Bridge of the Headless Horseman

Bridge of the Headless Horseman
Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails.

I know I still make mistakes
But you have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails.

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that you love me
Your love never fails.

The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone here in these open seas
Your love never fails.

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But your love never fails.

Those are the words that I listened to between April 22 and April 27. Over and over, just under 100 times, and yet it wasn’t until yesterday, three months later, that these words would be completely understood by me.

I believe that each of us is here on this Earth for a purpose. It’s not random. Each of us – no matter how small, how big, how young or how old – has a purpose. Some people live long lives never fully comprehending their purpose and plan – yet, I believe, that plan and purpose does exist. It may never be clear to those who only see their life horizontally. It’s a challenge but I like to think outside of the face-to-face or horizontal life. I like to look at life vertically. It’s like being in an airplane and looking at this world. Your perspective changes and you see the world differently.

Emerson’s Story

Sometime during the week of December 6, 2010, a blastocyst split. One became two. In this case, Emerson became Emerson & Lennon. During the process only one placenta would form, one that the girls would share. Lennon had 95% and Emerson had 5%. We would not learn about that or what that would mean until months later (for the complete story read the blog starting in March).

Up until that moment, all we knew was that, along with Baby “A”, “B” shared her life-making material. What was produced from that share would be an exact duplicate of “B”. We called her “C”.

On March 18, “B” who we now knew as Emerson, would start to manifest her purpose and plan in this life. At the time, it was unfathomable to think that we would not enjoy her outside of her womb-home. We didn’t have a clear picture of her purpose. Yet.

For the next 30 days or so, we would walk through a raging ocean of emotion. The winds of life so strong, at times, it would take your breath away. A chasm that seemed impossible to cross. Yet, we would survive and we would cross that chasm.

On April 22, we get news that things seem to be going downhill for Emerson. What seemed like a punch in the gut turns out to be Emerson’s shining moment. We were being introduced to her purpose. What we didn’t fully understand then, we now know. It was for this moment that Emerson was created.

The specialist was confident that without the surgery to separate their shared vessels in the placenta that Lennon would suffer a stroke and likely cerebral palsy as a best-case scenario. Her death would be the worst-case scenario. We had hope that Emerson would start to thrive after the surgery. However, it wasn’t until the surgery that we found out that she had such a small amount of the life-source, placenta. That small amount of placenta would not support further growth.

On April 26, Emerson would literally live John 15:13 by laying her life down, giving all she had so that her sister could live the abundant life. Her identical twin, her womb-mate and her friend - she laid her life down for life. She fulfilled her commitment in the Earth.

I am reminded of something a good friend of mine said just a few short years ago, after his son died at 18 weeks gestation. He said his son did in 18 weeks what it takes most men 70 plus years to accomplish. His son, Ransom, fulfilled his purpose.

Emerson’s name means “home strength, bravery, vigor, power, work of God”. How appropriate for the one who would never leave her home. That is where she was strong, where she was brave and would accomplish the work of God.

It seems like every day that something else, many might call coincidence or chance, happens. Just today my son told me they wanted to add my grandmother’s middle name to one of the girls’ names. It didn’t sound right with Emerson but sounded good with Lennon. And so today, when they were filling out the birth certificate worksheet it became official - Lennon got another name. This name is something Chris has talked about for years. I’m not sure if he has even thought about this. My grandmother’s middle name was the letter B. Not Bea, not Beatrice, just B. Emerson, who was originally known as Baby B, will forever live in Lennon’s name.

Yesterday I said goodbye to Emerson. I got to see her delicate features -her perfect fingers, her perfect toes,and her tiny frame. She was perfect but now she is perfected. We will miss her desperately but we have been given another gift of remembrance of Emerson. It is because she was an identical twin that we will never have to wonder what she would have looked like. We will see her every day in Lennon.

You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One dearest to you.

You're blessed when you've lost it all. God's kingdom is there for the finding.

You're blessed when you're ravenously hungry. Then you're ready for the meal.

You're blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.

(The picture at the top is the sunset on July 28, 2011. Taken in the mountains of Tennessee by Gigi. The other two pictures are of Emerson's hands and feet.)

Gigi's Journal - July 29, 2011 - Pics

Enjoy these pics of the girls and family.

