We are family

I’ve been thinking about this post for months now, and the time has come to write it and I don’t have the words.

10 years ago today, a frightened 29 year old girl who was six months pregnant lay in a hospital bed, a place she had spent the previous 45 days with her head lowered below her feet, gripping her daddy’s hand with every hard contraction saying “Do you think he’ll make it to the hospital in time?”

She was worried that her husband wouldn’t be there when the babies were born.

Afraid he wouldn’t be there if the babies died.

I was that girl.

In January of that year I had found out I was pregnant.  In March, I found out I was pregnant with triplets.  Our inital shock gave way to delight, but within six weeks we were plunged into despair as we were asked to terminate the pregnancy that was most certainly headed toward disaster.

I believe the doctor’s exact words were “If I thought you had a ten percent chance of carrying the children to viability, I wouldn’t be asking you to terminate.  You have a one percent chance.”

We agonized.

We cried.

We sought wise counsel.

We prayed.

We decided to terminate.

Then changed our minds the day we were going to give the go-ahead.

Friends, it was rough.

But we were steadfast in our faith that He who began the good work in us would be faithful to complete it.

His way.

He made them.  They were His babies.  He had given them to us.  We would let only Him take them away.

I’d like to say the next few weeks were a complete joy and delight, but I hate shots, and I had over 70 of them, so, no, not a great time for the old CPQ.

But we did have wonderful friends that stood by us and visited frequently, and family that kept vigil in the hospital night after night, and little by little, 12 hour shift by 12 hour shift, we started ticking off the weeks.

And with every week, we celebrated.

inhospital

Yes, he brought me roses every single week.  Can I tell you how bad I feel about harshing on him about the ham yesterday?

We enlisted friends to pray for us (Here’s a picture of the emailed prayers that were sent in.  Craig would print them off and we wallpapered my room with them.  The nurses would later tell me they fought over who got to have me every day because my room was so peaceful.)

email

And we prayed ourselves.  It was a sweet time of deepening my trust in the God I serve.  And in the darkest hours (and there were some UGLY moments that are just unbloggable), He met me where I was.  And lifted my head.  And encouraged me and strengthened me.

Trust me for this day.

And oh, I did.

I had no one else who could save me.

Finally the day came when my liver and kidneys started to fail and no amount of medicine could keep my contractions at bay.  Craig raced to the hospital from the golf course an hour away. (Don’t be mad at him for playing golf while I was in the hospital.  Things turned in a matter of minutes and neither of us had any way to know it was going to happen).

As we were in the operating room prepping for surgery, the mood was tense.  I asked my doctor if I could see the babies as she lifted them out.  She very tersely responded “No, there won’t be time.”

At 6:25 on 6/25, JJ, our sweet Baby A made his appearance weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces.  He was 13 inches long.  I could hear the quiet voices of his team as they worked on him and whisked him out to the NICU and made room for the next team.

jj

By the grace of God, he was breathing on his own without the need for a respirator.

At 6:27, Travis, Baby B was born weighing 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and 14 inches long.  His Apgar was 4.  He immediately went into distress and had to be resuscitated.

Travis

10 years later, I cannot look at this picture without crying.  You can count his ribs.  It breaks my heart, still.

At 6:28, Tommy, Baby C arrived.  At 14 inches long and 2 pounds, 3 ounces, he was mad as a hornet and crying for all he was worth.  It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.  He was the only one stable enough for me to touch.  I nuzzled his head for an instant before they whisked him away.

I am forever grateful for that moment.

Tommy

There’s so much more that needs to be said, but my heart is too full as I reflect back on that day.

I am beyond thankful.

Tears spill down my cheeks as I type this.

God is so good.

So.

Very.

Good.

a gift

112

Have a nice day.

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45 responses to “We are family

  1. Sweet friend,

    This is the story I have been wanting to hear.

    Thank you for sharing it, and a huge chunk of your heart.

    That prayer wall is simply amazing.

  2. Tears… a really beautiful post. thanks for sharing your heart.

    You are just one more example of how nothing is impossible for God and that we humans in all our wisdom, really don’t have the last say.

    HAve a great day celebrating your family.

