Friday, September 11, 2015


I wanted to post an update, but I have to be honest - the words aren't coming. Not in any sort of coherent stream of thought, anyway. I'm exhausted. In a way I've never experienced before and everything in my body hurts, yet I feel like I'm living someone else's life. Someone else carries quadruplets for 26 and a half weeks. Someone else goes on bed rest for 10 and a half of those weeks. Someone else delivers those four babies and then says goodbye to one of those precious children only 10 hours later. Someone else plans the funeral for that sweet baby while trying to figure out insurance and FMLA and the ins and outs of the NICU for the surviving three babies. Someone else sits in the front row of the funeral looking at the only pictures she was able to get of her beautiful son before he was placed in the box that sits beside those pictures. Someone else pumps every two hours in the midst of all of it so that her other three babies might be able to grow and thrive and have a chance at life that her other baby won't get. Someone else gets an infection and ends up back in the same room to be treated for it as she spent three weeks on bed rest in only two weeks before and weeps because the last time she was in that room she had all four of her babies with her. Someone else hates Wednesdays because of the reminder of what week gestation those babies would be and how her angel baby might still be here if only she could have kept them in longer. Someone else almost loses another baby this week and freaks out and struggles to feel any comfort in trusting the Lord with her one pound baby's health because the Lord already saw fit to take her brother home, so who's to say He's not going to take her as well? This has to be someone else's life because I can't do this.

But it's not. It's my life, and it's Nick's life, and by the grace of God (and ONLY by His grace), we're doing it. We're not doing it well, but every day we get out of bed and we put one foot in front of the other, and we make it another day. And every day we experience the goodness of God in amazing and tangible ways, and we are reassured that we will be okay. And we are also reassured that it's okay that we aren't there yet. And in the midst of our not okayness, we've got thousands of people who are literally holding us up in so many beautiful ways, and we are experiencing the body of Christ in a way we could have never fathomed. We've got an amazing medical team that is fighting so hard to get our babies healthy. We've got amazing friends and family who are fixing meals and cleaning our house and helping with Jeremiah and sitting at the hospital with us and crying with us. We've got an amazing church family that is sending freezer meals and helping us through our grief and who hosted a lovely celebration of Oliver's life for our family. We've got sorority sisters who are raising money for our NICU stay and funeral costs and who named a star after Oliver so that we would always be able to look to the sky and see him. We've got best friends who drive the two hours from Kansas City just to be with us for an hour or two and let us cry with them. We've got co-workers and employers who are so gracious and generous with us and have given us the time we need to be together as we mourn Oliver and celebrate each victory we see with Mavis, Amos, and Lena. We've got strangers from across the country who are sending cards and gifts and sweet words of encouragement and praying so diligently for our three tiny miracles and rejoicing with each "win" they have. Truly, I could go on and on. We have been blown away by people's kindness to us - throughout our entire pregnancy but especially in the weeks since we delivered.

So while it feels very much like we are living someone else's life, Nick and I have found so much comfort in the midst of our pain. Not only in the way you all have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us, but most importantly in the Truth of who Christ is. He is not unfamiliar with suffering, but He Himself endured the unthinkable. This world is not as it ought to be, and God does not delight in our hurt, but instead meets us in it and reminds us that in the midst of the brokenness, all WILL be well. It's not yet, but it will be. God weeps with us over the loss of our son, but He also reminds us that Oliver is safe in the arms of his Creator and we will see him again some day. So while my arms ache for the baby I won't get to raise, my heart is comforted in knowing where he is. I have been clinging to this passage from Lamentations 3, and my prayer in sharing it, and really in sharing all of this - our entire journey and even the ugly rawness of my hurt and my fear - is that you would find encouragement and peace in knowing that there is HOPE. No matter how dark the days, no matter how deep the pain, no matter how feeble the faith, there is always, ALWAYS hope.

19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, 
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We'll be okay.

We're struggling. I'll be honest. This last week and a half has been the hardest 10 days of our whole lives, and it is purely by the grace of God that we are still standing. I'm exhausted tonight, so it's probably better that I don't let my feels get going or we could be here all night, but I did want to post some pictures of the kids and tell you all that we are SO, SO grateful for you support, prayers, and encouragement. We continue to be blown away by the outpouring of love we've received. In addition to just missing him so much that my body literally aches, one of my greatest fears is that Oliver will be forgotten and that Amos, Mavis, and Lena will be denied a part of their identity as quads. He will always be a huge part of their story and of our family and to know that you all love him so much gives me hope that our precious baby will not be forgotten. The love you've shown us and the condolences you've offered have been so comforting and reassuring and we are so grateful.

