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Bereavement: What Can I Do To Help Myself?

With the loss of one, more or all of your precious babies, you may feel as if you are falling into a deep, dark abyss and being pulled inside out, both at the very same time. The denial is there – this is all a bad dream and when I wake up, I will have my babies. And there is shock – this is not a part of the plan! This can’t be happening to me! It is not easy to go on.

At this very painful and vulnerable time, you will need to take special care. The following are a few tips that have helped others travel this rocky path.

  1. Learn everything you can about grief. There are many good books available on loss, grief and the journey to recovery. Many bookstores carry books on grief, the funeral home can provide a list as can your local library and any grief counselor. It is important to remember that grief is a journey and not a destination. Grief is very personal and there is no right or wrong to grieve and no time frame.
  2. Give yourself permission to grieve. It is okay to grieve, to cry. You have suffered a tremendous loss. Don’t try to block or push away the pain. It doesn’t work that way. It will be necessary to take the time to grieve.
  3. Be patient with the process and with yourself. You are adapting to a new reality. You are not the same person you were before the death. It will take time. Grief is different for each person, including for men and women. In other areas of your life you may expect immediate results, but this is different. Take the time you need, when you need. Be patient and gentle with yourself.
  4. Get plenty of rest and eat nutritiously. When we are grieving, one of the first things “to go” is our appetite. It will be necessary to get proper rest and to eat nutritiously. If you can only manage a snack, that is fine. Make sure it is nutritious.
  5. Treat yourself occasionally. Indulge yourself from time to time. A massage, walk or exercise workout may work wonders.
  6. Find caring people with whom to share your loss. Don’t keep your feelings and pain bottled up inside. There are many caring people to support and assist you: clergy, doctor, counselor, good friend, funeral director. Multiple Births Canada has a Loss Support Network, helpful support literature, a quarterly newsletter Forever Angels and confidential Angel E-Mail Connection between its loss members.
  7. Reflect on your life. It may be helpful to reflect on the relationship you had, however briefly. How will this change you? How will this guide you? So often with loss comes growth. Compassion, understanding, empathy. No matter how brief the life, their impact remains.
  8. Faith can be an important support. Many people find comfort and support from their spiritual or religious roots. Your faith may be an important comfort and cornerstone for you.
  9. Accept help. If someone reaches out to you and wants to help, tell them what you need: a cup of tea, a shoulder, a drive to a doctor’s appointment, quiet company. People want to help so if there is something that will be helpful to you, accept their help.
  10. You may find comfort and solace with your local support Chapter. To find the Chapter nearest you in Canada, check out Multiple Births Canada’s Web Site at http://www.multiplebirthscanada.org

Adapted from a brochure by Ontario Funeral Service Association

Other Resources:

The Lone Twin, Joan Woodward, Free Association Books, 1998
When a Twin or Triplet Dies, Multiple Birth Foundations, London, England, 1997 Living Without Your Twin, Betty Jean Case, Tibbutt Publishing, 1993
The Worst Loss: How Families Heal from the Death of a Child, Barbara D. Rosof, Henry Hold and Co., 1994
Bereavement in Multiple Birth, Part 1: General Considerations, Elizabeth A. Pector, MD; Michelle Smith-Levitan, MD, The Female Patient, Vol. 27, November, 2001
Bereavement in Multiple Birth, Part 2: Dual Dilemmas, Elizabeth Pector, MD; Michelle Smith-Levitan, MD, The Female Patient, Vol. 27, May, 2002

0 comments on “Timely Medical Response When a Baby Dies”

Timely Medical Response When a Baby Dies

For nearly 20 years, I have provided grief support and resources to parents losing one, more or all their multiple-birth children. On their behalf, I reflect on a situation which warrants some discussion.

There are some healthcare professionals who, while Mom is pregnant and for follow-up after birth, encourage appointments and answer questions; yet, if there is a loss by or at delivery they stop being accessible after the initial one or two postnatal visits; they refuse to provide a timely medical response.

Yet again, I heard from a Mom who, four months after the birth of her twin survivor, has no word on lab test results in spite of several calls to her doctor’s office.  She is afraid to call again because the staff has become cool and abrupt.  Another Mom said, “It’s been a year since the autopsy and I still don’t have any results. I’ve had to hire a social worker to follow up on the results because I’m so overwhelmed with grief and anger, I can’t function.”  And, from another Mom, “I know the office dreads my call.”

