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Forum Home > Testimonies > Chris' Testimony

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This was up on our old forum.  Here it is for the new one.


In 2005, my wife became pregnant with our first child. We were ecstatic to say the least. After 4 years of dating and 2 years of marriage, we were ready to start our family. Our prayers were answered and we were now looking forward to the adventure of parenthood.

At that time we were very happy. We had a wonderful family around us (and still do) and our blessings were almost too many to count. Vanessa and I were growing together in the Lord and life was good.

We were getting very excited to be parents and it was getting very close to the time in the pregnancy to find out if we would be welcoming a boy or a girl into our family. She was about 20 or 21 weeks pregnant now.

But on one typical evening, it was getting close to bedtime and Vanessa started to have some severe pain in her stomach. She had experienced some before, but she said it was a little stronger this time. We decided to try to go to sleep. About an hour later, Vanessa woke me up and said she thinks she needed to go the emergency room. She was still in a lot of pain and actually started bleeding.

It was about midnight now and we scrambled to get dressed and make the drive to the hospital. We got to the emergency room and told them the situation and a doctor saw us pretty quickly. He started checking her and soon discovered something very wrong. He told Vanessa to immediately lie down and he adjusted the bed so that her legs and feet were elevated.

We started to get a little more nervous at this point, but still did not know specifics as to what was wrong. A little later the doctor came back and started to explain a little about what was going on. He said that her cervix was dilating and basically her body was trying to go into labor. He told us that she would need to remain on her back with her feet elevated.

We got moved to a different room and Vanessa got hooked up on all the typical hospital “equipment”. A little later (it was about 2:00am now I think) the doctor came back in to talk to us again. He told us that our baby was very healthy and the heartbeat was normal but he said that it appeared that Vanessa has an “incompetent cervix” which is a condition where the cervix is weak and will dilate too soon due to the pressure on it from the growing baby inside.

At this point we had a very difficult decision to make. Probably the hardest decision we have ever made. He told us about a procedure where they basically could sew her cervix shut so that the baby would not be able to be delivered too early. But because her cervix was already to a very weak point, the procedure was very risky. If the operation was successful, Vanessa could possibly carry our baby full term. If it was not successful, the procedure would only speed up the process and we would have a baby too pre-mature to survive. The doctor said the odds were 50/50 and could not give us a recommendation. But if we did decide to go ahead with the surgery, the longer we waited to decide, the less chance of success.

We were very overwhelmed and confused. If we said “ok, do the operation” and it failed, the consequences would be very hard to deal with. If it were successful, we would most likely have a healthy baby.

Our other option was to do nothing and continue to keep Vanessa in bed with her feet elevated. The reason for this was to keep the pressure from the baby, due to gravity, off of her cervix. If we decided to do it this way, Vanessa would have to be like this for a minimum of 5 or 6 weeks. We were told that if we could keep the baby inside until he was 26 weeks, odds of survival outside the womb were much better.

We weren’t sure what to do, but our first instinct was to take that option of bed rest/no operation. At this point, our doctor told us that he would like to transfer Vanessa to Freeman hospital in Joplin, Mo. He said there was a specialist there that could check Vanessa out and possibly make a recommendation as far as if we should do the operation. We said OK, lets go to Joplin.

I think back at how fast this was all happening and yet, in a strange way, it seemed like slow motion at the time. Vanessa was in an ambulance and on her way to Joplin at about 3 or 3:30 am. In just a few hours our life had been turned upside down and we were facing the most difficult decision we would probably ever have to make.

May 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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When we got to Joplin and Vanessa got in and all hooked up, the first thing they did was check for the baby’s heartbeat and do an ultrasound. The baby was still just fine. The doctor there who is the specialist was a very strange looking older man that had a beard down to the middle of his chest and wore purple scrubs. He didn’t really look like a “hillbilly”, but more like and old “wise man”. His personality was odd for lack of a better word. At the time, Vanessa and I and our family that was there with us, thought this guy had the worst bedside manner anyone had ever seen. I look back now though, and I think we had a misconception, because when it came down to it, he was just the “bearer of bad news”… news that no one wants to ever hear. But he was very strange nonetheless.

The doctor did his checks and started to “give it to us straight”. He said he did not recommend the operation on Vanessa because the risk was very high at this point. He also said that not doing the operation and having Vanessa just stay in bed with her feet up wasn’t very likely going to result in success. He told us again that she would have to be like that for a minimum 5 or 6 weeks. If the baby were delivered any earlier, it just wouldn’t be able to survive due mostly to underdeveloped lungs.

