Special Delivery: God’s Great Grace in the Birth of My Fourth Son- Part 2

Click here to read Part 1

For me to adequately give God the glory He deserves and highlight His great grace in Jonathan’s life, I wanted to explain more about those “mini storms” in this last pregnancy. I would say morning sickness is one of those “mini storms,” but after experiencing pretty crummy 1st trimesters with all of my pregnancies, I believe I managed to endure it fairly well. I was even able to volunteer at VBS at our church- helping lead the worship songs and dances- right in the middle of the nausea, fatigue, and occasional vomiting in the shower…all for God’s glory. 

A couple weeks prior to that though, I got to experience the first AMA rainstorm regarding routine scans and tests per the prenatal care we decided was best for me. Without divulging too many details for the sake of privacy in our marriage, I want to first say that regarding my prenatal care and where I would give birth, Paul and I had to come to a compromise. Having experienced a traumatic hospital birth with Isaiah, a blissful birth center birth with James, then an unexpected, yet providentially guided hospital birth again with Jude in 2020 that came with complications and trauma of its own (click here to read more about that), finding a group of midwives (vs. a traditional OB) for my prenatal care that delivered at a very well-respected hospital here in Tampa was the middle ground for both Paul and I. 

Because of my AMA label, a routine test and scan were done to ensure there were no genetic abnormalities (the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome increases as the mother ages). I opted out of the genetic blood screening but chose to have the scan done that measured the fluid behind the baby’s neck (depending on the results, it can be a soft marker for Down’s). Immediately following the scan, I was told that all measurements looked great and was directed to head downstairs to the lab for 1st trimester prenatal bloodwork. After I finished getting my blood drawn, I was gathering my belongings and gathering my little ducklings to head to the van. As I got up from my chair, suddenly, I saw my midwife come from the elevators who just told me moments earlier that everything was “normal” and sent me on my way. Her countenance was now different as she hurriedly told me that the ultrasound tech “couldn’t find the nasal bone” and that “It would be best to get the genetic screening done…and if not, [I] could be referred to a genetic specialist.” Confused and having no clue what any of this had to do with seeing a genetic specialist, I told her that the tech had trouble getting a good profile so perhaps that is why she wasn’t able to see the nasal bone very well.

“It could be another genetic variant,” she kept saying. Trying my best to wrap my mind around what she was trying to explain to me, I agreed to getting the genetic blood test done since I was already there. When I got to the van, I started typing “no nasal bone” into the Google search bar and the next words auto populated…. “down syndrome.” I clicked on the first medical article from the NIH and the summary said, “The absence of a nasal bone is a powerful marker for Down Syndrome.” 

My heart sank. Tearing filling my eyes, I immediately called Paul to update him on this whirlwind of such a confusing situation that just happened. I tried my best to avoid researching anymore when I got home, especially once I got the notification from my online patient portal that my appointment notes were available to view. I scrolled down and saw the words “absent nasal bone.” Paul and I continued to look over the ultrasound photos of the fuzzy profile, yet couldn’t really understand why the obvious white bone of the nose was considered “absent.” Every “normal” ultrasound photo of a profile we Googled looked just like ours. We just couldn’t understand it. 

That night, a precious couple offered to watch the boys for us so that Paul and I could sneak away for a date night (completely unaware about what happened earlier in the day), but neither of us could get our minds off of the heavy news we received as we considered what our life might look like with a child with special needs. It was so overwhelming for me that I had a panic attack in the middle of the night. 

The next day, knowing we wouldn’t receive the genetic screening results for probably two weeks, Paul uploaded the ultrasound photos of our sweet baby’s profile to a paid online health portal with a radiologist for a second opinion. The radiologist confirmed that he saw the nasal bone and was also baffled that they told us it was “absent.” Feeling a little more relieved, we anticipated the genetic screening results in the coming week or so. While waiting for the results, a message came through the online patient portal asking if I wanted to schedule an appointment with a genetic specialist as if they were already assuming there was something abnormal for certain. The message flustered me, but I declined the referral and waited on the test results instead, which much to our relief, stated there were no abnormalities. 


The pregnancy continued to progress beautifully as I gained more energy in my second trimester and was able to manage a solo 8-hour road trip from Tampa to Atlanta for the G3 conference to spend time with some sweet sisters in Christ as we learned about the beauty of the sovereignty of God.

In this pregnancy, I needed to be rooted in that doctrine more than ever

Since I did not want to do the traditional glucose test at 26 weeks (I have a horrible migraine reaction to the Glucola drink and chugging 8 oz of grape juice wasn’t an option like it was with my birth center experience), I requested to check my blood sugar with a glucometer instead. What I wasn’t aware of is that I had to check my blood sugar four times a day for 2 weeks. Yikes! 

Funny enough (or not so funny, really), in God’s providence, I would have to continue to do that up until the day that I gave birth! Yay, gestational diabetes diagnosis! 🙃 I received that diagnosis the same day that I would teach to a room full of 140 women at my church on the canon of scripture and the whole counsel of God later that night (all while my 5 year old couldn’t stop vomiting all day). Talk about a day that I needed to trust God for His peace!

