Keeping Faith: A Mother’s Love


When their child was diagnosed with gastroschisis these parents kept the faith.

Gastrochisis is a birth defect, when organs are born outside the body.

Raeanne was 23-years-old when she married David Kufeke. One year later, Faith was born with gastroschisis. It would be Raeanne’s second baby. Her first from a different marriage. Her first child was born perfectly healthy. I interviewed Raeanne about her experience.

QUESTION: Had you ever heard of gastroschisis before Faith was born?

ANSWER: Not at all. And I was very involved in the natural birth community at the tme, studying to become a doula.

QUESTION: Explain what a doula is for anyone that doesn’t know.

ANSWER: A doula is a professional labor assistant, usually used by Moms wanting a natural birth in the hospital.

QUESTION: How far along in your pregnancy were you when you found out?

ANSWER: I was 28-weeks pregnant when we found out, because we waited for an ultrasound, since outwardly everything was perfect.

QUESTION: Is the ultrasound what detected it?

ANSWER: Yes, it can cause abnormal results in one of the standard blood tests they usually do in the first trimester. I had opted out of that test so we didn’t get that early indicator that something wasn’t right.

QUESTION: What did you think was the cause of Faith’s gastroschisis?

ANSWER: I don’t know Maria. What I do know is that the only thing that has officially been linked to gastroschisis as a potential cause is the herbicide Atrazine, and we did live in a rural town surrounded by agriculture during the early part of my pregnancy. But then there is also the fact that my father-in-law was directly exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. He went on to have two kids with extra fingers/toes and other minor issues, and then both of the children my husband (the only son) and I have together had serious birth defects.  So, it could’ve been the atrazine, it could’ve been Agent Orange, it could’ve been something else entirely.

QUESTION: What helped you cope and stay healthy in mind, body and spirit at this time?

ANSWER: We had a very supportive pastor and found a church local to the hospital that was incredibly supportive as well. Blogging was good therapy too.

QUESTION: How is Faith today?

Faith is great now. She is the best reader in her first grade class, and a sweet, happy girl who wins everyone’s hearts! She still has some minor stomach troubles as a result of her gastroschisis, and of course her cerebral palsy, but her CP is very mild so she is expected to live a normal, healthy life with minimal complications from her gastroschisis.

QUESTION: Is there a story behind Faith’s name?

Yes, when I was about 14 weeks pregnant, before we knew anything was wrong, I had a dream that we had a girl and named her Faith. My husband didn’t like the name! hen we had the ultrasound and found out she was sick. I knew then that I’d had that dream for a reason, and we both agreed that her name was meant to be Faith.



[Photo of Faith]

Raeanne Kufeke can be reached at

Gastroschisis is when the organs are born outside of the body. It is  most common in young mothers in their twenties  and African-Americans.  Some have questioned the use of low-dose aspirin while pregnant.

Zofran use in pregnancy for nausea has also been linked to serious birth defects including Heart and Kidney Defects, Cleft Lip and Palate, Spina Bifida, Craniosynostosis, Gastroschisis and more.


Copyright2016HealthyWithinNetwork – Permission to share with courtesy


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