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Stillbirth and Newborn Death

The birth of a child is one of life’s greatest celebrations. Especially during a multiple pregnancy, parents fantasize about their babies, about walking them, showing them off to friends and family, trying out names and how they sound. When the outlook is positive, those close to the couple share in the journey as excitement and anticipation mount.

Yet when one, more or all of the babies dies by miscarriage or stillbirth, parents at times are encouraged to consider a miscarriage or stillbirth as something less than a “real” death. People around you often want to help, but find it difficult to understand the special circumstances of your loss. Information from Multiple Births Canada and other resources mentioned in this article can assist them say and do things that are helpful and avoid those that are hurtful.

If you do lose one, more or all of your babies, you may wish the birth and/or death certificates to reflect the fact that your baby(ies) was part of an appropriate multiple birth set, i.e. loss of one triplet does not make it a “twin birth”, loss of two quadruplets does not make it a “twin birth” and so on. You may need to be vocal about your wishes as some hospitals may record only the surviving baby(ies) and not your accurate multiple birth.

Stillbirth and Newborn Death

For women carrying multiples, prematurity remains the leading cause of death. Approximately 10% of all perinatal deaths are multiple birth children (Multiple Births Canada’s Fact Sheet, Multiple Birth Facts & Figures, 1998).

In spite of our best precautions, premature birth can still occur. There are no guarantees against the early delivery of your babies. Even in spite of appropriate and timely intervention by hospital staff, a loss of one, more or all of the babies may still occur. If such is the case, you will no doubt be:

  • grieving for your baby(ies);
  • grieving the loss of a unique type of parenthood;
  • feeling shocked, empty and alone with disappointment, anger, sadness and grief;
  • wondering how this could happen and fear that you might not have other children.

The loss of one baby from the multiple birth set, can present complicated emotions to deal with:

  • why this baby and not the other?
  • Did I resent or fear the thought of looking after two, three or four babies and thereby cause this to happen?
  • Did I “wish” one or more babies “away” and cause this to happen?
  • Did my preference for one sex cause this baby to die?
  • How will I tell the survivor(s) about her sister and when?

While these thoughts are normal, they also increase the burden of guilt and grief. Don’t leave these feelings bottled up inside of you. Talk to a grief counsellor, good friend, hospital staff, your partner or religious support person, in order to assist you in putting your feelings into perspective.

Losing one, more or all of your babies leaves the parents and those who care about them to deal with complicated issues. Some of these issues are:

  1. Not only have you lost a baby(ies), but you have also lost a unique parenting experience. Seeing other people with their multiples is a painful reminder of your loss, and may trigger feelings of envy, anger, failure or sorrow. In addition, when there is (are) a surviving child(ren), it can be difficult to resolve the conflict between the two extreme emotions that you are feeling – that is, the joy of the birth of a baby(ies) and the sorrow of the death of a baby(ies).
  2. Your feelings may include rage, shock, numbness, guilt, panic, being out of control, powerlessness, confusion, and/or denial. You are adapting to a new reality and it takes time to adjust. In fact, we are never the same after the death of a child(ren). We adapt and go on, but we are not the same. Grief is a journey, not a destination. Expect powerful feelings to resurface at different times as you walk the rocky road. It is healthiest to allow yourself the neeed time to experience them as they arise, rather than suppressing them.
  3. You may not wish to be touched or held for a period of time after your loss because of a fear of losing control of your emotions. At work or in social situations, you may not wish to discuss your children or your loss, afraid that you will break down in tears and be unable to stop the flood. It helps to tell family, friends and co-workers what you do and don’t want to talk about. Every parent is different. While some want and need to talk about their distress with anyone who will listen, others wish to keep their personal pain separate from their social responsibilities. It helps to tell family, friends and co-workers what you do and don’t want to talk about.
  4. You may find that people pay more attention to the live baby rather than the fact that one (or more) died. They may feel that dwelling on the dead baby may make things more uncomfortable for you. Feel free to speak up if you wish to speak of your dead child(ren). Others will be more open about their thoughts if they know you are happy to hear your dead baby’s name and consider him or her to be a special part of your family.
  5. On the other hand, you may wish, yourself, to push all thoughts of the dead baby(ies) out of your mind and concentrate on your surviving baby(ies). You might wish others would stop reminding you of the baby(ies) you have lost. You need not feel guilty about this normal reaction. Parents can only cope with so much at once. With newborns, especially when they are premature or ill, it is common for parents to devote their energy to their living children and delay grief until a later time. In due course, you will find the right way to acknowledge the child who died.
  6. Parents often hear inappropriate comments that are meant to comfort them but in fact, do exactly the opposite. To hear “It’s not the same as losing a baby, this one never drew breath.” or “You are young, you can have other children” is devastating, even if the comment is well intentioned.”At least one survived.” [I am truly grateful, but one crib is still empty.]
    “It’s God’s will. They’ve gone to a better place.” [There is no better place for babies to be than with their parents! ]
    “It’s for the best, she/he would have been disabled. [Death of a child is not “good” and not necessarily easier to handle than disabilities.]
    “You have a healthy baby, just forget the other and get on with your life.” [You have 2 legs. If one was amputated, how would you feel if I said “you have one healthy leg, forget the one you lost and move on?”]
    “You could never have handled quadruplets.” [Death of a child is not easier to handle than mounds of diapers or huge grocery bills!]
  7. Communication is important, and a counselor may help bereaved parents avert losing relationships with family or friends. People often call two surviving triplets or quadruplets “twins”. They need to know what you want to call them. Likewise, one mother reported one of her twin daughters was born very ill and died in the hospital after a short life of two months. Her mother-in-law focused on the surviving, healthy baby, sending the parents a card congratulating them on the “birth of their daughter”. The dead sister was never mentioned, even though she lived for two months, was named and given a funeral. A rift developed between the mother and mother-in-law, with hurt, anger and hostility at the lack of acknowledgement of one grandchild’s birth and death.
  8. Recognize that you will have limits. Your pain may be so intense that you will have nothing to give to the rest of the family or spouse. Be honest and let them know when you need some space for the time being.

