August 29, 2012

Fancy free

So, today our plans were changed yet again and we found ourselves finally released from the hospital ( yay) but still in the Houston area ( not so yay), since we'll be returning to Texas Childrens for a follow up appointment with my attending physician to check on Tabitha on Tuesday and then another appointment with the Cardiologist for Tabitha at an undisclosed time ( seriously praying hard it'll be Tuesday too... Otherwise they said the next time they could see me was next Friday and so help me I will have gone Crazy by then!)

Anyway, we have been ABUNDANTLY blessed with several amazing offers of housing for our time here, and have ended up at a sweet four bedroom pad all to ourselves about 30 min from the hospital! Our friend Mary and her brother Mitch are truly a Godsend to us and one of the many parts of this whole ordeal that have reminded me just Who has the reigns here...

Ransom will hopefully be joining us tomorrow and I can HARDLY wait! I cannot tell you how much I miss my little dude! But in the mean time, I lay here on my side, willing all my health and energy to Tabitha.
One things for sure, glad I'm not eating hospital food tonight!!

August 28, 2012

Day by day

Yesterday was the longest day in the history of days. We had a scan of Tabitha around 8:30am and then crickets until around 6:30.... Of course the day could be rivaled by Friday which was long and awful in its own way, but at least we were doing things. And I'm a DOER.

So, according to family members, Brett and I kept a calm exterior yesterday which I guess is better than nothing.... That being said, I was glad we ended on a good note- with a visit from our friends, the Woods... Moving to a new room that is much less high-maintenance ( I'm no longer attached to 50 machines!!) .... And of course, above all a visit from both my doctors who gave us hope for today. Hope that Tabitha is slowly fighting. That she hasn't given up yet.

Today we have continued our plod forward. Tabitha continues to make tiny improvements and I feel like my doctors are cautiously optimistic. We could be out of the hospital tomorrow if all goes well, and I'm just praying my body will be willing to handle a flight back to Atlanta + 2 hrs in the car on Friday, which is when we planned on returning. Though, even when my mind goes there I try to push my thoughts back to today. Today is the only day I have, the only thing on which to focus. The only day I've been given the Grace to fight through. And believe me there is just enough grace for today.

Oh how hard it is to see Priscilla's little body every time we check on Tabitha, to hear the ultra sound tech remark at how much Tabitha is moving, when I know that only days ago it was my other little one dancing around the screen. Or even to see Tabitha's little profile and to finally see her stretch out her legs, something she hasn't been able to do with her limited space.... Oh, how I love them both! And how I must remember that even though Priscilla's body will be with us a while longer, her little soul is far from my belly. I think that I love these girls- or even Ransom, who I miss so terribly- though I know he's having the time of his life with our family...yet I know that my Love is not perfect. Not like our Heavenly Father's...and so I remind myself again that this is a Day by Day thing... And so we continue. In Hope. In Faith. Each day with our daily manna from Heaven.

August 26, 2012

It is well with my soul...

We lost baby Priscilla Beth today. I am so sad, and probably in shock. We were so hopeful, and yet we must trust in the Lord that He knows all and has all working for good.
Tabitha is still with us, and according to our doctor- the chances are good and I am battling against fear for her. I trying trust in the Lord for her. And we pray that her name with ring true for her.


This morning we were most blessed to see both babies alive. Tabitha is doing well, and already has a little amniotic fluid around her. Yay! Priscilla however is in the most danger post op, since her living conditions have changed the most... Her heart is beating but is not as strong as they would like it to be. I am now on oxygen, laying on my side and eating spinach for lunch ( the last one was my own idea! Haha) I the hopes to help my iron levels and the girls' blood flow!

The picture: My incision is covered with a heart shaped patch. I thought that was extra sweet this am as we pray for these little girls hearts,

August 25, 2012

The whirlwind

Well, it's probably time for me to come out of my haze and respond to all the Facebook, texting, email lovin.... But how can I? There is just so much of it I  am overwhelmed by the love! And as I was awakened this morning after only a few hours of sleep and rushed off to surgery my thought was of all the prayers surrounding us and it was a comfort.

I cannot begin to discribe the last 48 hours. But a whirlwind...nah, a tornado! Two hospital stays, one two hour drive, one missed flight,  one delayed flight across country followed by a surgery consult at 2am makes for one heck of a story, which I'll save for the book deal. Ha.

But now, I am laying in a super flashy room at Texas' children's hospital trying not to be overwhelmed by the future. A future that is a complete mystery.

