During Respect Life Month, we focus on how to build a culture of life, even in midst of seemingly overwhelming obstacles. The following is the story of how one Louisville couple: Terry and Kirsten Butler, opened their hearts to life as they welcomed and said good-bye to their son, Thomas Joseph.
Thomas Joseph Butler was diagnosed early in Kirsten’s pregnancy with a very severe encepholacele, a birth defect that can result in a baby’s death before birth and almost always after birth. Though doctors had recommended a termination of the pregnancy, this faith-filled couple decided against this action. Thomas Joseph Butler was not expected to live more than a few minutes after birth, but he was baptized in the delivery room by the Butler’s pastor, Fr. Paul Beach, and was with his family for eighteen hours after birth. The following is the story of his birth day from Kirsten’s blog Sonlight Garden:
It was the most grace-filled day. We went to Mass together as a family. Good friends of ours who have twelve children took our eight back with them to their house after Mass, and Terry and I headed to the hospital. We met with the neonatologist and spoke to him about Thomas’s prognosis. He was concerned that we wouldn’t make it out of the operating room with him. We expressed our concern about making sure Thomas was baptized, and they graciously allowed us to have our priest in the OR, and Father graciously agreed to go in the OR with us. My OB came in, and we did an ultrasound to see which way Thomas was presenting. We all prayed together, and my OB asked God to direct her hands. All grace.