As most of you know, I have a great many online friends who have gone through or are going through the struggles of TTTS. I met a new friend this past winter as she struggled to make decisions and choices. Like Cole, one of her little girls had a velementous cord insertion and a poor placental share. She hoped she would be a candidate for surgery though she was very scared of what that meant. She did have the surgery and like us, learned the next day that one of her sweet babes had gone to be with Jesus. She never referred to her as an angel though she did often say that she knew she was watching over her sister. Like me, she believed that her heavenly baby had lived just long enough to ensure that her sister survived.
Fast forward the story about 8-10 weeks when my friend’s water broke and she was hospitalized and began the regiment that all who have a premature rupture of their membranes go through…steroid shots for the lungs and antibiotics to prevent infection. All seemed well and it seemed that her little survivor would remain in utero, like Cameron, for many weeks to come. But then about 7 days or so after her water broke her little survivor arrived…at 28 weeks gestation.
She seemed to be doing well initially but then began to struggle so she was transferred to another larger hospital. She continued to struggle to clear the carbon dioxide from her body but everything else with her seemed to be going well. After a few procedures and surgeries on both her heart and her trachea it seemed that this little survivor’s battles were behind her.
And then last week we got a message from her mom that she was very sick with an infection and they had been called in to the hospital to be with her…. I assumed, just to give her comfort. I was shocked to learn the next day that her sweet little survivor’s journey was over. She’d gone to be with Jesus. I admit…I sobbed so hard I had to sit for a long time to get it all together. And I still feel that way at times. Their story is so similar to ours…and could so easily have been our outcome if Cameron had been born when my water broke at 26 weeks.
I went to her blog yesterday and read this….
We thought our homecoming would be a wonderful ending to a long a difficult road, but it would just have been continuing the race that is life on this earth for our girl. Instead, she's already won the race and received the prize. B's homecoming was the final homecoming - the one where she gets to live in the mansions and walk on streets of gold and worship at the throne of God and see him face to face.
I cried harder and marveled at her strength. I didn’t think I could ever be that strong. Later that day I read this posting from her too…
The temptation during a time like this is to ask why? Why did this happen? Why did God do this? Why me? The fact is, this is life on this imperfect earth. Many people before us have gone through similar tragedies and worse, and many people after us will go through them. The better question is why not me?
This is where the rubber of our faith meets the road of life. Sure, it is unbelievably painful. We feel weak. We are beside ourselves. We are undone. How could she have pulled through heart surgery only to be taken by a fluke infection? There are many questions. But these things did not surprise our God. He is, and always has been, in control of this situation. He is good, he loves us, and he has not abandoned us. If we are to have free will, we have to live with sin and death and suffering on this earth - but only for a while. A day will come when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain."We are anxious for that day to come soon.
This time I cried with tears of joy and inspiration. I wrote to her and told her that I was inspired by her to strengthen my relationship with Christ so that I, too, could feel so at peace about the trials of life and of death itself.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be at this level of peace and confidence…I can only hope. I know that I can’t wait to go to Heaven to see Cole…and all the others who have been so blessed to go before me. I know that I will always have sad moments when it comes to the loss of loved ones but my friend has truly planted a seed in me.
Sweet Baby B…thank you so much for blessing your family for your 6 short weeks here with your Mommy and Daddy and brothers and for the joyful (and I know stressful too) 28 weeks inside your mommy's womb with your dear sweet sister, Baby F. Thank you for bringing such strength and hope to many. Thank you for teaching me some valuable lessons. I am so glad you were able to hold your mommy’s hand as you left this world…not to get comfort and strength from her but rather to give comfort and strength to her. Much love little one, say hello to Cole for me…I’m sure he met you at the gates with open arms and will show you all the coolest places that he has found.