Almost ten years ago today, I found out I was going to be a mom. I remember lying on the doctor’s cold table and watching the nurse click, point, and measure four times over and thinking to myself, “Surely all of those circles are not babies.” It turned out that all those circles were babies. When I left that day, they told me I was having triplets, and that one of the tiny sacs was just fluid as far as they could tell. But, when I went back a few weeks later to hear the heartbeats, that tiny “fluid sac” had a heartbeat. I was having quadruplets.
I heard my preacher say last week that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” And that has stuck to the inside of my mind like glue all week. My babies were tiny little circles, then they were tiny little circles with heartbeats, and then I watched them sprout tiny little nubs that grew into tiny legs and arms. They would swing and twirl and bounce off of the inside of my stomach, like they knew mommy was watching and they were already showing off. And then at 14 weeks, one of their hearts stopped. I didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl. And I didn’t know if that would happen again. My doctors had told me that “Baby D” was my strongest baby, and then he/she was gone. The doctors didn’t know what they thought they knew.
Time went on and the doctors told me that if I lost another one, it would be baby B. Baby B was the “fluid sac” that was never supposed to be a baby to begin with. But, again, they didn’t know what they didn’t know. Baby B went from “not a baby” to my most active baby, and he grew and grew and grew. And now he is my biggest nine year old.
When you are pregnant with multiples, the doctor’s come in with clip boards and heavy faces and they say things like “This is really dangerous for you as a mother.” And I was scared. Scared of losing them. Scared of losing me. Scared of just losing everything. It’s hard sometimes to make a choice based on things you can’t see. I didn’t know if my babies would be born healthy or handicap. I didn’t know if I would live or die bringing them into this world. The only thing I really knew was that I had to base my decisions on what I already knew about God.
We told the doctor’s no to picking and choosing. And I decided that no matter how I felt, I was going to have to build my house upon the rock of God’s word, and not the sands of uncertainty. I can’t say that I have always done my building the right way. I haven’t. I’ve built plenty of sand castles that washed right away when the waves crashed in and life got messy and dark. I promised God that I would choose life and every night I told Him what He had already told me in His word. Promises of safety and good health and deliverance and protection—especially when the doctor’s ‘laundry list’ of risks came back to haunt me.
It wasn’t long before the rains came. And the storm broke. And it didn’t just move the sand about around my house. It decimated it. I had been on strict bed rest for four months when my contractions were too uncontrollable to stay at home. I was only 26 weeks along and permanently in the hospital at this point, when I woke up one morning and couldn’t breathe. I called the nurse and she dismissed it. After rounds of arguing with the nurse, and tears, and oxygen masks, and ICU, they told me I had Congestive Heart and Kidney failure due to the pregnancy.
I said goodbye to my husband that night.
And when he kissed me goodbye, I kissed him back with tears in my eyes and closed my heart to the dream of becoming a mom, and the hope of my next breath.
And in the silence of that room, while nurses did their due diligence and monitors beeped, this 25-year-old girl wondered why God seemed to be flattening a house that had been built upon His promises, upon the Rock. In my need to breathe, I asked God a lot of hard questions. I railed against Him actually. How could He let it end like this? I asked ‘why’ and I said ‘not now’ and even ‘why me’, but I never regretted giving my children the chance to live.
And I went to sleep fully expecting to never live again.
People prayed for me that night. And there is no reason my condition should have reversed. My contractions had been two minutes apart and before the doctors knocked me out they said they would probably have to deliver my babies (who would probably then die because they were too little).There was literally nothing else they could do but watch us all go meet Jesus.
But, God. He stepped in. It wasn’t the end of my health scare. I spent six more weeks in the hospital and delivered three babies 9 weeks early. My heart failure returned and I spent another week in ICU fighting for my life, asking God more hard questions. I remember the day in ICU when the doctor came in and she said, “I heard you had a pretty bad night.” I started crying and told her that I had. It’s hell trying to force oxygen into lungs that want it but can’t get it. She looked me straight on and said “But, Jessica this is what you chose. You knew that this could happen.” And she was right. I knew that it could happen, but I just didn’t think it would.
Aren’t we like that America? We know deep in our heart of hearts that abortion is a sweet word for murder. And we just keep saying that it’s okay. We hear preachers telling us that God will judge us—that we have stirred Him to anger on behalf of the millions of children that went to see Jesus before they even got to see their mothers. But, we don’t think judgment will come to our nation or our cities or our doorsteps. Because we don’t see it. I truly believe there are many people out there who have bought the abortion lie in the name of women’s health and women’s rights. I believe many of these people have not even stopped to think about what they have fought for. They haven’t risen above the arguing high enough to really see the big picture. Maybe they didn’t know what they didn’t know—that Planned Parenthood, an organization we all fund with our tax dollars, was slicing open babies, even some whose hearts had not yet stopped beating. Did you watch these videos? This one? And this one? And this one?! America, we’ve thrown our babies in the trash. We know now. Our eyes have seen it. Our ears have heard it. And now, it’s time to do something about it.
I can’t have more kids today. I really wish that I could. I’m so grateful for these three that God has given me but I can’t help but be so incredibly sad about all of the lives lost. I realize that sometimes our hands feel tied because we aren’t politicians or lawmakers, but there is a starting point to get this ball rolling. I can’t be quiet anymore and I hope you won’t be either. Let’s not let the Planned Parenthood conversation die on last week’s headline. Will you join me? Sign the petitions to defund Planned Parenthood in your state. (Update: my home state of Texas DID defund Planned Parenthood just this week!) And then go tell Congress to cut the 550 million plus dollars that we send to them.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27