Mom to Baby lost at 8 Weeks – May 1999
Second Early loss at 8 Weeks – September 2001
June 25th, 20004
and Joshua Richard
June 25th, 2004 – June 26th, 2004
We were married on September 21, 1996 and dreamed of having a large family. Little did we know our dreams would be hard won. We began trying to conceieve immediately after we married and we were blessed with a trouble free pregnancy and full term daughter. We had no idea that we would have trouble down the road.
In May 1999 we discovered we were pregnant again and were thrilled, eight weeks in we found that our precious baby was in my tube and we were given medication that was suppose to flush out my tube and preserve my fertility. Unfortunately the medication did not work and my tube burst which not only took the life of my sweet baby but also my tube. We tried on our own for a couple years without success and finally turned to a fertility doctor for help.
After our first round of clomid with IUI (insemination) we were pregnant again and were elated, unfortunately during our first ultrasound the baby’s heartbeat was irregular. After days of worry and praying we were told that we lost our third baby. We went back a few months later and tried six more rounds of IUI with no success. We finally moved onto IVF.
Our first attempt at IVF was an amazing success. We transferred two beautiful perfect embryos on February 2nd, 2004. On February 11th we found out we were expecting, at our 5 week ultrasound to confirm that the pregnancy was in the uterus (and not a tubal again) we saw two gestational sacs, we were told not to get too excited until our next scan. At our 7 week ultrasound we saw two heartbeats. We were so very happy. We couldn’t have asked for more. TWINS! WE WERE NOT ONLY PREGNANT, BUT PREGNANT WITH TWINS!!!!!! We were both on cloud 9. I was with my home town OB, our pregnancy was progressing well, no complications, no reason to worry until I hit 23 weeks. We were on our way home from Disney World, our first family vacation and the last time we thought we’d have to spend one on one time with our daughter who would soon turn 7 years old. On the way home I started to notice pressure pains but was told by my Dr that pressure was normal and to not worry. I was still worried and I called the Dr again when we got to our house and they told me that if it continued to come into the office the following afternoon. I waited until the next morning, when I woke up and went to the bathroom I lost a huge amount of mucus. I knew I’d lost my plug and was petrified. We immediately went to the hospital. I thought for sure they’d tell me that I wasn’t dilated and to go home and rest but when they checked me, we found out that I was 5cm dilated. I was heart broken and so scared. I just remember screaming “Please don’t let my babies die” It was the moment that true reality set in and the fact that even babies as far as long as mine are vulnerable. My bed was practically turned upside down. An hour later I was checked again I was 10cm. Later on I found out that the Drs should not have checked me manually that it could actually force me to dilate more. Granted, this may or may not have made a difference but it would have been nice to have known all precautions were taken. They weren’t in my case. I was told that having a c/section would minimize trauma during delivery and give them the best possible chance of life. My husband, Rich was with me the entire time, I couldn’t ask for a better man and Father for our children. We signed all the papers in a fog and were then rushed to the delivery room. I was crying hysterically and scared to death. A short time after being wheeled in my husband and I met our much wanted sons way too early.
Ryan James (baby A) & Joshua Richard (baby b) were born to us on June 25, 2004. Ryan at 8:49am, Joshua at 8:50am The Dr’s were amazed how big and close in weight and length the boys were. Ryan was 1 pound 7oz and Joshua was 1 pound 8oz, both were 12 inches long. We heard both of our sons cry, it was the sweetest sound ever heard as we did not expect it at all. Ryan looked just like his big sister Sydney when she was born, I even have pictures of them laying the same way, all stretched out and enjoying their space. Ryan was quiet in and out of the womb and had reddish colored hair. Joshua was always more feisty and constantly moving. Josh’s hair looked to be more blonde. Some find it hard to believe but their personalities bloomed from within.
They were both put on ventilators and had so many tubes. After a couple hours in delivery they wheeled me into the level 2 nursery that was available at the hospital and let me meet my sons before they transferred them to Columbus Children’s Hospital. I touched their sweet hands and cried as I saw how delicate their skin was and how bruised they were. The pain they must have felt broke my heart. The nurses tried to tell me that they didn’t feel pain but I knew better. This is just something they tell hysterical Mommies when their children are so very sick. I was very sick from the pain medicine they put through my IV and had to be taken away from my babies sooner than I wanted. I was taken to a room and allowed to rest, even though it was impossible.
