July is our family's month of birthday's, not only the most birthdays in any given month but they are all miracle birthday's and I love the fact that it is the seventh month because this is GOD's number and I am so blessed.
My son Jason (the child we could never have, the result of a motorcycle accident - mine) was born on the 5th July 1979, words cannot even begin to describe the joy we felt that day.
Jason and his wife Natalie were told that they too could not have children but with the aid of medical science there was a chance this obstacle could be overcome. I will never forget the joy we all shared when they broke the news of their success, Natalie was pregnant. This joy was to be doubled when a little while later it was announced that twins were expected but this was not the end of this wonderful news... there was more, as a short while later the news was upgraded to triplets. We were all overjoyed but daunted with the thought of this multiple birth.
About a week later Jay and Nat came to see me and both were heartbroken and distraught, Nat was expecting Quads..... yes this would be challenging but what a blessing. Devastatingly, the specialist had advised that it would be wise to consider 'selective reduction' and terminate two to give the other two a better fighting chance at survival and Jay and Nat were looking for some guidance and advice. I have to tell you that I was dumbfounded and speechless for a little while. "Choose, your words carefully Pete", I thought. Whatever I said at that point I would have to live with the consequences forever and it would irrevocably influence any decision that this heartbroken, beautiful young couple would make.
I told them that no matter who said what, the decision was theirs and theirs alone... in unison but that guidance would best be sought through prayer and their resulting conscience. I also said, "I don't know how anyone can ask a parent (I'm not going to get into any debate over the point that one becomes a parent suffice to say I believe it's at the point of conception) to choose which life to end and which to nurture". I went on to say, "I could not make that choice. I would have to leave the outcome to nature, in God's hands". I felt very honoured to have been approached by my children for guidance in such a serious and personal problem. To what extent those words influenced them I will probably never really know but I do know that their final decision was in line with my own and for that I am eternally grateful to them and the Lord.
Natalie went into labour early, after 26 week gestation - some 22 weeks early ("just viable" I believe was the terminology used) and on the 13th July 2006, weighing between 500 - 800 grams each were born Lachlan, Matilda, Hayley and Faith and so began a tremendous battle to nurture these four little lives to maturity. Sadly on the 15th (just two days later) Jay and Nat were given some personal time with Faith who was fading too quickly. I will never forget watching with heart shattering unbelievable sorrow, humility and respect as my Son carried the casket of his daughter Faith with dignity, from the Funeral service to the hearse.
The battle for life with the remaining three was taxing in the extreme but even the 'worst', if you can scale any of this, Hayley with a hole in the heart and subsequent damage to her larynx during the repair heart surgery has had it's tremendous successes and the joy felt at those times is beyond words. This past Friday the 13th, they all turned 6 and much fun was poked at the three turning 6 on black Friday the 13th. So much so that they were the headline story in the Toowoomba Chronicle (largest rag in the region) with headline "Three little Devils turn 666". None of them have any birthmarks of any sort by the way and they are our little angels, although a bit boisterous at times. The thing that saddens me is the often thoughtless term used to describe these three, Locky (Lachlan), Tilly (Matilda) and Hales (Hayley) as the "Triplet's". This seem to me to deny the existence of the fourth child - Faith, who's life although short, is celebrated at every occasion for she is still with us in spirit.
Also this month is the Birthday of our most recent Grandson "Cameron" who will be three, born on the 23rd July 2009 to Jay and Nat, the most miraculous of all the children for a number of reasons beginning with natural conception and despite additional scan's for problems was born with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. So began the family's most challenging battle (the previous and ongoing battle with the Quad's would seem like a walk in the park by comparison, if one can scale these issues and challenges.) I have to say this little man has an AWESOME personality and has a smile that will melt a heart of stone. He is truly a miracle child determined to succeed. I can say honestly and truthfully that whenever I feel a little low, I think of Cameron and immediately give thanks to GOD for my own fortune and the blessing of this little man in my life for he is my hero. Anyone who can endure what this little man has and maintain that positive attitude is no less than a Saint.
I have not spoken much about Natalie in my blogs because Nat is a very private person who loves helping others, especially children but from the shadows. Recently she was instrumental in organising a return flight to Melbourne from Brisbane (Australia) for a very ill Heartkid, this is just who she is and in order to respect that privacy it is all I will say.
For the first time ever we stayed over at Jay and Nat's on Saturday night (we always feared adding to their burden so had declined previous invitations). We took sleeping bags but didn't have room in our little Yarris for much more after adding a few presents. The girls Tilly and Hales gave up their beds for us - very insistently I might add and they had determined who would sleep in which bed - something to do with the lingering odour I believe (in a positive sense), when I queried the process of determining the sleeping arrangements.
What an awesome weekend we had - I am so Blessed!