It didn’t take much time for Vanessa and I to decide not to do the operation. We were both thinking the same thing… lets pray for God’s will. Our emotions were running wild. We just had this very strange man (the Dr.) tell us that Vanessa was probably going to deliver this baby at any time and there was nothing we could do about it.

Once we realized that we might be in the Joplin hospital for a while, me and our family started getting ready to get settled in and getting some things for Vanessa. We were praying that we would make it the 5 or 6 weeks and if we were going to be there that long, we needed to figure some things out… like where was I going to stay. I couldn’t live in the hospital. And then the hospital social worker told us that the local Ronald McDonald house might be able to assist us… Oh my gosh, did they. It is a whole other story about our stay there… what a blessing it was! If you ever have the opportunity to donate to a charity, I highly recommend the Ronald McDonald house.

Well, now it was just “wait and pray” and try to make Vanessa as comfortable as possible. About 2 weeks goes by and the baby is still healthy, but Vanessa was starting to have more powerful contractions. I told the lead nurse and she came in to check on Vanessa. She found out pretty quickly that Vanessa was going into labor. When I realized that Vanessa was going to deliver our baby soon, I left the room to let our family, that was in a waiting area, know what was going on. We immediately gathered in a circle, and hand in hand, we started to pray. There were 6 or 8 of us praying in that waiting room.

I left them to go back and be with my wife. There were now 4 nurses in the room and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, they were preparing to receive the baby. It wasn’t much longer and there he was… a tiny, but perfect, baby boy. He was born on November 26, 2005. Exactly 3 years ago today. We didn’t get to see him immediately. The nurses hurried him out, wrapped in cloths. It was a very strange feeling to know that I just became a daddy, but my son wouldn’t be staying with us. The emotion was overwhelming.

Just a few minutes later, one of our nurses came back to talk to us. She explained to us that because he was born so premature, there was nothing they could do. We knew this already. She then asked us if we wanted to see him and hold him. She explained that some people in our situation choose not to because it is so difficult emotionally. But those people usually end up wishing they had. It didn’t take us long to agree that we wanted to see him and hold him. The nurse then went on to explain what to expect when we do see him. She told us that he looks very much like a normal baby, but much, much smaller. He weighed only about 11 ounces. She explained to us that his heart was still beating and every once in a while we would see him “take a breath”. He wasn’t really taking a breath; it was more like an involuntary action of the body that was like taking a breath. She said that we would be able to see his heart beating gently under his chest and that it would gradually get slower until it finally stopped.

After cleaning him up and everything, they brought us our baby boy… still alive, heart still beating. He WAS perfect. He looked like me! HA. For about 3 hours my wife and I and our family celebrated and mourned this new life… God’s most precious and perfect creation, a human life, who was about to meet Jesus very soon.

We named our baby boy Chance Wayne Weatherford. Now, at first thought it probably sounds like we picked that name because of the situation. But actually, it was the boy name we picked out weeks before… before we had any idea of the events that were soon to pass. I had always like that name. The middle name, Wayne, is also my middle name and also my fathers and my grandfathers.

In the 3rd hour, Chance’s tiny heart finally took it’s last beat and he went to be with the Father in heaven. My wife and I have never cried so many tears. This sounds like a very sad ending, but that is not the case. We soon found out that God would reveal Himself to us in an astonishingly REAL way. And in a way that only our true, loving God could do. He would restore our souls (promised in the Bible by the way) and give us a peace that could come from nothing else.

May 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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The night after Chance went to his eternal home, my father-in-law, Richard couldn't sleep much. He is a man that has been a follower of Jesus nearly his whole life and like the rest of us, was questioning God's motives in taking the new life to Heaven so quickly. When he did finally get to sleep, he had a very vivid vision. He saw the Holy Spirit and was given a message (as a poem) from Chance to give to Vanessa and I. Here is what he said:


Hello, This is Chance.

I talked with the heavenly Father because I wanted to share with you.

He said it was mighty thoughtful and a very nice thing to do.

He said to tell the Spirit and He would tell Grandpa

And he would write it in a poem and share with you all.

I heard your words of love and felt you kisses on my head.

I knew you loved me and each other, I heard ever word you said.

I'm sorry you were saddened, I also shed a tear,

but it won't be very long and you'll be with me here.

I also wanted to tell you and this will make you glad,

that when I got to heaven, I was no longer sad.

