You Would Have been Two

You Would Have been Two

You would have been two.
Both of you.
I asked your Dad if he still thinks about you.
He says of course and I do too.
There’s a little girl at church, she is also two.
When I look at her, I think about you.

Something happened the day you were born
Heaven met earth in an operating room.
Joy came in where grief should have been.
We loved you forever, we met you just then.

Something happened when they said you would die
I didn’t want to move not ever again. I could have stayed there forever just then.
I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t be.
I stared at the ceiling and started to pray then it happened, God said you would be okay.

It didn’t make sense, I couldn’t say why
When every doctor said you would die
Then at home, God told me again, and again and again.
Watch me He said, watch what I will do.

They told me we would lose you both really soon,
They told me to abort you and start again new.
They said it in a whisper they said it so sad.
They said I’m so sorry this is so bad.
They said it in a way that made me wonder what to do,
The only thing I wanted was to protect you.

But God said, wait and watch, watch what I will do.
All that mattered was what God said about you.
I waited for God to step in, stubbornly I waited for Him.

He said you would be safe, I knew it would be true.
But still all I wanted was you.
Then I saw it, saw it come true, the miracle we asked for, the miracle was you.

To walk through the pain and see it all done, for His glory to say that God had won. To talk about Jesus to everyone we met to say how He saved you when we had no hope left.

You both at peace, you both born safe
Something happened when we saw your face,
Joy rushed in, it took grief’s place
And God did what He said He would do, we could see it then when we looked at you.

You would have been two.
Both of you.
Your Dad asked last night if I still think about you.
I said of course, but something else to,
Heaven is what I think about when I think about you.💕

Under the Stars

Under the Stars

Two hours past his bed time I decide to sit out under the stars. We watch airplanes and count stars and we see a shooting star or was it a lightning bug? We still aren’t sure. Then he asks me, Mommy, are aliens real? I say, no, but God is.

He’s slient thinking about it. Then says, but aliens ARE real people just don’t know it because everyone is asleep.
Well no one has ever seen an alien. But you know who made all these stars? God did.

He brings out a pair of scissors and starts cutting the grass. I stare at the stars and wonder if my eyes are going bad or are all of these stars flickering? Another lighting bug, or is is a shooting star? I can’t tell. It’s a bug because it’s on the neighbors’ house now.

We go inside and up to bed where I read two books instead of one. The Big Book of Why. Why do we have hair? Why do boats float? Why do airplanes fly? It’s his favorite book. Suddenly he asks, mommy did you know that five plus five is ten? Excited because he has my full attention for the first time in a long time. Wow, yeah bud, good job. And six plus four is ten too, he says. You’re right, okay, what about two plus eight? Ten!

I keep reading then it dawns on me, hey, what is four plus three?
Seven, he says.

I had no idea he could add.

Suddenly he says, Mommy, do you know why Jesus can’t come into my heart?
No, why?
Because he doesn’t know where it is.
I say oh buddy, that’s not true. God made your heart so he knows EXACTLY where it is.

He’s quiet. I realize he has been thinking about this for a long time.

So I ask, is there anything you want to ask God for?
Yeah, a toy robot with a laser gun that shots real lasers but I don’t want that from God, I just want that for Christmas.
Well, pray that mommy and daddy have enough money and maybe you will get one.

Do you have any questions Tommy? (I ask him that every night).
Yeah. Does the tooth fairy come when dogs loose their teeth? Do you think they get dog treats instead of money?
No buddy but you are funny. Sleep good, I love you and Jesus loves you more.

I walk away and laugh.

I was done for the day. I didn’t want to do his bed time. I didn’t want to brush his teeth or get him in bed. I didn’t want to sit with him or read a book or lead him in another prayer.

But before I gave up for the day, I felt this urge… just sit with him under the stars. 🌟

Week One with Twins

Week One with Twins

They are home! Edith and Ira are home. Wow friends, I almost did not write this post because our first week with twins was, well our first week home with twins! I am still shocked how all consuming it was.

Okay, I was just interrupted 891 times and it’s eleven weeks later but here we go.

This was them just twenty minutes of being home. How tiny! I had this weird thing about not wanting to cut their hospital bands off because then it would be real, like waking up from a dream? Did you do that too?

