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.
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.