As 2008 winds down and 2009 begins, I must reflect on the memorable times our family had together in 2008. I ran my first marathon Feb. 10th, 26.2 miles in 4 hours 26 min. and 15 sec. Ellie turned 3 and Jenna turned 1. Rob completed his first full year at Eye Care Associates in Hoover, Claire turned 7 and Rob and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Yes, wonderful memories and will all be remembered as part of 2008. However, another memory resounds in my soul and will always be remembered. All seemed well and settled until we were awakened by the news of our "risky, and rare pregnancy" in 2008!
Diagnosis came around early August and the journey began. It almost seems like a DVD scene selection in my mind when I think back to the road I traveled down with my pregnancy. Flashes of memory I will never forget.
Of course from the beginning we were told terrible statistics and odds of having these babies. It just seemed as life was "getting good" and we as a family were doing well, God decided to "rock the boat". I vividly remember walking out of the hospital the day I was given the news of the "mono mono" twins, I desperately wanted to fall to my knees and shout aloud to GOD, "Why me?", "Why choose me for this burden?" "Why would you want this for us?" Then as I began to pray and seek HIM, I felt a different reason for being "chosen". Not that I deserved to suffer through that time or that GOD wanted me to hurt. It was completely the opposite. I realized GOD had chosen me to carry HIS miracle and I would share with everyone I could, the POWER OF PRAYER. Some may question whether "prayer" really had any effect on my pregnancy or the boys. But I know deep in my soul, that God heard each of those prayers (so many of them) and revealed HIMSELF through our story and those boys. So I absolutely believe the prayers lifted up for these babies were heard and answered in such a magnificant way.
When the boys were born, the first phase of HIS miracle was revealed. They had "made it". They had survived the extremely high risk pregnancy without being a statistic of fetal death in the womb. They had beaten the "odds" and we all knew GOD had plan for their lives.
We are only on week three of their lives, but HIS miracle continues. In just three weeks, these boys have done extremely well. Breathing, eating, thriving at a level that is purely awesome. All of the "concerns" that worry doctors (and Mama's) the first week, proved to be worries of the past within a week's time. We PRAISED and PRAISED our GOD for HIS amazing work in their lives and made sure everyone around recognized it as well.
I remember the agony of walking around without knowledge of how they were doing. I use to tell people that I felt like I was a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off, not knowing when or how. If they were minutes from strangling themselves or restricting blood flow enough to cause tragedy. I remember driving to work each day, praying constantly for God to keep those boys safe and for them to grow evenly. I remember updating my friends and co-workers along the way as GOD answered each and every single prayer: Safe babies, cords to not restrict blood flow, babies to grow evenly, Baby A to thrive even though he had a two vessel cord, even peace for me to endure the "unknown" 24 hours a day. I guess what I am saying, is that if you or someone you know have ever (or are currently) experiencing a time in your life where you feel GOD has given you a burden to carry, HE hasn't...HE has given you a "story" to tell. One of which is much like mine. The unknown that takes your FAITH and TRUST in GOD to a level of understanding that surpasses all reasonable explanation. I couldn't explain "why" or "how" we were dealing with our situation, but I knew that HE would handle it. He was in control of all the details. A comfort in knowing that GOD IS IN CONTROL. Rest assured that if you are weary and weak (I was many times and still am sometimes now) HE is there with arms wide open to embrace you, help you, guide you, protect you, love you and WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!
My question for GOD??? Where do I find endurance to keep going when I am tempted to give up or feel defeated by the enemy???
"When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete needing nothing." James 1:2-4
He will give you the strength you need to keep going when you are exhausted and the FAITH to keep believing when you are discouraged.
Highlights from the boys yesterday and today!
1. John David nursed for 20 min. today!!! Yea!!!
2. James drank his entire bottle yesterday and today. I will nurse him tomorrow.
3. John David pooped all over the thermometer and the nurse taking his (rectal) temperature yesterday. He didn't even awaken when he did it, it was hilarious!
4. They both were wearing their preemie outfits Mamaw bought them and they looked so stinking cute.
5. Both boys are on 26 cc's. Slowly going up because they both had a little bit of residuals (milk that is left in the belly after eating)
6. Both boys are over 3 pounds!!! Yea!!!
7. Mommy was able to hold John David skin to skin (they unwrapped him and layed him on my bare chest for skin to skin touch) before breast feeding and it felt amazing to feel his tiny body breathing on my chest.
8. Daddy held James for 20 min. after his bottle feeding.
9. Kevin Derryberry stopped by to visit the boys.
10. we celebrated another successful day of "growing" and thriving in the NICU without any illness or major setbacks. That in itself is a huge PRAISE and we are thankful to HIM for that blessing.
Happy New Year to all of my wonderful, supportive friends!