The love for my children was soᴍᴇᴛʜing I never knew existed and now I’m so glad I did,”Chuck Hebert, 40, recalls
Not long after getting married in 1995, Udona and Chuck Hebert were told they would never have children. Doctors informed the newlyweds that Udona’s body was “naturally aborted embryos” and the babies were “not on the cards” for the Kaplan, Louisiana couple.
So when Udona started experiencing abdominal pain, dizziness and cramps in January, she ғᴇᴀʀed those were symptoms of ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ. Never “in a million, a million years”, Udona thought she was Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ – let alone four weeks until her due date.
Udona, 40, said: “It was a sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇ, because we’ve been trying for 20 years. But it was the best sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇ we could get.”
Parents consider Brooks Major Hebert, now 7 weeks old, to be their “Mɪʀᴀᴄʟᴇ baby”.
Chuck and Udona took years to finally accept that they would never have children, but the couple eventually accepted the truth. Udona said: “Of course, we were both really disappointed. Chuck is so good with the kids and I know he’s going to be great as a dad, so that always annoys me.”
They fill the void by hosting exchange students at their homes for a year at a time.
Udona said: “We have a lot of love to give and we want to share it with someone. We’ll also babysit and hang out with our nieces and nephews.”
I always wanted to have children, but we went on with our lives on our own terms. Of course, we get along and love each other, but we always feel like soᴍᴇᴛʜing is ᴍɪssɪɴɢ from our lives.”
Udona started experiencing a “fluttering” feeling in her stomach around Thanksgiving.
“It sounds silly, but I thought I had some form of ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ or an infection,” she said. I didn’t tell anyone about my ɪʟʟɴᴇss because I didn’t want Chuck to bother me. I prayed every night, in silent prayer, that I would get well.”
She added: “I never even thought about being Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. We have been trying to get Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ for over 20 years and nothing has ever happened.”
Two months later, Udona started having stomach ache and nausea in the morning. In the end, she consulted with her mother and friends, who suggested she take a pregnancy test – just in case.
Udona laughed and said, “And Bᴏʏ, they were right! I took two and immediately FaceTimed Chuck when both were positive.”
Chuck thought he was being pranked when he received the call on January 15.
He said: “I realized it was one of Udona’s friends who was playing a practical joke on me. In my head I’m thinking there’s no way we’ll be blessed with a child!”
Chuck and Udona confirmed the sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇ pregnancy to several doctors in Louisiana. Udona said: “We found out we were 33 weeks Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. And I have four weeks until my due date.”
The couple immediately rushed to prepare for their baby. They read dozens of maternity books, arranged last-minute prenatal care, and set up high-ʀɪsᴋ doctor consultations.
Dr. Paul Dibbs, Lafayette’s fetal ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄɪɴᴇ specialist, treated Udona during the last weeks of her pregnancy. Dr Dibbs said: ‘Unfortunately, when she found out she was Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ, she was taking medication for high ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ pressure, which often causes the kidneys to stop working in newborns and can lead to fetal ʟᴏss. However, she was very lucky.”
The doctor explained that Udona’s case was “very rare.” He said: “She’s here, about 20 years later, and she’s Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. Sometimes I see someone who has struggled with fertility for years and, by God’s grace, gets Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. It’s hard to explain. ”
Brooks Major Hebert was born on February 15, exactly 4 weeks after Udona took a pregnancy test.
The baby, who suffered from lung problems shortly after birth, was in the neonatal intensive care unit for nine days, but today, he “did a great job”, the proud mother said.
“God has a plan for us, a long-term plan, but a plan nonetheless!” Udona said.
Chuck added: “I didn’t let him out of my sight. It’s hard to describe this feeling – this love that I have. The love for my baby was soᴍᴇᴛʜing I never knew and now I’m glad I did.”