Many of you have asked, and Nick and I are still working on a meaningful way to honor Oliver's life in the way of a memorial, but as soon as we nail it down, we will let you know. In the meantime, we plan to celebrate our beautiful boy with a graveside service for our immediate family this weekend. We have been working with Houser Millard Funeral Home and they have been nothing short of amazing. Oliver's obituary ran in the Jefferson City paper today, and you can read it here on the Millard website.

In other news, the other three babies are doing remarkably well for how teeny they are. Lena finally reached one pound today! We are so excited for her!! She continues to show us what a brave little fighter she is - the big babies (you know, the almost two pound ones!) do something one day and she does it the next. The doctors tell us it might be a while before she is able to do this or that, and she turns around and proves them wrong. She's such a feisty little thing. :) Really all three of them are. We are so very proud to be their mommy and daddy. Every day we look at each other and say, "these babies are ours. God gave them to us. How did we get so lucky?!" I won't bog you down with the medical details, but I'll hit the highlights - they are all three off the big ventilator and are getting their oxygen through a much smaller nasal cannula, they are all on at least a few milliliters of breast milk (I pump and then they get it through a feeding tube directly into their tiny bellies...they are no where close to nursing, but maybe someday!), and they've all opened their eyes! The biggest concern we have with all three of them is that their heart rates drop several times a day for a short period of time. They call them "brady events" and they are very typical for preemies. Their nurses and doctors assure us that as scary as it is to watch happen, it is very common for tiny babes, and they will eventually outgrow it. We completely trust these amazing, amazing humans who are caring for our babies, but given what Nick watched happen to Oliver, we are both incredibly nervous about them. Please pray for us that we don't freak out every time it happens or wear on our incredibly patient, kind, and compassionate medical team. More importantly, please pray that the babies would outgrow this soon. I weep every time it happens at this point, and I know it's the pain of losing Oliver that is still so fresh and raw that is contributing to my paranoia, but right now I just can't help it. And I'm okay with that. Healing will come. But in the meantime, it's terrifying.

So many of you have been so sweet to remember big brother these last 10 days, and we are so grateful. Jeremiah is doing as well as can be expected. He took the news of Oliver's passing about how we anticipated he would - he was sad and confused but also very matter of fact about it. He loves the other babies but really struggles to be in the NICU. The alarms and machines are just too much for him (they are almost too much for Nick and I's constant. One of the babies is always being naughty and setting off their alarms so there is never a quiet moment in our little neck of the NICU woods.), and every time one of them has a machine dinging at us, he assumes another baby is going to die. It's been really hard to watch, but we continue to make him come visit once every few days for short periods of time because we know it's important for him to learn to trust that the babies are safe and in good hands.

So, I just realized how tired I am and this entire post may be completely incoherent, so I'd better sign off before I fall asleep on my keyboard!! :)  But, maybe you'll forgive me if I leave you with cute pictures of my teeny tiny baby humans?!?

Teeny Leeny

Mavey Baby

Famous Amos

And of course, a very proud, sweet, handsome big brother

Thank you for being patient with us as we adjust to our new life as a NICU family as well as plan a funeral for our baby. It's been completely overwhelming and all encompassing, but we know we'll settle into a routine eventually. In the meantime, thank you for loving us and our kids and continuing to be such faithful prayer warriors. We've got three itty bitty babies who still desperately need your prayers, a big brother who is trying to make sense of it all, and two parents who are grieving but filled with hope as we know that Oliver is safe in the hands of the One who made him and we will see him again. We still have four amazing children to raise on this side of heaven and we don't want to take one minute with them for granted. They are precious treasures to us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Hey friends and family,

First of all, I apologize that so many of you should be hearing this from Nick or I firsthand, but we are just overwhelmed and heartbroken and this seemed like the best way to communicate our news to everyone we love and who has been so faithfully praying for us.

Last night around 12:30am, we got a call in our room from the NICU and they asked Nick to come check on Oliver and get an update on him. By the time he got there, they were doing chest compressions and it was only a matter of minutes before our sweet baby was at home with Jesus. We are crushed and heartbroken, but we are so thankful that we know this isn't the end. We take comfort in knowing that sweet Oliver is with the Lord and didn't suffer long before he got his angel wings, but we weep knowing that this is not how it ought to be.

