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Today in our Take Heart series, my friend Aubrey Barela shares about the big surprise God gave her after a difficult miscarriage and medical emergency that left her burdened with bad news. When you’re done reading, we’d love to have you stick around and link up below to share your own story of taking heart in growing a family.
There are certain times in your life when you just know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God’s hand was in a situation. You look back and see the different pieces of the puzzle that were once scattered all over but now fit perfectly together into something very beautiful.
In the story of our girls, there were many twists and turns and bumps along the way, but I am confident it was all in His plan.
I look at our girls now at age five and I see walking (non-stop) and talking (non-stop) miracles.
It all goes back to 12 years ago when Brian and I were soon to be married. We were having one of those silly, lovey dovey engaged couple conversations about how many kids we wanted. I shared with him how I have always been fascinated with twins and that I would love to have twin girls someday. We continue dreaming together and went so far as to pick what our twin daughters’ names would be. We decided on Theia and Kaia. But seriously it was just a silly conversation, right?
Fast forward 5 years. We are waiting in the doctor’s office unsure and very nervous, wondering if we could possibly be pregnant after enduring a traumatic miscarriage five months prior, a tubal pregnancy that ruptured and lead to emergency surgery. After the surgery, they had given us the bad news that our chances of getting pregnant again were now cut in half.
As you can guess, when we found out we were expecting again our hearts were in our throats. And then you can only imagine our reaction when the doctor confirmed not only one but two heartbeats. TWINS! I was overjoyed!
But in the next sentence the doctor said that Baby A was considerably smaller and only gave her a 50% chance of survival. We would just have to wait and see. I was only 6 weeks along.
As the weeks went on, Baby A started to catch up just a little, always just above the line of concern. At week 12 we found out we were having girls. Immediately my mind went back to that conversation with Brian. There wasn’t even a discussion, we knew our daughters names already- Theia and Kaia.
At week 26, the doctor put me on bed rest because of mild labor and because Baby A- Kaia was slowing down in her growth again. The concern had returned about her development. We needed them both to stay put so bed rest it was.
It was a long 8 weeks, especially with a very energetic 2 year-old to take care of, but I was thankful for each day the girls remained in me. One day shy of 34 weeks they were ready to make their arrival.
It was a fast and furious C-section and before I knew it I was hearing their sweet little cries. Kaia was born first at 3.6 pounds and two minutes later Theia was out at a whopping 4.13 pounds compared to her sister’s lower weight. Kaia, who we were expecting most to be concerned about was just fine. She was tiny and mighty and it still holds true today.
Theia on the other hand was showing respiratory distress within the first few moments. Because I delivered at a small hospital they were not equipped to care for her. At 5 hours old, our sweet little Theia was rolled into my room in a transportable incubator. We prayed over her and then watched the nurses and doctors wheel her out to be rushed to a NICU an hour and a half away. Neither of us even had a chance to hold her. Talk about heart-wrenching.
Brian went to be where Theia was while I stayed with Kaia and our son, Mason. We lived in limbo like this for 2 weeks. Lots of driving, lots of stressful phone calls and questions to the doctors. There was a lot of waiting and a lot of rejoicing with even the smallest improvements. At 2 weeks, Theia had made a full recovery and we got to bring her home! One week later Kaia was big enough to leave the hospital and was reunited with her sister for the first time out of the womb. Finally, we were a family of 5 all in one place.
Looking back I can see the different pieces of the puzzle and how it all fits so beautifully now. Our miscarriage was devastating, but I experienced God in a way I never have before. I was so raw, a complete mess, but He met me right there. He heard my cries, my anger and my sadness and He carried me through.
It was there that I knew He loved me more than I ever knew before and that He would never leave me or forsake me. These are the truths I held onto during our crazy ride.
Even when the future was unclear, I had an underlying sense of peace that was almost unexplainable. I look at our girls now and I see his fingerprints of love and mercy all over them. Their story reminds me that God calls me not to worry or be discouraged, but to take heart.
Aubrey is…. Wife to 1 amazing husband. A mom to 1 little dude and 2 girlie girls. A follower of the ONE who saved her. A runner because it keeps her from going crazy. A crafter and creator of whatever she can find here and there. And the CEO of the little part of the world she calls home. She would love to connect with you at her blog or on Twitter.
Now it’s time to share YOUR Take Heart story. Enter your information below to link to your own blog post on how you’ve been encouraged to “Take Heart…in Growing a Family,” whether it be in the struggle of infertility, the tough task of parenting, blending a family, etc. In your post, link back to our page here (you’re welcome to grab the thumbnail graphic to use in your post) and invite others to join in. Then, be sure to visit and comment on the posts that link up before and after yours and encourage each other!
Wow. I just love finding out more and more about your family and the journey God has you five on together. He chose the perfect mother for your two little darlings that you named long before their arrival!
That’s awesome. God is always in control, even when it is hard to see in the moment.
I loved reading this story, especially about naming your twins so far in advance. My own little Darcy had a rough start in life. I wrote about it last summer on her birthday.