My husband and I have been together for 6 years

My husband and I have been together for 6 years. I have 2 girls from my previous marriage who are 18 and 10 years old. My husband longed for a child of his own and I wished to share the same. As my tubes had been tied for 9 years, we had many hurdles and tests galore before I could have a reversal done. My tubal reversal was completed in November 2005 and I became pregnant in May of 2006. I was scheduled for an ultrasound right away as my chance of an etopic pregnancy was high due to the reversal.

Well was I ever shocked to learn that all was fine and I was carrying not 1 but 2 little babies. I was soooo happy and I rushed home to tell my husband as soon as possible. Spending $7000.00 on the tubal reversal was sure worth it. I felt like I had hit the 2 for 1 lotto. We had no twins on either side of our families.

The morning sickness (which lasted all day, everyday) finally let up by the 4-month period and I was glad the summer heat was finally gone. My husband and I daydreamed what it would be like. At my 18-week ultrasound I left with a picture of “baby A” sucking her thumb and “baby B” fighting long enough to stay still and have a good picture taken. I pinned it on the fridge and looked at it throughout my day, sometimes even talking to them.

Then on Sept 16, at 20 weeks I began to feel fluid leaking. I didn’t panic at that moment because I wasn’t sure if it was urine. My husband took me to the hospital where they examined me. As the nurse pressed on my stomach to find the position of each baby, I felt a huge gush of fluid come out of me. I was now bleeding. (I had had a lot of bleeding at 9 weeks and had been told then that I was “lucky” because the twins had survived a threatened miscarriage.) The doctor then examined me and said I had a “bulging membrane” and there was nothing he could do. He would ask another hospital if they would take me and try to perform a cerclage (sew up my cervix). Maybe they could save one of them. He said they probably wouldn’t take us because I was only 20 weeks and they prefer at least 28 weeks. He then left us in the room. I was crying.

How could they not take us? My husband tried to console me and we cried. The doctor came back and said the hospital would take us. It was a long ambulance ride.

I had a specialist attend to me at the new hospital where they did an exam and ultrasound right away. The news was bad. The doctor told us that I had been sent there with false information. As it turns out, I was carrying identical twin girls, each in their own sac but sharing the placenta. It wasn’t possible to “save” just one. I begged her to try the cerclage at which point she said she would try but the chances were slim. I was given an epidural and prepped in the operating room. I prayed to God to take me with my girls if they could not be saved because I didn’t want to live if they couldn’t live. I could hear the doctor saying “sorry Kim, there’s nothing we can do” but I couldn’t move. As they wheeled me out of the room and I saw my husband, I began sobbing. I delivered one angel at 8:30 and one at 9:10 AM. We held our girls and cried.

We heard other people in the hallway laughing and celebrating many times through our ordeal and I can say that at those times of laughter, I thought some very cruel things. I felt a loneliness inside of me that I will never be able to explain. Most of all, I felt defeated. “Why?” was all I could say and ask.

We went home that evening (after signing many, many forms at the hospital) I cried myself to sleep and when I woke up, I thought that I had dreamed the whole thing. I looked down at my stomach and sobbed. Its been 40 days and I still cry everyday. Each day the times between the crying get longer and the crying doesn’t last as long but it still hurts badly. My husband had been very supportive in my every need and he still grieves, but in his own way.

It turns out that I have an incompetent cervix . I had a cone biopsy done after my 10 year old was born, which weakens the cervix. I guess my doctor “forgot” that he had done the cone biopsy. When we asked him why he had not mentioned the cerclage, knowing that he had done a cone biopsy, he just told us that “the cone biopsy would have caused scar tissue and that should have strengthened your cervix.” He then told me that I would have a cerclage done at 15 weeks should I become pregnant again and that my chances of a full term pregnancy would be good because the likelihood of us conceiving twins were less than 1% the next time around. I left his office crying, the same way I cried as I sat in the waiting room full of pregnant women, waiting my turn to see him. Time for a new doctor.

Thank you for letting me share my story. Reading the other stories have helped me to know that I’m not alone and I thank all the other parents for allowing me to share in your stories.