Oh they are so tiny, I don’t think it hit me until they were on this boppy pillow. They came home at a little over FIVE pounds each.

The first night we brought them home was actually pretty peaceful. Oh my heart, when I set them in the crib for the first time. We really got them home. This is our actual real life. After all my stressing about safe sleep, the divider Tom made worked perfectly, if for nothing else for my peace of mind.

I forgot how much they sleep. And how peacefully. You bet I was checking them every fifteen minutes. I was shocked every time they were still breathing. I think it’s part of my grieving. They are still breathing, I just checked.

There is this picture, Tommy took it with my phone and in it I look so…. contemplative. I am feeding Edith formula and I remember how mad I was about it. I am so glad Tommy took this (and another one where I look straight up mad) because then and there I decided to be joyful and to show it to him and to smile at the babies, even when I am worried/tired/stressed.

Also, side note, YOU ARE NOT FAILING if you feed your babies formula. I think we need to say that more often.

Phew.  I have many thoughts about breastfeeding twins and breastfeeding in general but more on that later.

Truly, our first days home just flew by, the only semi-scary thing was we had to take Edith to the Emergency room for elevated bilirubin levels on day four. Now that was stressful.

We knew she was jaundiced when we left the hospital but were hoping it would get better, instead it got worse. I almost wish we had stayed an extra day to figure it all out because we had the option but we were so ready to bring them home.

First moment I realized Tom was meant to have twins because he took charge of the whole thing. There was a moment where he grabbed Edith and was walking across the parking lot after having brought Ira back out from the doctor, that I was like, oh yeah, I married the right person. He just took charge when I couldn’t. I was still in such a daze. What is that postpartum daze?

He kept track all of their paperwork, all of their numbers, weights and bilirubin levels and my prescriptions and the only thing I could focus on was trying to breastfeed. It was a fight, man. Edith’s bilirubin was 21.7 at the highest so I fed her formula ( I was determined not to), just to get anything in her– in both of them. I am so glad I did because YOU CAN feed formula and still breastfeed. I know! No one told me that.

Here are our brand new babes in the emergency room. We were SO scared they would catch something (RSV) but the doctors and nurses let us come straight back. Her levels ended up being on the way down so we were able to go home without being admitted.

That was day four. Day five felt a little more settled. I talked to a friend about it all and she told me how she ignored all doctors (don’t do that but ya know) and sat her jaundice baby in front of a window in the middle of December. So I did the same. Sometimes the answer is simple right? And I have a theory the answer is always sunshine. For everything.

This was the moment I felt like we were going to be okay. That they were home and where they were supposed to be, that they are mine and I am their mom and I DO know what to do. I remember it distinctly because the sunshine was beating on me too. Seriously, sunshine helps you think better.

That was about all the excitement of our first week home.

Oh, if you have twins, buy newborn size clothes! Guys, I only bought/asked for 0-3 month clothes because I thought I only had big babies. Hahaha, this is them in a 0-3 month sleepers it was kind of funny. It maybe wouldn’t have mattered, but it is winter and it is cold.

Another trip to the doctor. No joke, you go every day when you have newborn twins.

Tommy looooves being a brother and I am so glad. He is so gentle with them. The morning I took this he came in our room and asked, “Are they still here?” Yes they are buddy. Then he said he had to kiss them, “double kisses for double babies.” I can’t even.

I can’t even believe this is real. God truly has blessed us. We made it through the first week, so surely we can do this.

Edith and Ira, we love you baby babes. I will never forget the first week we brought you home.

Always grateful, always thankful,

Emily

 

 

The Birth of Ira Brighton and Edith Bailey Taylor

The Birth of Ira Brighton and Edith Bailey Taylor

Oh my dear friends. This is the post I can’t believe I get to write. With all the anticipation of having twins again I am so EXCITED to tell you– they are here, our babies are here!

Ira Brighton and Edith Bailey Taylor were born December 30th, 2019  by a perfectly perfect scheduled c-section. Both babies are safe and healthy and I am doing well. Praise God.

You can imagine all of the emotions we are feeling. Our babies are such a gift. I’ve experienced lots of answered prayers but none quite as perfect and specific as bringing Ira and Edith into the world.

