72 Hours That Changed Everything :: Thank Yous To Those Who Stood With Us

Some of you have asked about whether I was going to write about the events of this past week. And while I definitely will at some point, I’m just not able to do so in much detail yet. To take myself back into those moments and to reflect on the thoughts and emotions running through my mind and heart is just too overwhelming at this point. The sheer elevation change from a point of such extreme joy, with the birth of our healthy twin boys, to the lowest point of desperation I have ever felt in my life in just a few short hours was a shock to my system that I am not prepared to re-enter into, at least not yet. Those 72 hours felt like a bungee jump, at least what I imagine a bungee jump to feel like since the thought of actually doing that makes me pee in my pants a little bit. It felt much like a free fall that stopped just short of the concrete, swinging me back upwards, only to drop me again and again and again.

I can honestly say that I am a very different person than I was on Tuesday, when we went into the hospital. Some of that is due to the circumstances, but even more than that, I have been changed by some of you, the people who were with us through all of this. So, here are a few thank yous that I just had to make public before too much time had passed…

Thank you Facebook friends that immediately began to pray and spread the word about what was happening. So many of you shared and re-posted the prayer requests and updates so quickly that within an hour of hearing the news of Erin’s complications, I received notifications of hundreds of people praying. Those hundreds would literally turn into thousands over the next several days. People from all over this community, people from so many different phases of our lives, high school friends, college friends, bible study groups, churches all over the country (and some in other countries) that began to pray for our family. You pounded upon the doors of heaven for us and you changed things. Thank you!

Thank you to our family. To my parents, who were with me waiting, crying and praying during the surgery and rejoicing with me afterwards. To Erin’s parents, who left Georgia immediately, driving through the night, to show up at her bedside by 4am. Most of you probably don’t know that Erin’s father lost his wife when she was around Erin’s age, leaving him with four kids at home. The similarities were shocking and, I’m sure, quite terrifying for him. And in spite of all of that He remained the picture of strength and confidence, as a Father should when his daughter is scared. Also, Erin’s brothers and sisters came driving and flying in from as far as Virginia to stand with us through this. I watched as Erin and her siblings told stories and laughed and even cried together over those next two days. It was amazing. You changed things. Thank you!

Thank you to our church family. I have never known a community as caring and compassionate as The Church At South Lake. You exemplified the love of Christ to us in a more tangible way than I could have ever imagined. Within minutes – and I mean minutes! – of receiving the news that Erin was having major complications there were already people beginning to gather in the hospital waiting room praying for her. It blew me away. They stayed late into the night and fought with us through this entire ordeal. They visited and prayed and carried our burdens along side of us as the body of Christ is meant to do. We love you. You changed things. Thank you!

Thank you to my pastor, Brian Hammond, who showed up at the hospital almost immediately with his wife Tandy and waited with me to hear if Erin was going to live. He prayed with me. He cried with me. He stayed with me late into the night and even into the next morning. He even showed up again before he went into work the next day. He is a dear friend and a man who I hold in the highest regard. You’re presence changed things… I know it changed me. Thank you, Brian!

Thank you to the South Lake Hospital nursing staff who cared for us before the delivery, during the surgery and afterwards. You showed amazing compassion. You cared for our boys as if they were your own and it allowed me to be by my wife’s side as much as possible. You were flexible with us and apparently even broke a few rules and procedures for us. 😉 You changed things. Thank you!

Thank you to all of the Doctor’s at The Women’s Centre For Excellence. Each and every one of you played a significant role in these events:

Dr. Lewis and Dr. Lewis (I know right… how awesome that we had two Dr. Lewis’ delivering our twins… is that the right plural form – Lewis’, maybe Lewi…anyway), you pulled off an amazing delivery, even flipping the second baby in utero so we could avoid a C-section. Erin doesn’t remember so much about it, since she was freaking out about her epidural not working, but I remember everything. You were both amazing! You changed things. Thank you!

