Tag: babies

Be Still


We have made several posts so far that talk about or relating to the tragic birth experience with our twins. Today I want to turn to another unique and eventful birth. As with every birth, the Lord worked in a great and powerful way in our family. Truly, the arrival of every one of our four children was a unique and eventful experience, but this particular one is both a great memory and a great lesson. Those who know us personally have heard elements of this story before, and a version of the account given below was posted to the website of our previous church in San Antonio.

On a Wednesday morning, my wife woke me up at 4:20 AM with the words that every expectant father both fears and rejoices in: “My water broke!” Now, this was a bit early, as she was a few days shy of being full term (only 36.5 weeks) and we had already been sent home from the hospital a couple days prior with a false alarm. She yelled this delightfully frightening phrase while in the shower trying to ease her back pain and woke me out of a dead sleep. I had heard repeatedly that labor can go on for hours after the water breaks, but we lived about 45 minutes from the hospital, so I did my best Superman impression and got changed lightning fast. I helped her out of the shower after a contraction and she went to sit on the toilet.

At 4:22 I called our friend down the street to come watch our then-19-month-old son while we went to the hospital. Sara called me in and said to forget trying to get there on our own; she felt the baby would be there soon and said to call EMS unless I wanted to deliver our son in the car on the way there. I walked back into the bedroom to continue dressing and simultaneously call 911.  She then yelled at me again saying that we weren’t going to make until they arrived. This boy was coming NOW!

At this point, my calm and collected demeanor vanished like darkness after turning on a light and I instantly became the sitcom dad frantically running back and forth trying to call 911. Unfortunately, the operator could not understand my hysterical “THE BABY IS COMING!!!” Another contraction came and his head was now crowning. Now I’m really panicked…I threw the phone (forgot to hang up of course) and went into full panic mode. I just wasn’t prepared for this! I never expected anything like this to happen us! Truth be told, my panic was more about having to deliver the baby myself and messing up in a big way. Our first baby got stuck AND had the cord wrapped around his neck. What was I going to do if that happened again?!?

In another instant, it sank in that I was going to have to do this; there was just no way around it. I mentally zoned in (still terrified of course) and helped her to the floor and leaned her back. We were going to deliver this baby right there on our bathroom floor. A contraction came and his head popped out; all I could see below that was umbilical cord. As I said, our first baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and that was quite an ordeal at the hospital so I was panicking just a little bit more now. I was able to simply push it aside and off his shoulder. Whew! Two extremely short contractions later I was holding my son, Jonah, and the majority of the panic and anxiety was gone. Just eight short minutes after waking, we had gone through what felt like an entire day’s trial. My wife then picked up the phone and very calmly explained what had just happened to the 911 operator (who had apparently been listening to the whole thing) while I checked Jonah out and wrapped him up for Momma. The EMS got there about 20 minutes later and we went to the hospital to get everything checked out.

Almost four years later, Jonah is just fine. He is an incredibly sweet, and of course rambunctious, little boy that loves without reservation. There were no complications or serious ailments whatsoever. Of the million things that could have gone wrong with such a set of circumstances, not one of them did. God truly showed Himself and kept them both safe while guiding me to do what I needed to. Psalm 46 in particular came to mind after all the chaos had dissipated:

1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

God reminded me in this moment that there was no reason to panic in the first place. There was no reason to fear at all because He was still in control. We had been praying to have a safe, healthy, and normal pregnancy this time. I believe God answered that prayer, but not in the way we expected. He was telling us that it doesn’t matter how the pregnancy goes or ends; He’s still in control and holds us in His hands. “Calm down. I’ve got you my child,” He says. God will certainly not give you more than He will enable you to handle. You may not (or probably won’t) be able to handle life’s challenges on your own, but He will give you what you need to get through the trial. I had no false impressions on my lack of training and ability to deliver a baby (not to mention my weak stomach for blood and bodily fluids) and that’s why I went into panic mode. However, when you realize that God the Almighty who created heaven and earth, who moves seas and mountains by His Word, and loves you so much He died for you, is standing next to you; there’s no reason to fear at all. The greatest assurance we can have on this earth is knowing that those who love and trust the Lord can depend on His provision and that regardless of the outcome, He is in control and works all things for our benefit (Rom 8:28).

Thinking back to this day, I have come to believe that God’s closeness and watch care were instrumental in the way we handled ourselves in the OR when Luke and Asher were born. I was able to pray and sing in the midst of devastation, because I knew God was there taking care of everything. As I sit here and write this, it has become so clear why Jonah and Asher share such a special connection. When a challenge or trial bulldozes its way into your life and you have the urge to panic, I hope you’ll take the time to be still and recognize that God is right there with you.

