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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Anniversary

Once upon a time, a starry-eyed young girl put on a beautiful white dress and walked down the aisle where the man of her dreams waited. There, she promised God to love this man forever. They kissed and stepped onto the roller coaster of life. The years flew by. Today, she looked in the mirror at the lines around her eyes and wondered where the time has gone. Then she smiled. After all of the crying babies, utility bills, baseball practices, dentist appointments, piano lessons, runaway horses, carnival rides and basketball games, her heart still skips a beat when she sees him across the room. He has made her life a carousel of happiness.

~Happy Anniversary, Tom Head. I love you.

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank you, God for weary days, when desert streams were dry. That's when we learned the depths of need your love could satisfy. Thanks for the rest in You, the weary only know--the perfect, wondrous sympathy, that we must learn below. The touch that heals the broken heart is never felt above. The angels know His blessedness; his way-worn saints, His love (Streams in the Desert).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mandatory Bedrest/Power of Prayer

Mandatory bed rest begins today. Sarah is 20 weeks now, but her belly measures out to full term. The combined weight of the four babies makes her body think she is about ready to deliver; the bed rest will help with that. Also, the babies need much nourishment, so less activity saves energy for them. It makes sense, but is not fun.

We went to the hospital for Sarah's appointments today. While we were waiting to go in, I noticed a pregnant woman crying in the corner of the waiting room. I felt sorry for her, and wondered about her story. Life can be so hard sometimes.

When Sarah's turn came, her sonogram took over two hours. There was discomfort, but WOW, the report couldn't be better! As far as the technician can tell, the babies are healthy. They weigh 13 ounces each, and are growing evenly.They are harder to see now because they are bigger. Baby Boy A is head down. Everyone else is breech. Baby B is sandwiched in between A and C. (I told Sarah we could call him "Earl," as in "Earl of Sandwich." Sorry. I have my dad's sense of humor.) Little Girl C turned to look right at the camera, appearing curious. Little Girl D--the one in the penthouse suite--was sucking her thumb.The technician commented how active they are, to which Tony replied, "Great."

The doctor's exam went well, too. Sarah's blood pressure is low. She gained weight. Her sugar levels are normal. The most amazing test result is not for the squeamish, so skip this part if you have a tendency to blush. The doctors use cervix length to check for preterm labor. They prefer the length to be at least 2.5. She measured at 5.8! God likes to make sure we know He's been busy. The doctor said, "There must be a mistake."

I smiled and replied, "This may sound a strange to you, but we have so many people praying for these babies. God is blessing them. Prayer makes a big difference!" Then I said, "They are asking what to pray for. What should we tell them?"

The doctor said, "Well, we want the babies to continue to grow evenly, especially since it is not uncommon for them to be different weights at this point. Also, that Sarah avoids preterm labor and continues to have no complications. That's about it. "

We thanked the doctor and said that we would pray for her, too. As she was leaving, she paused at the door and agreed, "Yes, prayer is powerful."

The quads have a ministry already, and they don't even know it. Thanks for praying!

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." Psalm 119:30-32

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Doctor Visit/Callie/Horse Races

Sarah's quick doctor visit went well this week. She rode in a wheelchair, which made the trip much easier. All of the babies' heartbeats were found and no pre-term labor was detected. She goes next week for a long sonogram to check for health problems and complications. We are very thankful for praying people and God's blessings. Mandatory bed rest begins Monday. The babies will be here before we know it!

I am not sure that Callie understands or appreciates her mother's confinement or condition. She is used to being the center of attention with Sarah anticipating her every need. Mommy can't pick her up or take her outside to play. Callie seems confused when she gets hurt, and looks around for someone to hold her. She is having to grow up quickly.

