BAFB Airman, wife welcome a surprise ‘Gift from God’

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Bryson Mawn, a 20-year-old airman at Barksdale Air Force Base, and Grace, his 19-year-old wife, are newlyweds who were surprised by the unexpected birth of their daughter. (Courtesy of Bryson Mawn)

By Jennyne Pinter, newsroom@bossierpress.com

Life is unpredictable and in the case of a young airman and his new bride, this phrase hit home as the couple welcomed a little girl without ever knowing that they were expecting.

Bryson Mawn, a 20-year-old airman at Barksdale Air Force Base, and Grace, his 19-year-old wife, are newlyweds who met in southern Florida while working together at a Chick-fil-A. He was the son of successful landscapers, and she the daughter of a Senior Pastor. They became very good friends, but lost touch and Bryson enlisted in the Air Force and suffered a serious injury to his femur, at which time Grace reached out to him and the couple quickly fell in love. They were married on Aug. 27, 2018.

Bryson arrived at BAFB on Sept. 12 and awaited Grace’s arrival in January. The couple moved into a one bedroom in the Jamestown Place Apartments where they adopted a golden retriever puppy and settled into their new life.

On Sunday, March 24, Bryson and Grace went to church, bought a fishing pole and then went out for some spicy crawfish. Grace, not being used to the Louisiana cuisine, had some stomach cramping.

The following day, Bryson finished work on base in air traffic control and found messages from Grace stating that her cramps had worsened. He went home and tried to comfort her.

“So I gave her some Tums, which was so dumb of me,” said Bryson. “But, we take a nap, we wake up and her pains are way worse than they were before.”

Eventually, the couple went to the emergency room at University Health. It wasn’t long into the doctor’s examination that something completely unexpected happened: Grace’s water broke.

“The doctor was questioning herself, like, ‘What is going on?’ and then she just shot into position. ‘She’s going into labor!’”

A barrage of staff attended the room and a baby girl was delivered early the next morning.

“First, my wife showed no signs of weight gain…maybe 10 pounds, which is normal for a woman that moves around, she had passed a pregnancy test,” Bryson recalled and commented that Grace had been given a test prior to being prescribed birth control pills in January. “She had no normal symptoms that a normal pregnant lady would have.”

When the baby was born, it was lifeless and Bryson feared the worst…Until his child cried.

“I just started bawling. I thought ‘Oh my God, I have a baby!’” he said. “I went to see my baby and my feet planted like a tree and my eyes got bigger than the moon. I was just so in shock, that was a child that I created.”

The Mawns named their daughter Micaela, because its meaning is “gift from God.” 

She weighed 3.8 ounces at birth and is predicted to be about two months premature. Aside from some jaundice, she is doing well in the NICU. Grace was discharged from the hospital.

Bryson said that he is overwhelmed by the response from the base, who have all been tremendously supportive. In addition to receiving many needed gifts for the newborn, there is already work toward getting the family into a more appropriate home and creating a way for Grace to be able to pursue her education when she is ready and able.

The couple has a Go Fund Me page which can be found by searching their names on the site’s search engine.

“We had to raise our goal to $5,000,” Bryson said. “We honestly don’t even know what it costs to have a baby.”

You can find more information about this remarkable situation on the couple’s Go Fund Me page.