A Fight for My Babies

A Fight for My Babies

It was night, and I was in the middle of a forest when I saw him.

It was difficult to make out his features; I only saw darkness—evil. He had something in his arms. What was it? It was small but moving on its own. It was a baby! I knew it could not be his, and I feared he would harm it. As I walked closer to him, he ran.

I chased him for what seemed like hours in the humid night air. My heart pounded and my chest heaved, but I couldn’t stop until I had the baby. Not knowing what I would do once I caught up with him, I kept running. I prayed hard.

God needed to help me rescue the baby.

I don’t know why, but he stopped. Catching up to the man, I snatched the baby from him, although I can’t remember how. Then I just ran and ran with him on my heels. I ruined his plan, and he was angry. He chased me to exhaustion. Suddenly, I realized there was nowhere to go. I had come to a white fence too high to climb with the baby in my arms. With my back to the fence, I watched as the figure approach me—his arrogant eyes victorious. I didn’t know what to do.

I called out to Jesus; He was the only one who could rescue us.

As the evil one stood before me, trying to pluck the child out of my arms, I could only whisper the name of Jesus. I realized this man hated that Name. Although it was dark, I could see his body recoil. It made me brave. I shouted Jesus’ name with everything I had.

The Name terrified him and he ran as I pursued him, yelling Jesus’ name. I watched until he was out of sight.

Then I woke up.

The next day, I got up feeling nauseous. Since my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, and I worked in a hospital lab, my coworkers gave me a pregnancy test. It was positive.

Little did I know how difficult this pregnancy would be.

At eight weeks, I passed some blood. I panicked. I was sure I had miscarried. As the doctor did an ultrasound, he discovered I had twins and explained I passed nothing more than an isolated clot.

But it continued to go downhill from there. The morning sickness was terrible. I couldn’t eat anything but ice and lost weight for the first fourteen weeks of my pregnancy. The headaches and migraines were awful, too.

I passed out one afternoon at work while on my way to the bathroom. That freaked out my coworkers. The doctor told me later my babies had pressed against my abdominal aorta and temporarily cut off blood flow to my brain. It was the last time that happened.

At twenty-seven weeks, my water broke on my way to work. The shuttle driver, who picked me up at an offsite parking lot, drove me straight to the emergency room.

He was more of a mess than I was.

The doctors and nurses seemed amused by the shuttle driver’s reaction because I looked full-term. Once I explained I was twenty-seven weeks with twins, they sobered.

Fear overwhelmed me. I called my husband to tell him the bad news: our babies were coming too soon. They transferred me to a different hospital which was better equipped to handle premature births.

As they prepped me for a caesarian section, the nurse informed me my babies would only be a pound and a half each and would stay in the hospital until their due date, which was thirteen weeks away. I prayed they would be bigger than the nurse claimed.

After their birth, Alexandria and Matthew were each a little over two pounds. A nurse told me I must have been farther along than I thought. But I knew better. Doctors and nurses rushed to hook them up to ventilators, IV lines, and heart and respiratory monitors.

One day, two weeks later, my daughter developed pneumonia in both bronchial tubes. The phone call from the hospital, informing us our baby was in critical condition, woke us at four a.m. We prayed the rest of the morning for her. When I got to the NICU later, she looked as if she were dying. Alexandria’s skin was gray from a lack of oxygen, and the doctor gave her a drug paralyzing her to prevent her from fighting the ventilator. God was faithful, though. He healed her tiny body and before long; she was as feisty as ever.

Another time, Matthew stopped breathing after the doctor removed him from the ventilator. As I watched the nurse bagging him—forcing air into his lungs, his tiny lifeless body refused to respond. She called the nearby doctor for help. I stood, wanting to scream for someone to help my baby. Instead, I prayed—begging God to save Matthew.

Suddenly, it felt as though someone’s hands were on my shoulders and I felt a peace I cannot describe. I heard the Lord’s assurance Matthew would go home with me as I sat back down in my chair. My babies came home after ten weeks at the hospital.

Matthew and Alexandria are now almost twenty-four years old. Although they had difficulties at times, they are healthy and happy college graduates.