Dr. McLaughlin, you set our minds at ease and began the procedure to remove the balloon, which thankfully was the final procedure in this whole drama. You changed things. Thank you!

Dr. Texier, you rushed into the OR late into the evening, when you were not on call and didn’t have to, and you assisted in the emergency surgery that saved Erin’s life. You changed things. Thank you!

Dr. McLean… I can hardly find the words that communicate what to say here. You were the exact person that I would have chosen to be in that room. You delivered both of our first two children and you have been a part of our life for over six years. God designed you with an intellect and boldness that make you a great doctor and an amazing surgeon. I believe that it is in God’s hands to give and to take away life, but I also believe that God chose you to be the doctor in that room Wednesday night. You were the one who had to be there. The one who was talented enough to identify a potential disaster and take action, the one who was calm and collected enough, in the midst of all of that chaos and insanity, to remember an article you had read about a relatively new procedure, the one who was brave enough to try something you had never done before in order to save the life of a mother of four, the one who was passionate enough to stay up all night pouring over lab results to make sure you didn’t miss anything and that you knew what you were going to be up against in the morning. And I’ll never forget how you came to sit down with me and break the devastating news of Erin’s condition. You were a perfect balance of compassion, realism and confidence. I’ll never forget that night and I’ll never forget what you have done for our family. Thank you for all of the work that you have put in to be the doctor you are today. At no point in this entire ordeal did I ever feel like just another patient file. You changed things. Thank you!

Thank you, Erin, for being the most amazing woman I have ever known. You are more beautiful to me now than when we first met. The more we walk through life together, the more I fall in love with you. I can’t imagine how I would move forward without you by my side. I am a better man because of you. God has used you to shape me in more ways than I could ever recount. And, let’s be honest, our kids would be on the fast track to delinquency if I was a single dad. Thank you for fighting to live. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for all of the days we have spent together and for all of the many that still lie ahead. You changed things. Thank you!

And most of all I would like to thank my God who loved me enough to watch His own Son bleed and die on my behalf. He walked with me through fire that night. I felt His hand on me when I was certain I was alone. He shined light into the darkest period of my life. I can honestly say that, although I was scared and uncertain about what the future would look like, I was confident that He held me, and Erin, in His hands and that there was nothing that would come upon us that He would not sustain us through. He is my Rock, my Shield and my Defender. He is Faithful and True and He is, and always will be, the friend that sticks closer than a brother. You have most certainly changed things. Thank you, Father!

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About rmashaw

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, pastor, musician and artist who desries to open up the box of my life for others to rummage through and perhaps find something of use to them.
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25 Responses to 72 Hours That Changed Everything :: Thank Yous To Those Who Stood With Us

  1. Janice says:

    no words. just totally in tears and in awe of our amazing God.

  2. Kelle says:

    I have come to know you thru a friend of yours, Janice Bangle, and I prayed for Erin when it was posted prayers were needed. I had tears of joy when i saw the post that she was ok. And now I have more tears after reading this blog, for if anything ever showed the power of GOD, it is this blog. This is what we receive when we believe. God is Great! And I am so glad He blessed this family.

  3. Tandy Hammond says:

    Reece, your faith in the one true God that sets us free changed things too…

  4. Irene Shaff says:

    Loved reading this. My sister-in-law, Jennifer Bennett, told us about Erin as soon as she heard…we have been praying for all of you ever since. We will continue to keep your precious, precious family in our prayers.

  5. Kristy Carroll says:

    Reece, I know we don’t know each other personally and have only seen one another in passing when I have attended events or MOPS at The Church at South Lake but I loved Erin from the moment I met her. She is the shining light God directs us to be and it is beautiful to see the marriage and love you share together. The world is better for having her here and I am certain you have no doubts of that. God has blessed you and He makes me proud to say I serve Him. Thank you for sharing and being so open.