Lennon with her Aunt Kristy.

Coeur d'Lane with her daddy. Nose to nose!

Papa and Lennon

Cousin Adriane and Coeur d'Lane

Granny Stivers (g-grandmother) and Lennon

Gigi's Journal - July 29, 2011 - The Birth

The Story of Their Birth

I'll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

On Wednesday July 27, 2011, Brooke went to see Dr. Tabb for her routine weekly visit. She had made it to 35 weeks and 2 days! I was unable to be at that appointment. As is customary
, Chris would text me updates. He started with his own concerns about Lennon and her not really growing much in the last two weeks. It would turn out that Dr. T was not concerned at all about Lennon's growth. In fact he thinks they are both growing just fine. He was concerned about Brooke's high blood pressure. Normally her blood pressure is low to normal range, today it was dangerously high. Even on a repeat check it continued to be high.

Dr. T made the decision to send Brooke to the hospital to monitor her blood pressure and draw labs. It may be something simple like pregnancy induced hypertension or something very serious called pre-eclampsia. He wants to be safe, afterall, we made it this far and through so much. They will do an ultrasound in the morning.

Thursday July 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM, I texted Chris to see how the ultrasound went. He said that they hadn't done it yet. Brooke was sleeping when a nurse came in and told Chris that Dr. T's associate doesn't want her to eat or drink. (Dr. T is at his other office two hours away.) When asked if she mentioned why, Chris didn't know. I knew. The only reason to have Brooke go NPO (nothing by mouth) is because they were preparing her for surgery. The doctor was in surgery so Chris couldn't get details other than Brooke's platelet count was low. That in and of itself could
present a problem. At this moment I was wishing I could be transported to Kentucky.

At 11:32 AM Chris texted - "They're gonna do it" The
doctors came into the room to talk to them. Chris: "Are you coming?" Me: "Duh"

At 1146 AM Chris asked it I would tell everyone in the family what was going on. Brooke and Chris had grown so attached to Dr. T but the other doctor (a female) was very nice. Chris said she is a lot like Kim. She sounds like her and has similar mannerisms. That was a great comfort to both of them.
At 1246 PM Chris sends me a text pic of him dressed in scrubs. Brooke is already in
the OR getting her spinal. A good husband and father, he just wants everything to be ok. I reassured him we were praying.

At 1:12 PM Coeur d'Lane Rae weighed 4 pounds 13 ounces, 17 inches long.
At 1:13 PM Lennon Ann weighed 3 pounds 12 ounces, 16 1/2 inches long.
At 1:13 PM Emerson Kay a tiny 2.25 ounces and 6 1/2 inches long.

By 3:09 PM Both Coeur d'Lane and Lennon are breathing room air. Well, Coeur d'Lane was never on supplemental oxygen. Lennon ripped out her O2 canula and her levels were 100% without the added oxygen so they left it off.

Seperated for the first time in their lives, Lennon is in a step down unit while Coeur d'Lane stays with Brooke.

5:00 PM Coeur d'Lane and Brooke get to be skin to skin. Coeur d'Lane wakes up and becomes very alert on her mother's chest. She is home near mom's heart.

5:19 PM Coeur d'Lane nurses for the first time. She will need a little practice but she is getting it.

Meanwhile Gigi and Papa are Road Warriors working their way to Kentucky. We are driving all the way through with plans to go directly to the hospital when we get to town.

We arrive at 2:30 AM. Chris meets us and escorts us to see Lennon. I lean over and tell her that Gigi and Papa have arrived and she opens her eyes and smiles. Thinking it must have been a coincidence, I remind her again that we are here and she opens her eyes again. This time I smiled.

After we visited with Lennon, Chris took us to meet Coeur d'Lane and see Brooke. Brooke is tired and hasn't been able to sleep yet. She lets me hold Coeur d'Lane who was sound asleep. We leave to give Brooke time to rest before the next feeding or nurse interruption.

More updates to follow...