The diagnosis officially put me in the high-risk category and was the hardest part for me at the end of the pregnancy, but again, in God’s sovereign providence, it forced me to pay careful attention to my diet and exercise (staying disciplined even through the holidays and my birthday), which I never really did with my other pregnancies. This meant that I didn’t gain as much weight, and I physically felt pretty amazing. 


So from November-January, I had to keep track of my glucose levels four times a day/seven days a week and send the numbers every Sunday night to the doctor assigned to me (a fetal and maternal health doctor that I only met once during a virtual visit). That part was honestly the hardest for me emotionally. I felt like I had to turn in my homework to my teacher, and if I was late in sending in my numbers, I would get a message to remind me and face the disappointment that my numbers were only slightly improving. My fasting glucose levels were the only numbers that were out of range consistently…but only slightly out of range; I struggled so much to get those numbers to change even with the diet and exercise changes and taking various supplements to help regulate my blood sugar. 

Around week 34, I received a message in my health portal from a random nurse that said one of the doctors wanted me to start medication since my numbers weren’t decreasing as much as they would like. I immediately got flustered and responded letting her know that I would continue to monitor and regulate to the best of my ability with diet and exercise. In addition to the push for medication, they also wanted to make sure that his growth was on track because Jude was 9.6 lbs. and had shoulder dystocia. That was something that they would remind me of consistently. “We want to make sure he’s not ‘too big.’” Thankfully, his growth was great- he was only in the 35th percentile. Little did I know that they wanted me to have weekly scans up until birth. When I realized they were adding the scans to my already scheduled prenatal appointments, I politely declined.

Deep breaths, Emily…you’re almost done.

The next week I received the same message about being put on medication because the numbers were still slightly out of range. I got flustered again and declined the medication again. A few days later, I received a direct message from my fetal and maternal health specialist asking if I would monitor my glucose levels in the middle of the night around 2 AM for a couple nights to see where my levels were at. If the number was too low, then we know why my body was overcompensating with raising my blood sugar; if they were too high then we would know my body really was struggling to produce insulin at night. The first night, the number was way too high at 2am, which greatly concerned me. I agreed to try the medication so my body could finish strong, even though I absolutely hated the idea of taking medication while pregnant, not knowing how that would impact the baby’s growth and health. 

But in God’s providence, the night that I took the medication, I discovered that I was in fact allergic- within 30 minutes, my lips, tongue, and face all went numb for three hours, but thankfully, didn’t get any worse. I would not have to take medication after all.


Of course, once I told my doctor about the side effects, she advised me to not take the medication, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for the remainder of my pregnancy because they were beginning to talk about induction. 

At my 38-week appointment, we agreed to one last growth scan to ensure that they could not push for induction based upon his size, so I had Paul come with me just in case that topic came up. The typical protocol for a gestational diabetes diagnosis is induction at 39 weeks. The midwife that I met with that day at my appointment was very understanding of my concerns and was in full support of seeing where things were at by 40 weeks (I had only gone a day or two past 40 weeks in the past so I was confident things would most likely go the same way this time around…my water broke with all of my boys). 

Yet, I was still nervous as we neared 40 weeks; I did not want to be pressured into anything and wanted as many options available as possible. I began researching more about a natural induction method that I heard about regarding a foley balloon (Google it, it’s fascinating). I sent out a message asking about that method and was upset to discover that even if I chose that route, they wouldn’t allow me to go home to labor with it (some birth centers will let you go home with the balloon in place to labor at home), and they would still need to place an induction on the schedule (most likely to use Pitocin in case I didn’t progress with the balloon method). I did NOT want Pitocin. Even though I was beginning to have consistent contractions, I still felt stuck and unsure of what to do. 

It was emotional for me, but I was trying my best to lean upon Him and take it moment by moment even with all the unknowns ahead. Yet, He truly was giving me His peace, and it wouldn’t be that much longer before I held precious Jonathan in my arms.


I kept reminding my heart of God’s great sovereignty in all things. God was orchestrating all of this. Even in the difficulties, His grace continued to shine through.

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Special Delivery: God’s Great Grace in the Birth of My Fourth Son- Part 1

Since I was a little girl, it has always been important for me to express myself through written words, whether that was journaling, penning poetry, short stories, or song lyrics, or blogging as I got older; writing is how I’ve processed big emotions and life changes through the years. 

It has been a little over one month since I delivered my fourth son, and considering how that is a major life-changing event, I knew that I didn’t want too much time to pass in writing out his birth story. And it’s been about six months since I sat down to write anything at all (which is wild to say as a professional writer) so I’m feeling a little rusty, and I’m also still navigating how to use this fresh, newborn-phase-sleep-deprived mom brain of mine, my friends. But sharing my birth stories has always been super healing for me (even when the experience was beautiful and smooth), and I’m ready to share Mr. Jonathan Sinclair’s.

So as I sit here at my desk, crisscross apple sauce with this lil’ peanut on my lap, in all of my mom-brain glory, I’m going to try my best to write about God’s great grace in Jonathan’s story- from pregnancy to his providentially-protected and guided arrival earthside. But before I begin with that story, I wanted to rewind all the way back to May 2021 first.

