Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Never Would Have Guessed

I sat quietly in church this morning listening to the sermon but somewhat distracted.  My eyes kept wandering across the room up and down the pews.  It took me some time to calm my heart and realize why.  I was looking for the very two people that have stirred such emotion in me since the first of the year.

I have avoided writing about this before now and I am not sure exactly why.  Maybe it's the amount of pain that it causes each time I think of it, or maybe it's because this day was coming.  None the less... here goes.

Shortly after the first of the year, we visited a new church.  The music was beautiful, the sermon, was biblical and the people were friendly and welcoming.  But I left the service that morning as fast I my feet would move, tears in my eyes, daggers in my heart, and absolutely no intentions of ever returning to that church again. 

That particular Sunday a family was introduced to the congregation as new members.  A young mom and dad with their precious twin girls.  Twin girls only a few months old, probably born about the same time as mine.  Oh how forgotten by God I felt that day.  Those precious babies; why couldn't I be holding my precious babies?

But something drew us back there the next week.  Actually my husband (and God) drew us back there the next week.  After the sermon, I slowly walked my way to the front of the church to take communion crying the whole way only to be standing at the Lord's table beside the father of the twins.  Felling once again, How could you do this to me God? 

Many weeks have passed.  Once more I have taken communion beside that father and one Sunday evening they sat on the pew directly in front of me.  Out of the whole church, they came and sat directly in front of me.  As we sang God's praise that evening, one of those babies sat in her car seat, looking straight up into my tearing eyes for what felt like an eternity, yet I couldn't look away.  It was as if she were looking straight into my soul.  A look that was grasping none other than my vulnerability.

Then came last Sunday.  The last Sunday prior to my due date.  What else could have possibly happened other than those precious baby girls being dedicated to the Lord as I sat and watched.  Trying my best not to sob out loud but sobbing hysterically on the inside.  The tears were flowing like a waterfall as my children held my hands and looked at me so helplessly.  No idea what to say or how to fix it.  We watched as they walked those beautiful baby girls up and down the aisle for all to see and my heart delighted and broke all at the same time.  A feeling best described by Angie Smith in her book I Will Carry You.

"I can distinctly remember the way grief and joy danced together as if they had a right to."

Why have you forgotten me God?  And then came the scripture reading: 

"Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your mind?"
Luke 24:38

I have seen all to well how God has His hands all over me and my family and our loss.  But still doubt rises.  Lord please help me not to doubt that You are still in this.  That You will bring me through this and that You will get great glory out of this.

But never would I have imagined that He would have me looking for those babies.  God is good in all things.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Softest Pink

Many of you have asked me if I was going to do anything special today and I had been really uncertain.  Uncertain if I would even be strong enough to and even more uncertain of what could be special enough.   My emotions have been raw and I have been overwhelmed by all of the messages I have received expressing your thoughts and prayers.  Please know that even though I have not responded, they are much appreciated. 

I would have been alone today and had planned on a lot of reading (trying to finish Isaiah and Jeremiah), possibly a trip to Botanical Gardens and a lot of prayer and pondering.  God saw fit for me to not be alone and Evan spent the day at home sick with me.  So though my plans were a little off, it was very comforting to not be alone.

I have thought much about my girls today.  The happiness and laughter we we found out we were pregnant.  The excitement of the kids when we told them we were going to have a baby.  The overwhelming tears and laughter when we first saw "two" of them on ultrasound.  What a double blessing.  The awe I felt every time we watched them kick around on an ultrasound.  The relief we felt when we were told they were Mono/Di and not Mono/Mono.  All of the congratulations.  The blessing of an even bigger family after such a long time.  The excitement we all had to see them on ultrasound together that morning and then the nauseating feeling I had when our dreams were shattered.  The tears and prayers we prayed for the two days after we lost Emmalyn.  Then reliving it all over again on that Friday morning we lost Annalise.  The heartbreak I felt walking both into and out of that hospital.  The fear I felt when it was time and my doctor had not arrived yet.  The beauty of my girls as they were layed in my arms and I held them for the first time.  The guilt I have because I couldn't protect them.  The pain I felt as I watched my husband's and my children's hearts break.  The days I just layed in the bed not able to do anything.  The decisions we had to make and the unfairness of our children being gone before us.  The beautiful service that we had and all of those dear people that came to help us celebrate their lives.  The scent of all the beautiful flowers in our house for weeks.  The pain of celebrating Christmas after such a tragedy.  The comfort we received from all of our family and friends.  The hugs and prayers.  The way that our friends and family so tenderly cared for us and continue to do so.  The loneliness I felt after Glenn had to return to work and Grayson and Evan to school. The friendships that have been changed through this experience both in good and bad ways.  The dreaded day I returned to work.  The first time I went back into Labor Room 3.  The first time I had to care for a mother with twins.  The first time I had to do a delivery.  The first time I held a baby after my girls.  The first time I saw a mother lose her baby after me.

