In one month, 30 days, 720 hours on May 9th, we will meet our precious London Joy.

I remember the moment I knew I was pregnant – the fear, the excitement, the “Oh my goodness, I’m a mommy,” moment. I remember standing in the shower and sharing my fears with the Lord and the song “Good, Good Father” rose up in my spirit. He sang that over me; specifically the line “I am perfect in all of my ways to you…” Every time I was afraid that song would bring me back to a place of peace.

I got married at 35. At the age of 21, I had a reckless doctor tell me I would never have children. After Ron and I got married, I had some health issues that needed to be addressed prior to getting pregnant. There was a lot of fear involved; however, we were in better place with my health, Ron had a new job, and we were paying off debt. “Ok God, You’ve got this, I can trust You.”

At five weeks pregnant, my car was rear-ended by a young man. I remember making the 911 call and telling the dispatcher I was pregnant. I hadn’t even told Ron yet. I was going home to take the pregnancy test to make it official. We were going away that weekend and I had a plan. Instead, he got a frantic call from me that went something like this, “I was just in a car accident. I got rear-ended, they are taking me to the hospital. My neck hurts, my back hurts and I’m pregnant.” Not quite the plan I had in mind.

At the hospital, they weren’t very comforting – “you’re early, you may lose the baby, watch for spotting….” and they sent me home. More fear.

The following week Hurricane Matthew threatened our little home town, so much preparation and stress. More fear.

We came out unscathed and everything seemed to be progressing. We shared that we were pregnant with our family and the world Thanksgiving weekend. The outpouring of love and joy was amazing!

My second trimester started with a different kind of bang – horrid morning sickness and strep throat. I was sick for weeks. I had to take antibiotics and medication for the first time in 4 years. More fear.

Was it safe? Would it hurt the baby? I was assured over and over that I was in my second trimester and that it was fine.

“I am perfect in all of my ways to you.” Constant reassurance.

We didn’t have a tree, but at least we got to enjoy Disney Christmas decorations.

Christmas came and went uneventfully, because we had been so sick we didn’t even put up a tree! That was okay because next year we would and we would take pictures with our precious “Sweet Pea” and enjoy all the wonder of the Savior’s birth with our own little miracle.

New Year’s was on a Monday, so Ron and I were both home. We spent the morning just laying in bed chatting. All of a sudden, I got a very evident kick. I quickly placed Ron’s hand on my belly and we got another kick. I had been feeling flutters for a while, but this was the first time my Beloved got to experience Sweet Pea for real. We were so excited!

At 20 weeks I was set up with an appointment with a perinatologist for an ultrasound to take measurements and check on the development of Sweet Pea. Ron had to work, he was saving his time off for when the baby arrived, so I went alone and didn’t think anything of it. It was routine. I was nervous, but I was just going to bring home some pictures for Ron and we would celebrate our little Sweet Pea together.

Because we didn’t want to know the sex of the baby that was the first thing I shared with the tech. She thought that was sweet, documented it and began the exam. It was amazing to see our little miracle all safe and sound tucked away in my womb. Soon though I began to realize something was wrong. The tech who had been very chatty at the beginning of the exam had grown very quiet. She was scanning several areas repeatedly and clicking her measurement buttons over and over. I knew a few things to look for specifically in regards to Down’s Syndrome.

Due to my age, our chance of having a baby affected by Down’s was 1 in 72. We had talked about it, but were confident we could tackle whatever we were faced with. My marker for Down’s was borderline, but she just kept scanning, and scanning. I could feel fear settling in the room. I was silently praying.

Then she switched probes and did a 4-D sweep over our precious miracles face. It wasn’t there. No discernible eye area at all and a large gaping hole where the mouth and nose should have been. I wanted to scream, fix the picture, why does it look that way, what are you doing? I just kept praying.

She quietly dismissed herself from the room and said the doctor would be in to speak to me shortly. I started texting Ron. “Waiting for the doctor. I’m so scared babe. She started getting really quiet and I don’t think the palate looks quite right. It’s all blurry. But I am laying here crying waiting.” He reassured me that he was praying and that it would be ok and that he loved me. I felt a little better. Then the doctor came in with the tech. He was so somber; I remember thinking, he’s so composed and professional.

He started with “I’m so sorry…” the list of things wrong with our Sweet Pea went on and on. I asked him if he could repeat everything slowly for me and I typed everything he told me with shaking hands and tears running down my face. Our baby, our miracle, our Sweet Pea was going to die. Even if I made it to term, there was no way for them to save the baby.

Could my husband come? Did I need them to call someone? All I could do was cry, then cry harder, then I was almost wailing. I just rocked back and forth and held my little belly. How could my baby be dying? I could feel movement every day.