First off, this mornings surgery was a success... Meaning both babies made it through, they were able to divide the placenta as best they could see, and remove some of the fluid build up ( probably the biggest physical relief to me).
What you may not know is that just because today was a success, every day is now a little battle of its own. Tomorrow is our first hurdle, an ultra sound to see if they are both alive. And from here on we have a 50/50 % chance they will both survive, an 80% that one baby will survive and a pretty much 100% that either way I'll be having these babies early. ( the surgery does mess with my body enough that this part is inevitable.).... Of course, coking from before surgery where there was little to no chance of either baby surviving- that's a good bump up. Yet as a Momma it's still scary.

I will also be on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy... And I can't go up stairs ( obviously) so... Yeah my future living situation is a mystery. But one thing all of this is teaching me is to rest upon the Lord. This is all pulling away the veil we as humans cling to, the one where we think we have control over today. Ah, how I do not! And how much so is each day but a gift!?

Thank you for the continued prayers. As you can see we are still in need of it.

August 24, 2012

This Day.

With everyone but my insurance company rearing to go yesterday, I was feeling the kinda calm you  get from knowing that something is about to happen...hopefully for the good! Yet, what that something was changed rather quickly at around 6:30pm when my OB called to say they were worried that my "mild contractions" were a sign that I couldn't off I went to the hospital. Leaving Ransom behind with our friends Jared and Britton- or in his mind- a before bedtime party.
Luckily Brett was able leave the Field where he's been the last two days and come meet me at the hospital. Honestly, having him with me is the most calming thing, and yet a luxury in this military world.

So, here we are, after a night of monitoring and the fitful sleep only a hospital can provide. ( apparently there idea of darkness is "dusk"  and that baby heart monitor next door....did it need to be on at top volume?!)... I saw the on call doctor this morning who was a combo of fatherly and grim. Things are looking dangerous for the babies and it's safe to say they are not giving me answers about my ability to travel till the last possible moment...for everyone's sake.. He left promising to  have an "early ultra sound" to check on the girls which I so so dread. Normally a mom delights in pictures of her children,but it is beyond painful to see them in their current states-with no power to help them....

Ah, power....the power to comfort, the power to save....such powers we as humans have been trying to master from the beginning. Yet with what success?!

This morning I read Isaiah 41, and it's promises are what I must stand upon today:

The oppressed and the poor look for water but there is none; their tongues are parched from thirst. I, the Lord,will respond to their prayers, I, the Lord of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make streams flow down from slopes and produce springs in the middle of the valleys. I will turn the desert into a pool of water and the arid land into springs. 

I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles and olive trees grow in the wilderness; I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.

I will do this so people will observe and recognize, so they pay attention and understand that the Lord's power has accomplished this, and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being. 

Friends, I do not know what today brings...but I do hope you will all see the ever perfect Hand Of God at work. I guarantee it will be perfect. Hard maybe. Seemingly Tragice. Maybe hopeful or victorious...but whatever the case....may He be recognized as the Author and Accomplisher of this day.

August 21, 2012

Update without details

So, I'm gonna post this even though I'm sure its just going to annoy people. It would annoy me, because I like answers and this post is going to lack answers....

Today at my doctors appointment it was determined that the twins do, indeed, have Twin to twin transfusion . I will have to have fetal laser surgery to try to disrupt the blood flow from one twin to the other, and hopefully even things out a bit. This is a pretty high risk procedure but we have been assured that if we do not do something than both twins' lives are in jeopardy.
I am going to have the procedure at Texas Children's Hospital, in Houston Texas. This is good because they are not only use to military families, but they are also close to our own family in Texas.

All of this will probably happen in the next two weeks.

Please pray for our little girls. And for us. I know above all that the Lord will be glorified in this situation. I just don't exactly know how its going to all play out.

August 18, 2012

How the girls got their names.

Naming two people is incredibly difficult. Especially at the same time. I mean, really, how difficult!! We had two names when would found out we were expecting. A boy name, a girl name. And seriously, that's all you need, right?!? But God had other plans and so we began the search for a second girl name. A name that we ( mostly I because I was the one who wanted it so badly from the beginning...) would like equally as the first.

So lets start with Baby B.  Because, bless her heart, alphabetically and just because of where she's located in my womb seems always to be discussed second.  Yet from now on she will be called Tabitha Lorien. I think, now that we've fully decided on her name I find it even more perfect for her. She is the smallest of the twins, she's living and trying to grow in a tiny spot. Seems pretty difficult and possibly even impossible. However, I do actually believe, now that we've settled on it, that her name was decided before hand. ( I read Isaiah 49 early on in this pregnancy and now I am reminded of verse 1...Before I was born the Lord called me, while I was in my mother's womb he recorded my name.) 

