Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Journey

The Journey
by Jennifer Davidson

Father said I could write this story to explain my journey. He said that His children are having a hard time understanding, and he sent me to explain the process. He said that He has heard the cries and He understands the pain of not knowing and wants to let his people understand, The Journey.

Father told me that he would teach me about different kinds of fruit and that he would help me to teach the world about those same things. He said that most people think of fruit as a healthy snack. He said that there are other kinds of fruit also. He said that His people would bear good fruit. By that he meant do good things. But the fruit he told me I was sent to teach His children about was the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Father told me that he had written about that kind of fruit in His Holy Word in a book called “Galatians”. But he told me that many of His children hadn’t read that book yet and were having a hard time understanding their journeys. He told me the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit” is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. This is the kind of fruit He wanted to remind His children of. This is why He wanted to send me to my new family. Then they can teach the world about His fruit, and about his love.

I am new to this, brand new really. Father told me that I am at first a thought, a notion, between my parents. He said that they first thought of me before they were ever married. They began planning to meet me. At first they called me “Some Day”. They would say, “Some Day… we will be parents. Some Day… we will teach our child to be strong.” Daddy said – “Some Day… we will go to ballet recitals.” Mommy said – “Some Day… We will go to baseball games.” They both said – “Some Day… We will kiss it all better and make everything ok.”

After a few months of dreaming of me, Father says that my Daddy and Mommy decided it was time to pray hard and start trying to conceive me. Of course, they knew it was really up to Father to decide when “Some Day” would come. It was a time our Father called August. He called me out of Heaven’s Nursery and told me that tonight was the night, that my parents’ dreams and wishes would come true. It was hard for them to wait, but they trusted our Father to have the perfect timing. During this time, Father said he was teaching my Mommy and Daddy “Patience”.

My First Month

Father told me that it would take a couple of months before My Mommy and Daddy would know that I am here. I can feel strange things happening to me. It feels strange to be growing a physical body. Father’s hands are knitting me together just exactly according to His plans. It is amazing to feel him so close to me. His hands do the craftwork with precision and yet are so sweet and soft. This is what he described as “Gentleness”.

My Second Month

I can feel very distinct parts forming. I know where my top is and where my feet are forming. My Mommy told my Daddy that she is wondering if “Some Day” may be coming soon. She took test just this morning. When she told my Daddy to start making plans for a Mother’s Day gift next year I heard him laugh out loud! I can feel them dancing together. This is what my Father described as “Joy”.

My Third Month

Growing inside my Mommy feels so warm and happy. I can hear her singing whenever we are moving around. I can feel her giggles. I can sense when she is tired. Mommy hasn’t been feeling well. She doesn’t seem that upset about it though. She says that she is just so happy that I am inside her. She sings songs I have heard in the Heavenly choir. They are so beautiful when my Mommy sings them to me.

I hear my Daddy say that my name is Jordan. He says I will be named Jordan whether I am a boy or a girl. Now everyone is calling me Jordan. Daddy says it means “Poured out from Heaven”. Even my Big Brothers call me Jordan. I hear them every night say “Good night Jordan, I love you.” Wow, so that is “love”. I think that is Love is the best one so far.

My Fourth Month

When I know that Mommy is very still, and laying down, I try extra hard to move around and show her that I am in here. I can hear her laughter as she places what she calls Daddy’s hand over me. I can feel his hand on Mommy’s tummy, I feel the pressure. I can hear him talking to her. I kick so hard, hoping that one of these times he will feel me through the distance.

Daddy started talking to me every night. He reads a book called “Winnie the Pooh” and makes his voice do unusual things. I really like this. When I hear Daddy’s voice, I always kick and jump. I am so happy. This must be what Father was talking about when he mentioned “Goodness”.

My Fifth Month

I know my parents are scared now. I do not understand everything that they say, but they are talking about a test they took. The test told them that there is something wrong with me. How can there be anything wrong with me? I know that the Father is knitting me together exactly the way I am supposed to be. But I know they are so afraid. They mention Trisomy 18. I have heard my Father mention that before. He told me that it is a special stitch. He didn’t invent it, but sometimes it happens. When it does happen, it means that babies will be born and serve their entire purpose in a shorter time than many people do. He told me that it means that I have to make sure and teach the world about the fruit and the journey very quickly because there won’t be time for procrastination. That is a big word, and I don’t really understand it all together but I did understand that it meant that I need to hurry.

My Mommy and Daddy told the Father that they trust Him. They said that they know he has a special plan for me. They admitted that they are very afraid but agreed to be used for the good of His Kingdom. I know they are telling Father that they will go \wherever He sends them, but they do seem very sad about it. I do not understand everything that is happening. I still feel warm and safe though. I know that I am in the Father’s hands and I know that My Mommy and Daddy love the Father and trust Him no matter what. This is what my Father told me was “Peace.”

