It has been a while since I’ve posted. Since Mother’s Day in fact. Yet, truth be told, I’ve been writing quite a bit. Only I haven’t hit publish on a single one. You see, I was waiting for the right time to “come out.” After our previous 4 losses, to start a thread on pregnancy after loss. And as it turns out, that time has come and gone, and at this point, I don’t know if those posts will ever hit the public.
In short, we found out we were pregnant back on June 12. Found out it was triplets on June 27. Found out we lost Baby A on Aug. 2 at 11 weeks. So there we were, now having lost 5 babies (5!?!), and yet this time, we still had twins with us. And so we grieved, but still had hope for our Babies B and C. Quite a weird place to be to say the least.
On we went with weekly ultrasound appointments with our amazing “I am tremendously skilled at what I do AND am actually caring about your needs” new doctor, the head of maternal fetal medicine, and his equally amazing team of “we actually know who you are and truly care about you” nurses. These weekly reassurances got us through a lot—a little spotting, some mixed genetic results, unreasonable panics, many peace of mind checks, ridiculous questions, and past the 16w6d mark that we lost our previous little girl. The continued support of our therapist had our mental health in check and enabled us to stay as sane as possible, and I use the word sane loosely. We had finally found the support and the team that we needed. And we were cautiously optimistic that we’d get to spend the rest of our lives with our little girl and boy (All previous times we said we didn’t want to find out. What better a surprise? But this time, we were all about finding out. Thinking that the surprise would be them arriving healthy and safely. We needed to know).
The anatomy scan brought questionable results due to an echogenic bowel on Baby C, but an Amnio gave us the healthy report we needed to finally come out to our family, friends and coworkers. Silly us, we thought at 20 weeks, with healthy genetic results, we were in a safer zone. Of course, we knew there was still a lot of time left and things could still happen, but we were finally able to embrace the fact that twins were really a possibility. That maybe someone was trying to make up for all of our past losses and hurt. That our dream of a family was finally going to come to fruition. And then Monday happened.
Long story short, I called the nurses to figure out if the semi-uncomfortable feeling I had in my belly was just due to the growth of the twins, or something else. After going through the nurses checklist, it appeared it was OK. But it continued throughout the afternoon, and by Monday night, I had convinced myself that I should call the on-call MFM doc and we should go into OB triage to make sure. An intense lower belly pain pushed us to go in before we ever got a call back. And another one put me in a wheelchair in the parking garage.
A quick check showed that those pains were, in fact, contractions and that I was already dilated 2cm. It was only 20w5d. “It doesn’t look good,” said the OB doctor on call. We were admitted and sent upstairs where we met with the MFM doc who reiterated the diagnosis and prognosis. We started praying for a miracle and were grasping on every story we had heard of positive outcomes. The UK woman who stayed upside down for months to save her baby. Our friend’s sister whose water broke with twins at 22 weeks, but was still hanging on at 32. Yet those prayers went unanswered.
The contractions continued throughout the night and morning hours, and an afternoon check of my cervix showed I was 7cm and that our baby girl was already well on her way. We pleaded for ways to save her, and if we couldn’t do that for any chance of saving our son. Sadly, there was no hope for either of them. For any of us.
After an awfully painful labor and delivery, complete with an epidural that kicked in one baby too late, our twins were here. Some 19-1/2 weeks early. With nothing we could do from stopping their arrival. And outside of their color, they were perfect and beautiful. He had Double A’s mouth. And she had the sweetest little face. They both had the tiniest knitted hats and the nurse handed them to me with the utmost of care. We decided to name them, but I’m not sure I’m ready to share here. I held them and hugged them, and held their hands. I kissed them and told them how much we loved them and how sorry I was that we’d never be able to experience life together. And Double A and I cried, no wailed, that we had lost more babies. We were surrounded by our parents and the MFM doctors and nurses who all shared in our grief, wanting to take away the hurt. Yet we all felt it and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
We are heartbroken, devastated, numb and in shock. Angry and bitter and raw. And perhaps most saddened by the fact that this may just be the last time. Our dream may be over. For at this point, it is unimaginable that we could do this again, for this is the only outcome we ever know. It doesn’t make sense, and it isn’t fair. But to say it isn’t fair means that there’s something/someone regulating justice, and that just doesn’t seem possible right now. And while I know there are many out there who will try to convince us otherwise, please don’t. When you take 5 pregnancies, 7 babies, 3 deliveries, 5 miscarriages, 2 stillborn and 0 at home with us, it just doesn’t add up. And it never will.