Tabitha Lorien. The name Tabitha has several special meanings to us. First and foremost, Tabitha in the Bible ( Acts 9:36-43) was a disciple of the Lord's who was always doing good and serving those around her. However, she got very sick and died. After she died all those that loved her and had been the recipients of all that she had done in life, told Peter, Jesus's disciple, all about her. Peter then went up to the room in which her dead body had been laid out. He said, "Tabitha, get up." and she did!! She was raised from the dead, and because of this amazing act, many believed in the Lord.

 I think because, our own little Tabitha is so small, and has seemingly so much going against her in these early days of her life, it is our prayer that the Lord would indeed bring her back, even from death, so that He might be glorified, and that many would believe in Him. And then in her life, we pray that she would have a servant heart just as her biblical namesake and her current namesake, our friend Tabitha Trott.  Tabitha and I have been friends for a long time, and she is one of those people who is so incredibly solid. So incredibly faithful, that I know with all my heart that she will be the same person, serving the Lord, giving her life to Him, throughout all my children's lives. And so, I know that our little Tabitha will have a good example to look up to in how to be servant minded, in how to be a disciple of the Lord.

As for her middle name. We make no apologies for its nerdiness. It indeed, comes from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It is the shortened name of Lothlorien, the land of the elves. Yet, in all my years of reading these books the passages describing Lorien have had such great significance. When you read about it, especially in the context of a story of Struggle of good vs. evil, in a world on the brink of war, it is a perfect picture of heaven.

"A light was upon it for which his language had no name. All that he saw was shapely , but the shapes seemed at once clear cut, as if they had been first conceived and drawn at the uncovering of his eyes, and ancient as if they had endured forever. He saw no color but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. No blemish or sickness or deformity could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lorien there was no stain." 

The world is indeed full of peril and in the it there are many dark places, but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, Lorien grows perhaps the greater." 

We pray that our daughters life would always be grounded in something much greater than herself, that she would always know that there is something much more wonderful to fight for, and to look forward to....that we have our own, even more glorious Lorien to look forward to. 

And then to Baby A...her name came to me while Brett was deployed and I was living at Fort Lewis. It came so shockingly that I had no doubt in my mind that I would have a daughter one day. Because I already knew her name. Priscilla Beth. Priscilla is another New Testament character whom we love. Priscilla and her husband Aquila are mentioned quite a few times in the Bible, and they show much about her character. She and her husband worked along side the apostle Paul and even risked their lives to save him.  But I think my favorite passage is when they take this guy Apollos aside, who'd been teaching about the coming Messiah, and explained to him all about Jesus. Afterward Apollos became a huge asset to the early church in spreading the Good News. Whether it was hosting a church in her home, teaching, working or just encouraging Priscilla was always helping to strengthen her fellow believers. We pray that our own little Priscilla would have the Gospel of Christ written on her life in such a way that she too, would find a multitude of ways to help bring Life to others. May she be a teacher and a servant, and may she be an encouragement to others when they are in need. 
Her middle name also has great significance to us because it speaks of two of the most important women in our lives, our own mothers. My mom, Leabeth and Brett's mom, Mary Elizabeth are part of the very foundation of our own spiritual lives. ( Not to mention physical!) We are so grateful for the sacrifices they have made to follow the Lord's calling in their own lives. It has been a great example to us. We are so grateful for the prayers that they have prayed for us. It has been the nourishment of our lives. And we pray that our own little daughter would one day grow into a woman who can reflect even a little of her grandmothers. They are both women who she can proudly look to for guidance and council. 

Well, there you have it! Our little girls, Priscilla and Tabitha. We cannot wait to meet them and we pray for them by name even now. 

August 15, 2012


 I hear, and my body trembles; 
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me. 
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble 
to come upon people who invade us. 

Though the fig tree should not blossom
nor there be fruit on the vines.
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will take joy in the God of my salvation
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like deer;
he makes me tread on my high places. 
Habakkuk 3:16-19

Today I visited my OB, not to be confused with my fetal natal doctor. I will be seeing these two doctors alternating every week. Yup, that's us...the doctors office people. But, believe me, I'm not complaining. When my doctor said she wanted me to be seen by somebody every week and then apologized, I did not feel annoyed. No, I don't care how much trouble it is...I want to see those babies every single week. Even if its hard. 

Today it was so hard. Seeing Baby B scrunched up in the corner with only a tiny amount of fluid around her, and Baby A swimming in a positive sea of fluid. Knowing that this is just a tale tale sign of Twin to twin transfusion. One baby getting too much ( that's actually very dangerous) and the other not getting enough ( clearly dangerous). I can't even express to you the fear. How hard it is to see them up there on the screen. To love them already even when their just little black and white skeletony shapes. I am reminded again of Is  49:5 "Can a woman forget her nursing child or show no compassion for the child of her woman? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget." What a comfort that is to me, knowing how impossible it seems to forget these little girls. But they are loved already by a Heavenly Father who knew them before we even knew they existed. They are His. And I must, must  trust in Him. 
All the doctors keep repeating what a "Long Road" I have ahead...and they can really go ahead and stop saying it. Believe me, I know. 