Think of the parents. They are trying to deal with a twin (triplet or quadruplet) survivor(s) [and perhaps other children as well], come to terms with and grieve the death of their baby(ies) and hopefully learn why he/she/they died. After repeated attempts to get information, some parents may be perceived as pushy or emotional, however handling the baby’s(ies) death requires getting report results from their doctor’s office and not making them feel side-lined, minimized or ignored.

We know doctors are busy, but why is it that bereaved parents sometimes cannot get timely feedback on autopsies, lab results from blood work/placental examination or other situations where the medical world explores why the baby(ies) died? Sure, some tests take time; however, initiating a call to the parents at least once in a while, until the answers come in, would be sensible, considerate, and an acknowledgement of the families’ grief and pain.

It’s true, some causes of death cannot be explained and parents may never learn why their baby(ies) died. If this is the case, then don’t those parents still deserve to hear, “In spite of all the tests, we don’t know why your baby(ies) died.”? Surely parents have been through enough already!

Even if certain tests take months for results to come back, let the parents know. Often parents fantasize about why their baby(ies) died, sometimes blaming themselves or each other. Such a situation puts an added strain on the marriage and marriages crack and break. As well, a preoccupation with getting results affects availability and parenting abilities for the surviving children.

One would think that being compassionate would be easy, and I suppose most days it is; but when one is too busy (and I strongly suspect that is a big part of the problem for many doctors, nurses and hospital staff), then compassion can fall by the wayside and it is the most vulnerable who suffer as a result.

0 comments on “Loss of Twins Darion and Alysa”

Loss of Twins Darion and Alysa

The loss of twins, Darion and Alysa, was one of the most difficult things we’ve gone through. My husband and I were delighted to learn that we were pregnant with twins. We conceived on my 27th birthday, after trying for many years.

My pregnancy was a very difficult one. I suffered from severe morning sickness. By the time I was three months, I had lost over ten pounds and by the time I was 20 weeks, I had lost over 16 pounds. Morning sickness was my greatest enemy. I threw up at least four to five times everyday for my entire pregnancy.

Up until my last doctor’s visit, both babies were doing great despite my weight loss and constant vomitting, they were growing well.

That is, until February 4th 2008, when I was almost 22 weeks. My darling daughter’s membranes broke. I was rushed to the hospital where I was told that I was dilated 1cm but there was no sure sign that the gush I felt was from the membranes since both babies were showing that there was enough fluid in the membranes.

I was kept on bed rest for two days when I started getting mild contractions and I was losing my mucous plug (I did not know this at the time). Upon examination, they discovered that I was fully dilated and my baby Alysa was coming hand first. By the end of that day her hand had come straight out for everyone to see. She was stuck in my cervix for three days.

My doctor was unsure of what to do since trying to get her out would pose a threat to her brother, who was doing great at the time.

They decided to do nothing and hope that I could make it just a few more weeks where both babies would be viable. It was not to be. On 9th February 2008 I went into full labour and after much difficulty baby Alysa was delivered at around 3am. I was given a drug in the hopes of carrying my son Darion a few more weeks but three hours later, I went into labour again. My water broke and my son Darion was born at 6.05am. Both babies weighed just over a pound each.

They were the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. I was broken forever that day and I long so much to hold my children. I will forever remember my first two babies.

Mommy and Daddy will love you forever!!

Aliz

0 comments on “The loss of our twins Vivian and Celeste”

The loss of our twins Vivian and Celeste

My name is Julie and I am 34 years of age living in Australia with my husband Kim, this is the story about the loss of our twins.

We had planned to have a baby and we conceived in April 2007. On June 8th , I went for an ultrasound and learned that I was pregnant with twins. I was so surprised and shocked and happy all at the same time. I couldn’t believe that I would ever be blessed with two babies at once. My husband wasn’t there at the time and I couldn’t wait to get home to tell him. When I broke the news to him, his reaction was much the same as mine. Excited, happy, worried.

Because our twins were identical, there was only one placenta and our doctor told us that we would need to have ‘extra checkups’ because of such risks as TTTS etc. I had no idea what TTTS was and came home and searched the internet for information. I was so worried. But eventually I learned to stop worrying and enjoy my pregnancy and savour each moment of it.

I prayed for little girls. I pictured myself dressing them in the cutest outfits, gazing at their beautiful blue eyes, their gorgeous blonde hair, bathing them, walking with them, sharing birthdays and Christmases with them and showing them off to family and friends. I was so in love with my unborn children.

We had several ultrasounds between 8 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. In the ultrasounds we could see our babies mouths open and close, their little hands up above their faces, their little legs kicking around happily. Their heartbeats were a strong 161bpm.  They were healthy, we were relieved.

