5 years ago while I was 18 weeks pregnant with Isaac and Rachel, Rachel’s sac ruptured and we lost all of her water. This happened during the wee early morning hours of March 1, 2006. I can’t tell you how much this pregnancy was sought for, desired. We had prayed for years for God to bless us with a child but God kept saying please wait, your children will come in My Time. We had struggled with infertility for over 8 years before God wowed us with this twin pregnancy – and not just any regular twin pregnancy – God blessed us with boy/girl twins. It was my wildest dream come true.
So when Rachel’s water broke when I was merely 18 weeks pregnant, it really felt like the sky was falling down to me. In those early morning hours of March 1, 2006, after our doctor told us that there really was no more hope for our twins, as labor would surely start for me shortly, and they wouldn’t be able to stop the labor, and we would lose both our twins, we named our son Isaac Samuel and our daughter Rachel Grace. We had already picked out Rachel’s name. We both wanted a daughter so badly. We had picked out Isaac’s middle name Samuel to honor God for blessing us after our struggle with infertility but we had not been able to decide on his first name yet. Jong said, we have to name our son Isaac. Because he is our first born son and if God wanted us to give him back to Him, we have to obey and surrender. So we named our babies, prayed for a miracle, and hung on to the one fact we know for certain despite the uncertainties we faced – that God is good, all the time.
So that’s when Rachel started her fight. In the early morning hours of March 1, 2006. Without any water, she was shrink wrapped inside me, stuck way down low in me, with Isaac laying on top of her. We were told there was no way she could survive in that environment but she was a brave little soldier. She fought. Her heart kept beating strong, even though she was not able to move. We were told that she couldn’t move because there was no water around her. But she even surprised us there. One time during the many ultrasound checks, she obviously didn’t like being disturbed, and she kicked out so hard that even the nurse could see and feel her kicking against the ultrasound wand on my belly. Rachel fought for 5 long weeks without water, while I was on strict hospital bed rest. I bet you she knew what she was fighting for. She was fighting for a chance for Isaac to make it. I think because she knew that while it was hard for her during that time, she would be completely healed and perfect once she got to heaven. But she needed to fight because she knew her mommy and daddy needed Isaac to stay.
Rachel was born at 23w0d gestation, at 9:58 am (Japan Standard time) on April 4, 2006, weighing 467 grams (1.03 lbs) and went to heaven at 11:40AM April 4, 2006. She even fought after she was born. She struggled SO hard to breathe but it was like she knew daddy needed to spend some time with her and mommy needed to see her before she went to heaven. So she gave her daddy a very precious 102 minutes and only stopped struggling to breathe after mommy was able to convince the hospital staff in Japan that she needed to get into NICU to see her daughter.
This is what we wrote about Rachel the day after she went to heaven on our old blog:
“Despite physical challenges caused by the lack of amniotic fluid these past five weeks, Rachel Grace was beautiful. She had her grandmother Sung's face and her mommy's long slender legs and delicate hands and feet.
We are profoundly heartbroken but were blessed and fortunate enough to touch her, hold her hands and feet and tell her that we love her. As she went to Jesus, we kissed and nuzzled her.
To our dear precious baby girl, Rachel, we love you more than words can ever express. You are the bravest, sweetest little princess your mommy and daddy have ever set eyes upon. Your suffering these past five weeks have given your brother, Isaac, a chance to stay with mommy and daddy for a while. So many people love you and you know how many people's lives you have touched. I'm sure you can hear their prayers from heaven, sweetie. Our aching hearts miss you so much already but we find comfort in the knowledge that you are so much happier now. We will never forget you, you will always be our darling little Rachel.”
It is so hard to believe it has been almost five years since we got to know our brave angel Rachel while she fought the fight of her life inside me. God has done a lot of healing in our family since then and we feel more blessed than words can express. We have grown so much through this journey and feel so humbled and honored that God has chosen us to experience so many amazing miracles in our lives, our marriage and our family these past five years. So although we still miss our little Rachel so very much, and our hearts still hurt when we miss her, our hearts also feel so full of joy when we think about her as her brave fight has blessed us so, so much.
So that’s the story of our daughter whom you haven’t met. We sure do hope that you would get to meet her some day.
“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21b