The Miracle Birth Story of Natalie Grace Vercelli

After 8 days of prodromal labor beginning on November 25th, and over 20 hours of active labor beginning on December 2nd, our baby Natalie Grace Vercelli was finally born on Sunday December 3rd at 9:02am. And just fyi, if you read her previous miracle story about how God healed Sofiya’s placenta previa so we could give birth naturally (click here to see that- Baby Natalie’s Miracle Story! – Awaken941), you’ll be glad to know that, the placenta was…completely intact.

Thank you, Jesus! Here’s us right afterwards.

Sofiya is an absolute warrior by the way. I will forever call her Supermom after all she went through.

At that point though, the adventure was far from over, because as Natalie was coming out, Sofiya began hemorrhaging. When it finally stopped, she had lost nearly a liter of blood, which is around 25% of her total volume.

As Natalie was exiting the birth canal, she swallowed a good amount of that blood, and some of it got into her lungs. When the doctors realized this, they immediately hooked her up to an oximeter, which showed her blood oxygen level was in the 30’s. 

They then began to aspirate blood from her mouth and from her throat, and they tried as best they could to suction more from her lungs. Right away they also placed her on oxygen support, and thankfully she was stabilized within a few minutes.  

At this point, Sofiya was taken to a room on the “Mother-Baby” floor to get her into recovery for the blood loss, and Natalie was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (the NICU).  She had electrodes put all over her body, a tube put in her throat and tubes put her in her nose.  Then she was put in an incubator and placed under constant monitoring. It was a sad sight to see. 

Here she is in the incubator:

Shortly after this, they also did a chest x-ray, which verified that there was quite a bit of blood in her lungs. This is why she needed a significant amount of added oxygen support throughout the morning. 

Here is her first chest x-ray.  The hazy stuff is the blood. 

To put it in perspective, room air is about 21% oxygen. The higher the percentage that you need above that, the worse your lungs are doing. Natalie had to begin her support at 100%.  

Over the next few hours though, Natalie got a good bit better. Her oxygen support even got weaned down to 50%. Then, something unexpected happened- she started getting worse. By 4pm that afternoon, her support was back up over 70% and this made the doctor very nervous. 

The doctor came in the room shortly after and she said to me very bluntly- “Mr. Vercelli, I think we’re going to need to put your daughter on a ventilator and spray a chemical in her lungs to try and bind up that blood.” 

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I asked the doctor if there was any other way, and she said no. She said that with the way things were going, that was the only option she saw for her to get better.  

As I pressed her for more detail, I realized that essentially what she was proposing was that they would put Natalie in an induced coma and stop her breathing. Then they would allow the ventilator to breathe for her while they sprayed the chemical in her lungs. Then, they would have to bring her out of the coma, and hope that she would breathe normal on her own once the ventilator was taken out. 

However, there’s no guarantee of this, so even just taking the step of putting her on the ventilator could have ultimately killed her. But, as the doctor was making clear, she could also be headed that direction if they didn’t do it. 

Needless to say, this was one of the most intense moments of my entire life. All I knew to do was pray.  

I asked her if I could have one hour to pray about the situation and to see if anything changed before I made a decision. She said “yes, but that’s all I can give you because this is a VERY urgent situation.”  Of course, Sofiya was in total agreement with my position. 

For the next hour, it was just me, Natalie and Jesus in that room. I cried out to Him with the most intense desperation I think I’ve ever had at any one moment in my entire life. The thought of her having to go through this horrific and potentially deadly procedure just to save her life was so painful that I literally BEGGED God for mercy for that entire hour.  

I honestly feel like I’m going to cry as I write this next part. 

When the doctor came back in after an hour, she saw that her oximeter was reading at 100%. This meant that she was handling the 70% oxygen support really well. She saw it as a good sign and she said, “it looks like she’s doing a little better, so I’m going to turn her support down to 66% and see what happens. Just so you know though, my gut is that we are still going to have to put her on a ventilator, so I want you to be prepared for that.”

For the next 3+ hours, there was nothing that could shake me out of that place of intense intercession. I was literally crying the entire time, begging God to intervene further. As I did this, I could also feel an overwhelming sense of the presence and power of God in the room.  

Over those hours, nearly every time the doctor or a nurse came back in, they turned her oxygen support down even more. By 7:40pm it was down to 38%!  

By then I was starting to really get happy and hopeful, so I actually got up and took a picture of the monitor, believing that the support would keep dropping.  And it did!

All throughout the night, she kept getting better and better and by 3am (I was awake with her literally the entire night for days on end), it was down to 21%, the same amount as room air!!!

By 10am that morning, the doctor was convinced that she could be tested on room air, so they sent in a team of nurses to pull her tubes and transition her.  