Kim

One year into our marriage…

One year into our marriage, my husband and I decided we were ready to start our family. To our surprise, we were having identical twin girls! My pregnancy progressed normally and I felt great. We had even named the babies. “Baby A” was named Lora and “Baby B” was named Lilly.

At 32 weeks gestation, I went into the hospital because the babies didn’t seem to be moving as much as normal. An ultrasound was done and to our horror, Lilly’s heart was not beating. I can’t even begin to describe the raw,deep pain my husband and I felt at that moment. Like we just fell off the edge of the tallest cliff. Our lives flashed in front of us. I can remember thinking and I may have even said it out loud, “No, this is not happening….if I close my eyes, I’ll wake up from this nightmare.”

After repeating the ultrasound numerous times and staring at that one little heart that was just as still as the air in the hospital room, it was confirmed. Lilly had died. Those memories are so vivid. My doctor put his hand on mine and said, “I’m so sorry….” And, the tears rolled from my eyes. Just as they are now, four years later. It was December 22, 2001. My world was torn apart. We had to make a decision. Deliver now through emergency C-section, wait and give me steroid injections to help mature the surviving twin’s lungs before delivery, or just wait for my body to go into labor. My words were, “Take her out now, we can’t lose her too….please…please save her”. So we did.

I remember the nurse asking my doctor if she should prepare for two babies and the knife that was in my heart turned a little deeper when I heard him say, “No, that won’t be necessary.”

My doctor performed the C-section. Lora was born first–2:49 PM. Barely breathing. The delivery room was so quiet. She didn’t even cry. I wanted to die. I really did. I couldn’t imagine myself making it through this. So many thoughts were in my head lying there on the operating table. My doctor let me know he was now working on getting Lilly out. I have never prayed so hard in my life….”Please God, please let her be alive…please let me hear her cry…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD…PLEASE GOD!” Silence. The most horrible silence. It was really true. Lilly was gone–2:51 PM.

In recovery, through tearful eyes, we met Lilly for the first time. We met her first, the nurses and doctors were busy trying to stabilize Lora enough to have her transferred to another hospital better equipped with a NICU. Our family met Lilly too. Everyone cried so much. We all loved her so much.

Two hours later, Lora was stable enough for the transport. We got to see her briefly just before the team took her into the ambulance. It was a very short 1st meeting…some alarms went off just before they slammed the incubator shut and stormed out of the room hurriedly. Lora was “crashing” again. In all of this horror, all I could do was pray. One of my babies had died and no one was sure if the other would make it either. The ambulance had to pull over twice to stabilize Lora on the 30 mile transport.

Lora was put on the ventilator for 4 days and stayed in the hospital for about a month. We made it through another hospitalization about 2 weeks after she came home. It was rough. But, we made it. She is now 4 years old, healthy, and functioning normally. Lora knows all about Lilly. We speak of her often. She is very much a part of our life.

Two years later we were blessed with the birth of our second set of twin girls. Both survived and are doing fine. Lora is 4 years old and Lauren and Lindsay are 2 years old. Both pregnancies were conceived naturally. The second pregnancy was extremely stressful, of course, but everyone made it through just fine.

We are blessed to have our own little Angel watching over us. God, I wish she were here, but…she has gotten us through many of life’s whirlwinds. We owe it all to Lilly.

Love your children. Tell them everyday how much you love them and how lucky you are to have them. They are such precious gifts.

In loving memory of our little “Lilly.”

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

Giving birth to stillborn fraternal twin boys

My name is Julie Reynolds. On March 22, 2006 I gave birth to stillborn fraternal twin boys. I was 34 weeks pregnant. They weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces and 6 pounds 3 ounces. Their names are Lucas and Ryland. I am also the mother of 4 living sons.

On Augest 19, 2005 I had my tubes tied so we would not have anymore children. I started to get sick after the procedure and told the doctor. She said that I might have an infection from the procedure. I also complained of pain, so she sent me for a ultrasound cause she said I most likly had cysts on my ovaries. A week after the ultrasound was done I called to get the results and found out I was pregnant again and this time with twins. My husband and I needless to say were very surprised but extremly happy about the news as we thought we no longer could have children. My first question to the doctor was if they were ok cause I had the surgery around the time I had conceived them. The doctor did not check for a pregnancy for before I had the surgery.

