My Daughter Gave Birth to Quadruplets!

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalms 112:1-2

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pink or Blue?/ Unspeakable Things

Sarah, Tony and I went to the hospital for the sonogram yesterday. We nervously waited next to a couple who had just learned that their expected baby has heart problems. It was hard to listen as they questioned the technician and made plans for more testing. They seemed frightened but hopeful, just like us.

The sonogram took about 90 minutes. We were quietly holding our breath and hoping for good news. The technician carefully went over each baby, pointing out the brain, diaphragm, kidneys, spine, face, legs, arms, feet and hands. She measured everything and solved the big mystery: Quad A--Boy, Quad B--Boy, Quad C--Girl, and Quad D--Girl. Tony was so excited that he immediately started making plans for the boys' room and baseball!

Although she repeatedly warned us not to get our hopes up because things always go wrong with quads, she gave us good news, thank the Lord! Every baby is growing evenly and weighs the same. As far as she could tell, all is well. We are so thankful and relieved, especially after the waiting room experience. God is good. I keep thinking about the prayer cover and the power of God.

Then there's the other, unspeakable thing--the doctor's suggestion to end the lives of all four of my grandchildren--or at least two of them--that kept running through my mind. I felt damaged by the memory of it. I stared at the screen, watching the babies kick and wiggle, and tried to grasp the incredible cold-hearted evilness of the act.

While watching Quad C, I mentioned to the technician that the doctors had suggested selective or full reduction. I told her it was not an option for us. Then I had to ask, "How do the doctors determine which babies to take for selective reduction? It is hard to believe anyone could do it, especially after seeing the babies on screen."

She said, "I'm not sure; we don't do that here. Do you mean if there are no health problems? They first take any who have health issues that are observed or discovered through genetic testing. After that it is probably location." I wondered if that decision also allows for gender selection. She went on, "I do know that you have to go out of town to have it done, to New Jersey or some other location. They have to give you the option."

We were solemn. Seeing those four tiny, perfect beings, created in God's image...I should have been excited, but all I could think about was the recommendation that they should be killed. How did we come to this? Four babies can be reduced to nothingness by a word. They vanish. Legally.

I remembered that first phone call after the quads were discovered. Sarah was crying. The doctor had just told her and Tony not to tell family or friends that they were expecting quads, that it would make it easier to abort the pregnancy without having to answer questions. He then described the "procedure." First, the reduction doctor watches the babies via sonogram. Then he inserts a needle through the mother's abdomen into the protective sac of waters around the baby. Next, he injects the sac with salt water. Finally, the baby dies and just goes away. No one ever has to know.

Poor Sarah. I am angry that I couldn't protect her from the dreadful experience.

We are forever changed by these unspeakable things.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scarlet Fever/Hard Times are Just Opportunities

Just to keep life interesting, there is Scarlet Fever and Strep Throat at my sister's house where Sarah is staying. Everyone in the house is on antibiotics. Sarah has a cold or bronchitis developing. The doctor is not too worried at this point since she is past her first trimester, although he would have been seriously concerned had it happened a short time ago. Devon recently reminded me of something my dad said shortly before he died: "Hard times are really just opportunities--opportunities to trust in God." Once again, I am amazed at God's protection and the power of prayer.

We are just a few days away before we can discover the gender of the babies. I am excited and nervous. The doctor asked Sarah to bring her support system since complications often show up at this time.

I have been thinking about Psalm 139. I love the passage:

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God has been involved all along. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that God has numbered the babies' days and planned their lives before they have taken their first breaths. They are indestructible until their ministries are finished. My mother-in-law pointed out that they have a ministry already. Every time she goes into the cancer doctor with my father-in-law, everyone wants to know about the babies. They have brought excitement and joy to many people, as well as united many people in prayer. They have definitely brought me to my knees!

Prayer Requests:

1. That God will heal Sarah and the kids who are ill
2. That God will encourage Sarah as she struggles with the morning sickness and difficulties of this pregnancy.
3. That the babies will be safe, healthy, and godly servants of Christ
4. That Tony and Sarah will be strong in the Lord
5. That Callie will be a patient older sibling who lives for God
6. That God will provide for their needs
7. That we will all be in the center of God's will

(Thanks for praying. I will post the news after we find out what she is carrying. I wouldn't mind a couple of each or all girls, but the thought of all boys makes me very tired! :) As my pastor says, either way that's just one short of a basketball team. Tom will be ecstatic!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Life is a Miracle/Holding My Breath

When did new life stop being a miracle? Our advances in science should make us appreciate life even more, instead of enabling us to find ways to be rid of it. Sarah was so traumatized by the doctor's and nurses' reactions to her condition that she was unwilling to tell even her closest friends about the quads for awhile. She will never forget those first few visits to the doctor. What should have been a celebration was turned ugly by unthinkable choices and statistics. Every time she went in, she felt pressured to abort or selectively reduce her unborn babies. More than ever, I am convinced of the intense spiritual battle going on.