I was met by two wonderful women, they hugged me and took my hands.

One was Grandma Memee and the other was Aunt Lynn.

They led me into Paradise upon the streets of gold.

They showed me many wonders; mountains, lakes, and Jesus' fishing hole.

Then I started to feel different, as we approached a beautiful light.

They said it was the throne of God that does away with night.

First they led me to Jesus Who took me in his arms.

He said,"this hug is from your Mom and Dad." I felt to loved and warm.

Then he handed me to the Father, and this I can't describe.

He pulled me to His chest, we blended and I sighed.

I don't know how long I stayed there for He was all I knew.

Finally He handed me back to Jesus and He told me, "I love you."

Jesus took me to a beautiful place and said, "There's a job that we must do.

I promised to prepare a place for your family and for you.

You can help me build it for soon they'll all be here.

And we'll have a great reunion, with a fish fry and fire."

So please don't think of me with sadness but fill you hearts with cheer.

For I'm having fun with Jesus and I'll be waiting for you here.



May 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 437

Thanks for sharing this with us.  I know it is hard each time you recall.  God Bless


David Austin

May 4, 2009 at 5:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 598
I was thinking about my son this morning and reflecting on the experience of "parental grief". Bereaved parents need to know that their child will be remembered, not just by them but also by family and friends. They need to have the child acknowledged and referred to by name. They want that child's life to matter. They do not want to forget and they don't want others to forget. One bereaved parent once said, "The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it also brings music to my ears". What has happened to these parents has changed their lives; they will never see life the same way; they will never be the same people. As they attempt to move forward, bereaved parents realize they are survivors and have been strong enough to endure what is probably life's harshest blow. By addressing their grief and coping with it, they struggle to continue this journey while making this devastating loss part of their own personal history, a part of their life's story, a part of their very being. I just wanted to share this with my friends today and talk about Chance. He is serverely missed, but I have peace in knowing that he is in a place with no more tears or suffering.... and I'll be with him there someday, for eternity. ---God Bless.

"Its life or death now. Make your choice.  Who's side are you on?"

August 5, 2009 at 9:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 437

Thanks for sharing your feelings Chris.  I can not even imagine what you went through but I agree whole heartedly about your meeting back up with Chance and spending eterity with him in a far better place than here.

Our prayers go out for you continuing comfort that can  only come from our Lord and Savior.

God Bless.


David Austin

August 5, 2009 at 11:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 2232

I don't know how non Christians could possibly deal with a loss as great as you and Venessa have experienced.  Your faith in our Lord and Savior truly will continue to sustain you both.  Chris I am sorry for your loss and thank God you and Venessa are indeed His children and that you both know your time apart is but a second compared to the time you will spend with Chance in eternity.  When is Chance's birthday?  We love ya'll and will keep you in our prayers.    

August 5, 2009 at 11:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 598
Thanks so much guys. I realize it is hard for some people to understand what Vanessa and I have gone through or what to say even.... and that's okay. I completely understand. That's why I was trying to give a little insight about what it is like. And now that it's been about 3 1/2 years since Chance went home, I've realized that my greatest desire is that I don't want to forget about him and I don't want others to forget about him. -------- Chance's birthday is November 26th. (2005). It's on Thanksgiving this year. ----- I remember how hard Christmas 2005 was. You know how Christmas usually brings the feelings of joy and peace and just that "warm" feeling? Well, Christmas that year, being only a month after Chance's death, was diffifcult to say the least. By that time my grief was really kicking in and it was so hard. For Vanessa, her grief was strong immediately, but it's a little different with fathers. At first it's just shock and "numbness". It took awhile to sink in. -------So the holidays are still kind of tough, but then again, it's still one of my favorite times of the year. It brings back good memories of being with my family and the support and love they showed us during that time.

"Its life or death now. Make your choice.  Who's side are you on?"

August 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 122

Chris, I'm speachless...  I was just thinking the day before you posted this that it would be nice if we had a testimony thread, where each of us in our own time could post our testimony.  Now that you have, I would never want to take away from the thread by adding mine to it.

My bible says the Lord gives and takes away, and perhaps I fall back on Job too much, but with faith like his, we can make it through our toughest times.  My brother, you have shown exactly that.

My whole life has been full of Ups and Downs, and I have found that the Downs make us appreciate the Ups even more, While the Ups make the Downs worth living through.

God bless you...


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August 6, 2009 at 10:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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