The baby in my dream represented the babies I did not know I was pregnant with. At the time of my nightmare, we did not have a fence, nor was it in our plans to have one.

My husband had a six-foot white fence installed after I gave birth.

I realized after a year or two, it was this enclosure I had seen in my dream. The woods behind our property is where it had taken place.

 The Lord gave me that vision to prepare me, not just for the battle my babies would go through to survive but to show me He would be there as soon as I called His Name. He had already won the battle; all I needed was faith.

Matthew 21:22 ESV says, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.”

Miracles from Heaven

Miracles from Heaven

This year my fraternal twins turned 21 years old. This was quite an accomplishment!

Twenty-one years ago, my mother-in-law was having knee surgery. It was a Tuesday. Our family,  my husband, Mike, father-in-law, Ted, my sister-in-law and her husband, my brother-in-law, and his wife were all there to be with her. After her surgery, we went to lunch. No, it wasn’t in the hospital cafeteria, it was over 5 blocks away, and we walked there and back.  I was 27 weeks pregnant (but looked full-term) and was supposed to start bed-rest that weekend. It was a rough walk to get lunch!

The next morning, I woke up to pain down my legs and thighs. I thought the walking had been too much and I was feeling sore. However, by the time I got to work, my water broke, and I was taken to the hospital about 45 minutes away. I was so naive I didn’t know to be scared.

I was assured by the nurses and doctors that they would stop the labor, but I would have to stay in the hospital until the babies were 34 weeks old to be safe. Didn’t happen. One of my babies had decided he was coming into this world regardless of what anyone else thought.

At 3:00 that afternoon, my twins, Matthew and Alexandria, were born weighing a little over 2 pounds and 14 inches long.

They were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they were hooked up to respirators, pulse-oxygen machines, and heart monitors. They had more needles and lines going through their little arms, feet, and umbilical cords than I could have ever imagined possible. A mask was placed over their eyes to protect them from the lights. Their skin was translucent, making it possible to see and feel bones and blood vessels. They were literally skin and bones. Muscle had not fully formed, and there were no rolls of baby fat on their tummies or thighs.

I could only sit there talking to and praying for them because their little bodies were sensitive to touch. I was told they would be in the NICU until their due date. That was 13 more weeks! My heart was breaking into so many pieces….I already loved them so much!

For the first few weeks, they had bad days and worst days. Alexandria’s lungs were weak and would collapse almost daily. Both developed staph infections and needed blood transfusions every other day among other things. I hated leaving every day.

I prayed and prayed that God would keep watch over them and that His angels would surround them and protect them while I was gone.

On one tough day, Matthew’s pulse and oxygen rates kept dropping into unsafe territory. At one point the nurse started bagging him because he was not responding to anything else she tried.

As I paced, my mind yelled at the doctor to do something!

I started praying for God to intervene so this baby of mine would live.

Suddenly, it was as though a gentle weight on my shoulders was guiding me to my chair. I heard a voice in my heart that said, “Matthew will go home with you.”

That was all I needed to hear. Matthew would go home with me! My son was going to be alright. I was able to settle down and let God do His thing. Matthew’s numbers began returning to normal, and his skin turned pink again.

Alexandria had the worst time. She developed pneumonia in both bronchial tubes going into her lungs. She was unable to breathe on her own. The staff had to give her various drugs to paralyze her body so she would not fight the ventilator. Her skin turned gray from a combination of pain meds and the air forced into her lungs by a machine. All I could do was rub her head.

But she was a fighter!

Before she was 24 hours old, she had pulled the intubation tube out of her throat. The nurses would have to replace it 3 more times before she left that hospital.

After 10 weeks in the NICU, my babies came home. It wasn’t all that easy. They came home on heart monitors, and Alexandria still needed oxygen. But they were alive, and they were home!

God took care of my babies. He was faithful, and He had mercy on us.

He taught me that He loved these two babies more than I did. They were and are His. I am their caretaker, but He is their Creator and Father.

My husband and I surrendered all our rights to these two babies and gave them over to their Maker.

He gave them back to us. We have been loving and parenting them to the best of our ability for 21 years. We have made mistakes, but we have never forgotten who loved these two children first!