Oh how the pain has flooded my mind along with the happiness.  But along with all the memories of my girls it felt only natural to think of others.  Baby Victoria that is here with her parents and her baby brother that left this world too soon.  Baby Moriah who I know in my heart is Annalise and Emmalyn's playmate.  And of course her precious mom and dad.  Baby Ashton and Eliza who I don't know personally but who have touched my heart so deeply during this time of healing.  And Baby Girl Gould who has not been far from my thoughts since that dreaded day I first held her precious mother in my arms and later held her.  All of the parents that have suffered this unbearable anguish that we so helplessly endure.  How God has always given me a heart for these parents but never did I expect to join them.  Then again they never expected to join either. 

I have given thanks for my wonderful husband that has stood beside me during the good days and the bad days, feeling so helpless.  For my children who have endured my tears and mood swings.  How I wish I could have protected them all from this.  My parents who pray for us daily.  My friends and family who continue to pray for us and to send us encouragement and do not expect anything in return.  The support of my coworkers that have allowed me to take this slow because Lord knows this has threatened the love that I have always had for my job in a major way.  The support of a doctor that cares about our hearts and not just his paycheck.

So today I have talked to my girls and to my God.  I have told them how much I love them and miss them.  How I wish I could hold them.  How I wish that today we were all one happy family all together instead of separated and so broken hearted.  And then I prepared to release two of the softest pink balloons into the great wide open.  And once again, I struggled to let go.  It took much longer than I had anticipated but somehow just like that terrible day in November, God gave me the strength to do it.

And as they drifted away I pondered on these two very real verses from God's word.

4God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4
(The Amplified Bible)

3Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth.
Hosea 6:3
(The Amplified Bible)

Thank you Lord for my precious girls and for your promise that although I feel sadness here on earth there will be joy in the morning. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Exactly is the Evidence

The events of this week have left me broken and angry.  Some events that we have no control over and others that are extremely skewd.  Of course with the girls due date being tomorrow, my emotions are already fragile and therefore the fire is fueled.  The events of this week did how ever drive me to do something that I have been avoiding since November.  Anyway....

I have been deeply troubled by the words evidence based practice this week in particular.  I have encountered numerous mothers recently that have been faced with almost unbearable news.  (The only thing they could have been told that would have been worse would have been that they had lost there precious babies.)  Instead they were told there was a problem and that there was nothing that could be done.  Come back in several weeks and we will reevaluate.  No cerclages (a purse string type stitch to hold the cervix closed), no tocolytics (medications to keep the uterus from contracting), and further more information given for these parents to make informed decisions.  They say evidence based practice does not prove that any of these things make a difference in maintaining a pregnancy.  But the evidence is.... that women WANT their babies.  Fathers WANT there babies. 

Much of this evidence based practice theory, comes from teaching facilities.  Facilities that are most often known for their cutting edge technology.  But with that also often comes a patient population that is not representative of the whole.  Often times patients that have histories that put them at risk, or no support to make these therapies most effective.  That being said there are women out there that are seen by these specialists that would give their life to save their babies.  That should be given the most information and the opportunity to do something that even might save their babies.  And if your "evidence based practice" keeps you from providing that information or those services, you should explain that to these parents, but then let them know that they should seek a second opinion.  Because thank God there are doctors out there that really care about us and our babies.  They care that this may be our only chance, or last chance, and that a loss of a baby effects the rest of your life not just today. 

I so want to compile a list of the things I have heard and seen and take it to them and say "can't you see what you are doing to these women!"  What if this was your wife, or your baby/babies.  However, I am convinced it really wouldn't matter and certainly wouldn' t change anything.

But my heart tells me that if it really were happening to them, or if it really were their wives.....they would be calling my doctor.  The one that deserves a purple heart for all the lives he's saved (babies and mothers) regardless of the evidence.  Because the evidence that matters to him, is that we want our babies.  We are not talking about rashes, infections or minor medical problems; we are talking about a life, a fragile little life that can't protect herself.

