Devin and Elizabeth
Born and died on January 15, 2004
It took us a while to get pregnant. I remember going through those days of infertility and how I couldn’t believe it was happening to me – to us. Then, after 4 years of trying, countless procedures, and ready to throw out the dream of carrying a child, we found out it worked – we were pregnant! What followed less than 2 weeks later was finding out we were having twins! What a miracle!! After years of trying, finally we had been blessed with not one but two babies!
I was lucky – it was a beautiful pregnancy. I didn’t really have any morning sickness – there were occasional days I didn’t feel good, but nothing I could complain about. I felt good, the babies were growing – it was a miracle. Looking back, I always wonder if I knew something was wrong. My husband and I talked about the twins all the time, discussed names and the nursery and such – but I didn’t feel in a hurry to get anything done. I had only bought a few tiny things for them, had barely taken any pictures of my growing belly and had just started really thinking about pulling the nursery together. Maybe it was being first time parents, maybe it was a feeling I couldn’t put my finger on – I’ll never know.
We had found out at my 16 week ultrasound that we were most likely having a boy and a girl! That was when we really started thinking this was meant to be. After trying for so long and now to be blessed with twins AND 1 boy and 1 girl – amazing! The babies both looked perfect – 20 fingers and 20 toes and everything in between was perfect!
Then – things changed so quickly. It was a Wednesday – and I was 21 weeks 6 days pregnant. I remember being at work that morning and just feeling “off.” My lower back hurt, not uncommon, but it seemed different. Of course, being my first pregnancy, I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I remember going to the mall at lunch to walk around – and sitting in my car on my way back to work was when I thought the pain in my back might be more like cramps or something. When I got back to my office, I called the nurse at the doctor’s office and she reassured me. She advised me to take some Tylenol, drink a lot of water and go home and rest on my left side. If anything started to become regular, to give them a call.
So I did just that – I went home, drank a ton of water and rested on my left side. The evening that day was pretty normal – I was watching the pain I was feeling and started thinking maybe there was a pattern. I have a lot of regrets when I think back to that evening – most that don’t do me any good but cause my heart pain – but when I think back to that evening, I wish I would have gone to the hospital sooner. Maybe the outcome would have been the same, but I will always wonder if that choice would have made things different.
I could feel the babies moving around, so I was reassured as I went to bed. I slept off and on but I do remember in the night not noticing much pain. About 4:00 I couldn’t sleep so I went to the couch. Around 5:30 I went to the bathroom and noticed some spotting. I immediately woke my husband and called the on-call doctor who told us to come in. I will never forget that short 10 minute drive to the hospital – I remember the urgency as my husband drove us there.
Once we got to the hospital, for a few hours I felt pretty calm. They didn’t want to check me for fear that they would start more labor, so they gave me some meds to stop contractions, talked to me about bed rest and were just watching me. No one checked my cervix or anything. So I spent the morning making phone calls and really thinking things would be okay.
Then – things started changing quickly. Before I knew it I was tilted with my head back/down in bed and they were upping my meds. The panic in the room shot up and I remember telling the doctor that I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom – and they just looked at me like I was crazy. My body was telling me what my heart didn’t want to hear. It was time – the babies were coming.
All of a sudden – my water broke. Barely a push or two later, our son Devin was born. They had told me he would be to small to cry – but he cried. For a second I thought maybe he would be okay – but at just 22 weeks he was too small. That cry was the most beautiful and heartbreaking sound I have ever heard. I will never forget it – even when I fear I will – I don’t. We had a few moments with him and prayed his sister would hold on and stay inside…but just a few short minutes later my second water broke. Our precious Elizabeth was born silent and was just beautiful.
The next few hours were a blur – we had to make decisions no parent should have to make. I feel blessed that my husband and I were able to work through it together and are stronger. It was tough – there were days I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep. I stayed home from work for 2 weeks with my husband – I wish I would have stayed home longer. For a long time, Thursdays were hard for me – I couldn’t escape the memories. Eventually I was able to weave my children into my daily life without the grief overtaking me – most of the time.
Now, 7 years later, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Devin and Elizabeth in some way. They are forever my first born son and daughter. I miss them every day and love them forever.
Julie can be reached at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org