After almost 3 years of battling infertility, David and Devonya Brown received the most exciting news that two people would ever anticipate. They were finally pregnant!! With twins! For the first time ever, they've decided to share their story here. Below, is a summary of events in the words of Devonya as she recaps the order of events that took place during their journey to become new parents.
After many failed fertility attempts, our dream had finally come true. In January of 2007, our doctor referred us to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, as routine for mothers expecting multiples. This appointment would also reveal the gender of our unborn babies. We were told immediately that there were some health concerns for both babies. Baby "Anointed" (twin A) our little princess, was not developing as she should and they weren't able to get a strong heartbeat on baby "Blessing" (twin B) our little prince. The doctor did not expect for baby B to survive and cautioned us to prepare for the worst. She also attempted to comfort me by saying "But at least you have a little girl"
Two weeks later (6 months mark) during an office visit, we were given more unsettling news. The test for Down syndrome was positive and both babies could possibly have it. After delivering such a hard blow, the doctor strongly suggested that I abort the pregnancy. We were told that our baby girl would only have a 20% chance of survival and that she would never develop like other children her age. Baby A was measuring much smaller than she should be. Also, still a very faint heartbeat for baby B. I was placed on bed rest for 4 weeks.
By the beginning of the 6th month of the pregnancy, the doctors’ visits began to get depressing. I honestly didn't want to go to any more appointments. I was emotionally done. It felt like I was entering the gates of hell every time we went, as the doctor walked in the cold exam room and had more unsettling news for us each time. My mother attended every appointment with us as moral support. If it were not for her and David, I don't think I would have been able to push through. My family insisted that I continue to go to my appointments and focus on the one thing that we all knew for sure. God was in control. So I went. I listened to every grim report given to me by this doctor who didn't possess an ounce of bedside manner. This doctor who showed no sign of compassion as she told me that one of my children was dying and that the other would never be a normal child.
26 weeks. By this time Baby B wasn't even acknowledge anymore. I would see him moving on the ultrasound screen, and the sonographer would quickly move back to baby A. The doctor had decided that Baby A was not growing and that we had no choice but to deliver early. She told me that she would administer a shot that would help with baby's lung development and then we would deliver her at 28 weeks. We decided to request a second opinion. We were seen at U of m in Ann Arbor and were told that there was no immediate danger for twin A, but things still did not look good for twin B. and that we should just take it one day at a time. We decided to continue seeing this doctor. Our monthly appointments to Ann Arbor turned into weekly appointments and there was really no change. But as oddly as that sounds, it was good news to us.
Throughout this whole journey, I had no doubt in my mind that God was going to save both babies. I mean, He did in fact bless us with two babies so it was only fitting that He would make sure that they both survived. All I had to do was believe, right? I would pray daily over my belly and quote scriptures of God's promises. I had TOTAL faith.
On May 25th, 2007, at 33 weeks, I went to our local hospital for a routine NST. An hour later my world came crashing down. I was prepped for an emergency C-section and was told that delivering right now was the only option we had. As our parents and siblings waited anxiously in the waiting room for our twins to arrive, we welcomed our first child prematurely into the world. Jayda (Baby A) was born weighing 3lbs and she was as healthy as could be. She was perfect. After they whisked her out of the room and up to NICU, a hush fell over the entire room. Our sweet baby boy Jeremiah did not make it into this world.
I never got to see him smile for the first time. I never got to hear him cry. I never had the opportunity to watch him grow up. Never got to see his little personality. This was honestly the most devastating thing I've ever endured. I felt alone. Although my husband and I experienced this loss together, I felt like we were so far apart. David did everything he could to let me know that he loved me and that we were in this together. Yet, I still shut down. I stopped living. I stopped feeling. I stuffed every feeling I had, deep down on the inside. I didn't want to feel anything. I lost my joy. I blamed God. And on top of that, I wouldn't allow myself to grieve. How dare I feel bad for myself when God had blessed me with a beautiful baby girl? So I carried the pain suppressed on the inside. I spent many years carrying around this pinned up grief and anger. I looked fine on the outside, but on the inside I felt like I was dying.
Until I couldn't hold it any longer. It began to spill out like a cup that had been over filled. I was bursting at the seams with emotions. It came out in the form of anger towards other people, my husband and children, family and friends and even strangers. I had a couple of amazing girlfriends who could empathize with what I was going through. They knew that it wasn't my normal character and they decided to love me through it. Two people in particular were Dwan and April. They spent many nights on the phone praying, crying and encouraging me. They never left my side. Even when I pushed them away. It wasn't until I met with a woman named Barbara, that I was able to deal with the grief that I had suppressed for years. She knew exactly what I was feeling and made it her mission to guide me through it with the help of God. Although our stories were not exactly the same, she knew all too well the deep pain that comes from the pit of your stomach and almost takes your breath away after experiencing such a devastating loss. She also knew that God was my only true source to guide me through this process. She encouraged me to lean on God and to talk to Him just like I would talk to my natural father. To tell Him how I was honestly feeling. And to trust Him again. She blessed me with a book titled "Silent Grief", written by Clara Hinton.
It took me about a couple weeks to complete the book, and during that time I was able to allow myself to grieve. I allowed myself to feel again. Good feelings. Bad feelings. I just allowed myself to feel everything once again. I cried for days in my room. It was like it was May 25th, 2007 all over again. And I realized that I never allowed myself to cry. I never allowed myself to go through this process. It literally felt like I had dropped the ton of bricks that I had carried around like a newborn baby for years. I felt free. God began to restore my joy. My laughter. My dreams. I began to live again. Many of the relationships that had been destroyed, had been repaired which included my relationship with God.
It has been almost 12 years since our son has made his transition into heaven and it is still very painful, but one thing is for sure God has truly kept us. We will never understand His plan and it's not for us to understand. We have been leaning on God and trusting Him to make each day more bearable and filled with many blessings. Our son Jeremiah Edward Brown will remain in our hearts forever and although this has not been easy for any of us, we have discovered that each day we have a little more strength and joy than we did yesterday. We know now that God had a plan for our son and although we loved him with all of our hearts, God loved him the most. He will always be our Baby "Blessing".