Courtney
Mother to twins, Logan Ryan and Brody McRae, January 31st, 2009;
and rainbow baby Wyatt River, May 31st, 2010
Lansing, MI

The story of Logan Ryan & Brody McRae:

I cannot for the life of me remember the time that anything happened as it was all a blur. I didn’t even know what time it was when I gave birth to the boys. Later on I would find out that Logan was born at 9:06am and Brody at 9:28am. I remember on the 30th, sitting in the Labor and Delivery room feeling somewhat OK. We were waiting on my blood results to see if my levels were going in the right direction. In comes Dr. R, the high risk Dr, and his team of interns. They all had very long faces and some would not look me in the eyes. Dr. R sat down and that is when I knew my life would change forever.
Dr. R in his calm, sensitive, compassionate voice explained to us that my levels are decreasing at a very alarming rate. It was diagnosed as HELLP syndrome. I was on the verge of having a seizure and possibly going into a coma and the only way to prevent this was to deliver the babies. There was no way around it he said. I immediately started sobbing and the next thing I remember was Jason holding me as the Dr’s sat there and watched us cry. Shortly afterwards they left the room and Jason and I just held each other and realized our dreams of raising our babies was going to be over in a matter of hours. In a blink of an eye.

Jason made the call to my Mom and my sister to come to the hospital as soon as possible and was choking back tears in the process as I sat there, holding my stomach, praying silently to a God whom I would soon be angry at to please save my sons life. Not mine. Theirs. This is the first time I have admitted this.

Our family was there in a matter of hours. I was immediately hooked up to an IV of Magnesium Sulfate. The concoction, I would learn would make me feel like death. I was given a shot in my cervix and given suppositories to start dilatation. Jason and my Mom were in the room with me when I was given this stuff. I was scared out of my mind and felt horrible on that magnesium. I remember that they were both on my left side, Jason holding my hand, my Mom holding Jason, both crying and scared themselves. My poor husband. I can’t even explain how it was to see my husband sobbing uncontrollably. It was literally the most heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed. And so we waited for the contractions.
My in-laws went to get a hotel room, my Dad and grandparents all went home to get some rest because the Dr’s said I wouldn’t get contractions probably until the next day. My Mom, sister, and Jason were there with me the entire night. Poor Jason was so exhausted he passed out first. My contractions started. A pain that I have never felt in my life. A pain I should have been feeling much later on. Not at five and 1/2 months.

I do not recall this but at one point in the midst of my contractions, it was just my sister and I. Apparently I looked over at my sister and told her that I was afraid to fall asleep in fear that I would not wake up. She told me a few days later about our conversation and how she stayed up the entire night after that and watched my chest to make sure I was breathing. Be still my heart. My darling little sister was sitting there watching her sister suffer because of the babies in her womb that she herself helped create. My sister would later have terrible nightmares because of everything that happened that day.

The next morning. My contractions are getting closer together. I maybe had 4 hours of sleep. I remember I was laying on my right side, someone was rubbing my back because I was having terrible back labor. Then it happened. I felt a pop. My water broke. I knew it was going to be over soon. I almost didn’t want to even tell anyone so that I could just have a few more minutes with my sons alive and inside of me.

Everything from this point on was such a hectic blur. People frantically moving around me. Tons of Drs and nurses coming in and out. Finally my legs were propped in the stirrups, my dear Jason on my left side and my Mom on my right side. It was time to push. I cannot even tell you how long I pushed I was so out of it. I remember feeling every little bit of my labor even though I was hooked up to a morphine pump. The Dr kept telling me to push the button to administer more pain meds into my system. I didn’t want to. The least I could do was feel the pain. I did. I do not regret it, not for a minute. I felt him coming down the birth canal. I felt him come out. My little Logan. My nurse cleaned him off and dressed him and I got to hold him. I kissed his sweet little forehead and it was oh so warm with life. He then went into his grandmother’s arms where, two hours later, he would pass away peacefully. It was then time for me to focus on getting Brody out. Again, I felt every little bit of him coming out and honestly it felt like he came down the birth canal sideways because he hurt A LOT more than Logan did. My poor Brody was so bruised from the induction meds. I would kiss him and feel his warmth as well and went straight to the arms of his Aunt Noelle. Jason couldn’t look at them. He was so shaken and upset he fell to the floor. Our beautiful sons were alive this entire time.
I now was beyond exhausted at this point. The magnesium drains you of every ounce of energy that you have, it honestly is horrible stuff. I had to deliver the placentas. I tried. With everything in me. I just couldn’t. I had to have a D&C. By the time I came to from my operation the boys had passed away. I woke up hazy but saw the most beautiful site my eyes have seen. My mother holding my sweet baby boys. A site that I will never forget for as long as my mind holds onto the memory.