If it were not for the promise of His being with us, the One who does not leave us, does not forsake us, even when our hearts are breaking, then I cannot even imagine taking a step down such a Road. I am thankful for His love for us, for even when I am quite literally quaking in my boots, we can rely on Him to hold us up. 

August 13, 2012

A Swiss ball prayer

It's 6:15pm and I'm on my knees. My top half is draped over a giant green Swiss ball (the best position for my back I've found yet). I'm in Ransom's room and he's playing like an angel baby at his window.... Pushing a little farmer around in a little tiny tractor....
And I'm balling my eyes out. It's been building up for a while.
Who knows why today was hard? I didn't do anything differently on this Monday from any other. A morning walk, library time, lunch, Ransom's nap/my nap, grocery store...
But coming back from the store was hard. My body is so heavy, I get out of breath going up stairs much less going up stairs five times with bags of groceries. It's literally been 3 hours since then yet the exhaustion isn't gone. I could barely make dinner and feed Ransom.
For maybe the first time ever I was tempted to call Brett at work and tell him to come home. But what was I going to tell my husband who's been up since 4? "I'm tired, come home!"
And seriously now, what's so overwhelming exactly? Our child who's been playing by himself for hours now, talking to himself, making up conversations with his animals and little people? Was it dinner that took maybe ten minutes to prepare?

Friends, I'm crying because I'm so scared of the future. Of tomorrow and the next day. I tell my friends that I'm "so big" and I think they think that I am saying I look fat... They say, "no no no..." Or, "well you ARE carrying twins..."
But that's not what I mean, this has nothing to do with vanity. This has to do with the fact that my back hurts all the time, that it's hard to sleep and that I look like I did when I was 8 months pregnant with Ransom and I'm sitting at 4 and a half months. I'm afraid of what the second half of this pregnancy will bring, and we're talking the BEST case scenario where the girls are doing fine.

I literally do not know how I'm going to do this.

And so I kneel, drapped over a green Swiss ball, remembering that kneeling is a very good position to pray in. And I cry out for help. Because that's all I can do.

Sent from my iPhone

August 10, 2012

Fast time at Wilson High

I realize I'm the worst poster ever. I've basically waited for the "awesome" second trimester and have instead figured out that for me twins equals keep the first trimester and move straight on to third trimester fun ( ligament pain, back pain, tiredness...). I say all that only to say that I'll stop waiting for some "glorious" moment and instead say that despite all that life HAS been pretty glorious of late. Life as a mom of a two year old ( as of yesterday!) is pretty great and we've been having tons of fun the last two weeks. This week my parents visited, which was fun... Ransom basically woke up every day asking for his "Spicy" and went to bed every night talking about her. He's a fan of his grandmother. 

We also went all out in the spoiling department and took Ransom to the Fire Station for his birthday "party" was a super big hit and I suggest everyone take advantage of the awesomeness that is your local fire department. Take them some cookies ( not necessary but definitely something you should do ;-) )  and then let your kids sit on the big truck with the lights on. Ransom is still talking about it. He's also still singing Happy Birthday to himself and calling all his new toys "Birthday toys". Life is good. 

So, in other news I am the new queen of "appointments". I mentioned in my last post that I would probably need a nanny when the twins are born, but heck, I need one NOW considering all the doctors appointments I have and how none of them have invited Ransom along as my plus one! Luckily I have pretty great friends and I do have a wonderful baby sitter so I'm sure we'll make it through just fine. Basically, I have a 'specialist' who I see every two weeks who gets an ultra sound of the babies and also checks to make sure I'm not going into preterm labor. The girls are at pretty high risk for twin to twin transfer and Brett and I have been regaled with all the possibilities of this and in a lot of ways I am grateful for a specialist and then an OB ( who I also see pretty regularly) who are going to work hard to make sure we all stay healthy. However, what I'm trying to do with all my heart is focus on the here and now. 

Here and now,  Baby A was measuring at 17 weeks 2 days and Baby B was measuring at 17 weeks. At the time of the ultra sound I was 17 weeks and 1 day. I say that's pretty awesome! 

I'm looking forward to a tiny bit of normalcy in the next few weeks, Ransom going to gymnastics and my women's bible study starting back up again...all very cool things. Here's hoping I can continue to focus on these days for they are good. And our normal is about to be changed forever.