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.


working on the *completely*

first of all, thank you so much for all the comments on my last post!  we are so touched by them all.  thank you for your encouragement and support. 

i am also so happy that our "secret" is out.  16 weeks of keeping such a big secret is quite hard.  the funniest response i've since heard from a friend was: "i hadn't heard you were pregnant, but i figured you would have taken care of a belly bump like that!"  that's right, baby number three means showing a lot sooner.  especially after just having a baby a few months ago.  i was down to my last few shirts that weren't maternity but still disguised the bump pretty well.  i'm very happy to be able to let everything just hang out now.  maternity clothes, here i come.


so obviously, while i'm finished writing in "parts", the story does not end there. 

two days after i learned i was pregnant, i attended the beth moore simulcast "so long insecurity" with some of my close friends, including my OB.  the only other person (besides greg of course) who knew i was pregnant at this point was her.  i had already let her know that i no longer needed that progesterone test and i also shared with her about the amazing scripture that was on my mind that morning (Isaiah 43:18-19.)

anyway, "so long insecurity" was fabulous.  while a lot of it was about combatting physical, emotional, and spiritual insecurity with God's Word, i knew in my heart what the message was for me:  dealing with my insecurity about my relationship with God; being *completely* sold out that He is trustworthy and His Word is *completely* true.  completely sold out means giving Him the reigns over every area of my life...including the lives of my children and trusting Him whether He chooses to give or take away.  had He asked my permission a year ago to let Him give my son a terrible chromosome disorder, then ask us to carry him to term with all the potential complications, and then take him from us shortly after he was born, but all the while saying it was for the best and that He would provide for us everything we need to get through it....well i just don't know if i would have chosen that road.  who would have??  but now, having been brought so far in my relationship with Him, especially after everything He promised came to fruition, you would think trusting Him *completely* would not be such an issue anymore.

alas, i am human.  what can i say?  i'm not proud of my issues.  it's hard for me to admit to them.  but i am working on them and God has been so sweet to me through it all.

sweet enough, that half-way through beth moore's teaching that day, she actually quoted the same exact scripture...Isaiah 43:18-19:  "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

OK, God, you have my attention.  it did not escape the attention of my OB either, as she reached over and touched my hand right as it was being spoken.  it was like a confirmation that indeed, He is up to something new.  and perhaps this verse is for me to cling to through it long as i *completely* trust what He says.


God at work, part seven: rivers in the desert

continued from part six  (read first!)

two days later....

it was 5:00 in the morning and after a restless night of sleep, i was lying half awake in bed and a particular scripture was running through my head.

it wasn't a scripture i had recently read or heard, but it was definitely replaying itself over and over in my semi-consciousness. 

this is what it was:

“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert."

~ Isaiah 43:18-19

i took note of it, rolled over and went back to sleep.

a couple of hours later, i was staring at this:


our hearts are overflowing with joy and praise for this precious blessing! 

remember my desire and prayer to have a baby sometime in 2010?  well, our due date is 12/31/2010.  it makes me laugh everytime i think about that.  isn't that just like Him to do that?

later that morning i shared with greg the scripture that was in my mind and we both agree in faith that it can only be God's reassurance for us as we embark on this new journey that is sure to include some anxiousness. 

isn't He good?  no, isn't He GREAT?!

thank you for your prayers and praise on our behalf.
lauren and greg


God at work, part six: silence doesn't mean absence

...continued from part five

i have been waiting for a couple of months to share the story about how the other idea i had to extend jonathan's legacy has come to fruition.

back in this blog post i shared about how the ministry "woven together" came to be (and i'm still working out some of the details.)

but here is the rest of the story.

awhile back, i wrote about how the six month mark was so hard for me.  i think it was partly because i came to a point where i didn't know how to extend jonathan's legacy, which of course, is of utmost importance to me.

after much prayer and consideration, i came to the conclusion that i am only really good at two things:  sewing and running.  how could i use these things for good?  the sewing part was obvious, and soon after, "woven together" came to be.  the only thing i could think about for running would be to have a race in memory of jonathan, that would raise money towards some sort of ministry, i wasn't sure what at the time.

then i got an email from a T-13 mom in canada who was inviting everyone she knew to join in a run/walk in memory of her son, josiah.  all of the proceeds would benefit their local NICU unit.  and this was so motivating to me.  this is what i needed to do for jonathan, and for the benefit of other babies like him.

however, the more i began to think of all of the arrangements and preparations this event would entail, i realized that such an event was more than just a one-family job.  if we were going to do it right, we were talking about dozens of volunteers, financial sponsors, t-shirts, race numbers, race event management, setting up a non-profit organization, and all sorts of coordinations with local personnel, such as EMTs for medical emergencies and police to handle traffic.  oh yeah, this was WAY above just me and my little dream for my son's memory. 

i felt i should just let it go as a lost cause, but something inside wouldn't let me.  i kept thinking about it and wondering what to do with it, but i still had no real direction.  besides, all of this was taking place during the time i felt that God was being more "silent" than He had with me previously. 

