A couple’s childlessness of many years, a long-awaited but very difficult pregnancy, emergency delivery, intensive care… And constant prayer.
Infant Simeon would not have been born without the help of God, the Mother of God and saints. But what a happiness it is—a baby’s smile! The couple Georgy and Vera have written the Pravoslavie.ru website about it. Here is their story.
Dear editors of Pravoslavie.ru.
With the blessing of Igumen Alexei (Prosvirin) we would like to tell our story for the glory of God and for strengthening of the faith of those praying for children.
My husband and I had no children for many years. At first we did not pay attention to this, remembering that for everything there is a season, and believing that pregnancy would come itself at the right time. But there was no pregnancy for years… We visited the best doctors, went through dozens of medical examinations, and the doctors’ conclusion was: we had almost no chance, the probability for conception was close to zero. In spite of this we did not lose hope: we went through numerous courses of medical treatment and my husband had surgery. But—alas!—with no result. And this continued for around six years.
In the course of this struggle my husband Georgy came to believe in Christ, was baptized, and we were married in Church. We often went on pilgrimages, prayed for children, frequently confessed and took Communion. Every Saturday for two years we attended supplicatory prayer services to St. Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher for childless couples at the Church of the Holy Hierarch Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow; every day we prayed to the Lord, the Mother of God, Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, Venerable David of Gareji and Sts. Joachim and Anna. Our confessor, Igumen Alexei, blessed my husband to go to Holy Mount Athos, to the Serbian Hilandar Monastery, for a piece of St. Simeon’s vine growing at the monastery. Georgy made a pilgrimage to Hilandar and brought a piece of St. Simeon’s vine home. Between October 9 and November 16, 2014, we kept a strict fast on the day of St. Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, drank holy water with a piece of St. Simeon’s vine and observed the prayer rule. After fasting we both confessed and took Holy Communion. Two weeks after the end of the fast, right on the feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple the pregnancy test result was positive! Surprisingly, the Serbian Monastery of Hilandar on Mt. Athos is dedicated to the same feast.
We decided to give our God-sent son the name Simeon, in honor of Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher. During my pregnancy I felt the help of God, the protection of the Mother of God and blessing of St. Simeon. Every day I read Akathists to the Mother of God and Venerable Simeon and prayed. All was going comfortably and quietly, the pregnancy was giving me joy…, but we could not avoid trials. The Lord showed us how weak and feeble a human being is and that we entirely depend only on Him.
On the twenty-fifth week I began to have a moderate preeclampsia almost without symptoms (a slight hypertension, edema, worsening of the blood flow), and I was taken to the in-patient hospital department. During the twenty-eighth week the situation rapidly deteriorated, the therapy had no more effect, and I was taken to the intensive care unit where I stayed for eight days. I had a severe preeclampsia and my condition grew worse with each hour. It threatened two lives—the baby’s and mine. We prayed to the Almighty, to the Holy Theotokos, and to Sts. Simeon and David every minute. In the intensive care unit every movement of mine was accompanied by prayer. All priests and monks familiar to us, all relatives and Orthodox friends prayed for us all the time. Early on the twenty-ninth week the council of physicians decided to perform an emergency caesarean section.
Our baby Simeon was born on the feast-day of Venerable David of Gareji! And the baby very courageously fought for his life in the infant incubator and at the intensive care unit. Over the two months he spent at hospital, he learned to breathe, to maintain his body temperature, and to eat independently! How much energy must have been put into this! Especially for an infant weighing only 990 grams (c.2 lb 2.9 oz)!
Now Simeon is over eight months old and weighs more than 7 kilograms (c.15 lb 6.9 oz)—as the doctors say, “he is catching up with his weight.” He is a very cheerful, lively and sociable boy; only marks of catheters on his little arms remind us of his time at hospital.
We continuously thank God, His Most Pure Mother and Venerable Simeon.
Glory to God for all things!
Georgy and Vera