August 31, 2011

Memorial

I didn't expect a memorial to be such a significant part of the healing process...

Following the advice of our Pastor, Craig, Nate & I ventured a little out of our comfort zone & planned a memorial - both to honor Jack & Lucy & remember God in the midst of sorrow. 

I had doubts of how we could accurately share the weight of the loss we carry, along with the hope we hold as Christian's. I feared making our friends uncomfortable in our effort to appropriately remember the twins, who we knew for so little time. I felt daunted by the overall idea of a service "for us".

In the end, my hesitations were unfounded... 

On Monday night, in the family Chapel of dear friends the Yoder's, we gathered with a small group from our community & held a simple service.


Aaron read with tender conviction Psalm 34, the same passage he read for us the morning I went into hospital.... Nate shared honestly from his heart our experience of faith & hope during the past few weeks.... With great compassion, Craig reminded us that we can confidently place our  lives in the hands of a Savior who knows our heartache, though answers & perspective may be scarce.... Katherine & Wes prayed over us with empathetic love, grace & future hope.... And we sang together - one of my favorite expressions of faith as the people of God!

This time together ministered to my heart & fixed my eyes on God again, teared-filled as they may be.

I felt thankful as I sat in the sweet little chapel, surrounded by friends* who have not shied-away from our pain but hurt along with us. And thankful afterward, as we shared supper together & laughed & told stories.

Jack & Lucy's impact on Nate & I is indelible & I don't assume to now neatly gather-up the loss & leave it behind. But there is definite healing in having acknowledged their lives &  in allowing God's promises & love to be spoken over us by others.

xx

[*I am mindful of the family who are always missed & others who we wish didn't live so far away]

August 23, 2011

8 Little Letters

A dear friend gave me this gift recently... Two names I can keep near to my heart in a tangible way, as I do intangibly every day.


There isn't a family legacy with these names nor any biblical significance. Nate & I picked them because they sounded like the people we'd hoped the twins would be.

Lucy - our little lady, spirited & kind was our prayer (& cute-as-a-button with pigtails was our imagining!). She was only a girl in our minds for a few days before I headed into hospital - at an earlier scan she'd been declared a boy! So we had spent 3 weeks between scans very set on a very different name. I am sad we didn't get more time to dream over her... But as I think about it, when Twin A was declared a girl, there wasn't much else we needed to know - she was she, and we were thrilled.

Jack - bearing the nickname of C.S Lewis. He was a boy for a lot longer than Lucy was a girl & therefore held more in my minds eye. I wont go into every imagining, except to say his name to me is gracious, strong & sure. Please don't misunderstand that to mean we imagined him as physically imposing - it was his character we prayed would be gracious & strong. We prayed that Jack would be a faithful, courageous man of God & keen to serve Him above all else.

I find their names will steal my breath sometimes, for love weighs heavily on me at the sight of 8 little letters. I grieve a lifetime of watching the people they would've become. But even when it hurts, I am so thankful for this new love they have placed in my heart.

I'm praying for joy in the knowledge that, although Lucy & Jack didn't get to carry their earthly names here with us, they have been given far greater, more meaningful names by their Creator.

xx

August 18, 2011

One Foot Infront of the Other

It's been a week since Nate & I left the hospital just the two of us... 

Each day we wake to difficult questions & a discouraged faith. Our hearts ache with the loss of our baby girl & boy. Our minds circle around recent memories of two heart beats & of joyful expectations abruptly removed. If I can be honest, their absence has left us stumbling in the dark a lot of the time, with a complex bundle of grief. 

For the first few days of being home I didn't know where to begin. So Nate got me out onto the sidewalk, where we could work to untie some of it together as we walked.


I am thankful for this time in the early evenings as we slowly & delicately add-up the days between ourselves & the loss of our precious babes. I haven't discovered answers for what we've been plunged into, but the walks aren't really about that. It's about starting somewhere...

It's remembering to put one foot in front of the other. 

It's remembering we have a Savior who also walked with heartbreaking sorrows & for a time knew the pain of the silence of God.

xx

[Thank you for your continued prayers & notes of love & support. The effect is tangible - in our utter weakness you have helped to keep our eyes up & our hearts anchored in truth]

[Nate's Blog]

August 13, 2011

"You Have Collected All My Tears..." ps 56:8

The overwhelming support & love we have been shown over the last 2 weeks of upheaval has lead me to write today. As heartbreaking & painful as it is, I want to share with you the next part of our journey.

Despite the abundant prayers of the saints, the amazing care of doctors & our own small efforts, late on Wednesday afternoon August 10 we lost both our dear babies.

During the earlier, dark hours of the morning I started contracting mildly. Nate sat by my bed, praying & reading from Psalms for us, hoping that new mercies would come with the morning light. Sadly, by midday the contractions had intensified & it was clear I was going into labor. 

