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  • Writer's pictureJodi Gillespie

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:2

Baby #8 due March 15, 2019

My beautiful and perfectly healthy Mom passed away from a horrible infection caused from a procedure due to her minute pancreatic cancer on January 24, 2017. Two weeks later we were surprised, yet tremendously over joyed to find out we were expecting baby number seven.

That beautiful gift from God was the little spark of light our family needed to get us through the darkness of mourning my mother.

“Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

This has always been my verse to live by.....we don’t know the plans God has for us....we don’t always understand, nor do we always like His plan.....but we trust His plan whole heartedly.

On May 5th, 2017 we found out our precious baby had died several weeks prior......this was devastating news…..the kind of blow that could turn any Christian away from God…..but we trusted in Him; we leaned into Him and we allowed Him to carry us through not knowing what the time ahead would bring.

On May 25 I delivered a beautiful baby boy at home. He was perfectly preserved in the amniotic sac; no bigger than the palm of my hand. The placenta still attached through the minute spiral of the umbilical cord, 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes intricately created in their most perfect form. Science would call this a 14 week developed fetus……we called it a perfectly knit son of God; no detail had been spared. We named him Abel James. He was a perfect and precious gift from God!

I was told he would be a lump of tissue when I delivered him; nothing more than a heavy period. Abel proved that theory completely wrong. I had labor, contractions, transition and so much more to burn those moments into my soul. To catch that sweet sac of baby, no bigger than a grapefruit, there is no greater force than God to make that possible.

We were able to bury Abel’s precious body in our church cemetery through a private and intimate service with our children and our priest. His name is written in the book of the dead at our church; this means so much to us.

Even though he wasn’t meant to live an earthly life, he had an unforgettable impact on our family. The joy he brought to our hearts through the darkest days after losing my Mom will forever be cherished.

“How can such a tiny life bring so much joy to our hearts, when we never even got to meet you?” This is a thought I hold dear to my heart. The answer is God. God brought Abel into our lives when He knew we needed him the most, and after we lost him……He knew the memory and pictures of that tiny little body would impact us and so many around us in ways never imaginable. Every chance I get I share his story and picture with anyone the Holy Spirit nudges me to share it with. You never know when the reality of a 14 week old baby might change someone’s heart about the sanctity of the unborn; encouraging them to chose life over any other thought they might have.

Our precious baby Abel (#7) died at 14 weeks, delivered at 21 weeks

I envision my Mom holding him, rocking him, singing to him, cherishing every moment with him. This brings me (and my family) peace. It is unexplainable sadness to lose your Mom, especially one as young and healthy as mine (she was only 65, exercised everyday and took very good care of herself). It’s even more unexplainable to lose a child just months after, but the vision of them together, wrapped in the arms of Jesus, glowing brightly from the grace that embraces them, brings a great calm to my heart.

I know they are praying for us…..praying for us without end. I feel their presence always.

Faith is a powerful and wonderful force......engulfed in God’s Grace.....there is no power that the devil can throw at you to break through that kind of a shield.

When Lafe and I got married over 21 years ago, we made a promise to God to accept children openly, willingly, lovingly and to guide them into God’s Kingdom.

I had female issues shortly after we got married and was told I would have to have help to conceive. So…..Lafe and I decided to wait at least 5 years before we went down that road of infertility. After all, he was 21 and I was only 19; we had plenty of time to grow as a couple, have LOTS of fun and cross that bridge when the time came. The funny thing is, when the 5 year mark came we neither one were “ready” to start our family, but knowing it might take awhile to conceive, we let go of our Natural Family Planning practice and decided if it happened it was meant to be.

Needless to say…..I have never needed help to conceive…..I guess you can say Abel was a lot like his Momma…..proving medical theories wrong. Long story short…..we got pregnant the very first month we decided the “let it happen if it was meant to be” and through the 4 boys we planned on having (which fell perfectly into place every 2 years) there was only one child it took 2 tries to conceive. ((This makes me chuckle))

So…..this blog has definitely been way longer and way more detailed than I had planned, but the thoughts are flowing, so I feel the Holy Spirit must want me to share this.

My beautiful Mom and my amazing Dad just a couple months before the nasty infection took her.

Four years after our 4th son was born, I was shocked to find out I was pregnant with baby #5. We did not plan to have more than 4 children, Natural Family Planning had worked so flawlessly for 15 years of marriage for both preventing and conceiving, why would it fail us now? The answer is God……..It was all in God’s plan for us to have more children. I laugh when I think about my plan compared to God’s plan; it’s as if He just laughs and says “Oh ya???? You think you are in control???” WRONG!!! God has proven us wrong time and time again, and each time we are so very thankful for His plan for us as it is so much grander and more fulfilling than our own, and He ALWAYS provides us with what we need!

Trusting in Him can be very scary. As humans, and especially living in a secular world, we are so accustomed to being in control of our lives and not handing the reigns over to a higher power. But to trust Him completely is so freeing!!! To know that no matter what gets thrown your way, it will all work out just as He has planned as long a you have faith.

