The Greenstreet Family at Dutton's Dedication

Our Testimony: Kaylor and Janelle's Journey Through Faith and Family

As I sit down to share our story, it's clear how much Janelle and I have navigated together. From high school sweethearts to a family of our own, our path has been filled with both incredible joys and heart-wrenching challenges.

We married young – I was 21, and Janelle was just 19. Our backgrounds couldn't have been more different. I grew up in a close-knit religious family, while Janelle's upbringing was tough, in a home where Jesus wasn't known, and where struggles seemed to pass down from one generation to the next. These differences brought some tough times early in our marriage, but our love for each other and for God kept us going.

Starting a family was high on our list, but it turned out to be harder to get pregnant than our parents had led us to believe. After a year of trying, we were over the moon to finally see a positive pregnancy test. We couldn’t wait to tell our families and we raced to my parents’ house directly after our first check up, but our happiness was short-lived. During the visit to my parents, right after sharing our good news, Janelle got a call. The doctor said her HCG levels weren’t rising as they should. The baby might not be viable. We were devastated. We prayed like never before, but sadly, Janelle miscarried a few days later. We named our unborn child Alex, a unisex name for a little soul we’ll always hold close to our hearts and long to meet in heaven.

That loss hit us hard. Yet, in our prayers and in each other, we found peace and the strength to try again. Through some blood work, we learned Janelle had a genetic condition – a blood disorder called MTHFR. It sounded scary, but a simple daily baby aspirin and switching to folate rather than folic acid was all it took to manage it. Before long, Janelle was pregnant again. This time, things were looking great until we hit another hurdle at 17 weeks. Janelle asked me to take her to the OB because she just didn’t “feel right”. It turns out her feeling was a gift from God because the doctor found out that Janelle had what was called an incompetent cervix, putting our baby at risk. The doctor later shared that in her 40 years of being an OB, she has never seen anyone catch their own incompetent cervix before they lost the baby. Janelle was rushed to the ER where she had an emergency cerclage put in. By the time the cerclage was placed, Janelle had dilated to 1cm. the stitch was acting as a hammock to hold in her membrane. Because if the highly delicate state of the membrane and high risk of the water breaking, Janelle was placed on strict bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Janelle spent 4 months in her bed, every day filled with worry and the fear that her next movement would cause her to lose another child.

At 34 weeks and 2 days Janelle woke up to be almost unrecognizable. Her face had swelled up completely, which is a telltale sign of pre-eclampsia. Once again, we raced to the hospital and the doctor confirmed our fear. Within the hour the doctor broke Janelle’s water, and she was placed on Pitocin and Magnesium. (The dreaded duo) We prayed that everything would be okay during the delivery, and our prayers were answered. Brooks, our little fighter, arrived at 34 weeks. He was taken to the NICU, as is customary for any baby under 36 weeks, so that he could be closely monitored. It was a breath of fresh air to have baby Brooks on the outside and safe, but just as we were absorbing that, Janelle faced a new crisis – a life-threatening complication during delivery.

Janelle’s umbilical cord detached from the placenta before the placenta was delivered. The problem was that the placenta still wanted to hang on since it wasn’t expecting ot deliver the baby for another 6 weeks. Janelle started to bleed very heavily as the doctor tried to remove the placenta. Janelle was scared for her life, so I prayed over her as the doctors worked. Thankfully, they stopped the bleeding, and Janelle began her recovery. The next day, she finally held Brooks for the first time. Then a week later we were finally able to take him home, which felt like a miracle.

We took Brooks home on March 13th, 2020. If this date sticks out to you, its because the lockdowns in the US started on March 15th, 2020. Once again, we were blessed to get our baby boy home before ethe pandemic lockdown started. In the beginning, they were not letting anyone but the mother visit the babies in NICU, so we did not have to be restricted access to our son, but  now we had this “Deadly” virus to contend with. (Or so we thought at the time)

Those early days with Brooks were a mix of joy and fear. We were terrified of the new virus, especially for our premature baby, but I loved trying to figure out all this parenting stuff with my best friend. We were very scared to let people around Brooks because of the reports about the virus, and Brooks having an already compromised immune system by being premature made him all the more at risk. So we did not let anyone meet the baby for quite some time, but it wasn’t long before another crisis forced us to throw our bby to whoever could watch him. Two weeks after we brought Brooks home, Janelle hemorrhaged again on our bathroom floor. I'll never forget the fire department entering our house in hazmat suits to load Janelle up on a stretcher and take her to the Ambulance. And Ill never forget having to follow her in a car behind because they wouldn’t let me in the ambulance with her. I remember calling my mom crying because I didn’t know what to do. Once we got to the ER, the on call OB discovered a piece of placenta that was still attached. They removed it by performing a DNC and scraping Janelle’s cervix clean. A very painful process.

Once we finally got home, we faced the isolation of the pandemic once again, sleepless nights, the stress from overbearing grandparents, and Janelle’s struggle with postpartum depression. It was a tough time, but gradually, things started to get better. Janelle's depression lifted, and we found our rhythm as a family again about a year and a half later.

We had thought one child was enough, given all we’d been through. But life surprised us again – Janelle was pregnant with Dutton. His pregnancy had its scares, too, like a partial placental abruption around 20 weeks. We stayed close to the hospital, ready for anything. Thankfully, Dutton arrived healthy and well at 36 weeks.

Our family wasn’t complete yet, though. Eight months later, we found out Ellie was on the way. So far, her pregnancy has been smooth, and we're filled with gratitude.

Where our testimony is powerful is how Janelle and I dealt with all of this adversity. Although things were scary, we had God’s hand over us the entire time. And we felt it from the start. Even from our miscarriage we felt God’s grace on us bringing us peace. Instead of these things making us push each other away, it made us closer. We handled all our adversity with grace, humor, and gentleness toward each other. It made us closer to God and showed us that no matter what horrible thing is happening at that time, God was protecting our hearts from damage. You know that old saying about how God will never give you more than you can handle? Well Janelle and I joke a lot that God will 110% give you more than you can handle, but that is when you learn to lean on God the most, Giving god the opportunity to do something impossible so that we can use that to glorify is name. We learned that God’s grace is not taking away the thing that’s hard, but instead it’s giving you peace during the adversity. Our testimony is about finding peace and strength in God, no matter what life throws your way.

Brooks Greenstreet at 3 years old

Dutton Greenstreet at 8 months old