Of all the things I have felt after losing Annalise and Emmalyn, the heartache, sorrow, sadness, guilt, failure to protect.....I could go on and on; I am thankful that I did not have to protect them from a bad doctor.  I know they had the BEST!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Scream of Vulnerability

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm126:5-6

I have written this post a thousand times as it has played out in my mind and heart over the past several days but I continue to be distracted by one thing.....

The Scream.... The blood curdling scream!

A scream that I know all too well, but never let out except when I was alone. The scream of my heart followed by the pleads of my heart when I realized we had lost one of our precious girls. And then again when we lost the second one.

As I sat at the nurses station desk, listening and fighting back the tears, I was silently reliving it. That moment no parent should EVER have to endure, yet somehow it found me, and it found her. The what ifs, the guilt, the sorrow, the unspeakable pain, and then the shattering silence. I was not so simply reliving it! Oh how I prayed for that mommy as I drove home Saturday morning, and how I prayed for myself. That somehow, some way, God would protect me from many things: tears, pain, sorrow, shattered dreams, states, questions, all those things that make us vulnerable.

Vulnerability: susceptible to physical or emotional injury.

Something I have learned as an adult that I hate. I hate vulnerability with a passion. The thought of maybe even possibly being vulnerable makes my heart beat way to fast. It's too risky for me. It has always involved heartache or heartbreak for me. As far back as I can or care to remember. My deepest feelings are the ones I protect the most. Whether right or wrong, it is a protective mechanism I have carried for many years and I am definitely not ready to let it go yet. As a matter of honesty, I am probably more vulnerable when I write here in my blog, than I am at any other time or with anyone. I guess it's kind of sad in a way.

As I move past that scream, or maybe I should say through it, it is clear to me that God knew it was coming. He spoke His truths to me this week in preparation.

First through Romans 15:13

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
I have read it before but it was so much more powerful as it rolled off the
tongues of a husband and wife simultaneously to me as we shared of our faith."

Then again the next day from a couple that had read my blog together and encouraged me to remember that God has a purpose and that He is going to use my pain for His glory. He picked up his Bible and read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 straight into my heart.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
 and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can
comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our
 comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are
comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces I you patient endurance of the same
 sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as
you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

It continues to amaze me how God always shows up in a  big way just when you need Him to. Even when we waiver in our faith. How He uses others to do His work. How He is always faithful even in the midst of "the scream".

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Carry Me

I have been trying to come here all week but just have not felt I had much to say.  I have spent much of the week with that lump in my throat over my "labor of love" from last weekend.  As I was in the store this morning preparing for Easter tomorrow, that lump was bigger than ever.  How odd it was to be buying for two when I should have been buying for four.  It was all I could do to hold back the tears.  I love getting things for my kids and this made my shopping trip a bit of a damper.  How I just wish that the six of us were riding home from the hospital in our car just in time to celebrate this joyous season of Easter.

Easter has always been a special holiday for me for several reasons.  I spent two Easters pregnant with my older two children.  Evan was actually born the day after Easter.  I remember one year when his birthday was on Easter him asking if the Easter Bunny was going to bring his birthday presents.  I laugh about that every time.  But Easter this year is so much more.  The true meaning has really hit home.  It is, after all, the events of this Holy Week that guarantee my eternity with my girls and the rest of my family when the time comes.  A time we have been so blessed to be given, yet so unworthy to receive.  A gift we could never live up to and could never pay anything in return.  As I think about our Jesus, flogged beyond recognition, spit on, yelled at and then humbly taking on His crown of thorns, I am deeply touched.  I think back to the times I have seen the movie The Passion and how it was just too horrible to watch that portion or to even listen to it for that matter.   I think of Him carrying that cross and His prayers before that from the Garden of Gethsemane.  The pain He must have felt, both physically and emotionally.  Pain that we could never fully understand.  Part of the beauty of the story is that He carried that cross for us, that cross was us.  It was me.  So in times like this, when my pain is so deep, and I'm carrying my own cross, I will humbly remember to let Him carry me.

I pray that this weekend and especially tomorrow that you would be deeply touched by the life everlasting that we have been guaranteed.  That it would hit home deeper than ever before.  That you would picture the horrific scenes of Good Friday and wake tomorrow morning to a Glorious splendor you have never know.  That the cross would really be something to you this year.  And that at the end of the day, we would all be able to take all of our brokenness there, and fully know that just as he carried that cross, he carries us.

May God Bless You and Your Family this Easter

Carry Me by Audrey Assad

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Dear Lord,

I am keeping it simple today.  For my heart is restless.  As I read your word this morning I am reminded to stay in constant communion with you.  Please help me to rest totally in You.  To take this day as it comes and to seek to find You in the midst of every detail.