Everything was fine and right up until just before they were born. Two weeks before they passed away I went to the hospital in extreme pain on the left side of my stomach. I was given tylenol, hooked up to a fetal heart monitor then sent home. I was told what ever happened inside my stomach, my babies were tolorating it well and that was it. No other tests were performed. The next day I saw my doctor and told her what happened. She said if it happened again to go back to the hospital and to come back to see her in two weeks. I never got to see her again.

A week and a half later I had a ultrasound which had been booked weeks before I experienced the extreme pain. I was told they were perfectly healthy little boys. I had noticed that the baby on the left’s heartrate was lower than it normally was and I asked why. She said it was cause there was really no more room left to grow and he wasn’t active and probably sleeping at the moment. On the Tuesday after my ultrasound I went for a nap before my husband had to go to work. I woke up and started to get supper ready for my four boys. I cleaned and then recieved a phone call from my sister-in-law that she wanted to take my youngest son for the night. I got him ready. By the time I did have a few moments to sit I noticed that I had not felt any movement since before I went for my nap. I went and got something to eat and drink because usually that would make them move. When that didn’t work I tried to move them myself and nothing happened. I called my husband at work and told him I was going to the hospital. I told him I would call him because he was not allowed to leave (work) unless I was in labor cause I already called him home many times that week.

I went to the hospital and they told me that they had one babies’ heartbeat but the other baby was probably hiding so they were going to give me a ultrasound to see and hear them better. That was the moment my heart truely broke. The doctor on call told me that both boys were dead. They said that they picked up my heartbeat earlier.I got them to call my husband at work. They couldn’t tell him anything on the phone and just told him that he needed to come. He arrived almost a hour later cause he went home first to change cause he thought I was in labor and he gets really dirty at his job. When he arrived I heard the nurse tell him in the hallway just outside my room. I remember feeling so numb, how could this be happening to us? My stay in the hospital was very emotionally straining cause of rude comments I had to endure from medical staff. I did make a formal complaint about these comments. It was hard enough to deal with what I had to go through then I had to deal with what these (so called) medical professionals were telling me.

EXAMPLE; A lab tech said”you had a baby? I said “yes, I had twin boys” she said “Where are your babies? I said “They passed away.” she said “Oh, you are the one they are talking about downstairs. You don’t want any sick or malformed babies away. It’s for the best they died.” My sons were not sick, they were not malformed. They were healthy little boys. There were other comments as well.

I was told is that Lucas died first and he was the baby on the left, the side I first had problems on and he was the baby with the lower than normal heart rate. I have yet to recieve the autopsy results. I was told by the doctor who delievered my sons that the test they did recieve back showed no cause. I can’t deal with the fact they are telling me that we buried two healthy little boys.

I delivered my boys by c-section and discovered later that I had an infection from the surgery. Lucas was born at 2:16pm and weighed 5lbs. 4ozs. Ryland was born at 2:17pm and weighed 6lbs.3ozs. I remember returning to my room it was 4:30pm. The nurse brought in my babies and placed them both in my arms. I remember thinking they just looked like they were sleeping but I knew they would never wake up from this sleep. I kissed each of their little heads and told them I was sorry and that I loved them. The nurse came and took them to another room. I later asked for them again because I wanted to hold them individually.

We had two services for them as we live so far away from home. We had a service here where we live, which was open casket, the choice of my two older children. I glad we did that cause I was feeling a bit better from the surgery and I got the chance to kiss them good-bye without feeling all groggy from pain medications. We had to transfer their bodies ourselves back home which was a hard long drive (7 hours).  My aunts put together the service back home which was more than I ever expected.

I hadn’t been home in 2 years and it was really something to see how many people cared. My boys were not planned but I wanted them more than anything in this world and as each day goes by I miss them more then I think my heart can handle at some times.

Julie Reynolds on behalf of Lucas and Ryland born still on March 22, 2006

Loss of a precious twin daughter

Unlike most of your stories, my loss was not recent. In 1995, my husband and I found out that we were having identical twin girls. We felt so lucky and blessed. We already had a 1 1/2 year old girl, and we were so excited to be having twins.

