Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thoroughly Thankful Thursday: It's Back!

One year ago yesterday was my 26th birthday. I'd been anticipating it for weeks, not because I was excited to turn 26, but because my first OB appointment had been scheduled for that day. I would be 12 weeks pregnant, and my doctor wanted to see me for the first time.

I'd already had an ultrasound that confirmed we were having twins at 7 weeks, and from what we knew, there wasn't really anything to be concerned about. That was, until two days before my birthday, when I found myself hemorrhaging in the ER. Another ultrasound confirmed that both babies were alive and kicking, but ultimately raised more questions than answers. My anticipation became dread, alternating with moments of sheer panic where I was sure something was terribly wrong - God didn't want me to have these babies, He wanted to take them away before I even got to meet them.

The first thing my OB did was bring in an ultrasound machine to check on the babies again. Both still had strong heartbeats, and looked very healthy and active. My doctor said this was a good sign. Then she turned her attention to the clot behind one of the placentas. Compared to the tiny babies, it looked enormous. It was positioned so that it pushed the placenta away from the wall of the uterus, which meant that if it got too much bigger, the baby (I don't remember which for sure, but I think it was Erin) would be in grave danger.

My doctor's face grew serious as she wrapped up the ultrasound and had me sit up on the table. "I wish I could tell you everything is going to be okay," she said. "But it's fifty-fifty. Maybe you'll be fine, but you might miscarry. I don't have any placenta glue. There's not much I can do."

She prescribed bed rest for the next two weeks, meaning that I would be in bed until after Christmas, and scheduled another appointment for 14 weeks to check on the babies and the clot. I'd expected to leave feeling elated, nearly done with the first trimester of pregnancy, but I left with a heavy heart. Fifty-fifty. I couldn't stop thinking about those words.

After hearing about the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last week, I have dwelt on that moment often in the past few days. Somehow, now that Emily and Erin are 6 months old, the idea that we came close to losing them weighs more heavily on my heart. I know the joy that being their mother brings, and the pain of the parents who lost their children has permeated our every activity this week. I think of the hopes and plans those parents had for their children, how they had college funds and Christmas presents for them. They changed their diapers and sat up all night when they were sick, and loved them fiercely, as all parents love their children. More than once this week, I've heard it said that parenthood is as if you have your heart outside your body. Truer words have rarely been spoken.

This week, I am thankful for every dirty diaper, sleepless night, and moment of frustration that comes as a part of motherhood. I've never been more thankful for the ability to simply love my children, deeply and sacrificially as God loves every one of us. And I know I join millions in praying ceaselessly for the families who are missing their little saints in heaven as Christmas approaches. It is my prayer that they may find some measure of peace.

What are you thankful for this week? Link your post below or share in the comments!

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