Dear Keith and Kylie,
Both father and daughter share the same birthday for a special reason.
Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with baby #5, pregnancy was progressing very nicely. I hardly felt sick at all. In fact, Keith and I were thrilled and expectant for this new life. We had a boy's and girl's name picked out. So, when I started bleeding at 11 weeks, we came to the sudden realization that life is not always what we expect. And it certainly isn't always what we want. In fact, we were devastated.
My heart of hearts cried out to the Lord, "Why, O, WHY? Why did we lose this child? We've been faithful to You! We've TRUSTED You! Why did you rip this baby away from us?"
And as the pain ebbed, God's peace filled us. Slowly, we once again realized that all is in God's hands. If we trust Him for life's most wonderful blessings -- a loving spouse, beautiful children, a home, work, food -- then we also have to trust Him for life's curses. There is nothing that comes to us that does not first go through His hand. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Once again, some six months later, I was pregnant again. Despite the hard lessons learned, we were much less confident. In fact, we had just found out with the miscarriage before that I had an antibody in my blood that had the potential of harming a fetus. Once I hit six months, I would have to undergo a series of amniocentesis to check on the baby's development. If for any reason the doctors found water on the baby's brain or spinal cord, they would need to go in and do a inter-uterine blood transfusion -- blood into the umbilical cord to counteract the damage done by the antibody. The baby was susceptible to spina bifida, brain damage and even death.
It was a scary time for us. Keith and I prayed and followed doctor's orders to the "T". Every few weeks, I'd go in and get a big long needle stuck into my belly. For at least 24 hours, I was not allowed to lift anything or be too active, which of course was such a laugh with four other children at home, seven and under! Yet, each week that passed was one week closer to the due date.
Finally, as we rounded the 37th week, the doctor said to go ahead and schedule induction. The baby's lungs were developed and, in his opinion, the sooner the baby was out, the sooner she would be out of danger from the antibody. As it so happens, the next week was Keith's birthday. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a baby on Daddy's birthday!
Induction was not a thrilling prospect, but since I had discovered the joys of an EPIDURAL with Kathleen's birth, labor in general was not the scary thing it had once been. So, off to the hospital I went. Labor went like clockwork, and since the baby was born a few weeks early, she was a tiny little thing, weighing in at 5 1/2 pounds. So tiny was the baby, that she practically fell out. It was the only time in all of my deliveries that I had to pant to keep from pushing so that the doctor could arrive in time to the delivery room! It is some doing to STOP delivery.
Out you popped, Kylie Louise. We were so very happy to see you! The doctors decided what we knew right off -- you were absolutely fine! And what a blessing you've been ever since! How thankful we are for you. How much you fill our hearts.
And let's not forget whose birthday you stole along with his heart.
Daddy says that he doesn't have a birthday anymore. But here's the funny thing about parents and their children. He doesn't care. He'd much rather see YOU have a wonderful birthday. It makes him happy to see you happy, Kylie. In fact, even though all of the kids go out with Daddy on their birthdays, I think you have the most special time.
May God continue to grow you strong for Him. May His light shine through you in all that you do. May you never forget the miracle that you are to your Mom and Dad.
And to Keith, who never gets a birthday anymore, I am so glad that you were born 44 years ago, so that you could head up this household to honor God. Let us strive harder to do His will.
Wife and Mommy