It is with great joy and and thankfulness that I write this newsletter of my own journey as a pregnant mother in Cebu.
For the past fourteen years I have had the honor and privilege of helping Filipino mothers through their pregnancies and experiencing the joy of bringing new life into the world. It has been the very passion of my life and yet for fourteen years I had not been able to experience pregnancy for myself. Nine years ago David and I’s journey with infertility began. We were thankful for the local doctor who generously guided us through testing and procedures for many years. There were moments in these years where going to work and seeing mothers who didn’t care for themselves or their babies was heavier than I imagined. Why was it easy for them to keep having baby after baby? Would my day ever come? These thoughts were usually overshadowed by the joy of new lives that filled our clinic every day however my prayer remained fervent for my own little miracle. Almost four years ago the Lord blessed us with the joy of our “soon to be officially adopted” son Fred. He has made our lives so full and taught us how to become godly parents and continues to teach us how to love and laugh and be a family. The Lord truly hand picked him just for David and I and we are forever honored that the Lord entrusted our little Fred to us.
As we began to settle into being a family of three we continued to pray that the Lord would grow our family again. We visited our doctor again and eventually we were down to one last chance for a miracle. Our last glimmer of hope for pregnancy. As I went in for the procedure the doctor told us we had a 30% chance of success and to remain realistic and hopeful.
As I was home resting I could only pray to keep my mind distracted from every worry and thought. The Lord gave me Zachariah 2:10 “Shout and celebrate, Daughter of Zion! I’m on my way. I’m moving into your neighborhood! God’s decree.” I knew our 30% just became 100% chance. So I waited and learned what trusting the Lord truly looked like. It was much harder than I had anticipated! I had a lot of learning to do in the way of trusting fully and am still learning. Then just as HE said weeks later we saw a beating heart on the ultrasound screen. Tears of joy flowed as I stared at a miracle unfolding before my eyes.
Throughout the pregnancy there were scary moments, promising moments, exhausting moments, worrisome moments and a deeper connection with the Lord as my faith and trust in Him grew. I began to experience all the things our patients experience. Health teachings and laboratory testing and check ups became so alive for me. I love our Glory Reborn program! I love how our staff explain and teach and listen to their patients’ concerns. I love the genuine care and love that they give. The prayers they prayed over me and my growing baby touched my heart deeply. When I told them I was pregnant there was much jumping, screaming and crying. They were part of this miracle, part of sowing in years of prayers, they are truly my family. They celebrated with us as we found out we were having a baby girl, they covered extra shifts to accommodate the extra needed bedrest, they were all watching out for Amara and I with great care and excitement. Having experienced our care first hand I can tell you the quality care offered in our humble clinic is outstanding.
On 7/7/17 in the morning after a leadership meeting in the clinic my brother Luke and I were getting ready to grab lunch when I discovered I had a pregnancy complication. I was five weeks ahead of my due date and very unprepared for what was about to happen on this seemingly normal day. Upon realizing the bleeding placenta I went to our labor room and checked my baby’s heartbeat while Luke got a senior midwife and prepared a car to drive me to the hospital.
In less than an hour I heard our beautiful, premature baby girl crying in the operating room. As they took her to NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) again I had to keep trusting in my “Good, good Father”. During my entire pregnancy our little Fred would talk to my tummy and always say “Hi, healthy baby Amara!” It was like he knew that I needed to hear the Lord’s promise of a healthy baby everyday…over and over again. When Fred got to see his baby sister from the window of the NICU again he reminded us “Hi, healthy baby Amara!” And again I remained at peace trusting that He who began a good work in me would see it to completion. During this time our Glory Reborn staff were again amazing beyond words. All hours of the day and night sitting by my side in the NICU singing to Amara, assisting me with breastfeeding, helping me in and out of the wheelchair to visit the NICU, our team is beyond compassionate, beyond generous, beyond loving, and I know that this care they offered me is the same care they give to our patients in the clinic and those patients in the hospital. I have been with them as we bathed a woman dying of HIV, I have seen them assisting post-op moms just like me learning to care for their baby. This is Glory Reborn-the practical, loving, tender hand of Jesus at all hours of the day and night. In fact when I was released from the hospital I stayed the next days and nights in the clinic while we waited for Amara to be released because the help and support that I received from our staff I wasn’t ready to go home without yet! After five days Amara was released from NICU and David and I eagerly got to take her home to see her big brother Fred. Our two little miracles together. How truly blessed we are!
I think of the care that the clinic offers and I am humbled and honored to have been a recipient of their care even in a small way. I also think of the complications that I encountered with Amara’s emergency delivery. What if I wasn’t in the clinic when the bleeding started? What if BOTH pediatrician and obstetrician (and anesthesiologist) had not been in the hospital that morning, ready to meet me in the ER? What if I had never received an ultrasound to diagnose the emergency? What if no one could donate blood for me? What if I lived in a dumpsite and had no access to this kind of care? What if I had no financial support for my baby to stay in the NICU? What if I couldn’t get up from bed without help to visit my baby in the NICU and I was a single mother with no one to help me? Having experienced the scariness and reality of a life threatening pregnancy condition and also experiencing the life saving compassionate care which Glory Reborn staff, doctors, and partner hospitals offer I can attest that certainly Glory Reborn is needed in Cebu and secondly the compassionate, Christ-centered loving care the staff offer is incomparable.
David and I are forever thankful for our fertility doctor, our obstetrician, and our pediatrician. Without their generosity we could have never afforded their top quality care – working in the charity sector – so we are forever grateful. More than that we are thankful for their kindness, the joy they shared with us, the genuine care and love they gave our family. We are honored to know them and work with them and blessed by our staff who truly invest in the health and hearts of every patient. Most of all we are thankful for the Lord, for entrusting us with both of our little miracle children.
As our fertility doctor posted: “Just as her name means, this tiny baby embodies the true essence of ‘grace, kindness, and mercy!’ She is indeed divine….To me, Amara is one of life’s miracles…she entered an endometrium that took time and effort to reach even just suboptimal conditions. But she made it….despite all the odds at pre-conception and during pregnancy! Amara is my reminder never to give up even when the chances seem slim. Every life is truly precious.” David and I are thankful to be in Cebu with the opportunity to continue offering life saving, life changing care and ministry to the marginalized women in the community. Having experienced our own pregnancy, delivery and all the bumps in the road around this miracle life we are believers more than ever in Glory Reborn’s services. We hope that you will continue to invest in lives with us. Your monthly donations keep us going and allow us to actively be the hands and feet of Jesus through practical service and love to save the lives of mothers and babies. Without you we could not continue to see “Healthy moms, Healthy Babies and Hopeful Hearts” in Cebu.
In the months ahead Glory Reborn will be growing our staff to include two physicians to provide round the clock services. As we enhance our quality of care and services would you consider partnering with us in a greater way?