The Sixth Month

My Mommy and Daddy went to a doctor today. The doctor was telling them that the Father made a mistake. What does that mean? She said that they should send me to \Heaven sooner than the Father planned. I do not understand all of this. I do not think that I am a mistake. My Mommy was crying and my Daddy said “No.” to the doctor. He told her that I am not a mistake. He told her that he loves me and wants to follow Father’s plan. My Daddy said that he would find a new doctor. My Daddy was very upset at the doctor but also wanted her to learn to know the Father so he was very nice to her. This is what the Father called “Self Control.”

My Mommy is relieved, I can tell. She didn’t know what to do, and my Daddy is taking good care of us. He found us a new doctor who believes that our Father does not make mistakes. Our new Doctor said that he wants to do the Father’s will. My parents are so happy with the new Doctor that they gave me his name! I am now, Jordan William. I like my name very much. My Daddy says that Dr. Williams is a good example of “Faithfulness.”

My Seventh month

The Father told me that I do not have much time left to teach them about the fruit, only a few days. It is harder now because I am feeling so sleepy. I can hear Daddy’s voice and it sounds so nice, but I am too tired to jump and kick. My Mommy is afraid because I am so tired. She asks Daddy to take us to the hospital to see if I am doing ok. The nurses there are very kind to Mommy and Daddy. They say that they should stay the night. My Mommy’s friends offer to take good care of my Big Brothers and they bring them to the hospital in the morning. More of Mommy’s friends come in the morning. Everyone wants to help my Mommy and Daddy. Dr. Williams comes into the room to tell them that I should be born today! I am very happy that I get to meet them today. I am also very tired and I even though I want to jump for joy, I just can’t do it. I can hear Dr. Williams as he talks to our Father.

My First Day

Wow, is that light? It is so bright now! It is not as warm out here as it was inside my Mommy. “Hi, Jordan!” Oh that is Daddy’s voice. I hear my Daddy’s voice more clear than ever! I can see my Daddy! He looks so big and strong! A nurse is carrying me, she brings me to my Mommy. “Hi, Jordan, I love you so much.” I hear my Mommy say. What is that? She put her lips on mine. That is a kiss from my Mommy! This must be goodness! I have felt so many things these past seven months but Mommy’s kiss is so sweet. I am so happy about “Goodness!”

Now I am in a warm bed. I hear the nurses telling Daddy about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They call it the “NICU”. I hear things making a lot of noise. I hear buzzers, beepers, pumps, thumps. Then I hear such a wonderful thing, my Big Brothers are here to see me. “Hi, Jordan!” They all say it together. They really are so much bigger than I am. I hear the doctor telling Zachary that I am two pounds six ounces. Ben says “He’s so little!” Christopher says “Oh Cute!” I am glad my brothers are here with me. It is a little bit easier to stay awake out here, but I still feel very tired. The nurses are very sweet to me. I can hear them talking with Father too. I am glad that they are His children!
My Daddy and Brothers are with me a lot. I hear someone say that my Mommy will be here as soon as she is out of recovery. I miss her but this is the first time I have been alone with the boys and that is fun too. I hear Zachary say he loves me. My Big Brothers all love me so much. I see Daddy’s smile and I know that is because he has so much joy at seeing me. I try to smile back but my mouth has a ventilator in it. I hope he knows how happy I am to be his son.

After five hours they let my Mommy out of recovery. She has a look on her face that I understand. She knows that the Father is in control now, and even though she is very scared, she is glad that the Father is here with us. I understand that she is feeling peace. The doctors can not tell her yet if I can stay for long. She will have to wait for the Father’s plan to unfold. She has learned patience so she decides to enjoy me no matter what.

My Mommy’s friends are all by her side. She is never alone. They are taking photos of me, and telling her how beautiful I am. I am glad they are showing her so much kindness.

Everyone wants to do what is best for my Mommy, Daddy, Brothers and me. They want us to all be ok. One nurse even took our photo together. They are giving my Mommy and Daddy encouragement. Daddy’s friends from church brought flowers into Mommy’s room. They are showing Mommy and Daddy goodness.

My doctor is Dr. Traugott. He wants to do the Father’s will for me. He wants to make sure that I am feeling no pain. He wants to allow me to stay with Mommy and Daddy for exactly the amount of time that the Father has decided. He is showing faithfulness.

The nurses take good care of me and talk very sweetly to me. One nurse even put real clothes on me. She moved my arms and legs so softly. I now understand this is Gentleness.

My Brothers want to play with me, but they know that I am not strong enough. They ask the nurses to show them how to take good care of me. They only do the things that they are supposed to do. They are showing excellent self control.

I know they all know about the fruit now. It shouldn’t be much longer before My Father comes for me. I hope they understand the journey. I hope they know that I am not going far away.

