A little faith brings a miracle to pastor and wife faced with male factor infertility
Lake Charles couple awarded Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2008
For Rachel Bourque, having a child of her own has always been her goal in life. She went in to teaching as a career just to be close to the children she loves. Rachel also ran the children’s service each Sunday at Water’s Edge Church where her husband Tony is the senior pastor. “But my lifelong dream has always been to be a stay-at-home mom,” said Rachel. “Tony knows that I will live off of bread and peanut butter to stay home with my kids if I ever get the chance to be a mom.” Rachel got that chance when she and Tony were awarded the Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2008. The Bourques, who reside in Lake Charles, LA, were selected from a field of 35 applications received from area couples seeking to be granted a free in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in their efforts to conceive a child.
After six years of marriage, the Bourques knew something was wrong when Rachel did not get pregnant after trying for four of those years. It was then that they learned Tony had male fertility issues that affected the number and motility of his sperm. After seeing several doctors and trying several fertility treatments to help correct Tony’s problem, the Bourques were advised that in vitro fertilization would be their best chance of getting pregnant, a procedure their health insurance did not cover and which was out of their reach financially.
“We were devastated,” said Rachel. “We were young and very active and did not expect this report.” Additionally, Tony had just started the Water’s Edge Church in which they poured all of their monetary resources into. After being a youth pastor for many years, Tony felt called to start his own non-denominational Christian church, something he says he always knew he would do. The Bourques took a huge leap of faith, sold their home and moved in with Rachel’s parents in an effort to save money as Tony started his church. Rachel also switched to teaching in public school where the pay was better to help make ends meet.
They learned about the Gift of Hope program through Dr. John Storment, who they began seeing after other treatments did not work. They quickly filled out an application for the Gift of Hope which they hoped would be “an answer to our prayers.”
And their prayers were answered. Upon hearing the news that the selection committee had chosen them as the Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2008 recipients, Tony was overcome with the outpouring of love and kindness extended to him and Rachel as well as others who had applied for the Gift of Hope. “This is our miracle. We truly believe that God had a hand in this,” said Tony in May 2008.
Now that outpouring of love is for Jagger Dean, born on October 28, 2009, at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as a result of the free IVF treatment they were granted through the Gift of Hope program. “My friends all told me ‘just wait until you see him that first time,'” Rachel said after a tough 12-hour labor that ended in a C-section. “And they were right. I fell in love with him instantly!”
Motherhood has come naturally to Rachel. And Tony has already included Jagger as the subject of several of his sermons at the Water’s Edge Church. As promised, Rachel has quit working to be that full-time mom to Jagger Dean. “He is the perfect baby.” Even after having to be rehospitalized due to an infection that occurred at the site of her C-section incision, Rachel said she would do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant she could be pregnant again. But for now, life is good at the Bourque household as Jagger Dean commands all the attention.
The Gift of Hope is offered once a year in the spring with applications typically available to download from our website beginning in March of each year. For questions about the Gift of Hope, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org