A Tale of Twins

The story of my boys begins long before they were born. As a toddler, I experienced peritoneal infection following a ruptured appendix. The scarring of my fallopian tubes and my resulting infertility was not discovered until I had an ectopic pregnancy in 1997. My obstetrician immediately referred me to an IVF clinic. Being told we might never have children was an absolutely frightening experience.

Thanks to God and technology our daughter Abby Grace was born February 12, 1999. Ironically, her birth date is the anniversary of my appendectomy in 1972.

We experienced three failed IVF attempts over the next 2yrs. Those who have been there will be able to relate to the grief and fear that goes with such a loss. The emotional roller coaster you’re on when you go through an IVF cycle is hard to describe, regardless of whether or not a pregnancy results.

In July 2001, we discovered that science and God had come through for us again. Cramps and bleeding began at 7 weeks. I was alone at work, and panic set in immediately. I remember lying in the ER begging God, “Please don’t take my baby!”. Waiting for an exam from my OB I was thinking “maybe it’s a twin pregnancy and I’m only going to lose one.” It’s scary the thoughts that come to mind in those situations. I was somewhat relieved to hear that my cervix was still closed. An ultrasound showed two babies with normal growth parameters and great heartbeats! My tears of fear were for the moment replaced with those of relief and thanks.

My uneasiness and fear lasted throughout the pregnancy, as the bleeding came and went. I was hospitalized once just before Christmas, and again mid-January. On the morning of January 18, 2002, one of the baby’s placentas abrupted. I felt a fear and panic that I had never known before and could not describe easily with words. Thankfully I was already in hospital. I had an emergency c-section. I can remember waiting to go into the OR and thinking, “It’s so early. (31weeks and 5days)”, but at the same time I was relieved that it was coming to an end. I couldn’t stand the anxiety anymore. Alec and Ian were born at 0730 and 0733, weighing 4lb4oz and 3lb9oz respectively. Despite their small size, they did amazingly well. Neither needed any resuscitation. They were so beautiful! It tore at my heart that I couldn’t cuddle them right away.

The boys spent 5 weeks in ICN, during which time they grew well and experienced only minor setbacks. It was rewarding to know that my breastmilk was doing such a great job for them, but man did I get tired of sitting with that pump!!! My husband, Shaun, created a little nursery humour by labeling all the jars of milk with names like “Carter’s Creamers”, and “From the twin peaks to the twins’ beaks”!

Breastfeeding got off to a slow start as it often does with preemies, but they were troopers by the time they came home.

Now, approaching their second birthday, they are happy, healthy, delightful children. Our days with Ian, Alec and their big sister Abby are hectic yet filled with smiles and laughter. I thank God for them every day, and reflect often on the technology that helped Him out. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other moms of multiples in our area, and am looking forward to continued involvement with MBC [Multiple Births Canada].

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