What’s in a name?

Grief and Infant Loss

I thought I would explain the story behind our blog name for my first post. “Broods” and “Bible” are pretty easy to figure out to mean family and faith, but the butterflies portion likely isn’t so cut and dry unless you have stood where we do and think along those same lines. First, a little back story to it…..

Last summer I read an article on Facebook about a momma that was advocating for hospitals in the UK to place a purple butterfly sticker on bassinets of babies that were part of a multiple pregnancy in which one or more babies were lost. The butterfly sticker was to alert other parents as well as hospital staff members to a very sensitive matter: the immense grief of losing one (or more) infant while still caring for a living baby as well. I remember we had just found out about our identical twin boys, Luke and Asher, shortly before I read this article and it hit me how terribly sad this situation was, however, the momma written about in the article lost one of her sweet girls to anecephaly, which we knew already our babies did not have. In fact, our little guys were perfectly healthy, so aside from being incredibly heartbroken for this momma and daddy, it wasn’t personal to me because we were already passed that initial “safe zone” and had reached the second trimester with two healthy babies. You see, early loss was a loss that I connected with already and knew could happen to me because it had happened to me; but late loss was a different story. And even more that just a late loss; loss of ONE baby was an entirely different story as well. Again, even though I was carrying twins already, I just kind of assumed that either both babies would make it or both wouldn’t except for the situations like this momma’s where one had an abnormality that was always fatal.

Fast forward to September 27, 2016, I was having contractions. Although they were completely painless for me, I knew they were also very regular and having had two very fast deliveries, I knew I needed to get into the doctor to be seen right away. I had gone in the day before due to a couple of issues, but was eventually sent home as the contractions I was having weren’t doing anything and the other issues weren’t immediately dangerous or needing to be addressed. I honestly thought that I would be sent home this day as well. However, I got settled in and the doctor on call came by and discovered I was dilated to a 5, which meant our babies were on their way that day for certain. I was only 30 weeks and 6 days pregnant, so we knew that meant a long NICU stay for both boys. What we didn’t expect was that only one of our sweet boys would make it out of the operating room alive. All of the issues we’d been having as well as the events of that day are for another post, but suddenly that story I’d read about several months before had become our reality. Having our survivor, Asher, in a big unit full of other LIVING twins was so difficult. Seeing only his name on his bassinet was really hard for me because spread all throughout the NICU were bassinets with “twin A” or “twin B” on them. We should have had two bassinets with babies in them. Instead, we only had one. We are so thankful for that one, but having Asher here didn’t and won’t take away the pain of losing Luke. I longed for Asher’s bassinet to say “twin B” in addition to his name plaque. Or even for a purple butterfly sticker….

So because of this article we’d read previously, the butterfly kind of became our symbol for Luke. I originally chose the butterfly because of the article, but since then it has become so much more for me. I love seeing butterflies out in the world, whether real or otherwise, but we definitely in no way think that Luke has taken the form of a butterfly and come to say hello or even that he has sent them as signs to us. However, I do know that God knows that we have chosen the butterfly as his symbol and believe that He will randomly put them in our lives as a reminder of His love for us and for Luke. When I see a butterfly, I feel God’s love for me despite my pain. I know that He grieves with me for my sweet baby, but I also know that Luke is in heaven; happy and whole with Him. I miss my baby every single day, but it’s truly a help to me knowing these things, so I love seeing butterflies when I’m out and about.

I also like the butterfly as Luke’s symbol not only because of the connection with twin loss, but because I feel like I am very much like the butterfly. Butterflies start out as caterpillars and must go through the process of metamorphosis to change into the beautiful creatures they are. In my opinion, caterpillars aren’t the most majestic or graceful creatures to begin with, but God created them to change who they are through a process that isn’t terribly appealing and probably even a bit painful. I mean, who wants to stop eating, wrap themselves in a casing and hang out (without eating) for weeks, months, or even years while their bodies undergo rapid and massive changes?! Losing Luke has been a continuing point for my transformation from a self-centered, selfish, high-strung momma, wife, friend, and human being into something hopefully much more beautiful than I ever would have become otherwise. It has been a very painful experience to go through this rapid growth and change; but in the end, a caterpillar’s purpose isn’t able to be fulfilled without being transformed into a beautiful butterfly.


(double ribbon for Twinless twin awareness was created by a sweet momma on a Parents of Twinless Twins support group page and is free to use for this cause)

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