I was wheeled back into L&D where I would hold my sons for the last time. I kissed their heads and by this time they were cold. There was no more life in their tiny bodies. Everyone held them for one final time and said their final goodbye to their nephews, grandsons and great-grandsons. Our room was filled with so much love it was unbelievable. The nurse took our boys away and then Jason and I began life ….. without our sons.

The story of Wyatt River:

This is the first time I have shared the story of our son Wyatt River. Our beautiful rainbow baby. Everything was going so well with the pregnancy. Starting from the very beginning when I became pregnant with him after a flawless frozen embryo transfer of our last two remaining embryos from our IVF back in September of 2008 (which results in the pregnancy of our twins). Yes, two embryos were put into my empty womb. I had some spotting during my two week wait after my transfer and before my official pregnancy test that had me incredibly worried. However, I could not wait until my pregnancy test so I bought some home pregnancy tests that beautifully showed … I was pregnant. After such a huge loss of losing our twins, we were over the moon happy and ready to start this life of being pregnant again. This was in January 2010, a few weeks before our twins first birthday in heaven.

As I said, everything was going so well with this pregnancy. I barely had any morning sickness and he was growing big and strong. Of course this was before we found out he was a he. I had thought that he was actually a she to be honest. We scheduled the anatomy scan for May 4th, two days before my husbands birthday. We wanted to do something fun for the revealing of the sex so we decided to put the results in an envelope and take it to the cake shop the day of Jason’s birthday and put the color cake on the inside with either blue for boy or pink for girl so that when Jason cut into his cake … we would then know what we were having. It was incredibly hard waiting an extra two days to find out after my appointment at the ultrasound but it was so worth it. The look on his face and all of ours when the blue cake was revealed was beyond priceless .. something I will never forget as long as I live. We were having another boy. We started to buy more boy stuff, we bought a crib and a changing table, and we painted the nursery which never got painted when I was pregnant with the twins since I only made it to 22 weeks with them. We just knew deep down we were going to bring our baby home.

When I reached 22 weeks one day with this second pregnancy I embarked on the feeling of being the most pregnant I had ever been. Again, everything was going according to planned. That is until 22 weeks 4 days when I went into OB triage due to me having braxton hicks contractions and spotting. It was determined I had bacterial vaginosis two days prior and the medicine was making my cervix friable which was causing the spotting. This was on a Friday. I was told to take it easy for the rest of the weekend and stay on my meds for the BV. I did just that. On Sunday the 30th, I was feeling mild pain in my lower abdomen. I assumed it was just gas pains. Little did I know on the 28th when I was in the OB Triage it was the start of the end.

Jason and I spent Sunday the 30th being lazy around the house and getting ready for the following week. We decided to go get some ice cream. When I came home, as I said, I was feeling those pains in my lower region. I laid down on my left side think it was just gas and that it would pass. It seemed to go away. As the night progressed and we were getting ready for bed the pain returned. I was at my back door waiting for my dog to come in so we could go up to bed and I doubled over in pain. Again I thought it was just gas pain or possibly me on the verge of having a bad bout of diarrhea. I kept feeling the pain and it wouldn’t go away. I went upstairs to talk to Jason and call my Mom to see what she wanted me to do. After we all agreed to call the OB on call I did just that. See my husband was in bed because he had to be up at work the next morning by 6am so I went downstairs so that he could sleep and not disrupt him. While on the phone with the OB I told her that I was doubled over with pain but it felt like gas. She told me to take some Tylenol to ease the pain and lay down and if it gets worse to come into OB triage. She said to feel my stomach and if it isn’t getting hard when I feel the pain then that means that I am not in labor. I did tell her that it felt like I needed to go to the bathroom and have a bowel movement. I hung up the phone with her and tried to lay down in our guest bedroom.