Day Two

I am even more tired now. I can hear the Heavenly choir again. I can see angels. I hear Father’s voice more clearly than my Daddy’s. I know that soon it is time for me to go back to the Father. Dr. Traugott has made sure that I am not in any pain. I am very thankful for that. I can hear my Daddy crying. I wish I could stay with him, but I know that they already have learned about the fruit.

Father explains to me that they may not understand the journey today. They may not understand the fruit today either. He told me that “Some Day” they will look back and understand it all. He told me that their blessing is coming “Some Day” a day when they are ready.

My parents’ friends and family, my brothers, and my Mommy and Daddy are all around me now. I feel even more sleepy. I hear the angels’ songs even louder. The choir is so nice, I want to go closer to them, but I also want to stay with Mommy and Daddy. Mommy tells me she knows I can see the angels. She tells me it is ok to go. Mommy says that she will be with me in the blink of an eye.

Daddy is holding me. I feel his strength. I love Daddy so much. I wish I could stay with him. But I know that my Heavenly Daddy is waiting for me. I will only be a blink away from him. In just a blink Daddy we will be together. I gather all of my strength and try to tell him this but all that comes from my mouth is a few bubbles. My Daddy giggles a little bit as he sees the bubbles, I feel his tears falling on my face. I hope he knows what the bubbles mean.

My Father is reaching for me now, he tells me it is time for me to be a Prince in his Kingdom. The King of Kings is calling me home! He carries me to the gates of Heaven and shows me the most beautiful mansion I could imagine and tells me that my parents will be joining me in a blink of an eye. I am so glad, I squeeze my eyes shut as hard as I can and turn my head ready to see my family.

Letter to an abortion clinic

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to tell you about the grief that I carry with me to this very day. I don't even know if the people reading this letter are the same ones who worked there when I was there.

I was 22 weeks pregnant with a little boy who had Trisomy 13 Robertsonian Translocation. When I walked in to talk to the counselor about the termination, she had NO idea why I was there. I myself, had to inform her because she did NOT read my charts before I entered her room. It was hard enough being there, never mind giving an explanation as to why I was there.

It was January 4, 2004 and I went to have the first set of Laminara, the next day we were supposed to come back but a huge ice storm hit. A solid week of nothing but ice. I had to take the Laminara out myself. Well when the ice melted we came back again, now it is January 12, 2004. We had to start the whole process over. It felt disgusting and was extremely painful! We came back again the next day (the 13th) and had the second set of Laminara inserted.


We came in NO COMPASSION from any of the employees at all. I was completely terrified. My mother and my loving boyfriend were there with me. Well we got into the waiting room with the gurney beds, got into gown, cap and the paper shoes. The anesthesiologist came in just kind of monotone, no compassion there either, he just shoved the IV in my arm and left. Then someone else came in (not sure who they didn't introduce themselves), and just took the gurney and wheeled it into the surgical room. The only thing I remember is a picture of a mountain/river poster on the ceiling. Well the next thing I knew I was in the "recovery room". Well to this day it still makes me very ANGRY! No one in the surgical room told me there were putting me out! How dare them. How can you people inject something into someone's body without letting them know!

Considering why we "choose" to do the termination because off all the pressure from genetic counselor/DR's/ professionals and the employees of Love Joy Surgi Center. Not a single person had a single bit of encouragement for us to carry a baby with so many anomalies, nothing except for to kill him. I now consider myself a baby killer/murder, however you may put it. We made a life changing decision based on PRESSURE, absolute pressure.

Not a single person told us, how they removed the baby from my body. I did not know that you go into my uterus with pliers/forceps and RIP HIS TINY BODY TO PIECES!!!!!!!!! I recently saw photos of aborted mangled babies, what a disgrace it made me sick to my stomach! Now all I can see in my mind are images of my little boy torn and mangle to pieces.

Also not a single professional at Love Joy spoke to me about Grief counseling/after abortion counseling. Another thing; EVERY women should be told about "ABC", abortion breast cancer link. Also you need to make people aware that there is such thing as "PASS", post abortion stress syndrome. Which is very VERY real, especially if you have felt your son move inside you for 2 weeks or more and then instantly ripped from you body/soul. No one offered me the possibility of continuing the pregnancy and if he did come to prematurely......well at least I would have gotten to see my angels face. The only thing I can see is his tiny body ripped to shreds.

This is something I live with on a DAILY basis. Something I will NEVER forget. I thought the choice that we were pressured into would be better for him, but lets weigh the options: torn to pieces and mangled OR minutes/hours in the loving arms of mommy/daddy, NOW that I see the light, my choice would have not been hard at all. But due to lack of counseling/information, we never got to hold him, we never got to take pictures, we never got to get footprints, we never got a lock of hair. There is FOREVER a huge gaping hole in my heart the will never be filled.