Memories

It can be very helpful for parents to see, hold and touch their dead baby or babies. I feel very strongly that we cannot say “Good-bye” until we have said “Hello.” No parents have ever expressed to me their regret at having seen and held their babies, but several have expressed regret that they did not. Sensitive and caring hospital staff can encourage parents to hold their baby(ies), and bathe them if they wish. You can take photos of the deceased babies separately and together, with any surviving babies from the multiple birth, and with other siblings if you desire this. Hospital staff are often exemplary in supporting families at this difficult time, making it as easy as possible for you, although they cannot change the tragic reality of death. Parents are often given specially designed Memory Boxes, one per baby, which may include: the blanket the baby was wrapped in, a lock of hair when possible, plaster hand and foot prints, an outfit the baby wore, hospital bracelets and several photos of each baby. Such special items are cherished as tangible evidence of the reality and value of a baby who did indeed live, even if only in dreams.

There are companies and artists who can create drawings of your babies, or unite separate photos of babies with computer imaging to create a group picture. These tasteful and precious photographs or sketches can provide parents with much comfort. As one Dad put it “.it [the photograph] proved to the world that our son was real.”

This article was written with grateful input and assistance from:
Dr. Elizabeth Pector, Illinois, U.S.A.

Reading Resources

Twins, Triplets and More, Elizabeth M. Bryan, M.D., St. Martin’s Press
Guidelines for Professionals: Bereavement, Bryan, EM; Hallett F, Multiple Births Foundation, London England http://www.multiplebirths.org.uk
Living Without Your Twin, Betty Jean Case, Tibbutt Publishing
Bereavement in Multiple Birth, Part 1: General Considerations, Elizabeth Pector, MD; Michelle Smith-Levitin, MD, The Female Patient, Vol. 27, November, 2001
Bereavement in Multiple Birth, Part 2: Dual Dilemmas, Elizabeth Pector, MD; Michelle Smith-Levitin, MD, The Female Patient, Vol. 27, May, 2002
The Worst Loss: How Families Heal from the Death of a Child, by Barbara D. Rosof, Henry Holt
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby, Deborah L. Davis, Fulcrum Publishing
Men & Grief, Carol Staudacher, New Harbinger Publications
Trying Again: Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss, Ann Douglas and John R. Sussman, M.D., Taylor Trade Publishing
Empty Arms: Coping with miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death, Sherokee Ilse, Wintergreen Press

Other Organizations

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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

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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

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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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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)

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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

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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

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Our precious angels, Aidan, Peyton and Tyson

I would like to share our story about our precious angels, Aidan, Peyton and Tyson. We would only have 10 short days with our precious sons.

My name is Tammy and I am 35, my husband is Steven he is also 35. We have been married 18 years and we have one living son, Mitchell who is 17 years old. We had Mitchell when we were 17 and we decided to finish high school and college before adding to our family. Also, Mitchell was born at 24 weeks and we struggled with the medical issues of raising a premature baby. He has had many surgeries and some learning disabilities, he is doing great now.

Once we got to the point [of trying again] we struggled with infertility and 3 miscarriages. This process took 8 years, we couldn’t go to a specialist until this past year due to insurance coverage but once my dh [dear husband] changed jobs, his new insurance covered treatments. We were just thrilled and started testing and our first month with injectables and IUI, we got pregnant.

We were shocked and thrilled, then 5 weeks after the positive test we found out we had triplets!!! Talk about shocked but again we were thrilled and looked forward to adding 3 babies to our family. We had some early problems with spotting but all was fine, then at 14 weeks the doctor put in a stitch to hold my cervix, which went fine. After that I quit work to stay on simi bed rest and everything was going great.

At 23 weeks I had a large amount of leaking which I thought was one of the bags of water breaking. We went to the hospital but they said it wasn’t any of the bags after doing an ultra sound and they sent me home. Then at 24 weeks I started having contractions. In one week I went to the hospital 6 times with contractions, they gave me meds to stop them and sent me home each time.

