I Miss My Girls

Most days are pretty normal, but sometimes something clicks that makes me want to physically cradle my girls in my arms and comfort them, even though I suppose it's really to comfort me since they aren't here.  These moments frequently bring some heartache and tears, and sometimes I will even physically do the motion of cradling them, like I cradled Simon in my arms when he was tiny.  I realized today in one of those moments that I really just miss them, deeply.  They were only here for a little while--I only felt their kicks through their mom's belly and only really saw them alive through ultrasounds, but every time we looked in on them and and watched them interact with each other and with the ultrasound probe, we got to know them a bit more.  The emotion I am really feeling now is that I want to see them and be with them more.  I miss them.  I think that's why the ultrasounds after they'd died felt so empty and barren and why they hurt my heart so much when looki


There have been some moments eating some of the meals that have been prepared for us that were very surprisingly emotional for me.  I could sense that extra care, love, and attention to detail had been put into them for both us and our son.  I was very deeply grateful for those meals, and especially for the attention and care.  The same has been true with some of the gifts of service, some of the gifts of time, some of the physical gifts (Simon loves some of the toys a few folks have given him in our journeys for the twins), and also with some of the levels of generosity of people when it comes to financial gifts.  Thank you all very much for your love and support during this truly challenging time.  One of the good things that has come out from everything is seeing how very clearly we are blessed to have you all in our lives, too.  Thank you very much, sincerely.  

A busy Monday following our Friday delivery

Monday July 24th was an interesting day.  It started early in the morning with me feeling sicker than I had been after having caught whatever Simon caught on our way back from Philadelphia.  After some discussion and debate, we went as a family to the walk-in clinic affiliated with our family physician, which is a 20 minute drive to a neighboring town.  It had to time out well because the ministry I run is in charge of distributing federal commodities (free government food) to several surrounding counties' food banks, and I needed to be back in time to run that. When we arrived, we found out that the clinic was not seeing walk-in patients and had changed its schedule.  Unfortunately, they had not updated their website, which is what I had used to make sure they were open and seeing walk-ins before driving over.  Slightly frustrated, I had to decide between driving another 15 minutes further west to go to another walk-in clinic affiliated with my family physician or to just use the


We arrived in Wichita on Thursday, July 20th in the afternoon to begin our induction.  I knew what I'd seen in Philadelphia and that babies don't come back from the dead like that, but I still asked if we could verify with an ultrasound before we started for peace of mind.  That ultrasound was very brief in Philadelphia, God is capable of anything, and unexplained medical phenomena do (extremely rarely) occur; I wanted to make absolutely certain before we stepped into something we couldn't step back from.  The resident on staff was fine with that request and also thought it would be useful to see how the babies were positioned.   Having gotten quite used to seeing Grace and Abigail alive and moving in ultrasounds and quickly identifying their parts and positions, this ultrasound was very clearly an image of death.  It was emotionally difficult to watch, but it gave me total peace of mind going into an induction.  Without a cycling bladder, the girls' fluid in each sac h

Induction, Waiting, Induction?

Right before our induction here in Hays on Tuesday afternoon, I accidentally opened a can of worms by asking our OB if there was any reason to be concerned by the suspected uterine attachments mentioned in our ultrasound notes in relation to the induction.  He was fairly concerned since he was totally unaware of them and immediately recommended that we not go into the induction until he'd researched it more.  While this is good and was the right call, it was also very hard for Tella and I in a unique way.  While both of us are confident that delivering our girls' bodies will be very hard for us emotionally and psychologically, we also had both geared ourselves up for it and were prepared to take that step Tuesday night.  To suddenly not be taking that initial, hard step towards some semblances of closure left us both feeling a bit like we were in limbo. Today (Wednesday), we had to bounce back and forth between several parties, but ultimately it is deemed safest that we deliver

Return Trip, Illness, Decisions

Though I could go into greater detail, our return trip had some tearful goodbyes, mild logistical challenges, and some good conversations and realizations.  Among realizations, it occurred to me that while Dr. Gebb was likely wrong and Grace had almost certainly passed away before I walked over to Tella to pray for Grace a final time in the recovery room, that may have actually been when Abigail was passing.  Again, there's no way to know--Abigail had a good, normal heartbeat and normal readings after the procedure, but she passed away sometime between then and Friday when they checked, and if it was due to the pressure drop, it could well have been about then.   As far as other notable return trip occurrences: poor Simon seemed to be getting sick by the time we got onto our last flight.  He was draining heavily and felt warm to us.  He also seemed to get progressively more miserable on the car ride home and had a slight fever by then (we brought a thermometer along).  We were able

Tension of a Bow, Abigail's Death

The morning we arrived at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for our scan of Baby B was filled with tension.  My mental, spiritual, and emotional state were neutral in a positive/negative sense--I wasn't afraid nor was I anticipating a specific result; I was lightly hopeful and knew that numbers were on our side, but I was concerned that Tella hadn't felt any movement.  However, there was a deep seated tension in all parts of me, waiting to hear how Baby B was.  Tella and I had arrived at the hospital itself early, so we went to the food court to eat breakfast and talk.  Due to the restrictions from the procedure, I was pushing her everywhere in a wheelchair, so it took a bit longer to move around and get our food.  Even so, we still had extra time before the appointment, so we headed upstairs to check in early. In the waiting room there were a shocking amount of couples.  Apparently slightly later in the day, the office gets extremely busy.  We had to wait so long to