At about 1:50pm the Neonataologist came in to tell us that Ryan had taken a turn for the worse, he had the worst possible problem, a brain bleed, which caused a severe stroke and wasn’t going to make it. My husband and I were in shock and couldn’t believe we were losing our first born son. I wasn’t able to walk yet and my husband went to be with Ryan as they took him off his vent. I am so proud to say that even in the midst of this tragedy Ryan’s Daddy thought to have him baptised, knowing it was very important to me. The hospital chaplain baptised Ryan in Daddy’s loving arms as he slipped away from this earth and into Heaven at 2:10pm. My husband then brought him to me and laid him in my arms. We held him, kissed him over and over again and told him how much he was wanted and loved. Our sweet daughter asked to hold her brother and we of course allowed her to. She held her brother and kissed his head and said good-bye to the dream she had of being his big sister on earth. My sweet baby girl at the tender age of 7 learned what death truly was.
Shortly after losing Ryan, it was time for Joshua to be transferred to Children’s. He was taken by ambulance but first they brought him in his tiny incubator for me to say good-bye. I prayed it wouldn’t be the last time I saw him alive. He was taken to Columbus and we were called to let us know that he had arrived and been settled in. We prayed and prayed that a miracle would be preformed and that he would live, we would have taken him no matter what and in any way we could. We weren’t given good odds or good news from the start. Josh’s blood pressure wouldn’t stabilize and he was weakening. The vents put too much pressure on his tiny little body too. I got the dreaded call from the neonataologist at about 4pm on Saturday, June 26 that Josh wasn’t doing well and that we should come soon.
I’ll never forget that my daughter’s dance recital was this day and my husband took her trying to keep her life as “normal” as possible. I called him to the hospital and immediately checked myself out. I was NOT going to stay in the hospital while my 2nd son fought for his life. We got to the hospital in record time and were told that Joshua too had a severe brain bleed and would probably not recover. For the 2nd time in two days we agreed to remove the vent from our precious child. Joshua was baptised in my arms by the hospital chaplain again, I thank God every day for having those people at the hospitals, and they helped in more ways than they can ever imagine. I felt my sweet baby squirm in my arms for the last time before he passed away while I rocked him on June 26, 2004 at 7:20 pm, 34 1/2 beautiful hours later. I rocked him and told him that we loved him and his brother and would never forget them. Their big sister was with us and shared in the lives of her brothers, holding both of them even as her heart broke, knowing she would never truly get to know her brothers as sisters should. We all miss and think of them each and every day.
Ryan and Joshua were buried together, as they came into this world and as they left. Laying together in their tiny white casket. We wrapped them in a blue blanket that had a baseball and a little boy on it that said “baby boy” We also put two little matchbox cars in and their big sister drew them a picture, one of her the three of them together as it should have been. We had a graveside service that was quite lovely and one day we will be laid to rest beside them in our little hometown cemetery. Every year on June 25th we all go to the cemetery and release balloons and bring a birthday cake made of flowers. We miss them so very much.
We will probably never know why they came so early. The IVF process had nothing to do with the ending, I was very healthy, I ate properly, I limited my caffeine intake and did everything I was told to do. We suspect that I was having contractions that were not painful and therefore I didn’t notice them. It is also possible that my cervix was not able to hold them because of the number of procedures I had endured in our battle to be parents again. The biopsies on Ryan & Joshua’s placentas came back normal. They were healthy baby boys that were just not ready for the outside world. We are learning to live with the questions that may never have answers.
Even living through the pain, the only thing we would change is the outcome. We wouldn’t miss a minute of being Ryan & Joshua’s parents. I will be their Mommy and Rich their Daddy for as long as we live and look forward to being with them in Heaven someday. How we wished they were here with us today, causing mischief. The time with my sons taught me how beautiful and fragile life truly is.
Ryan & Joshua also gave us another gift. The gift of a voice, the gift to learn from the past and not be afraid to keep living even in the midst of extreme pain. They gave me the courage to find a new Doctor, one that would listen to my concerns and take them seriously and allow us to be parents again. In January 2006 my husband and I delivered our 3rd son, Nathan. He was full term and healthy. We truly feel he was hand-picked by his brothers to come and be with us and we will make sure he knows what wonderful big brothers he has.
Tricia can be contacted at email@example.com