HIS Plan for My Family: Gracie Gaspard
Hi! I’m Gracie Gaspard and I’m excited to share my story. I am married to my best friend, Bryan Gaspard and I am a homeschool mom to our three boys, Noah (6), Ethan (4), and Joshua (1). We attend Rivertree Church where I am actively involved in Women’s Ministry. We are in the process of adopting internationally from China. It is my prayer that my journey might speak to other women who have struggled or are struggling with infertility and/or pregnancy loss. I would love to listen to your story, pray with you, and minister to you in your struggle. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIS Plan for My Family
I have felt God pursuing me my entire life. I gave my life to Christ in high school through Young Life; however, it wasn’t until I met my husband, Bryan, (after graduate school) that I truly began pursuing Christ as Lord of my life. After a lifetime of doing things my way, with more mistakes than I care to mention, Bryan and I decided that our relationship, dating and beyond, would be one that honored God and did things His way. Since that decision, our relationship has been incredibly blessed and we have felt Him closely holding and protecting us. We didn’t realize then just how much we were going to need that strong foundation to fall back on during the trials that lay ahead of us.
All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother. After close to a year of marriage, Bryan and I decided that we would try to have a baby. I thought “no problem, I just stop the pill and I’ll be pregnant in 1-3 months.” Well 6 months later, we found out we were pregnant. Besides my wedding day, that was one of the happiest days of my life. One weekend about a month later, we were driving and I felt something strange that I knew was not good. I was most likely having a miscarriage. I think I kind of went into shock partly because of grief and partly because of the pain that came shortly after—Deep pain in my soul as well as body pain.
We drove to labor and delivery. As we entered, I remember seeing a young teenage couple looking at sonogram pictures. This made me angry. Here I was almost 30 years old trying to have a baby with my husband and then these children get to have a baby while here I am most likely losing mine. This would be a feeling I would feel more often in the future and still feel from time to time even now. Ultrasound revealed an underdeveloped fetus and terribly low hormone levels. I was told that I was having a threatened miscarriage—that I hadn’t lost the baby yet, but I most likely would. I was put on bed rest and sent home. My numbers did go up a little and I was able to carry our sweet baby a bit longer, but eventually I did lose her….my first child whom we named Katharine.
After our loss, life was tough. I saw everything that happened to me and to others through my own pain. I became sensitive, easily offended, and jealous. Many people told me silly things like “tons of people have miscarriages and I should just be glad I could get pregnant.” Others would simply say, “God has a plan”…this may have angered me the most. I know without a doubt that God did not want or need for my sweet baby to die.
In all of my pain I also felt that something was wrong with me and I wasn’t content to just wait and keep trying. I was actually scared to keep trying. One of my dear friends, Nancy, suggested that I plot my body temperature to ensure that I was at least ovulating. Well according to my best calculations, I wasn’t ovulating. I took my little charts to my OB’s office and they decided to draw some labs. YEP…no hormones…practically a man….miracle I ever got pregnant in the first place. I remember feeling sad to find out that I had this problem while also being so thankful for the intuition I had to investigate, which was clearly the nudging and sweet protective hand of my savior.
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.”
We were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). He was able to treat me disorder with medications. Five months later, I found out that I was pregnant with my sweet miracle baby, Noah. I was thankful to God for this pregnancy, but honestly credited modern medicine. This pregnancy was almost perfect. Noah was a twin and I lost his twin, whom we named Jude. This loss was different. I never bled or felt the miscarriage; it was just reabsorbed by my body. In some strange way it was like I got to keep him in my heart. Noah was born one week before my 30th birthday. I was finally a mother.
When Noah was one year old, I weaned him and immediately began taking hormone drugs again. In two months, we found out we were pregnant! One week later, I was saying goodbye to our sweet Isabella. Because my loss this time was so early, I was able to immediately try again. Two months later I became pregnant with Ethan who was born one month before my 32nd birthday.
One year later, my husband was finished with his residency and we were off to make Huntsville, Alabama our home and we wanted another baby. After pulling a few strings, I was able to get an appointment with an RE in Huntsville, AL and we began trying again. After 5 months of treatment I became pregnant and about 10 days later said goodbye to our 4th angel baby Brody. The next month we would also say goodbye to our 5th angel baby Liam. My doctor here in Huntsville had different ideas about my disorder and treated me differently in terms of meds and the timing of it all. I pretty much blamed that for my losses. My faith in modern medicine was dashed. Having been pregnant 6 times with five losses, I was emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. I decided to take November and December off from treatment to just enjoy the holidays with Bryan and our boys, who sadly had to suffer the most as I went through treatment. Well 2 months turned into 4 months. This time for me was completely life changing. It’s the only time in the last 7 years that I haven’t been on hormones, pregnant, or nursing. I felt like myself. I felt peace.
About the same time I found out about my last loss, I began attending a bible study of Genesis. In this study God was heavily pursuing me. He wanted me to lean into Him as I grieved. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,” and I could feel Him near to me. We were reading in Genesis chapters 17-18. Sarah was 99 years old and baron…God bless her… and the Lord appears to Abraham telling him that Sarah will have a son. Meanwhile while secretly listening at the tent door, Sarah hears what is said and laughs to herself because she thinks it is absurd to think a couple their age could conceive a child. Well God basically calls her out for laughing and says ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord?” As I was studying the story of Abraham and Sarah, I came across a verse that has forever changed me.
“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
As I read this verse and meditated on in, I received revelation and understanding from God. It was only when Sarah BELIEVED God that she was given the STRENGTH to conceive. Like… it wasn’t even possible for her until she believed. That was me…with my snide comments: “Oh we couldn’t get pregnant on our own to save our lives.” DISBELIEF. I was strong to go on and keep pursuing my desires with my strength. But only by HIS strength given to me through BELIEF and through FAITH, would I really be strong enough to conceive.
I began thinking about God’s plan for families…
How much control did I believe He had? Total control. I realized that God knew exactly what my family was going to look like. There was nothing I could do to alter God’s design for my family.
Could my poor timing, or the wrong medicine, or intercourse at the right/wrong time change God’s design for our family? Absolutely not.
This revelation was freeing to me. For the first time in my reproductive life, I felt free. Free to just be with God and have FAITH that He would provide for me and for my family. I just had to keep my eyes on Him and follow His lead. I knew He would sustain me. His promises to me were good and they were true. I had a new Faith.
We agreed to resume treatment again in March of 2013 and on our 2nd month we became pregnant with Joshua, who was born in December of that same year. That was the most peaceful pregnancy I have ever had. God was with me and I was with Him. I can remember praying throughout my entire delivery and actually feeling my sweet Jesus holding me.
Looking back on all of my fertility struggles, it’s so clear that the Lord was there every step of the way, holding me and loving me. He has never let go of me. He has always had a good and perfect plan for my family. I just needed to look at Him and have faith that HE would provide. He is faithful to see His plan to completion. He is the author of my new faith.