future workshops & businesses will serve as dorms and classrooms
for our elementary school until the main building is built.
With another $64,000 or 56.000€
we can finish it. If you'd like to contribute, please mark your
donation with "building fund". Ways
to donate on the left.
A DAY EARLIER
week 12 I suddenly started having high
blood pressure and was put on medication. I was pumping
twice as much blood in my body than before! In week 24
I did a glucose test and was diagnosed with gestational
diabetes, which I was high risk for, and is not unusal
with multiple babies. After a week of measuring my blood sugar 4
times a day, I was kept in the hospital at my weekly
check-up, as the numbers were too high. I was put on insulin,
injecting 5 times a day, and they kept increasing the dosage and
wouldn't let me go home until they were satisfied with the results.
I spent nearly a whole week in the hospital before
going home on August 14, when I was exactly 28 weeks
into my pregnancy.
week later I returned to the hospital for a checkup. The doctor
was giving me an appointment for my c-section on September
24th, at 34 weeks. However, when she did the ultrasound,
things changed. She could see on the Doppler that something was
not right with one of the twin boys. So once again,
I had to stay in the hospital instead of going
home. It was Wednesday. The doctors said that if the ultrasound
was bad like that the next day as well, the c-section would be that
Friday. On Thursday the ultrasound was normal,
and the c-section canceled. They still wanted to keep me for observation.
On Friday the ultrasound was again like it had been on Wednesday.
There was not enough blood flow through my umbilical
cord to one of the twins. They rescheduled the c-section
for Monday. On Saturday baby 2 was even worse, to the point
that they decided to do the c-section on Sunday
already. They had to call in additional staff and make room for
our three babies in the ICU.
was an intense few days in the hospital. They did a lung
ripening for the babies for 48 hours, and gave me a high
dosage of magnesium for their brain blood circulation
on Sunday morning. Just before it was time, they put another IV
into my other arm. Early in the afternoon it was time to go into
the operating room. They gave me a spinal shot to
numb me from my belly down. Randy was right there at my side, and
a big sheet in front of me so I could not see anything.
I heard a baby cry. At that moment emotion overcame
me and tears came into my eyes. Tamara Hannah (red)
- the singleton - came out first at 3:32 pm. She was 40.5 cm long
(15.9 in) and weighed 1430 g (3 lb 2.4 oz).
thought that Emmanuel would be next, but Samuel came first. Samuel
Josiah (yellow) was the reason the c-section was that day,
since he was not doing well, the reason being that his twin brother
was taking all his blood. Samuel was 37.5 cm long (14.8 in) and
weighed 1065 g (2 lb 5.6 oz) when he was born at 3:33 pm. I did
not hear him.
came Emmanuel David (blue) who was 39 cm long (15.4
in) and weighed 1250 g (2 lb 12.1 oz). I heard him cry and again,
tears came into my eyes. I did not see any of them - Randy was allowed
to stand up and look - as they took them all away immediately to
take care of them.
the number 3 is so prominent again. Randy always
talks about having 3 children, 3 grandchildren, 3 wives, and we
had 3 weddings, now 3 more children, and now they were born at 3:33
was sewn up and taken to the wake-up room. Over
the next few hours the feeling came back into my lower body and
the pain came as well. The pain killers made me really dizzy, so
I stayed in that room longer than planned. Before I was taken to
my room a few levels up, they rolled me in my bed to the ICU where
Sammy and Emmy were. Tammy was already taken up to the
intermediate care unit. I saw the boys briefly, but was not well
enough to stay longer.
following day, they already forced me to stand up,
which was so painful it made me cry. I was unable to see our babies,
and had to wait until the next day to be taken to all three in a
wheel chair. It was my first time seeing Tammy!
After that I did better every day and was able to spend more and
more time with the babies. We would both take them out and put
them on our chest to bond and cuddle and give them that
physical nearness they needed (and we needed). On day 6, Saturday,
I was released from the hospital.
day 3 Tamara
day 3 Samuel
then, we have spent every single day, all day,
with our children at the hospital. Yesterday they were 5 weeks old,
and it's amazing how much progress they have already made. Tamara
now weighs 2350 g (5.2 lb) which is 920 g more than at birth. Samuel
weighs 1775 g (3.9 lb) which is 710 g more. Emmanuel
weighs 1955 g (4.3 lb) which is 705 g more.
3.5 weeks at the hospital where I gave birth - the big university
hospital - we were told that they needed the room for other babies,
and so we were transfered to another hospital.
