood on earth and through a lot of prayers that transmit a heavenly embrace.

We don’t know how long Loreto will be in this world. According to an August 17 Instagram post, she has undergone a successful operation to insert a shunt to drain extra liquid from her brain. The operation was risky but necessary to give her hope for a longer life and better quality of life. No matter how long she lives, Loreto will always be a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, acquaintance … But above all she is a manifestation of God the Father’s infinite love.

“You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.” (Is 43:4)

And that is the great treasure possessed by Loreto and each one of us.

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