My pregnancy was perfect. My babies were big, and every ultrasound looked great. I also had regular non-stress tests. On June 17, I was 38 weeks and I went into labour. My husband and I went to the hospital and stayed for 7 hours, but then my labour stopped. We discussed with our doctor the options. She said that if we induced we could end up with doing a c-section if things did not progress. We did not want a surgical intervention unless it was really neccessary, so we went home. That was a long week. I was 39 weeks and the babies were both over 6 pounds. I was not going into labour and I was tired. We decided that they would induce me on June 24th. Sometime in the middle of the night of June 24th I went into labour on my own. We were so happy – finally we would see our girls. Words cannot express our shock and horror when the doctor told us “A is dead, I do not know if we can save B”. My husband and I were in shock. I then began to push, as though I had to deliver my girls right then.

I cannot explain the absolute sorrow of seeing my baby “A” Carolyn lying on the table not moving or crying. It is a sight that will haunt me forever. Then thank God our twin”B” Maria was born – alive and kicking. Such joy, and such sorrow all at the same time.

We had an autopsy done, the doctors were stumped at what had happened. Carolyn had more blood than Maria, it was a case of acute twin-twin transfusion syndrome. Their size difference was minimal. There had been no indication during the pregnancy of this occuring.

We went on to have another baby, a boy – Adam. I have 3 amazing children: Annika, Maria and Adam here on earth, and one angle in heave – Carolyn.

Although it has been almost 10 years since losing our precious twin daughter, it is a pain that never truly disappears. We are a happy family, and we speak of Carolyn often. Maria is a ball of fire and we all joke what it would have been like to have two like her!

Hug your children everyday, and know that your angels in heaven will always watch over you.

Thank-you,

Jill (Vancouver, Canada)

The loss of her sister

I found out I was pregnant on Valentine’s Day of 2002. I was happy and so was the dad. For some odd reason I knew I was having a girl, so I was going to name her Emily Elizabeth. I never got morning sickness but the only craving I got was macaroni and cheese. I was so weird. At the time I was 17 years old and scared, never having had a child before.

When I was 5 months, I found out I was having identical [monozygotic] twin girls, but when they got to Baby B, there was something wrong. Another doctor came in to look at the ultrasound. It was so scary I stated to cry. They had to send me to another doctor see what was going on. They said that she was deformed in so many ways. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. They wanted to do an amino to see exactly what was going on.They said it could be any number of things that could be wrong with her. They ran a test and it came back as TTTS (Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome).

A couple of months went by and I received a phone call from the doctor saying I had to have surgery as it was a life and death situation.  I had 3 places to chose from. I chose the place closest, packed up and headed to Tampa, FL. My parents went with me. They took me back in the ultra sound room and took pictures of my baby. It took 2 hours. They gave me some choices that I had to make right there for surgery. I decided to go ahead and put something around the umbilical cord.

They took me in to do the surgery. When it was finished, that’s when they told me they had to laser off the blood vessels to the umbilical cord. I stayed for 3 days in the hospital. When I returned home 3 weeks later, I had another ultra sound to see what was going on. For the remainder of the pregnancy, I was in and out of the hospital. I went into early labour and it was stopped and I spent a month in hospital. August 31st came and I was 35 weeks. They said at this point if I was to go in labor they couldn’t stop it. Well I did go in labor. I had my little girl. She was 5 lb and 4and a half oz 19 and a half in long. She was so tiny.

Three years later she is 35 lbs and taller then any 3 year old child. She is healthy, beautiful and smart. The loss of her sister was heartbreaking. The best part is that I see Gracie (Baby B) in Emily every day. I want to thank everybody who tried to save her.

Thanks for letting me tell my story.

Jen from Ms.

Loss of twins Emma Rose and Abigail Grace

After our loss, this was written in memory of our beautiful daughters, Emma Rose and Abigail Grace, who are now with God.

