On Saturday, July 12th, we had a bit of a scare. I had some spotting. I immediately called the doctor but wasn't able to be seen until Monday, July 14th. That weekend I was a wreck and nervous. I did my best to take it easy and keep my feet up. Our appointment finally comes and we learn it was TWINS!! OMG!! I started to cry as soon as the ultrasound tech told us. I was in complete shock. Everyone was in shock. Neal's mom thought we were joking at first. His sister has triplets via IVF and she thought it would be a good joke, but we weren't lying!!
I continued to have some spotting on and off through out the first trimester of the pregnancy. Every time I spotted, I went to the doctor to make sure everything was going well. On July 24th, we learned they were identical twins. I was measuring 7 weeks, 6 days at that point. We learned that they were Monochorionic/Diamniotic (mono/di) Twins. Which means that they are in separate sacs but share a placenta. It is one of the worst sets of twins to have due to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and other complications.
At my ultrasound on September 25th we learned we were having girls. It's like a little girls fantasy come true. I was so happy and couldn't wait to watch my girls grow up. We had started purchasing some baby items and started a registry. We knew we were going to need A LOT of things, especially since we were having twins. I was in my glory picking out outfits and furniture and everything baby related. We also started discussing girls names. I knew I already wanted the name Kayla Rose. We decided to name "Baby A" that or who ever came out first(the doctors had labeled them Baby A and Baby B. It depended on their location in the womb of who was closer to the cervix). We continued to discuss "Baby B's" name and finally came to a decision on Kaitlin Emily. It was a huge relief to have them named.
I would talk to my girls constantly. I would tell them about family, and the fun things we would do, and the vacations we would take. I told them how much their mommy and daddy loved them. How we would try to provide the best life for them we could.
We were seen by my OB/GYN for a while and started seeing a Perinatologist at 18 weeks. The first scan we learned that Kayla was receiving a much larger blood flow than Kaitlin was. It's called: Absent Ended Diastolic Blood Flow of the Umbilical Artery. He said that TTTS didn't seem to be an issue at this point. The perinatologist honestly didn't seem that worried. He started me on baby aspirin to help thin the blood a bit and told me to take it a bit easier. I did my best at relaxing any minute I could. We went back a few weeks later and the doctor told us that everything looked great. It seemed like our problems went away. I was so happy that my girls were doing good. I became naive so to say, from that point on. I thought my girls would be just fine. On November 4th I started having some cramping and back pain. The pain came every 10 minutes, lasted a couple of minutes and stopped after a half hour. I thought it was Braxton Hicks contractions.
I had an appointment on November 7th to check on them. I had an ultrasound and a NST (Non Stress Test) done. I had one contraction during the NST and told the nurse of the "contractions" I had early in the week. She said it was nothing to worry about. The doctor came told us after the ultrasound, again that TTTS was not of an issue at this point. I was asked by one of the nurses if I should have my cervix checked. I had no clue, and she said, "you should be fine" and I never had a check done. I learned that the girls were measuring about 2 weeks apart and that should have been a HUGE sign to the doctor that something was wrong, but nothing was never done. If I had only known what was about to come.
On November 8th we had a friends baby's Christening to go to. The party started at about 2pm. During the morning I was doing some things around the house and realized I needed pantyhose for the dress I was wearing to the party. During the day I wasn't having any pain, but had this pressure that I'd never felt before. I thought I was constipated and kept trying to go potty. I thought nothing of it since constipation comes with pregnancy. I also kept feeling like I was wetting myself. I changed my panties numerous times that morning. I ran out and got my pantyhose and came home and got ready for the party. While we were there, we were having a great time with friends talking and discussing bringing up children. It was such a nice time. At around 4:30 the back pains started again. I asked a friend who had fraternal twins herself what labor felt like. She said she never went into labor but told me sit and put my feet up, which I did. I continued to try and enjoy myself, but the pains kept getting worse. At about 5pm I told Neal we had to leave. The pain was getting unbearable. We got home and I changed into comfy clothes and tried to lay down and take it easy. The pain never let up and was coming quicker and quicker. I finally called my OBGYN and he told me to go straight to labor and delivery (L&D). The doctor explained over the phone that it was possible that I could have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). That kept me hopeful.