We have always been pro-life, so in a way, it is only right that we should experience the battle firsthand. While my husband was the most active, I've fought for life, too, although mostly behind the scenes (stuffing envelopes). My son and I did march on Washington before he was even a year old. After all of these years, I finally understand more of what people go through when they are faced with difficult pregnancies.

Humanly speaking, the risks for Sarah and her quads are many. Spiritually speaking, God is bigger than any medical scenario a set of quadruplets can produce. Ergo, my mind is in constant overdrive. I swing back and forth all day long: joy and sadness, fear and faith, hope and despair. It is exhausting. Then there are all of the decisions and the plans to make. I try not to focus on the negative, but Sarah is not feeling better yet. As a matter of fact, she seems to be feeling worse. She is too sick to do anything, so we are trying to make plans for her. But I am not sure what plans to make! I keep praying for guidance and try to take one day at a time. On the other hand, every day brings her delivery date closer. (Sorry, I am swinging again.)

Last night, I came home and found a message waiting for me. One of Sarah's friends wrote, " I wanted to tell you, ever since I have started praying for Sarah and all of you, I have always felt these babies are going to be just fine!! I honestly promise, what I was always thinking was, how is God going to use this miracle? It is nothing short of a miracle, and I can't wait to see what their lives hold."

Then, one of the parents from Tom's basketball team emailed me to let me know she is praying. She said, "Christ died and rose so that we could come boldly before our God to make our petitions known. And He is faithful to hear." She went on to say,
"Remember what the Word says, 'Be still, and know that I am God.'"

Just when I feel as if I am losing my mind, I remember all of the people who are praying. Then I remember that God is bigger than a set of quads--yes, He is. The best way I to explain the relief that washes over me is to compare it to one giant exhale. I must be holding my breath.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life Goes On/Encouraging Words

Sarah is 14 weeks today. She is experiencing a lot of discomfort from her belly growing so fast. She is still throwing up, some days more than others. Throwing up causes her to have contractions for hours. We are hoping and praying that the morning sickness--and all that goes with it--will pass soon.
Nights are rough.Her high hormone levels make her have hot and cold flashes, as well as make sleeping almost impossible.When she turns over, one baby wakes up another until they all start bouncing around--quite a circus! Catnaps are the best she can do, for now.
In spite of the miracle of quadruplets on the way, life goes on as usual. Sarah's husband Tony was drilling this weekend when the drill slipped. It went in one side of his thumb and out the other. He spent the evening in the Emergency Room having metal pieces taken out of the wound and getting stitches. He is fortunate that the bone wasn't damaged. It sure looks like it hurts! Tony is busy making preparations for his own personal baby boom. Please pray that he recovers completely.
One of my college students gave me encouraging words tonight. He stayed after class to tell me what happened last week. He had been praying for Sarah when God spoke to his heart to tell him that everything is going to be okay. He was so excited he couldn't wait to tell me. I was very encouraged, not only by his words but by the fact that he is praying for us! Several people have had the same impression while praying about the quads. One of them is my son. He told me right away that he felt that they were going to be okay.
This experience is so much bigger and involves more people than I could have imagined. So many people are praying! It makes me wonder what God plans to accomplish. Whatever it is, today I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Encouraging Days/Doctor Visit

Sarah went to the doctor today. She gained two pounds! Compared to a single pregnancy, carrying four babies has made her the size of someone two months further along.

He did another sonogram and all of the babies have strong heartbeats. He was encouraging and informative. He thinks she has a good chance of carrying the babies long enough if she will rest and if things go well. Her activity will include walking to the bathroom and taking a shower. That is about it. He thinks her morning sickness will get better in a couple of months, which is great news. At the next visit, we should find out if we have boys, girls or both. Can't wait! After that, she will have to go every week for sonograms.

I was very worried about the next two months since I am teaching. Today, my sister offered to take care of Sarah and Callie until school is out. I am so thankful for that answer to prayer.