I have wanting to write this for 6 months or more. I had to for my own well being as well as for my son. I would appreciate a response from anyone who cares....PLEASE make sure and show ALL the nurses/doctors/counselors because believe it or not there are long lasting effects.



Choose Life: Choose Love

A beautiful video defending life

Precious Peter: A great blessing

A family's tribute to their son who was born with trisomy.

Here is a beautiful poem by his sister

Emily- His Big Sister

He’s our little Angel,
Sent from heaven above.
He was given a special smile,
To teach us how to love.
He is such a tiny baby,
But has the biggest heart.
He was sent here on a journey,
And fulfilled it at the start.
He’s a bundle of joy,
Carrying God’s message.
He may not be in heaven yet,
But we know he’s blessed.
One look into those eyes
And I found faith.
He’s our miracle angel,
Full of such divine grace.

Samuel Charles Mabeus: A little miracle has an incredible update with photographs of his first birthday and a video along with just a real flavour of hope.

Here is the original testimony of his mother.

My trisomy journey began on March 13, 2006. I was called to come into the office to discuss the results of my A.F.P. that I had at 16 weeks two weeks prior on March 1st. They explained to me that I had tested positive for trisomy 18. They tested it twice, recalculating my due date for they thought that maybe I had been tested too early. Both results were positive, so I found myself two days later at the perinatologist office waiting to receive a level two ultrasound and amnio. they performed the ultrasound first. The doctor, after looking at the baby for 45 minutes, said that the baby looked just fine and assured me that they usually always find markers on ultrasound with those babies.

He then performed the amnio anyway and told me to go home and relax. I had two weeks of elation. Then two weeks later, on March 29th, my world as I had known it would change forever. I received a phone call from my doctors office to come in right away because they had my test results. When I got in there, my doctor told me the amnio was also abnormal, not for trisomy 18, but for trisomy 13. I was in pure shock! I told the doctor that the ultrasound was normal and he said that there are just some things that you just cannot see. He gave me three choices, adoption, abortion, or to keep the baby in which our lives would change forever. We were given two days to make the decision.

Two days later, on March 31st, My husband and I found ourselves in the doctors office hearing the worst things I could possibly ever hear in all my life. Unlike most of the trisomy families, we did not hear the typical "incompatible with life" or "no hope". Those things would have been hard enough to hear. What we heard, was that we already had three children and with an abortion, we could move on and forget and one day have more children. He also said that if our son was in a car accident and all of his bones were broken, what choice do you think you would make? Do you really want to change diapers for the rest of your life? This is not a baby, this is a fetus. Why would you put your other children through this? Multiple abnormalities and a one in a million shot of a mild case. There was much more, but you get the idea. He then put us on the phone with an abortion clinic right then and there. I can just remember being in a fog and feeling very paralyzed.

Well, we chose to continue the pregnancy in spite of everything. I changed doctors immediately and through a lot of tears and soul searching, and finding support from the trisomy group, (Therese Ann, Bess, and Liz) and through the strength of the Lord, continued on this difficult journey. By the way, my doctor never told us that it was Mosaic trisomy 13. We looked at our genetic papers and did our own research.

During the pregnancy, no abnormalities were ever found, not on ultrasound nor by the cardiologist. It was a bittersweet pregnancy that at times I could really enjoy and some days I wished I was not pregnant at all! It was such an emotional roller coaster ride to say the least.

On July 17th, at 34 weeks, due to a high amniotic fluid level, Samuel Charles Mabeus entered the world at 12:58 p.m. weighing in at 4 lbs. 15 oz. and 17 inches long. He was immediately taken to the N.I.C.U. due to his breathing. He spent the next few days on a ventilator, feeding tubes and bili light. A few days later, he still had a few scares of heart rate dropping along with apnea.

Then, on Wednesday July 26, we got some unexpected news. Samuel’s karotype came back normal! He has no detectable traces of Trisomy 13 in his blood! On Tuesday, Oct 2, this was confirmed by skin test. Again, NO TRACE OF TRISOMY 13 HAS YET BEEN FOUND IN HIS BODY!!! The doctor gave us a one in a million shot of a “mild case”. Samuel is living proof that miracles can and do happen and as accurate as prenatal testing can be errors can and do happen. More importantly, he is living proof of the healing power of prayer and greatness of our God! Even if Samuel ever develops problems now or down the road from the trsiomy that was once in his body, or if it is ever found in his little body, he will always be our miracle! He is living and thriving and a blessing to all who know him!

Samuel is our little miracle and I know he is a message of hope for all those out there who have received an adverse prenatal diagnosis. Please know that Samuel may have more medical or health issues than the average childand we will not know the affects of the trisomy that was once in his body for quite some time or if it is still hiding in there somewhere. Despite any challenges that may or may not lie ahead, carrying Samuel to term was the best decision we have ever made and Samuel is nothing less than a gift and a miracle. We will keep everyone up to date on his progress. May God continue to bless all of you and thank you for all your support and prayers.