The next hour is honestly such a blur. I know I cried in the bathroom loud enough for the whole world to hear, they gave me a box of tissues and told me if Ron could come they would fit us in for a consultation with the doctor that day. They let me leave through a back door. I couldn’t even get in my car to call Ron. I sat on the asphalt with my hand on the door on the other on my stomach and cried so hard I almost threw up. Those moments are so etched in my heart. But I still had to call Ron, I still had to tell him our baby was going to die. All I could do was call him and ask him to come; he got a substitute to watch his students and started the 40 minute drive to where I was.

At one point we were both crying so hard and I hadn’t even told him anything. I couldn’t I desperately needed him to get to me safely. I couldn’t lose both of my loves in one day. We tried to make idle chit-chat about his day, just so I wouldn’t be alone waiting and he wouldn’t be alone driving.

When he got to the office, I was sitting outside trembling on a bench in the warm Florida, January sun. I asked him if he wanted me to tell him what the doctor shared or if he wanted to hear it from the doctor. He asked me to share, so I pulled out my phone and read over the list, not even being able to choke through it. We just sat on that bench and sobbed and held each other.

Once we were a bit more composed we went into the waiting room and they ushered us into the doctor’s office. In all honesty, every single medical person we have dealt with has been extremely kind and gracious; I have no complaints. The doctor came in and reviewed everything with Ron and I that he had shared with me. He explained that he believed that our baby had a chromosomal disorder. He advised that we could have genetic testing, but that even if the test came back normal – our baby had too many issues and would not survive.

The one question that I had not been able to bring myself to ask him, was now bursting from my lips, “Is our baby suffering?” He assured us that the baby was not suffering because my body was keeping Sweet Pea alive. Such a comfort in the midst of such heart ache. He then shared with us that termination was an option, but we only had a limited window due to Florida law. He then had his nurse come in and go over a few more items with us and give us the paperwork for an abortion.

We left numb and in utter shock and disbelief. Just that morning Ron had come in to sing our good morning songs to Sweet Pea like he does every day and now we may not have that opportunity tomorrow. The drive home was so long. The enemy was whispering and at times shouting at me that this was my fault, I wasn’t strong enough to handle this, that I should just not be selfish and have our baby suffer and die, that my marriage was going to fall apart and Ron was going to leave me. So much fear. We held hands and drove, sometimes we cried, sometimes we talked – but the enemy kept whispering… and I couldn’t drown him out.

When we got home, I begged Ron not to give up on our baby and not to give up on me. Begged. I didn’t want to lose us. I saw a look in my husband’s eyes I have never seen before and have never forgotten since. In that moment of fear and desperation, I crushed him. I felt so defeated, I couldn’t have a healthy baby and I was destroying my marriage all in one day. The enemy kept whispering. Ron just held me.

He made several phone calls, my job, his job, and we started calling our family and close friends. The rest of that day feels surreal, like walking through a movie that’s playing on fast forward all around you. I wept most of that first night. I cried out to God for healing, I begged for understanding, I railed at the injustice of the very things we prayed over week to week during development were the very things missing and malformed. And the enemy kept whispering, there’s a way out, the baby doesn’t have to suffer, you can move on, you can’t do this, you aren’t strong enough, people will understand…lie, lie, lie, lie… All of a sudden I got mad, really mad. Like Holy Spirit, righteous anger, turn over the tables in the temple angry. NO, I will not kill this miracle inside of me, this miracle that I have prayed for. This miracle that at every baby shower I attended for 19 years I would silently lay my hands on my womb and speak life over dead places, NO!! This baby, which was then know only as Sweet Pea was a miracle that Ron and I both believed and prayed for. We are stewards of this soul we have been entrusted with, for as long as we are able to be.

Now please understand me, because I know this is so delicate to so many, I mean no disrespect to anyone who has had to face these issues or others and made a different decision. I never thought I would be in a place where I would be faced with it either, much less consider it. But we chose life and for that I will forever be grateful.

The next day my Beloved blogged and shared our story with the world #PrayforSweetPea – it was viewed thousands of times all around the world. Prayers, cards, meals, gifts, texts, blankets, (oh the beautiful blankets we have received) all started showing up on our doorstep. My heart cannot even comprehend the amount of support , love and encouragement we have received.

So many times I have wanted to start sharing my heart or writing out the verses that people have sent to us in an effort to have a record and I just get so emotional that I shut down. It’s just so big.

We have had 13 weeks that we were never guaranteed. For the first month or so I would relish every kick and nudge and then immediately be gripped with an overwhelming fear that it may have been the last. I would beg her for one more. And when I got it, the cycle would repeat. This last month, I know God has been working in my heart because I am learning to embrace each day as an opportunity and a gift. I can take her somewhere, introduce her to someone, feed her something new.

