The World has Stopped…

didn’t you feel it?

Dear friends, on Saturday morning I went into pre-term labor.  Not knowing what the cramps were, and still having a variety of benign reasons they could be happening, we tried drinking a ton of water and resting.  After a mild day, contractions began again in the evening, and we followed the direction of the advice nurse to head to the ER.

Because of the twins, we were admitted to labor and delivery, where I spent the night.  The twins looked good in the sonogram.  Good movements.  Strong heartbeats.

There was a chance I was dehydrated.  Or had an infection.  They gave me fluids and antibiotics and pain killers that didn’t work for me.  The goal was to stop the contractions, but it’d have to happen naturally; the drugs that assist can only be used after 24 weeks.

But by 4 am, the doctor kindly re-explained something she had mentioned might happen if things didn’t change.  We may have to deliver.  And she gently told me she honestly didn’t foresee things changing.

At 8:49 am Sunday morning, our daughter Kate was born.  Her sister Lucy came at 9:47.  They were fraternal twins; fused placentas had made them seem likely to be identical in the sonograms.  They were just perfectly formed, with lovely fingers and dinky little ears.  At just 19 weeks, a developing infant is not viable.

I am more deeply grateful to the wonderful team of women who provided my medical care than they will ever know.  They were so calm, kind, and professional.  After the girls were born our nurse Toni took their lengths and weights and found hats to fit their tiny heads.  We held them and took a few photos; she took a few more for us privately.  The hospital printed them all for us; we hadn’t brought a camera.

The thing is, the world hasn’t stopped, not even for us for a little bit. But it seems a little cruel for a momma to go through 14 hours of labor to deliver two babies she doesn’t get to keep.  It’s not how it’s supposed to be, but we serve a God who assures us death is not the final word.

The LORD gives and the LORD takes away.  The name of the LORD be praised.

Amen.

P.S.  I was a little torn about posting because this blog is not really a personal blog.  It’s meant to be about real people trying to make change for good in this world.  It is not lost on me that I received excellent care in a wonderful hospital that, through my job, will be absolutely free.  Everyone deserves access to health care with the dignity I felt from those women.

Juli, Allison, and their whole team at Living Room Ministries International are doing just that for their Kenyan community.  We’d love if you just learn a bit about them.

Only if you are so inclined, in lieu of any gesture to our family, you could give to Living Room in Kate and Lucy’s honor.  You can learn about what they do here, or give here.  Just note that it’s for Kate and Lucy Miller in the comments.

April 2012 update:  subsequent posts about this part of my journey can be found by clicking the ‘grief’ tag, above.

72 thoughts on “The World has Stopped…

  1. Pingback: For My Birthday | Meredith Miller

  2. Pingback: Loving with a Broken Heart « West Coast CM

  3. Meredith, I am so sorry. I know it’s been several months, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from losing my mom just days before you lost your daughters, it’s that grief is always present. My heart and prayers go out to you today.

  4. Meredith,

    You don’t know me but I was just looking you up to learn more about you and your family and stumbled across this peice. In Feb. 2008 we lost our baby girl at 20 weeks and everything you have written here resonates so deeply with me. I am moved by your words about your loss and I stand with you to rage at times like this while still praising the Lord of all life.

    I understand you are expecting again. You are a couragous and faith filled woman. We have a 9 yr. old girl and a beautiful 21 month old little girl now who are the light of our lives. May God bless you with a healthy and happy pregnancy and the family you dream of.

    Prayers and excitment for you,
    Karen
    SATX

  5. Meredith,
    How my heart aches for you and your family. And I rejoice that you know God’s peace and comfort even in the midst of grief. I pray He will continue to make His presence real to you as you go through this journey.

    Two years ago, our daughter, who was 32, was taken home to be with Jesus. Someone else who had lost an adult child told me to look for the gifts. I am still counting. Another told me I would walk again, but always with a limp. That is true too.

