You may have seen the story of a woman named Diana Stone on Babble and other news media in the past 24 hours. I know her only indirectly thru common friends and reading her blog. But in reading about what Diana had been experiencing in the previous 72 hours, my heart absolutely broke for her.
What she was experiencing brought back a series of emotions that I had not thought about in a long time. I started to tremble, tears began to well-up in my eyes and I had to take a few deep breathes as my chest started to tighten-up. I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that took me back to my own experience from reading another mother’s story, because it reminded me a little too much of some of the adversity traversed leading up to the premature birth of my triplets.
Every mother’s story is unique of course, but there are enough parallels that compelled me to want to share my daughter’s story in support of this mom’s strength in the face of so much opposition. In April of 2006, my pregnancy started to become a serious concern. At week 20 when I was measuring 44 weeks pregnant. Shortly, thereafter my daughter was diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) which refers to the poor growth of a baby while in the womb. Specifically, my daughter weighted less than 90% of other babies at the same gestational age. Her placenta was calcifying and her umbilical cord was beginning to build pressure as blood flow was restricted from transferring fluid from me to her. My daughter’s amniotic fluid was very low and she was already in stress mode.
In 1 Corinthians 13:12 it says; “Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.” I didn’t know why this was happening, it just was. I could only see the circumstances for their entire purpose dimly. One night in the hospital I lay in bed and envisioned myself standing at the threshold of heaven. Jesus was standing before me. He was clothed in a white robe and it was only Him and me. I was no longer pregnant (but in my dream I was still wearing my hospital gown) and I handed Jesus these three perfectly formed babies, whose faces were not entirely clear, but my heart recognized each one of my children by name. I stood there before my Savior and waited to see if He would hand any or all of my beloved children back to me. As I stood there, I even wondered if He would just ask me to stay with Him and my children, but that thought grieved me for my husband and so I waited and then Jesus handed all three of them back to me. I clung to that revelation. The doctors and hospital staff continuously reminded me that my and the lives of my children were on the line, and on the hardest scariest days it was that vision that kept my mind and heart on the right path.
I knew as long as my children were inside me, they would be safe. Every day I thought, if we got through one more day, it would all be okay. When individuals around me would share their negative thoughts about what I should or shouldn’t do (which, like in Diana’s situation, was often and very painful to endure), God guarded my heart. One person even said to me, “You are going to hurt or even kill your sons trying to save your daughter!” Not all of the days were perfect faith. Sometimes the doubt would creep in and my husband would graciously remind me that it had already been revealed that our children would be okay.
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:4-6) “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” We had to save my little lost girl. I needed to be her mommy. She had a daddy that was head over heels in love with her. My sons needed their little sister and she needed them. We needed each other…all of us.
It was difficult for me to emotionally go back and think about my days in Antepartum. When I was going through each and every day of being on bed rest in the hospital, I looked back and remembered how I had the peace of God upon me. That was what got me through each day. I was able to move forward in faith and take each step as it came. It is truly the looking back that scares me now. I think, “How did we all survive?” My babies were born at 31 weeks (two months premature). I look at the pictures of my two-pound daughter and pause, “There is no possible way she should have survived, except through the grace of God.” As most babies lose weight after they are born, my daughter dropped below two-pounds and simultaneously contracted a staph infection at 11 days old. That could have easily been too much for a one and half pound body to endure. She was so fragile, especially her skin, which looked like onion paper stretched too far over a tiny set of ribs and hips. She was pale and small. But beautiful. And breathing. And ALIVE. And we were going to fight for her – all of us, our family, our church, the doctors and nurses and most importantly God.
Mother’s do have God given maternal instinct and I rejoice in Diana’s courage to do the very best for her little boys. Diana’s story caused me to go back and remember the great ways that faith brought us through it. I am realizing that that is reason enough to go back and remember. Diana’s story has inspired me to write it down for my children. It is part of our family’s history and it is worth remembering. My children, now almost six years old, are healthy and strong and awash in normalcy but those first several months of all of us struggling to survive are still very clear in my mind.
I am hopeful and confident that Diana will get the very best care from the hospital she is at and my faith leads me to believe that Diana has been specifically placed there by the Lord to be a source of light to others. The road ahead is uncertain, but God holds Diana and her boys, Preston and Julian, in His hands.
Written By: Nikki Board, Editor at Funtastically Green