Monday, August 25, 2008

On this day last year...

Exactly one year ago today, Mike and I found out we were going to be the parents of twin daughters. We had known they were twins for 13 weeks but had anticipated this date to know whether they were girls, boys or one of each.

Our lives were changed that day. Changed forever. As I went into the office, I needed to use the restroom. While in the restroom my water broke. I was 20 weeks. After a hurried ultrasound and the tech telling us..."there is one girl"....."and there is another girl"...and after looking over at my husband with tears in his eyes wondering what was going on, we were rushed down to my OB's office and into a back room. "Sarah, I need to tell you that you will likely lose at least one of these babies, if not both." Those were her words. She said it all in one sentence. I wondered to myself if there was something I was missing. Did I misunderstand her? How did she know for sure what was going on?

I remember those moments as if they were yesterday, but they feel as it they were a lifetime ago. I remember the looks on the people's faces as I left the doctor's office crying. I remember the drive to the hospital. I remember calling my pastor to tell him what was going on. I remember checking into the hospital, I remember being wheeled by the nursery. I remember the smell, the sounds, the faces. I remember it all. Why? Because it was the day I found out I was going to be the mother to twin daughters.

The week following would prove to the be the most horrendous and traumatic week of our lives, yet one that was filled with peace, comfort and love and the joy of being parents.

I had developed an infection in Allison's placenta which had caused it to rupture. The hope was that as long as she could stay in my tummy, she would be saving her sister's life and there might be a chance that Emily could be delivered full term or close to it. But, I would have to lose one to save one; possibly carry one that was alive and one that wasn't. Being only 20 weeks at this point, the doctors can't stop labor in anyway because viability isn't possible outside of the womb. And thankfully, labor hadn't started so I was sent home after 3 days in the hospital to be put on bed rest until I was at least 23 weeks. At that point, if the girls made it, I could be checked back into the hospital and would stay there for the duration of my pregnancy. 3 weeks was all we needed to save our girls. I needed to do anything I could do to keep my babies safe.

I was only home for a few days before I went into labor on the morning of September 4th. By that evening the infection had progressed to the point that my life was in danger. As Mike spoke privately with the doctor across the room, I saw him nod his head and glance my way. The labor was increasing in intensity and there was nothing they could do.

Allison Elizabeth and Emily Ann were born shortly after. My babies, my daughters. As we held them in our arms, we took them in; their fingernails, their eyebrows, their ears...Allison even had a little dimple in the middle of her chin like her father.

There are things I will never know about them. I will never know what color their eyes were. I will never know what their cries sounded like or what their laughs sound like. I will never know if Allison would have liked a bat and glove in her hand or preferred a pink tutu. I will never know if Emily liked to sing or would she have rathered play the piano. We will never see them off for their first day of school, their first dates or be there to stand and applaud at their graduation. Mike will never walk his first born daughters down the aisle on their wedding day. It hurts and it's hard.

There are some things that I do know. I know that God is good, even when we don't understand. I know that for every tear I have cried over my daughters, God has cried more. I know that I will get to spend eternity with my daughters. I know that God was there when they were created, He was there when they were born and He was there when they died. He was there, He was there, He was there.

He was in the hospital room. He was with us as Mike and I lay side by side in the hospital bed crying out to Him. He was in the moments we were able to spend with our daughters. He is even in the pictures we have of them. He was at the graveside when we laid their bodies to rest. He is at the cemetery--in the wind that blows the trees that makes the wind chimes sing.

And you know what...He is here. He never went away. He was there all along. He has written the story of their lives. The story of two sweet baby girls in my tummy one moment and in the next moment they were in Jesus' arms. The story of two lives that changed a family from Ohio to Alabama and from California to North Carolina.

I read from someone, who recently lost her child, say, "Because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why." There isn't any explanation for why and there won't be until I meet my sweet Jesus and hold my babies in my arms again. Even then, honestly, I think I will be so filled with joy that it won't even matter.

As this week approaches, I am anticipating moments of remembrance and a hope for heaven that has never been more real.


Empty Nest Full Life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Empty Nest Full Life said...

Your story is such a testimony of God's sovreignty. My thoughts and prayers are with you today. Jackie

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Wow Sarah...I am honored that you shared this with us. You have a strong and beautiful spirit. My prayers are with you and your dh. cherry

Davene said...

Thank you for sharing this. Tears fill my eyes as I read it--not simply tears of sorrow for you, but also tears of hope inspired by your intense faith in the midst of unfathomable pain.

May you be held closely and tenderly by God as you go through this time of special remembrance.

Sweet Ruthie said...

I found your blog through Davene =)
Your story is very touching.
Thank you for sharing it. It is very inspiring. I'll keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

Rae said...

With tears streaming down my face I write to say thank you. Thank you for sharing this precious moment with us. I have not been able to share my losses with the blogging community and am not sure if I will ever have the strength to do so. You are an amazing woman! My prayers are with you and your husband.

Carolina Mama said...

Blessings to you and your family. That was so beautifully written. God is honored in your loss.
And we are excited to see His hand in the days ahead as you seek Him.

Christy said...


Isaiah 45:3 says, " I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."

