Thursday, April 21, 2011

Third Thursday Thoughts: A Double Miracle


Welcome to the very first edition of Third Thursday Thoughts, brought to you by the wonderful people at Hearts at Home! Every third Thursday of the month, we’ll be sharing our thoughts on the topic of the month. This month’s topic: Have you experienced any miracles in your life? This was an easy one for me because I experienced a double miracle in December 2003. I hope you like my story and that you’ll check out the linky below and visit the other bloggers who are participating in this Blog Hop to read their miracle stories!

When I met my husband Mike, I wasn’t certain that I would have more children. I already had two boys from a previous marriage, and I was in my late thirties. So, although I would have welcomed additional children, I knew I would be content with the two blessings I already had. Mike’s previous marriage had ended without children (after several miscarriages), and I found out there were some barriers to having more children if I married Mike. He has a genetic condition where part of one chromosome is translocated to another chromosome. Because all of my husband’s genetic material is present (just rearranged), he has no disabilities, but there was a fifty-percent chance of contributing genetically defective material to a future child of his, most likely resulting in death. Therefore, we didn’t have any expectations for adding to our family and continued to use birth control. So, imagine our shock when we found out that I was pregnant!

When we got the news, we were excited -- but scared. After all, there was a good chance the baby would die, and a smaller chance that it would survive, but with severe disabilities. We were also both of “advanced maternal age” (that very unflattering term that our doctor used to mean we were nearing forty), which meant that the odds for genetic problems were higher.

We showed up at our first ultrasound appointment with alternating feelings of exhilaration and terror. It seemed to take the doctor an awfully long time to take the baby’s measurements. In our state of heightened paranoia, we were growing concerned that there was a problem. Finally, the doctor turned the screen toward us and announced, “Well, as you can see, we have two sacs.” Two sacs? Our minds raced. What did that mean ... our baby had two sacs? So, there was a problem, after all... But it wasn’t a “problem”; it was another baby! “It’s twins!” the doctor clarified. I stared in disbelief. “You’re kidding us, right?” I asked. He shook his head. TWINS! We kept repeating the word all the way home. “Twins! Oh, my God, did he say ‘twins’?”

After we’d had some time to absorb the news, we really didn’t know what to think. The good news was, we told ourselves, maybe there was more of a chance that at least one baby would survive. The bad news was, of course, it also seemed likely that at least one of them would not survive. Or even both. The odds seemed too long that we would be fortunate enough to have two healthy children at the same time considering the circumstances.

Like many mothers expecting twins, my pregnancy was classified as “high risk,” and I was monitored closely. Monthly sonograms were a source of agony as we worried each time that a problem would be found. The perinatalogist told us that we could have an amniocentesis to examine the babies’ genes, but we declined. If a genetic problem were found, there was nothing they could do to fix it. And we didn’t like the possibility that the procedure could cause a miscarriage -- especially risky considering there were two babies. We agreed that we would not abort regardless of the results, so we took a wait-and-see approach.

In my fifth month of pregnancy, I started bleeding. A middle-of-the-night call to the doctor somewhat reassured us that this could be normal, but we were still scared to death and prayed like we had never prayed before! To our great relief, the bleeding stopped a few long days later and was merely the result of an irritated cervix. Nevertheless, we continued to worry. The doctors warned us that multiples tend to come early and told us about the scary signs of premature labor. I was almost afraid to sneeze for fear of dislodging the babies! At one point, one twin showed a lack of movement on the fetal monitor. Again, everything was okay: The baby just slept through the procedure that day!

Finally, the twins’ birthday arrived -- a day we had both looked forward to, yet feared, as we would soon find out if our babies were healthy. At thirty-nine weeks, I ambled into the doctor’s office. Amazingly, I was still on my feet and driving myself around. Other than hugely swollen legs, I was in good health. But that day, my blood pressure was elevated, and the doctor said, “Today’s the day. Go home and pack your bags. Meet me at the hospital.”

I drove home, raced into the house as quickly as my poor legs could carry my huge belly, called my husband to come home from work and headed to the hospital. Several hours later, I gave birth vaginally to Austen (6 pounds, 9 ounces), and Caleb (7 pounds, 13 ounces). We held our breath until they announced that both boys were in excellent health -- no neonatal intensive care required -- and they went home with me two days later. Two beautiful miracles.

Newborns Caleb and Austen
Austen 
Caleb





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3 comments:

  1. O my goodness! They are so cute! What an incredible story God has given you to share. My oldest boy was born in May 2003 and one of his brothers came 20 short months later. Being a boy mom is exhausting but so much fun!

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  2. I think twins are a miracle in and of themselves! And so happy that you were doubly-blessed with two as well as beating the odds! God is so good!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your amazing story! Your double blessings are precious!

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