We got to spend the whole night with him and both sets of grandparents were able to come hold him and say goodbye as well. We are so thankful that Jeremiah got to meet all of the babies last night and we have talked with the social worker several times this morning to come up with a plan on how to tell him and help him grieve. We plan to do that this afternoon. After that, they will take Oliver for an autopsy to see if they can identify the cause of his passing. They believe it has to do with his lungs, but because it all happened so quickly, there's no way to know until they can look at him further. We absolutely know they did everything they could to save our baby, so we are at peace with not knowing the ultimate cause of death, but if this will help them be able to save another baby down the line, we will gladly let them take a look.

Thank you for all of the well-wishes and congratulations yesterday. We rejoice that three of our babies are still here and doing well, and praise God that we got to know and love sweet Oliver for the 10 hours we had with him. They were far too short, but we are comforted in knowing we will see him again.

Please continue to pray for us as we navigate funeral arrangements for Oliver while we still want to care for, get to know, and bond with his siblings. Our hearts are heavy, and we are feeling overwhelmed by it all, but we know the God of love and we know that by his grace, we will eventually all be ok.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Hello everyone! This is Nick, writing on Emily's behalf. I'm sure she'll provide more information soon, but I wanted to give everyone a brief update.

After this morning's ultrasound revealed that Oliver's blood flow was continuing to deteriorate, we made the decision around noon to deliver the babies. Things moved quickly after that. Emily was in surgery shortly by 2 o'clock, and in recovery by 3 o'clock.

The delivery was successful! The babies cooperated and came out in order: we welcomed Mavis and Amos at 2:12, Oliver at 2:13, and Lena at 2:14. Mavis and Amos weighed in at two pounds, Oliver at one-and-a-half pounds, and Lena at one pound.

The doctors were amazing. They were able to intubate all of the babies, and Emily made it through surgery without any complications. We are so grateful for all of the skillful hands that have kept Emily and the babies safe during this journey.

After a couple of hours of recovery, Emily and I were able to go to the NICU to meet the babies. They are beautiful, but tiny! The hospital was so kind to block off a suite of NICU rooms for us, so they are all together. They are all facing the same challenges, namely breathing and staying warm. So far, so good! They are snuggled in warm isolettes and covered with what looks like Saran Wrap to help their skin retain heat, and they have teeny tiny ventilators helping them breathe. Oliver is doing the best of all: he is breathing "room air" through his ventilator, while the others are breathing oxygenated air.

We also were able to introduce the babies to their grandparents. The hospital staff was so gracious to accommodate our troop of people leaning over the isolettes trying to get a better view of our tiny treasures.

I'm going to sign off now, but I want to thank everyone for the warm thoughts and prayers. Emily and I have been so encouraged by all of the support we have received along this journey. We had a lot of peace about the decision to deliver today. We have found that knowing that so many people are praying and hoping for us gives us the courage to keep hoping for the best. We have had nothing but the best possible outcomes, and we are going to keep praying for healing and growth for the babies and their mommy.

Sorry for the dry blog post. Your regularly scheduled programming (Emily) will resume as soon as Emily is off the morphine.

It's Baby Day!

Hello all- this is Emily's sister-in-law Sara standing in for Emily, who is currently being prepped for surgery to deliver the fantastic four!  They did another scan this morning, and there was some deterioration in Oliver's blood flow from Friday.  The doctors are just not confident of their ability to be able to monitor his condition, since they can't use a fetal monitor because he has so much company in there.  So, they felt it was best to deliver all the babies to ensure that he is getting all the nutrition and oxygen he needs.  (Emily is sure Oliver is going to be the child who is very focused on things being fair and not being overlooked... he couldn't stand Lena getting all the attention so he is causing a stir! 
So- write it down, August 24th will the be birthday of the Beydler quads!  Nick is en route to Columbia and the team is being assembled.  Pray for the doctors and nurses (nearly 40 of them who will be involved in this delivery), for Emily and Nick and for the babies. 
We will keep you all updated as we get more information!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

No Babies Yet!

