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603 Walnut St., Carthage, Illinois 62321 | email: tsfs91@gmail.com | call: (217) 357-3343 
Carie's Story
Life is a Miracle
  Life is a miracle. I am proof, and have given birth to proof, of miracles.

While only 21 and single, my mother found out she was pregnant with me. Being close to her due date and not thinking of the consequences, she went swimming in Coralville Lake in Iowa and went into labor. She went to the hospital and found out that her water had broken and that I was in trouble because I had swallowed meconium. I almost didn’t make it. But, my mother chose life for me and for that I could never repay her. To be honest, I owe her my life.

Life is precious and can be taken from us at any given time by the Lord. And only he knows when our lives end.

  My first two pregnancies, one while 16 and one while 17, were miscarriages. I was devastated even though I was so young. It hurt to see that my body did not want to carry those babies for whatever reason. I later realized the Lord had something else in store for me and my path of life, and that I was too young to carry those babies at that time.

My third pregnancy was my first born son, Jonathan. His name means “Gift of God.” And that he is! I got pregnant with him while I was on the pill. I was unwed, 19, had just earned my GED, and was a freshman at the local community college, when I found out I was pregnant. I could have chosen abortion with being as young as I was, but I was excited to find out I was expecting. The lovely lady who helped me achieve my GED brought me over to the Tri-State Pregnancy Center (now known as Tri-State Family Services). There I met Sherry, who made me feel welcomed. I took classes and achieved my goal of getting a brand new crib for my son. I also learned a lot about becoming a new, young parent.

When my son was around seven months, I found out I was pregnant again. This time I was scared. I already had a baby at home and my fiancé and I could barely afford to take care of the three of us. We had talked about abortion because of the “easiness” to just get rid of the “problem”. I decided that I could not do that. To me it would be no different than taking our seven month old and ending his life because we “couldn’t afford him.” So again, I chose life for my second son.

We ended up getting married, then later divorced.

While I was in the process of my divorce, I met a great young man, Josh. He is now my husband and the love of my life. Only six months after we got together, I found out I was pregnant with my third child. We talked about abortion because at this point in our lives, we were not in any shape to take on another child. I turned to outside help this time. I came to the Tri-State Pregnancy Center to talk out loud about what I was facing and the decision I needed to make. I talked with Sherry and June about my situation.

I have come to realize that everything happens for a reason, as I was finding out the hard way for myself. Sherry and I talked about Psalms 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” How absolutely amazing is that to think about. God knows when and where to put each piece of our body together.
When I was five months pregnant with this baby, the ultrasound technician found something wrong with our baby’s brain. Our doctor called us to come in and talk about our ultrasound. I thought that this was just a routine thing he did with all of this patients. After the diagnosis of Septo-Optic Dysplasia, our doctor referred us to Iowa City Hospitals because they have more resources and knowledge about the condition and defect.

The doctors in Iowa City kept saying that some of the defects he could have, or could have been born with, would cause him not to make it before or shortly after birth. There, in Iowa City, the doctor kept mentioning that we could abort this baby up until 28 weeks. He mentioned that after 28 weeks had passed, we wouldn’t be able to go through with an abortion. Well… I tell you what. We chose life for this baby once and I wasn’t about to change my mind. If he was to be born with disabilities, then so be it. I had multiple ultrasounds each month and even had an amniocentesis when I was 20.5 weeks, on my 26th birthday, just to make sure that nothing was wrong already with our baby. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, although I sometimes wonder. When our third son was born healthy, it was a miracle! With all of the “chances” of the things that could have gone wrong, and the “chances” of the things the doctors kept saying could happen with my pregnancy and with our baby, we named our miracle Jordan Chance.

My husband and I are now expecting our second child together.

Once again, we are choosing life! Life truly is a miracle and I believe we are all put here on this earth for a reason.

~Carie Leonard

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(217) 357-3343


Life​ is precious and can be taken from us at any given time by the Lord. And only he knows when our lives end.