Tearful eyes fixed on eternity: our twins
I’ve started to tell this story over and over, but have changed my mind each time. Vulnerability is terrifying. Over the years, I have come to see that there is such power in the community that is built through sharing our stories. It has resulted in some embarrassment, discomfort, and pain—yet at the same time, being vulnerable has created community, served as a source of encouragement, introduced me to some of my dearest friends, and opened doors to share Hope. With this in mind, I want to let you in. I want to share our story—their story.
On July 20, Chris and I learned that our identical twins’ hearts had both stopped beating.
In the nearly two years since our infant son, Ethan, went to heaven, we have been hit with the pain of miscarriage three times. I wish I could say that it gets easier each time, but it doesn’t. Although each time was painful, this time felt so different.
This pregnancy was incredibly unexpected. Of course we were thrilled, but after three losses and worsening PCOS we never expected to become pregnant again. Chris and I had both come to peace with this. For the first time in years, we both felt such joy and excitement in our current situation and we had (quietly) begun to (excitedly) pursue another adventure—which was rerouted at the news of this pregnancy.
Last May, I walked into my ob-gyn’s office to discuss a treatment plan for my PCOS. You can imagine our shock as my doctor discovered that my cysts were completely gone—and I was pregnant instead. Unlike any of previous experiences, this pregnancy felt textbook normal. Weeks passed and my HCG levels rose perfectly. I was plagued with horrible morning sickness. A later ultrasound revealed wiggly babies and healthy heartbeats—two heartbeats. We were pregnant with identical twins, and we weren't even trying. The timing felt perfect and Chris and I both felt so hopeful that we would be bringing babies home at the end of this pregnancy.
I visited my OB on July 20 for what was supposed to be an uneventful appointment. I had already had an ultrasound and heard heartbeats. The doctor rolled the ultrasound wand over my belly and peered at the screen for a long time. I immediately knew something was wrong. Both babies laid perfectly still and I could not see the flicker of their hearts. I held my breath as the Doppler was switched on. I desperately hoped to hear the whooshing sound of our babies’ hearts beating, but I was met by the sound of silence instead. I stared at the ultrasound monitor, hot tears pouring down my face, and knew this would probably be the last time I’d ever see our twins. I wish I had asked for a recent photo to add to the one we had received weeks before.
Three hours and a second opinion later, we received confirmation that both of our babies had gone to heaven about a week before. Their hearts had stopped beating, but my body had not yet realized what my heart now knew so clearly. It would be too dangerous for me to miscarry on my own and I needed to have the twins at the hospital. My D&C was scheduled for the following day.
We know that God is still good, loving, and sovereign in this pain. We have many questions and feel somewhat as if we have been led into the desert, but we do know that God is a good father. He does not leave his children empty-handed, even if our arms are never filled with babies.
God has been revealing many different things to me during this time, and I’ll be writing more, but for now I want to share a few things that have been on my heart.
I recently reread a few posts that I had written during a season of peace and purpose. I'll share the links here, rather than repeat the entire post--because I could and it would perfectly fit what I want to say.
Reading the words today, I still believe them. I still stand by everything I said then. Yes, my heart is broken again. I have questions. I feel confused. My arms are aching, yet I still believe.
In situations like this, we need to be reminded that our lives have purpose and value even if our original plans never come to fruition. The barren womb, the never-married, and the still-waiting need to know that they matter and that they can have a full and fruitful life, even if they continue to wait. I do want to encourage anyone in this place that you are not “giving up” or “losing hope” if you chose to stop walking in a particular direction, while continuing to place your hope where it really counts. I have much more to say on phrases such as “don’t give up” and “don’t lose hope”, but I’ll share more later. I’m clinging to Hope, but probably not the way most people mean when they speak the phrase. God has promised me so much, but He never promised good health, children, or an easy life—yet I rejoice that He has promised me so much more good than I can even begin to imagine.
Our tearful eyes are fixed on eternity, as we continue to grieve with hope.