|To read the full story of Baby J, click the “Story of Baby J” link at the top of this page.
A lot of people have been asking how to comment on this blog – you need to click on a particular post to leave a comment.
Jacky and I would like to thank everyone for the support we received over the last few months. All the phone calls, Facebook interaction, texts, flowers, gifts, visits, hugs, hand-holding, and – most of all – prayers. We have been through a lot, and a lot of you have been there for us in one way or another. Your countless prayers have enabled us to stay strong and in good spirits despite the circumstances. For that, we can’t thank you enough.
We would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who brought Jacky through her c-section and brought Jon-Daniel into this world – even if it was only for a little while. We also want to thank them for the care they gave us after the c-section during Jacky’s recovery. We had some wonderful experiences with quite a few of them, and it was certainly a learning experience! Since the blog post about our final doctor’s office we know a lot more than we did at that time, and we better understand the intention behind what we were told. We would like to thank the nurse at our birthing class who gave us encouragement at a time when we really needed it.
We would like to thank everyone who was there for the memorial service as well as everyone who would like to have been there but were unable for one reason or another (you were there in spirit!). The feedback we received from the service has been both humbling and appreciated, and we give God the glory for everything he has done through and to us. At some point we’re planning to post the memorial service video on this site. In the meantime, make sure to see the presentation video my dad made for the service – I dare you not to shed at least one tear!
We would also like to thank everyone who has donated to a cause on behalf of our son, Jon-Daniel. The little guy has made an enormous impact on our lives and because of that we want to make an impact on some other little ones’ lives. Some of you have made a donation directly to an organization, and some of you sent a little something to us to donate to the organization of our choice. In the next few weeks we will be making our final decision for the organizations we will be supporting with these gracious gifts.
For the final Thank You, we would like to thank everyone who has read our blog and gotten something out of it. Never in our wildest dreams did we think our story would touch so many lives in so many ways! The original idea behind the blog was for Jacky to have an easier way to keep people up to date on our pregnancy then it was decided to also be an encouragement to other people going through the same thing like some other stories were an encouragement to us. But when it was time to actually type it up for the website my fingers decided to make a story out of it. We will be adding more in the weeks to come, so please stay tuned!
This is the video presentation played at the Celebrating a Life memorial service. My awesome dad created this masterpiece. Thank you so much, Dad!
Please join Jacky and I in a service dedicated to our son,
After the service please join family and friends for a potluck dinner:
The Marie Green Forum
Sao Paulo Room on the 6th Floor
You are welcome to bring a side dish, appetizer, or dessert to share, but please keep in mind it will not be able to be refrigerated or re-heated. Staff at The Forum will take your dish to the Sao Paulo Room for you when you arrive. For questions regarding pot luck food arrangements, please contact Jonanna Aldas at 954-471-1859.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Davey’s in memory of Baby J. Jacky and I will be making a donation to ministries that care for children with disabilities and families of children with disabilities. If you prefer to donate directly to a ministry for tax purposes, we would ask that you donate to a ministry or organization related to children with disabilities or women’s needs related to high-risk pregnancy; you are welcome to let us know which one you donated to or to keep that between you and God. You can also make a donation in our name to OneHope, the non-profit organization Jacky works for.
Here are specific instructions if you wish to donate to OneHope in our name:
- To give by check, note on your check “In honor of Jon-Daniel Davey ”or “ In honor of the Davey Family”
- To give online, go to http://onehope.net/get-involved/donate/, Click “Donate Now” and on the page in the “Gift Notes” area enter: “In honor of Jon-Daniel Davey ”or “ In honor of the Davey Family”
Thank you in advance for your love and care for us during this time.
JP and Jacky Davey
Nothing changes your life like a life-changing moment. It may sound pretty obvious, but that statement doesn’t have real impact until a moment changes your life. One certainly changed ours. It needed to. And we’re both glad it did.