    This morning your dad talked about the hope we have to see those we love when we meet in heaven, but I have found great comfort in celebrating the most important things and knowing Kimberly is celebrating too–in heaven with our God. For example, this Christmas Eve while I sang Christmas carols rejoicing in the gift of Christ, I knew Kimberly was praising Him too. And she was able to praise Him with me because of His gift.

    Finally, you said you weren’t sure if this post belonged here since this blog’s purpose is to show how people help each other. Sharing how God is being faithful in your time of pain is a way you can minister to His people.

    I pray He will bless you beyond what you can imagine.

    Debbie Putman

  6. Dear Meredith and Curtis,

    We at the Student Health Center pray that the Lord’s Spirit will envelope you and fold you into his grace and everlasting love as you pass through this difficult time. May His peace abound for you and your family.

    With loving thoughts,
    Student Health Center Staff

  7. Hi Meredith,
    When I heard the announcement in church this past weekend my heart went out to you and Curtis. You are in my prayers. As I read your blog I praised the Lord for the strong faith both you and Curtis have. God will bless you again with children. Our God is Great, He is Amazing and He will always do the right thing for us. I believe that because on October 1, 2002 my world had also stopped. One week after I had an amniocentesis test I went into pre-mature labor. I delivered a 19 week old baby girl. At the time my faith was not strong and I did not have God’s promise to comfort me. My pain was deep and desolate. I know it is one of the most awful feelings to be in the Labor and Delivery Ward and not take your baby home. God has blessed me with another daughter and she and I can not wait to be re-united in heaven with the little one that has gone ahead. As time goes on we heal but we never forget -and I do not want to forget that I am a mother to two girls- one is with me and one is with God. Be Blessed.

  8. Dear Meredith and Curtis,
    My husband and I are so deeply saddened and sorry for the loss of your babies. We pray you both know that you are not alone; our hearts are hurting with you. We’ve had two babies of our own called home early; the second just a month ago. Your courage and hope is just amazing and so inspirational. Just reading your blog has been a blessing and a balm to our souls during this time. Thank you for that.
    We’re praying that God will give you both the strength to get through the difficult days ahead, and the peace and hope to help heal your souls.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. All of you are in our prayers.

  9. Meridith and Curtis

    Our hearts break for you. Praying for God’s comfort, peace, and hope. Bill and I have walked with Walk To Remember. Our close friend lost her baby girl and we walk for her each year. It is a wonderful organization with very loving and caring people. I hope that you contact them. We know Amanda and many others. We continue to pray for you and your family. We love you.

    Andrea and Bill Pitts

  10. Meredith and Curtis,

    You do not know me, but I was “sent” by someone. FIrst of all, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your babies. I too am a mother of a child I no longer hold in my arms, but carry in my heart. Please know that you are not alone. I am co-founder of a non-profit organization, Walk to Remember, Inland Empire, that supports families suffering the loss of a baby in pregnancy or infancy for any reason. We would like to help you in any way that we can. Every October we host a Walk to Remember event, where families and supporters come together to celebrate each precious life and to walk for the steps our babies will never take. Please e-mail or call me at (909)235-WALK so that I can give you more information on the support that’s available to you. Thank you for sharing Kate and Lucy with the world. You are all in my prayers.

    Wishing you peace,

    Amanda

  11. Meredith and Curtis,
    I’m lifting you in prayer as I deeply mourn with you. May God our Father supply all your need and fill the empty places in your hearts. May He surround you both and give you comfort….
    I’m praying you feel His presence with you.
    Love,
    Denise