A beautiful video

A beautiful video made by a mother about her daughter with Down's Syndrome

Lily Gianna Josephine

Little Lily was a pure joy to my family from the first moment that we knew she was in existence, quietly growing under my heart. I'll never forget sitting around the dinner table with my husband, Aryae, and our four other children, ages 3 to 10 years. We asked them to guess what our special surprise was. The guesses ranged from “we're moving” to “we're getting a new dog” to the ridiculous. Finally Therese, in her little 5-year old voice said, “Is it a baby?” In the noise, she wasn't heard. I said, “What did Therese say, guys?” Therese's eyes nearly popped. “Is it a baby?” “Is it, Mom, is it?” Then followed pure pandemonium, with whooping and incredulous eyes. Several children stared at my tummy. To this day, I can't think of a gift we've given our children to elicit more excitement than a new baby.
Never has a pregnancy given me more joy, more fatigue, or more worry than when I was expecting Lily. At 18 weeks, I had a Level II ultrasound at Fairview Riverside Hospital which revealed four “soft markers” for Down syndrome. The doctors and nurses couldn't have been more gloomy and “sorry” although the results of this test are far from conclusive. They recommended an immediate amniocentesis which I refused due to the risks involved for our baby. Two weeks later I had another ultrasound, hoping that the new findings would relieve some of my fears for our baby. During this ultrasound, the doctor found what he believed to be severe heart defects. I was sent for an immediate echocardiogram at the University hospital. Terribly frightened, I was told by a very clinical doctor that our child had “Epstein's Anomaly” a heart condition where the tricuspid valve is displaced and can cause the right atrium to balloon out. I was told to go home and call my doctor if our baby stopped moving. I was told this was one of the few conditions where a baby will die in the womb.
The darkness and fear I experienced in these days were unlike any other fear. The doctors could not have been more discouraging. It was only when my sister, a doctor herself, recommended that I get a second opinion that things began to change. We were referred to the Children's Heart Clinic at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis . From the moment my husband and I walked into Dr. Singh's office, the clouds lifted. Here, instead of pushing dangerous tests and informing us of the option of abortion, we felt our child's life was valued and that Dr. Singh would do everything he could for our baby. His office and staff were cheerful, and when they performed an ultrasound, the nurses kept telling me how cute she was, and they laughed when Lily insisted upon keeping her gender a secret. I remember later telling my husband that if we were to lose this child, I wanted to lose her while Dr. Singh was caring for us.
For the next ten weeks, we enjoyed the care of Dr. Singh and the perinatologists at Abbott Northwestern. In mid-April, however, things took a drastic turn. Suddenly I felt Lily moving less. Upon examination, I had lost most of my amniotic fluid. I was admitted to the hospital April 13, and Lily was delivered by C-section on April 15. She was only 281/2 weeks gestation and very ill. Over the next few days, we had little hope. Then, little by little, she began improving. She began taking my breast mild in tiny doses, but it caused her to grow! She went from a birth weight of 2 lb. 11 oz. to over 4 lb. at one point.
Lily's entire life, after her happy months in my womb, was spent in the NICU at Children's. Our life revolved around visiting her. The children came frequently and would sing lullabies to her. They learned to disinfect their hands and then gently lay their hand on her tummy or back. We were entirely cared for by the wonderful nurses at the NICU and by our families and the parishioners at our church.
In June, we made the difficult decision to allow open heart surgery after Lily began failing. At first she did well, but on the morning of June 10, we received the call that we had dreaded, “Mrs. Brown, I'm so sorry, but Lily isn't doing very well.” Aryae and I were able to spend the last 5 hours of her life with Lily as she slowly slipped away. Dr. Singh was there with us, with his usual kind and honest approach. He had always assured us that if the time came when they were doing more to Lily and less for her, that he would let us know. When he told us this that morning, we accepted that there was no more we could do for our daughter except be with her as she died.
There are so many things I have learned in the nearly six months since we lost this precious daughter, but the main thing I like to tell people who feel so sad for us is that I would go through everything again in a heartbeat! I count Lily's life and the days we had with her as pure gift. We never deserved her. She is our daughter forever. She is my children's sister forever. She lived her life as she was meant to – and it was a life of suffering – and we know she did precisely what God wanted her to in those days. I thank God for our dear little Lily, and I can't wait for the day when I can hold her again.

