Our Baby’s Diagnosis

Our Baby’s Diagnosis

On August 11, 2011 we found out we would be having our first child. We could hardly contain our joy and started telling friends and family a few weeks later. I must say that one of the most amazing sounds I’ve ever heard was the heartbeat of our baby during an early sonogram, proving that there was an actual life created by God Himself inside Leeza.

On November 7, now almost halfway through the 2nd trimester, we went in for a routine ultrasound hoping to find out the gender of the baby. To our shock, we found out instead that there are some serious complications in the development of our baby, a rare condition known as body stalk deformity or limb body wall complex. The abdominal wall has not formed and all that should be inside the body is outside. There are also serious issues with the brain, heart, and spine. While this poses no danger to Leeza, it is considered a fatal condition for the baby. The doctors informed us that there is zero chance of survival outside the womb. In other words, even if we choose to carry the baby to full term, the baby would not be able to live past the delivery. As we got back into our car at the hospital that day I remember having the most helpless feeling. We both just sat there in silence for several minutes, unable to process what was going on.

As we got home we soon had to take time out from grieving to think about some important decisions. The doctors had explained that our options would be to 1) terminate the pregnancy early or 2) carry the baby to full term. Terminating the pregnancy now would give us some closure, allow us to move on and try sooner for another baby, and for a lot of people this seems to be the sensible thing to do. In fact, I would not be critical of anyone in our shoes choosing to make that decision. However, after much prayer and godly counsel, our decision is to continue on with the pregnancy. There are many reasons for this decision and I would like to explain a few of them.

  1. God is the giver of life and the taker of life and we don’t feel comfortable taking a life before God intends. It is up to Him how long our baby should live. (“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Ps 139:16)
  2. Some things are impossible with man, but with God all things are possible (Mt 19:26). Even though science tells us there is no chance for survival for our baby we believe that the God who makes the lame to walk and the blind to see is fully capable of healing our child if He so chooses. However, God is faithful whether He chooses to heal now or not. We certainly have hope, but it’s important to note that our hope is not in a particular outcome, rather our hope is in Jesus himself. So given the fact that there exists a possibility of our Lord healing our baby now, we feel that one decision allows for that possibility while the other eliminates the possibility altogether.
  3. All throughout scripture we are instructed that the righteous are to live by faith (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11). Continuing the pregnancy and allowing God to do as He pleases seems to be the course of action that demonstrates the most faith, and the one that we hope will bring God the most glory.
  4. For those who believe, when we ask for healing, God’s answer is always “yes.” Sometimes the healing comes now and other times the healing comes in eternity. There will be a day when Jesus restores all that is broken to the way He intends, making all things new, removing all pain, sorrow, sickness and death. Therefore we believe that we will certainly see our baby healed, if not in this lifetime then in eternity.

Knowing this news now is simply the grace of God. We would not be able to know our baby’s condition apart from modern medicine and I cannot imagine going into the delivery room expecting it to be the happiest day of our lives and having it immediately turn into the worst. Knowing this information now, as hard as it may be, is grace.

I know this is getting a bit long so I will wrap it up here. I hope to write more later about what the Lord is teaching us through this. While this is a difficult time for us, we are experiencing the grace of God and finding hope through the presence of Christ in our lives. We pray the latter is what you take away from reading our story.

As I close, I’m reminded of a few portions (below) of Ginny Owens’ song “If you want me to.”

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’ll never go alone

So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

Purchase song on iTunes



  1. John Baby

    November 29

    Jerel & Leeza,
    I can’t express in words what is going thru my mind as I was reading thru the blog post. I can only say that my wife and I will keep you in our prayers!! And it is a true testament to your faith in God to carry you both thru what I can only imagine is the most challenging experience you have been thru. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us and may others see your strength and know the Lord is with us thru whatever may come in life.

    God Bless You,

    John & Leslie

  2. Bincy

    November 29

    Jerel and Leeza,

    I can’t imagine how hard it is to walk this path, but I am encouraged by your faith and promise our prayers! May the Lord strengthen you both… He is the giver of the gift and He will take care of your little one. Hugs…

  3. Rengith and Shiney

    November 29

    Jerel and Leeza,
    We just wanted to let you know that God will give you strength during this difficult time. We will pray for all 3 of you and know that our God is much bigger than modern medicine. “With man things are impossible but with God ALL things are possible.” Stay strong and he will guide you. Take care and God Bless!

    With prayers,
    Rengith and Shiney

  4. Pastor Thomas - LIBC

    November 29

    Leeza & Jerel, your faith in God is refreshing and encouraging to see in this generation. We don’t understand why things happen, but God ways and thoughts are higher than ours. May God’s awesome grace and peace carry you through these days as you lean on His Son Jesus Christ, our prayers are with you, in Jesus name!

  5. Letty & Vivian

    November 30

    Leeza and Jerel, our heart goes out to you both….as well as our thoughts and prayers….We pray that you both find strength and peace of mind in GOD as you go through this very challenging time in your life….GOD has an ultimate plan that will guide and protect your family in the months and years to come….Viv n I will definitely keep you guys in our prayers….sending you lots of love and hugs <3

  6. Sheeba Jacob

    November 30

    Leeza & Jerel,

    I am very proud of the both of you for the brave decision you’ve taken. Thank you for sharing this with us and encouraging us to continue trusting the Lord at all times. No doubt our Lord who spoke the world into existence is more than able to heal your baby, may His will be done! I want to share with you one of God’s promises that carries me through difficult times- ‘Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you. I will uphold you in My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10. You will be in my prayers.

  7. Roji & Rani Varghese

    November 30

    Dear Jerel & Leeza,

    we are Praying for you.