  12. Honestly, you have no idea who i am. No idea where i came from or who sent me. I’m pretty sure it was God though. Today was the first time I went to Hillside church. It was absolutely gorgous and inspiring. The woman who spoke today told us about you. It was a breif explanation, but as soon as I heard about Kate and Lucy, I started bawling. The greif that was inside me was greater than anything ive ever felt before. Granted, i am young and inexperienced at life, but most people would be surprised at the struggles ive gone through. I’m type 1 diabetic, I’ve had a hard, abusive home life, a stranger once tried to steal the only innocence I have in me; my virginity. Im 16 years old. The reason i cried so much when I heard about you? I can never have children. You know most people my age fantasize about having kids with a nice guy and having a nice career. I can never have children, I will never know what it feels like to have that little tiny life within you, that trusts you, and loves you unconditionally, that one life that God put you in charge of to guide to Him, to guide to do something great in life. And knowing that thats the life waiting for you. Its unimaginable dispair. You are so lucky to be able to have children. I wish you luck and i will pray for your healing. Praise God for that special gift of child bearing he gave you.

  13. Just wanted to let you know that we are part of the Hillside family and we are sad for both of you and your mom and dad as well. We are praying that in God’s good time, you will be blessed again beyond measure. It’s just really sucky to go through this, because we have been there as well. Our situation was different in that we knew there was a heart problem with our son when I was about 5 months pregnant, because of what the specialist saw during an ultrasound. When he was born, the medical folks were wonderful and tried to fix him, but it just wasn’t to be. He was our first and working through the grief was lengthy and difficult. 15 years later, I can say that it affected my life and relationship with our God in profound ways, and strengthened our faith immeasurably but it was so very, very difficult. It took quite a while for me to at least be somewhat at peace with it, and now looking back, and being where we are now, with 2 sons, 12 and 10, I have more clarity about what happened now than I did then. God has given me a peace about the whole situation which I would have never imagined that I would have. So, I will pray for peace for you, strength to get through those difficult days and to just grieve when you need to. (Crying in the shower was something that I did, when I felt like I needed to because no one else would know)

    Hang in there. God’s not done yet.

  14. Dear Meredith. I can’t express what your blog means to me. It took everything we had to scrape up the courage to come to church this morning and I’m so glad we did. Today we learned about your familys loss. Id like to share my story. You see, last Friday my fiance and I went in for our routine 18 week ultrasound of our little boy. We hadn’t seen him since 16 weeks and had just heard his strong little heartbeat at 17 weeks. We were so excited to see our precious little man once again. I will never forget the look on the techs face as she quietly stepped out of the room and returned with the doctor. He was there to confirm our sons heart was no longer beating. That moment I felt the world had stopped. How could this be? I had a perfect pregnancy, and he had been so strong and healthy. I had never felt pain like this before. I was admitted to San Antonio hospital that late afternoon at 415pm. I was induced to deliver our deceased little boy. 30 hours of labor I delivered him naturally late Sat night. Jan 7, at 10:51pm our son Hunter Patrick McDonald was delivered. He was truly perfect, beautiful, and looked so much like Jeff. When I held him everything around me stopped as I stared at my little angels sweet face. Every piece of him was absolutely perfect. I wish I could make his heart start beating again. They took pictures and made a beautiful memory box with his hospital blanket and his tiny blue knit beanie. His footprints are so small and precious. I have had such a hard time accepting this but I know it is Gods will and he has a plan for Jeff and I. It takes so much strength just to get myself together every day. Jeff has been my rock through all of this. After the delivery my broken down Jeff looked at me through his tears and said, “youre MY hero.”
    Meredith, I know the sorrys and flowers will never make the pain stop. I do not know what to say, but I know exactly how you feel. I am praying for your strength and hope, and praying for mine too every day. Please feel free to contact me if you need. God bless.
    Natalie

  15. Meredith and Curtis,

    You do not know me, but I attend Hillside. I am a NICU nurse at a local hospital. In my 14+ years in the NICU, I have seen this too many times. I guess what I want to say is…no matter how strong your faith or how firmly you believe that God is in control, it still hurts. It hurts beyond belief! I am so, so sorry for the loss of your precious baby girls. My heart breaks for your family. May you find peace in the arms of our Loving Father.