London’s First Easter Basket

Ron made her an Easter basket. She loves Beauty and the Beast, crab legs, Cadbury Eggs, Jimmy Fallon and Bruno Mars – she is so her mother’s daughter. She always responds to Ron’s voice. She will start moving to her favorite corner in my belly when she hears him, it’s the sweetest thing. If I’m driving in the car and using the speaker with Ron she will start to kick me once she recognizes his voice. Her little personality shows in so many different ways.

I’ve been very sick over the last few months and I have had a horrid cough – she rolls in protest when I cough, so I hold my belly and tell her I’m sorry and she nudges me and then relaxes her rolls. She likes to hide her precious face during courtesy ultrasounds but she will gladly show you her lady parts while keeping her ankles crossed just to be proper. I put my family members on speaker so they can talk to her and she will kick in response. I’m sure most mothers have recognized these same things, but to me they are one more reassurance that our precious London Joy is doing ok.

I was measured recently and I am starting to finally catch up to the size I should be. Our OB told us that she probably weighs about 4 pounds. What a little chunk of love she is!

Today has been hard for me because I know our journey is approaching a destination. I do not know what that arrival will look like but I do know two things – God is good and we will hold London Joy in our arms.

We have a scan next week which will be the first official one since 24 weeks. The head of the NICU wants to see what progress she has made since her last one so they know what to expect on our c-section date. We have opted for a c-section because we feel it will be the least traumatic for her, our doctors are in agreement as well.

If they see anything that has changed for the positive they will transfer our care and delivery to Orlando. If things are the same we will stay in Melbourne as planned.

Can I just take a moment and share the goodness of God in handpicking our team? My OB is hands down one of the most compassionate women I have ever met in my life. I don’t know what this journey would look like if I had continued with my previous one. I am so glad that their office agreed to take us on. The head of the NICU and our social worker actually worked with my aunt for years. It is so comforting to have an extended layer of “family” surrounding us.

At our last visit they told us they expect us to only have minutes, maybe hours with London. We are in the midst of drawing up care plans and making decisions regarding palliative care. There really aren’t words for how hard this season has been, but as the days have turned to weeks I have more peace. The unknown continues to loom greater in the ever shortening distance, but I know that God is waiting for us there, just as He has walked through this season of waiting with us.

Would you continue to pray for us and believe with us for our precious Sweet Pea, London Joy?


You have taught children and infants to tell of Your strength, silencing Your enemies and all who oppose You. -Psalms 8:2

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  1. So touching to hear the details of your journey. We are continuing to pray for miracles and God’s abiding presence over you all. We pray for strong faith & God’s love over you all. We have been praying in Malta since we first heard your news. ???

  2. OMG, I am so touched, saddened, crying and happy all at the same time. We just sang “good, good father” Sunday. That song will forever make me think of all of you now. I will be in NC when London Joy is born…but will be in constant prayer for all of you on the 9th. This is the most amazing story of love , trust and hope I have ever seen in my 66 years…you two are so awesomely tuned in and relying on God and such an example to thousands…lv you guys, Linda Bass

  3. I love you April!! ?
    Your strength, love and faith is truly admirable.

  4. Your story is so touching, God is certainly with the three of you and I know there is power in the pray and prays our all over the world for London Joy my daughter only had a 75% chance of NOT making it when she was born, and went down to a 10% chance to live 3 days later. But though Gods grace she is here and is living the fun life of a 29 year old. God Bless YOU, Ron and London Joy.

  5. I love ya April. I watch you newsfeed daily. You know how I was touched because we are neck to neck in dates. I am so thankful you have still been able to enjoy your changing pregnancy. I am glad you continue to share your story. We continue to pray for London Joy’s miracle. I know you and Ron will make loving parents. ❤Jamela

  6. Not sure how I missed this post. Your heart, your love, your spirit…you and Ron…are so beautiful. My heart is heavy for your sorrow but you still find a way to be joyful in His love. God bless you both as this leg of your journey comes to an end. The love you have for each other shows and grows. He is your strength.

  7. God WILL SUSTAIN AND COMFORT YOU! We went through the loss of a baby born with difficulties. Today she has been in Jesus’s arms for 35 years…perfect, whole, and free!! God bless you all….parents, Baby Girl London, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins….hold on to one another and ❤️ like you’ve never loved before!!???

  8. Thank you for sharing your journey with your sweet girl. I love reading about the Lord giving you a song. I too have had this happen during my pregnancy when fear was trying to over take me. “I’m no longer a slave to fear” was the song He gave me. Thank you so much for giving your precious daughter, life. I know fear must try to grip you every day. Hold fast to His promises. I would love to bless you with photos of your daughter when she’s born. I know this is very delicate but if you would like me to do this feel free to email me.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for your offer. We have a photographer scheduled to be at her delivery tomorrow morning.

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