Their birth was everything I prayed for– safe, whole and redemptive.

While I was grieving the loss of Eliza and Ensley I prayed for God to give us another baby. And I prayed that it would happen by the end of December. When I found out I was pregnant again, the due date was January 17th. I figured God was just giving us a baby when the timing was right. Then we learned it was twins and I was set to deliver the first week in January and then…the last week in December. I just stared at the calendar the day I scheduled our delivery– December 30th, 2019. Exactly what I had prayed for. And not just one baby but two.

A lot of the anticipation around their birth was not centered around the tragedy of Ensley and Eliza’s birth because their birth wasn’t hard, it was their pregnancy that was hard. Rather for me it was– do we deserve this?  Is this really happening? Will they be safe this time and will I?

Needless to say the night before neither Tom or I slept well. (Which is saying a lot because Tom can sleep through anything). I turned into a crazy person running around trying to remember all the things even though my hospital bag had been packed weeks before. We were both so anxious.

My c-section was set for 10:40 AM. We left Tommy with Tom’s sister, had a little bit of time with him in the morning (as I was still trying to pack all the things and take final pictures of my belly). We drove to the hospital praying the whole way. We have a ‘baby CD’ it’s one we listened to over and over during Eliza and Ensley’s pregnancy so Tom put it in and my favorite song– Find Me by Melissa and Jonathan Hessler actually calmed me down. Usually it makes me emotional. We were here, about to give birth, so thankful, so grateful.

Tom made the mistake of telling me this is probably our last pregnancy so I wanted to take ALL THE  BELLY PICTURES last minute, I actually got really sad that I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore which is so not like me.

I always get a little crazy about documenting things, especially something as big as this, so I told Tom to film EVERYTHING and it’s all I could think about as we got ready in pre-op.  I think I got to the hospital missing half the things I needed (hair ties–ekk) because I was so focused on documenting it well. We found a birth photographer! A friend of a friend offered to come and take pictures the day they were born and I was so excited about it but really I needed to focus and settle down to be super present for their birth.

When we got to the hospital it struck me how routine the whole thing was to everyone but Tom and I. All of a sudden it was time and  no one seemed nervous but us. Which I guess is a good thing. Strangely, as soon as I stepped into the OR it was like I had been their before. I know that I had been there before. That exact room, with that exact color of the floor, with that exact nurse helping me on the bed. This is going to be okay. All of the fear left me, God was already there. He’s always already there.

When people would ask if I was ready for their birth it felt impossible to answer. Yes yes yes yes and no, nothing  could prepare me for what it is like to walk into another delivery room waiting to meet my babies. I was really, really scared.

But it went perfectly. The only scary thing was my heart sky-rocketed with anesthesia and my blood pressure went way down. I heard the doctors talking about the color of my skin and the monitors beeping an alarm and I could feel a tight pressure across my shoulders like this isn’t going well. But I kept talking to the doctors telling them what I felt and the anesthesiologist gave me fluid and something to bring my heart rate down and it worked.

I had asked for a clear curtain to see the babies come out but they put up a blue one and the anesthesiologist said he could switch it out but when it came time my blood pressure dropped again so I just let it go to let them focus on keeping me stable–because priorities, right?

11:45 AM Ira was born first. Our sweet Ira boy. Nothing, nothing in the whole world is better than hearing your baby’s first cry. Oh. My. Gosh. It’s all I wanted to hear. Ira crying and a minute later, Edith.

Our beautiful daughter Edith.

Even though I could hear her cry I kept asking Tom, is she crying? I asked him over and over again. The anesthesiologist commented on how emotional we were– ha! He asked if I was going to be okay I just nodded as I bawled tears of joy.

It felt like an eternity before I could see them then they were there. Our happy bright eyed Edith girl (left) who has been that way ever since and sweet sleeping Ira (right). Tom went over with them while they were being checked. I told him to take as many pictures as possible and to film me meeting them, just my face because we weren’t supposed to film anything in the OR. I don’t think I considered how nervous he would be because when I watched the video back it’s just Tom hands shaking, recording my face and taking pictures over and over again of my face– no babies, lol. The anesthesiologist actually took our camera and started taking pictures– he was so funny, saying how nice my camera was and trying to learn all the settings.

