Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Magical Ten Years: Happy Birthday Maddie

I can’t believe Maddie is 10 today! Oh how fast these years have flown!!

Happy Birthday Mad :)

Maddie has changed our lives in such a wonderful way; I can’t begin to describe how special she is. But today, on her birthday, I’ll tell you our story.
It was the summer of 1999 and Doug and I had moved from Texas to North Carolina to serve a church. As a teacher, I was off and we got settled into our new home. Of course, what follows next, the desire to have a baby. I had been on medicine for ovarian cysts for years and wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get pregnant, so we decided to go for it!!

Amazingly, I got pregnant the first month! Wow!! I even knew before the test came back positive. I was sick from implantation! As soon as I got the confirmed test, I called the doctor and scheduled my first visit. With a confirmed pregnancy test the doctor’s office didn’t do the first visit until 8 weeks. Eagerly we waited for the first visit and welcomed every morning with vomiting!

When I scheduled my first visit, the receptionist said that they would do blood work and basics, but nothing fun (like an ultrasound) or anything so I didn’t need to bring Doug. So on the day of the appointment off I went, so excited. I got checked in, did my insurance paperwork and low and behold I was taken down the hall for a sonogram. Poor Doug had to miss being a part of this precious experience.

So the technician doing the sonogram was telling me all about what she was doing and labeling all the parts of my body for me all was great until she got quiet and then said that she would be right back. A few minutes later she comes back in with the doctor. They take a look and the doctor tells me that one of my twins is not going to make it. WHAT??!?!!?! First, what twins? And second.. you just point blank told me that one was not going to make it and my husband isn’t even here!!

The doctor explained that one of the yolk sacs was closing in on itself and was not going to be “viable”. The other sac looked good and thankfully they were not identical so they had their own sacs. The “good” one would absorb the “bad” one and all would be okay. They gave me pictures and gently told me to come back in two weeks and they would see if I was carrying one or two.

As I left the office to go get blood work, I didn’t know what to think. The excitement of seeing my tiny baby growing tinged with the heartbreak of also seeing a tiny one “not thriving.” Tears of joy and sorrow.

Two weeks later we returned to the doctor. Doug obviously would miss no more appointments. The two sacs were now just one. A strong heartbeat could be seen and heard and the doctor gave us all assurance that the surviving twin would be fine.

The rest of my pregnancy was fun filled with lots of throwing up and planning for baby. My body tried repeatedly to kick Maddie out starting at about 32 weeks, but finally the day before she was due my water broke and we got to welcome our sweet baby girl, Madalyn Grace McLemore, into the world at 5:48am on May 4, 2000.

How blessed we are. Life has continued to be an adventure with Maddie. Nothing has been easy, but given that she was our first, we didn’t know any differently  From a rare reaction to penicillin at 6 months, to four sinus surgeries, to chronic pain, everyday Maddie teaches us about true strength, determination and joy. Maddie is the light of our life and I am so thankful that God brought her into our lives.


  1. wow, what a tear-jerker! thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Oh, Em. Thanks for sharing. That happened with me, too, with my first, Ben. I was put on bedrest for awhile and had to go back for multiple sonograms to see if the other twin was "absorbing" (horrible word). After Ben was born, it really hit me that I could have have had two babies. As if I weren't emotional enough!

  3. awww...how precious motherhood is i got to know today:) that is so sweet emily..maddie is so lucky to have a mom like u:)) tears tears!!