A year ago today …

… I was trying to fall asleep in a hospital bed on the labor and delivery floor while being monitored for contractions and my babies’ heart rates. An IV line administered medication seeking to slow and stabilize contractions as well as antibiotics in case the babies had to be delivered. Various monitors beeped and nurses came in and out while I *tried* to drift off. Seth and I had planned to spend that night in our newly purchased home – our first home to own – but instead our house sat vacant except for unpacked boxes and furniture. I had not left the hospital bed since being admitted that morning after a normal OB appointment revealed indications of possible preterm labor.

I remember feeling both great anxiety and inexplicable peace. Anxiety that our daughters would be born at only 25 weeks along (and, no, I was not ready for that in any aspect of it) and anxiety at how my life had been altered in the course of a day (no traveling to my brother’s wedding, no more working through August as I’d hoped, no helping with unpacking and settling into our new home). But mixed with this, and in fact overriding it, was a sense of peace as I knew my Shepherd was with me there. He was caring for me and He was caring for our yet unborn daughters. And so eventually (in between nurse checks), I was able to drift off to sleep. If only for a few hours.

To think back on that day a year ago brings a wave of gratitude for God’s faithfulness to us, not only for the healthy daughters who now are exploring every inch of our house as they crawl and who miraculously waited 10 more weeks before birth, but also for so many of you who cared so well for us in this past year. Which prompted the letter of gratitude below – please receive it as a small token of our appreciation:

Dear friends and family,

A year ago today was quite a momentous day for us – the day we moved into our first home and the day I began what would be 10 weeks of bed rest before the birth of Lucia and Alethia on September 8th, 2010.  So much happened in such a short period of time: Seth had to find others to supervise our move in his place so that he could join me at the hospital while the doctors tried to discern how imminent my pre-term labor would be and how to stop or slow it down. I felt perfectly fine although my body was trying to go into labor to deliver our 25-week-old twin daughters. We were terrified many moments throughout that day as we awaited more information. A few days later, we were relieved that I could be discharged from the hospital but unsure how long before I would deliver and how we would make it day-to-day as I endured strict bathroom-privileges-only bed rest.

You stepped into our lives at this point and helped us. You were the hands and feet of Jesus to us as you unpacked boxes, painted walls, completed tiling projects, did laundry, cleaned our house, brought us meals, visited me on the “long days of the recliner,” went grocery shopping and ran errands for us,  including picking up our baby furniture for us. Not to mention your constant support through your prayers and words of encouragement to us. And you didn’t stop after the babies were born, but continued to bring meals and provide help as needed. As we tried to remember all of you who had provided assistance for us, there were well over 100 people (and I’m sure we’re missing a few).

“Thank you” feels so flat, but we wanted to again tell you how much we appreciate your ministry to us during this difficulty. Our healthy daughters are themselves a testimony of your help to us and your many, many prayers on our behalf. So – thank you again, and know that you will always have a special place in our hearts for the way you met us at our time of need.

In humble gratitude,

Heather & Seth

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