This is her after all tubes were out!  Even though her face was a little puffy, seeing her face without tubes in it was the most beautiful sight I could have ever seen. 

Then, they sent up a radiologist to get another chest x-ray, and her lungs were clear!!!  It’s not a great picture, so it’s a little tough to see, but here’s her second x-ray.  Notice the nice black space in the lung area, and the now discernable shape of her liver (which was hidden by blood drops on the previous x-ray).

From this point on, she NEVER had to go back on oxygen, and she NEVER needed the ventilator. The doctor and the nurses saw this as a miracle, and as a part time missionary, I loved that it was the perfect tool to tell everyone on the NICU floor about Jesus!

I shared this miracle story with everyone who would listen, and boy did people listen. I felt like anyone who has children (or even a pet) could immediately empathize with my feeling of desperation AND with my intense jubilation after seeing the miracle. This made the story carry a lot of weight.  

One person who I shared the story with was a doctor who visited my wife the next day. The doctor was very adamant about Sofiya getting a blood transfusion to raise her hemoglobin and platelets, which were dangerously low after the blood loss.  

Sofiya called me to come down and talk to the doctor, and when I did, I kindly let her know that a blood transfusion (which is super risky) was not something that we would agree to yet.  I asked the doctor instead if Sofiya could have her blood numbers checked again that afternoon- after we had a chance to pray for them to increase. 

The doctor kind of scoffed at me and said, “Mr. Vercelli, don’t you know that these things take weeks to improve on their own, what do you think is going to happen in a couple of hours?”

I told her about the miracle God did in my daughters’ lungs the previous day, and then she said… “Ok, we can come back in a few hours and check them again.” Then her and the nurse even agreed to pray together with us, right there in the room!  I was floored!

I’m so glad that Sofiya’s sister just happened to snap this picture when we were praying too-

After this, I went back to my room to check on Natalie and I saw that she was still doing great. I stayed with her for a few hours and then I came back up to Sofiya’s room. Funny enough, I just happened to walk in right as the nurse was coming in to share the new blood results.  

“I’ve got good news”, she said. “Your platelets went from 54-84 and your hemoglobin went from 6.6-7.2. You’re out of the danger zone!”

I freaked!  I said “wow, did you tell the doctor?”

The nurse said, “Yes, I just got off the phone with her. At this point, our advice to you is…keep praying!”

After this we truly felt like God had sent us in there just to show these people His power, which we were totally fine with. 

By the next day, Sofiya was doing much better, so she was discharged, but Natalie was having these little drops in oxygen a few times a day that lasted for 5-15 seconds. After seeing her lungs get healed of the bigger issue, this didn’t really make me nervous, but it did make the doctors nervous. 

They said that they needed to see her clear of these drops for 3 consecutive days before they would discharge her, so I switched from desperation mode to warrior mode. I pulled out every healing scripture in the Bible that I could find, and I spoke and prayed those over my daughter multiple times a day for 3 days. 

My wife got this picture of me doing this one day:

From the time I began doing that, she never again had an oxygen drop. It also helped tremendously that our entire ministry team was praying for her regularly and that there were hundreds of others praying for her as well- who found out through our social media platforms.  We were finally released 3 days later on Sunday December 10th.  

This 8-day adventure was truly a life changing experience that built our faith, touched MANY people, and knit our hearts together in a very deep and profound way.  Despite all the suffering, I am grateful for it.

“All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose”

Romans 8:28

And, after all this, Natalie will forever be our miracle baby. I can’t wait to tell her all about this adventure when she gets older too, as I’m sure that from that day on she will always know that God has His hand on her life and on her lungs.  

Here’s a cute picture of her working those lungs with a nice big yawn!

Sidenote- we believe that one day those lungs will praise Jesus everywhere she goes…which we believe is the reason why the devil wanted to attack them so hard! Thank God that He had the final Word!

“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

1 John 3:8

Now, we have been home for over three weeks and Natalie and Sofiya are both doing great. Natalie is the BEST baby too. So calm, so sweet and so absolutely adorable. She even had her first follow up doctor visit and she passed the exam with flying colors. 

We are so so so grateful, and we give Jesus ALL the Glory!!

I hope you enjoyed hearing our babies’ miracle story. Please keep her and Sofiya in your prayers and please share this with someone who needs to know that there is hope outside of the things of this world. 

Love and blessings!


4 thoughts on “The Miracle Birth Story of Natalie Grace Vercelli”

  1. Anita Elaine Weaver Ozuna

    Praise God 🙌
    We serve a Mighty God. Amen!!!
    💜 Psalm 37:4 💜
    Delight thyself in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of your heart 💜 Amen!!! 🙋
    God is Awesome!!!
    Nothing is impossible for God.

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