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Preemies to Kings

Our tiny miracles turn FIVE today. It’s absolutely astonishing.

Henry Samuel Murray (cq), bathed in blue ultraviolet light in the NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital, Friday, February 9, 2007,  was the first in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was 2 lbs 11 ozs at birth.    The four brothers are all in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

What a road we’ve journeyed together, Sweet Miracle Boys!

Jenny Heminger, RN (cq, hands) checks digestion on Brooks Layton Murray (cq) in the NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital, Friday, February 9, 2007.    Brooks was the second in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was 3 lbs at birth.    The four brothers are all in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

I never thought I’d give birth to a baby that would be dependent on ventilators, tubes, wires, and monitors to survive.  I never could have fathomed the helplessness I would feel to watch one of my babies struggle to breath so much that he would have to be paralyzed, that a swarm of medical staff would gather around his bedside for hours monitoring him, turning up settings, and maxing out on meds to save his life. To be so afraid that his life was about to end that I couldn’t even bare to take his picture for his first few days of life.

 Jenny Heminger, RN (cq) checks Brooks Layton Murray (cq) in the NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital, Friday, February 9, 2007.  Brooks was the second in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was 3lbs at birth.    The four brothers are all in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

I never imagined not being able to hold or even touch my baby after my delivery. 

 Clark Thomas Murray (cq) rests in the NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital, Friday, February 9, 2007.   He was the third in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was 3 lbs 6 ozs at birth.    The four brothers are all in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

I couldn’t have pictured a baby so tiny that they would swim in preemie clothes and blankets. A diaper that fit in my hand, a bottle that looked like it was made for a doll baby, a blood pressure cuff that could wrap around my index finger…

Jen Murray (cq) watches as Nataline Foskey, RNC (cq) puts Murray's son Isaac Edward Murray (cq) back into his NICU crib at St. Vincent Women's Hospital, Friday, February 9, 2007.  Isaac was the last in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was four lbs at birth.  All four of the babies are in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

I didn’t anticipate the way it would feel watching skilled nurses caring for you, feeding for you, providing for you, when all I could do was sit and watch. Giving my milk was the only thing that felt like being a mother, but even then it came through a tube instead of nursing in my arms.

Jen and Brad Murray (cq) hold their son Brooks Layton Murray (cq) while he is being fed by Jenny Heminger, RN (cq, hand), at the St. Vincent Women's Hospital NICU, Friday, February 9, 2007.  Brooks was the second in a set of quadruplets born to Jen and Brad Murray last Friday, February 2, 2007.  He was three lbs at birth.  All four of the babies are in the NICU.  (Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star)

I never imagined the overwhelming sense of gratitude I would feel not just on the day of your birth, but daily. A thankfulness to our great God for giving us not just one life but four. A joy for the ability to watch you grow, learn, and thrive. An absolute awe in how the Lord has provided…

Four heartbeats who weren’t given the most promising shot at life, are healthy and happy – living like kings.

quadruplet boys fifth birthday

NICU photos taken at St.Vincent Women’s by IndyStar

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St. Vincent’s Annual NICU Reunion Picnic 2011

kiddie train ride

It’s always hard to put into words what the annual St. Vincent’s NICU Reunion Picnic means to us.  I’ve attempted for the last four years, but it always feels inadequate. Sure, St. V’s knows how to throw a great summer party in the park with games, bounce houses, a petting zoo, snacks, train rides, etc. However, getting to thank the docs and nurses that helped saved our babies lives…nothing beats that. It’s phenomenal to be surrounded by so many little miracle lives and to try and comprehend all that they have overcome. However, it’s sobering to be reminded how many each year loose their battle to prematurity.

We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude to our hospital and staff and how God used them in the lives of our four boys.

St. Vincent NICU Picnic 2011

We also love the opportunity to see familiar faces from our month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as celebrate with all the other multiples families we have gotten to know.  This year, I think we broke a record with 8 (Yes, EIGHT!) sets of quadruplets. Here’s a picture with Dr. Sumners and 5 sets he has delivered in the past 4 years. Incredible, right?

five sets of quadruplets in Indiana

Don’t you think he should offer a free quad parents night out? It could be a great thank you gift from us parents. {giggles}

teeter totters for 4 

Our boys love the picnic more every year, and I think they comprehend a little more each year what we’re celebrating.

Celebrating life. Celebrating accomplishments. Celebrating people that God has put in our path for a purpose.

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Life.

heart rate monitor My Friday night and early hours of Saturday morning were spent in the ER with very scary and unsettling symptoms. Brad and the boys returned from some dear friends house Friday evening to find me on the couch feeling down right awful.  I felt out of body, dizzy, tingly, nauseated, my chest was tight, and I was disoriented.  As the hour continued I felt continually worse.  I felt as if I would loose consciousness at any moment and I was fighting panic.

Nothing explained my symptoms – I hadn’t taken any new medications in the last 24 hours, I wasn’t running a fever… My body just felt like it was on shut down mode, and I was completely out of control.

I asked Brad to call someone over to watch the boys and to call an ambulance.  I wanted to know my vitals before Brad took off with me in route to the hospital.  I was relieved to find out that my oxygen, BP, and heart rate were within normal limits, even though I felt like I was struggling for each breath. 

The ER was a blur. They ran several tests, started an IV, completed an EKG, and gave me valium for the symptoms. I then went to get a chest CT to check for blood clots and blew 2 IVs. All the while, I was still filled with fear, even though I knew that I was in great hands. The ER doc and my nurse at St. Vincent Carmel were WONDERFUL – compassionate, thorough, and on it.

As we awaited the results of multiple tests, I fumbled to put my thoughts into a prayer. The Author and Sustainer of life already knew my results – this was not a shock or surprise to Him.  My every breath is timed and orchestrated through Him, yet how often I forget His sovereignty over my life!

Praise Him, everything came back normal.  Although that didn’t explain my scary symptoms, I was so overjoyed that I was not facing something life-threatening.  The only explanation they could reason was a drug reaction to some anti-nausea meds I had taken the day before, most likely in combination with the trauma my body had endured the past couple of weeks.

I cried tears of joy and my nurse praised God and celebrated the good results with us.

This recovery isn’t going as I had “planned”, but it has had a valuable impact in my walk with Christ. He is showing me daily that He is enough, He is in control, He is my strength, and His grace is sufficient.

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
And all that I cling to
I lay at Your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me.
~ Shane and Shane

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