On Monday, September 10 th, 2007 we arrived at the hospital for our 20 week ultrasound. For some reason I knew that something was wrong. I cannot put my finger on it but I just knew. I had felt minimal movement the day before.

When I lay on the examination bed, the sonographer put gel on my belly to have a look. She could not find a heartbeat on either twin. There was no blood flow. No life. I was sick. I was dizzy with shock. My husband took me in his arms and told me this isn’t my fault. Because I carried my babies and did everything I could to nourish them, I tried to think of what I may have done to cause this. I was very careful, not even having one panadol for a headache .. no coffee .. nothing bad.

On Tuesday, September 11 th, at 12.51pm, our beautiful daughters Vienna Brigid and Celeste Elizabeth were born into Eternal Life. When they and the placenta were examined, the cruel truth about what happened had come to light: our otherwise perfectly healthy and forming babies had entangled themselves in each others cords after the membrane separating them had collapsed.

There are no words to describe such a loss. There are no words to explain the despair, the grief and the heartache. I felt my babies move. I talked to them. I made plans with them. I loved them more than life.

We are having a service on October 10 th to say goodbye to our babies. Every day when I wake up it’s the same – the same empty feeling of loss and despair. I have questioned a life after death and I ask myself why and when I don’t get answers I beat myself up with what-ifs.

To our beautiful baby girls Vienna and Celeste, we love you. We will always love you.

God in His Heaven

Wrote down our babies birth

And whispered as He closed the book,

“Too beautiful for this earth”.

Julie

 

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0 comments on “I’m not exactly sure how to start this…Darian and Matthew”

I’m not exactly sure how to start this…Darian and Matthew

I’m not exactly sure how to start this, but the best way I think is to give you a bit of background.  After becoming sexually active at the age of 15, I became pregnant at the age of 21. I had never prevented pregnancy but due to irregular periods, it seemed as though I was not very fertile. I delivered my son prematurely at 8 months gestation. After a brief bout with jaundice my son was sent home from the hospital healthy. I later divorced and remarried when my son turned 3.
My current husband and I have been married now 14 years and we had never used contraceptives with the hope that we might have gotten pregnant. Years went by and it never happened we gave up. Last October I under went gastric bypass due to health problems and a morbid obesity. I lost 88 lbs and became pregnant in March.
This pregnancy took everyone by surprise. Myself 38 and my husband 43, never did we even consider that pregnancy was still a possibility after 14 years. I became pregnant with twins. At 22 weeks of pregnancy at 11:00pm one night I started getting cramps. Thinking it was too early and that it was probably Braxton Hicks, I drank water as recommended and tried to sleep through the night. All night long I was very aware and in tune with my boys. I whispered to them telling them things would be alright. I caressed my belly as if it were them. Come morning, I could not take the pain any longer and I told my husband he needed to take me to the hospital. When I got to the nearest hospital, which was not my normal hospital, I was taken straight up to labor and delivery. There I was told unceremoniously, that I was to have my babies. I knew it was too early and I knew that what she really meant to say was that your babies were going to die. 

I sobbed uncontrollably, my husband looked on in confusion and anguish. I was already dilated 8 centimeters and completely effaced. I begged them to use a cerclage and close the cervix but according to the doctor there was nothing to sew, the cervix had no lip. The amniotic sac was protruding from my cervix. My son could be felt through the sac.

I was also told that due to the age of the boys there would be no life saving measures should they survive. I was in labor for a total of 34 hours. With every contraction I fought not to push. I tried in vain to keep my boys inside of me. They offered medication for pain which I refused for fear of ruining any chance they may have. I fought with every ounce of my being the urge not to push. I prayed and spoke to my boys begging them to fight. For 24 hours I fought. Finally the pain of the contractions were too much to bare and starting to force me to push. I then accepted the epidural the doctor had offered in hopes that calming the contractions would somehow let me keep them longer. 

The epidural did not stop the urge to push. My body wouldn’t listen. No matter how hard I tried not to push my body had a mind of its own and my boys arrived. August 11, 2007 at 6:30 Darian was born weighing 8.5 oz and measuring 9inches. He was perfect and beautiful, he opened one eye and made a small noise waving his arms in the air as the nurse handed him to me. His chest beating strong trying to survive. My husband and I held him and kissed him our tears wetting his tiny forehead. While holding him, the nurse asked me to push the placenta out . When I did as she asked Matthew was born, at 6:40 am. Weighing 9.5oz measuring 9 inches he was slightly larger than his brother. Matthew was as meek as he was in my womb, he laid in my husband’s hand breathing softly with a slight smile on his face. We held our perfect miniature boys bestowing all the kisses we knew we would never have the chance to give them. Darian’s heart beats became slower and slower till they finally stopped 20 minutes after he had come into our lives. Mathew was soon to follow his brother.