Yesterday was wonderful! We had an Easter Breakfast, a good service and an Easter Egg Hunt. We have the best church people anyone could ask for. They are prayerful and encouraging. They are family. As people came up to offer their support, I felt as if my cares were lifting. I have had this experience a few times in my life. The only way I can think to describe it is that I feel as if I am floating on prayer. My feet barely touch the ground!

I've been thinking a lot about hope and how important it is in life. Satan loves to discourage us and make us think that our situations are hopeless. He wants us to feel like we have to find our own solutions to our problems, and should give up when none are apparent. That first doctor, for example, told Sarah and Tony not to tell anyone--including family--that there were four babies. Secrecy would make it easier for them to choose abortion or selective reduction. Satan appears to be trying to end the lives of these children before they even enter the world! How often do we keep things secret that should be shared in order to gain counsel, comfort and prayer? We should always call on God, church and family for support when we need it in order to keep God's perspective. Isolation breeds despair, but prayer breeds hope.

I shared Sarah's miracle with my college students. One of them asked if he could lead the class in prayer for her. I wish I had it on tape! He has a deep, soothing voice, and his prayer was amazing. He prayed for God's protection and plan. He prayed that the babies would change the world with their faith and their love for God. He asked God to make them part of a godly heritage that would last for generations. It was beautiful blessing! I do wonder what God will accomplish through this "one in a million" event.

It is exciting to live for God. You never know what surprises He has around the next corner. Thanks for praying and being a part of it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

So Thankful for Praying Friends and Family

We all went to see Sarah's grandparents today (Tom's parents). Bob is battling Multiple Myeloma, which is a form of blood cancer. He recently had a stem cell transplant. We are praying that he goes into remission, so please add him to your list.

Sarah started feeling bad so we went home. She was dizzy and having contractions. She called the doctor, who told her to drink a lot of water and wait a couple of hours to see if more fluids will stop them.

It is so hard to do what they suggest! They want her to eat dry meals every 1 1/2 hours since the babies are pushing on her stomach and she can't hold much. On the other hand, she needs plenty of liquids to keep up with four babies and herself. She is supposed to take it easy, but is allowed to do some walking. When she does move around very much, she has complications.

When I get tired, I start to get discouraged and worried, especially at night. I am a worrier at heart and Sarah is MY baby. Then I remember all of the people that are praying for us. I am so thankful. It is wonderful to have the support of people who love God. We are one big family. I often wonder what people do when they don't have all of the blessings that come with living for God.

I am glad Sarah goes back to the doctor this week. This is going to be a long pregnancy for me!

Prayer Request:

I have two more months of school before I can help Sarah during the day, which is when her bed rest begins. Please pray that she does well until then--eating every 1 1/2 hours, drinking enough, taking it easy, and taking care of Callie.

Thanks for praying. Happy Easter! Jesus is alive!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Asking People to Pray/ Today was my Dad's Birthday

Sarah tried to go without her morning sickness medicine yesterday since she was feeling somewhat better, but spent the evening throwing up and in tears. She gets so discouraged when she feels so poorly. I get discouraged when she throws up all the food I tempt her with!
On a positive note, she can feel the babies moving around. She said that it feels like she has ping pong balls in her stomach. They are very active, which is good for now.
I sent out the call for people to pray today. There are lots of risks and hurtles, but we know that God is in control. Please pray.


1. Pray for her morning sickness to stop and appetite to increase.Sarah is not gaining enough weight to keep up with the babies.
2. Please pray that she will carry the babies to 34 weeks, the longest the doctors will let her, but 5 weeks longer than average. She
will be on mandatory bed rest at 20 weeks.
3. Pray that Sarah and the babies will be healthy and for Tony as he "copes." :)
4. Pray for our family as we make plans to help and prepare for four.
5. Pray that the babies will be a testimony to God's care, love and power.
6. Please ask everyone you know to pray for the babies. Right now the doctors have named them Quad A, Quad B, Quad C, and Quad D.
Pray specifically for weeks 16 and 20. (She is now at 12 weeks.) Those are the weeks that sonograms usually reveal any major problems.

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have LOVED this excitement!

Thanks for praying!

The LORD your God is with you, He is MIGHTY TO SAVE. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Verse from Devon

Devon is on her way back from her Jamaican Cruise. She sent me a verse:

"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." Jeremiah 29:11

She encouraged me to pray--HARD--about God's will for us as a family as we go through this adventure. I needed to hear it. I don't always think clearly when the subject is so close to my heart. I tend to panic and take responsibility and control. First born issues, I know. I need to pray for peace.

Thank you Lord, for encouragement when I need it the most. Keep reminding me how much you love me.

Thanks, Devon.