After the second visit I went to my doctor and he checked my cervix, which was still closed and we did an ultrasound to check the babies and they were fine. That was on Tue. by Friday the contractions were worse so we went back to the hospital, twice that day. My doctor was out of town so we had to deal with the doctor who was on call, who NEVER came in the room to see me.  The nurses did everything. I won’t go into to [it] but I hold them at fault, they never checked my cervix and put the monitor on wrong and said I wasn’t having contractions. Well whatever they [the contractions] were, they HURT like heck!!

I was told I had a bladder infection and with 3 babies on my bladder that is what I was feeling [but I should]  take some meds for the infection and it would be better in a couple of days. WRONG! By the next morning we were back at the hospital with Aidan’s hand presenting.  I had to have an emergency c-section.

My 3 boys were delivered at 24 weeks weighing: Aidan 1 lb. 4 oz., Peyton 1lb.7oz. and Tyson 1lb. 6oz. and all were 12 inches in length. Aidan lived 2 hours, Peyton lived 32 hours and Tyson lived 48 hours (he was such a little fighter). We did have time to spend with each of them and we got some beautiful pictures of them. I didn’t get to hold Aidan while he was still alive because they ended up having to put me under for the c-section and by the time I came too he had passed away. I miss them so much and don’t understand this but I am trying harder each day. Today they would be 9 months old and it is still hard but I know God is taking care of my babies in Heaven and one day we will be with them again. I also know that God has a plan and my sons’ lives will have purpose.

Tammy

  • Husband: Steven
  • One living son: Mitchell Blake 12/7/86 at 24 weeks 17 yrs old now (our miracle)
  • 3 angels due to miscarriage (9/93, 10/97, 11/99)
  • 3 precious angels born alive but died after birth:
    Birth day Nov. 29, 2003: born at 24 weeks
    Aidan Kai (died 11/29/03)
    Peyton Sloan (died 11/30/03)
    Tyson Connor (died 12/1/03)
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Loss of Twins

My name is Betty. I am on my second marriage to a wonderful man whom has no children. I have two children, an 11yr old daughter and 10yr old son, from a previous marriage. My story is that my husband and I had been trying to conceive for about a year and a half. In October of 2002 we found that my husband had a low sperm count and I had gone for an Hysteralpingogram [test to try and unblock fallopian tubes] and we were waiting for more tests to be performed. In November I had come down with a cold and put off going for a pregnancy test. Because of the odds who would think that it could happen? Well, I took a [pregnancy] test because I didn’t want to take all the cold medicines without knowing first if I could be pregnant. I couldn’t believe it..it was positive (I bought two more and they turned out positive too!). Then it was confirmed by my doctor.

I was really crampy and thought it was my period coming. They said it was perfectly normal but scheduled an ultrasound anyway. So there we were at our first ultrasound. Ahhh to see our baby’s first heartbeats at 6wks. How proud we were…. but in the corner was something else..another BABY! Twins..We were so happy.

The weeks went on and on January 21,2003 at 13 1/2 weeks pregnant with no complications, our world came crumbling down. I woke up that morning to a little mucas spot so I called the doctor. They weren’t too concerned but said if it would make me feel better to come in. So as two different doctors tried to find heart beats, there were none to be found.

I was rushed to the hospital for an ultrasound and as the pictures came on the screen, there were my twins. How beautiful with little heads, hands and feet..but no heart beats! They were identical and shared the same sac. The only explanation that was given to us was that they got tangled in their umbilical cords. One baby was bigger than the other so we believe that he/she lived longer.

We are taking it day to day. Each of us is grieving our own way. And we think of them often. Thank you for hearing our story.

Betty

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Loss of Twins

On December 16, 2002, an ultrasound revealed that I was having twin girls. Sure I was shocked at first, but I was elated over the news. I had no idea that twelve days later my beautiful babies would be no more.

On December 25, after opening presents with my family, I discovered that I was bleeding. Fear and dread overtook me. I knew that I should not be bleeding this late in the pregnancy. I met the doctor at the hospital. He checked me, and performed another ultrasound. The babies were fine. He told me to go home and stay on bed rest for a week. However, I continued to bleed throughout the next day.

I started having back pains, but for some reason I did not connect the pain to labor. I called the doctor’s office again. I was instructed to get to the hospital. After examining me, the doctor informed my husband and I that I had dilated 2 centimeters. He told me that maybe they could save one of the babies if they could stop the contractions by suturing my cervix shut.

That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but the chance of having at least one was better than loosing both. From Thursday, December 26, until Saturday December 28, my doctor did all he could to save my girls. Family and friends prayed throughout the ordeal.

At 10:26, Caitlyn was born. She weighed 15 and 1/4 ounces. Six minutes later Jailyn was born. She weighed 14.9 ounces. My angels were too premature. Their little hearts beat for awhile after they were born, and they tried to breathe. There was no hope. They could not survive outside the womb. I carried my babies for 21 weeks and four days. Up until delivery, I could feel them moving.

I miss my babies every hour of the day. I feel so overwhelmed with guilt sometimes at the loss of twins.

Dee, Alabama