What stands out in my mind was the fact that even in birth and death, Darian and Matthew displayed the same personalities as they did in my womb. Darian the fireball came into the world as a lion. Mathew my little lamb.

Overwhelmed with grief I felt no anger then, but it was soon to come. After burying my boys 3 days later anger began to well inside me. A burning primal hatred for what ever force had given us this precious gift after 14 years only to take them away. The anger was consuming me. The tears would not stop. A part of me was dead, as dead as my boys. It’s only been a month and a half, so I still go through anger, but I’m also grateful to have had my boys for the time that I did. They only lived a short time but they were loved a lifetime.

Thank you for your support.

The Mojica Family

0 comments on “Unprepared for a life without a child”

Unprepared for a life without a child

My name is Lindsay and four years ago in 2003, I lost my twin daughters, Emma and Hailey. My story actually starts in October 2002.

I was really sick, throwing up all the time I had dropped about 30 pounds. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, so I went to the local walk-in clinic and the Doctor there told me that I had food poisoning and put me on the B.R.A.T DIET. He told me only bananas, rice, apple sauce and tea for 4 days and if I couldn’t keep that down, then to go to the hospital. So off to the hospital I went with my husband and father in tow. I think it was about 3 days later cause the sickness was starting to affect everything I did. I couldn’t drive to the store without pulling over several times to puke. and I was constantly calling in sick to university and to work.

When we got to the hospital I met a Female doctor who checked me over and asked if I could be pregnant? I thought for a second and said I could be but I am still getting a period. She did a pregnancy test on me and lo and behold I was pregnant! Her exact words to me were, “We usually like to have a parent in the room when we tell these kinds of things to teenagers.” I was so shocked by her words that I never even thought to tell her I was 25 years old. Not a child.

I burst out laughing and said, “It’s ok you can tell me. Did the test come back positive?” She kind of looked at me funny till I told her how old I was and that my husband and father were in the waiting room. I had a lot of relief when I found out I was pregnant. I knew from the time I was a little girl that I was going to have a set of twins. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. We started to collect baby stuff times two … everything we had we had two of in preparation for our twin daughters. The doctor gave me some pills which helped control the nausea.

On Dec. 25 2002, I had pains in my stomach they only last a couple of minutes but they brought on this major wave of nausea I was sick for a long time. I went in to see my doctor and he said everything was fine and sent me to an obgyn. I finally got an appointment for and ultra sound on Feb 15 2003. When I went in to the ultra sound room I asked if my husband could come in as a well. Initially they refused. The technician doing the ultra sound started with the screen facing me then this look of panic came over her and she turned the screen away from me very quickly and she left the room telling me something was wrong with the machine. When she came back to the room she had another technician as well as my husband with her. My husband stood in the corner of the room opposite from me and as soon as he saw the screen he came over and started to rub my arm. I was starting to get upset as no one was talking to me or telling me what was happening. We were finally told there were no heartbeats to be found. There was nothing they could do and I should go home and rest. They would call my doctor and let him know what was going on.

I was so distraught I thought just maybe, maybe she had made a mistake. We went home and I spent the entire weekend crying in bed with people coming and going. At this point I was 24 weeks pregnant. On Feb. 18 I called my doctor but he had no idea what was going on He told me to make an appointment for the next day which I did. I went in to see him on Feb. 19. My doctor called the ultrasound dept at the hospital while I was in the room and started quizzing them asking why he didn’t have any paper work on me and why he wasn’t informed. Their excuse was they were busy.

It was February 22 before I was admitted to the hospital. I was induced and drugged, so the next couple of days were a blur. My parents came everyday and sat with me and my husband stayed every night. Finally on February 26 2003 at 4:45 pm I delivered my twin girls. One was 11.3 ounces and the other was 1 lb. 3.7 ounces. I was devastated . My poor husband had left for work no more then 30 min before I delivered. I delivered them sitting on a toilet into a bowl so that they could take them out of the room quickly. My husband got back just in time to see me being wheeled down the hall to the OR for surgery. I needed to have a D&C.

