Finding out I was having twins was not a big surprise since multiple sets run on my father’s side of the family. Everything went extremely well for this, my first pregnancy. I couldn’t complain at all. My cravings were fruit and popsicles. At 24 weeks at a routine ultrasound it was noticed that my cervix hadopened quite a bit and I was admitted into the hospital on strict bedrest. At 28 weeks I woke with a lot of pain and tests showed my babies had ‘twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)” and Baby B was not recieving any fluids. I had an emergency c-section and had two beautiful identical girls, born May 2, 2002.

Fayth weighed 1 lb-15 oz and Hope 1 lb-12oz. They were beautiful despite all the wires and tubes connected with them. There were no real problems right away but rule of thumb for TTTS is that Baby A will have the most severe problems since it had to work so hard to get fluids over to Baby B.

On Mother’s Day the doctor’s told us that Hope was ill and they were going to have to operate. The doctors had found blood in her stool and she was very weak. It was such a horrible feeling, knowing there was nothing I could do to help.

As it turned out, Hope’s large intestine was removed due to an infection called NEC. She had a colostomy which I knew I could handle as long as I had my little girl. But she was not getting any better and the doctors came to us a week later stating that there was nothing they could do and we were going to have to let her go.

I just sat there. I had no idea how to react. My head was spinning and I was feeling sick to my stomach. The doctor explained all her health problems and that she wouldn’t make it through another operation, even if they tried. After a few minutes, he began to tell us that Fayth was sick as well and they suspected the same illness. I just could not believe this was happening to us! I had done everything right and could feel just how spunky they were when they were inside me. How could this be happening now?

Fayth ended up having the operation that evening, taking out her appendix. She seemed to be handling it very well. A couple of days later, Hope was removed from all of her tubes and we held her as she left. Just before she left she looked up and gave me one last smile. I can still see that smile. It will never go away. We lost her at 26 days old. I have never felt so helpless in all my life. But I now had Fayth to keep strong for. How is it [possible] to grieve and be happy both at the same time? I will never know how we got through it.

Fayth got well really quickly which we felt was too good to be true. Those couple of weeks are a blur and I had huge ache in my heart, knowing what the two of them had gone through.

Fayth is now 13 months old and is doing great. She is doing all the things she is supposed to do at her correct age and has had no problems thus far. Again, too good to be true. We have just passed the first anniversary of Hope’s passing and it was an extremely hard day. The guilt is so strong. As mothers we automatically feel as if we have to protect them and when we can’t, we feel it’s our fault. I’m not sure that it [this feeling] will go away. I go over and over all the things I feel I could have done in my head and wonder if…….? But I have Fayth now and seeing her makes me smile all the time. I love being with her and am glad I have her. Fayth being an identical twin, I can picture what Hope would’ve looked like as I watch Fayth grow. Despite how much it hurts – it’s also very heartwarming to know that Fayth now has her own Guardian Angel.

Norma-lee from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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