You and Mike have walked a narrow road, at times a very dark road. You have seen the Lord is faithful and is ever so good. He is poured His riches on you and you have clung to Him like never before.

These are two sweet and beautiful girls that changed our lives forever. One day, there will be a celebration like no other. We believe that.

Sarah, Mike, Allison, and Emily.... We love you.

Katie said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing such a special story. Your faith is inspiring.

Angie said...

Thank you for having the strength to share your sad yet inspiring story. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May God bless and be with you in the days ahead.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I wish I had words to say that would let you know how sorry I am for your loss. This first anniversary of that time must be so emotional. Praise God that He created your girls' lives and that you will be with them in heaven. I lost a child to miscarriage before I had my daughter. There is just nothing like that type of loss in the whole world. I will pray for you and your husband today.

Lisa said...

oh Sarah..This is the first time I have been over here, (from Jens cottage nest) Your girls ARE watching you from heaven and they were so lucky to have such a beautiful mother. I am soooo sorry. This is one of those things we will never know why, until we get to heaven. You will be able to know all those things you are wondering, and they will be so wonderful to discover.
I will keep you in my thoughts sweet girl, and say a prayer for those beautiful loves lost.
take care!!
coastal nest

Anonymous said...

saysay... wow i am so blessed to have you as my aunt. I have watched you go through this hard time and have seen how you turn to God in every situation. I look up to you so much!!

I can't wait to meet sweet Allison and Emily!! I love you all so much!

Kim said...

Oh Sarah~
Praying that God's presence is so real to you today, tomorrow, and in the weeks and months to come!

You truly have a tender heart towards God, and he WILL comfort you.

Know that I'm praying for you, during the coming days!

Keep lookin to him.

Susan said...

Precious Sarah. Thinking about you today. Praying for you and your man. Thank you for the quote...I needed to hear it today.
Blessings, Susan

Kristen said...

I came across your blog while reading Kim's at Seasons of my Heart. I know that I never visit a new blog on purpose... I visit because God designed the visit.

Your story moved me to tears. Your testimony to God's faithfulness in our times of deepest sorrow is powerful.

I am sure the days to come will be filled with much emotion... and it will also be filled with the love and promise of our Jesus. I will be praying for you and your husband.

I have never been able to have children, and I too have felt the healing of God in my broken heart. I love the quote "Because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why." I will treasure that... and I will treasure your story.

God Bless you sweet sister in Christ!

Kate and Dan said...

Love, a prayer, and kind thoughts from yet another stranger who visited your blog for the first time today. Wishing you and your dear husband the blessing of God's continued presence and healing. Thank you for sharing!

Morning said...

Your story breaks my heart ... but how brave you are. A friend of mine had a similar tragedy with her first baby, and she said something to me that I always remember: "one of the hardest things to be in the world is a childless parent". Because you still are a parent. Blessings to you at this difficult time.

Scrapper Mom said...

That was very beautifully written. God bless you for being strong enough to share.

mom said...

We are so blessed by God to have you as our daughter and Mike as our new son. The year since Allison and Emily were born seems to have gone so fast and yet I know that some days passed so slowly - you know the ones. The days when the girls were missed so much that it physically hurt. As a mother, I share in your trememdous loss and all the hopes, and dreams, and plans that will never come to fruition. And yet as a child of God, we share the knowledge of knowing that one beautiful day, we will embrace the girls with love and joy. I look forward to that day. Your father and I marvel at what a beautiful woman of God you have become. We love you, our precious Sarah.

joelandbecca said...

Just stumbled across your blog-and I am crying. We lost a baby boy last year-and as the day approaches I am at a loss for words. Thank you for your words and your boldness in sharing your story. It makes me wonder why I am so hesitant to share ours. I feel all those things that you feel, so thank you. Thank you for your love of God and helping strengthen one who is still trying to find her voice.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

P.S. Just stopped by to see what was new...I love the new style of your blog. So pretty. I am also reminded to pray for you again today...which I will right now.

Becky said...

Hi Sarah,

I clicked on your name because you'd left a comment on my best girlfriend's blog (Kate and Dan/Life in the JFC House) and I can't tell you how touched I was to read your post. Thank you for writing that and sharing; I know some it was easy and some of it was really hard.

I was also surprised to see that you live in Tennessee! My husband and I live in Johnson City...and I have no idea where Pleasant View is? I wonder if we're close?

In any case, I will bookmark your blog and read it when I can!


Elise said...

Oh, wow. I am amazed at the strength you have in God. I don't know that I would be near as strong. I will be praying for you and your husband.

Jill said...

I admire you and was blessed by your words. I wrote this poem for our little "J" and wanted to share it with you. It's great to know we will someday see these little ones we now miss dearly.

“You’ll Be There”
Someday, when the questions are answered
And the pain has passed –
You’ll be there.

Someday, when I smile
Because of the beauty I’ve never seen –
You’ll be there.

Someday, when this all makes sense
And I understand God’s plan –
You’ll be there.

Someday, when I walk towards the gates
And enter my eternal home –
You’ll be there.

Someday, when I cry tears of joy
And embrace the ones I miss –
You’ll be there.

Someday, when I enter heaven
And forever praise the Lord I love –
You’ll be there.