Mom to Tobin Robert & Miles Edward
Delivered at 16 weeks on November 16, 2011
Colorado Springs, Colorado
After a 2 ½ year struggle with infertility, we were blessed with our first pregnancy. We found out on August 22, 2011 that the IUI we did was a success! We went for our first ultrasound on September 8, 2011, our 4th wedding anniversary. My fertility specialist was surprised that it was identical twins! We were thrilled!
We met with the OB after being released from the specialist. The day before my appointment I had spotting. I freaked out immediately and went to my OB the next morning. We had another ultrasound and there they both were with healthy heartbeats. I was told some people just have spotting and bleeding.
There were concerns of the twins being “mo-mo”, basically sharing the same sac and the same fluid with no separation. This would increase the chances of TTTS and of cord entanglement. At around 11 weeks a thin membrane was spotted on an ultrasound, indicating they were in the same sac but they were safe from each other, which was a huge relief.
I did continue to experience spotting. One day at work I went to the bathroom and experienced a gush of blood. I was convinced it was all over. I called my OB and rushed to their office. We did an ultrasound and there they were, bouncing around, heartbeats strong as ever! This gush of blood happened a few more times and the OB finally discovered a subchorionic hemorrhage. I was put on bedrest for about two weeks and eventually the spotting and bleeding stopped. The SCH was also gone; it reduced in size and disappeared. Another hurdle conquered!
Then came our 15w6d appointment. We were doing some kind of blood screening test and I requested another ultrasound. There they were, squirming around. I asked the ultrasound tech to take a guess on the sex. She thought girls but said it was still a tad early. I was instructed to contact the MFM specialist for an exam for around week 20. I even set up a 3D ultrasound for around 24 weeks, before Christmas, when my Mom was supposed to be visiting us for the holidays.
We were so excited. At 5:45pm that evening I was walking through the house and I was convinced I’d peed myself. How embarrassing! I ran to the bathroom at home and thought it was strange, so I smelled my pants and it had no odor and it was clear. I was all alone and scared out of my mind. I knew in my heart my water had broken. I ran upstairs to change and call my on-call OB and I experienced another gush of fluid. I was told to go to the ER immediately. I called my husband, who was on his way home from work, and told him we had to go to the ER as soon as he got home.
We arrived at the ER and I experienced another gush of fluid in the parking lot of the hospital. Someone came out with a wheelchair and they brought me right back to a room. They did some tests to confirm that the fluid leaking was indeed amniotic fluid. I was also given an ultrasound. I was told there was literally no fluid around the babies. They contacted my OB and instructed me that I would lose the babies and I was to follow up with the OB in the morning. We were devastated.
There wasn’t much sleep going on. We got up in the morning and ran over to the OB’s office. He did a pelvic exam and advised I was dilated, but he thought he felt a sac still intact. He sent me down the hall to the MFM office and they did a high level ultrasound. I was told that Baby A had a heartbeat of 81 and was already in the birth canal. Baby B had no fluid and still had a heartrate of 146. There was no saving either of them.
We went back to the OB office and discussed what had to happen next. When I asked about a D&C, he advised the best thing to do would be to go through an induction and deliver the twins naturally. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want my firth childbirth experience to be tainted with the loss of my babies! I was told it was better for me for future pregnancies to do it this way. We could go anytime we wanted and they would be ready for me.
We went home and decided to head over later that day. We arrived at the hospital and were shown to our room. The nurses were so nice. The head nurse administered the Cytotec to soften my cervix. She said I was probably already 4cm dilated before she put it in. They advised they would do an epidural in the event that when the time came I had pain, and if the placenta didn’t come on its own they may have to go and retrieve it. That was fine with me!
I didn’t realize the questions I would have to answer. Did we want to see or hold them? (No.) Did we want to know what they were? (Yes.) Did we want to arrange for a funeral or did you want the hospital to take care of everything? (We chose the hospital.) These were all things we never thought of but we decided to do what was best for us. Originally I didn’t want to see them or even know if they were girls or boys. I changed my mind later on.
So the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. I had been bleeding and my cervix was dilating further. I was sitting on the edge of the bed. My husband was across the room, looking petrified. The anesthesiologist couldn’t get the epidural in. I began to feel intense cramping and pressure. I had read enough childbirth stories to let the nurse know I was having pressure. She asked me if she thought I could push. I had no idea but I figured it felt like I had to. I laid back and gave a push. I could feel something leaving me. The nurse then whispered to me, “They are both out.”
My world shattered.
I was instantly hysterical. My husband came rushing to me and kept telling me to look in his eyes and he was there. He was truly amazing. The nurses worked to cut cords and remove the babies from my sight. At this time I asked what they were. I was 16 weeks along and the nurse wasn’t entirely sure, so she would have the doctor let me know. She then said we should work on the epidural again in case there were issues passing the placenta. I knew I probably had to wait for him to show up. Fifteen minutes went by and again I had intense pressure. I told the nurse and again I pushed and out came the placenta in one piece.
The doctor came in about 20 minutes later and checked and felt I had passed the entire placenta. He told me then that they were boys.
The nurses asked if we had names, as they like to put something together as a memorial for babies that don’t get to go home with their mommies and daddies. So we gave the nurse their names: Tobin Robert & Miles Edward. They were born at 7:54pm on November 16, 2011.
I didn’t see what they looked like but I know they were perfect.
Several days later my OB called me and told me that there was the possibility of an incompetent cervix, but they also discovered an infection of the membranes which caused them to rupture. This is not something they test for and they hadn’t done a pelvic in several weeks. At least we know what to look for next time around.
In the meantime, we mourn. We mourn the sons we will never hold, we will never see walk, we will never hear laugh.
After such a struggle with infertility, and now with the miscarriage of our identical twin boys, where do we go?
We keep on trying, and keep on fighting, because our angels watching from above want us to be parents. And we will be.
Love you ,Tobin and Miles.
Karen blogs at http://karensinfertilityjourney.blogspot.com.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.