We did it! They are safe, I am safe, we did it, praise the Lord they are really here.

That’s all I could think as they brought me back to recovery. I didn’t care about anything else. Our family was in the waiting room, which is a story for another time because I asked them to come the next day. Gosh I love them. Our photographer also came and I was so excited for her to come back but really nothing could pull me away from those first hours of holding our babies.

My favorite part of that precious time was watching Tom watch the babies. He was just so happy. He jokingly said he was scared to be alone with them before I was ready to hold them but I think really he was just nervous for the c-section, just wanting it to go well because he was so calm and happy once they were out.

We got to go back to a room and I just wanted to stare at our babies forever.

This is what holding a miracle feels like. Holding two. Two healthy, happy, perfect newborn babies. We get to be their parents. We can’t believe it.

I both wanted everyone in the world to see them right then and to keep them all to myself so I could memorize their faces forever. In part of my grieving I wondered if I would be able to bond with them without thinking of their sisters. And of course I can’t. Their sisters paved the way. For us to love them fiercer, see them clearer and to be more present for the joy they bring us.

Edith and Ira, how we love you.

Soon as I could stop throwing up (like 6 hours later) it was time for our family to meet them and what an exciting moment. I could not wait to see their faces.

 

Tommy came back first. Oh my word, your baby meeting your babies– is there anything better in life?

He was so excited! Especially about his new brother Ira but really about both babies.

It made my heart so glad to see him so happy to watch him with them.

Our parents were next, mine first then Tom’s and oh goodness, their love and support for us this whole journey– I knew I wanted to capture the moment they got to meet their grand babies.

Look at little Edith meeting my mom. Her eyes are hilarious.

 

What a beautiful day it was.

The rest of the time in the hospital was just us getting used to TWO babies. Mostly trying to figure out how to feed them and remembering to change their diapers. More than a few times nurses came in and asked if they peed or pooped and we said oh yeah, we are supposed to do that. We were just too busy looking at them. Breastfeeding went well to start (or so I thought) but by day three both babies were losing weight (10% and 12% body weight) and I decided to introduce formula (more on that in another post).

Within 6 hours I was up and walking, praise the Lord, that was something I was so scared about. The nurses made it so easy this time, they told me to stand up with my thighs– which sounds like, duh, but with my last c-section standing was EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. Walking the halls was my favorite thing to do because it felt so good to be able to move and to not be pregnant! Thirteen pounds of baby you guys, thirteen pounds of baby.

We are so blessed. So funny story, we didn’t know what Ira’s middle name was until the very last minute. I was literally asking each nurse and lactation consultant and doctor what we should name him. We had a list but I couldn’t decide. It was almost Ira Judah, it might actually still almost be Ira Judah– just as I was writing this I called our health department to see how long you have to change your baby’s name and get this– you have whole year.

But every time I thought about naming him something else I came back to Brighton, Ira Brighton, our bright rainbow baby after a loss. And Edith Bailey, our bonus baby who’s name was picked out before I even knew she would come.

We are so in awe of the Lord, that by His grace, God gave us these two precious babies. We hope when you look at them, you can see Him. Our prayer is for Ira and Edith to grow up to do great things for Jesus, we can’t wait to get to know them and watch who they will become. We pray they are a testimony of God’s grace and mercy, to everyone who meets them. That the story of their birth proves the power of prayer and of a God who is faithful to us, when we least expect it. Even when we hold on to fear and doubt, and sorrow. A God who loves us enough to give the specific and unbelievable desires of our heart–for us, twins, again.

We were two parents who were broken by the loss of our babies, who turned to Jesus and trusted him. Each time I prayed, God told me wait and see. Wait and see what I will do. We trusted Him and waited and on December 30th, 2019 God gave us Ira Brighton and Edith Bailey Taylor. The sweetest rainbow babies we never saw coming.

Your prayers for us, mean everything. Truly, the power of prayer surrounding us and our precious babies gives me goosebumps. We love you all, thanks for all of your love and support.