My husband and I found out we were pregnant in November of 2005, and were really excited to have a baby born in the summer.  We went for our first doctor’s appointment in January and they did an ultrasound to make sure the due date was correct.  That was when we found out we would be having twins.  We were so excited yet scared out of our minds at the same time.  How would we take care of 3 children under 3 years old at one time?

Everything was going well, so we thought, and had another appointment at 14 weeks where the babies looked to be healthy and their hearts were beating away. There were happy little feet all over the ultrasound.  It was a few weeks later we would have the worst day.  It was February 13th, I will not have a liking for Valentine’s day anymore, when we went for our next doctor’s appointment.

The Doctor was running late and everything seemed fine.  Then I sat on the examination table for the ultrasound and knew something was wrong.  The Doctor did an ultrasound and could not find a heartbeat.  I was sick, I couldn’t help but think how could this happen to me?  I did everything right, I didn’t drink caffeine, I even watched my sugar intake.

On February 14th, we went to the delivery unit of the hospital.  And they did another ultrasound.  I prayed the enitre night before that something must have been wrong with the ultrasound machine and it just wasn’t working right.  They did the ultrasound and the result was the same bad news.  There was no heart beats.  We had lost our twins.  They had passed away around the 15th week, shortly after I had seen them dancing on the ultrasound.  Our twins had suffered from TTTS.  It caused both babies to have heart failure.

I gave birth to our beautiful daughters on February 15th, 2006.  Their names were Emma Rose, and Abigail Grace.  They will forever be in our hearts.

Emily

Losing Multiples

In October 2005, my husband and I were so excited to find out I was pregnant. After two previous miscarriages, the doctor sent me for my first ultrasound at seven weeks. To our surprise we found out that we were expecting twins. This wasn’t too much of a shock since we already have four year old fraternal twins girls and were told our chances of having twins again were quite high.

My doctor then sent us for another ultrasound and we got another shock. I was twelve weeks pregnant and the radiologist started to do the ultrasound and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She had told us that she had never seen this before and was in total shock. I was scared at this point because of our previous miscarriages so I asked if everything was okay with the two babies. She said they were fine but there are actually three babies. We were having triplets!

Baby B had been hiding on the first ultrasound. We found out that Baby A and Baby B were in the same sack, which meant they were identical and Baby C was in its own sack which meant that he/she was fraternal. We were so excited. We always wanted a big family but couldn’t believe it was happening with just two pregnancies and no fertility drugs. When I went to see my doctor, he said I would be going for ultrasounds every two to four weeks because of the high risk factor with carrying triplets.

At sixteen weeks we went for another ultrasound and everything seemed to being okay. Baby A was slightly bigger than Baby B so they were a little concerned about (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome) TTTS. Baby C was right on schedule. They told us they would watch this [TTTS] and there were procedures they could do if need be. The doctor did not seem too worried about it and said to come back for another ultrasound in four weeks.

At twenty weeks we went for another ultrasound and had another shock. The doctor came in, put his hand on my knee and said there is no easy way to tell you this but Baby A and Baby B had passed away but Baby C was doing fine. They figured it had just happened within the last three to five days and there was really nothing they could have done. They told us that Baby A was taking from Baby B which is called TTTS. It was so hard to believe that this was really happening. On the ultrasound they looked fine, they were two fully formed little babies but their little hearts just stopped working. We were devastated. It was so hard first we were told twins, then triplets and now we only have one. We know we have to stay positive for the little guy that is staying so strong for us but it is so difficult after losing multiples already. The doctors told us the Baby C is oblivious to what was going on and expect him/her to go to full term or close to it.

I didn’t want to know what I was having when I found out I was having triplets but after finding out this terrible news I needed to hear something positive so we found out that Baby C is a boy. We didn’t care whether it was a boy or a girl, we just needed some happy news. I am now 26 weeks pregnant and Baby C is still doing well. They were worried about me going into pre term labor but so far so good. I have days where I don’t want to get out of bed but have to be strong for my two little girls and my beautiful baby growing inside. We have good days and bad days but reading other peoples stories have really helped me to stay strong for my little boy who is truly a blessing. If we had not found out we were having triplets and just twins we would not have a baby right now that is developing so well and doing great. God has given us five precious gifts.