Three years after the shock of baby #5 we were blessed with #6, our conversion baby. I knew God was sending him to us; Lafe thought I was crazy, but I just felt it. Low and behold, much to our efforts to prevent it, here he was. We call him our conversion baby because he was conceived during one of the best years of our lives.

After 17 years of my fervent prayers, Lafe answered God’s call to become one of His children, to be baptized and join the Catholic church. For 6 months we got to grow in our faith and in our marriage as we participated in RCIA classes privately with our priest to prepare Lafe for his conversion and for me to support him as his sponsor. Every Friday morning we got to spend time learning about our faith, about God, about His plan for our salvation revealed through the bible, and grow so much closer spiritually as a couple and as parents. It was time we will forever cherish…..and Micah is tangible proof of God’s plan unfolding through that time in our life.

What a WONDERFUL answered prayer it was for Lafe to be baptized!!! One of the most special gifts I ever could receive!!! AND he was baptized during a most holy, special and memorable Holy Saturday Vigil that just happened to fall on my 37th birthday!!! BEST. PRESENT. EVER.

……And nothing surprises me anymore. Baby #5 has been our only girl, and the child that pushed me to sell my salon of 14 years, take a leap of faith, and become the stay at home Mom I’ve always wanted to be. Baby #6 was our conversion baby, baby #7 was the joy that got us through the most despairing time of our marriage, and now, the entire reason I started typing this blog…….Baby #8 is due to arrive around March 15th, 2019.

Our cup is overflowing!!!

I entitled this blog post “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” because I firmly believe God does!! There is sadness in life….things happen that we don’t like… can choose to let that consume you, or you can turn to God and find the light in the situation. I choose happiness, I choose faith, I choose to trust God. He’s got you, and He’s got me. He’s always there, wrapping His loving arms around you……can you feel Him?

Trusting God with every aspect of your life can be scary…..but it is so well worth it! Could we have terminated our fertility after our 4 planned children were born? Absolutely. But there are 3, soon to be 4 children that we never would have gotten the pleasure to hold, to love, to see the face of God in their little faces. I can’t imagine life without them. Even the heartache of losing Abel was so well worth it. I can’t imagine not knowing him or having my life touched by the experience of losing him.

This pregnancy has been a major roller coaster of emotions. One would think by your eighth pregnancy you would know everything right? WRONG!! My pregnancies have always been wonderful, like clockwork, no complications, natural deliveries and very healthy children and I love every minute of it!!! I LOVE being pregnant!! (Perhaps that’s why God keeps sending us His children to care for, LOL.) I LOVE babies, I LOVE breastfeeding……I’m pretty certain raising children is my calling on this earth.

Back to this pregnancy…..I feel great, and I am healthy, but around week 10 I started bleeding. My heart hurt. I couldn’t believe I was pregnant again with a child we were going to have to bury. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. A week later, I took a pregnancy test, and low and behold I was still pregnant!! Shortly after I bled again. This pattern continued until week 15 (one week passed when baby Abel died) when I decided I needed to find out once and for all if this baby was meant to be.

I went to see my wonderful family Doctor who has delivered all of our children but one (only because he was born when the Doctor was at the KU-KState football game) and the same amazing nurse who has been there for us the last 21 years plus.

I explained everything that had been going on and he agreed that this pregnancy was probably not meant to be. He looked for a heartbeat and sadly couldn’t find one. I went home and cried. I had been so busy the last 15 weeks I just kept putting it out of my mind that I was pregnant; I guess you could say I didn’t want to get excited in case we had to bury this baby too. I hadn’t told anyone but by husband, so it was pretty easy to fake it.

We went in for a sonogram the next day and much to our surprise the baby had a heartbeat!!!! We were over joyed!!! The baby looked perfectly healthy!! So what was causing the bleeding? I have a not-so-common anomaly called a Subchorionic Hematoma. This is a pocket of blood that forms between the amniotic sac and the uterus in the first month or two after conception. The cause isn’t entirely known. It can cause miscarriage in the first trimester, and can cause problems indefinitely if the placenta is low (thank God my placenta is high so there aren’t any real risk factors for us).

I am 21 weeks now and have continued to bleed off and on. The regular sonograms have showed that the hematoma is shrinking, so luckily all the blood is “old blood” coming from the hematoma and nothing that can cause harm to the baby. The blood is slowing down so hopefully it will stop completely soon!! We have been referred to a specialist to get more details and both Doctors assure us that the baby is healthy and everything will be fine.

Thanks be to God we are so happy!! We didn’t plan to have more children after the heartache we endured with Abel…..but like I’ve said so many times in this blog post…..we trust God’s plan, and His plan is so much grander than our own. We know this baby will fit right in with our family and we won’t be able to imagine our lives without him or her. The kids are ecstatic…..give or take a certain dramatic teenager (LOL).

Christmas 2017, our crazy crew.

We look forward to sharing our love, our faith and the CHAOS that is our family with this little one. It will be so fun and fulfilling to see the face of God once again come forth into our lives! “From the fullness of grace we have received one blessing after another.” John 1:16

I pray you will let the grace of God fill your heart and trust in His plan for you too!

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