Always grateful, always thankful, totally in awe,

Emily

Favorite Things of 2019

Favorite Things of 2019

favorite things 2019

Hi guys, can you believe 2019 is over? So I have to admit, I wrote this post and wrote ‘2018 Favorites’ because I am still stuck in 2018 apparently. Wow. 2019 was a crazy, completely unexpected year but before it’s over I had to share my favorite things from this year.

  1. dollar tree bins— is there anything you can’t organize with bins from the dollar tree?
  2. reveal light bulbs— nothing has changed our house more than replacing old light bulbs with these
  3. Megan Fox Unlocked— she is a mennonite mom youtuber from lancaster, pa with the BEST youtube channel
  4. mac shape and shade brow tint— best eye brow tint ever
  5. scunci spiral twisters— my bun has never looked better/worst depending on the day but they hold it in so well
  6. h&m basic tees— so comfy, so versatile, the first thing in my capsule wardrobe I am confident in
  7. the entitlement cure— best book I read in 2019
  8. hoopla— free app for listening to audio books
  9. wool dryer balls— they make your laundry so fluffy
  10. torani caramel syrup— how did I even make coffee without it?
  11. soft leggings (walmart)— I lived in these the last half of 2019, even with my twin pregnancy belly
  12. house plants!—  all the house plants, I get mine from ikea, I love their price and selection
  13. silicone straws— randomly decided to kick plastic in 2019, also you can bite them and it doesn’t even show
  14. mother like a boss podcast— found this one recently but I love her spunk and advice
  15. thieves essential oil— thieves is the reason I believe in essential oils and I’m not even mad about it
  16. slipcover— gave me a whole new living room and withstood many, many washings
  17. zak insulated mug— it makes me actually drink water, especially when I use my silcone straws #sorrynotsorry
  18. flisat table— you can do SO many things with this table, it has bins so ours turns into a sensory table
  19. black canvas shoes— finally up-ed my flip flop game for $5, I wear them everywhere
34 Weeks Pregnant With Twins After Loss

34 Weeks Pregnant With Twins After Loss

Hi guys, I am writing this amazed that we are thirty four weeks pregnant with our second set of twins. How can that be? I always say ‘WE’ when referring to pregnancy and I’m not really sure why, I guess because they are Tom’s babies too and truth is, I can’t do it without him. This pregnancy has been hard but fast, hard emotionally but going completely well physically. Except for being EXTREMELY uncomfortable. How come no one talks about how uncomfortable pregnancy is? Twin pregnancy is that times two. Which I guess everyone figures but until you do it…phew.

If I could change anything it would be how much I complain because how can you complain carrying a miracle like two babies at once? But man does it hurt. Truth is I know it was because of not taking care of my body postpartum. Pelvic floor muscles are no joke. My doctor kindly reminded me I carried five babes in three years but still. Twin pregnancies are so hard.

We are in great anticipation of baby Ira and Edith coming. THREE WEEKS is crazy. Everyone asks us if we are ready and the answer is YES but also no, not at all. Two babies to take home? How can that be?

As quickly and painfully as this pregnancy has gone, painful physically and emotionally, God’s faithfulness remains. I am learning I don’t have to look for it in each healthy ultrasound report or mark it by each successful OB appointment.

It is hard to separate the two. God’s faithfulness and a healthy pregnancy being the proof but God is always faithful, no matter how this goes. Amen? Tom tells me these babies are a reward and I actually argue with him about that (still do). As if we were given twins again because we didn’t terminate our first. I don’t think that is how God works. His faithfulness is infinite. His love for us greater than our circumstance and greater than our response. Tom is right, children are a reward. But all of our children are a reward. All five of them.

I don’t see Ira and Edith as more of a gift because they are going to live. I don’t see Eliza and Ensley as less because we knew they would die. All five of my babies came from God, who loves us and has a plan for them. God’s faithfulness is bigger than us. Greater than our pain, and better than our understanding.

I’ve had people tell me my logic is flawed because if God were so good and faithful why would He let our babies die? This is an actual thing people have said to me at 34 weeks pregnant after losing babies. I know right? The thing is we don’t know. But we know God knows and we trust Him.

Thanks for praying for us friends! We cherish all of you who have followed are story. Especially thank you for seeing these twins as a blessing to us and encouraging us in believing that. They truly are and we can’t wait to meet them.

Always grateful, always thankful,

Emily

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