Our little girl arrived first & she was stillborn. Although they had hoped to save our little boy, my body continued to contract & he arrived about 1hr later. His tiny heart was still beating as they placed him on my chest & we had a few precious moments of life with him in this world. 

As evening approached they bought our babies back to the room. Nate & I both got to hold them & pray over them for a while. We marveled at how perfectly formed they were, right down to their tiny fingers & toes, eyebrows & sweet little lips.

I can say without hesitation - as we looked over them then & kissed their tiny heads, & also now as we think of them - we are so thankful to know that they are at home with Jesus, even as we desperately long to have them here with us.

But at the same time, right down to our core, we are utterly devastated. The loss & sadness is too deep to express well in words. And even though I truly desire to share with you everything I am going to miss about them, & everything they meant to us, there just aren't enough hours in a day.

The most complete picture I can give without writing endlessly, is to say...

She is our little girl Lucy.  

He is our little boy Jack. 

And they both now wait for us with Jesus. Oh, what a day when we finally get to be where they are & hold them in our arms!

Please pray for comfort for Nate & I. Please pray for a deepening trust in God's love & goodness.

xx

[If you would like to read things from Nate's perspective, please check-out his blog too - http://www.nathantasker.com/blog/]

August 8, 2011

Blue Skies

It can rain all day, every day that I'm here in hospital - gray skies, stormy clouds, big fat rain drops - yes please! I'm cozy & dry in my bubble on the 3rd floor, & will happily sit & watch as rain washes the city clean.

But when those pretty blue Nashville skies break through & the warm sun starts shining, you can guarantee my mood will follow the color of the sky & I get fidgety. 

Today is one of those blue-sky days. So I decided to use my wheelchair privileges & roll-on down to the serenity garden. Yes, you heard correctly - privileges to be wheeled is my new norm AND they have a garden of sereneness here...



[Lady Gaga - I bet you don't own pajama pants as stylish as these?!]

[My "willing" outdoor accomplice... I'm pretty sure his stop-watch was on]

It was my first breath of fresh air in 10 days! Sometimes it's the little things in life...

Speaking of little things - the babes are well, bumping around inside with strong heartbeats. I had a scan last week & at that time the baby girl didn't have any new fluid around her, but they assure us she continues to make it (I am drinking & carrying more water than a desert camel).

Please pray she can hold onto the fluid she makes for a little while each day before splish-splashing it out, especially for the sake of her lungs.

And praise God for the start of a new week & no signs of infection or contractions.

Thank you for your messages of encouragement & assurances of prayer over the last week. It has been humbling to know we are carried by our community, both here & far-away.

xx

August 6, 2011

Hospital Fashion Fact #1

Compression tights make me feel like a granny.... 


.... & Captain Cook*, when paired with Ugg loafers.



You know you want a pair.

[I shall not entertain any "who is he" questions, since my Australian pride refuses to accept that you might not have heard of him!]


xx

August 3, 2011

Adapting to the Unexpected


How quickly life changes.

Five days ago the unexpected happened & today I find myself in a hospital bed.. Indefinitely...
For someone that had previously never been admitted to hospital, that's quite a turn-around!

Until the weekend, I had been blessed with 5 months of drama-free pregnancy & two growing bubs of good health. Sadly, on Saturday morning our little girl's sack ruptured & started leaking fluid vital for her growth & survival. We headed straight to hospital for hours of test & scans, and the heartbreaking expectation of losing both babies.

A more sorrowful & scary day could not be imagined for Nate & I.
How thankful we are that the story doesn't end there.

We are certainly not in the clear, but have been granted a fighting chance & now enter a giant game of waiting... Our doctors & nurses work to keep my body clear of infection & the baby girl from delivering before she is able to survive. For my part, I lie-like-broccoli - which movie?! - for what we hope will be a very long time to give both babes a calm & contraction-free environment. And Nate? He is the bed-rest police. Truly. I think he's got little camera's & hidden microphones strategically placed to keep me in-line! He knows my impatient self too well.

We obviously deeply covet your prayers for these two littlies. Shall I introduce you to them?

Here is Twin A, our girl. Don't fret, she does contain more than a leg, but this is the clearest she allowed during her acrobatic routine...


And Twin B, our boy - a much slower-moving chap, & therefore easier to snap...


All four of us have a long road ahead, & one that I know is not assured of being free of heartache or loss. These babes are Gods, He loves them more than we do, & we are praying every day to trust what He has in-store.

Please pray with us that time will pass without incident, that they will grow to be as big as possible & that we may delight in the two babes that God has graciously gifted us with. And thank God for the days He has granted us already.

OK, I best go! There are important bed-resting jobs to attend to - blanket arranging can only be ignored for so long.

Thanks for stopping-by.

xx