FROM GREATEST TRIAL TO GREATEST VICTORY
My life is not what I thought it would be when I got married at 20.
Hi, my name is Kristy. I’m a small-town prairie girl from Saskatchewan, Canada, now living in the bustling core of Downtown Vancouver, Canada. My husband Chris is one of my greatest inspirations: he is a former war refugee from Rwanda turned pastor. Serving Jesus together in ministry was not only our biggest common denominator when we first met nine years ago, it has also been the biggest foundation of our lives. God gave us the most gorgeous identical twin girls, London Kate and Kyleigh Anne. They were our biggest trials and are now our greatest victories.
Finding out we were having twins was an amazing feeling that only lasted 24 hours. Originally, we had only been told we were having one baby, but in the haste of our first ultrasound, they had missed the second baby who was apparently hiding behind the other. It was when we went for our gender-reveal ultrasound that we discovered there were two babies! Shortly after, I sat through one of the hardest meetings I have ever had. My OBGYN explained to me that my twins were a rare kind and only happened in 1% of twin pregnancies. My girls were Monochorionic/Monoamniotic (‘Momo’) twins. Not only did they share the same amniotic sac, there was no dividing membrane between them. With two umbilical cords in a small space, there were many life-threatening risks, the greatest being entanglement of their umbilical cords. The doctors gave them a 50% survival rate and, while as a mom I wanted to celebrate every stage of their development, the larger they grew, the more of a death chamber my womb became.
The overwhelming joy I had that I would be a mom vanished and fear began tormenting mind. Behind the smiles and faux-joy in public, I was screaming inside. I stopped posting my pregnancy stages for fear of announcing something tragic had happened. I was afraid to take the tags off the clothes from my baby shower “in case” I had to return them. I was anxious that, at any given moment, they could be tangled inside of me. The fearful thoughts and images were endless! However, it was in those times of greatest desperation and need that Jesus revealed Himself to me. He was my comfort, my hiding place, my refuge. It was only through Him that I found the peace that I had longed for.
I will never forget when my eyes landed on Isaiah 41:10 in the MESSAGE,
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.”
Tears streamed down my face. It wasn’t just any random person that said there wasn’t anything to fear but it was, Jesus. My Jesus. The sweetest name and the name above all other names. The name that defeated the enemy and every power of darkness was speaking this to me! This verse gave me reassurance and became the anthem of my heart. As I tightly clung onto it I began to see a shift in my mind. Instead of trusting every negative medical report we received, I began to trust the report of the Great Physician whose report is always good. My heart became fixed, and I knew He was preparing me for the battle ahead.
On July 3, 2015, the enemy had a plan to wipe out one of my daughters. At 26 weeks, I would begin intense monitoring of the babies to make sure they were progressing well. I would receive a home nurse every morning in my home where she would perform the check-up, and in the evening, I would need to visit the hospital.
The night before the home nurse was scheduled to visit me, I got a call from my doctor telling me they were so swamped with home visits that she just couldn’t get one for me. She asked if I could come into the hospital for the check-up instead. I, of course, agreed. She said, “We have you booked for the morning, but if you prefer, you can sleep in and come at noon instead.” Noon would normally have sounded good (I’m not a morning person at all), but for whatever reason, I agreed to come in early the following day.
The next morning I got in right away. Everything seemed to be going well, at least I thought. I saw on the screen that the girls looked to be resting which is what I wanted, but evidently, it was not what the technician wanted to see. He walked out of the room, and after two minutes one of the doctors assigned to me came running in with a wheelchair saying the dreaded: “Hi Kristy, I’m really sorry to meet you this way, but Twin A is receiving a very limited blood flow and I am so sorry but we may need to deliver these babies right now.”
After a second ultrasound, they were 100% certain. “This is just a false alarm”, I thought to myself. It wasn’t really registering with me just yet. I don’t know if it was the drugs or my nerves, but everything suddenly felt like it was blurring out, but then I heard a familiar voice: Chris had just arrived. He grabbed my hand as I tried to quickly explain what is happening, but the doctor leaned over and said he needed our consent to proceed with the emergency surgery. The safest place for them, my womb, was becoming more deadly by the second.
When we asked for a minute to think and pray, the doctor frankly replied, “If you wait five minutes, you will have a dead baby.”
Chris grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s do it, they will be okay.”
Without waiting another second, they rushed me into the operating room. In my heart, I knew that God was watching over our girls but I couldn’t help but break into tears. I was so nervous. I felt so unprepared for the C-section and had no clue what all was to happen.
Miraculously, an hour later we were looking at two beautiful girls. But then I began going through the what if’s of the situation. What if I had chosen to come in at noon instead of early in the morning? What if the ultrasound office, where they discovered London’s BPM rapidly dropping, had been busy that morning?
My Bible says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” God had orchestrated everything for our daughters’ arrival.
We were now parents to two fragile micro preemies weighing about 1.5 pounds each. This was just the beginning of the faith battle before us. The NICU became our home where we would wait 24 days to hold them, 69 days to see their full faces (without masks and breathing tubes), 86 days to hear them cry, and 113 long days before bringing them home. Through 26 diagnoses, multiple blood transfusions, heart surgeries, and other countless measures, we saw a miracle literally take place right before our eyes. Even when things looked bleak and the doctors couldn’t give us a promise that they would survive, God’s promises of abundant life were the promises that carried us through.
In that season, God showed me His love and peace like I have never experienced before. He became so real to me and showed me just how present He is in our lives. God’s love is the real deal, no matter how bleak or brutal the circumstance. He is faithful to his word and to fulfill his promises. I’ve learned that, with Him, there’s nothing to fear!