Trust me when I say I was a big bag of emotions for quite some time. I wavered unsteadily between fear and trusting God completely. I just had to take it one day at a time. Jordan was thrilled beyond my imagination over having twin siblings. Mike was excited and reassuring the whole time.
The next week, I had another ultrasound. Baby A and Baby B had a heart beat each. Baby C was developing, but no heartbeat yet. The doctor said that it was still very possible for Baby C to "catch up". I did a lot of praying. My thoughts were "God allowed us to conceive with 3. He surely will care of us the whole way."
Weeks slowly turned into months and my tummy was getting nice and round. By the time I was 13 weeks pregnant, Baby C was no longer visible on the ultrasound screen. It was difficult for me. I struggled with the loss of that baby-to-be and the joy of the 2 growing inside me. Quickly, we were faced with the realization that our lives would soon be changing. Considering my history, I was in the horizontal position by 16 weeks most of the day on the couch, doing school, leaving the heavy housework to Jordan and Mike.
I had weekly visits to the doctor, and we discussed the high probability that I'd be spending a couple of months in the hospital as a precautionary measure.
I was contracting. I knew I was. It is a feeling that most mothers anticipate with excitement. But, to a mother who has lost children, it made my stomach turn. I was medicated, as expected, and waited. Things seemed to go well. I stressed my doctor out, I could tell. As the babies grew, so did the weight on my cervix (which we believe was weakened by the D & C I had after my first miscarriage). I did all I could to stay off my feet. I remember my last night at home before my babies were born. Seth asked when I was going to start getting a big belly. Apparently, he hadn't noticed that I had gained about 20 pounds. So, I pulled up my shirt for him to see how big I was. He giggled like only an 8 year old boy as he rubbed my tummy.
The next morning, I awoke feeling the babies flipping around inside of me. I didn't want to get up, it was such a pleasurable feeling. But, I had an 8:00 am doctor appointment. As soon as I got in the shower, that severe, breath-taking contraction came. I knew that as I slept through the night, my cervix slowly dilated. Once I stood up, gravity pulled my water bag through. This was the beginning of the end of my pregnancy.
As I lay in the back of the van on the way to the hospital, I could not believe what was happening again. I had just spoken the night before to a friend and told her how much I trusted God and had peace that all would be well. And this is how it is going to end? With more dead children? "God! Where are you?!"
Once at the hospital, I screamed at the doctor to stop this labor, do something, anything, prevent this from happening. He said there was nothing to do. I was in active labor, dilating, bulging waters. I wanted to fire him on the spot. Mike prayed. I could not. All I could do was cry and mourn as I lay there feeling my babies moving around. They had no idea that their lives were ending that day, half way through my pregnancy.
It was another 12-hour labor. I didn't want to feel it. I wanted to be numb. They obliged with an epidural. My doctor asked me to allow him to break my water. Was he crazy? How could I speed up my children's death? He had no idea what he was asking. I wanted to fire him again. Hours passed. I started feeling the usual pressure that delivery was near. It was time for my babies to be born. But, I didn't see it that way. To be born, meant life. For my babies, to be born, meant death.
During all of this, Mike had to talk to Jordan on the phone and console her. She was in such a terrible state and could not understand how God would allow this to happen. She called friends, sobbing, looking for answers. All I could tell her was that it would be okay. It was not enough for her.
I was prepped and ready for delivery. I half heartedly gave a push. My doctor knew I wasn't trying. How could I push them out? As long as they were inside, they were alive and safe. I didn't want them out. My son, Benjamin Robert, was born at 7:05 pm, on Wednesday, September 11th. He died in the birth canal. The contractions were too much on him. He took the beatings for his sister, Rachel Ann, born at 7:06 pm. She was alive. I held them. Rachel held onto my pinky, squirming around in my arms. Everything faded into the background. I didn't pay attention to what the doctor or nurse was doing. I just held my babies. Once again, I held my daughter in my arms until she died.
Mike went home to get the children. Together, we held our babies for quite some time. I didn't want them to leave. I wanted to hold them forever. After some time, Mike took the boys home, and Jordan spent the night with me. It was hard on both of us being there, but I believe it was good for Jordan to be able to hold her brother and sister. The next morning, I asked to hold them again. I knew this would be the last time I would see them this side of heaven. I wanted to remember every detail about them. The doctor let me go home that day. Again, we went through the motions of planning a burial, explaining to family and friends, and grieving for our children.
By now, I was used to grief. I knew what it felt like; a familiar friend. Sleep didn't come easily. I spent my nights crying and being filled with anger. Anger towards myself, my doctor, and God. I screamed at God a lot during that time. I couldn't understand how any good could come from all of these losses. I couldn't understand why He would allow me to conceive, yet not allow them to live. A lot went on inside my heart and mind for months.
Gradually, I learned again to trust and love God. I realized that I didn't need answers to why these horrible things happened to us. I only needed to love and trust Him. When I stand before my Savior, will I really want to know why? No. I would drive myself crazy if I felt like I needed an answer. I've learned a lot through my trials. I learned to trust God in any outcome, not just the outcome that I want. These trials are what make me who I am. My God is perfect, so all His ways are perfect. I know that He loves me, and I am very special to Him. Now that I'm on the other side, I cannot imagine not experiencing these difficult times. I wish I had all my children with me, though. Even in their deaths, they've each taught me many things.
Many of you may wonder how I could share such a personal story on my blog. It has not been easy, but it has felt good to remember sweet moments. While writing I've remembered details about one of my children that I had long since forgotten. It is good to share. I want people to know that my children's short lives had a purpose, and that I will never forget them no matter how many years pass.
Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri