April 10th 2004, I had been very tired all week so I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. My husband and I were elated and very surprised to be having another baby. It was the day before my son’s second birthday.

I had started having a lot of braxton-hicks contraction beginning about 4 weeks into the pregnancy. I had a lot of faintness for the first trimester and was very glad to see it go as I entered my fourth month. After that everything went easily. I focused on educating myself so I could have a vaginal birth after c-section. I took a nap everyday with my son and ate a wonderful diet.

I was very interested in hiring a midwife, but my father and husband encouraged me to go get checked with an OBGYN just for security. I finally made an appointment with a doctor at 16 weeks. They couldn’t get me in for another 4 weeks so by the time I was seen I was already 20 weeks. Everything checked out fine. The nurse had a really hard time finding a heartbeat, she said my placenta was attached right in front blocking the baby’s heartbeat. She finally got one it was about 150, she mentioned that it was probably a girl since the rate was so high.

My husband and I bought a bigger house to accommodate the new arrival. I began buying some baby clothes and making preparations. At 21.5 weeks I felt a good kick. It was so comforting because I was feeling so little movement this pregnancy. I’m so glad I remember it well because it would be the last kick I would feel. That weekend we moved. Thursday I felt some really strange pains in my belly. I had no contractions that day so I wasn’t worried. I stayed up late working on a birth plan. I got up about 3 am to go to the bathroom and noticed a blob of pink mucous which really scared me, I had never had any kind of bleeding with either pregnancy so this wasn’t normal for me.

Friday morning I decided to put myself on bedrest but I still didn’t feel right. I checked my cervix and almost fainted when I realized I was dilated to 2 cm. I finally told my husband what was going on and we went to the hospital. When we got to the ER I told them I was 23 weeks and in labor. They wheeled me up to OB . The fetal monitor in my room didn’t work right so the nurse tried a Doppler. She got a heartbeat (which turned out to be mine) so I thought it was just preterm labor or maybe an incompetent cervix. Three and a half hours after we arrived at the hospital they wheeled me back down to the sonogram room. I hadn’t had one yet this pregnancy. Immediately she told me we had two babies! Not really a surprise, twins are very frequent in my husband’s family. After a few minutes I asked her if she was finding a heartbeat. She said “no.” I was stunned.

We went back to my room and the doctor came in and explained that we had twins, that were in the same sac and that they had died. He thought they had probably been gone for a while. He gave me the option to induce labor now or wait. We wanted to wait because the next day was our 5th anniversary. Unfortunately my blood work came back and said that I had an infection so we had to stay to be induced and receive some antibiotics. I was so nervous. I kept having anxiety attacks and my blood pressure would spike really high. The nurses were very compassionate as well as my doctor. They did everything they could to make me comfortable, including stopping the medicine for a few hours so I could have a good meal and some rest. My epidural only took effect on the right side of my body so I was in some pain.

It was Sunday at 1pm that my babies were born. They were born intact with the membranes and the placenta. It didn’t hurt at all physically just emotionally. The doctor removed them and cut the cords which were very long and knotted. The babies were 3.8 and 3.6 ounces. Both were 7 inches long. They were one quarter the weight they should have been. My husband and I held them for a short time. Now I wish I would have held them a lot longer but I was so shocked at the time I just couldn’t.

We had a funeral four days later. We found out they were girls and named them. We found some beautiful dresses and tiny teddy bears. I hand made a blanket for them and wrote them a letter to put in their casket. We buried them on the family farm near our home. They have a beautiful grave site that I take care of myself. I can visit them anytime and do whatever I want there.

Jessica, Illinois

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