No Greater Love than This: Part 2

Back in November I shared with our readers that I was expecting our 11th child.  It was not an ordinary pregnancy announcement. It was filled with joy but also much fear as I had been told after my last birth that I should never become pregnant again. I had suffered a severe uterine rupture that occurred while I tried to birth my breech son.  It would take the doctors 3 hours to put my uterus back together after my emergency c-section and I would be told I was lucky I made it through the birth and surgery.  I was told that to carry another child would not only endanger my life but there was almost no chance my child would live through the pregnancy.  To be pregnant again just a mere 5 ½ months after all I had gone through was terrifying.  Still, with open hearts and a desire to follow God’s calling, we accepted the life that was now growing deep inside of me.

Many months have gone by since I made that announcement.  My faith has been my anchor as I waded through the ugliness that my announcement brought forth by many people who felt I was being selfish and that I shouldn’t have this baby.  It helped me through when I was discharged by my doctors as being “too high risk”.  I leaned on it as I searched for another provider only to hear “no” over and over again.  Prayer kept me afloat as I heard the rumors that were floating around about me and my family.  My heart ached as I was accused of practicing my own “brand of Catholicism”.  I found myself going to God in prayer over and over again as the mental and physical aspects of carrying such a high risk pregnancy weighed heavily on me. It felt as if we were trying to climb an endless chain of rugged mountains and as we topped one another would appear.  I felt spiritually attacked over and over again… but not once, though, have I ever doubted that choosing life for my child was the right decision to make.  There was no other decision, regardless of the cost.

During these last 8 months as I have battled the ups and downs of this journey, God has seen fit to provide me with friends who keep my eyes focused on Him and the beautiful gift of life that He has bestowed upon us.  Some of these friends are local but most are spread throughout the country.  Our close knit family here at Catholic Sistas has been there for me every single step of the way.  I can’t even begin to tell how much their love and support has meant to me.  They have made sure that for every negative remark we have received we hear 20 positive ones.  They have helped us through every single hurdle we have had to endure. They provided me with meals, with gifts, with blessings of love, prayers, and courage.  I have drawn strength from their faith and have made my way through the toughest of times because I know they are here cheering me on.  God was so gracious when He put these amazing ladies in my life!  I truly couldn’t have gotten this far without them.  They are heaven sent and God’s angels on earth.

Our sweet baby at 33 weeks… I would give up everything for him.

I am 36 weeks pregnant now… further than anyone ever thought I could go in this pregnancy.  Our son is thriving and I am doing well.  I can’t say that it has been a walk in the park but I can say that it has been much easier than anyone ever imagined it could be, at least physically.  The mental and spiritual journey has been so much harder than the physical but I suppose that’s how many things in life tend to be.  I thank God for each and every day that He gives me to carry this little boy.  I have cherished every kick, every hiccup, and every contraction.  Throughout this pregnancy I have prayed that God just gives me “one more day” with my son.  I had resolved that if God called him home before I got to hold him that I would handle it.  I prayed that if God called us both home that my family would understand and would accept His decision and mine.  I prayed that in the end His will be done above all else.  When you are praying for the life of your child as well as your own that is indeed the hardest prayer to pray.   Still, even knowing the risks, I couldn’t pray for anything else.

We are scheduled to meet our son on May 1st.  We will be having a planned c-section.  I am very nervous about what is to come but I know that God is holding us in His strong hands even as we tremble in fear.  We ask for you to continue to pray for us as we complete this journey.  Our family is so very thankful for all your prayers and support so far and I can’t begin to tell you how much comfort it has brought me to know that so many people, people I don’t even know, are keeping us close to them in prayer.  Throughout my pregnancy we have also been asking for the prayers of the saints but in particular prayers from the Blesseds Zelie and Louis Martin.  If you could also ask for their prayers we would appreciate it so much!

We know that regardless of what happens on Wednesday God is in control and His plans are always better than our own.  We hope and pray that we will be holding our precious son in our arms and sharing him with the world come Wednesday night.  He is wanted, loved, and cherished so much already.  My heart aches in anticipation of holding him in my arms, kissing his cheeks, and thanking God for His amazing blessing of life.

God often has plans that are very different from our own.  This pregnancy has been one of those gifts that God surprises us with.  I pray that those who have seen us travel on this path have come to understand that we are not to turn our backs on the blessings God pours out on us.  All life is precious and miraculous.  I am so thankful that God chose me to bring this baby boy into the world.  I would choose life for him over and over again even knowing that I would lose friends, feel shunned, be spiritually attacked, and have such physical pain.  God knows my heart. God knows my soul. God knows that this little one will complete me in so many ways.  I am so very thankful for all that He has given me.

