This is the day I met my third child for the first time. I held her one week later, attempted to nurse her two weeks after that.

Firstlook

After God did a miracle in my marriage, I started dreaming of having another baby.  A third child.  We were already blessed with a girl and boy and thought we were done. 

But then, we fell in love again.  And it just seemed right that a baby come from our new union.

I got pregnant right away, but that precious baby flew to the arms of Jesus.

Several months later, I conceived again.  I was very sick from the beginning and spent almost the entire summer in bed, watching my six and four year old play in the backyard from my window.

My pregnancy was a nightmare.  I faced serious problems throughout from a kidney stone, among other complications.  During my pregnancy, I was seen by 5 specialists, took  14 rounds of antibiotics, and had a medical procedure by a urologist when I was 27 weeks pregnant without anesthesia. 

At 32 weeks, my baby was diagnosed with a failure to thrive and an emergency delivery began.

I went through hours of labor and developed a fever from the infection that wracked my body and she was delivered by emergency c-section.

It was terrifying.  I remember being rushed down the hall and the panic that surrounded me. And do you know how I felt?  Even in that moment of terror, I was simply relieved that my hellish pregnancy was ending.

My tiny daughter was born and whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care because she wasn’t breathing well and they were considering transporting her to a hospital downtown.

I sent my hubby to be with her.  He stayed by her side the entire night, praying.

She was born on Dec. 16th and bares the name Grace, to remind us of God’s grace in our marriage. I spent my birthday and wedding anniversary in the hospital.  She stayed through Christmas and New Year’s.

Guilt was my friend during my hospital stay.  I felt terrible for wishing for her early birth and scared that she wouldn’t make it because of my body’s inability to sustain her in utero.

The night that I will remember forever was Christmas Eve.  We were home trying to make things ‘normal’ for our other kids.  It was bedtime and we got a call from the hospital.  Our baby had taken a turn for the worse and they wanted us to come.

My Mom slept on my sofa and my Dad went with us to the hospital. 

It was the most difficult night of my life, watching my tiny baby stripped naked, hooked to wires, fighting for her life.  My Dad laid hands on her and prayed.

I cried. And God taught me again about grace.

I was desperate, not from a shattered marriage this time, but from a place I’d never been before: fear my child would die.

Nothing else mattered at that moment.  Not the car I drove, my home or the money in the bank. 

It was about life and not losing it.  And about me, giving God my child.

That was hard.

She stabilized and we made it home just in time for an exhausted Santa to fill the stockings.

We spent the rest of Christmas Day at the hospital and every day after that until our baby came home.

We learned CPR and she stayed on a heart monitor until she was six months old.

We return every Christmas Day to the NICU to celebrate her anniversary (with goodies for the staff). This was our third year.

Emmy1

December 25, 2009

This child was conceived amongst the rubble of a damaged marriage because of God’s Grace. I didn’t know that her very life–and wow, does she celebrate living as a wild toddler–would be a daily reminder of the grace that carried us through a very dark night.

I don’t know where you are today, you may be hanging on by a thread. I write this to remind you that even in the ashes, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

It is His Grace that will carry you.

Because it is amazing.

by Kristen

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  1. 1

    Ah, Kristen, what a beautiful part of your testimony this is. You have brought back memories of when I was pregnant with my 3rd. That pregnancy-although not as turbulent as yours-was still laden with bad news after bad news. It was the first time I cried out to Him and felt His presence so acutely.
    And as I look at my effervescent 6 year old today, I am reminded that His grace is amazing indeed!
    Thank you for sharing your story…it so blessed me today.

  2. 2

    Thanks for sharing that story. God’s grace is amazing. Our third was going to be named Mia Grace if he had been a girl. And I also experienced kidney stones in my eighth and ninth month of pregnanacy. It almost put me in labor six weeks early. He ended up being a little late and weighing 10lb.7oz. Your little Grace is precious.

  3. 3

    Oh, this made me cry and smile in equal measure! Beautiful!
    Cxx

  4. 4

    She is beautiful!

  5. 5

    And you have blessed me this morning, not because I’m in some place of crying out, but because how easily I forget that others are.
    When my fifth was born, she wasn’t planned and I was already a frazzled mom of four small ones, and I was not impressed.
    What a gift I was receiving and all I could do was think about how I wanted other things.
    And we were healthy and living in abundance and in love.
    What more could someone want.
    Grace has touched my learning heart too.