  6. Chris Bender says:

    Reece,
    This brought me to tears. The whole time I was reading this I was reminded of the emotions that were running through me when Caleb was diagnosed. I love that you took the time to thank everyone. I want to take a second to thank you. When Caleb was diagnosed I too felt the roller coaster. The dark cloud that forms over you when you are confronted with something that we can not deal with. Something so hard that only the power and comfort of God and those that He puts in our path can help us overcome. Both you and Brian were there for me at my darkest hour. When I had no words to express my sorrow you both held me and prayed with me and through you the incredible mercy and comfort of our Lord came over me like a blanket. I don’t think I can ever thank you both enough. Anyone who does not believe that there is a God could never explain away how so many small thing could have kept my family exactly where we were at exactly the right time so that we were with the people of God who would help us get through this difficult time in our lives. Our God truly knows us and our needs. Not just now but through all the time of our lives. He places people like you where they need to be to make sure that his people are nurtured both spiritually and emotionally. To allow us to get through these times together as a family of God. Being adopted I have learned that blood and DNA matter less than love and mercy. You are now and always will be my brother. Not just in Christ but in all of life. I truly love you as a brother. Thank You.

  7. Kristi Demeree says:

    Reece I am in tears reading this and just in awe of what an amazing couple you and Erin are. I know you don’t know me but our children were in school together and I too have twins so I had been talking with Erin via fb during her pregnancy. This roller coaster during this last few days, wow I can only imagine what it has been like for you. Just know that your faith and love has been so inspiring to so many, thank you for being someone we can look up to and aspire to be<3

  8. Rachel Sibley says:

    This is beautiful and has left me very emotional tonight. I thought about you so much the past several days. Having been the ones that were left behind after our Davey’s tragic death only a few months ago, I couldn’t help but think what you were going through in all of this. I now understand loss in such an amplified way, that you were constant on my mind. But your strength throughout it is evident and even hundreds of miles away and through one simple blog you still lead me closer to Christ. Your faith not only amazes me it pushes me. I love you guys both very much!

  9. Nicole Mendonca says:

    Thank you sharing your story. I heard about Erin’s story on FB from Arlena Lees Photography page. I don’t know Arlena, but at some point ‘liked’ her page. I saw the post about Erin on tues night & reposted for my friends to pray. I have been updating them. Praise God for hearing our prayers. God bless you!!!

  10. Melissa Seaver says:

    Hi Reece, I am a friend of Kristin Cole. She asked her friends to pray for your family on FB. When I read your story I was brought back to my own delivery just 9 short weeks ago. I too delivered my baby via c-section and also suffered bleeding issues. I developed HELLP syndrome the day after I delivered and was bleeding out internally from my liver. After 6 units of blood, 6 plasma and 22 platelets they were able to stop the bleeding. I am not exactly sure what condition your wife suffered but they sound eerily similar. I was in the hospital 11 days and my little girl, born eight weeks early, was there for 40 days. I’m happy to say we are both at home and thriving now. God is amazing!! I know all too well how you feel when you say you’re not ready to revisit all the emotions of the events that took place. It’s such an overwhelming feeling that I still haven’t quite processed. I am so happy that your wife and babies are doing well and God answered our prayers. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers.

  11. Reece you don’t know me…but I am a friend of your Mum and Dad’s from Virginia…but actually live in London at the moment. I have been following everything on fb…and saw what was going on…and I have been praying for you all. I Praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in answering our prayers…and rejoice with you today that you have these wonderful babies/gifts from God and a beautiful healthy wife. He is truly a prayer answering, faithful God…and worthy to be praised!! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Praise God for his mercy and blessings. Thank you, Reece, for sharing your family’s story. It was an honor to pray for Erin, you and your family throughout Erin’s pregnancy and through the last several days. God calls us to pray for each other, to hold up our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially during the darkest days. Your faith through this was a testimony to the all of us. We will continue to keep your family in our prayers. To God be the glory!

