Families We Heart – The Yusko Family


Mother and Father’s Name:    Aleisa and William Yusko

Siblings’ Names:    Sophie (birth daughter), Gavin, Greta

Your Baby’s Name:     Nora Rose

  • Five words to describe the feelings you had about being a parent?

 Aleisa: challenging, rewarding, selfless, priceless, testing

William: rewarding, fun, responsibility, exciting, challenging

  •  What was it like finding out you were having a baby?

Aleisa: I was taken off guard, but excited about having a new baby in the house again! Nervous, but up for the challenge!

William: A little exciting.  A wake up call.  We’d been talking about adding to the family but hadn’t officially given it the okay.  We both wanted another child but wished we would’ve decided to do so a couple years earlier.  We weren’t really trying, but not preventing either. If it happened it was meant to be.

Siblings: Sophie was extremely excited. Gavin and Greta didn’t believe Mommy at first. Once they realized we weren’t kidding, they too were beside themselves!

  •  Tell us about Nora:    

When we first found out we were pregnant we decided that we were going to wait to find out if the baby was a girl or a boy. We were so excited for our 20 week ultrasound thinking the only thing we’d have to worry about is whether we’d have enough will power to decline the knowledge of the baby’s gender. A couple of soft markers lead to a level 2 ultrasound, which then brought us to an amniocentesis.  Based on the soft markers and our family histories we were given a 70% chance that this was a healthy pregnancy. Our “worst case scenario” was Down’s syndrome. While that was scary to think about, we would accept it if that were the hand we were dealt. The news that our baby has Trisomy 18 knocked us down to the floor. “Incompatible with life” resonated in our minds. Despite being given the option to terminate, we chose take a leap of faith and to carry to term. We were told our baby likely wouldn’t survive to term, even then it would be a lot to expect a baby with Trisomy 18 to make it through delivery. And on the off chance he or she survived delivery, we wouldn’t have long with our baby. Straying from our original plan of waiting to learn the gender, we decided to find out. We did that through a gender reveal cake. Our geneticist sent the big news to us in a sealed envelope which we gave to our friend and baker. When we took that first slice into the cake and saw that it was PINK we knew we were having a GIRL! We named her Nora Rose and treasured each day of my pregnancy with Nora as a part of our family, wondering if that might be all we would be given. Every little kick and jab was a precious gift. Nora remained very active on into the day of delivery. Her heartbeat was equally as strong. Without any complications except for our rattled emotions, Nora Rose arrived into this world with a big hearty wail! To embrace her and kiss her as she was placed up onto her Mommy’s chest was incredible and exhilarating! Just as quickly as that moment was given to us, it seemed to be wisked away. The nurse gently, but urgently removed Nora from our embrace. Nora’s heart rate had dropped dangerously low. We had requested that drastic measures to resuscitate not be taken, as they were often futile and could inflict unnecessary pain. We were urged to bring in our pastor. It seemed like that was the end. In absolute desperation we cried out to God to breathe life back into that baby, please spare her! The heavy silence that hung over the room was broken by a loud cry. Her heart rate was back to normal. After a few minutes she was back in her Mommy’s arms. We probably could have flooded the room with all of the happy tears! From that point on, Nora has decided to prove everyone wrong. She is a month old now as I write this. She requires only a little help with some oxygen, but is otherwise a “normal”, beautiful baby girl. She eats from a bottle on her own, she has her fussy periods, she loudly alerts us when she’s hungry, and she responds to our touches and our voices. We never could have imagined how precious this little life actually is. She is such a gift from God and we feel so incredibly blessed that He chose us to be Nora’s parents!

  • Why choose life: 

Initially it seemed senseless to carry to term. My first instincts were, “What’s the difference if the baby dies now or later? If the outcome is going to be the same, why prolong the inevitable?” Those thoughts were out of fear and emotion. My best friend pointed out to me, “We’re ALL going to die sooner or later…” Never were truer words spoken. I knew deep down in my heart that this unborn life had a purpose, I just wasn’t sure what that could be. It turns out that Nora’s purpose is way bigger than anything I could have ever tried to conjure up in my own mind! I’ve learned that if I can just release all of the control I think I have on life and let God be in charge, without a doubt He will sculpt it into something beautiful!

  • If you could do it all over again or change something, would you?

Aleisa: I would most definitely, without any doubt or hesitation, do this again. Nora Rose was worth every tear and every sleepless night. The only thing I would change is that we wouldn’t have worried so much! I can’t even say that I would change her extra chromosome because that’s part of what makes Nora who she is, and in my eyes she is perfect, beautifully and wonderfully made!

William: I would not have been so scared or worried.  I think of all my wasted sleep, time, and energy that went into worrying.  I wish now that I would’ve trusted God more than I did and that I’d been able to be the one who calmed my wife’s fears and worries.  I feel like those times were wasted opportunities for any joy or happiness during the pregnancy.  

  • If you could tell families in the same situation something, what would you tell them?

Aleisa: Rely heavily on your faith. God does not make mistakes. He WILL use each and every life He creates for His glory. Even in what we, in our limited perceptions would deem as unfathomable, I can promise it isn’t once you’re in the middle of it. Stay focused on the present moment, enjoy each day and each moment as they come without giving even so much as a fleeting thought about what you THINK the future MIGHT hold. God will give you all of the tools and perspective to deal with each new day and each set of circumstances as they come. It won’t be easy, but you will be richly blessed!

William:  Please don’t waste time worrying about the uncertainty and all the what if’s.  But with that said, It’s in our nature and nearly impossible not to worry no matter how strong our faith is.  I even remember reading accounts of other couples who offered up the same advice but I wasn’t strong enough to take it.   Instead of all the worry just Give up control and let it be.  Let God’s plan for your life play out and simply enjoy each day.  I would also add to share how your feeling with family and friends.  It sure did help knowing people around us were loving on us and praying for us.

  • If Nora could tell us all what’s in her heart, what do you think she would say?

Nora My tiny heart is so filled with love and gratitude for being given this life. You were told I might not live, the outlook was grim. You were given the option to end my life, but instead you took a chance on me and let me continue to grow where I was safe and warm in Mommy’s belly. This is just the way God made me. I don’t realize there is anything “wrong” with me or that there are statistics that imply I shouldn’t be here. All I know is what it is like to be loved. Because you gave me a chance, I get to experience the warmth of the sunshine, I get to hear the birds singing, I know the smell of spring time. Best of all I know what it’s like to be cuddled, kissed, hugged and stroked by my Mommy and my Daddy, my brother and sisters and all those who love me. My presence in your lives, no matter how long will bless you immeasurably. That’s just my little way of saying, “Thank you!”


Special Thanks:

Thank you so much to the Yusko family for participating in “Families We Heart” and being apart of our family at 1heart2souls.  We love you and will continue to pray for you!

<3 luci

If you would like others to continue to follow Nora’s story or would like to reach out to this family:

Blog:   www.iwillcarryyou.wordpress.com

Email: aleisaak@aol.com

Donations to: 1heart2souls.org

In honor of: Nora Rose Yusko

**Any donations received to 1heart2souls in honor of your child will be used towards our effort to provide healing blankets to parents, receiving blankets to babies, and in supporting our NICU fund at Children’s Hospitals.