Sometimes change happens slowly. Like the leaves changing color in the Fall. And then sometimes it happens in a moment. When we found out I was pregnant with twins, our lives changed. Suddenly everything was a little different. Then everything changed again as I sat on the edge of the doctor’s table and heard the letters “TTTS” for the first time. Everything had been so normal. So ordinary. And in a moment everything was different. I went from planning a play date with my toddler to figuring out how to best fight for the lives of my two unborn daughters.
When we first saw the two tiny beans on the sonogram screen, fear entered my heart. It rushed in like an avalanche and stole so much of the joy that a moment like that can hold. The first thing that popped into my head was, “I can’t do this.” And the second was, “I don’t want to be faaaaaaat.” Once Nate got me to the car and helped me calm down, I realized I had four main pregnancy fears: fear of complications, fear of bed rest, fear of having a c-section, and fear of NICU time.
Wow. We have had just about every twin complication that you can have. They were already identical which is less common. Then they had TTTS. Then we were told that we were one of the earliest cases to ever have the laser ablation surgery. Then my water broke. My specialist said on Friday that I need to take it easy because I have “experienced more stress with this pregnancy than most women will in their entire reproductive lifetime.” He also informed us that before we had had the laser ablation surgery, both he and my surgeon in Houston did not think these babies would live. So my fear of serious complications definitely became a reality.
I think this was a huge fear of mine because I’m such an active person. It has proved to be every bit as difficult as I dreaded, but in different ways. I thought I would miss working out. I do, but I know that I’ll get back to it soon. I thought I would miss my friends. I do, but they have been super thoughtful and come to visit. I thought I would miss styling my bump. I do, but let’s be honest, I’m saving a ton of money living in my PJs. What has really bothered me is missing out on being Fern’s mom and Nate’s wife. It hurts so bad. The first week I think I cried every other day.
I only have a few months left with just Fern. I dreamed about taking her to the park, wearing matching outfits on outings, getting Starbucks, and just sitting on the floor playing with her. Now I have to watch others do those things with her. I’m incredibly grateful for people stepping in and being Jesus to us. It just hurts that it’s not me. And I want to be the one taking care of Nate. So far other people have cleaned our house, cooked us meals, and made sure we are ok. I know someday I’ll get to do those things again, but it’s hard right now.
My other two fears are having a C-section and NICU time. Both seemed like the end of the world just last month. How will I recover from a C-section with twins, a toddler, and no family in town? How will breastfeeding be with a huge wound and stitches? What if it bursts open? And how could we ever manage NICU time? Will our insurance cover everything? Will I get to hold them? Who will care for Fern while I’m with the twins and Nate is working? What about our house, laundry, and meals? It does look like both a C-section and NICU time are in our future.
I know God uses all kinds of situations and trials to teach us all sorts of things. As each one of these four fears becomes a crushing reality, my trust deepens. He has asked me to have faith and walk though a valley deeper than I knew existed. Through that I have seen him part the waters and move mountains. He has held my hand and given me strength when my world seemed to be crumbling around me. He has guided the doctors hands during surgery. And he has led friends and family to help us and bring hope and comfort.
To myself and anyone else struggling with fear: God has proven himself faithful time and time again. Not only does He declare himself to be so, but he graciously shows us his faithfulness time and time again. My heartbreak is real and yours is too, but I know He will continue to be faithful.
I don’t think I would ever sign up to walk through TTTS, bed rest, a c-section, and NICU time. But if God hadn’t allowed these trials I never would have seen a miracle. I never would have felt the true depth of the Father’s love in a tiny recovery room. And I wouldn’t have this story of hope to share.
The specialist said “your babies are dying” and God said, “No.” He stepped in and worked when no one else could save them.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23