This morning some dear friends of our delivered their daughter into heaven. As of now her twin brother is still healthy and in the mother’s womb. The pregnancy has been one challenge after the next. Hundreds of people have been standing with this couple celebrating the fact that she was finally preg after 7 years and for it to be twins was the added bonus. They felt they had a word from God about the twins and have stood on that promise.
Now, just one baby and even this baby is facing challenges.
It is the question I am asking now and it is the same question I asked my self 12 years ago. I am surprised at the emotions that their situation is bringing up in my own heart. I am close to tears as I think about my own story years ago.
Our first loss came as a complete shock to everyone. I had perfect pregnancies with the other three, so baby 4 should be no problem.
I delivered Rena at 19 weeks.
No one can prepare you for the fact that your body does not know that it hasn’t delivered a strong and healthy baby. You still go through labor and delivery. Your milk still comes in, except there is no baby to drink it. For weeks after you are still sore from the birth but without the cuddles and new baby smell.
8 months later I am pregnant again. Twins.
I have wanted twins my whole life. Anyone who knew me could recall me saying that I am going to have twins one day. We already knew that at the birth my mom and Aunt Peggy (twins), Melinda and my self (twins), and the new twins(Caden and Aiden), would all get our pictures taken. It would be three generations of twins. How cool is that? I felt like it was a gift from God, an extra baby after the loss of Rena.
That dream never happened. Baby A died around 16 weeks. My body did not deliver Aiden (baby A) like it did with Rena and I carried both babies the rest of the pregnancy. I fully prayed and believed that a miracle would happen but also knew from past experiences that God’s will is not always the same as what we are praying for. Some times we know what he has planned and other times we feel confused, unsure, and even angry. Each week I went to the ultrasound expecting Adien’s heart beat to have started and each week it stayed silent.
About mid way through the pregnancy I had a major freak out moment. I was so scared that I would also lose Caden. There was a major war going on in my heart and head. I knew God could heal. I knew God was good. I also knew that just because I prayed for something did not mean it would happen. This was also all before social media and I did not want the awkwardness of someone asking me, did I have the baby, and me having to watch them as I said the words “I lost the babies:. I went through that with Rena and it was the worst. That day the battle was so strong in my head and heart I remember feeling like I was on top of mountain and that I had a decision to make. It my confusing and hurt, I had gone a couple of days being silent with God. I was not mad at him. I knew he was good. I just lost hope and had no idea how to pray. I was mad at the situation. I knew in that moment that option A was I could either stay silent and not speak to God and no one would fault me. This had been 2 years of trial after trial. Frankly, staying silent would be expected after all I had been through. But, I knew if I did that then in another 6 mths I would have completely turned my back on God. Option B , my next choice, was to scream out to God. I had nothing to lose. I could cry out in my hurt. I could tell God that I was pissed off at the whole situation. He knew I never wanted to go through this again.
I chose Option B. I learned from that moment that God is a big boy and he can take our anger. He can handle our confusing and pain. We can cry out to him and he still loves us through it all.
I meditated on Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I asked myself, What am I anxious about? “Losing another freaking baby.” “Walking out of the hospital with empty arms.” “Having to tell me other kids that another sibling went to heaven” These were the things I was anxious about. I told God that I was mad at the whole situation. I reminded him how I said that this sucks with losing Rena and that I never wanted to go through this again. Then, I was gently reminded that God was there with me the first time and that he will be with me in this time….even if. Even if the worst case scenario happens and I lose both babies. I than presented my request to God. I asked for healing in Aiden, I asked for Caden to be born strong and mighty. I asked for protection over my body and for my kids hearts to understand.
Get this….the scripture says, The peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. It is true. The peace that I felt was immediate. I knew God was good. Him being good didn’t mean that the situation didn’t suck, because it did. It just meant that He was there beside me the whole way. Knowing that is what brought peace.
I had to deliver Caden at 36 weeks because I was on blood thinners to prevent a blood clot. This is what they believed to have killed Rena and Aiden. Caden weighed 4 lbs and 10 oz and was measuring 34 weeks. Each week’s ultrasound showed him getting smaller and smaller. I remember delivering Caden and being a little bit surprised and bummed that the miracle of Aiden also being alive did not happen. As I type this, now 12 years later, I can easily see that so many miracles did happen that day. Sometimes though, we get so distracted on what didn’t happen that we miss what is happening.
Now days I have a wonderful son and we talk about his twin in regular conversation. He knows that his name means Fighter because he is the surviving twin. He knows that he will see Aiden in heaven one day and that is the third generation set of twins. I do not struggle seeing other people pregnant with twins. I have zero problem being around little twins. So imagine my surprise to feel strong emotions when I read my friend’s story who is going through a similar situation. In my prayer for them I am crying out for a miracle and find my self feeling old frustration. I made a blanket statement this morning only to correct it two seconds later. My statement went something like “Lord, I don’t see you doing big miracles any more. Show us a miracle, we are a captive audience.” I was quickly reminded that every day I wake up, is a miracle. Every breath in my lungs is a miracle. Every day my kids come home safely and Gabi is safe at college, that is a miracle. We are daily surrounded by miracles but we get so distracted watching for the big one that we miss the million of smaller ones going on all around us.
I believed for Rena to be healed and she was not. I believed for Aiden to come back to life and baby A did not. These big things not answered could cause us to assume God is not answering us and that he is not even real.
But I prayed for no one else to get the flu while Caden was down and out two weeks ago. We all stayed healthy. I prayed to be fully healed of Multiple Sclerosis and to this day I have no more symptoms. I prayed to have full use of my leg again after back surgery and that prayer was answered. I pray to have wisdom for certain areas of my life and I receive it. I could go on and on with the answered prayers. Sometimes we need to stop for just a moment. We need to evaluate the things in our life so we don’t miss out on all the good God does.
So, as I pray for my friends going through a similar situation, I will stand on God’s word. 12 years later I have 100% peace knowing that I did all I could on my end and that it was simply God’s will for Rena and Aiden to meet Jesus before meeting us. I don’t have to think back and go “What if I had believed for a miracle?” The miracle is that my heart has joy in the mist of pain and that my heart is healed in the mist of hurt.