RECEIVING THE DEVASTATING NEWS
When I was five months pregnant with my second child, I had a sonogram, and I received the news that there was an “issue” with our unborn baby, Jacob. My husband and I were sent to a geneticist where they did an amniocentesis test which confirmed a severe abnormality in our baby. He had Trisomy 13 and Holoprosencephaly. As we sat in the office where they gave us this devastating news, they followed up by asking if we would like to terminate the pregnancy as there would certainly be a fatal outcome to Jacob’s birth. Of course, for us, this could never be an option. So, I immediately told them so. I remember thinking, “This child is not ‘perfect’ in man’s eyes, so does that mean we can make the decision to end his life?” The first thing that is wrong with that is, if we believe God gives life, who are we to make the decision to end it? Secondly, if you end a life, you destroy the possibility of God healing the child if He so wills. So, of course, we continued with the pregnancy.
If we had never had a sonogram during my pregnancy, we would have never known anything was wrong with Jacob because he was growing and moving normally. Even though I had been given this horrible diagnosis, it did not hit me that Jacob was indeed not going to make it until I saw that his tiny lungs were not developing during a sonogram at around seven months. For me, that was reality smacking me in the face. I still believed God could heal him if He chose to, but on a human level, it did not look good.
A WONDEFUL BLESSING IN A TIME OF NEED
God sent an angel into our lives named Debbie, a member of our church who was a nurse, lactation consultant, and grief counselor. She was there for us from start to finish. She was a wonderful blessing in a time of need and made a tremendous difference through this difficult time. During my pregnancy, everyone was very loving, encouraging and supportive. I only had one person who ever suggested abortion, but this person- a family member- was not a Christian and had had an abortion. I told her that was not an option and that life was precious no matter how “defective.”
We prayed that the Lord would use this situation for His glory and to bring people to salvation. God says He is always faithful, and we believe it. It is easy to believe that in the good times but not so much in such difficult times.
MEETING OUR SON JACOB
Jacob went full-term and was born one day before his due date. It was bittersweet knowing that we could hold and love our sweet Jacob for only a few moments. As soon as Jacob was born, our friend and nurse, Debbie, put Jacob on my stomach. She then took my husband’s hand and put it on Jacob. At that moment, he was able to connect with his son, and the tears flowed, but it was good. After half an hour, Jacob’s heart stopped beating while my husband held him in his arms.
After some time, we bathed him, clothed him, and spent a few hours with him as a few family members and friends came in to say goodbye to him. Our sweet daughter Rachael, who was only two at the time, held his hand and kissed it as we were all gathered around praying. Then, when it was time to say goodbye to Jacob, we kissed him, and our friend Debbie carried him out of the room. God is good even with the small details.
FAITH AND TRUST
We had a lovely funeral for Jacob where a family friend and pastor preached the gospel. We prayed God would turn this very sad time into a beautiful blessing. Having Jacob and losing him so soon showed us that we are not in control of life’s situations, but we can put our faith and trust in the One who is in control of all life’s situations. God IS sovereign, and we can really trust Him no matter what happens. We thank Him for Jacob’s short life, and we look forward to seeing our son again in heaven one day. Put your trust in Jesus, receive Him as your Lord and Savior, and you can have that peace and security that only He can give through all of life’s trials and tribulations.
LESSONS FROM A FRAGILE, IMPERFECT BABY
March 10th. Today would have been our son Jacob’s 22nd birthday. Sometimes I wonder what kind of young man he would have been. God allowed us to have Jacob for only a fleeting moment, so we never got to know how he would have turned out. However, in that short time, we learned much about God’s mercy, loving-kindness, and sovereignty from a fragile, imperfect baby.