I tried to sleep. I kept on tossing and turning because the pain did not go away. The pain kept making me have to go to the bathroom. I called my Mom and told her to come over so that she could take me into OB triage so that Jason could sleep. After I got off the phone with her I tossed and turned in the bed some more. I got up to go to the bathroom again and this time … my water broke. I will never ever forget the sound of it. I screamed at the top of my lungs for Jason to come downstairs. My screams would haunt him for weeks afterwards. I told him to call 911. By this time … I delivered our third son while I was on the toilet. Jason was still on the phone with 911. I had my phone in there with me and I called my mom and could barely get out the words that I delivered the baby and that she needs to hurry up and get here. I could feel myself bleeding. I looked in the toilet only once and could see his umbilical cord dangling from my body and into the toilet. I couldn’t see him. I think at this point I was screaming. Jason told the 911 person that I had delivered the baby, she told him to get him out of the toilet. He just couldn’t, he was on the verge of passing out. I told him to give me the phone so I could talk to her. I remember her asking me if I could get him out. I just couldn’t, I could not look in the toilet of blood again or else I was going to pass out. By this time the ambulance had arrived and she told me she wishes me all the best.

My Mom arrived at my house the same time the ambulance did. The paramedics came right into my bathroom where I was. They were trying to keep me calm. I couldn’t even move or talk I was so distraught. He kept asking me what time this all happened, how far along I was. I think I answered. I know my Mom answered some of the questions. They had to get him out of the toilet, I was leaning against one of the paramedics while the other lifted my son from the toilet, the cut his umbilical cord and I could hear my precious boy gasping for air. I will forever and always feel an enormous amount of guilt for not doing more for my baby boy. They immediately started to perform CPR on him and rushed him into the ambulance. It was now my turn to go. They got me onto a gurney that was in my hallway and out to the ambulance I went along side my son. I was shaking from losing so much blood. There were three men in the ambulance with us. Two were trying to keep my son alive and one was trying to help me and get an IV in me. I remember looking up and to my left and asking them if my boy was still alive. I remember them telling me he is such a fighter.

We finally arrived at the hospital. The baby was immediately taken to the NICU and Jason went to be with him, my Mom with me. I was taken to the ER where they gave me morphine for the pain and pitocin to help me deliver the placenta. I tried pushing as much as I could. All I could think about was my son in another part of the hospital. I asked my Mom who never left my side, to go check on the baby. One of the nurses told her to stay with me and she would go check on him for us. This is when Jason came into my room and then … I knew, he was gone.

I didn’t want to believe it. My Mom went over to talk to Jason and I heard her start sobbing. She then came over to me with tears in her eyes and I asked her, even though I knew he was gone, if he was ok. She grabbed my hand and started crying. I started screaming that this cannot be happening again, I did not just lose another baby. I could not believe it. I remember feeling the overwhelming thoughts of wanting to die so I could be with all of them. There was no way I could handle this again.

Losing the twins was earth shattering, losing Wyatt made my remaining world crumble at the very core of my being. Jason and I are somehow alive and breathing. How .. I do not know. I think the small amount of hope left in our hearts and the love for our sons keeps us going. We can still have children, we have to do IVF again as I was told yet again there is no permanent damage to me physically, mentally though, well, that’s another story.


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Comments

  1. Maddie says:

    Courtney – Both your stories are heartbreaking. You did everything you could for all of your babies.

    I am so sorry you've been through so much. Thinking of you, your husband, and your beautiful sons.

    Maddie x

  2. Antoinette says:

    Courtney, I love you…that is all I can say….My heart goes out to you, your husband and your mother. I can not imagine mentally what you are going through as all of our losses are different. I pray for you…and i PRAY for your happy ending….*tears*

  3. liberalgranolagirl says:

    I am heartbroken for you and Jason. I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow. Know that I <3 and am here for you.

  4. Bree says:

    Oh, Courtney. Thank you for sharing Wyatt's story with us. I am so incredibly sorry. Love to you and Jason. xo

  5. Kaitlin says:

    Courtney, you and Jason are the strongest people I know.

    I adore you and love you. <3

  6. Lesley says:

    Courtney- my heart breaks for you each and every day. Thank you for sharing your story, your boys' story with so many. please know that you and Jas are in our prayers!

  7. Former_Flora says:

    In time it will help with your healing that you have shared your story. My condolences for your losses but also prayers that your quest will end positively. Just being able to get out of bed shows what a strong person you are.

  8. Lulee19 says:

    My heart is hurting for you. I am so sorry for your incredible losses. You have been through so much. I really, really hope you get your take home baby soon!

  9. Katie says:

    Courtney,

    I hope you will get this. I have been following your blog and have not been able to find you since you went private. I would love to check on you and see how things are going! Please add me to your blog list! katieburns0517@gmail.com. I cant wait to hear good things!

    • Kalena says:

      Courtney… I’m in the same position as Katie. I heard of your blog through a friend of a friend and regularly checked in to see how you and your husband were doing. Ever since you went private (which I completely understand) I have been thinking of you and hoping that things are well. I would love an invite to view your blog, if you’d be so kind to add me :)

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