If you've been following along with us here for some time, you know that we welcomed our twins into the world in October 2023. As we started The Delac Collective to encourage and support holy marriages, we thought we would share our twins' birth story with you all and some of the ways the Lord has been drawing us closer to Him in this new chapter of our lives. We pray our words may give you hope and encouragement in your own journey to heaven and that you may always be open to what the Lord desires to give you.

-Josie + Jack


As I write this, Jack and I just celebrated our second wedding anniversary— So we are definitely not experts by any means on this beautiful Vocation of Marriage. However, in the short time we’ve been married, it’s been obvious how the Lord desires to sanctify us and prepare our hearts for Him: Learning to deny our will for love of the other. In the beginning of our marriage, when we were learning each others habits and quirks, this looked a lot like letting the other load the dishwasher the way they preferred; folding laundry or organizing in a way we knew the other would appreciate; learning to listen to them talk about something you weren’t interested in at the end of a long day; and other normal, daily things you don’t know about someone until you are married and living under the same roof. As our marriage continued to grow, and we learned to die to ourselves in small ways, the Lord brought up bigger opportunities to love: Like how to love one another’s extended families while also setting boundaries, or learning to handle our finances together in a way each of us felt supported, loved, and cared for. We thank God that He gave us these opportunities to grow in love in stages, as we probably wouldn't be able to handle them all at once!

When we got pregnant with our twins in February 2023, many people would comment about how hard it’s going to be, how much we wouldn't sleep, or just how much our lives would change. Many of these people were excited for us and didn’t mean these things in a bad way—They were simply sharing the reality of parenthood. Because we trust that God always gives what we need for our sanctificaiton, both Jack and I never really doubted that this was God’s plan for us and that He would provide what we needed to get through. As we reflect on this new season we have entered, we can confirm that pregnancy, birth, and parenting have been the most sanctifying journeys yet...

Our pregnancy journey

The Delacs, Catholic family life, Catholic Marriage, Catholic pregnancy, The Delac Collective
The Delac Collective, Catholic family life, Catholic Marriages, Catholic pregnancy and birth, having a holy birth
The Delac Collective, catholic wedding photographers, catholic marriage, catholic family life, holy birthing
The Delac Collective, Catholic family life, Catholic wedding photographers Jacksonville, Catholic marriage

When Jack and I said our vows on our wedding day, we promised God to always be open to His will and accept children lovingly from Him. We took that seriously, and honestly desired children from the beginning. Unfortunately, getting pregnant didn’t come as easily as we had hoped. I had some underlying fertility issues that I needed to work through, so for the first nine months of our marriage, we prayed for healing, sought out doctors' opinions, and tried our best to trust that God was in all of this and had a plan to gift us children in His time. In November of 2022, we finally got to the root cause of my issues. However, in order to get pregnant, I needed to change some lifestyle habits and gain some weight. I had to learn to surrender my desire to workout daily, eat clean, and be perfectly fit in order to bear life. Through this painful process, the Lord was preparing me for the sacrifices and demands of motherhood. As I went to daily Mass during this time, I’d hear the priest say, “This is my Body, given up for you.” Jesus’ words to me sunk deeply into my heart as an example to emulate. I started saying, “This is my Body, given up for You” to my husband and future children. I knew these sacrifices were necessary to have children, and I didn’t want to selfishly choose what I wanted out of vanity’s sake and forego the beautiful gift that God may want to give Jack and I. 

The Lord, in His goodness, didn’t make us wait long. We got pregnant in February, 2023—exactly a year into our marriage. But again, the Lord had another self-denial in store: pregnancy. I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be. Whenever I thought of being pregnant one day, I thought of the “pregnancy glow”, the joy of carrying life and feeling the baby move, and doing all of the fun pregnancy things. My experience was not that. I was nauseous and sick from about 5 weeks until they were born. I lost all motivation to do things I usually loved doing: Like moving my body, eating foods I enjoyed, seeing friends, going on dates with Jack, etc. I didn’t feel well enough most days to do basic household tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, or meal prepping. Jack literally did everything, while I layed in bed and watched a show or slept to distract myself from throwing up or feeling nauseous. But the Lord was in this, too. I had to die to myself again, this time with my pride. I had to receive the help of my wonderful husband and be okay with not doing all of the things I was used to doing. I had to accept my weakness and inability to get things done. I had to be okay with doing less—a hard offering for someone who is a go-getter and agenda-setter like myself. But still, there was more in store...


