Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our Story

Something has come over me to tell my story.  Can't really explain it, but I feel like I need to let people know what all my husband and I have gone through in the last year.  It has almost been a full year when tragedy hit us.  It knocked us down and we were winded.  Unable to get up right away, we grieved for some time until we caught our breath.  And when we were able to catch our breath, there were still moments that came in waves that stung so deep.  But now life has showed us a new adventure ahead, and this story shapes and molds that future journey.  Now I can honestly say we are in a better place, and we cherish every moment that life sends our way!

It all began last summer, when our crazy roller coaster ride took-off.  At the end of July 2012, we found out I was pregnant.  10 weeks later the shock returned when we discovered we were having twins.  It seemed like every curve ball was being thrown our way.  I remember being so excited to tell all my family and friends, just to hear their shocked reactions.  And that was EXACTLY what we got!  It was an unique thing and we felt excited that we were given this challenge.  I couldn't help but smile every time I thought of having twins.  Not everyone is blessed with twins.  We waited past the 1st trimester and entered the "safe zone" 2nd trimester, and we began to make the announcement.  Now we knew we were going to have these babies.  

I had to begin seeing a specialized doctor, because twins did mean I was "high risk."  I would go in every 3 weeks to do ultrasounds.  At the beginning the doctor explained to me that the twins were mono-di twins. Mono meaning one placenta, and Di referring to them being in two different sacs.  This also means they were identical twins, but we didn't know this until later.  He did mention at the time that there was a slightly higher risk of having pre-mature labor with these type of twin pregnancies.  There were not many other risk factors given at that time.  We saw the doctor at 15 weeks. and both babies were doing great.  During the ultrasound, the babies were kicking (each other) and seemed to be very active and measuring on point.  We came back 3 weeks later for our next appointment, when I was 18 weeks pregnant.  

Now it is this day I will write about, that was by far the worst day of my life.  My eyes begin to well up just remembering the horror.  As the ultrasound began, my doctor said something under his breath.  Then he turned off the ultrasound machine, put the equipment up and faced us.  I remember looking over at Mike wide eyed and scarred out of my mind.  I saw the same thing in his eyes.  I had no idea what was happening.  The doctor grabbed my knee, bowed his head slightly, looked me in my eyes and said "I am really sorry to tell you this, but the babies have no heartbeats."  

Every possible emotion just hit me in that moment.  I was stunned, angry, sad, confused, torn apart, I just didn't know what to do.  I looked at Mike and just started crying.  He got up and held me, and I just couldn't stop crying and asking "why??"  The doctor left us alone for awhile, and I never felt so lost in my life.  I didn't understand why this was happening to us. WHY US?  Then I quickly began to think about what I had done.  I can quite honestly say the world just stopped in that moment.  There was no explanation for this and we had lost our two babies.  We were very confused in this moment, and the whole world came crashing down on us.   

We had to go to the hospital next.  I remember that car ride over.  We both cried.  Still confused, saddened, and grief stricken.  I knew I was going to the hospital to face the biggest challenge ever and the next step was I had to deliver my babies, my life-less babies.  I had to be induced, and face all the common procedures an active woman in labor would have to go through, but with a much different result.  So I experienced the contractions and my water breaking, and delivered the two babies.  They were boys.  We named them Jack and Simon.  The doctor believed that they had passed away around 16 weeks.  And we also discovered more and what had happened.

After I delivered the boys, we discovered that one had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and body.  It appeared that he had wrapped his cord around himself and then grew into it.  This eventually cut his air circulation off, depriving himself of oxygen.  He then died due to this and as a result, also cut off the oxygen supply to the other twin since they shared the same placenta.  Quite honestly a freak accident.  The twins shared everything together, and the main thing being their life source.  And this is why they said we had a higher risk twin pregnancy.  Unfortunately, something completely out our control took place that we just couldn't prevent.

Now there can be some closure found in this, but it still does not eliminate the pain and loss we experience that day.  The nurse asked me if I would like to hold the babies.  Although I was terrified to do this, I just knew I had to.  I couldn't live the rest of life regretting not holding my babies.  They had been apart of me for almost 4 and half months.  When the babies were delivered, the nurse handed them both to me in a blanket and I set them on my lap.  They were so tiny.  I leaned slightly towards them and starred down at them.  They looked so innocent, fragile and peaceful.  And this is the memory I now always remember from this day.  I can go back to this moment whenever I want.  I close my eyes and see the boys in my hands.  Life-less but quite and peaceful.  NO mom should ever have to experience this moment in their life.  We are the "unique" people that got to experience this.  Mike sat next to me during all of this, he was strong but in this moment, I know a huge amount of emotions struck him right then.  And I loved him so much in that moment.  He held me and we cried together.  We were connected and nothing was going to break our bond.  

After the delivery, all I wanted to do was get home.  I was exhausted.  We had spent around 38 hours at the hospital and not to mention I was staying in the labor and delivery section of the hospital.  So moms all around me were having their alive babies, and I was going home empty.  As we packed up to go home, the hospital handed me a memory box.  Inside they had a sports blanket, two tiny baby wristbands, and a memory book.  I nearly lost it again.  As our one year anniversary of this event approaches, I am going to find the courage to pull out the box and look at everything inside.  

Now there is so much more I would like to write about, but I think I will wait and do it in another post.  Because what we were about to face coming up, was even more challenges and emotions.  It didn't just hurt that day, but the days that followed were very difficult and hard to deal and cope with. But I will leave you with one small note...

We have been blessed with our rainbow baby.  So as the one year anniversary approaches us, I will be 36 weeks pregnant with our baby girl.  Our sweet little girl will have her older brothers looking after her and protecting her.  OUR STORY is a story about what we went through and all the challenges, emotions, and grief we experienced.  Not many people talk about this, but I know I HAVE TO!  I have to get our story out there.  If I can help just ONE person out there, then I know I did the right thing!  Thanks for listening.