Before 2pm on May 14, 2013, our outlook on life was quite different than it is today. We severely undervalued life and what a blessing it is. We took a lot of things for granted. We assumed everything would always be fine because that’s how it always is. We didn’t devote time to pray for Baby J. We didn’t pray for Jacky’s pregnancy. We took for granted that Baby J would come out fine. We both realized we were not doing those things but neither of us took them serious enough to make serious changes. We knew we weren’t ready to be the spiritual examples we needed to be for our children, but we weren’t taking action to resolve it.
That all changed with, “We found some abnormalities.”
But as quickly as we felt alone in our situation, we were surrounded by our God, our family, and our friends. We were at ground zero, and the body of Christ showed up in a big way. Not only were other believers and non-believers sharing stories of situations with their born and unborn babies, we found ourselves sharing our own story with anyone who wanted to hear it. We prayed for opportunities to show other people that if we could do it, so could they. And that they could do it the same way we were – by lifting it up to the Great Healer, the One who creates and guides our path, the One who gives and takes away, the One who loved us so much He died in our place.
We fully trust His plan for our lives and for Baby J’s life. We know God has entrusted this life into our hands for however long He sees fit, and we know that He has a specific number of days ordained for Baby J’s life as well as our own. We appreciate every one of those days, because we are painfully aware it could be the last. We have been praying the following verses out of Psalms over Baby J every day:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
— Psalms 139: 13-18
Knowing that God has things under control and, quite frankly, doesn’t need our help, is such a freeing thought! It gives us peace and hope that no matter what situation arises; we can trust that He knows what He’s doing and has our best interest in mind. We understand that “having our best interest in mind” doesn’t always mean we get what we want – it means God is going to give us what He knows we need or take from us what He knows we don’t need. He can do some pretty powerful things with obedient people and a “right heart” no matter what the situation. The other day we were watching a YouTube video of a man born with no arms and no legs — he’s a motivational speaker, occasionally skydives, has a nice house, and is married and has a child!
Yes, our lives have changed drastically since May 14, but we don’t regret for one second what is going on. We are thankful for this journey. It is taking us to the next level, and our marriage has never been stronger. We have a peace and a joy that just doesn’t make sense sometimes.
We definitely want to encourage anyone going through a tough situation where it seems easy just to give up. Fight the good fight. Remember that God can be trusted – He cannot lie. He has a plan for our lives that is way better than we could ever come up with on our own. And, especially, if you are shown a sonogram that looks less than perfect – give the little one a chance to fight for their life. Life is a gift and a blessing, and who are we to take that away from anyone?
Week 29 – 30
With the appointment in Miami scheduled for July 11, 2013, we gathered as a family for prayer for the third time a few days beforehand. Another priceless moment lifting up a priceless life.
A little miscommunication somewhere along the line placed us in our new doctor’s office before we had our ultrasound appointment. At the other doctors’ offices so far both of those things were part of one appointment, but they do things very differently in this office where this doctor is only here on this day and that day and the other doctor is only here on another day and yet another day. Long story short and a bucket-load of frustration later, we found out we needed to come back to Miami the next day to get an ultrasound by a tech while the ultrasound doctor was present and then had to come back the next week for our new doctor to interpret the results that the ultrasound doctor basically already told us. Our entire first trip to Miami and time off from work and gas and tolls and parking fees summed up to about 15 minutes of watching the doctor read our file in front of us, telling us we needed to get an ultrasound by their techs before he could tell us anything, and about 3 hours of waiting for a slot to open for an ultrasound that no one in the office realized we couldn’t have that day because of our situation.
As exasperating as this situation was, our long trip home gave us time to cool off and realize it was another attempt to steal our joy – only coming at us from a different direction. We prayed about the situation and our attitudes, and understood this was yet another test of our character and that we were being stretched in our faith. Yeay!
The next day we trekked back down to Miami for the ultrasound. We didn’t have to wait long for our turn – of course, after yesterday’s episode, anything less than 3 hours was “not having to wait long,” lol. The ultrasound tech was friendly enough but was still cautious about which questions she answered for us. We were able to see Baby J’s lips move and his/her tongue come out – a first for us!
