My sister's pregnancy came to an abrupt and tragic end last Thursday, March 18th. She went into premature labor at 20 weeks gestation and delivered her triplets. Roanin was born first and survived almost two hours. Kade came second and survived for an hour. My sister, in the midst of the delivery, was able to take these brief hours with her sons to pray for them, hold them, and tell them how much she loved them. The doctors were hopeful that labor could be stopped and Nathaniel spared, but unfortunately, his heart stopped beating in utero. He was born last, almost three hours after Roanin and at twice the size, a mere 10 ounces.
I've attempted to write this update several times and have struggled to put into words what it is I want to say. I'm sad that our family will never get a chance to know these boys; to see what color their hair was intended to be, to experience their sense of humor, or to see them interact as triplets. I'm sad that my sister had to give birth to her sons on the same day she had to say goodbye to them. These children were so wanted, so hoped for. I can't imagine the devastation she felt that morning as she delivered them. Thinking of her in that hospital, holding her tiny sons brings tears to my eyes every time.
And, yet, I'm so proud of her for the way she is handling her grief. Because, in the midst of that tragic morning, she took time to take joy in her sons. That's what mothers do. They sacrifice, hope, and pray, and then they enjoy their children. As short as their lives were, just 20 weeks, Connie had already done all these things for them. She was willing to give up her body, her life, her money in the hope that these babies would have an opportunity at a full life. You can imagine, that in the midst of her grief she is asking herself if she could have done more. From my vantage point, though, those boys could not have had a more wise, more sacrificial, more God fearing mommy. She did all that she could.
Now she must remember the very brief time she spent with them, grieve all of the moments she won't have, and somehow allow herself to heal and hope that Nathaniel, Kade, and Roanin will someday have more siblings. This is such a hard road to walk, and I'm praying that God would bring her, her husband Jason, and her five year old, Gabriel continual comfort.