Nine years ago today, my family celebrated the arrival of two special little girls. Two little miracles really. Our third pregnancy was not expected. Our second had been quite a challenge with my wife dealing with pre-eclampsia. All that to say, her last 2 1/2 months of pregnancy were of complete bed-rest. We were cautioned that there could be complications with a third pregnancy.
When we discovered that she was pregnant again, we were excited. We were now going to officially be the Jackson 5. Very early on though, my wife started to have complications. We went to the doctor to find out what was going on. An ultrasound would hopefully shed light on things. Unfortunately, it didn’t show anything. The doctor told us to come back in a week to see if a heartbeat could even be found.
That was a long week. The night before we were to go back was quite difficult. Through tears Stacey told me that something did not feel right. She did not feel pregnant anymore. We poured our hearts out to one another and to the Lord. At the same time we prepared ourselves for what we expected to be bad news.
Long story short, the doctor found not only one heartbeat but two. It was quite the emotional flip, going from the expectation of none to two. The Jackson 6 did not have the same ring as the Jackson 5, but that didn’t matter much anymore. There was life, and a lot of it, inside my wife’s stomach. But that is not the end of the story.
The pregnancy was going as was expected. A normal pregnancy lasts 42 weeks. Near the end of the pregnancy some tests started giving the doctors concern. They planned to induce at 38 weeks. However at 35 1/2 weeks Stacey started to go into labor. There was concern at this point, as the doctors wanted those babies in the oven as long as they could be.
Stacey was in labor about 15 hours. The twins ended up being born within 12 minutes of one another. Their birth revealed something to the doctors that they were unaware of. There had been an ongoing transfer of blood between the twins. Grace was born extremely anemic and needed a couple blood transfusions right away. Emily had been receiving the blood, too much of it. Her unusual crimson colored skin was evidence of that. Too much blood actually put her in more danger than her anemic sister. Blood needed to be drained from her. The doctors told us that had the pregnancy gone according to their initial desire, the results could have been tragic. We could have lost both of them. God knew exactly what they needed. How dependent we are on Him.
The twins spent two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. It was difficult seeing so many needles and tubes in them, but we were so overwhelmed to see them. Initially we could only touch them through the slots in incubators. They were so small. So fragile. It was agonizing not being able to hold them. It’s just not the same talking to your child through thick plastic as you rub their little backs and try to comfort them. Eventually we were able to hold them for brief periods of time. Rock them. Feed them. Needless to say, the day they came home was truly a day of relief and celebration.
Yes, today we celebrate these two little miracles. They have truly been a joy and delight. They are so full of life. Their bond is undeniable. Their laughs are contagious. Today we celebrate not only them, but in celebration, we worship the One who made them, takes care of them and saved them.
Happy Birthday Grace & Emily!
“My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.”