TJCP Story

The Joshua Caleb Project Story...

The sky was filled with dusty gray clouds, the day we buried our newborn son. At the age of 24, I never could have imagined the circumstances that lead to that dreadful fall day.

My story began when my husband and I decided to have a baby. As a healthcare professional, I wanted to take every precaution to ensure the delivery of a healthy baby. Therefore, I scheduled a pre-pregnancy visit to my ob/gyn. After a thorough examine, I was assured by doctor that all would be well.

Within weeks, I was pregnant and elated. The pregnancy progressed with only sporadic and seemingly minor incidents. With each episode, I was evaluated by my doctor and always reassured that it was all perfectly normal. That is why I could not understand why all things “normal” had resulted in me being five centimeters dilated in labor and delivery at only 21 weeks.

The doctors attempted to save the pregnancy as I laid in the hospital bed watching our precious son kicking and playing on ultrasound. He was perfect and full of life. Eventually, I gave birth to our son, Joshua Caleb. We held and kissed him until he passed away. Joshua was born premature due to a condition called incompetent cervix. I had never heard of it until that horrific day.

Incompetent cervix is the leading cause of second trimester miscarriages. The condition results in the mother’s cervix opening before the baby is full term. Often the mother has no labor pain or symptoms to indicate the baby’s imminent delivery. Consequently, babies are born prematurely and die or live with major health complications.
Hand in hand, we left Joshua’s grave on that hazy November day. Fueled by our son’s beloved memory and my determination to make a difference, I established The Joshua Caleb Project, a nonprofit organization to increase awareness and fund research for incompetent cervix. I am compelled to change death as a means of diagnoses. I enlist you join the efforts of The Joshua Caleb Project.

In Memory

Dusty, gray, billowy clouds covered the sky and filled my heart.
I would learn of true grief and sadness, of which I had only known in part.
The events of the day would forever be etched in the memory of my mind.
In spite of hurt and disappointment, by God's grace, peace I'd soon find.

In sorrow, I thought to myself, "What benefit can come from this pain?"
I found the answer: to develop spiritual strength and maturity, which is eternal gain.
As we traveled to the cemetery, I reflected on the life that was and was to be.
God's favor, love and comfort in the situation I could already see.

When we arrived to the mouth of the open grave, the light of the sun began to shine.
God walked with us. He held Jonathan's hand while Jonathan held mine.
A beautiful bouquet of irises, lilies and roses lay to adorn the casket's side.
The rivers of tears streaming from my eyes evidenced feelings I could no longer hide.

The minister prayed and commended our love on to God, stating "ashes to ashes and dust to dust."
God give me the strength to live on" I said as we left. For God to receive the glory I knew I must.
I searched the Scripture and found they shall be comforted those that mourn.
Only the Wonderful, Counselor can heal the wounds of the discouraged, weary and worn.

More solace I found in David's words, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."
To see him again, words cannot truly express how joyful I will be.
There's peace in knowing my sweet, darling is resting in the arms of the Father in Glory.
Yet through the loss of our precious Joshua Caleb, God has given me a story.

Whenever I reflect on all the happenings of that day and all the good God has done,
I'll forever remember November the tenth, the day we buried our newborn son.

Written by Christina Smith
November 23, 2004

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