When Lightning Strikes Twice
A truly heartbreaking story - more than any mom and dad should have to go through.
Update: Josiah Owen Marx was born on February 3, 2013, at 5:01 p.m. He spent almost an hour in the arms of his earthly parents before he was taken into the arms of his Heavenly Father at 5:59 p.m. The short time they had with him was an answer to prayer.
Story written by a close family friend. Donations to date: $3,202.00
A little over a year ago, my dear friends Catherine and Derek Marx, as well as their two young children, 6 and 4, were excited to welcome their baby boy, Owen Paul, into the world. Cat was a week overdue and went in for an ultrasound, and we all expected to hear that she was going over to the hospital after the appointment to be induced. When my phone rang that afternoon, I was shocked to hear the news I never in my wildest dreams thought I would hear (and could barely hear through the sobs): “There’s no heartbeat… my baby died.” The days and weeks that followed are a heartbreaking blur… We had the funeral. We brought them meals. We tried to support them in any way we could, although we knew that we couldn’t bring back the one thing that their hearts longed for. Through this time, they were sustained through God’s grace and their faith in Christ.
It was in June that we celebrated to find out that Cat was expecting. We had been waiting for this news – a time for healing and celebration. Cat was obviously struggling with emotions. It was hard to be pregnant again. It was hard to deal with the panic of “What if something happens this time?” And we wanted to reassure her. We wanted to tell her that of course everything would be fine this time. Things like that don’t happen twice in a row. We didn’t tell her that, though. Because as anyone who has gone through something traumatic will tell you, once you’ve experienced, it’s impossible to believe that it can’t happen again.
So we waited and prayed and there were some struggles with the beginning of this pregnancy. There were some scares, but things always seemed to turn out all right. And then came the 20 week ultrasound. We were excited to find out if it would be a boy or a girl. We had planned a “reveal” party. And then the devastating text came, “Things don’t look good…” They saw things in the ultrasound and sent them immediately to Akron Children’s. There were serious heart problems. One kidney wasn’t functioning and was covered in cysts. There were cysts on the brain. All signs were pointing to a chromosomal defect. We thought maybe these things could be fixed. This couldn’t be happening again, could it? Surgery could save this baby, right? Then the truly devastating news came with the diagnosis - Trisomy 18. There would be no surgery. If this precious baby boy, Josiah Owen, survives to full term, the chances are very high that he will be stillborn. And if he survives birth, his time will be very short with his family. Lightening has truly struck twice.
It is important for us to not let anyone believe that Cat and Derek have no hope. They have true hope that they have found in Jesus Christ. Here is a quote from her blog: “We still trust in the God who holds all things in His Hands. I don't have the slightest clue what He is doing right now so all I can do is rest in the truth of His promises. He is with us. He is sovereign over ALL things.”
As friends of theirs, there is such a desire to support them right now. We ask for your prayers. We also ask that you consider helping ease a financial burden. There will be another funeral, another burial, another headstone. In addition, there will be lost wages, as Derek is a self-employed painter. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid. Further, Cat’s family and friends desire to give them a gift of time together. It has always been a desire for them to take a trip to Disney while their children were young enough to enjoy the “magic of it all”. We would truly like to make this possible for them. Their last vacation was before they had children. Right now, there is so much healing that needs to be done, and will need to be done in the future. The next few months will be a huge trial. We would love to give them time together as a family. A time to enjoy each other, invest in each other, bond together, make memories, and heal.
Please consider donating to this deserving family, but above all, pray for them as God molds and shapes them and uses this somehow to His glory.
Cat also has a blog if anyone is interested in following this family’s journey. Thank you!