Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our twin sons.

 Easter is usually an emotional day for me.
Not only is it the day
that I am most thankful for,
that Jesus died for me
and washed away my sins
so that I might live eternally 
but also it is a day I remember 
with gratitude and sadness.
On April 22nd, 1984
they were born
on Easter Sunday
at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis
by an emergency cesarean.
They were 6 weeks early.
They were twin boys 
with red hair like their mom.
We welcomed
Daniel Stephen and Douglas Stuart Fox.
They were lovingly named after 
their dad's two older brothers,
Douglas and Stephen.
They were a combined weight 
of 8lbs.7 oz., and were 21" long.
You see, they were conjoined.
They shared a heart and part of their livers.
They were joined nipple to nipple
and down to their navel.
A very small connection when
you consider the size of a newborn.
It was a scary day,
with a huge team in the delivery room.
At least 25 people were present.
Some were for me, some for them.
I got to see my babies in a incubator 
before they were taken away.
A lot of it is foggy to me.
I think the drugs and stress
caused a big part of this.
 I had a large vertical incision
for their delivery
since they were so large.
It was a pretty tough first few days.
They were taken to Children's
and I was in Jewish/Barnes.
I could go visit in a wheelchair 
after a few days.
Stuart got to stay in my room which
was really unheard of in those days.
I was released after a week and
 we stayed in the Ronald McDonald House.
Finally, I got to hold my babies.
As soon as they were in my arms
they opened their eyes.
We hadn't seen their eyes open before.
They knew me.
I cry joyful tears remembering it.
The doctors did lots of tests
and consulted with
doctors around the world.
The consensus was not good.
There was no fixing the situation.
Their heart had 4 chambers at the top
but only 2 in the bottom.
Since the top does the storing and
the bottom does the pumping
this wasn't good news.
There would be no separating them.
The fact was they were going to live
until their combined heart gave out.
There was nothing anyone could do.
We visited the unit and sat with them.
It was really difficult,
because Annie was 20 mos. old
and back at home over 2 hours away.
I wanted to be both places.
Stuart and I were blessed 
to have both our moms there the entire time.
They kept us fed and kept us loved.
After our experience with Ollie Faith,
I now realize how difficult it was for them also.
We would call in the night to check on the babies.
After about two weeks,
they were having really hard nights.
We were told they were 
getting close to heart failure.
The doctors said we needed to make a decision.
We could leave them in the unit
and take the chance that
we would be with them, 
or move them to a special room
and unhook the machines
and be with them when they died.
I went in the bathroom.
I wanted to scream.
I cried out to God,
how do we decide this?
We prayed and we decided the latter,
because we absolutely wanted to be with them
when they went home to Jesus.
Our entire families came.
Everyone held them.
Everyone loved on them.
Then everyone left the room.
Stuart and I took 
our sweet sons and held them
while sitting in a window seat in the sun.
A nurse came and explained that
she would take off the oxygen.
She said they would gasp a few times 
and then they would be gone.
We kissed their faces.
We told them how much we loved them.
We promised we would see them again.
We told them how much more
Jesus loved them than we did.
The nurse came in and did what she explained.
It happened just as she said it would.
They were 17 days old.
It was my Dad's 65th birthday.
Eventually, the days got easier, 
although the grief never goes away.
However, the experience has blessed us immensely.
We had Abbie 2 weeks short of a year later.
We had Maggie 20 months after that.
We grew in our marriage
and we grew in our faith.
Our families bonded with each other.
When we couldn't find strength
Jesus carried us.
When we couldn't find words to pray
the Holy Spirit prayed for us.
We learned what is important in life
and what is just stuff.
It formed our character,
 gave us perspective, and real compassion.
I wouldn't change a thing. 
God's plan is always the best.
I am trusting God's promises.
 I am seeing my twins again one day.
We are spending eternity together.
This life on earth is short.
Eternity is a better deal.
It is the one deal I know I can count on.
You can count on it too,
 if you will give him your heart
and give him your life.
For God so loved the world,
he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Dear sweet Janie. This story (among others you share) explains the unique and special bond that is apparent in your family. Such beauty has come from what must be incredible pain. Thank you for sharing this story. It has enlarged my faith and the hope I have in the life to come - forever with Christ & those we love and hold so dear to our hearts.

  2. I remember Doug and Dan often, especially around this time of year, when my own Son, born 2 days later than his cousins, has his own birthday. I remember thinking I didn't know how you and Stuart made it through. I found out a few years later when I lost Casey. I know we will be with our children again one day, Janie. I think that's part of the reason why I feel especially connected to you, even from miles away. :)



  3. By the way, after THIS one, you ought to change the title of your blog. This was no "blather".

  4. What a beautiful post.
    I cannot imagine pain like that.

  5. So sweet and so heartbreaking...makes my heart hurt for you all these years later. I can only imagine what that was like. Praise the Lord we have eternity to look forward to! Its not over!