Baby John Raphael

The thought of having another baby was so exciting. I had been taking prenatal vitamins for months and exercising four times per week. My husband and I even took a relaxing, fun-filled trip to Las Vegas to get "things" started. ;) With the grace of God we were pregnant within months. I felt great and found it hard to keep my pregnancy a secret from family and friends. We didn't want to tell anyone until we received confirmation from the OB/GYN. I was about 3 months pregnant when I attended my first exam with my husband. Dr. David Garza heard the heartbeat, extended a handshake, and congratulated my husband. We had tears of joy in our eyes and immediately wanted to share the good news with everyone. We went home and I typed the words "Wonderful news is in store don't you see? A new little grandbaby for 2003!" on a little piece of paper and carefully placed it inside a fortune cookie for my mother to open that evening. She opened it and really couldn't believe what she was reading until she saw the look on our faces. My grandmother was also there and gave us her blessings too. I even had my Orthodontist put pink and blue bands on my braces! We celebrated with my brother and sister-in-law that weekend over dinner and talked about baby names, future plans, as well as our hopes and dreams for the future. The following Monday, my mom and daughter accompanied me to the routine sonogram. As the sonogram proceeded, the sonographer asked me a series of weird questions like, "Were you taking fertility medicine?" "Have you ever had a c-section?" "No", I replied. Why? She told me that she was just wondering. I knew by the look on her face that something was wrong. She was so nervous when she walked out of the room, that she forgot to tell me that we were done. She did not offer me a sono photo of my baby either. In fact, running out the door, a sono picture fell to the floor; of course, I picked it up and put it in my purse.
A phone call the next day from Dr. Garza confirmed my "gut" feeling about the sonogram. He told me that he saw "bone fragments missing from the baby's head" and asked me to see a specialist to confirm his findings right away. I was not sure what that meant and just prayed that the diagnosis from the specialist would be different. I told God that if my baby was going to be born with a handicap, that I would accept that and love this child unconditionally. When my husband and I visited the specialist, he told us that the sonogram showed our son had "anencephaly" a condition not viable with life. I cried and could not understand how this could have happened. I don't think my husband understood what the doctor had just told us and asked me "what is he talking about?" We were prepared for our baby to need medical attention once born, but not prepared for him to tell us that our baby would die!! We asked him what our options were. Options, meaning "medicine" to heal our son. The options this specialist told us were as follows: he could give me the names of clinics to have an abortion or we could "try" to carry this baby full-term where the outcome would be lethal anyway. He told us that the delivery would be difficult because of the lack of skull putting pressure on the cervix, he told us that sometimes the doctors have to break the baby's bones to get it out of the birth canal, he told us that I would most likely have a c-section, he told us that this baby probably would not go full term, he showed us an ugly scientific picture of what our baby would look like, he told us all of this so we would be "well informed" of what we were dealing with. Our baby was not given a 15% chance of survival, nor even 1%! Our baby was not going to live and there was no cure for anencephaly. Horrified, we left. My husband was calm, yet still in shock and crying. He left his car at the office and drove me home because of how hysterical I was. I pounded my fists in anger and cried tears in quantities never seen before. I could not be consoled the entire trip home. Arriving home, I went straight to my room in order not to scare my little daughter. My mom was at our home taking care of our daughter, and found out the results of the sonogram were bad. My brother and sister-in-law came over to console us, and asked if we needed anything. The only thing anyone could do at this point was to pray. I called my boss at work and told her the bad news. She was very understanding and told me to take a few days off from work. We prayed that God would help us get through this difficult trial.
We took a weekend trip to San Juan, Texas, a 5 hour trip from San Antonio to visit the Virgen de Guadalupe Catholic Shrine . There we attended a healing mass and gave all our pain, anger, confusion, and sadness to Jesus and to the Virgin Mary. We all agreed that we felt the loving presence of our Mother Mary, Jesus and God. In our hearts, we knew what God wanted from us. Besides, this wouldn't be happening to us if God didn't think we couldn't handle it, right? We returned to San Antonio, after a very uplifting and spiritual weekend. I even returned to work with a totally different outlook on life. Many were suprised that we had decided to carry this baby to term. It was not really even a decision, since we knew that terminating this pregnancy was not even an option. Some were not supportive of our decision, questioning whether we were in denial of what the doctors had told us. No, we were not crazy...just full of faith in the plan God had in store for us. We attended several healing masses and had several church groups praying for a miracle. We knew that it was God's will whatever the outcome would be. Certain things in life were not important anymore, especially not material things. Car breaks down? Oh well. Ariana spills paint all over the white carpet? No big deal. The car is dirty? So what, it's just a car! Bills, bills, bills, no money? Don't worry, the bills will always be there and God will see to it