  13. Christina says:

    Reece, I hope you don’t mind me sharing your blog. This is one of the most touching and powerful messages I’ve read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m so thankful for the miracle God gave us by keeping Erin alive and well!!!

  14. Kimberly Smith says:

    I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I found out about your wife’s medical condition last Thursday through your sister-in-law, Adriana. I have been praying for you all and I can’t tell you how excited and inspired I am by this miracle!!! God is so good and I’ve learned that even when it looks like there is no hope, He is more than able to make us victorious over anything that life brings. I am so grateful that I have been able to witness this miracle and I pray that God will continue to bless and keep you and your family.

  15. Anonymous says:

    That was probably one of the most beautiful, heartfelt posts I have ever read in my life. I do not know you personally, but a friend of Erin’s posted the need for prayer on Facebook and I am so honored and humbled to be part of your prayer chain. I am a Christian Ob-Gyn nurse who lost a patient not too long ago and it scares me how close Erin came and how close you came to losing her. Four children without their mother….absolutely heartbreaking to think about. But God is so good and He brought you through and the changes that He has made, you have made known to us. What an absolute blessing you and your family are. And what a blessing that so many of God’s people came together to pray for her. Erin…you are a fighter. God bless you and your family. Again…that you for your post. I am writing through tears and you have touched my heart and blessed me with this.

  16. Rachel Wynn says:

    Wow, what a story. You don’t know me but I have been praying for your family since Wednesday when I heard what happened. I am Mary Brown’s sister Rachel. Thank you so much for being so open about your family’s situation and allowing people to pray. I feel like I have grown spiritually in the last week because of your attitude towards everything that happened and going to My Father in prayer a lot. I am so glad Erin and your boys are at home now. Just wanted to say thank you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    God is an amazing God

  18. Patrice St. Romain says:

    Reece and Erin, you don’t know me but you have been on my mind and in my heart since our friend Amber Madawi asked for prayers during delivery and then throughout your ordeal. I immediately dropped to my knees in prayer and have continued to prayer for y’all since. I applaud you for being so public with your need for prayers and for inviting everyone into your personal life and story. Gavin, Kate, Luke, & Wyatt have such special parents and are really lucky! Your story hit home with me because just 10 weeks before, Dr. MB Lewis and Dr. McLean saved my life too. God has truly blessed our community with such wonderful doctors. I will continue to pray for your family and your healing.

    Blessings!

  19. Janice Perham (Amber Flaugher's Mom) says:

    Erin and Reece, the picture on this post is the absolute essence of motherhood. I wish you and your family much love, health and peace. Bless your beautiful family!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This story just proves how awesome our God truly is. God still performs miracles on a daily basis. It is wonderful to be a witness to one!

    Blessings to your entire family and may our loving Father keep his arms of protection around you all.

  21. Amy Harvick says:

    God Bless you and your family!

  22. Ivy Kochinka says:

    Amazing, honest and without doubt. I pray we can all come through situations as strong and as faithful as you have. God Bless you and your family! Please make sure to save and share with your boys as they get older.

  23. Alice W.. says:

    Reece & Erin thank God for your story and many who have benifitted from it. God will take care of his children now and always if we only trust him and you seem to be someone who does and do not wait until the last moment to do so, but stay prayed up for just a situation as this. God continue to keep & hold you in his care..

  24. Lindsay says:

    I know that we don’t know each other, but one of my friends (Becky Spring-Wyatt) asked for prayer for you and your family. As soon as I read the post I started to pray, and watched closely as Becky posted more. After reading this small bit of Gods amazing grace in your life has truly touched my heart. It always astounds me what God is capable of when we truely seek Him. I am so thankful to hear that all is well. I am truely blessed by your faith in God… May God bless you and your family for your amazing faith in the midst of a storm.

  25. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Your thankful heart has without a doubt… “changed things.” GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR AMAZING WIFE AND CHILDREN.

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