so late this spring, i had an appointment with my OB.  don't get excited, it was just for my annual check-up, and i was going to talk to her about the problems in my cycle that i had noticed.  and while i was there, somehow, the topic of extending jonathan's legacy came up. i explained that i had two ideas, but was probably going with the sewing idea because the running idea was out of my league.

and this is where it gets good.

after i went over my two ideas, she told me that for a few weeks now, God had really been laying on her heart that she needed to plan a race that would be in memory of the babies that had been lost by patients of hers over the last year or two.  the same idea also happened to be on the heart of another one of those patients.  she said that God had already given her a vision of the race route, which happened to include my church and the cemetery where jonathan was buried, and had given her a scripture to go along with the race.  she also said that the race would take place in october, which is national pregnancy and infant loss month (and the month jonathan was born.)  she already had sponsors in mind and other details in order.

i was in complete awe as she told me these things.  this is why i wasn't able to let go of the idea. my idea fit into her plans (God's plans!) perfectly, as now i would just be able to *help* others plan the race, and it didn't have to be some huge undertaking by just one person.

it was also amazing to me to realize that just because God had been silent with me, it didn't mean He wasn't at work behind the scenes. 

stay tuned for details about the first annual "Race for New Life 5K", coming this October!


so while i was there, of course, i talked to her about the problems with my cycle and showed her all of my charts to "prove it."  and because of where i was in my cycle on that very day, she decided to give me a pregnancy test.  if it was negative, the next step was to come back in a couple of weeks for a progesterone test.

it was negative.

but for some reason, i didn't feel down about it this time around. perhaps because of the amazing conversation i had had with her at the appointment, i didn't doubt again that God wasn't at work, even if i couldn't see it all the time.

 stay tuned for part seven....


9 months

happy 9 months of heaven to my sweet jonathan today.  it's hard to believe that now he's been gone longer than he lived here with us. 

the good news is that we're getting closer to actually buying him a monument for his gravesite.    i went into a monument store this past tuesday to check out the options.  we pretty much already know what we want, but we just haven't followed through with the order.  i was doing pretty good emotionally until i heard the sales lady talking to a man who was making a monument order for his baby boy that just passed away july 2.  i heard him say that his wife got to hold the baby for 6 hours. 

and that's when i knew that i wasn't going to be able to be as strong as i thought i would be.

i also sure felt sorry for the sales lady.  two customers wanting monuments for two baby boys in the course of 15 minutes.  probably not her ideal sale. 

so hopefully we'll complete the order in the next week or two and have the monument in place by his first birthday. 

and that will be the last thing we have to do for him, to give him everything he "needs."

the finality of it all is quite depressing.


God at work, part five: encouragement through scripture

continued from part four...

i have never experienced something so devastating as empty arms.  the pregnancy was difficult, but the empty arms afterward...indescribable.  the feeling has lessened over the last several months as we've healed emotionally, but there are times when it's still hard of course.   i'm sure it was the feeling of empty arms shortly after jonathan's death that greatly increased my desire for another baby. (i didn't necessarily want the pregnancy that comes with it, only the baby, if that makes sense.)   i guess it is because of the relationship a mother has with her unborn baby, but i felt i knew jonathan long before he was born; his habits, his movements, his personality, his food cravings, etc., and perhaps this allowed me the ability to "let go" much sooner.  i did most of my grieving during my pregnancy with jonathan and i believe that's why i was ready for another baby before greg was.  like most dads, greg only really began his relationship with jonathan once he was born...and therefore didn't have as much time to enjoy him like i did.  for many weeks afterwards, having another baby was not even on the radar for greg.

after a couple more months of waiting patiently inpatiently and praying for my husband as he grieved, finally we were both ready to have another baby.  but it also meant i would have to face my fears of being pregnant again.  after talking through some of the fears mentioned in the previous post, we both felt a peace about moving forward with family plans.  and soon, for me, the fear was replaced with a very strong desire to have a healthy newborn in my arms by the end of this year.  it also didn't help this feeling of urgency when so many women i know are pregnant right now.  i think the count to date is up to about 25 friends/aquaintances...seriously.  God has been busy. can imagine my disappointment when i did not get pregnant right away.  for some reason, i foolishly thought that after what we had gone through, we would have a baby in our arms nine months after we decided to.  and then, month after month of not getting pregnant has been a bitter pill to swallow also.  but each time, it has been like God is asking me (again), "so do you trust Me or not?" 

ultimately, i know that God's timing is perfect.  His ways are perfect.  "But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." ~Psalm 33:11  but in my impatience and weakness, i determined that God needed help, so i did what i thought would help things along, so to speak, and i began reading fertility books and started "charting."  (not that there is anything wrong with this...but i believe i did it out of a lack of faith, which soon seeped into other areas of my life.)  and to make matters worse, charting showed me that i might have a problem with my cycle which could be an obstacle to us getting pregnant anytime soon...and a possible delay to the "timeline" i have going for myself.