When our third son, Jude (our colicky, 2020 baby), was less than a year old, our family made a huge life-changing decision- we moved over 1,000 miles away from all we had ever known in the Midwest to start a new chapter in the Sunshine State. A question that had been on my heart from the moment we moved was: “Are we done having children?” Knowing that I already held the “fun” AMA (advanced maternal age) title, I was unsure if having another child was the right decision or not. It’s sad how the medical community has intimidated and even scared a lot of women with this label (more on that later).

When would be a good time to start trying? Would my body be able to handle it over the age of 35?

Jude was a very attached and demanding child (and still is). I was already so so tired from all of the sleep regressions, and we were not even into the teething phase and mega developmental leaps. The thought of another child seemed so overwhelming. As time went on, and we began to find community at our new church, people began asking us if we were going to have more children. Although I was uncertain of the answer, I began responding: “Ya know, I am not sure, but I’ve reached a point where I am learning to live with my hands open for whatever the Lord has for our family.” That was my mindset and response for probably a year, as Paul and I continued to talk about the future of our family. The Lord was truly sanctifying me in motherhood, and I was ready for whatever difficult circumstances might come with another pregnancy, postpartum, hormonal shifts, and raising four children all while in a new state away from all of our family.

And in August 2022, we found out that I was pregnant at about 3.5 weeks along. We picked out a girl’s name first (we had 3 boys…this next one HAD TO be a girl, right?)- Charity Joy…her nickname would be “baby Cherry.”  I was so excited that I even purchased a little cherry outfit I found at Target shortly after the positive pregnancy test. Then while grocery shopping at Aldi, I found a little play mat on clearance that I tossed into the shopping cart. We were going to be a family of six! 

A week after we found out, I spilled the beans to one of my closest girlfriends at a playdate. Her reaction was something I will never forget…just pure excitement and joy, tackling me with a giant hug and celebrating with me. The Lord, in His kindness, gives us sweet friends to rejoice and mourn with us, and the very next week, our rejoicing would turn into mourning as I began miscarrying this precious babe the morning of Jude’s second birthday. This same friend would be the first person I told as it was happening (Paul was out of town on a hunting trip). 

The next several months would be some of the lowest and darkest that I have walked through as I emotionally healed from the miscarriage and tried to come to terms that Paul no longer wanted any more children- we were no longer on the same page. I was preparing myself for the child-bearing chapter in my life to come to a close, all while praying that the Lord would change my husband’s heart to desire more children with me. And clearly- praise God- the Lord was not closing the child-bearing chapter just yet. 

In May 2023, a week before Mother’s Day and the same month our sweet babe was supposed to be born, we found out that I was pregnant again.


We were going to have another rainbow baby, but it was going to still rain for a while over the next 9 months as the pregnancy would experience some mini storms…

Driven Towards Christ

I have always considered myself a goal-oriented person. When asked to describe myself during interviews for jobs I would often use words like passionate, driven, hard-working, and loyal. There are many times in my life that I intensely kept my “eye on the prize,” ran hard after what I wanted, and achieved my goals. Tragically, this tenacity of running after my goals would result in me becoming distracted from the most important prize, Jesus Christ. The Spirit would convict me, and I would ask the Lord to help me rightly prioritize my time and focus. It’s a beautiful thing to be driven and hard-working, but it is all in vain if your first passion is not your drive towards growing in your relationship with Christ. The stronger you develop your nearness to the Lord, the more you will become like Him. We must remember that the most important race run in this life is for the Kingdom of God, for the glory of Christ’s name, not ours. We must remain motivated by the glory of God.  

What motivates your drive toward Christ?

For the Apostle Paul, it was the prize of the upward call of God:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 3:12-14, ESV)

Intersecting Faith and Life:

What excites you and drives your passion? Being made in the image of God means that we all have passion. The important question we must ask ourselves is: is my passion directed inward or does it fuel me to pursue Christ and His purposes? Our drive and passion for the Lord and His Kingdom are related to our devotion to Him and reveal our purpose of knowing Christ and serving Christ. Most of all, reading and studying the scriptures should fuel our passion because it sets our eyes upon the Lord and helps us take our eyes off of ourselves.

We can remind our hearts that if we are born again, Christ purchased our life for a purpose and has made us His own. He did this so that we would bear fruit for His glory. Christ reached down and rescued me, so I should always be reaching for Christ. We press on to make knowing Christ relationally and serving Him faithfully, and we must press on even more when we feel weak. We can look to Christ and ask for strength to keep going, and He will be faithful to give us His abundant grace. We shouldn’t be entangled by our past sins, sorrows, or even successes, as those things will distract us and hold us back from pressing on in our race to pursue Christ and His purpose. May the Lord give us zeal and an increased pace, and an increased engagement in Kingdom pursuits as we press toward the prize. Ultimately, Christlikeness is our prize. Let us seek the Lord and ask Him to increase our passion to become more like Him!

Further Reading:

  • 1 Timothy 6:11-12
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Matthew 6:33
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