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

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Day at a Time/ Our Legacy

Sarah made it another day, so she is now 32 and 4/7!

We finally visited the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The charge nurse had asked Sarah to wait since their last three visitors went into labor the next day. The NICU is a quiet, warm, dark place. The atmosphere is very different from Special Care Obstetrics. Unbelievably tiny babies are everywhere, hooked up to all kinds of monitors. The ones who can't maintain their temperatures are in enclosed clear isolettes where they stay until their bodies regulate themselves. We saw triplets that were born at 32 weeks. The two biggest ones required help to breathe, while the smallest one pound baby didn't need any help. We were fascinated to learn that the smallest babies tend to do the best in the NICU because they are used to fighting for nourishment in the womb. How does a baby "fight" for food before its born? It seems to be universal that the struggle makes us stronger.

The nursery is full right now. There is room called a pod that they set up for the quads, but it had to used for other infants. Please pray that we can keep the babies together when the time comes.

As we were leaving, the NICU nurse encouraged Sarah to stay pregnant as long as possible. "Each day makes a huge difference in their development," she stated. "They grow much faster inside than out." We also learned that the nurses subtract one week from their gestation for each additional baby, so quads born at 32 weeks would be treated as 29-week-olds.

Sarah' s primary doctor went over options. He is very pleased that she made it to 32 weeks. The babies have a 20% chance that their lungs will work properly if born now. However, if they are born at 34 weeks, the number goes up to 50%. He also said that most women with small babies deliver at this point because they are afraid of losing their babies. Sarah has entered a gray area. Going either way is okay with him. He thinks the babies look good. He would like for Sarah to keep going, but won't blame her if she chooses to deliver. If the babies look stressed at any time, he will order an emergency C-section.

Multiples mature quicker in the uterus than their singleton counterparts. Amazing! The downside of that rapid growth is that the placentas age quickly. The doctors think that Baby B and D's placentas are starting to weaken, resulting in their lack of growth.

Sarah and Tony discussed the pros and cons.Tony said, "We have been facing scary statistics the whole time, and God has gotten us this far." They prayed and decided to take one day at a time.

Sarah is having contractions all night, so she gets little rest. Baby Boy A is parked on her sciatic nerve; she can hardly use her left leg. Callie has a developed a good imitation of Mommy trying to walk to the bathroom. Sarah has to stop halfway and rest in a chair.

The doctors used their final option in the bag of tricks. They upped her Procardia, in spite of Sarah's low blood pressure. From now on, she will have to live with the contractions. She is not dilated at all--another miracle--so the contractions are more painful than productive.

Sarah has been here so long that her large chart binder filled up completely and they had to start a new one. I looked at the four inches of paperwork and realized that it represents a season in our lives.

This worrisome journey is starting to wear on all of us. Tom is concerned about his little girl. He dreamed that Sarah didn't make it through surgery, that Tony decided to join her in Heaven, that I went crazy, that Eric went away to school, and that Devon was too busy to help. So in Tom's nightmare, he was alone with a crazy wife, four screaming babies and a toddler. Then Sarah dreamed that we were all out of town when she went into labor, and the only person she could reach to go into the delivery room was her Uncle Jon. Maybe it's a good thing that we don't get much time to sleep.

I admit that the stress is starting to get to me, too. I am exhausted and she hasn't even had the babies yet! This has been a risky business from the beginning. I don't doubt that God is with us. I just wonder sometimes what He will ask us to go through.

I was thinking about the night before Sarah got married. I cried that night because I knew she would never live with us again. Ever.

Once again, my worry was wasted. Sarah, Tony and Callie will stay with us until they get a handle on caring for quads. Sarah's coming home again with more to love.

Tom wrote Sarah a letter when she got married. He said I could share it:


I am sitting at the computer in the middle of the night trying to figure out where all the time has gone. I am not really sure I'm old enough to have a daughter who is getting married in three days. I want to know when I got old. What day did this happen?

I have lately been remembering things that I had forgotten. I remember books, games, songs and how easy it was for me to make you laugh. I remember when I was your hero and I could solve any problem or confront any evil. “They are killing babies again?.......Well ,somebody should tell my dad.” I remember how you would cry for me when I left for work and how excited you became when I got home. You probably don't realize this, but you helped me get through some tough times.

I am not sure what I'm supposed to do now. I have spent the last 22 years watching your back. I was diligent in trying to keep evil influences out of you life. I worried, "Is she happy? Does she have friends?" I can't remember you ever needing or wanting anything that I didn’t get for you. I always had your best interest at heart. I have never hurt you or frightened you or let you down. I have always defended you and when you called I always came. I was never far away. You never came home to find me gone, and you never will. I was your leader and defender. If someone wanted to get to you, they had to come through me.

Now I have to turn that job over to someone else. I am not entirely comfortable with this new arrangement. I hope he knows that he owes me. I am giving him a young woman who is pure both emotionally and physically. This is a rare feat in this day and you are a precious gift. Don't ever let yourself forget this and if he makes you feel any less than who you are, then you let me know and I will gently remind him.

He also owes your Heavenly Father , who picked him up off the ash heap, saved him and set him among princes and kings. I have no doubt that the hand of God was on you and on him and that He kept you for each other. God snatched Tony out of difficult circumstances and picked him for you. This was part of God's plan to answer the prayers of your parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

You and Tony have been taken down the path less traveled and have been given a great Godly heritage. The courage, vision, sacrifice, and boldness of your mother and others has made you who you are. You and Tony must never forget who you are and what your purpose is. You are the children of a king and with this birthright come many responsibilities. You must live by the full counsel of God and in all that you do bring glory to God. Follow Jesus and do not sway to the right or to the left. I have made this mistake and I have paid dearly in ways you cannot imagine. Defend the Gospel, stand against sin and in the midst of battle do not lose heart but hold to your sword and fight on. “Do not let the book of this law depart from your mouth, mediate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do all that is written it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go. “

You and Tony will have some tough times . You will get through them. I trust you. I know that your faith is strong and your character is solid. You have been blessed and you have a place. You are part of a large family with a history for leadership and ministry. You have been trained and equipped. You are a minister of the Gospel. Just be who you are and do what you do.

I am so grateful for all that God has given me. I am amazed by Sondra. She is an incredible mother and a faithful, Godly woman. I see so much of her in you. You have given me more than I gave you. All my children--Sarah, Devon, and Eric (and Isaac)--have been the most fun I have ever had.

Raising a daughter has been a wonderful adventure and in many ways you saved me. You saved me from myself and from giving into my sinful nature. You brought our families together. You were born The Princess and you have been in fact, The Princess. I have made some mistakes and I have been far from a perfect father, but you should know that you have been loved. From the word "go'" you have been loved. You were born out of love and raised on the very foundation of all that word means. You have made your mother and me very happy. We are proud to claim you as our legacy.


"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5

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