  6. 6

    And you have blessed me this morning, not because I’m in some place of crying out, but because how easily I forget that others are.
    When my fifth was born, she wasn’t planned and I was already a frazzled mom of four small ones, and I was not impressed.
    What a gift I was receiving and all I could do was think about how I wanted other things.
    And we were healthy and living in abundance and in love.
    What more could someone want.
    Grace has touched my learning heart too.

  7. 7

    Kristen — she’s so beautiful — a reflection of Him through your heart. The stories He writes on our lives!
    God uses to bless — and I just whisper sweet thanks….
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  8. 8

    What a touching story. I have truly appreciated you sharing your heart-breaking stories. It must be difficult to write, yet many people are (and will be) blessed and encouraged by them!
    Thank you Kristen!

  9. 9

    You have a beautiful story! I can totally relate being a mom of 3 preemies:2 here and 1 in heaven. My girls are now 5 & 6 and healthy. It was a hard time but we definitely made it through by God’s grace!

  10. 10

    Thank God for His great mercy. Thank you for sharing your testimony of His Grace living with you.

  11. 11

    Thank you Kristen, just what i needed to hear today. We’ve just been hanging on by a thread since Oct 5th, the day my grandson was diagnosed with a malignant braintumor at the age of 11 months. I never ever thought i would sit in the PICU looking at my grandson not knowing if he will have a chance to grow up.
    I dropped my daughter and grandson off last weekend out of state for his proton radiation treatment(6 weeks), i miss them so much. I’m used to seeing him almost every day and you are right, sometimes it feels like you are alone.

  12. 12

    Thank you Kristen. You brought a flood of memories back of NICU..and my first Son..who is now 28. Grace is beautiful..what blessing from turbulent times.

  13. 13

    Thank you Kristen. You brought a flood of memories back of NICU..and my first Son..who is now 28. Grace is beautiful..what blessing from turbulent times.

  14. 14

    Wow…the emotional roller coaster you must have been on. My 3 pregnancies were pretty normal so when I hear/read stories such as yours I am amazed at HIS work behind your GRACE.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. 15

    I had to write, you see my third child is also named Grace. After her birth, it was I who was critically ill and near death. She too was conceived after a break of trust in my marriage. The marriage did not last, but oh the joy that my Gracie brings me. I don’t deserve her, but oh how I love her! Her dad just doesn’t know what he’s missing! My Gracie is 19 years old and growing into such a beautiful young woman. You’ve made me aware of something that has been there all along…an epiphany of sorts… It is going to be my goal to say a prayer of thanksgiving more often for my Grace and most of all for God’s grace. Thank you for sharing!

  16. 16

    I had to write, you see my third child is also named Grace. After her birth, it was I who was critically ill and near death. She too was conceived after a break of trust in my marriage. The marriage did not last, but oh the joy that my Gracie brings me. I don’t deserve her, but oh how I love her! Her dad just doesn’t know what he’s missing! My Gracie is 19 years old and growing into such a beautiful young woman. You’ve made me aware of something that has been there all along…an epiphany of sorts… It is going to be my goal to say a prayer of thanksgiving more often for my Grace and most of all for God’s grace. Thank you for sharing!

  17. 17

    what a precious little girl! and beautiful story… it totally made me cry first thing this morning.

  18. 18

    what a precious little girl! and beautiful story… it totally made me cry first thing this morning.

  19. 19

    What a beautiful reminder of what God can do! From the rubble of a marriage, difficult and dangerous pregnancy, to a little fighter wrapped in Grace, He brings us to the other side and blesses our journey in the process. I’m reminded of how HE DOES bring us out of darkness and into His hope and grace.

  20. 20

    What a beautiful reminder of what God can do! From the rubble of a marriage, difficult and dangerous pregnancy, to a little fighter wrapped in Grace, He brings us to the other side and blesses our journey in the process. I’m reminded of how HE DOES bring us out of darkness and into His hope and grace.

