Losing our twins

On April 27, 2006 I took a pregnancy test. And another. And the next day took 2 more. Nick and I were expecting!

Over the weekend, I developed severe constipation and went to the ER on Monday, 05/01, after trying several remedies to no avail. While there, they did a blood test. The HCG level was 2400, so they did an ultrasound. The doctors said that they should have seen the baby in my uterus, and they didn’t. It was suspected that my pregnancy was ectopic. Via ultrasound, they saw a mass on my left ovary. Rather than wait, since we hoped to have more children, we opted for exploratory laparoscopic surgery. The surgery discovered that there was no ectopic pregnancy. I had another blood test on Friday, May 3 and it had doubled. We went in for a follow up visit on May 8, and the doctor asked, “do you want the good news, or the good news?” There were two sacs, but we’d have to wait 4 more weeks to see what exactly was happening in there.

On June 1, 2006, we learned that we were in fact, expecting twins. My pregnancy progressed quite normally – the doctor approved my continuing to personal train with my trainer, and I continued to play golf once a week (only 9 holes, though!) Everything was uneventful, until August 16, 2006.

Just before 9pm, my membranes ruptured. I was so scared, as it felt like a water balloon popping – no small leakage, rather a gush. We called 911 and were taken to St. Joe’s in Ann Arbor by ambulance and unfortunately, were not happy with the care that we received. We were told to go home – there was nothing that could be done. Who knows if that made the difference? We’ll never know.

The next day we went to my OB – a very well respected doctor in Livingston County, where we live. He too, told us the outlook was grim and recommended termination. When I felt the babies kick (for the first time, no less), I said NO, NO, NO! I figured it was a sign that they wanted to live.

My sister (whom had 2 high-risk pregnancies) pulled some strings and she got her OB/Gyn to recommend/refer us to some high risk specialists. They did and we immediately drove the hour to the other Medical Facility.

They did an ultrasound, and found that baby A had lost most of her fluid. It could possibly be replaced a little at a time, but not completely, as my membranes had completely ruptured. We didn’t think little Baby A was going to make it.

The outlook for baby B was better – our sacs were separate so we thought we may have a CHANCE to deliver baby A and keep baby B safe – at least the hope was to keep her in there until at LEAST 24 weeks. Still, the outlook was not good but at least the doctors were willing to do all they could. We learned on August 17, 2006 that baby B was a little girl!

Unfortunately, I experienced more complications with baby A, and she passed away on Friday morning, 08/18, though I didn’t deliver her until Sunday, 08/20/06. We named her Angelina Nicole, for she was already in Heaven when she arrived on earth, and she is our first born. Unfortunately, I didn’t deliver her placenta, which meant more risk to baby B and mom – a very high chance for infection.

And the infection did set in, quite quickly, despite my best efforts to fight it. Finally, my husband and I made a decision to save my life and our chance for a family and future. It was the MOST DIFFICULT decision that I have ever and hope I’ll ever have to make. Because we already had Angelina, I chose to induce labor. Baby B – whom we named Gabriella Marie, was delivered on 08/21/06 at 8:16am. She was a fighter, and she survived for 6 hours and 4 minutes.

It turns out that although the girls were in separate sacs, their placenta was joined. IDENTICAL twins! So when Angelina didn’t make it, it was destiny for Gabriella to do the same. Both girls were certainly fighters – I guess you could say that they had my perserverence/determination.

We had the funeral service today, 08/25/06. We had them buried together, since they lived together in me for 20 weeks. The funeral was beautiful, and their plot at the cemetary is in a great location. We are taking it day by day. Nights are difficult. But with my husband, I hope to make it. Losing our twins has been extremely difficult. We think of them every minute of the day. And I hope that continues until I meet them again in Heaven.

Christina in Michigan

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