My two angels are in heaven now looking down watching over us. My two four year old girls are amazing and cannot wait to meet their new little brother, whom should be arriving in June 2006.

Rhonda (Edmonton, AB)

Opposite Sides of the Same Coin…Birth of Twins

There are a multitude of reasons why the birth of my twins was so memorable. For now, I’d like to share just one of them with you. It was an experience that struck a very personal cord within me. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t reflect on it.

My girls were carried to full term (something almost unheard of in respect of twin pregnancies in this country [South Africa]). I had no problems during my pregnancy, save for the fact that my system was so flooded with progesterone that I suffered from severe morning sickness during my first trimester – to the point that I actually lost 8 kilograms. This was, however, dealt with efficiently by a protein shake drink which was prescribed by my general practitioner.

My labour started at 7.15am in the morning and I slowly made my way to St Georges Hospital in Port Elizabeth. By 9.00am dilation was at 6.5cm and twin A had settled neatly into my pelvis, ready to be born, despite the fact that (purely for safety reasons) I had elected to have a caesarian section. A spinal block was administered and the girls were delivered by caesarian section at 10.15am and 10.16am respectively, weighing 2.4 and 2.6 kilograms (quite a healthy weight for twins). The operation itself was uneventful, both girls were 9/10 on their apgars and it took my Gynae/Obstetrician longer to close the incision than to deliver both my babies! By 11.30am I was tucked safely into bed and waiting for the spinal block to wear off so I could see my daughters and nurse them for the first time.

Once the spinal block had worn off and I was able to get around, I excitedly made my way to the nursery. As I reached the nursery doors, there were a number of tearful people milling around the entrance. Not one to interfere or make a scence, I made my way through them to collect my gorgeous daughters and wheel them back to my ward. As I wheeled their bassinet out of the nursery, a chilling silence fell over the people waiting outside and I sensed what I can only describe as a feeling of “hostility”. It was some 24 hours later that I learned that they were anxiously awaiting news on a relative’s newborn, who was in the NICU. Apparently the little one was born with only a partial brain, and had been on life support since delivery. [The baby’s twin brother had been stillborn]. And so it happened that, for the next 48hours, every time I wheeled my healthy, full term babies down to the nursery for a bath or so that I could take a nap, I had to pass around or through this group of people. Despite my joy at the delivery of my babies, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt?, every time I visited the nursery.

According to a nursing sister that I chatted to, the little one was not expected to survive and the doctors and staff had done all they could to keep him comfortable and pain free until he passed away. She said that they were bound to prolong his life and all that remained was the parents’ decision as to how long they would keep him on life support, as he wasn’t even able to breathe by himself. I believe the parents made a decision [to remove him from life support] late that night.

The following day, as I rode the lift down to the ground floor, on my way home with my girls, the mother of the little one who had passed away stepped into the lift on the 2nd floor. Instinctively, we embraced each other and I whispered to her that I really had no words for her, but that my thoughts were with her and her family. We left the lift together, both of us in tears, me on my way home to begin a new life with my girls and she on her way home, to an empty nursery.

What happened that day changed me in so many ways. It gave me a new reason to be grateful for every day I have with my children, and re-instilled in me a capacity for empathy and selflessness that I thought I had lost.

To that mommy: If you ever read this, know that you, your sons and your family are still in my thoughts and heart, even now that my girls are almost eight years old. It seems like only yesterday that we rode that lift together, a short journey that would lead us to the rest of our lives. Wherever you are, God bless and take care.

Jacqui has a website located at http://myweb.absamail.co.za/jacqui_t/ 

My wife and I recently lost one of our twin daughters

I really don’t know what to say. My wife and I recently lost one of our twin daughters. It has been less than a week. All along we were told everything was OK, at first we didn’t even know we were pregnant. My wife would bleed a little each month we thought she was having her period. We didn’t even go to the doctor until my wife was about 5 months pregnant.

When we went to the doctor they ordered an ultrasound and we were told that we were going to have twins. We saw the ultra sound and they gave us pictures that showed two babies in separate sacs and their own placentas.