  21. 21

    Thank you, Kristen, for sharing such a personal story. My daughter, Grace, was born after God healed our broken and torn marriage. After our marriage was healed, we had our daughter. The only name that seemed appropriate was Grace. God has shown his grace on our marriage and lives, healing so many wounds and hurts. She is our reminder of what God did. And yes, she is amazing, too. :-)

  22. 22

    Thank you, Kristen, for sharing such a personal story. My daughter, Grace, was born after God healed our broken and torn marriage. After our marriage was healed, we had our daughter. The only name that seemed appropriate was Grace. God has shown his grace on our marriage and lives, healing so many wounds and hurts. She is our reminder of what God did. And yes, she is amazing, too. :-)

  23. 23

    this is a beautiful story of God’s Grace for sure. I relate to much of it…the hard pregnancy that ended in emergency c-section. The relief that the pregnancy was over feeling as strong (or stronger?) than the desire to meet my baby. (for a few moments, anyway). The guilt I couldn’t keep him in longer. The NICU. The giving him back to God.
    and the shattered marriage…been there two times too.
    Aah…the GRACE. God is good. We are still happily married (almost 20 years now)! Our little guy spent four upanddown months with us before he went home to Jesus. I am whole–in spite of the pain we’ve endured–God has healed. Aah…Grace. Thanks for sharing your story and your little girl!

  24. 24

    Thank you for sharing your story! It brought back memories of when my son was born and sent directly to NICU. I wasn’t close with God at the time and I never prayed over him while he was there. I am glad I have found God again but I am sad that I never prayed over him.

  25. 25

    This is beautiful.
    And I never thought I’d scroll down to see that beautiful little girl.
    Thanks for this reminder.

  26. 26
    Mrs Tina says:

    Oh Kristen, what a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing with us.
    My first child was a preemie too, he was 6 weeks early and when they took me into the delivery room, they couldn’t find his heart beat! I was so scared and prayed for God to save my baby. The reason they couldn’t find his heart beat was that he was breach, he came out bottom first. He was so tiny, a full head of dark hair and beautiful! Thank God he was okay, he did have to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks to recover the weight he had lost and get back up to 5 lbs before we could take him home.
    He is now 35, married with a 5 year old son of his own.
    Blessings, Tina

  27. 27
    Melanie says:

    I am in tears! Thank you for writing about your miracle! I am expecting my 3rd child, also, and I also have a daughter & a son already. Thankfully, it has been a very uneventful, problem-free pregnancy so far, but I can truly identify with conceiving miracles in the rubble of a marriage being rebuilt. Thank you so much for this, and I am so thankful for you & your daughter Grace, and the Grace of God, which I feel every day.

  28. 28

    *BEAUTIFUL* story.. Thank you so much for sharing :) This makes my day.

  29. 29

    *BEAUTIFUL* story.. Thank you so much for sharing :) This makes my day.

  30. 30

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  31. 31

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  32. 32

    Kristen, thanks so much for sharing your testimony and the amazing miracle of Grace’s life. She is adorable. Thank you for using this venue to share the awesome healing power of the Lord, and to let people know that “God is Good….all the time.”

  33. 33

    Kristen, thanks so much for sharing your testimony and the amazing miracle of Grace’s life. She is adorable. Thank you for using this venue to share the awesome healing power of the Lord, and to let people know that “God is Good….all the time.”

  34. 34

    i have seen your blog before but not followed it regularly. I felt like you were talking to me at the end of your post..I am hanging on by a really thin thread that feels like it is going to break…i feel like a failure as a mom, wife, and child of God. please keep me in your prayers.
    much love and blessings from ga~erin

  35. 35

    i have seen your blog before but not followed it regularly. I felt like you were talking to me at the end of your post..I am hanging on by a really thin thread that feels like it is going to break…i feel like a failure as a mom, wife, and child of God. please keep me in your prayers.
    much love and blessings from ga~erin

  36. 36

    All I can say is: this is incredible. And thank you.

  37. 37

    All I can say is: this is incredible. And thank you.

  38. 38

    Kristen, I love that you take goodies to the NICU! I delivered my daughter at 33 weeks, and for the first several months after she came home, I had “make cookies for NICU nurses” on my to-do list. But then as time went on – and parenting did not get any easier – I finally acknowledged that I would never get around to it. So I stopped writing in on my list. You’ve inspired me to think again about that – those people in the NICU saved my life and took amazing care of my baby girl!!

  39. 39

    Kristen, I love that you take goodies to the NICU! I delivered my daughter at 33 weeks, and for the first several months after she came home, I had “make cookies for NICU nurses” on my to-do list. But then as time went on – and parenting did not get any easier – I finally acknowledged that I would never get around to it. So I stopped writing in on my list. You’ve inspired me to think again about that – those people in the NICU saved my life and took amazing care of my baby girl!!

  40. 40

    Amazing Story. Thanks for sharing this.
    She is just adorable. ;)

  41. 41

    Kristen, your mother’s heart for Grace reminds us so much of our Heavenly Father’s heart for us. Thank you for reflecting his love so authentically and beautifully, in your words, life, and family.