  3. What a beautiful post. It is so awesome to read about what God can do and how He can carry us through the toughest times. And now I’ll just go thank Him for my trouble free pregnancy and healthy 9 lb boy.

  4. I can’t even begin to tell you how moving it is hearing about the amount of faith you had in God. It’s too easy to get intimidated by the knowledge of doctors, I’m glad your faith won.

  5. What an amazing story you have! A true testimony to faith and miracles. People tend to forget that it’s a miracle every time you have a healthy term baby. I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating your three miracles!

  6. Happy Birthday, Sweet Boys! I hope you know how much Aunt Amy loves you. You’re all my favorites.

  7. Thank you for sharing your amazing, wonderful story. You are a true inspiration and witness for Christ. To God be the Glory!!

  8. No wisecracks today. Just lots of memories. Doesn’t seem possible that it has been ten years.

    Hug the boys for me today.

    • Friends – if you’ve ever wondered who imnotned is, he and his wife logged many many many hours in that hospital room with us.

      Cried with us.

      Laughed with us.

      Told inappropriately hilarious stories to keep our minds off the reality at hand.

      They get to celebrate with us in a very special way.

      • And, in the continuing saga that is the parallel lives we live with the CPQs, we had the privilege of having the VERY SAME ROOM in the High Risk Pregnancy ward during the end of our pregnancy with our kids.

        Cue eerie organ music.

        OK, I guess that was a wisecrack. I can’t help myself.

  9. Oh, Sus. I knew those boys were special before I ever read this post but today it truly shows you that NOTHING is impossible for God.

    He truly is able to do immeasureably more for us.

    From one mother to another my heart is reeling and the tears brimming over you sharing this today. They are blessed boys to have you as their Mama (and C, too, of course) and I know you probably feel like YOU are the blessed one..and you are indeed.

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know and in fact, was going to as about Mr. No Link to imnotned. He cracks me up in the comments and I’m glad he’s really your friend and not a man-blog-stalker. 🙂

    Happy Birthday, JJ, Travis and Tommy!!!!

    Big Hugs from Georgia!

    • I’m glad he’s really your friend and not a man-blog-stalker

      I’ve been called worse.

      Ooh. Another wisecrack. There goes the whole mellow vibe in the room. I am ashamed.

  10. Happy Birthday to your sweet boys. Each so different and each such a blessing. That story filled my eyes with tears. Hope your day is fabulous!

  11. So I’ve been lingering all morning on your site. I haven’t been faithful to get in and read lately and honestly, I’ve missed reading your posts so I had to linger and catch up. You REALLY need to put these into a book

  12. You have left me with tears.

    Your story is amazing. And your precious boys are testament to God’s amazing grace and provision.

    Happy Birthday to your sweet boys, and Big Hugs to you, Sus.

  13. Beautiful testimony to the grace, mercy and faithfulness of Our God.

    Have a happy day, my friend. And Happy Birthday, kiddos!

  14. Happy Birthday to all of you!
    Happy Birthday to those precious boys because they were given physical life 10 years ago today.
    and
    Happy Birthday to you and your sweet man because 10 years ago an amazing set of parents were born.
    I’m glad I know you.
    Love to you and your family!!

  15. Happy birthday to all! Hannah Kate wanted me to send birthday wishes to the boys as well.
    Thank you for sharing your story…it is an amazing journey!

    And…as a funny…I saw y’all yesterday outside the craft store that shall not be named. I hollered at you, but apparently my voice doesn’t carry very well!! I think that would have made for a great Moses photo-op!!

    Love to you all…
    H

  16. And it seems my devo time has been increased by 5 minutes today. God is so good.

    Thank you, God. For CPQ and “Phil”. For babies A, B, and C. Thank you for Your abundant grace and mercy and for the miracle (or 3) of doing the impossible. Thank You for prayer walls so that folks can draw together, and where they are gathered, even over email, You are there. Thank You for this testimony–for how it started and how it’s literally grown into 3-10 year old sweaty, and rambunctious, amazing, beautiful boys. Thank you for the courage and strength You gave and give today. Love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  17. I remember learning about NICU etiquette when I first met your boys…then I remember being astonished at what it took to just merely babysit triplet infants, which I did only once but you had friends who did it all the time, and this was simply your life. Wow. Susan and Craig, what respect I have for both of you. This blog entry reminds me all the more about how God works miracles where so often the world sees disaster. Love to your family!