We were so happy. We took the ultrasound pictures everywhere we went and showed them to our family members and friends. From then on we went to every doctor’s appointment. We did every thing the doctor told us to do. Our doctor didn’t even put my wife on bed rest. She said that my wife could continue to work. We listened to and trusted her because she also delivered our second child. They were planning for a c-section around 37 weeks.

At this time we were at about 31 weeks and had a doctor’s appointment the following week. The night before our doctor’s appointment my wife got sick and vomited real bad, the worse I seen since earlier in the pregnancy. The following morning I had my wife call the doctor to see if that was normal and she was told not to worry about it and to come in for her scheduled appointment later that day at 11:00 a.m. I had some things to do that day so I sent her by herself. When she returned she said every thing was OK and that they heard both heart beats and they sounded good.

The doctor ordered a stress test just to be safe and to make sure she wasn’t going into preterm labor because my wife’s back was hurting a little more than usual. When we got to the hospital, the nurse tried to monitor the hearts of the babies but could really only get a good reading on one of them so they brought in the ultra sound machine. My wife and I both sat there watching the monitor and when the nurse began looking for the hearts, the first was very easy to see and the second we could not see because the body wasn’t in good position to see it. The nurse said she saw it and I even think I saw it. So she went on with the stress test and hooked the monitors up to my wife’s stomach. The nurse couldn’t get a good fix on the one we couldn’t see earlier but finally she did, or at least she thought she did.

When she left the room, one of the heart beats wouldn’t stay constant and I tried to move the monitor to see if the baby had just moved. When the nurse finally returned, she tried to reposition the monitor to locate the heartbeat as well. She couldn’t find it so she ordered an ultrasound tech to come to our room to help here find the heartbeat.

When the tech viewed the ultrasound image, she knew something was wrong and called for a doctor to come look at the ultrasound to confirm what she had thought, i.e. that one baby was going to be still born. All this time none of the nurses said anything, I guess not to alarm us. I can remember my wife and I smiling and talking about getting to see our babies on the ultra sound and within 10 minutes we were told that one of our babies was going to be stillborn. We didn’t know what to do I don’t think we even cried we were just in shock.

We were then admitted into hospital and told that my wife would deliver the babies by c-section the next day. After getting our room, we both began to cry and hold each other for hours. I then called both of our parents to deliver the bad news. Neither family could believe it. I guess since we already had two healthy babies now 5 and 4, it was felt that there was no way that anything could go wrong.

After about a couple of hours of crying, then silence, then crying again, we began to talk about what we were going to do and how are we going to make it. Neither of us had any answers. Not to mention our two children whom had been expecting two baby sisters. They would go to school and tell their teachers and class mates that they were going to have twins. What were they going to say now? The eldest is in kinder-garden. He would bring home pictures that he would draw at school that would show “daddy momma sister him and the twins in mommies tummy”. I hope he will be OK. The younger one is in pre kinder-garden. She was just starting to get excited about being a big sister to twins. Her grandmother had bought her a Dora the Explorer DVD about being a big sister and in the cartoon, Dora’s parents had just had twins. My daughter was so happy that she was going to be “a big sister and have twins just like Dora.” She would walk around saying “I’m going to be a big sister, big sister”, I haven’t heard her say it since. We tried to tell her and her brother that “there’s not two babies any more just one”.

We delivered the babies 4th January, 2006 at 6:45 p.m. Mila was almost a pound lighter than Lena. Mila didn’t make it. The doctors said there was a blood clot in the placenta. We will probably know more in a couple of weeks. Lena seems to be OK. She was 4lbs and 1oz and had a lot of hair. She had a little problem with her blood being too thick. The doctor said her blood seems to have gotten better but she will still have to stay in NICU for at least a week. She is breathing on her own and is beautiful.

I know this may seem to soon for me to be writing, but I can’t sleep. All I do is think about my wife and I hope she can make it through this and my kids, they were so happy about their sisters. I know this has happenend to other people but it still feels like you are alone. I already miss my baby girl. I never thought I could love someone so much without even meeting them. We will have the funeral Monday. We left the hospital and had to leave Lena. I hope she can come home soon so we can love her and hold her. I will always love my baby girl, Mila.

Philip D. Norman, Oklahoma