  42. 42

    Thanks for sharing Kristen! It still amazes me the wonders that God works when we think it may not be possible. You are truly blessed!

  43. 43

    What a beautiful story you shared with us straight from your heart. Thank you, it gives me the hope that I need, and again reminds us of His Grace……yes…..His Grace.

  44. 44

    Thank you for sharing, Kristen.
    I follow your blog regularly, but didn’t know we share something in common: a 32-week preemie. :-)
    My son was born at 32 weeks (2008) in what was a very tumultuous year for our family (in more ways than I will recount here). Our son was in the NICU for just 23 days, and spent 4 months on the monitor after coming home. Thankfully, today you would never know he was a preemie! He would not have lived (even survived the birth) if he were not born in this era (of history) or with the level of medical care that we are blessed with here in America. We named him Micah, which means “Who Is Like Our God?!” because we prayed for him so much throughout the pregnancy and his early days–and God answered!
    I’m now pregnant (with our 3rd) and for two months, I’ve been struggling w preterm labor(sometimes contractions are 2-3 minutes apart for half the day, despite being on progesterone shots since week 20, procardia and bedrest for several weeks, and a shot of terbutaline last week). Thankfully, I’ve made it to week 33! We are hoping she might even go full-term. Bedrest is so challenging right now, especially with two older children.
    We have chosen a name with the meaning “grace.” We certainly need HIS grace right now, and God knew we needed HER, and God is giving His grace for each moment. For all her life, we want her name to testify to our daughter of His grace.
    I was encouraged tonight by your words. Thank you again!

  45. 45

    Thank you all, so much for the kind words. His grace sustains each of us.
    And to Becky, pregnant with her third and on bed rest today…may He watch over your sweet girl and give you the grace you need to endure until the end.

  46. 46

    Thank you all, so much for the kind words. His grace sustains each of us.
    And to Becky, pregnant with her third and on bed rest today…may He watch over your sweet girl and give you the grace you need to endure until the end.

  47. 47

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story….

  48. 48

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story….

  49. 49

    Brings back a lot of memories of our time in the NICU…51 days, almost 11 years ago. You would never know, watching our two kiddos, how their lives started! What miracles!

  50. 50

    Brings back a lot of memories of our time in the NICU…51 days, almost 11 years ago. You would never know, watching our two kiddos, how their lives started! What miracles!

  51. 51

    I love your story. For I, too, have a Grace who is three weeks younger than yours and was born after a miracle in our nearly-shattered marriage. And her name reminds me always.

  52. 52

    I love your story. For I, too, have a Grace who is three weeks younger than yours and was born after a miracle in our nearly-shattered marriage. And her name reminds me always.

  53. 53

    Kristen, you have so many inspiring stories — that point to God’s grace. Keep telling them. We are listening and being encouraged.

  54. 54

    Kristen, you have so many inspiring stories — that point to God’s grace. Keep telling them. We are listening and being encouraged.

  55. 55

    so beautiful, so filled with *grace*
    thank you for sharing your precious gift.

  56. 56

    so beautiful, so filled with *grace*
    thank you for sharing your precious gift.

  57. 57

    Thank you for sharing. We also have a child created during the rubble of a marriage. We joke that there was just that one tiny minute we were not fighting . . . and a baby was conceived – to hold our marriage together. You see, just a few years before we lost a 16 year old son, and our marriage began to spiral downward. Our older children were shocked we were having another, but also took it as a sign that God wanted us to stay together. It’s not all been easy since, but I can finally say the sweetness is returning to our marriage. We are really loving again – and learning along the way.
    We have a daughter named “Melody Grace” as well – after the loss of a stillborn daughter. I so appreciated your post above. Bittersweetness.

  58. 58

    Thank you for sharing. We also have a child created during the rubble of a marriage. We joke that there was just that one tiny minute we were not fighting . . . and a baby was conceived – to hold our marriage together. You see, just a few years before we lost a 16 year old son, and our marriage began to spiral downward. Our older children were shocked we were having another, but also took it as a sign that God wanted us to stay together. It’s not all been easy since, but I can finally say the sweetness is returning to our marriage. We are really loving again – and learning along the way.
    We have a daughter named “Melody Grace” as well – after the loss of a stillborn daughter. I so appreciated your post above. Bittersweetness.

  59. 59

    Kristen, thank you …. I love hearing the amazing testimonies…. how God’s grace is there.

    Much love….