it was then that i realized that i was spending more time reading those fertility and pregnancy books then i was spending time in scripture and prayer with the Creator of life Himself.

two years ago, i committed to reading the bible from start to finish. interestingly enough, as i was reading through the books on my own, often they would match up to things going on in my life.  for instance, i read about passover "coincidentally" just as we were celebrating passover at our church.  or i would read a scripture that was completely relevant to something i was experiencing in life at that moment.  it happened so often, that to call them "coincidences" would be ignorant of me.  i only took time off from reading chronologically while i was pregnant with jonathan and after his death since i studied scripture topically during that time.

and so when i picked up where i left off a few months ago, i feel like God has met me right where we left off, and has been using scripture to encourage me in all areas of my life, even in my journey to get pregnant.

here are a few examples...

back in march of this year and after finding out that yet, once again that i was not pregnant, i was reading through Nehemiah of all places.  the book of Nehemiah provides great illustration of how prayer and hard work can accomplish seemingly impossible things when a person trusts and obeys the Lord.   Nehemiah constantly prayed that God would remember him with favor for what he has done:  "Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services." ~Nehemiah 13:14

this scripture stuck out to me because i felt like it was something i could pray for myself; that God would remember what we went through with jonathan and He would look upon us with favor as we prayed for another baby.  now, i realize by saying this it may appear that i am boasting in "what i did" by carrying jonathan, or that i feel like i "deserve another baby" as a reward because we carried jonathan.  i certainly hope no one takes my words the wrong way.  we would have done the same whether a "reward" or "blessing" was going to be given at the end of it or not.  anyway, i know i don't deserve a single thing from God, but why not pray along the same lines that Nehemiah did?  it's in scripture for a reason, right? 

and then i came to the book of Job, which i was not excited about reading at all after what we had just experienced, but days after struggling through it, i finally came to the end and read about how the Lord restored to Job double everything he had lost.  God restored everything double!  whether that means literally double or just double the blessing, i decided why not pray for twice the blessing for ourselves after our loss?  can't hurt, right?  whether that means twins or just double the blessing for us, it didn't matter to me.

and finally, a very special person to me sent me this scripture she said the Lord laid on her heart for me during this time:  "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." ~Hebrews 10:35-36

no matter what the answer to my prayer would be, these scriptures were certainly encouraging either way.  never have i treasured scripture more in my life, and i know that this is harvested directly from my trial with jonathan.  i'm sorry that it took losing my son to draw me deeper into His Word, but now i am so thankful for these precious words that bring me such hope and encouragement.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." ~2 Timothy 16-17

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ~Hebrews 4:12

and the journey part six.


God at work, part four: a new journey

i haven't spoken of this much, outside of my closest friends anyway, but i do feel like it is relevant to jonathan's journey:   the desire to expand our family with another baby and the various emotions that go along with it.

having another baby also happens to be something we get asked a lot about lately. well, not usually asked to our faces, but mostly filtered through our friends and family. i have learned to appreciate people's concern for us in this matter, as most truly just want us to see us move forward with life.

but this is exactly the issue i sometimes struggle with: moving on. without jonathan. with another baby. who isn't jonathan.

i think anyone who has experienced any kind of baby loss, whether it's an early miscarriage or an unexplained death of a completely healthy baby, can probably relate.  the months just keep marching along and there is still that void that jonathan leaves everyday. and a different void because our family is still not "complete", even though i gave birth to two babies.

so i assume it's normal to go through a myriad of emotions leading up to and during pregnancy following that loss.

for me, there is the guilt i've felt by thinking of having another baby; as if i am moving on without jonathan.  or replacing him with another baby, knowing good and well that he can't be replaced.

then there is an incredible sense of fear of carrying another pregnancy that would end in some kind of heartbreak again - that the proverbial lightning would strike twice. and, i've learned from others' stories that this is a very real possibility. (not necessarily trisomy 13, but some other kind of problem or miscarriage.)  i also have thoughts about whether my body was affected by working so hard to keep jonathan alive for 8 months.  so much about my pregnancy with him was abnormal...i sometimes wonder if my body can handle another pregnancy well. 

and then, of course, is the fear that we would not be able to have more children. we know this is always a possibility, as we're aware of a few friends' struggles with infertility.

so while these feelings probably seems reasonable, i also feel so wrong and guilty to feel this way.  after all that we went through and everything God provided for us, i have no reason NOT to trust Him in these matters.  in fact, i feel quite like an ancient israelite after feeding on manna in the desert, still questioning whether God is trustworthy.  and on a side note, i used to judge those israelites for doing that.  how could you not trust the God that you can hear, experience, not to mention actually witness the tangible provisions that He miraculously gave?  oh yeah.  now i know the feeling.

so God has been at work in my heart on this.  first, He gently brings it to my attention that perhaps i am not able to trust Him 100% with my children's lives, including future children.  and then He's been taking me on another incredible journey to trust Him with all the relevant details to having another baby.  it's a rather long story, so i'll be kind and break it up into segments. :)

to be continued...