I realized a month or so ago, before the boys were ever born that I was already mourning. I found out I was pregnant on 12/18. I was so excited to share a pregnancy with my little sister! What fun as sisters! Then, just 10 short days later, we found out she was having twin boys (YAY!), but that she would never have the 'normal' pregnancy that we had prayed for. That her amniotic fluid was extremely low, and extreme bed rest would be how she would live until the boys were born. I got angry. At God, at me (for having 2 healthy pregnancies/kids), at her doctors, I even took it out on her (I know, awful). I was just so sad. Mad. Frustrated. Upset. I realized later I was basically going through the stages of grief. Nothing awful had happened yet, but still, as a first time mom, I wouldn't have wished this on my baby sister! I had prayed for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I had looked forward to throwing her a shower and answering her questions about all the overpriced baby gear she was sure to register for, as all first time parents are expected too! Doing all the things to her that she did to me with my pregnancies (dragging her to IKEA at 9 months pregnant and making me walk around for 4 hours!!) :). In June. In Houston! hah. And just sharing in the absolute joy of becoming a MOM!
I was being extremeley selfish. I pulled away from God. I kept on praying, but I didn't want to know this was God's plan for her. I knew in my heart that I needed Him more now. I wanted to feel the revival that was going on at our church, and I did have glimpses. Music has always spoke to me (spoken?). So there was some amazing songs I really connected with. But I didn't immerse myself in His Word as I should have. I had my (His) moments, but it wasn't enough. My accountability group for the past couple months has probably been sick of me saying, "Yeah, I got nothing. A few quiet times here and there, definitely praying, but not really seeking." I tried to be excited for them with each milestone they hit, but that first day, 12/28, when I got the news, I did some research. I shouldn't have, and after about 30 minutes, I never again looked anything up. I didn't want to know the statistics. I didn't want to know that my sister and Matt may have to live a very hard road as parents. I didn't want to even think about explaining things to Cara. Again, you can tell, it was all about me.
Things started to change before she had the boys. I began reading my bible, even if only superficially, more. I had great friends who poured into me, and she had great friends and family pouring into her! But, when the day came that she was having contractions (2/26 the day before they were born), I got mad again. This was not happening!! She has done SO WELL for SO LONG and she still has 4 weeks until those babies will be born small, but healthy! Things stopped and I relaxed. We spent a great Saturday together, Eric and the kids and I, playing at the mall and enjoying one of our last free Saturdays together before Eric's work got crazy. Then, I finally checked my phone. The boys were here. I rushed to get into my car and head to Clear Lake. And as I did, the tears came. They were uncontrollable, and I knew I was finally breaking. That I knew this was going to be a hard road, whether I was prepared for it or not, and that again, this was not God's Plan B! He had their days numbered before creation! How could I not take comfort in that? He picked Matt and Bailey for this exact purpose. And I get to be their aunt! However, the breakdown in the car on I-10 wasn't the best possible place. If I've learned anything, it's to get on your knees before that happens, and let Him break you, He was trying to all along. I called a dear friend and she talked me down. I didn't want Bailey to know how worried I was. I wanted to be the rock and support she needed. I've had friends with NICU babies. I knew it was a roller coaster. Through the blog world, I've also grieved people's children I didn't even know personally. Because once you're a parent, you know that losing a child would be one of the hardest thing you might ever have to endure.
I don't want to go through all the details, as Bailey and Matt have posted on their blog what they are comfortable with everyone knowing. And as sad as it was, Eric and I cherish the fact that we got to be there and say goodbye to sweet Ben with Bailey and Matt and his loving grandparents! It was Eric's first time to get to meet him, as he was always taking care of our kids. What a sweet, yet sad, moment to be a part of.
Matt went home that night and wrote the most beautiful song you've ever heard. They had an amazing friend sing it at the graveside. What a cherished memory from a daddy to his son. FUMC Pasadena has been an amazing church family to all of the Walkups, and we are so excited they took such great care of everything, and included us with open arms.
Jack has had his ups and downs, but is doing well at Women's. I got to spend a day with Bailey picking out fabric for his nursery (though it still sits folded up on my table....must get a move on)! She is healing well, and has been handling things the only way I would have expected her to: with grace and the peace of our Savior!
Now, onto my nerd tendencies. Before all of this, I LOVED being 'graded.' I loved getting tests and homework back all throughout school. Even if they weren't perfect As. I loved knowing exactly how I measured up and what I needed to focus on more. Even during my pregnancies, I looked forward to ultrasounds. Even when my very first one with my very first pregnancy led me down the path of surgery to remove a tumor, everything was OK. Cara was perfect, and so was Micah. I never once feared finding anything out. Even when I was in the hospital last month, I had a peace that it was not pregnancy related at all, the pain was much too high for that. I've never been much of a worrier, and I have always been extremely aware of God's plan. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I know this was intended for Jews that were exiled to Babylon, but it still gave me comfort, and still does.
Now here I sit just 3 days away from the 'big' 18 week ultrasound. The 'anatomy' ultrasound as my doctor has been calling it. I have always thought of it as the GENDER ultrasound. Because that's what I was focused on. But now, I'm getting a little anxious. I'm trying to not even think about it. It's hard to be excited when almost 3 months to the day, this is the ultrasound that Bailey had that shifted our lives forever. I felt this baby move for the first time 10 days ago, but I have only felt 'it' once since then. I know that's nothing to be worried about, but everything is just a little raw. So, if you will, please just pray for peace for me. I know again whatever may happen, that this is God's plan A. The anxiety is easy to not focus on, with three kids to chase around each day. It only sets in a little at night. So I'm trying to focus on God's word. Thanks for reading this little book. I will let you know how it all goes.
And in the mean time, I have been shying away from all the 'deals' type posts because it's just seemed wrong. I will post one this week, when I get back on this blog.