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Gracie Jo Reynolds
We would like to share our story about our daughter, Gracie Reynolds.
We had struggled with infertility for 4 ½ years when we found out we were finally pregnant. Our joy quickly turned to sorrow when, during an ultrasound at 10 weeks gestation, we found out that our baby had anencephaly. Anencephaly is a fatal birth defect. It meant that our daughter’s brain would not develop and that she could live as long as she was in my womb but would die either during or soon after birth.
Even though we were strongly pro-life, it took a couple of days to decide to carry her to term. The pain of years of infertility and then to deliver a child that would die seemed too much to bear. Also, due to the infertility, the doctors advised me that the sooner I could try to get pregnant again, the better. If I carried the baby to term, it would be almost a year before I could try to get pregnant again versus a few months. We realized that God had to have a reason in all of this so we followed God’s will and decided to carry our baby. God will always reward those who are obedient to Him.
At about 18 weeks gestation, a friend showed us an article about Alexandra’s House. We met Patti Lewis shortly afterwards. God sent her directly to us and worked through her to help us. Without her help, the mental and emotional strain on us would have been much more difficult to bear.
Gracie died in the womb when I was 28 weeks along. I was induced and, after 42 hours of labor, I delivered her on March 4th, 2002.
Since she came early, we did not have funeral arrangements made yet. Patti helped us with all of that. By carrying her as far as we could, we were rewarded by being able to hold our beloved daughter, have family pictures taken with her, and give her a beautiful service and lay her to rest with the respect and dignity that she deserved. We now have a place to remember her and visit her. The Lord also rewarded us by giving us the strength to bear hardships and not run from them, thus increasing our faith. We now are in a position to help others going through the same thing.
God still heard our prayers about wanting children. Our son Matthew, is 5 years old and our daughter, Sarah, is 2 ½ years old. God even has a sense of humor by surprising us with another baby daughter, due Nov. 20, 2008. Matthew and Sarah are gorgeous and healthy kids and our daughter on the way is expected to be healthy.
God has blessed us to overflowing, just as His Word promises. Our gift back to the Baby Jesus would be to offer our children back to Him and raise them to know, love, and serve Him by doing our best to know, love, and serve Him ourselves and lead by example. We will need much more help from Him to accomplish this but I think that it’s one of Jesus’ most favorite things to do. We also want to be there for all others the Lord puts in our path going through the same thing to let God work through us to help them, too.
Thanks be to God and Alexandra’s House for helping us reach this stage in our lives.
Tim and Amy Reynolds