  6. you were right...i cried. i can't imagine them, but i look forward to meeting them so bad.

  7. Sweet Janie..... how my heart cries for you. You know I have my twinsies ... and my own Jacob's struggles.... oh Lord, I don't know what to say........

    Prayers for your comfort from jersey......

    with tears,

  8. Simply heartbreaking and beautiful. Happy Wednesday. :)

  9. Words escape me. So touching. Praying for you this week as you remember. Praying especially on Friday....

  10. Janie, We who have lost to heaven have a special treasure waiting for us. You have been obedient in sharing your pain so others can know God's grace & love. I will pray that your memories this week will include the promises of God and He will comfort you as you remember.

  11. More tears as I type... Dear Janie, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your family and your life with all your "yet unmet, bloggie sisters!"
    You and ALL your boys and girls have enriched my life so much!
    Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Easter!

  12. Janie, I purposely waited until I was not rushed to read your beautiful post because I remembered you speaking of your much loved sons before. I wanted to read what you said without distraction.

    There are really no adequate words that anyone can say, except you said it all so eloquently as only their mama could.

    We sometimes never know why unspeakable things happen, sometimes it takes years to understand. God Bless your family for all their strength, faith and perseverence. I've learned that sadness like this either breaks someone or makes them stronger and I am happy your family became stronger.

    I know you think of them everyday and this Easter I will have another reason for hope and renewal.


  13. thank you for this. I think it's a great reminder to all of what matters and what doesn't. God is so faithful.

  14. What amazing parents these boys and girls have. A heartbreaking and moving story. You are brave and strong. Thanks for sharing and touching my heart this afternoon.

  15. Janie, I am so sorry.. I totally agree and believe, that you WILL see your twin sons again when you all meet in Heaven! We sometimes don't understand why things like this happen, but God does, and I'm sure he will have and share all his answers someday with us..
    Thank you so much for sharing.. You and your husband are such wonderful, loving people, and you both have such awesome adult children and their spouses, & also your grandchildren are all pretty special too!


  16. oh janie... as i try to type through my tears. thank you so for sharing your sweet story. feel so blessed to have 'met' you and your family :)

  17. Thank you so much for this post. I can't stop crying. This put so much in perspective for me and the pain I have been going through. I absolutely love your faith, it is beautiful.

  18. Oh my gosh...thank you for your lovely honesty Janie. Your faith is truly inspiring, God bless.

  19. Your daughter led me to this page. I am in tears. I lost my three month old two weeks ago...the pain is still fresh. God bless you. Your angel babies are with my Corbin now. <3

  20. What an incredible story and thank you for sharing it.

    Your faith is truly inspiring.

  21. That was beautiful and heart-wrenching.... You wrote in a way that really captured your pain, longing, and heart of deep love for your boys. I somehow feel comforted and strengthened by your words of faith and wisdom.... Thank you for sharing this precious life story....and making us know they are a part of you still....

  22. You will be together forever, and I know you can't wait to be with them again....

    how tragic this story is and how powerful it is at the same time....
    there really are no words....only prayers for you and your husband as you remember each year this incredibly sad day in your journey together.

  23. I wanted you to know I read this post. Thanks for sharing your story. XO Robyn

  24. Wow. I can't even begin to describe the emotions that are running through me right now. May God bless you and your family.

  25. Thankyou for sharing. I can not imagine how hard losing your boys must have been. Heavens reunion is going to be awesome.

  26. You made me cry, Janie. I'm so sorry that your family had to endure such pain..but am so thankful that you are able to hold fast to the promise of being with them again someday.Prayers for you today on what I know must be a horribly difficult day to get through (I have one of those days every year myself, although slightly different....). Happy birthday to your little angel boys.

  27. You r so right! What's important in life and what is just stuff! Your whole family and faith is truely inspiring! I cried reading ur post but also was moved and went and kissed my babies! God bless u and ur family on their coming home to Jesus day......and thank you for sharing!

  28. What a beautiful witness you sre for Our Lord Jesus. My heart goes out to you. I certainly have tears. My good friend lost twin boys and it is still so very hard for her on the anniversary of the day she lost them. Bless your heart

  29. Aunt Janie-Thanks for sharing such a tender part of your heart and your life with all of us around you. You have an incredible testimony, and are an example of real life, I truely had no idea what these days were for you and Uncle Stu. Sending love to you both, Jessie

  30. Beautiful words. I have not experienced the pain of losing a child, but last summer we lost our nephew. The days we spent in the hospital waiting for his organs to be placed were the toughest days of my life. I've been amazed by the strength and faith we have witnessed in my BIL and SIL this year. Tragedy has brought our whole family so much closer. Thank you so much for sharing your loss with us in such a beautiful way. Sending hugs even though I don't know you.


Thanks for reading my blather. I read every comment. They make my heart happy!