This week I got to deliver balloons to our office of the week winners at UAMS-- which is housed in what used to be the hospital where all 4 of my babies were born. it's been at least 5 years since I've so much as driven by there, much less been inside the building. As I pulled into the parking lot I was hit with wave after wave of memories from nearly 15 years ago.
I remembered June 6, 1994--rushing to the emergency room in fear that I was having a miscarriage only to be shocked to learn that we were carrying not one, but two babies. That night was the first of many trip to the hospital over the next 5 months. Multiple ultrasounds, extensive blood work, and visits for IV fluids because of weight loss and dehydration. The worst visit was October 31, 1994 when I was admitted for pre-term labor. At just 31 weeks gestation we were terrified, Not helping matters at all was the meanest nurse on the planet who told me to go home and stay in bed because if my babies were born this early "they would surely die".
Two days later my water broke and the only thought running through my head was "they are surely going to die".
Twenty four hours after that I saw for the first time the two most precious baby girls ever. Weighing in at just over 3 pounds each the question of whether they would live or die was still unanswered.
From November 3rd until mid December we all lived at the hospital. The twins in NICU. Jimmy and I in waiting rooms, the cafeteria, and the occasional unused hospital room. And those girls showed everyone. Not only did they survive-- they thrived.
And they still are. This fall they will turn 15. Now instead of worrying about their pulse ox levels, and apnea monitors we worry about getting drivers licences and how to handle boys.
During those weeks we lived in NICU I thought that season would never end. But it did, so quickly. James says that we learn to endure by having our faith tested. And that we must endure to become mature and complete.
I remember while I was pregnant telling God that I couldn't handle it if there were complication with my pregnancy. But, there were complications. My faith was tested. And I endured. Did I enjoy it? NO! Would I want to do it again? NO! Am I thankful for the fruit that was born of it? YES! Yes! A hundred times- Yes!
Today, I am so thankful-- for life, for miracles, for my baby girls, for the trials along the way, and for the God who never leaves my side.