Meanwhile, a constant battle is raging in my mind, and it is exhausting. It goes something like this: Callie is tired and fussy and thirsty, so I put her next to her mama while I make something to drink. Instantly, I am off to the races! The starting bell rings, the gates open, and my mind speeds into the future. I hear four crying babies who are simultaneously tired and fussy and thirsty. My heart starts pounding. I analyze the best way to quickly divide and conquer this comfort-four-babies-while-preparing-sippy-cups problem. As I search for a sippy-cup lid stopper, I remember that the fussing number will be five (counting Callie), not four. That's when my head starts hurting. Filling a sippy cup can be overwhelming.

For many years, Tom had a horse named Missy. She was a beautiful, sorrel -colored horse--appendix bred (thoroughbred-quarter horse cross), barrel racing, big and FAST. She would start moving the second Tom's foot hit the stirrup, so she required constant control with strong reins. At first, I tried to be brave and ride her occasionally. Missy would grow tired of walking at my slow pace, so she'd suddenly take off and barrel race around trees, trying to brush me off in the process. The last time I rode her, someone forgot to close the barn door. Missy smelled the sweet feed and sped toward the barn. She tried to squeeze her 1200 lb. body through the little barn door with me on her back. Painful. That was my last ride. From then on, I admired Missy from a distance. Tom, however, loved Missy's challenge and speed. He rode her whenever possible.

One afternoon while I was washing the dishes, I kept hearing an odd sound. It was continual, a whining sound, but it would get louder and then fade, louder, fade, like a siren. Strange. Was it the neighbor's security system? I kept looking out the window, but didn't see anything. I decided to watch and wait. There it was again... Out of nowhere, Tom and Missy appeared and flew by the window. The spirited horse had jerked free of her reins and was barrel racing around the barn while Tom held on for dear life. I watched helplessly as she sped away, out of control. Soon enough, they came around again. As Tom went by, he yelled, "SONDRA--GET SOME GRAIN!" (Oh. That was the siren sound!) I hurried to the barn, grabbed the coffee can, and scooped up some feed. The next time they circled the barn, I held up the familiar can and shook it. Instantly Missy slammed on her brakes, trotted over and started eating.That was easy! Breathing heavily, Tom slowly straightened up in the saddle. He looked down into my eyes, frowned deeply, and growled, "What Took You So Long?!"

Every time my mind races with worry, I am wasting time and energy by borrowing trouble. I have to stop racing around the barn. God's Word provides the reins to control my thoughts before they get dangerously out of control. Prayer helps me stay on the path God has planned for me. Panic takes me on a detour. My job is to pull back, breathe deeply, and remember what I know. God is only asking me to give Him my best today. God gives me the strength I need for today. Worrying wastes that strength by focusing on what may or may not happen in the future. God's plan is best. It is what I want. I choose hope. I choose faith. God will provide what I need when I need it, just like He has every day of my life. So, here I go. Pray. Exhale. Relax. Fill the sippy cup.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
Proverbs 21:31

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prayer Requests 2

People who are praying for Sarah have asked for prayer, too, so I thought I would start a list of those requests.

1. Healing for 12-year-old Taylor from a staph infection in her leg bone.
2. David asks for prayer for his mother, Catherine, who is having chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.
3. Denny is in the hospital with a staph infection and complications from surgery.

Thanks for praying!

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blood Work/Prayer Request

Anemia and gestational diabetes are common in pregnancy with multiples. Sarah struggled with anemia when she was a baby, and diabetes runs in Tom's family, so I have been worried. At first, one of the doctors told us to avoid sugar in juice, drinks, or fruit in order to ward off the diabetes. They changed their minds when she wasn't gaining enough weight. Now we offer her everything fattening several times a day. After a lifetime of dieting, I have had to retrain my thinking. (Skim milk is our friend, right? No, wait...Skim milk is bad, but butter is good.)

After lots of unnecessary worry, we learned that the results of Sarah's blood work were great! Her hemoglobin levels are higher than the average woman who is pregnant with one baby. Her gestational diabetes test results were 93, well below the desired limit of 130. Prayer cover is amazing.

