A Nashville woman, who had one ovary and one fallopian tube removed a number of years ago, fell pregnant and gave birth. Despite an emergency, premature delivery and nearly dying, herself, she survived to share her story, offering hope to others.
Chatiqua Miller and her husband Jesse dreamed of having children together—and in the spring of 2019 were shocked when they realized it was really happening.
Two lines “as plain as day” confirmed the pregnancy test.
“My heart felt as if it would beat out of my chest and I ran into the bedroom to share with [Jesse] about the good news,” she said, sharing with Love What Matters.
The pregnancy started off normal; she even continued working in her role as dean of students at a local middle school—until the stress became too much to bear.
“I began to have headaches and difficulty breathing,” Chatiqua recalled. She was placed on complete bed rest by her doctor. Then one day, during a relaxed outdoor barbecue with family and friends, Chatiqua felt a “fullness” expand from her chest to the pit of her stomach.
“I could not breathe all the way home,” she said. “My husband stated that my breathing sounded as if I was under water, and we called my doctor’s emergency phone number … she told me to go to the ER immediately.”
At seven months into the pregnancy, Chatiqua was going into early labor.
At the hospital, she was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome (a rare but serious complication often linked to preeclampsia) and had to undergo an emergency caesarean, placing her baby’s life in jeopardy.
“I did not want to deliver my baby this small. I knew my baby could die,” she shared. “The tears filled my eyes and rolled down my face onto my hospital gown.”
Delivering a premature baby girl, weighing just 1 pound, 4 ounces (567 g), the new mom nearly lost her own life in the birthing process and was fighting to survive.
Chatiqua recalls drifting off. “It was so quiet and peaceful, but I knew I was dying,” she said. “I could not move my mouth, but I prayed in my spirit to God for a miracle.”
In fact, she stopped breathing and was placed on a ventilator. Around her, Jesse and her loved ones also prayed.
The next day, however, Chatiqua woke up in ICU in excruciating pain from her breathing tubes—but she was alive.
She gestured for her husband to hand her a notepad and pen so she could write two burning questions: “Did our baby die?” to which he replied, “No.” Then, “Did I die?”
“I spent 24 hours in between two worlds, praying for a miracle, and I received two,” she marveled. “I received my life back, and I received my daughter’s life back.”
Both Chatiqua and Jesse—who first met at church and became best friends before marrying in 2016—visited their daughter in the hospital every day for almost three months, watching her go from strength to strength. Today, Chatiqua describes her growing daughter as “healthy and whole.”
The mom now shares their story of trauma and triumph to help others stay hopeful, even in their darkest hour.