23 Replies to “No Greater Love than This: Part 2”

  1. Many, many prayers for you and your little one this week! Your courage and your faith give me so much hope. What a tremendous love you have for you little one!! Blessings on you and your child.

  2. God bless you as your journey continues. As has been my habit all these months, your precious family will be on my heart as I receive Him in the Eucharist tomorrow.

  3. Dear Michelle,

    You are not your own kind of Catholic. You are the *best* kind of Catholic. You are a woman of faith and courage and a model for us all. God will continue to be with you. May the Blesseds Martin be with you and lift you up in prayer to Our Father Who art in heaven. May, Mary, the best of all Mothers be with you throughout this time. God bless and keep you and the little one.

  4. I am so sorry you have had to bear this criticism. Know that your 11th angel and you will be in my prayers. May our Blessed Mother wrap you and your little boy in her mantle,

  5. Praying for you and that sweet baby. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you and your family for choosing life. You give me hope, knowing there are people like you in this world. Peace to you all this week.

  6. My God bless you and your family. I will be praying for a safe delivery for both you and your new little one. Thanks be to God for your strength and humility in accepting His will.

  7. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and for your prayers. I am humbled by them and hold them close to my heart!

  8. I think about you guys and pray for you all the time. I’m up in the middle of the night, every night, and you and this baby are who pop up in my mind for prayer. Anticipating your announcement, friend!

  9. Wow, what an amazing testimony. You and your sweet baby will be in my prayers this week for sure. You are a brave woman and faithful!

  10. Congratulations! We will keep you, your baby, and your whole family in our prayers!

  11. Praying for your safety and comfort and for the health of your precious baby boy. I will be joining in this prayer circle with the communion of Saints. Love and blessings to you,
    Karen Wojtala

  12. Praying for you and your family.

    Thank you for sharing your story, you have lifted my heart.

  13. We have been praying for you and your family everyday since reading that first post. I have checked this site and facebook daily for any updates. I have posted your story a few times to my facebook wall, such an inspiration. My husband asked quite often if I had heard anything, in fact he asked just a few days ago. So to hear that you have made it to 36weeks is amazing! Know that you will continue to be in our parayes. God’s continued blessings to you!

    Brandi Thomas

  14. Michelle — you are a child of great faith, tremendous devotion and love of God. You are a living example of “no great love”. I will lift you and your precious son up in prayer, praying for the intercession of all saints, especially St. Gianna, in the upcoming days and weeks. May your soul be firmly rooted in peace and your heart open to rejoice in the precious miracle of your newborn son.

    Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

  15. You and your baby will be lifted up in my prayers today– I pray for peace of mind and peace of heart for you and all members of your family and I pray for the medical professionals who will be taking care of you. Thank you for sharing pieces of this beautiful journey– it really is a blessing to read of your strength of faith. I also am hoping for an update here on the catholic sistas blog!

  16. Thank you all so much! Unfortunately we had to postpone my c/s today because my amnio showed that our little boy’s lungs were very immature. We will be delivering him next Wednesday unless I go into labor on my own beforehand. While I am very nervous to wait yet another week I am also placing this in God’s strong hands and trusting Him in everything we do.

    This has been such a hard road and I am so thankful for all your love and prayers. Please, please continue to pray for us as the closer I get to my due date and the longer I carry the baby the risks go up for both of us. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get this baby here safely and I know that God is making sure that just the right doctors will be there for us. Still, it brought me to tears yesterday to know we will be waiting another week.

    Thank you so much.

  17. I am happy you and the baby have made it through the hard things, one more to go. I was advised many times to abort my youngest daughter for other health reasons then yours. Even my own family members would steer me to the side and try their version of common sense. All the horrid things they warned me about with her health, God was with my daughter and she is a 27 year old woman now. No regrets. I used to babysit for a woman with 11 kids and was warned her body could take no more. Joanne had baby 12, God was with her. He was tiny but is about 30 years old and on NYPD. People tend to only worry about the faces they can see and they want to take care of you. Yet they don’t know how much stress they have added forgetting the baby they cant see but you can feel. Forgive them when you can and make them hold him and remind them to trust in God. You are both in my prayers, may you both have many happy & healthy years with your family. May God bless you and know you are not alone.

  18. I am praying that all has gone well for you and your beautiful little boy! Is there any news yet?

  19. I hope all is well and you and your baby boy are at home again. you have been on my mind since day one!

  20. Thank you all! The ladies updated the FB page for me but I missed updating here. Leonidas Alexander was born on May 8th coming into the world healthy and safely! Both he and I came through everything perfectly! God is so good!

    I know that He heard all your prayers and I am so very thankful for you and for your support. Thank you so very much <3

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