  8. all from mumbai

    December 1

    Our prayers are with you. May God give you all the grace required

    appacha ammachi anisha arun susheela & jee mumbai

  9. The Cheriyan Family, Upper Darby, PA

    December 2

    Jerel & Leeza, We just want you to know that we are praying for you.
    -Jesus kept His promise to rise from the dead, so we can believe he will keep all his other promises.
    And we can proclaim the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    May the Lord gives you more Faith and strength.
    May the Good Lord’s will to be done in your life.
    (See Mathew 26:39)
    May the Peace of the Lord be with you for ever.
    With Love & Prayers
    Susymmamma,Georgekuttychachan & Joanna

  10. Sara and George Mathew

    December 2

    My dear Jerel and Leeza,
    I can only imagine what you are going through. Your deep rooted faith in the Lord is clearly seen in your blog post. Chachen and I are encouraged by your faith and courage. Whether our baby is healed in this lifetime or in eternity, we will go on loving the Lord. We don’t understand why things happen, but God ways are higher than ours. The Grace that brought you safe thus far will carry you through. Remember “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2 .
    Leeza and Jerel, you and your parents are in our prayer. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding comfort you in the days to come.
    Love you. Cachen and Lilyammamma

  11. Ammammachy and Appacha

    December 3

    Dear Jerel and Leeza,
    Thanks for the blog to share with your dear ones what the actual situation is, what you are going through and the unbelievable confidence and peace you have in the Lord. I couldn’t finish reading without wipping my eyes many times. It’s all mixed feelings because of the heartache you both are experiencing and at the same time amazed at your spiritual maturity and wisdom in taking decisions, and the calm and confidence with which you are handling this situation. “This is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.” 1.Jn.5:14 We join you in praying for a miracle. May the will of the Lord be done.
    Love,prayers and hugs
    Ammammachy and Appacha

  12. Sunny Ezhumattoor

    December 6

    Jerel and Leeza, You are in my prayers. You both are living out your faith in our Lord. I am delighted to see your great faith . It will impact many other people. God Bless.

  13. Sherley Varughese

    December 7

    Jerel and Leeza, you and your precious one is in our prayers. The purpose of our God in this is already visible. Your amazingly strong faith is clear through your testimony and our faith is strengthen through it as seen from the response you have gotten. May his name be glorified. May our Lord and Saviour continue to strengthen you and give you the peace you have with him.
    I know this is no strange Bible verse to you but would like to share with you.
    Psalm 91
    If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
    no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
    For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
    they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
    You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
    “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
    He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.

    we love you both, Joemonchan,Sherleymmamma,Shalini, Joshua and Jeeven

    • Joy Jacob

      December 14

      Dear Jerrel & Leeza,

      Let me introduce myself to you first. I am your Dad’s cousin from Cleveland, OH. My husband (dearly known to your family as Pappachen uncle) and myself and our family are praying for you at this most difficult time in your life. We are amazed and strengthened by your strong faith in our Almighty Alpowerful God. May His strength be your portion too.Isa.41:13.

  14. molly

    December 11

    I pray God will heal all abnormalities and a miracle will take place. This has happened to others, Will pray for u daily and i want to pray with u pl.email me ur number samuelmolly14@yahoo.com
    Missouri MollyAunty

  15. handmaiden

    December 27

    A lovely song came to my mind when I went thru your valley…..Its ‘In your Presence” by Jason Upton….trust this song will minister to you and leeza..Every thing in life comes to pass….and this valley too will end even though its a long walk ……Psalms:84:6,7….Job:23:10.

  16. Sarah

    February 12


    I just found this blot while searching the terms “limb body wall complex” online. I lost my daughter in Dec. 2010 to this disorder.

    There is a rather active group of us on facebook, here:


    We would love to hear from you, and all about your sweet baby. <3

  17. Danny and Jam

    March 3

    We are praying for you two every day. The faith and trust you have in God is an amazing thing to witness. We love you very much. Habukkuk 3: 17-19


    Danny and Jam.

  18. Abey & Bexy Thomas

    March 28

    Hi Jerel & Leeza,
    Im Bexy,ur second cousin from Dads side,unfortunately we’ve never met.Babu Uncle called me today and thus came to know about Leezas surgery and the babys delivery. Ur mom had told me about this site 2 weeks ago,but did not get a chance to look.Today after hearing the news,I was thinking for a while about u both and was asking me what I would do in such a state. Im amazed by the faith that u proved to the world.We know that what you both are going through is beyond our imagination.But we know that His grace is sufficient for you.The statement that touched me the most in ur blog is that”We certainly have hope, but it’s important to note that our hope is not in a particular outcome, rather our hope is in Jesus himself.”It touched me so much mainly coz one of my best friends(33yrs old-husb and wife in full time ministry) is in her death bed in final stage of cancer and I was finding it really hard to accept.
    We are praying for you so that His heavenly peace will comfort you both.
    With love n prayers,
    Abey & Bexy

  19. Dear Jerrel and Leeza,

    Our heart felt Condolence to you and your family. May the peace of our Lord surround
    you and Leeza at this time. We just found about the baby’s situation last week. She
    was in our Prayers. Jerrel your blog is so encouraging you are an inspiration. Your
    faith in God is amazing May God bless you both and use you both mightly to enhance
    his kingdom.

    Lots of love and Prayers.

    Babu uncle and Gloria auntie

  20. Sunil and Jean Mathew

    April 1

    You both are an inspiration to all us on how to live a life led by our Lord. May God bless you both and your future and we shall all see Bethany one day soon. She is definitely at a better place now. God bless you both.

    Sunil, Jean, and Lucas


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