To say the last few days have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. In fact, Mavis and I have similar feelings about how the two little babies have been behaving:

This is a picture of her from Friday's scan, with her little hand on her forehead as if to say, "hey! Babies! Pull your stuff together! Enough of your antics. Either we're in or we're out. Got it?!" I could not agree more, kiddo. I was looking back at blog post titles for the last few weeks, and it's a very consistent roller coaster of "Best day! Worst day. Great news! Bad news," and if it weren't so scary, it might almost be comical. Almost. :)

But, as it stands, here we are, two days further along in our pregnancy than we thought we might be, and we are so grateful! I'm so sorry that I didn't get a blog post updated, but hopefully most of you saw on Facebook that we did NOT have to deliver the babies on Friday. Nick and I are totally at peace with delivering them as soon as one (or more) of them would fare better on the outside than they are able to on the inside, so we actually went into Friday's appointment really calm and ready for whatever God had for us. What we were not anticipating is that Oliver was actually doing BETTER than he was on Wednesday!! The doctors were in shock...they were prepared for his blood flow to be worse, would have been pleased with doing the same, but were not expecting better. At all. That's just not a thing that medically should have happened (but then again, look at Lena. She's been proving science wrong for 6.5 weeks now, so clearly Oliver couldn't be outdone by her.). We are elated, of course, but also totally exhausted!! These babies are keeping us on our toes for sure!!

So the plan from here on out (at least as I understand it) is that we will do another scan tomorrow, and then a couple days after that, until it's obvious that it's time to deliver. I think how close together the scans are will depend on how both Oliver and Lena's blood flows are looking. If we see what we saw on Friday, they probably will keep the scans a couple of days apart. But, if either of them are on the bubble, we will do them every day until it's time to deliver. And then there's also the possibility that Amos or Mavis could start to struggle too, so we can't rule that out either. I asked why it is that Oliver might just now be experiencing some trouble and they told me that my uterus is probably just getting tired. What?! Nonsense. Everyone knows that sustaining four tiny lives is exactly what a uterus is designed to do. Or it's not. Whatever. :) Even if it's not exactly what my guts were designed to do (or at least certainly not what I wanted them to do...believe it or not, we didn't actually plan for or try for four babies at once, although that is a really common question we get asked!), we are so in awe of the miracle God is working in my belly and can't believe that we are still pregnant. Nick and I were looking back at this whole crazy ride, and the fact that we are still pregnant, with all four babies, is nothing short of God's incredible power working in our lives. I went on bed rest with contractions at 16 weeks, had to have a cerclage because my cervix was so thin at 19 weeks, found out Lena was struggling at 20 weeks, was admitted to the hospital because it looked as though we were going to lose her at 23 weeks, and yet here we are, at 26.5 weeks, still pregnant. It's completely unbelievable and every single day we can keep them inside is such a gift.

Several of you have asked if I'm bored or going crazy at the hospital, and I'll be honest, I've had my moments. There have definitely been a couple of days were I was grumpy and ready to be home, but honestly, I cannot complain. I just can't. How could I possibly be upset when every day that we are here is one more day that these babies get to grow and have a better chance at survival outside of the womb? Don't get me wrong...I miss my boys terribly and I'll be more than ready to be home when the time comes (I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss Target!), but this is temporary. And the chance at a healthier life each day in this bed is buying my babies for a lifetime outside of the womb is absolutely worth it. For that reason alone, I really have no other choice but to praise the One who both created and is sustaining these tiny little humans.

And as if that's not enough cause for celebration, I'm also never lonely. If friends and family aren't visiting me, someone from my church's hospital visitation team is. And if it's not someone from church, it's a nurse just coming to say hi or the nurse manager checking in on me, or a NICU nurse coming to see how we're doing and update us on what's going on downstairs in the way of quad pod preparation (we get our own pod!! Wild, right?!?). Or, on a very special occasion, your doctor's wife is here for a check up on her own growing baby bump and you get to meet her and hold her hostage in your room for three hours because you like her so much and don't want her to leave. I mean, I've heard that's a thing that can happen. I wouldn't know. Just hospital gossip. :) Basically, the staff here are rock stars and we even occasionally have parties to celebrate things like being 26 weeks pregnant (when the most delicious cookie company in Columbia delivers, you can pretty much party anywhere, hospitals included) or we paint nails, or we trim bangs that are long overdue for it because the people who work here are nothing short of incredible and they see a need and they meet it. Even if it's not actually in their job description. Truly, they are the hands and feet of Jesus and not just in the way they are taking care of us physically, but also emotionally.

And if all of that doesn't help you to not feel sorry for me, check out my awesome weekend visitor:

After church on Sunday mornings, Nick has been taking Jeremiah to the park to play for a bit and then they come spend some time with me, and we eat lunch and play some wild rounds of Go Fish. Obviously Sundays are the best days when this face comes to say hi for an extended period of time (he usually comes up one or two other times a week, but Sundays have turned into our special days).