Taken by Hayley Garza of The Humbled Doula

Taken by Hayley Garza of the Humbled Doula

Taken by Hayley Garza of The Humbled Doula

Taken by Hayley Garza of The Humbled Doula

Birth is one of the most unpredictable and uncontrollable things in life. We planned our whole pregnancy hoping for a natural, vaginal birth of our twins. We hired a duola and even switched practices to one that would optimize our chances of delivering vaginally with twins. But God had other plans. At about 20 weeks, we found out our twins were both breech (feet down) and that at least the first baby would have to turn in order to have a vaginal birth. I tried ALL of the things—spinning babies routines, handstands in the pool, etc. You name it, I probably did it. Yet, still, they didn’t budge. I had to deny myself the birth that I wanted for the birth that God wanted for me. I trusted He knew best, so if that meant a C-section, I guess that was the way!

The twins’ birth itself was beautiful. My water was leaking two days before my scheduled c-section, so they made their arrival on Oct. 14, 2023 at exactly 38 weeks. We were so grateful that they stayed put for that long, which allowed them to be healthy and not have to go to the NICU—something I was really nervous about. Our son, Judah Louis, arrived first, followed a few minutes later by his sister, Philomena Zelie. Jack and I got to hold them a few minutes after birth, and it was one of the most surreal moments of our lives. It was a wild feeling to hold our children for the first time, who I carried for 9 months and co-created with my spouse and God, yet who we actually didn't know yet at all! The first few days in the hospital were new, exciting, overwhelming, exhausting… all of the things.

Things got harder when we made our transition home two days after their birth. Nobody tells you how to get sleep when you have newborn twins to feed every two hours. God also threw another big obstacle our way when I developed a massive blood clot in my leg a week after birth. Literally a week after coming home from the hospital, I was readmitted to the same hospital for not just the blood clot in my right calf, but more seriously for the pulmonary emboli that had developed in my lungs (basically the clots had moved to my lungs, which can be life threatening). The doctors put me on blood thinners immediately and monitored me, but that wasn’t even the hardest part. The greatest suffering was Jack and I leaving our two tiny newborn babies with my parents while we were stuck in the hospital again. Talk about surrendering all to our Lord! We didn’t have a choice. We could either live in fear, worry, and anxiety the whole time, or trust that God our Father was in control—that He was allowing all of this for our benefit somehow. We had to trust that He would take care of our children for us when we couldn't. Going home after those 3 days and holding and feeding our children again was the best feeling in the world. Looking back, it’s easy to get upset or point fingers/blame on why or how that happened or how we could have prevented it. Yet, ultimately, I know that it was part of the Lord's permissive will. I am grateful for that experience because it not only reminded Jack and I of the reality that life is so fleeting and temporary, but also that everything is a gift and not a right. We are called to receive all that He gives and give all back to Him.

the postpartum journey continues...

The Delac Collective, Catholic family photographers Jacksonville, Newborn photographers Jacksonville
The Delac Collective, Jacksonville newborn photographers, Jacksonville family photographers
The Delac Collective, Jacksonville newborn photography, Jacksonville newborn photographers

After the first few weeks, things slowly started to normalize—we got into a nice rhythm and routine, Jack went back to work, and I started doing some editing and photo work again during babies’ naps. However, the lessens learned during our journey of pregnancy and birth continue now in motherhood.

Daily, our children are a constant reminder that all is gift and holiness is NOT doing what I think is holy, but in receiving all that God desires to give me. Now, my path to sanctification looks a lot like denying my will and my desire to get a lot of things done in a day—work, editing, household chores, etc.—and be at the whim of our children. It means planning to have a work block in the morning, but holding a fussy baby instead. It means being interruptable and joyful when my children wake up from naps way before I finished the task I was doing. Holiness and sanctification for me is seeing each action as an opportunity to say YES to Jesus and what He wants in that moment and NO to myself and what I may want. It’s easy to follow my plans for a given day, but it’s so much harder to pivot and receive what God wants to send in a given day—especially when it’s different than my plan. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have a plan, but rather that I make a schedule for my days/weeks, but then allow myself to be flexible when things come up. I’ve noticed that on days that I do this well, I have so much fun with the kids, and I feel free to just live in each moment and not worry…the tasks will get done. The days I don’t do it well, I get frustrated by my inability to get everything done and I feel like a failure at the end of the day.

So all of this is to say is that motherhood has expanded my heart in ways I didn’t know were possible. It’s giving me tangible ways to sacrifice and deny myself for love of God, but it doesn’t look big. In fact, it’s so small that only I know how hard it is for me. And that’s the beauty of everyday holiness. So from one woman, wife, mom, and business-owner to another… here’s to our little, everyday paths to sanctity. May we allow God to sancify us in the work He calls us to in each moment and choose HIS plan, whether it’s in accord with ours or not.

In Christ,