Mom to Jacob, a twin

Died July 6, 2008 and born September 10, 2008

Tucson, Arizona

My journey started in February 2008. It never occurred to me that I would have anything other than an ideal, fairy tale pregnancy. I would have a healthy baby and it would all be so easy and magical…Wrong! I found out at 13 weeks that I was having twins. This possibility never entered my mind. I was terrified, and my husband was terrified. But we knew it would be ok. We started planning, we picked names: Baby A would be Jacob and Baby B would be Kaleb. I dreamed about their room, I ordered their bedding sets and I bought letters to paint and hang above their cribs. I was secretly afraid I would mix them up so I wanted their names above their cribs. I painted them myself and had so much fun.

It started around the 4th of July. I wasn’t feeling them move anymore. The doctor told me to go in to NW Women’s Center just to have them checked. I was there for a few hours. We listened to their heart beats on the monitor and they did an ultrasound. They told me everything was fine, that there wasn’t a problem. The next day, a Sunday, the on call doctor from my OB called and told me she was reviewing my ultrasound and something didn’t look right. She told me I needed to go to labor and delivery triage at University Medical Center and ask to see Dr Macuilla, that she had called and told them I would be coming. My parents went with me; I was oblivious, just telling myself everything was fine. It was denial.

They spent hours trying to find Jacobs’s heartbeat, numerous nurses and residents all suddenly avoiding eye contact and quickly leaving to ask someone else. Finally, Dr Macuilla came in, he was the one that had to confirm what everyone already knew, except me; he had to tell me my son had died, his heart was no longer beating and they had no idea why. I was 27 weeks. They ran tests, drew so much blood I thought I wouldn’t have any left. Everything was “normal”. They had no reason, only guesses. I had steroid shots to develop Kaleb’s lungs faster and the next 8 weeks were consumed with doctor appointments. Thursday afternoons were my check up, where they always did an ultrasound. Fridays I had blood drawn to make sure that Jacobs’s body wasn’t starting to poison me. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I went for non-stress tests, not to count all the times my mom dropped whatever she was doing because I was in a full on panic because Kaleb hadn’t moved for 30 minutes and she would rush me to UMC so they could tell me he was fine and he always was.

I went into labor at 34 weeks; farther than they thought I would go. I spent 39 horrible hours in labor. It was traumatic, and I am still not comfortable discussing most of my labor. I was 35 weeks the day after my labor started. On the morning of September 10th,I had been at 8 1/2 cm for a good 10 hours, when finally my water broke. 20 minutes later, the most terrifying 3 minutes of my life happened. Monitors started beeping loudly and doctors and nurses came running in my room handing me papers to sign and saying I was having a C-section, that Kaleb was in trouble. I was put completely asleep. I was told later that from the time everyone ran into my room it was only 4 ½ minutes until Kaleb was born. I did not hear his first cry. I was told that it was very loud. Kaleb weighed in at 4 lbs 4 oz and 13 in long. He spent 3 hours in the NICU, but then they let him go to the nursery. Thanks to the steroid shots I had gotten, his lungs were developed. Jacob was 1 lb 7 oz. I made the heart wrenching decision to not see Jacob. I regret this every day. He would not have looked like a normal 27 week baby; he had died 8 weeks earlier and I didn’t want to remember him that way.

I filled out 2 birth certificates and 1 death certificate. A parent should never have to fill out a death certificate for the child that never got to take a breath, it took me days to fill it out but I couldn’t leave the hospital until I had.

My life was never the same and never will be. I miss my son every day and wish he was here to turn 4 with Kaleb. I do everything a little bit different because he lived, even for such a short time.

“…The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of The Lord” Job 1:21

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