Mom to twins
Lost June 28, 2012, between 7 and 9 weeks’ gestation
Hickory, North Carolina
I want to start with my good things. Between me and my spouse, we have 7 healthy , happy (for the most part) children, 3 each from previous marriages and 1 together, ranging from age 22 down to 3. He has a set of identical twins that will be 16 this year. We are blessed. Therefore…it was shocking to us while being on the pill to get a positive home test on June 5, 2012. Two more positive tests at home to follow, but I was bleeding and spotting so I went to the doctor. June 6, they did a vaginal exam and drew blood for hCG. I was pregnant. But a follow up hCG on June 8 was next. When I went in, they did another vaginal exam and decided based on info I did not know yet – my hCG was high – to do an ultrasound.
The doctor did it herself. She said, “There is baby and heart is good…but…” and smiled. I said, knowing my doctor would not smile if there was a problem and knowing my spouse has twins, “Don’t tell me there’s 2…” She replied, “Yep, there’s 2!” Had I not been strapped to a vaginal ultrasound I would have fell off the table. I begin to shake and cry and smile and laugh and shake some more. The shock was so good but so scary. She also at that time showed them to me, along with their good heart rates, gave me some pics to hold and continued her exam. Beside the babies, she showed me the area that she believed I was bleeding at. It was right beside them. So I was sent on my way to continue a twin pregnancy, which with my age at 40 would be monitored very closely.
We started to deal with the shock and become extremely accepting and happy. Light spotting, with some tissue continues on and off for a few days, then occasionally, like every 3 days. Next appointment would be June 21, for paperwork. During that, I addressed some disturbing concerns to the nurse…about spotting and just feeling something was off. She brought the doctor on duty to the room, the same man who had delivered my son 3 years prior. (Not always a nice bedside manner, but young and a God complex like no physician I have ever met.) He addressed my concern with attitude: “A lot of pregnancies especially multiples, have bleeding/spotting. At any time a baby or babies can die. I am a doctor; you have to hear me and listen…” etc., etc., etc. in a very condescending way. He may have well said, “You’re the poor, uneducated person and I am the man with a degree. I am right, you are wrong, just suck it up.” By this time, I am crying and shaking, almost hyperventilating. My spouse is not jumping in much, probably from shock, and the nurse is holding my hand, handing me tissue and telling me to breathe. With this, Isaid, “This visit is over.” I walked out to the desk to pay my co-pay as usual. He pursued me to the center lobby with an open window separating us to where everyone waiting could hear what was said. He said, “If you don’t see me, you can’t see anyone else here.” I replied in tears and crying, “Ok,” and walked out the door. Needless to say, I joined a new office. They set up an appointment for June 28 after having to wait for him to “release my records.”
June 28, I went to the new doctor. They did an ultrasound, but not like the one I had before. She would not show me the screen, answer anything, then she went from vaginal to belly ultrasound. Put us in a doctor’s office with his desk to see him. He came in 15 minutes or so later and he didn’t look happy. His words: “Three weeks ago you had an ultrasound that showed twins with heart rates. Today, we found no heart rates. I am sorry.” My world crashed. The pain in those words will never be forgotten. Why, I will never know. He explained possibilities, said I had no fault or control, that I did everything right. He asked how I would like to proceed, and before he could give me the options, I said, “I want to go to the hospital as soon as possible and have them removed.” He asked when I ate and based on that, set an appointment for 2pm. Surgery would be at 4pm. I would go home if everything went well.
Those few hours between waiting at home was spent explaining to my children who live at home about our family loss, girl 17, girl 12 and we didn’t bring the 3-year old in because he really did not understand the pregnant part to begin with and because of the issues we had not encouraged baby talk in front of him. My 12 year old is like me. She is devastated.
But while going through all this I begin to get mild contractions. My stool evacuated multiple times…just like when labor starts. So now I have the fear of proceeding with the miscarriage in my small apartment with my children watching. Why is this happening to them? The heck with me, I am an adult, I can be strong, why hurt them further?? Close to time to leave, I decided early would be better than me having the miscarriage here. So we headed out. The hospital prepped me and around 4pm, I requested a chaplain come pray for my babies before they were removed from me. I understand science, and the medical field says they are embryos. They are MY babies!!! I was not going to ever hold them. I was never going to see them. I at least needed them to be recognized. To be blessed by a person with faith much stronger than I. He also included my safety and recovery in that prayer. I have always believed. Was raised in church but have not been as an adult. Try to follow the Good Word best as possible and raise my children to love everyone and to forgive. I try to lead a decent path although sometimes I fail miserably. But during that prayer as he spoke, I felt a weight lifted and I also felt strength enter physically into my body. Never felt anything like that before. My babies have been blessed and acknowledged by God in front of me. Next would be surgery we thought. Then emergencies began flooding into the hospital which used up the only OR. So I was pushed back many times. As the first hour passed I sobbed and cried, why can’t I just get this over with? I am in pre-op waiting room 13? Is it bad luck? But as the mind flooded with pain and the grief seemed to consume my every thought and breath, I realized…the prayer had done this. When he prayed he asked God to help me on this journey because I had no idea what or how I could do this. This was the start of the help process from God. This gave me and my spouse the time to grieve openly without hurting our children and to ask questions that nurses and doctors would answer very acceptingly. It gave me time to deal with the still shock I was in. It gave me time to count my blessings I already have. To let my babies go in peace and know I will maybe see them someday in heaven, but I will hold them in my heart forever. They were in the same sac so chances are, something did not continue to grow right.
They would have been identical twins. We did not know boys or girls. We had picked some first names. Noah and Cameron or Zalexxia and Abigail. But I just prefer to call them angels now since I did not know. I finally get taken back to surgery at 9:30pm or so. I am home by 12 midnight. Don’t sleep. Just cry and try to sleep. Mild cramps and an empty womb which because it was twins and they were about 7-9 weeks (we don’t know when they passed)…had already started to show really well. I understand all I have done wrong in my life…I deserve punishment maybe, but why did my children have to suffer this loss? It’s going to be a long process. (As I write this for submission it has only been 29 hours since my world came down around me.) I just want to add that so far physically I am doing well. All the post op expectations are minimal and fading. I just have this sad thought that I wish they had taken my heart out during the surgery so I wouldn’t have to feel this anymore. But then I did a search on pregnancy loss and found this site. Many of you have had much harder stories than I. I feel like I need to share and maybe help someone like you all are helping me. Thank you for sharing and listening.
Time Tells All alright, tells that some things always change and some things will never change, that the world is not only divided by its differences but by even the things that are agreed upon, that no matter how much time passes some things will always hurt the same, it’s not eased by time, it’s just recounted less often by the mind, that some things will never hurt, because we will not allow our heart to feel enough to hurt, and that so be the time that passes, some people will never learn life’s lessons and those who do learn from them will still repeat mistakes they made because they think “they’re grown” and words of wisdom are never that, but words of experience.
You can contact Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.