Sarah has been in much pain the last few days. She went to the doctor today and discovered that her upper stomach muscles are tearing and separating from the weight of four babies. This painful development is common with multiples, unfortunately. The muscles will grow back after delivery. For now, she will have to take Tylenol and make the best of it. She is only comfortable reclining with support pillows. Maybe mandatory bed rest won't be so difficult, after all.

Please pray:
1. That her stomach muscles will stop giving her so much pain
2. That she will continue to be healthy and avoid complications
3. That the babies will thrive and grow until 34 weeks

We are so thankful everyone who is praying. Thank you!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cameras Rolling/Relax and Grow

We decided to go ahead with the television documentary for pro-life awareness,and filmed the first episode today. Filming was easier than I thought it would be. The crew was very professional and made it go smoothly.

Sarah's mandatory bed rest date is two weeks away, so we had to hurry things along. She is having dizzy spells that make it hard to walk, so she almost didn't make it today. Sitting upright for very long is hard for her, but she did well during the filming. Unfortunately, she is paying for it tonight. She is very uncomfortable and having contractions as I write this. She can't seem to do much of anything anymore, so the bed rest will probably be easier than she thinks.

Some of the questions I was asked tonight got me thinking. Life has so many surprises and challenges, most of which are just a phone call away. We get news and we immediately want answers to our problems. Living in a time where information is almost too easy to obtain, we surf the Internet looking for statistics, longing to find hope. We forget that God has options that we haven't even thought of yet. While we panic, He is busy making our problems work for good in our lives. Sometimes we forget.

My prayer is that God will use the video to remind people that God is in control, and to give people the courage to trust God enough to say yes to life, despite the statistics. It would be worth the trouble if just one life were saved.

We have some hard challenges ahead. We are taking these days one at a time, hanging on to our faith. In the meantime, the quads don't seem to be concerned one bit about the odds and have no idea the fuss they are causing. They just relax and keep on growing. I am learning from them already.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stress, Whispers and Nudges/Give Thanks to the Lord

The last week has been stressful!

First, Sarah had a couple of mishaps in as many days that made her have contractions, one involving the couch and another resulting from a fender "bump" on the way to the doctor. Wow! Makes me more thankful than ever for the prayer cover!

Sonograms revealed that the babies are doing well and the contractions have calmed down. They also confirmed the boy-boy-girl-girl discovery. Sarah did much better afterward since she took the doctor's advice and used a wheelchair for this visit. She is going every week now. The babies are so cute in the pictures. They are growing very quickly. So far, the girls are very active and the boys more laid back. Quad C is so wiggly it is hard to measure her heartbeat. :) Wonder what she is thinking?

Second, we have been approached about an opportunity to do a TV documentary for pro-life awareness. We have talked, emailed and met with the producers, trying to determine whether or not to do it. I am sure we are driving them crazy with our questions! We know someone who is on staff with the organization, which helps to put our minds at rest, but we still have to consider the consequences of putting ourselves and the quads in the public eye while taking a stand for life. We read some warnings put out by multiples groups regarding media coverage which stated the negatives, which were many. Plus, there is more to the story that very few people know. Tony has an amazing life journey that builds my faith every time I think of it, but it is a painful one. While trying to consider all things involved, we have been praying--hard--for God's direction.

Meanwhile, fear struggles with faith.

This week, I was reading the passage in John 4 where Jesus talked to the woman at the well. She went back to tell the people in her town about this Man who told her everything she had ever done. The Bible says in John 4:39 that many believed because of her testimony.

On Sunday, my pastor mentioned this Scripture: "My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God" James 5:19-20.

Then, while listening to Christian radio as I was getting ready for school, I heard how the pro-life commercial that aired during the Superbowl influenced a woman to change her mind about having an abortion.

I love it when God patiently whispers and nudges.

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done..."Psalm 105:1-5

Pray for us. We want God's will, which is what we would choose anyway if we knew all the facts.