I stayed in the hospital for about two days then sent me on my way unprepared for a life without a child. One of the things I remember from being in the hospital is the day after I delivered my girls. A young man was standing out side my door announcing to everyone that his wife had just delivered healthy twin boys. He was handing out fake cigars to everyone and when he went to come into  my room to give me one I yelled at him. I screamed at him to get the hell out.
I can’t understand why they put women whom have lost a child on the maternity ward. Yes, I had a private room but I could still hear the crying babies and the happy parents.
I miss my girls every day. In September of 2006 I found I was pregnant again. We were terrified that the same thing would happen. I was overly cautious during the pregnancy, but my doctor referred me to a fetal assessment center at the children’s hospital so that I could put my worries to rest. We are now the proud parents of a little girl who was born on June 1, 2007.
0 comments on “I lost our boys on July 18, 2003”

I lost our boys on July 18, 2003

I lost our boys on July 18 2003.  It has been four years and that day still haunts me.  I found out I was pregnant after being told that I would not be able to have any more children. We have one son named Paul at this time age 8.  I had taken a pregnancy test and it had floored me.  I came home from work in my first trimester about 9 weeks I guess and I wasn’t feeling well, so I went to lay down. I got up an hour later to go to the bathroom (I was sick all day everyday) and I lost a clot on the bathroom floor.  I started crying and freaking out and my husband rushed me to the hospital.

They told us how sorry they were that we lost our baby and there was nothing they could do.  My husband asked for an ultrasound and they said that it was to soon.  We went home devastated. I laid crying in bed for two days until my next appointment.  I can still see the disappointment on my son’s face as he tried to comfort me.

Two days later I go to the doctor and he said my blood levels were still elevated and wants a ultrasound done the next day. We went to the ultrasound and I tell my husband I can’t look at the screen and see my child if it was still there and not alive.  I have the technician turn the screen away.  I am still crying the entire time that she is doing her job.  Then, she asks if we have heart conditions in our family. My son had open heart surgery the year before.  I said yes. She turned the screen around to say we were having identical twins and that they were okay. And that they were in separate bags.

I remember going back to work after telling them I had lost the baby to tell them there were now two babies and my supervisor took the ultrasound picture showing everyone.  We next told our son who told us he had wished on a star for a brother and was really excited about two at once and was planning already.  I called the hospital a couple of times during my pregnancy because they were laying on a nerve and I couldn’t get out of bed to walk. By now I was permanently off work so we would take no chances.

On July 17 I was in the doctor’s office and they said everything was fine.  I told him I wanted a C-section and that I had this feeling that something was wrong, “Mother’s Intuition” it had to do with the placenta.  They said everything was fine.  We went home and not even 24 hours later the nightmare started.

July 18 I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and felt what I believed was a baby’s head (It was a bulging bag). My husband rushed me to the hospital where fluid starts to leak and they decide to transfer me to another hospital 30 minutes away and not to stop the contractions I was 22 weeks, 3 days along.  My husband beat the ambulance to the hospital. I was hooked up to monitors and told we have to keep the babies in for as long as possible. They wanted to see if the contractions were going to stop.  They didn’t.  The neonatal doctor came in and said he would be their doctor, that they had a slim chance and asked what would we like done as far as heroic measures. The other doctor said they wouldn’t make it.

My husband and I were in shock, neither of us could speak.  My cousin said that you don’t want them to suffer.  I wanted Levi and Logan more than my own life. The doctor listed off the things that would happen.  No parent wants their child to suffer.  Logan was born at 8:29pm and died at 9:02 pm and was bruised from the waist down and Levi was born at 8:53 pm and was stillborn. He was bruised from the waist up.

Even though we were in shock we trusted the doctors and let them and family judge what decisions were to be made. We chose DNR [do not resuscitate] and it is a decision that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.  I did not hold my children.  I thought it would be harder on me to let them go as death is something I was never ready to deal with let alone my children being the ones to go. They put me on the nursery floor where I could hear all the happy mom’s, crying babies and happy families.

But, now I had to disappoint my son once again.  All I wanted was to hold my eight year old and tell everyone else to leave me alone. My son had overheard my father telling my sister-in law so he knew and he cried with me. My husband showed no emotion in front of me.  He held them and our son saw them.

I regret it everyday. I miss them everyday. We talk about who they would be or what they would be doing now.  And holidays are the hardest.  I take off on their birthday and we celebrate and make it family day.  Flowers on their grave and a cake in their memory and then we do something to spend time as a family.  And if we ever get pregnant again we will prepare ahead of time and have a different doctor and hospital.

Thanks for listening,

Amanda

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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

0 comments on “Losing our twins”

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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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