This is the story of our precious baby boy, who was diagnosed prenatally at
17 weeks with a fatal chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. Although
Jonathan's condition is considered "not compatible with life", we desired to give
him every chance at life. Our prayer is that those who are touched by our story
are drawn to God, who is Life Himself. John 14:6

To start at the beginning of our story, click here.


update on baby joshua

joshua was born this morning, via c-section.

he was born alive, and lived for about an hour and a half.

their pastor came and baptized joshua before he passed away, a symbol of dedicating him to the Lord.

i am so thankful to the Lord for giving this family these precious moments with their son.

please continue to lift this family up for healing.

thank you so much for praying!!


another prayer request

please be in prayer for my friend, kristi, and her family as she goes in to deliver her baby joshua tomorrow morning at 7:30 CST.   joshua has trisomy 18, which is also considered "not compatible with life" by medical standards.

please pray that joshua is born alive and that his family gets to spend some precious moments with him.

please pray for peace and comfort for kristi and her family.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." ~Isaiah 41:10


a quick update

a lot has happened since i last wrote.  my last blog entry reflected a dip i had experienced in this journey of highs and lows, and i got several emails from people making sure i was OK.  the six month milestone was more difficult than i had expected, but truthfully, i should have expected it to be hard.  but overall, i'm doing well.  we're doing well, all three of us.  really, there are so many more good days than bad.  i'm so thankful that this journey of loss actually can have good days! and not just here and there. many, many good days. it's a bit paradoxical, i realize.  but because my blog tends to be my therapy, so to speak, the lows get recorded just as often as the highs. 

so lately, both my journey of faith and my journey to healing have been very active lately in very good ways.  it always happens this way:  i have a bad day or two of missing my baby boy and the Lord responds with an abundance of love and peace.  gosh, i love that Man.

He's also apparently been very busy behind the scenes since the last time i blogged, orchestrating meetings and events, answering prayers, revealing new things and sharing perfectly timed scripture with me during my quiet times and to me through other people.  all things some would consider mere "coincidences."  and, all these events and scriptures are connected and intertwined with each other like a huge spider web.  i want to share all the details with you so you will be as amazed as i am at what's been going on, but i'm just not even sure where to start.  it might have to be told through a series of future blogs. 

but for now it's just important that everyone knows we're doing OK.  thank you from the bottom of our hearts for continuing to care for us, pray for us and write to us.

and stay tuned!  :)


six months of loss

i haven't written much lately because i haven't had much to say, i guess.

i'll be honest: the six month mark was hard for me.

i heard that around four to six months can be the hardest time after a loss.  i didn't know it would happen to me until the other day when a sweet friend, who i had not seen in almost a year, asked me to tell her all about jonathan.

normally, i would jump at the chance and proudly talk about one of my favorite subjects.  instead, through tears, all i could get out was that i didn't know what to say about him anymore.

it was six months ago now since i last saw him. it feels like such a long time has passed since i've held my sweet boy. and it wasn't like i could tell her what he had been up to lately or what milestones he had reached, as much as i would have liked to.

and maybe that's what's so hard about six months for me; that my loss is not just the loss of my newborn.  it's the loss of my two-month-old who loves to smile.  it's the loss of my three-month-old who might be rolling over.  or my four-month-old who just discovered the joys of laughing.  or my five-month-old who is sitting up.  or my six month old who is starting solid foods.  and on.  and on.

and so i'm aware that every month that jonathan might have lived, the losses will continue to multiply. 

i realize that today i'm focusing on the losses and not the gains we've witnessed from jonathan's life.  trust me, i believe that the gains were even more significant than the loss.  really.   i'm especially aware that our loss is his gain because he's in heaven where there are no tears; no pain. he is healed and perfect.

at the same time, i know that the losses i'm counting are simply worldly.  not the loss of jonathan himself, of course, but the experiences i'm missing out on with him.  the bible makes it clear that as a believer, i will see jonathan again in heaven and even possibly get to raise him there.  as in, i didn't miss out after all.  gosh, if i could just wrap my mind around that fully, i know i would feel completely comforted and appeased.

it's just that lately, i am really missing him.  and i can comprehend that more than i can fully comprehend complex biblical truths that require faith, not sight.  and so, the journey of faith continues (as it should.) 

so in spite of feeling this way, i'm trying to remember that while these losses are great, i still have everything i need.  i love this quote a friend posted on facebook:

"Let your pious hearts be comforted under the loss of all terrestrial vanities [earthly things]. Let them shout for joy under all trials and crosses. For under the loss of all things, you possess all things still. The immortal God is yours; and in Him you have all and need no more." - Edward Griffin


6 months

remembering my sweet jonathan today...


hope for healing

this year, easter was bittersweet.

bitter, obviously, because my son was not here to participate in our family's traditions of egg hunting, attending church, and then a big dinner with both of our families.  i didn't get to dress him up.  i didn't get to make him an easter basket.  and i didn't get to watch kate steal eggs out of his basket, as i suspect she would have done if he were here. 

bitter, because this year, our traditions were broadened to include visiting our baby boy's gravesite.

bitter, because at the egg hunt i happened to stand right next to a new father, who proudly gushed about his five-month-old baby boy's recent milestones; how he was just starting to army crawl a little bit.  in the split second i allowed myself to look at the baby, i noticed how adorably chubby he was.  i guessed he weighed somewhere around 17 pounds. 