    Heatherlyn

  16. Dear Meredith & Curtis, Dan & I are so very sorry about your babies. We are praying for you and hope you can feel God wrapping his arms around you for comfort. With love Judy & Dan Massagli

  17. It’s so courageous of you to share this story; thank you. And we will continue to pray that in the midst of this devastation you will sense God sitting with you, never absent, weeping with you.

  18. Meredith and Curtis,

    Since I read your blog, I’ve been continually lifting you up in prayer. My heart goes out to you and what you’re experiencing. May God grant you His peace, strength, grace and comfort during this difficult & painful time. You are surrounded with love, prayers and support. We are here for you.

    Lovingly,
    Stacy

  19. The Lord placed this Scripture in my heart, and I thought I would share it with you. Psalms 37:18-19 “The LORD protects pure people all their life. Their reward will continue forever. When trouble comes, good people will not be destroyed.”
    PEACE!!
    Manny.

  20. Merideth and Curtis,
    My heart breaks for you. I have been praying for you since I heard you were on bed rest. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts. Know you are loved by the God Of all Creation and so many of us earthlings as well.
    Lucia

  21. Dear Meredith and Curtis, I have been praying for you since we heard there may be a problem on Sunday. You have been so brave to share with all of us who love you very much your pain and loss. What a treasure to hold in your heart that you will be able to hold them once again in Heaven. May our loving Lord continue to wrap you in his love and care for you both as you journey on. We love you, Larry and Nikki

  22. Curtis & Meredith we are so deeply sadden by the turn of events but want you to know that you are in our thoughts and our prayers. I know that as each day that goes by you will find a renewed strength.

    Love the Torok’s

  23. Meredith, I can only imagine the grief that you as a mom are experiencing right now. I’d love to be able to give you a hug. My prayers are with you and Curtis.

    Our team will plant two trees tomorrow at Living Room in honor of Kate and Lucy.

    Love and peace to you, Juli

  24. Meredith,
    Thank you for sharing with us. Please know that my husband and I are praying for you and Curtis. May God’s continual peace and comfort be with you at this time.

    In Christ,
    Christine & Dave Suh

  25. Meredith, my heart aches for your loss. Love and prayers go out to you and your husband during this time. I hope God brings you comfort and eventually peace.
    Brittany

  26. Dear Meredith and Curtis,
    My heavy heart is with you. May God bless you and continue to give you the strength you so gracefully display now. My prayers are with you and your Angels, Kate and Lucy.

  27. Meredith, I know there aren’t words to say that take away any of the feelings…

    My heart hurts. I am grieving with you and Curtis as you mourn the loss of Kate and Lucy. Praying for you.

  28. Dear Meredith and Curtis

    WE are so saddened by your loss and want you to know that you are both in our prayers. We don’t understand God’s plan, but we know He is in control. Rest in that hope and peace. May He surround you with His blanket of comfort. Love Jane and Fred

    • Meredith: Tears have been flowing most of the day today from all of us at Hillside who know and love you and Curtis.. Dan called me after he attended his bible Study this morning with the news. I am so so sorry that you have had to go through this difficult time. On a very personal note, I was about your age when I went through 12 hours of labor and had twins as well. A little boy and a little girl. They did not live. The hardest part for me was being on a Maternity ward hearing the crys of other babies, knowing mine did not make it. The little girl died at 4 months and the little boy at 5. They had to induce labor at 5 and a half months. Through it all I felt God’s presence and strength. I did not think I could have other children, but 7 years later, I gave Birth to a son, Brandon. I Thank God daily for His “Surprise Gift” and cherish and love him with all my heart. God is faithful Meredith, and He has a special plan for us all. Rest in the Lord, Trust and Abide in Him and he will give you the strength to go through this. I wish I could hold you and hug you. You are so precious to us all and it hurts me to think of the pain you are going through right now. My love and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Linda Baker

  29. Meredith,

    As many have said, words alone are not enough. My prayers will be with you and Curtis as you face this unimaginable season. May God’s eternal peace and presence dwell intimately with you during this time – may his arms wrap around you and hold you as tight as you need and then some. If there is anything at all that you need, we are here. May God’s hand be upon your girls and upon you and Curtis now and always.