Gigi's Journal - July 29, 2011

It's 4:15 AM and we just got back from the hospital. Zoe is snuggled up between Ray and I. Ray is already sleeping, loudly :-) I have to post a couple of pics of the girls before I go to sleep. For you birth junkies and detail-loving folks, I will post the birth story later today. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics (CdL on Left and Lennon on Right)! Goodnight! Gigi

Gigi's Journal - July 28, 2011

Happy BIRTH day to Coeur d'Lane (R) and Lennon (L)!!! Coeur d'Lane weighs 4 pounds 13 ounces and Lennon weighs 3 pounds 12 ounces. Everyone is doing great!

Gigi's Journal - July 28, 2011

Baby time! Will update soon. Prayers appreciated.

Gigi's Journal - July 27, 2011

Thirty-five weeks and two days

"Life is all about timing ... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable becomes available, the unattainable ... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out - it's all about timing." Stacey Charter

Brooke had her routine visit today. Coeur d'Lane is up to an estimated 5 pounds 2 ounces and Lennon is at an estimate 4 pounds. Both have grown a lot in the last two plus weeks! They also scored 8 out 8 on their biophysical profiles.

The only issue with today's appointment was Brooke's blood pressure. It was a bit high at this visit and then again on a recheck. Dr. T thought it a good idea to admit Brooke to the hospital to run a few tests to make sure it's not a dangerous (for the mother) condition called pre-eclampsia. It takes a good 24 plus hours to conduct the testing - so, we won't have the results and interpretation back until some time Friday. For those who would, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Brooke and the babies, for Chris, for the grandparents and family. We are excited and just want two healthy babies and a healthy mom. Looks like it won't be long until we have those sweet babies in our arms.

I know I haven't talked much about Emerson in the last couple of months but she will be delivered when Coeur d'Lane and Lennon are born. Arrangements have already been made but I want to ask you to keep Chris and Brooke in your thoughts and prayers, for in the midst of their great joy they will also be saying goodbye.

Will update when I have more to tell!

Gigi's Journal - July 20, 2011

Thirty four weeks and two days

Today was Brooke's appointment not Friday. Since it hasn't been two weeks they won't estimate their weights until the next visit. That visit will be on July 27.

No pictures today but I got a little bit of video. Here is a clip where the sonographer is checking their heart beats. Enjoy!


Gigi's Journal - July 18, 2011

Thirty-four weeks today!

The nursery is complete. And we continue to wait!

Enjoy the tour of the nursery.

Gigi's Journal - July 16, 2011

Brooke is thirty-three weeks and five days. She had a BPP yesterday. The girls each got 8 out of 8! They each cooperated very well with the appointment. Next appointment is on Friday July 22.

Oliver got a surprise visit from Kentunkie today!

Gigi's Journal - July 9, 2011

As promised a pic from the ultrasound yesterday. Coeur d'Lane was camera shy but Lennon wasn't! Here is nice profile pic of Lennon.

I got to thinking that I have been devoting this blog to the triplets and the journey. However, the one who made me Gigi needs to be on this blog with his cousins :-) So, here is a pic of Oliver this evening.

Gigi's Journal - July 8, 2011

Thirty two weeks and five days

Today was a long day, filled with the reality that it won't be long before the girls make their appearance! Of course, we are hoping and praying for a few more weeks.

The BPP scores were a perfect 8 out of 8 with plenty of amniotic fluid. Coeur d'Lane weighs 4 pounds 2 ounces and Lennon is just behind her at 3 pounds 9 ounces.

Weekly visits continue throughout the duration of the pregnancy. Pics to be added when I receive them :-)

Gigi's Journal - July 7, 2011

Thirty Two weeks and four days

Here are pics of the girl's cribs set up. Tomorrow is Brooke's appointment. It's an estimated fetal weight week!!!

Gigi's Journal - July 6, 2011

If you saw the picture I posted last of Brooke and her friend Katy W. you may be interested in knowing that Katy and her husband Adam had their babies today! Elliott and Pierce were born about 7 weeks early - each weighing 4 pounds 7 ounces! Congratulations Katy and Adam & welcome to their little ones.

Gigi's Journal - July 1, 2011

Thirty-one weeks and four days

I want to share about our Kentucky visit. We put together cribs, cleaned out the babies' room and Ray added on a storage room to their carport. Last night we went to Chris' softball game. Katy W. was there. She is pregnant with twin boys and is about one week further along than Brooke. Love the belly bump :-)

Brooke's next appointment is on Friday July 8.