and then i looked away. 

i definitely felt bitter.  actually, more like crushed.  wounded.


i love how God, through His word, has a way of gently reminding me of who He is, what He has done for me, and why i shouldn't be so focused on the temporal all the time.  yes, my pain is real.  yes, life is not the same without jonathan.  but if i focus on those sorrows without remembering the true significance of easter, then of course it will be bitter. 

i am reminded what crushed and wounded really means in Isaiah 53:4-6:

"Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all." 

and suddenly it wasn't so bitter anymore.

the sweetness of this truth is that i have a God who knows my pain.  who also willingly suffered incomprehensible pain on the cross. 

for me. 

so that i would have hope, as i suffer in this fallen world, to be fully healed one day. 

and hope that one day i will celebrate easter with my precious jonathan.


the ultimate rejection. well, sort of.

so, i know i've talked a lot about the rejection we have experienced since our journey with jonathan has begun.  or, at least what i consider rejection.  in the big scheme of things, i realize that it's really not that big of a deal.  i mean, do i really care what people think about us, our decision to carry jonathan, or our faith?  or that people chose not be supportive or to be our friends anymore?  if i had known the rejection was going to happen, would i have still made the same choices?  of course it wouldn't have changed a thing.  but apparently i do care about what people think of me, more than i thought. 

there.  i said it.  i care too much about what people think of me, even complete strangers.  even the cowardly, hateful, anonymous newpaper commenters.

well, recently, friends, i've discovered i've endured the ultimate rejection.  i mean, it doesn't get much worse than this.  are you ready for it?  i can barely get it out.......

i've been defriended on facebook.  yep, you read it right.  by at least four or five people over the past few months.  you know how i know?  because the first time i noticed i was no longer friends with one certain person, i "friended" them again, thinking that maybe it was an accident or facebook problem or something.  it can happen, right?  so the second time i noticed i wasn't friends anymore with this person, i finally got it.  and folks, i am not even a natural blonde.  :)

ouch.  this kind of rejection is something even the apostles did not have to experience.

ok, i'm totally kidding here.

but seriously, defriended?  so i have chosen to write an open letter to these former facebook friends.  here we go:

dear former facebook friends,

seriously, defriended

but we went to high school or college together, doesn't that count for something?  even if i haven't actually seen you in, like, 15 years?  defriended and not just blocked from your newsfeed?  you know, there's an app for that.  defriending makes me feel like i'm back in high school or something and i didn't say "hi" to you as we passed in the hallway.

considering that we don't really know each other anymore (a lot happens in 15 or so years), you are either defriending me because of (1.)  the person i was in high school or early college (don't worry, i'd defriend me, too, for that)  or (2.)  the person who i've become, all wrapped up in a tidy package on the "about me" page on facebook, saying that my name is lauren, i'm married to greg, and we have a 2 year old and a 40-minute old, who's in heaven.  oh, and that my religious and political views are both "christian."

i'm pretty sure my status updates could not be offending to you.  i don't quote scripture in them.  i don't even quote quotes about scripture, God, or Jesus.  maybe you are offended or annoyed that i was excited a few months ago when my baby girl went #2 on the potty for the first time ever.

oh, but there was that "note" i wrote about our baby boy's diagnosis back in june.  and how we were choosing to continue the pregnancy and relying on God for strength.  oh, and there were the pictures of me, pregnant and smiling in my profile picture.  perhaps that was offending to you, that i would choose life instead of abortion.  oh, and there was a lot of status updating going on in october when my baby was born.  and died.  and maybe there was some more talk about God and Jesus at that time.  i know that Jesus is an especially offensive topic to some.

here's the thing:  of course, i am only making an assumption as to why you defriended me.  but in case you didn't know, for almost a year now, i have walked a very difficult journey of faith and trust.  it has been a journey that, if i didn't have faith, i might be dead right now, at least spiritually and emotionally.  it's been a journey that has forced me out of the proverbial closet as a christian, because our suffering was so public.  people watched us make difficult choices and react to the circumstances we'd been given.  yet, the biggest choice i had to make was made in private:  whether or not to truly trust the God of the bible.  the faith i had as a child was not good enough for this journey, yet i considered it "good enough" for me until this past year. you see, i could have my comfortable faith and yet no one would label me as a "Jesus freak" or anything else considered unpopular in this culture.  i'm embarrassed to admit to that.  it's not lost on me that perhaps God knew it would take suffering of this magnitude to move me out of my faith comfort zone. 

so thank you, former facebook friends, for confirming my status as an unpopular Jesus freak.  i now take it as a compliment.  it's true, my faith has become a huge part of my identity, instead of being just a small subcategory of my life.  and while i would never preach at you, throw scripture in your face, judge you, or defriend you for not being a christian, i would say to you:  don't knock it till you try it.  you might even like it. 

however, i don't apologize if i offended you in any way.  i'm more sorry you did not stick around to see what my faith, my God, has done for me and my family in the midst of devastation.  i think you would be surprised.  perhaps intrigued.  perhaps you would wonder from where we got our strength to make it through.  perhaps you would wonder what you might do in our situation, or in some other kind of suffering you might face.  because one day, inevitably, we all will experience suffering.

and i would tell you, i got my strength at the foot of the cross.  and there is room there for you too. 

your friend,