And last Sunday he happened to be here when the doctors came to do their daily sonogram check up on the babies, and he could not have loved it more. Although he was super bossy with Dr. Whaley (who was incredibly patient with him!) and kept telling her, "um, is that Lena? We need to see Lena. She's our small baby. Can we look at her now. Please?" And then the moment we saw Lena he was like, "great! Back to Oliver. I want to see him again. What's he doing now?" At one point a baby kicked me and I said, "the babies can hear you, buddy. One of them just kicked me, and I think they are saying, 'hi, big brother!!'" And he said, "hey! Don't look at me, babies! I'm not the one who put all that jelly on you!" Oh, funny boy. You make all the things better.

Thank you, thank you, THANK you for the continued outpouring of love and encouragement. We are just blown away by the support we are receiving, and though we will never be able to thank you all properly, please know that these sweet babies are a testimony to the power of prayer and the grace of an amazing Creator who loves them more than we ever could. Thank you for loving them enough to pray for them so faithfully and also for rallying around our family when we most desperately need it. We are blessed.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Quick Update

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of love and support in light of our newest development with the babies. We did get to speak with Dr. Pardalos last night (the neonatologist from the NICU) and he was so kind and caring, but essentially had the same thing to say as Dr. Jackson - there is no medical right or wrong decision right now. The good news is that he does feel confident that at Lena's size, he could intubate her, which would at least give her a fighting chance. Sadly, the reality is that none of our babies are even 2 lbs yet, and we would be risking lives if we delivered them and we would be risking lives if we left them in utero. And depending on what we find on our scan tomorrow, particularly with Oliver's blood flow, we could have to make that decision within a couple of hours. The medical teams are gathering and preparing just in case we do choose to deliver, but none of them can tell us what the best choice is. And I don't blame them. They are in the same position we are...there are no guarantees at this point in gestation and every decision we make right now is a gamble, and no one wants to be the one to make that call. So ultimately it's up to Nick and I, and we are praying so hard that God would give us wisdom beyond what we deserve and peace that passes understanding. No parent ever wants to be in this position. Both doctors and every nurse we've talked to has teared up a bit with us as we've talked about all the risks and benefits associated with these choices, and it is so overwhelming to know that they love these babies so much already that they are treating them like their own.

I've kind of checked out of communication right now, but please know how very blessed we are by all the "shares," "likes," comments, messages, texts of encouragement, and words of comfort. I'm trying to keep up, but medical staff have been in and out of our room since 3:00pm yesterday, and we're just feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and trying to create space to pray and grieve and come to peace with a decision that we aren't even sure we're going to have to make tomorrow. That's maybe one of the most awful parts is that we have to be ready to make it at any point from here on out and we just don't know when. If not tomorrow, Saturday? And if not Saturday, Tuesday? And if not Tuesday, next week? So we keep praying and hoping and asking God for a miracle, but also believing that he loves these babies so much more than we ever could and that no matter what happens, He is in control. He has not lost sight of these babies or this situation and none of this is a surprise to Him. For that we are so, SO grateful.

One of the comments that did catch my eye on Facebook last night was from a sweet friend of mine that I worked with at summer camp in college. She was praying that we would be able to make this decision without fear of judgement or opinion or guilt or regret no matter the outcome, and for that I am so thankful. Thank you, sweet friend, for praying that for us and reminding us and everyone else on our journey that this is not a position anyone ever wants to be in. And thank you, friends and family and kind strangers who have jumped in to this story with us for being so compassionate and just reminding us that we are loved and prayed for. We really can't thank you all enough for that. I was hesitant to even put this on the internet, because I know it seems like an invitation to join us in making this decision, but I'm so, SO thankful that we haven't felt any sort of judgement or condemnation from anyone about what they would do, or what we should do, or what God would do, etc. Instead, you all have been an incredible source of love and encouragement, and we are so grateful. We've been honest with you all up to now about what's going on, and we've seen miracles - especially with my health and Lena's health - and I continue to share with you all because I know it is your prayers that are holding us up right now and I'm confident you will continue to do so. We are praying for a miracle for Oliver now too, but we are also praying for peace and comfort should hard decisions need to be made in the near future. Thank you for continuing to pray for us and love us and believe in us. We serve an incredible Savior and we are clinging to him for peace, wisdom, guidance, and comfort now more than ever.