For Therese

Today is the tenth anniversary of the birth of Therese Joy, the first child of my dear friend and fellow blogger, Kellie.

Therese was born with anencephaly and quietly passed away during delivery on that cold November night back in 2002 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I was there with a multitude of friends.  We knew Therese was coming and we knew she would only be here on earth for a short while.

After she was born, Kellie and her husband were so generous to allow us the chance to meet Therese in person.  I had the privilege of seeing her sweet face, admiring her beautiful rosebud lips and long fingers, rejoicing in her precious life.

What a witness little Therese was to all of us.  I am thankful today for her life.  I celebrate the sweet angel who looks down on us from heaven.  

I can’t wait to meet you someday, little Therese.  Through your life and your parents’ love, you’ve already taught me so much.

  • Kathy

    Thank you for posting about Therese Joy. I was hoping that someone would do so. As I share a birthday with Therese Joy, I thought about her throughout the day. I also have a daughter who is just four months younger than Therese. I know how much joy she brings into our lives, I thought how hard it must have been for Kellie, Mr. Red and all of you then and now. I pray that Therese brings all of you joy and peace to your lives. Happy Birthday Therese Joy – from your Nov 25 birthday older sister in Christ.

    • Kellie “Red”

      I love this. Thank you Kathy. So glad share a birthday with my girl!

  • Kellie “Red”

    Thank you B! This means so much. You always remember. I wanted to write something but wasn’t in the mood yesterday. The words just never came.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/buildingcathedrals Katrina

    This is a beautiful picture of Therese’s grave, Kellie – surrounded by flowers, just as she was surrounded by your love on the day of her birth. Happy birthday, Therese Joy!

  • Juris Mater

    Beautiful and holy. Thank you for posting, Bethany, and thank you for sharing Therese with the world, Kellie. She is precious.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, to Kellie and all of the Builders for sharing such vulnerable parts of your lives with us. It is truly inspiring to see such examples of holy motherhood. How blessed Therese Joy was and is to be received and remembered with such tender love.
    I have a question, and wanted to send it through an e-mail but couldn’t find a contact on this site. I’m recently pregnant with my third child. My second child has a chromosomal abnormality that causes a rare genetic syndrome– developmental delay, intellectual disability, health problems, behavioral issues (self-harming), and sleep disturbances. At my first prenatal appt today, the Dr. told me that even though my son’s specific syndrome is not thought to be hereditary, that once I have a child with a chromosomal abnormality I am much more likely to have another. He advised an amniocentesis, though he knows I would never abort, just to be prepared. I am very wary of having an amnio done, but if this child does have a chromosomal abnormality, we would need to adjust our lives quite a bit. My husband is working on his PhD, we’re half-way across the country from our family and we are only just barely making it day to day with my son’s needs and financial constraints. I know it’s a bit different, but have the Builders who have had babies with neural tube defects had amnios done? Or, really I’m just desperate for any level headed advice.
    I’m so sorry to leave this comment on this post, and I really hope it is not insensitive of me. I really am just looking for any guidance, and know how generous you are about sharing your life and wisdom on this blog.

    • Kellie “Red”

      Hi Jane,

      I have not had an amnio done as the birth defect Therese had is easily diagnosed via ultrasound. I do know, however, of several couples who have chosen to do an amnio much later in the pregnancy (post 36 weeks) when the risks associated with the procedure are more minimal. They needed information for delivery though, whereas in your case, it would just be “to know.” I’d ask about genetic testing immediately after delivery. You may find that this is a good option.

      Many prayers for you!

      • Jane

        Thanks so much for your reply, Kellie. I had figured as much, and I am more and more leaning towards foregoing the amnio, and doing the genetic testing after delivery. I always managed to get flustered by the pushy doctors…

        Thanks again, and my prayers are with you as well.

        • Kathy

          Forgive me for intruding but in reading these posts about testing, I wanted to share what I had learned during my pregnancies. As an “AMA” (advanced maternal age) mom, every time I was pregnant the OB/GYN would talk about testing. Fortunately, my doctor knew that abortion was never an option. He also let me know that doctors (at least in our state) are required by there insurance carriers to let patients know what is available to them (to avoid a malpractice suit). A pregnant mom never has to have the tests done, but the doctor is required to make you aware of them. I chose to do the less invasive tests – nucal(sp?) transluscence, and other tests that required my blood to be drawn and an ultrasound. It is easy to get flustered by doctors (even well meaning ones). Take time to think about your options. Like Kellie said, there are many tests that might be a better option for you. I too, wanted “to know” so as to be better prepared. Hope you have a healthy an uneventful pregnancy and delivery.


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