That new hospital is closer to our home and has a good reputation.
So a week and a half ago we rode an ambulance to the new hospital,
where our babies also have a room to themselves and where they now
all sleep in one bed.
morning we come in and one of us takes 2 babies, and the other 1,
and in the afternoon we switch so that we both get to cuddle with
all of them every day. At regular intervals we feed
them - I sometimes nurse them, but they're still
learning that skill, then they get the bottle until
they don't want any more, and the rest of their ration they get
through a feeding tube. We also change
them and bathe them frequently, and it has been
great learning all those skills from the nurses. And in between,
as well as at home, night and day, I pump milk
as much as possible that we then deliver to the hospital to be given
to the babies.
far everyone has been happy and impressed with the babies' development.
On Friday we were told that Samuel has lesions
in the front of his brain that would affect his motor
skills, and so he'll need physiotherapy
regularly to try to keep that from happening. Please believe with
us for his healing!
me introduce our babies to you a little:
is the the first-born, the girl, the oldest and biggest. She is
more laid back than the boys, drinks calmly, squeaks
a lot, presses a lot, and her breathing still stops at times (which
is normal at that age).
came out first after Tammy, when we thought Emmanuel would, and
he definitely has that bossy character. He lets
everyone know when he wants something and has no patience. He loves
filling his diapers and lets everyone know by the smell. He enjoys
putting his arms in his brother's and sister's face as he has the
middle spot in the bed. When he gets the bottle, he drinks really
fast and has impressed everyone with what he's able to do though
he is the smallest.
is always the last one to be fed, but he does not mind and can
patiently wait his turn. He also drinks really fast though
when the food finally comes. He seems happy to let Samuel be the
first, since he's bigger anyway. Both he and his brother still have
their heart rate drop at times, but only briefly.
can find more pictures of the triplets and daily
updates on Facebook.
have a few more weeks in the hospital ahead of
them - until the end of October - before they get to come home.
Randy has done all the purchasing of baby items, so that we have
plenty (too much at times) of everything at home. We're ready!
the hospital where they were born they will have additional
check-ups at intervals calculated by their full-term birthday
which would have been November 6th. At the check-up early December
the doctors will decide whether we can travel to Mali with
them for Christmas which is what we have planned, even
if it's only for a short time.
day 35 Samuel
day 30 Tamara
CHILDREN IN MALI
is Sanaba. She's about 12 years old.
Her Dad kicked out her mother (who was his second
of 3 wives) and her sister and her and kept her brother. Her younger
sister died because her Mom did not have the means
to have her treated. Now she and her Mom live with her Mom's parents
for now, and they started coming to our church. Sanaba's Mom asked
whether we could take her in and take care of her,
as she is unable to, and we agreed. She was in 5th grade
last year but did not finish the year, so she is going back to 5th
you'd like to sponsor her with $60 or 50€ per month,
please let me know. Half-sponsorships are also possible.
also about to take in two orphan boys who we'll
tell you more about next time.
Permit - Two days after the babies were born we were
informed that Randy was granted the right to
stay in Austria - for one year to start with. Praise God!
Start - For some school has started, for others it starts
this week. The beginning of the school year costs us thousands
of additional dollars/euros for school fees for our 30+
school children, as well as school supplies and uniforms.
Thank you for giving generously to enable our
kids to get an education!
Permit - We paid a fine of a few thousand dollars/euros
a while back, and Paul has been working on getting a
building permit so we can continue construction, but to this date
we have not received it. Pleas pray we get it soon.
- We have been helping widows in need for years by giving
them rice. Recently we have been touched by some women's
stories who had not eaten in days. One woman
was alone with three children and had literally nothing.
It's amazing what difference you can make with one bag of rice!
Teacher - We are still looking for a French-speaking
first grade teacher to join our team. There is such a
need for a good, Christian school where the children are treated
with dignity and learn something.
Many of our Muslim neighbors would send their children to our
school. Please pray we'll find a teacher!
Director Paul - Paul has been leading the ministry in
Mali by himself for quite some time now and he's tired.
Please pray for him!
Situation - Mali is becoming more and more radicalized
by jihadists. Also, the population is rising up against the government,
still not accepting the president's election. Please pray for
peace, and for protection from
- Do you want to come change an orphan's
life? Do you want to heal the sick? Preach
the gospel to those who've never heard? Come to Mali
for a season and let God change your life. No language skills
needed, but French skills are helpful.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's
womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.