    Amy

  30. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

    God of All Comfort

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

  31. Meredith,

    Lifting you, Curtis and your precious girls up in our prayers. I pray that you are able to lean on the Lord for strength and comfort during this time.

    Much love,

    Becci and Jason

  32. Words cannot express my sorrow for your loss. You and Curtis are in my heart and in my prayers during this difficult time.

    Rosealinda

  33. My heart is with you and Curtis, and I am lifting you in prayer. May God’s comforting presence draw you near.

  34. OUR PRAYERS ARE FOR YOU, DEAR CURTIS AND MEREDITH. We pray that the Spirit of Love come and comfort your hearts, bring peace to your minds and strength to your lives.
    Love you, Love you dear friends!!
    Anything we can do for you, please, let us know!
    Manny and Claudia

  35. Meredith and Curtis,
    with loving thoughts and prayers for peace, healing, perseverance, and renewal of joy and hope.
    Your friend in Christ Jesus,
    Stephanie Cupp

  36. Dear Meredith and Curtis,
    Our hearts and prayers are with on this journey of grief. You now have two precious tiny treasures in Heaven, Kate and Lucy. These precious girls are known and loved and cared for by the Lord. Someday you will hold them once again in your arms. “Where your treasure is there your heart will be.” May the Peace that passes all underestanding comfort your minds and hearts. In Christ’s abiding love, Tim and Jan McCoy

  37. Meredith and Curtis,
    We are so deeply sorry to hear about your loss. May God’s Peace and comfort surround you and your family. You are in our hearts and prayers.
    Much love,
    Stella and Scott

  38. Meredith, and Curtis, Kevin and I are so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby girls. We will keep you in our prayers. I am so thankful we serve a God who loves us so much. Thank you for sharing.
    Kevin and Angie

  39. We are so sorry to hear about this profound loss. Tracy and I will pray for you both. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

  40. Hi Meredith,

    I’m so so sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing such a difficult time. My husband and I will be praying for you and yours. May God continue to surround you and your family with peace that passes all understanding and the never ending hope of His Son, our Savior.

    In Christ’s Love,
    Megan Acedo

    “The LORD your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.”
    -Zephaniah 3:17

  41. Thank you for sharing your story, Mer. I am so proud of you. Your love for God and faith in Him shines so bright! I am so deeply sorry to hear about your loss. Marc and I are praying that God’s peace and comfort will wrap gently yet firmly around you, Curtis, and your parents.

  42. Mer and Curtis,
    There are no words; there are tears and prayers for you and your families.
    Grace and peace today and always, Dan and Sharon

  43. Meredith- my eyes are filled with tears for you. I can’t imagine your pain. Chris and I will pray for you and your husband as you grieve this loss.

  44. Mere,
    We are saddened by this news. Our prayers go out to you and Curtis and to your mom and dad. The loss you are feeling now is more then one can understand but unlike many you live with the promise that you will be with your precious baby girls again. We love you and will continue to lift your family up in prayer

  45. Wow, Meredith. I am so profoundly sorry for your and curtis’s loss. I wish I had the words to say. Please know you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  46. Curtis and Meredith:
    I don’t know you two personally (I’m Pershing Lum’s wife and Cameron Lee’s sister), but I still wanted to express my sympathies to you both. I hope it is comforting to know that one day you will see Kate and Lucy again and they will know you immediately as you will them. My prayers are with you…take care.

  47. Dear Meredith and Curtis,

    Rick and I hold you in our hearts. We have cried and hurt with you; as did the loving church members that gathered for the all church prayer meeting last night. Thank you for sharing your heart and the precious moments you had with Kate and Lucy. We will miss knowing them in this life….Our prayers for and your family will continue.