The ultrasound doctor came in when the tech was finishing up and quickly did his own scan. I’m not sure if he was having a bad day or what, but it seemed like we were a bother to him and he was not entirely gentle with his scans of Jacky’s belly. When he finished, he told us that he didn’t find anything that we didn’t already know. He mentioned that without any form of genetic screening or an Amnio, he couldn’t determine the underlying issue with the fetus. Then he asked if we had any questions. It was so short and cold that we just looked at him thinking he would be saying something a little more. In a way I wish he had just left the room at that point because he proceeded to kick me square in my gut with a sharp, steel-tipped boot: “In my professional opinion, ‘it’ is not compatible with life.” Then he left.
I can’t remember the last time that something someone said to me has resonated so loudly in my head or made me so mad I wanted to punch them in the mouth. This is my child he was talking about. Did his medical training teach him that phrase or was it a personal favorite to pull out when he just didn’t like someone? Until the day either Baby J’s heart or my heart ceases to beat, this is my child – watch your words. That’s all I have to say about that.
Another part of me was glad he said what he said – not about Baby J, of course, but just in general — the phrase itself. What does it make you think of after reading it? I thought of when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they brought upon humanity the “wages of sin,” which is death. We’re all sinners – we’re all not compatible with life. The death the Bible talks about regarding this isn’t physical death, though (although sin did negatively affect our physical body); it’s talking about no longer having eternal, spiritual life. Thank God He gave us a way to get that back!
So, we didn’t learn anything new that day about Baby J’s situation through the ultrasound. The “not compatible with life” part certainly pooped on our parade, but we knew we had to keep on keeping on – for our sake as well as Baby J’s.
The day of our visit the following week with the high-risk doctor coincided with the day of prayer at Jacky’s job. In the morning before we left for Miami, her coworkers in the local office and around the world prayed for her and for Baby J. It’s an amazing thing that Jacky can work at a place where prayer is not only encouraged, it’s scheduled into the workday.
Our visit that day with high risk doctor shed some light (at least for me) on how we were being treated by this office in general. As we spoke to the doctor for the first half of the visit, he was simply letting us know that he didn’t see anything different than what our other doctors had on their reports. He then proceeded to read from his computer screen a bunch of things we actually had not heard before. Apparently, the four main things we knew about were just that – the main things. I couldn’t keep track of everything he said – I just knew it was more than four things. And we didn’t need to know the list. We knew that God knew the list and that there wasn’t anything we could do about that list or even about the original four-item list one way or another – other than pray about it. It certainly wasn’t going to do us any good by worrying about it.
After the doctor stopped listing their findings and explaining what they meant and that without genetic screening or an Amnio he couldn’t determine what the underlying problem with the fetus was, he mentioned that he will have his office send them to our doctor.
That was the missing piece. At that moment I realized we were being seen as a desperate couple grasping for second opinions hoping one of them would come back normal and thus baby would be normal like babies were supposed to be. That explains why it looked like we were wasting their time, why they were being so short with us, and why it looked like they were grasping for things to tell us beyond what they figured we already knew. We told him the story from the beginning and explained that Jackson Memorial was recommended to us and that he is now “our doctor” to get us through to the end – whatever end that may be.
The doctor’s whole demeanor changed. (Awesome! Now we can move forward and get some real, expert advice from an expert in this field!) But his demeanor went from, “I don’t know what you people expect me to say other than what you already know,” to, “Great. So now you’re my problem.” That demeanor wasn’t apparent at first, but looking back after a couple more visits, I’m pretty sure that was his look.
Week 24 – 25
As with any serious medical issue, you want to get a second opinion. Ours was scheduled for June 5, 2013 with another “specialist.” The day before that appointment we had our second family prayer time. It was just as good as the first, and actually branched out into other serious issues going on in all our lives. Thank God for that time with our families! God is Good!
