It was on her husband’s birthday in 2018 when Krystele Chavez realized she was pregnant. But when they had their first ultrasound, they were in for a surprise: they were expecting twins! Sadly, one twin wouldn’t survive the pregnancy, and the other was born premature, with a grim outlook for survival. But little Troy James fought and lived, and Chavez is sharing his story in the hopes of inspiring others and showing the value of every single life.
“I started getting excited about the idea of motherhood, and actually building a family, and a legacy,” she said in a YouTube video about their journey. “But then, at around the 20-week mark, the doctors informed us that one of my sons was much smaller than the other one. And they had informed me that it might be a stillborn, ‘you might want to even terminate your baby’, ‘your baby might have Down syndrome’.”
But instead of caving in to fear, Chavez and her husband decided they would pray for their sons.
“I actually had a dream that we had lost one of those babies,” she continued in the video. “And I woke up that morning. I was sobbing, because that’s when I felt all of the emotions, and realized that it is a lot to handle, and it is grieving over someone that you never really knew.”
Chavez kept her dream to herself, and continued to pray, believing God would bring her and both of her sons through the pregnancy. But, she said, God had other plans for them. “At 27 weeks, I delivered via c-section to my stillborn son, Lincoln, and my warrior, Troy James,” she said.”
With Troy being born so premature, that meant a long stay in the NICU to give him the best chance at surviving. “We spent nearly three months in the hospital,” Chavez said. “And there were moments when I would come home, and I would be so frustrated at myself, thinking it was because of my body, not being able to carry the pregnancy through.”
Despite their pain at losing Lincoln, the Chavez family continues to believe that God will use their loss for a greater purpose, especially through Troy. “From the moment he was born, God’s hands were over him,” Chavez said. “And despite science telling us that your son, at 27 weeks, won’t even survive, he did. And he’s thriving.”
Chavez further spoke to Live Action News about the pain of losing one son and the resilience she and her husband learned through caring for Troy.
Just when a new day, a new season, comes around the corner and I get a chance to push the reset button, Bereaved Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day are here again,” she said. “Not much has changed since the neonatologist at BC Children’s Hospital sat me down and said my twins wouldn’t make it. Life is still just as lovely and brutal and precarious.
However, I’m stunned at what I see when I look back. I survived living in a foreign land under desperate circumstances. I survived caring for my sweet Troy James in the NICU for three months. I survived giving my Baby Lincoln over to God. And I survived the subsequent grief. I feel like a different person in so many ways – new layers I’ve put on, new memories, skills and wisdom.
What she’s been able to survive is a lot, especially for someone so young. But Chavez said it has only taught her more.
“My past 26 years of being a grown-up: of ministry, career, family, survival, love, death, loss and spiritual breakthrough – were nothing like I had expected,” she said. “It wasn’t the script I had written for myself. In many ways, those things were so much harder than anything I thought was possible, yet I see that each season of life meant something. Each was purposeful. And each had opportunity to be fruitful, to yield buckets and buckets of fruit.”
She continued, “I could not possibly have seen the whole scope of God’s work. But even in the darkest hour, there was beauty and light.”
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