that they get paid. A lot of the anxiety was taken away after a return visit and consultation with Dr. Garza. I had not seen him in about a week and was worried what he would say about my decision to carry this baby. Would he tell me the same horrible things the other doctor/specialist said? Like an angel sent from God, Dr. Garza supported our decision and told us that he and his wife would have done the same. He told me that we would treat this like a normal pregnancy and gave me a tight hug of assurance. Needless to say, we felt so much better after that visit with Dr. Garza. Months went by and we were getting closer to the due date. In subsequent sonograms we even found out that we were having a boy! The sonographer had asked if we were sure if we wanted to know the sex because she did not want us to get too attached to our baby. What?? How can you carry a child for 9 months and not be emotionally attached?! We named our son, John Raphael. We sent out pregnancy announcements stating his delicate condition and asked for prayers. We also purchased double-depth cemetery lots for my husband and I. If Baby John would die, he would be buried on my side. We hoped and prayed for those few months that Baby John would be healed.
After the New Year, the level of anxiety was very high. This was because Baby John would be born very soon. Since my due date was January 26th, 2003, Dr. Garza ordered one more sonogram to see if the baby was in position. Thank the Lord he was not breech! My doctor says that the heaviest part of these special babies are the lower part of their bodies and gravity usually makes them breech. Dr. Garza also ordered that a neo-natal team be on stand by at the time of delivery just in case. Again, it was rare that this baby live all 9 months in utero. We also found out at the sonogram, that the diagnosis had not changed in all that time.
We called our priest and asked him about Baptizing our son. Monsignor Leo Dolan of St. Helena's Catholic Church did something very special for us and Baby John. He gave our son a Conditional Baptism using holy water and oils directly on my abdomen on January 20th. The Godmother was my first cousin, Sandra who was present at the time, it was also her birthday. It was a beautiful ceremony with loving and assuring words from Monsignor Dolan. We felt so happy that our son was Baptized through the Catholic church and that his home would be with God.
On January 23rd, my doctor checked to see if I had dilated, or if my cervix was ripe. Nothing had happened, Baby John had not dropped either! Dr. Garza wanted to see me on the following Monday which was the day after my due date, to see if anything had changed. He also said that I might have to be induced. I worried about it all weekend long, and on the evening of my due date I felt a "little funny". I did not feel pain, I just felt like "it" was really close to happening. At about 2:30 a.m., my water broke. Again, I did not feel pain nor contractions, and was very comfortable. My husband nervously packed a few last minute items while I got in the shower. My contractions could be felt at around 4:00 a.m., that is when I told everyone "let's go!" When I arrived to the hospital at 4:30 a.m. I was 7 cm dilated! My doctor wanted me to have an epidural in case of an emergency c-section. I did too because if they gave me general anesthesia, I wouldn't see my son in his first minutes of life if I had a cesarean. With contractions 30 seconds apart, I was given an epidural at 8 cm. After a couple pushes the baby wouldn't budge. He was trying to come face first. In order to help, the nurse pushed down on my abdomen to move the baby out. The doctor pulled him very hard and our son was born. That specialist was wrong! I did not need a c-section, I did not have to be induced, my son was not breech, the doctor did not have to break any of our baby's bones, and he was not stillborn! Only God can control those things. One thing for certain was God's will to take our son to heaven.
We were saddened that our son did have anencephaly, but yet happy that he was alive! My husband cut the umbilical cord and the nurse wiped him off and put a warm little cap on him before I held him. I did not cry, I just held him, kissed and hugged him, and told him how much we loved our little angel. He lived 7 minutes before his ascension to heaven. He weighed 7 lbs, 8 oz. and was 21 inches long! He also had a big chest and chunky legs. Even though he had passed away, I gave him his first bath, and dressed him in his little angel outfit. He had such beautiful white skin, long fingernails and brown curly hair at the base of his head. I gave him a little haircut and kept one of his "curlies" in a hair lock box that my mom gave me. We took lots of pictures and video and cherished these very precious moments with our angel. My husband, daughter, mother, grandmother, and cousin took turns holding him and remembering every inch of his little body. After the family left, Baby John stayed with me and my husband for another 5 hours. When the funeral home came to pick up our son, that is when my tears started to roll. (I must say that was the hardest part of letting go.) I was released the next day so we could complete our son's funeral arrangements.
It has been 3 years since Baby John went to Heaven. We don't ever regret the decision to carry our son to term. We constantly receive daily blessings and continue to bless others by sharing our story. We can't explain "how" we were able to live through this very difficult time, as losing a child is the most unimaginable pain one can endure. We just know that by the grace of God and our Blessed Mother, our hearts and souls have been healed through the greiving process. It may sound strange but we actually feel "blessed" to have brought our son to this world only to give him back to the Lord. We don't feel cursed or punished, we felt as though we were "chosen" to carry this little angel for God's purpose.

