Mom to Blake Richard and Kamryn Olivia Long
July 24th, 2010
My husband and I had been married for 3 years, and had been trying for 2 years without success. Once our fertility tests were completed and medications had been started, we got pregnant on our third round of Clomid. To our biggest surprise, we found out that we were pregnant with twins! At our 19 week appointment, we found out we were having a boy and a girl. Both were healthy and the pregnancy couldn’t have been any better (not an ounce of sickness.)
At almost 22 weeks, I started to have some mild cramping and pulling, figuring it was just my body was stretching, which made perfect sense because I went through a huge growth spurt. I started to have some extremely light bleeding, so I went to the doctors just as a precaution. And, I’m fairly lucky that I did..
I was perfectly fine in the waiting room, my mom and I were just talking as normal. We get into the room, the doctor does an exam and quickly pulls her hand away. “Honey,” she says, “you’re about 4 cm dilated and Baby A’s sac is bulging.. You need to get to the hospital NOW.” The rest was a complete blur. My mom apparently called my husband who was at work and told him to get to the hospital, I apparently was able to post on Facebook asking for prayers.. However, I don’t remember a thing. When I finally “remember” what was going on was when we were in Labor and Delivery, sitting in the waiting room as the nurses ran around to get my room together.
When my husband arrived, they took me down for an ultrasound because no one wanted to do another internal exam in fear of popping my water. The ultrasound only confirmed what the doctor had said. The next few hours was a barrage of medication to stop the contractions which I wasn’t feeling, antibiotics, and blood work.
The next morning, Friday, they finally got me in for an amniocentesis. The fear was that there was an infection because there was exposure to the vagina. At first glance, there was already an infection present in Baby A (Blake) but Baby B (Kamryn) seemed to be okay. We had to wait for the actual results to come back before we set our plan of action, however, I knew what the outcome would be. What seemed like an eternity and a second night of no sleep for me or my family, we got the results back Saturday morning. There was an infection in both the babies, and it could very quickly spread to me, which could be fatal. So we had no choice but to deliver. My husband who works for the local ambulance companies was frantically asking if I could be transferred to any other hospital for alternative care, but they said that any hospital would say the same thing. The past 2 days had been so hard, but the hardest stretch would soon come around.
I was immediately taken off my medications, given an epidural, and Pitocin. They were making me deliver naturally. It killed me, hearing them both on the monitor, feeling them kick away like nothing was wrong. Only an hour or so later, I was ready to push. Tears streamed down my face as my family stepped out of the room. I know I was going to have to endure such pain and have nothing. My husband sat beside me the entire time, holding my hand and kissing my cheeks. I remember the doctor telling me how to push, and I did great at it, but the second push, I remember crying to my husband saying “I can’t do this, never again..” He so sweetly leaned into me and said “whatever you want honey..” 2 more pushes and our son was born at 4:08pm. The room was silent, and so was he. The doctor cut the cord, wrapped him in a blanket and gave him to us. We just sat and cried and marveled over how much he looked like my husband and they even slept the same way. He never got to hear us, we never got to see his heart beat, he was stillborn. As soon as I was able to catch my breath and stop crying enough to see how handsome my son was, it was time to do it all over again.
Another 3 pushes and our daughter was born at 4:45pm. All we heard was a tiny little squeak, the doctor let my husband cut the cord. My baby’s heart was beating so fast, you could see it pounding in her tiny little chest. We spent time just holding her and almost laughing at how ironic it was how much she looked like me and our son looked like my husband. The nurse brought our son back over, for those brief few moments, we had our little perfect family. It was easy to see that our daughter was fading. Her heartbeat got slower and slower, and she stopped wiggling around. We like to think that she just fell asleep and drifted to heaven while in her Daddy’s arms at 5:52pm. We both whispered to her that she could go be with her brother, and she did. So there we were. Our world turned completely upside down.
I had to go for a D&C to remove some leftover placenta, which went great and they let me recover in my own room. So we let our immediate family come in and meet the babies. It was nothing but tears and sobbing, even the nurses were emotional. We were lucky enough to have the Reverend come and baptize the twins with our family there to witness. We got so many pictures during the entire journey, something we will have forever. The hospital was incredible with us as well. They made a keepsake box (which had their hospital bracelets, shells from the baptism, baby rings, and 2 little stuffed bunny rabbits), and also 2 scrap books. They took the twins down to the nursery to clean them up and dress them before we said our final goodbyes. They made these beautiful books, pictures of them holding hands, with their bunnies, and in these beautiful crocheted blankets and hats.
The following day was swarming with friends and family visiting us at the hospital. I was infection free, so I was able to go home. The walk from our room, out of the maternity ward, and out the long hallway out of the hospital was probably the longest walk of my life. My husband just held me, we walked so slow, and just cried the entire way. I just kept saying, “this isn’t right, we shouldn’t be empty handed..” And then, what seemed to be the hardest… actually walking into our house. Thankfully, my sister and friends came over and moved all of the baby items we had sitting around into a spare bedroom, that would have killed me to see that when we got home. We attempted to eat dinner, my parents left, and we just sat wrapped in each other and cried. I’m not sure that I slept for the few days after that. My husband was lucky enough to have been given 2 weeks off at work, I would have never made it through without him. The outpouring of love and support from our friends, family, and complete strangers was overwhelming. I’m certain we both would not have made it out if it weren’t for the people in our lives, bringing us food, cards, flowers, just coming to sit and cry with us. In that week, we made arrangements for the twins to be cremated. We picked the urns up a few days later, and brought them “home.” From then, we just tried picking up the pieces of our shattered lives. It took so long for me to smile again.. Even as I’m writing this, I’m sitting bawling. So many people said “the pain will pass, it will all get better.” And to be honest, it hasn’t, and it won’t.
A few months later, we decided we would try to get pregnant again. We went for multiple consults before starting medications, the general deal was, we are unable to carry multiples, if I got pregnant with multiples again, we would have to talk about a reduction. Ideally, I was to get pregnant with one baby and everything “should” be fine. On our last round of Clomid, and after being told I didn’t ovulate, we found out we were pregnant. The due date, ironic as it is, was the due date for the twins a year later. I don’t think I let myself believe it until we hit the 22 week mark, which was the one year anniversary of the twins’ birthday. We held a beautiful picnic and balloon release, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the yard. It was absolutely breath taking. Since then, I’ve felt more confident, everything has been fine this entire pregnancy and I’m happy to announce that we are now 32 weeks along with another baby girl.