  18. What a JOY this post is to everyone reading it! Proof that God is all about LIFE and GRACE! Happy Birthday for this entire, precious family! Love to all.

  19. I still remember the emails. It was incredible to be able to join together in prayer for you and the boys.

    They are incredible and you are an amazing Mom. Wishing you all a happy “birth” day today!

  20. Sniffle sniffle….that’s all. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And to God be the glory! What a return for your faith. Good choice!!

  21. Wow, how inspiring is your story and your miracle family. As the product of a crisis pregnancy, I know that be it medical crisis or emotional crisis, God creates and sustains life for His glory! Thank you to you and your man for your courage and faith and for the reminder of the power and privilege of prayer.

  22. Happy Birthday, sweet boys! What a story…What a family…What a Savior!

    Love and hugs to all of you..enjoy today!

  23. Thank you for sharing your story of hope and faith and love. God is good ALL the time, and I’m thanking Him for you and your wonder-family! Praise Him!
    Have a HAPPY blessed and glorious day!!!

  24. You, your Hubby and your boys are all Blessed by God to have been chosen for each other.
    And He Chose so well!

    Happy 1oth Anniversary of Your Family’s Day of Birth! It’s a great milestone.

  25. I read this post this morning and thought about it all day. So amazing. God is so good. And your boys are so beautiful. Cool that we both had babies in 1999. Wish our 10 year olds could meet. Maybe someday. Happy Birthday to them!

  26. I am so thankful for God’s protection and blessing in your life. Sounds like you have much to be grateful for and that you take nothing for granted.

    Happy Birthday to your three!!! I hope it’s a FAB day.

  27. And you make tears well up in my eyes as I read this. What an incredible gift are those boys. What an amazingly generous God we serve. Thanks for sharing your treasures with us.

  28. I’ve saved this post to read until the end of my day when it was quiet.

    Wow.

    What a testimony those boys are.

    One percent chance? Boo. God doesn’t even need 1%. He is able. That’s amazing, friend- both your faith and His faithfulness and the intersection of it all.

    Wow.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    Love you, CPQ.

  29. Oh, what a blessing you & Craig are! Happy Birthday, to all 3 of your miracles! They are now in double digits! (I found out a few weeks ago from a little girl very near & dear to me, that is REALLY important)!

  30. Thank you for sharing your story! God is good all the time!

  31. “I know you have to keep working on the newsletter, self, but you deserve a little break. just peek at a couple of blogs so you don’t get behind, but don’t really get too into them, and don’t comment” I told me.

    then you made me cry.

    and praise Jesus.

    and love you just a little more.

    and break my ‘just a peek with no comment’ pact.

    thanks.

    (no, really. thanks.)

  32. Dear Babies A through C.

    We prayed together in the ICU.
    A small bit of clear plastic separated our heads and minds.
    He heard us. Happy tenth.

    Douggie

  33. You share so much of yourself and your faith in this post. I love everything about it.

    The last ten years are such a gift. Thank you for blessings us with pieces of it everyday.

  34. What a precious story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you all have a very special celebration of your first decade together!

  35. Tears stream down my face as I read this. . . Oh WOW! You are one of the bravest and strongest people I know!! The emailed prayers on the wall . . . Oh how I love that!! God IS so good. Happy Birthday boys!!! Praising God for 10 years of your life! What an incredible story!

  36. Thank you for sharing your heart, Susan…I’m overwhelmed. God amazes everyday. Everyday. Abrazos.

  37. Wow!!! God is Good!

  38. That was beautiful. Amazing. I’ve been looking forward to reading this story ever since you mentioned that you would be writing it. God is so, so good.

  39. All I can say is Wow.

  40. truevineherbs

    You don’t know it, but you wrote this for me. I’m sitting here crying because we’re facing it. Again. And I just don’t know if I have it in me to go through it. Again. And I’m praying for a different end to this story than last time and not sure… Just not sure. But, like you said… Who else is there? Only Him. And He’ll meet me, where I’m at, as I need Him. Oh, mama, how hard this trust thing is to learn.

    Blessings,
    ~Kelly

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