    Teresa and Rick

  48. Mer and Curtis….
    Wish I had some words to help ease your loss…..We will all meet your sweet girls some day and until then peace and love to both of you….
    DKNY

  49. Mer……..I pray for peace and comfort for you and Curtis at this time. Your faith is a wonderful inspiration to me.

    Marc Smith

  50. Meredith,
    Lou and I send our love to you and Curtis. I have lived long enough to know that God is faithful and you can rest in him when hard stuff comes your way. Your post was touching and heart wrenching and I pray that God will fill up the empty spaces left by your loss.
    Love you!
    Teri and Louis

  51. Dearest Mer~
    There are just not enough words to put on this page that come from my Heart without tears coming first. Mer you and i have known eachother since grade 5 & have been through alot. But no one can even picture exactly what it is you and Curtis are going through right now but Mer i do know this: You are one very Storng young women & i know without a doubt in my mind that if God would have planned on it that you would & will be one Great Mommy full of Love and Grace and Kindess that Kate and Lucy and a Future Baby or babies would have. Mer Bear Never forget I Love you with all my Heart
    Your Sister And Friend In Our Father,
    Kristin
    Pro.3:5&6

  52. Meredith,

    Words cannot express the feelings.

    Our prayers are with you and Curtis, your families and we know for sure that Kate and Lucy are happy and joyful, waiting for the day to be reunited with you again.

    You have lots of love and prayers from your many, many friends.

    David and Stephanie

  53. Mer and Curtis,
    I have watched your pregnancy posts and have prayed for you. Now I am saddend by your loss and praise God that he has those two precious girls in His hands, waiting for their mommy and daddy to come home one day to meet them. I am praying for peace and joy during this time of saddness and am thankful for your amazing perspective during this time of grief and hardship.
    God is good all the time, He will provide peace admist the pain.
    Much Love,
    Stephanie Vasquez (Helmrich)

  54. Dearest Meredith & Curtis, know that your sorrow is being shared by so many who love and care for you. Our prayer for you is that God’s comfort, peace, love and hope envelop you. Much love, Arne & Jamie Eriksen

  55. Meredith and Curtis,

    My heart breaks for you in the loss of your precious Kate and Lucy. I lost my Emily at 20 weeks. All I can tell you is that the Lord’s heart breaks with yours. He will be faithful.

    You and your families are in my prayers. May the Lord bring you comfort and hope in these difficult days.

    Jan Higa

  56. Meredith and Curtis-there are no words, really. Just know that you are loved, prayed for and cherished. Love, Jennifer, Ashley and Kyle Balzer Psalm 23

  57. Michelle and I are so sorry for the loss of your two little girls. Of course you four are in our prayers and yes, God is still God and worthy of praise, still we can barely grasp your sorrow. Peace be with you both.. Doug and Michelle Williams

  58. Hey girl,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so beautifully written it brought tears to my eyes. I will keep your family in my prayers.
    Bre

  59. Dear Meridith and Curtis,
    We are so, so sorry for your loss. Your story is beautifully written and your loss is prayerfully felt by many. Greg and I have experienced similar losses. We know the Lord carried us and only strengthened our love for Him through all of it. He has a plan for you both and for the sweet angels that are with him in Heaven now. We know of a few angels right there with with your Kate and Lucy. We are deeply touched by your loss and send you our deepest sympathies and prayers.

  60. Thank you for sharing your story, your pain, and your hope. You are brave and faithful. You and Curtis will be in our prayers.

    Carol Lundberg

  61. Mer & Curtis I am so sorry. Praying for a peace that passes all understanding and for God’s strength to get you both through this journey. The Cardenas family love you both very much!

  62. David and I know the loss of a sweet baby that you have nurtured, grown, and protected for nearly 5 months…..our heart breaks for you and with you! We pray for comfort, peace, and the strength to find the voice that God will give you to empathize and comfort others in time. Love and hugs to you.

  63. Mer,
    We love you and Curtis and look forward to meeting Kate and Lucy when we are all with the Father.
    While there is nothing I can say to help with the pain, just know you have a multitude of friends that love you and are praying for all of you right now.
    Steve and Dana

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