My name is Catherine Jacobs. I am a born-again Christian wife, daughter of a Baptist minister, mother of four plus one in heaven. I am a full-time elementary art teacher, and have been for the past 31 years. In my free time God has laid on my heart a pro-life mission to sculpt all 38 weeks of life.
Why am I pro-life?
Over 22 years ago, three months after a miscarriage, I thought I miscarried again twelve weeks into a new pregnancy, but this time my doctor said I needed a D&C. I felt the Lord tell me “NO”. I felt I was still pregnant. My doctor ordered an ultrasound to prove there was no viable baby. He was wrong! The ultrasound showed I was pregnant with twins who were Placenta Previa ( A high risk life threatening pregnancy where the placenta covers the birth canal blocking the normal birth of the baby). I was told I could abort one of the twins to make it easier for the other to make it to the age of viability. I refused this as well. I and was sent home on bed rest.
Why sculpt babies?
To show my girls ages two and four at the time what the babies looked like, I researched and sculpted life size models of the tiny babies growing inside my tummy and the little one I lost through miscarriage. At twenty weeks into the pregnancy I contracted Pneumococcal Pneumonia. A team of doctors entered my hospital room and told me I had a deadly strain and if I did not take the medication prescribed we all would die. I prayed, dedicated my artistic talents to the Lord and feeling His peace, took the medication. I recovered. At 31 weeks my water broke and I was again in the hospital on bed rest. To calm my fears that my babies were not developed enough to survive this early, the nurses wheeled me on a gurney through the NICU to see a baby born at 24 weeks gestation, (the age of viability, about one pound). They told me my babies were four pounders now and would be healthy after a shot to help their lungs develop needed surfactant. They were born at 32 weeks by emergency C-Section as one was transverse and unable to be turned without injury before birth. After we brought our miracle babies home, I sculpted a life-size portrait replica doll of baby born at 24 weeks gestation. I was broken hearted to learn that at that time it was legal to abort a baby this age in New York State no questions asked.
How the vision grew and the mission began.
I entered my life-size sculpted doll in an International doll show. It won prizes and a grandmother pinned a note to it ordering two of the dolls for herself. She later told me she wanted the dolls to hold and rock and grieve for her twin babies “Hope and Will” who had recently passed. After another doll show a woman ordered portrait dolls to remember her lost son born at 20 weeks gestation and to celebrate the miracle birth of another son born at 26 weeks gestation. This is how the mission started, Over the past 22 years parents from all the United States have ordered life sized portrait sculptures of their babies. Some to celebrate their miracle babies, some to hold while they grieve for their stillborn, miscarried or aborted babies to heal. Others have ordered the dolls to use for prenatal and pro-life educational models.
I have sculpted them out of polymer clay for parents one at a time, who have contacted me through my web site, www.godslittleones.com, asking for portrait sculptures of their real babies born at these ages and have provided me with photos, ultrasounds, and in many cases actual birth records of measurements and birth stories. I also created one silicone mold set (front and back of head,body and two arms, body, two legs, seven mold sets for each baby) of each doll so that at least one resin doll is cast of each. The dolls are posable and dressed as real babies. Some resin castings were sold to other parents who lost little ones to help underwrite the cost of making more models for other parents.
Every year since I have started, I have taken one dressed resin casting of each baby I have made so far to the local Right to life display at the fair where thousands of men, women and children have seen, held and wept over them. For many years they have also been on display at our local Pregnancy Resource Center banquet.
There are about 5 babies left to sculpt to complete the series of all 38 weeks. 33,34,37,39,40 weeks are not completed yet. These hand cast resin models have actually helped save babies lives as well as proved the personhood of the real babies they represent in actual courts of law, hospitals, by doctors, nurses, dulas, and pregnancy care centers. We donated about ten different size dolls to www.teacherssavingchildren.org to take annually to the NEA convention to show teachers the beauty of Gods Little Ones as well. Hearts are changed one at a time as teachers cuddle the dolls and talk about early human development.
The Children’s Book:
I have also been able to write and illustrate a children’s non-fiction book on human development written at a third grade level, for children to see how babies grow week by week in their
mommy’s tummy. So far no Christian publisher has been brave enough to take it. It would cost about $5,000 to print it.
Funding needs to continue:
In the past my husband and I have underwritten the cost of giving the models away to many parents and pro-life educational organizations. However the cost of raising our own four children and paying off the debt of putting them all through college is our current financial priority. I have looked into the cost of making the dolls in resin and the average cost of remaking each mold set is $500.00 to cast about 50 resin( hard plastic that is breakable if dropped on hard surfaces) castings at an average cost of $50.00 each, would equal about $25,000.
I have a dream that the models may some day be mass produced in a safe non-breakable material (soft vinyl is the normal doll material costing about ten times that of resin) to be used to educate everyone, especially children, that the tiny life growing inside a pregnant mother is a human being in need of love and protection.
The Details Matter:
The fine realistic details of each life size portrait sculpture is delicate and beautiful like the real babies they represent. Their authentic details prove personhood, and touches hearts without saying one word. They also have been proven effective at bringing healing to many who have lost little ones.