Our second opinion ultrasound found the same abnormalities as our first, but this doctor was much better at delivering the results and was more respectful of our feelings and our decision not to abort our child. It was a good, honest conversation at the end of the nearly three-hour visit. As a curious side note, I asked him for a ballpark figure of how many couples/mothers that come through his office decide to “terminate” given ultrasound results like ours. He cautiously thought about it for a minute and finally said it was probably around 90%. My heart sank into my stomach. 90% of the babies faced with *possible* challenges before birth (per the sonograms) were not given the chance to fight for their own lives!?! Is this really what technology has done for us?
I say “possible challenges” because with every new office we go to for an ultrasound comes paperwork we have to sign that states how an ultrasound is “not an exact science” and that it can’t be fully relied upon, etc. Plus, when you add in the countless stories we’ve heard from family, friends, co-workers, and perfect strangers where a sonogram showed various abnormalities the entire pregnancy but the baby came out “just fine,” you realize just how in-exact that science really is. But the doctors delivering their analysis of those sonograms must never have read the paperwork we had to sign from their own office in their own waiting room an hour before. If they had, who knows how many of those 90% would be walking around today making a contribution to society one way or another.
Ok. I’m down from my soapbox.
About a week after that appointment our midwife called Jacky to tell her that the specialist had recommended we be transferred to Jackson Memorial down in Miami; it is the only facility in the area capable of handling what he was seeing in the sonograms. Basically, if we were to deliver in any other hospital in south Florida, Baby J would most likely have to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial for the kind of surgery only they are equipped to handle. He was simply taking out the middle-man. Thank you, Dr. Specialist! Score 1 for Team Baby J!
This was an answer to prayer for us and our family. We all felt peace about this move. As much as it was an inconvenience to drive to Miami for all the doctor visits, it was a sigh of relief knowing we and, most importantly, Baby J were in the best possible hands available to us. We narrowed the list of high-risk doctors delivering at Jackson Memorial down to one doctor in particular who not only researches and teaches high-risk obstetrics but has been doing so for quite a few years. And his office is the farthest north (meaning we “only” had to drive to Miami and not Kendall for each visit).
Throughout all our appointments and subsequent disappointments, Baby J’s heartbeat has been steady and strong and he/she has been increasingly active inside Jacky’s growing belly. We have been so thankful to hear the heartbeat every doctor visit – thinking about it, it’s almost like Baby J is talking to us through that and letting us know he/she is hanging in there. The routine visit is to hear the heartbeat first and then go do the ultrasound second. “Here’s the good news… now for the bad news.”
Week 21 – 23
Jacky works for a non-profit Christian Ministry called OneHope, an organization that brings hope to children around the world through Scripture. Each year, employees who have been working for a year or more are encouraged to go on a Distribution Trip. A Distribution Trip is where they go out “into the field” in a foreign country to participate in handing out the material produced by OneHope to children and youth. Jacky was not eligible to go on a trip till after August 2013, but since she would have been in her last trimester she would not have been able to go on the trip to Colombia scheduled for September. Her boss instead gave her special permission to go to the earlier May trip to Mexico. Spouses of the employees are generally encouraged to go on these “Distribution Trips” as well since not only are the trips practically missions trips (who’s life is never changed by one of those?), it is also a great way to see the impact of the work their spouse performs on a daily basis. More so, I was highly encouraged to go since Jacky was pregnant and I could take special care of her if need be – the places they go aren’t exactly downtown metropolis, if you catch my drift. I hadn’t been on a missions trip in years, and Jacky had never been on one (AND it would be Baby J’s first one), so we were pretty excited to go. And I’m half Mexican (long story), so any chance to go there is a plus!
We had been planning to go on this trip for a few weeks, but now that we were firmly in the “high risk” pregnancy category we had some decisions to make. Funny thing about when you are being obedient to the Lord – the enemy is out there trying to keep you from succeeding.
We prayed about the trip and both felt peace about going. We sought the wisdom of those around us who we trusted and who knew our situation, and it seemed to be a mixed response where some felt peace about Jacky going on the trip and some did not. We scheduled a visit with our midwife right before we left as a final medical check and confirmation; her concerns for Jacky included getting sick from the food or from sick children or the possibility of going into premature labor in a foreign country. We were aware of those risks, and we decided to firmly place them into God’s hands. We felt His calling to go on this trip before the ultrasound, and we didn’t feel any different after the ultrasound. This bad news wasn’t going to keep us from blessing some kids and changing their very lives.