For more about this precious child please read:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

CALGARY, August 9, 2007 ( - In contrast with the media blackout that pro-life Canadians are used to expecting at their demonstrations, media coverage of the Reproductive Choice Campaign trucks rolling on Calgary streets this week has been lively. The trucks feature three-metre high photos of aborted children and an email address for more information.
Local papers and radio stations were joined by CBC and Global News who took video footage, while CTV News Calgary has run a two-minute television news spot three times in the last two days and included the sponsoring group's website address. This coverage constitutes a frenzy compared to the nearly total media blackout that is traditional at pro-life events such as the annual March for Life event in Ottawa.
The Calgary Sun headlined today's article, "Graphic abortion images shock Calgarians" and carried the CTV story verbatim in print form. A smaller local paper, Fast Forward Weekly, ran the headline "Little truck of horrors" and quoted Stephanie Gray, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, the truck's sponsoring group, responding to the accusations of shocking onlookers. "If there is nothing wrong with abortion, the images shouldn't bother them," she said.
A talk radio station, CHQR 770, has been broadcasting their report on the trucks every half hour from noon yesterday to five pm today. 630 CHED radio in Edmonton will carry a live 30-minute interview with Gray and she will be on 940 Montreal at 10:35 am EST for ten minutes.
CTV's video spot, which is available online, clearly shows close-ups of the photos and reporter Najuma Yagzan says, "You can clearly distinguish a body, hands and feet."
Jose Ruba, a cofounder and staffer of CCBR who today drove the support car accompanying the trucks, told that this was likely the first time the GAP pictures had been seen on English-language Canadian television.
"We had the GAP photos in Ottawa in 2004 when Planned Parenthood was giving Henry Morgentaler a lifetime achievement award and the national French-language TV used the images. But even when the CBC covered the controversy over the GAP display at UBC [in 2000], they only filmed the GAP images from 30 or 40 feet away."
"The whole story at UBC then was about the signs, but they didn't even show them. So today's coverage from so many sources was a big win for us in that they showed the signs," Ruba said.
Onlookers interviewed by CTV agreed that the images are "shocking" but also that they depict something true. "I've had nothing to do with it personally, so you don't think seriously about it, but looking at that, you can see the murder aspect of it all," one man said.
CTV offered a counter argument from a spokesman of Sexual Health Access Alberta (SHAA), but declined to mention that the group is an abortion advocating organization that until September 2006 was called Planned Parenthood Alberta. SHAA's Executive Director, Laura Wershler, criticised the tactic saying, "In those circumstances there's no opportunity for meaningful discussion or debate."
But Stephanie Gray told that she and her group were still waiting to hear back from Wershler on their offer of a public debate. Gray said, "I contacted Laura requesting a debate partner and I'm waiting to hear back from her and this is months ago."
CCBR said they contacted Wershler on November 16, 2006 on behalf of the pro-life club at the University of Calgary. "I emailed her a sample debate format and agreed that the debate should be a civil one with a neutral moderator."
"I'm still waiting to hear back from her," Gray said.
Wershler did not return calls from by deadline.
Onlookers interviewed by CTV, however, showed no signs of psychological trauma from seeing the photos. In one street interview, a young woman appeared unsettled but admitted that the images were depicting the reality of abortion, "To me, that's really harsh, but that's reality I guess. It's what happens when you have an abortion. But, wow, that is graphic, yeah."

Body obsession is a distraction from the more important aspects of the self." Explains Dr. Linda Mintle, licensed clinical psychologist. "Outer beauty is only a façade that often hides the deeper character issues of a person." The raging epidemic of anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders, has continued to spiral out of control as society fails to deal with the root issues behind these deadly disorders.Author Nancy Alcorn believes that young women today live in a world where temporary solutions are offered for serious problems. "Treatment approaches issues with an emphasis on simply managing and providing coping skills, but I believe a person can be free from the cycle of an eating disorder."In her new book, "Starved: Mercy for Eating Disorders," Alcorn offers faith-based hope for those needing freedom from eating disorders. "Starved identifies the root issues connected with an eating disorder and offers practical principles that can be applied to bring restoration and lasting freedom." Today's society tends to focus solely on the behavioral and medical aspects of eating disorders. I believe in exposing what is behind the harmful behaviors so that God can bring true healing in the lives of hurting young women.The second in Alcorn's "Mercy for..." series, Starved is an outgrowth of her work with Mercy Ministries, a non-profit organization she founded in 1983. Mercy Ministries' residential facilities serve young women between the ages of 13-28 who face life-controlling issues. With outreach programs worldwide, young women are provided with faith-based counseling, life-skills training and educational opportunities. Mercy Ministries offers free residential programs designed to address the whole person: spiritual, physical and emotional. "Our goal is to have each young woman not only complete the program, but be transformed from the inside out and discover the purpose for her life." Over the years, Mercy Ministries has partnered with well-known leaders and musicians such as CeCe Winans, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Point of Grace, and Joel Osteen. "There is hope for young women struggling with eating disorders," says Alcorn. "It is possible to overcome, not just exist with an eating disorder." For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule interviews, contact Abigail Davidson by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at, or by fax at 360-82-5748. For more information about Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries, visit