It has been three days since we posted our last blog and left the Mayo Clinic for home. So many thoughts and emotions have been running through me (Jessica) since then, and I feel compelled to share some of them with you.
When we left for Mayo, we had such great hope for the trip...so many doors had been opened for us to get there and have the procedure done that I knew this was in God's hands, that he had gone before us and prepared the way. While there were definitely moments of fear and anxiety before the procedure, I had this peace that everything was going to be "alright." The doctors and nurses were fantastic, and I knew we were in good hands. After the procedure, I came out of my sedation well and immediately noticed that I felt physically better. As they were still taking care of me in the operating room, they did an ultrasound and saw that both babies had made it through the procedure. I felt such relief, and for the first time in over two weeks, my worries seemed to be disappearing. I felt so happy that night, seeing Chad and feeling like my little girls were finally going to be okay.
As they wheeled me from my hospital room to the ultrasound the next morning, I felt a little nervous, but mostly confident that everything would be fine. But when the ultrasound revealed that Allie's little heart wasn't beating, I was shocked...and heartbroken. Everything seemed to be going according to plan, and she should be fine now. How could this be happening?
Every thought imaginable ran through my head, questioning what went wrong. I knew the "reason" things happened: Allie's cord blood flow was not normal the day before and she was most likely already struggling from the TTTS. The change in flow after the procedure was probably just too much for her already fragile little body to take. But I believe in God and his sovereignty...why didn't he miraculously fix this? Why did he allow this to happen to her?
I confess that I have asked God these questions multiple times over the last three days. I don't have an answer, and I don't know if I ever will. I don't understand, but I don't think God expects me to understand. The only thing I can do is trust.
There is a song our worship team sings, and the words say:
"Your ways are higher than our ways,
and the plans that You have made are good and true.
If you call us to the fire, You will not withdraw Your hand,
we'll gaze into the flames and look for You."
Ever since we found out about the girls having TTTS, I have been reading the Psalms. David and the other psalmists offer praise and thanksgiving to God, but there are many psalms where they are crying out to God, questioning Him, displaying anger, confusion, and sadness. And still, after their ranting and raving, they offer praise to God.
I've done a lot of ranting and raving in my own way these last couple of days, and by no means am I "over" what has happened. But I am still offering my praises to God, trusting that His ways are better than mine, that there is a reason He took Allie home, and while He has called us to this fire in life, He has not left us alone. He has shown himself in mighty and powerful ways.
Which is where each and every one of you comes in. I know I wrote a blog a few days ago expressing my thankfulness, but I can't seem to fully convey how floored we are by the goodness of all of you. Right now, you are God's physical arms for us, loving and comforting us in ways that we could never have imagined.
From those of you who have known us forever to those of you who we have never met, thank you for encouraging us through this journey. Every prayer, thought, blog message, email, card, phone call, text message, and facebook note has touched us in a way we cannot express. We cannot believe the acts of kindness that have been shown to us. My fear is we will never be able to fully express and repay what each and every one of you has done for us. I am trying to write thank yous, return texts and emails, etc., and I can't seem to do it fast enough. I'm sorry, and I hope until you receive your personal "thank you" that you know we are so extremely grateful.
I also know that many of you following our journey have experienced the hurt of losing a baby. And I want to say a special thank you to you, knowing that you feel just like we do, and that the hurt doesn't probably ever go away completely. It is probably hard to read our entries without feeling that hurt again, so we are especially touched that you are willing to walk this road with us.
Allie was a name that Chad chose and we both loved, and it means "of noble birth." I find this fitting, because she was never born here on earth, but was born into Heaven. Hope of course means "trust and faith." While we don't understand why we lost her, we trust and have faith that there is a reason.
Our prayer now is that our other baby girl is doing okay since the procedure. We go to the doctor again on Tuesday afternoon, and I admit we have fears about what will happen. We love this little girl with all our hearts too, and we desperately want to meet her. We will probably update the blog Tuesday night since our appointment isn't until 4:15.
Again, thank you to each and every one of you.
With much love, Jessica