The amazing thing about missions trips is that you think you are going to bless others when in reality you are the one who is blessed. The life that is changed is your own. You strip away the comforts of life and slow your pace down to what it was meant to be, and you really get back to the things that truly matter in life. You see families sticking together because they have to rely on each other to put food on the table. You see parents spending time with their children and teaching them a trade so they can eventually put food on the table for their own kids. You see children running around and playing soccer in shoes that have more holes than material – and they have the biggest smiles on their faces. Don’t they know how much happier they would be sitting in front of a TV playing XBox all day? While wearing a pair of brand new Jordan’s? Or shopping at the mall with their friends buying stuff they don’t need or even like because that’s what they’re “supposed” to be doing?
That’s certainly a glimpse into where Jacky and I are at right now because of this pregnancy. We’ve been stripped of that “need” to know the sex so we can plan the room and buy the right clothes and have the information we’re “supposed” to have – because no sonogram we’ve seen has even come close to showing that detail (sorry, there’s some misplaced organs blocking the shot). We’ve had to slow down our pace because every day Baby J is kicking Jacky’s stomach and bladder is another day he or she is alive and… well… kicking.
A few days into the trip we had the opportunity to share our testimony with a small church in a nearby city where the congregation didn’t speak Spanish let alone English. We had two layers of interpreters to get from English to their native tongue. Jacky and I spoke about choices. I talked about a mother who had the choice to terminate her baby because it wasn’t supposed to make it – or if it did it was supposed to have severe brain damage. In that case, the doctor knew the mother well enough to know that termination was not an option whatsoever (ever, ever, ever, amen), so he didn’t even need to present the choices. I’m glad that mother stood for her beliefs and made her choice before it was even asked of her — otherwise I wouldn’t be here to write this blog. Jacky then took the microphone and spoke about how she and I were also faced with a similar choice, and have decided to give God full control of the situation.
Since that testimony in that little, humble church service, we have both shared our story (and God’s grace) countless times, to people we would never have thought to tell, in situations we would never have pictured ourselves in, and with more boldness than we could have thought possible. It was a good trip, and God protected us the entire time.
Our Journey of Faith was off to a good start!
We had to tell our moms first. This is the first grandchild for both sides, and both had been waiting more than 30 years for this event. Needless to say, they were both pumped and ready for the reveal party that night.
We first drove to my mother’s house, figuring she would be home at that time of the day. My dad was at work, so it was just the two of us and my mom. We had made a list of the four main things the specialist had mentioned, so when my mom asked through a big smile how it went with the doctor, we showed her that list. “Well, here are our prayer requests for Baby J.”
My mom has been an RN for longer than I’ve been alive, and even was a pediatric nurse for a few years around the time she was pregnant with me, so she knew all too well what the terms in front of her face meant. Without wasting another second, she pulled both of us in towards her and prayed over us. My mom’s tears are extremely contagious, so there wasn’t a dry eye between the three of us.
After a long chat with my mom, a phone call with my sister who lives out of state, and more tears with both of them we headed over to Jacky’s mom’s house. Jacky shared with her mother and sister the same news, and it was followed with the same prayer and the same tears.
After both dads got off work, we all got together and had the first prayer meeting we’ve had in the six years we’ve been married where both sides came together for the sole purpose of lifting our voice as one to the Lord. To this day, it has been one of the single most important events in my entire life.
Within the course of only a few hours, our world was turned upside down then right-side up. Before our shock could even wear off into worry and pain, the peace and joy of the Lord filled us up in the most inexplicable way. We didn’t know any better what to do next or what was in store for Baby J, but we were moving forward knowing that God had things under control and that we just had to trust Him. We knew we had the support of our family to help us stand up when we felt like falling down. We felt so blessed to be in a family that all knew the Lord and understood His power and His might and His love.
That was May 14, 2013, the first day of the rest of our journey.