We arrive at L&D at the hospital and I filled out some paperwork and waited for Neal to park the car. We were taken back and put into an exam room. We were asked a bunch of questions and had an ultrasound done and the doctor said that they girls didn't seem to be that "off" on size from what the perinatologist told us. Again, small relief to me. Next the L&D doctor did an internal exam with the speculum and OMG did that hurt. I was crying and telling him it hurt so much. Right away the doctor noticed that my water sack was bulging. At that same second I knew it was over and nothing could be done to stop it.
We were admitted immediately. I was given magnesium to try and stop the labor. The first treatment worked, the second treatment, not at all. Neal and I were talked to from the Perinatologist at the hospital and were given a load of options for the best case and worst case scenario. Neal and I had to make the toughest decision of our lives.
When we got into L&D room everything was moving so fast. I was told I couldn't get out of bed and I was so uncomfortable. The bed was on a slant with my feet up in the air. It was try to help the labor decrease in progression. I had wraps on my legs that helped to stop blood clots. Neal went and called family members to inform them of what was going on. At around 11pm I was given an epidural. The doctor who was trying to put it in was having a hard time. It took him 3 tries and each time was more painful for me. I wanted him to stop! Finally, the medicine started to flow and I felt much better. The pain from my contractions was non existent at this point. Neal would be watching the monitor and asking me if I felt anything cause I would be having a very strong contraction. The night went by. Neal and I napped here and there. Nurses came in to check on me through out the night.
The next morning at about 9am some family started to arrive. I spoke with my OBGYN and he told me we needed to get things moving along. He asked me if I felt like I had to push and I said no. I really wasn't ready to move on. I knew what was coming and I wasn't looking forward to it.
My OBGYN did an internal exam and broke my water. The time was coming closer. I held out as long as I could but then I had no choice. It was time to push. At 10:38am Kayla Rose was born. She was so full of blood she was a dark red color and very swollen. She weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. The doctor said that there was nothing he could do for her. I got to see her for a second. Then 3 minutes later Kaitlin Emily was born. She weighed 1 pound 1 ounce. Kaitlin looked like a little porcelain doll. Neal and I agreed on a Do Not Resuscitate. We both felt that Kaitlin would have a poor quality of life spending endless amounts of days in the NICU. She would have been in an incubator for at least 20 weeks and on breathing machines. I just couldn't do that to her. I didn't want to be selfish just so I could have my baby. Neal and I both feel the same way. We do not hold our decision against each other.
After I gave birth, the girls were wrapped in hospital blankets and a nurse took some pictures of them. Neal went to the waiting room to tell our families what had happened. When they were allowed, my mom and sister were the first to arrive. Then Neal's parent and his sister. We all cried. The hospital wouldn't let me leave that day. All I wanted was to be home, but I had to spend the night. After family left Neal and I were able to spend a few minutes with our girls. I got to hold them and told them how much I loved them. I wish I could have been with them longer.
Neal and I were put into a room together. The hospital put a little sign on the door so people would know we were grieving. They put us on the maternity ward which was kind of mean. If you walked around that floor you could hear babies crying and see classes going on for dad's about changing diapers. It was really heartbreaking to be there. During the night I cried a lot. I held my empty stomach and asked a lot of questions. I couldn't believe I went from being so happy that I pregnant with identical twin girls to the next minute having nothing. My world felt like it had ended.
The next day Neal and I were finally able to leave. We came home and had to start the next step. We called the funeral home and had a service scheduled. We went and bought flowers for them.
The service was heartbreaking. I couldn't stop crying. All I could think was that all these people should be around to celebrate their birth and welcome them into the world, but it was the complete opposite. There were no words and still are no words to help console someone at such a time.
After the service we let family see the girls and spend some time with them. Everyone got to say a pray and send their love and say their goodbyes. Neal and I took a few extra minutes and did the same.
Neal and I decided to have the girls cremated. I felt like I needed them home with me. I wanted to be able to visit with them whenever I wanted and not when a cemetery would let me. Neal and I weren't happy with the choices of urns from the funeral home, but we found beautiful ones online. They came with a necklace so to say, that hangs around the urn that has their name engraved on it with their date of birth. Right now I have them in their gigantic memorial box upstairs in my closet. Often enough, I open it and have a chat with them. I go through the items in there and look at their pictures.
Our friends did the most amazing thing and had stars named after the girls. A certificate comes framed that tells you the location of the star and a little about it. It also came with section of the sky so you can find it your self. Right now I have the certificate hanging in our family room and I think about my girls everyday.
I think of how different things would be now if they were here with us. How hectic our lives would. How much joy they would bring us. You never realize how much you miss something until its taken away from you.
The whole experience was traumatizing. Neal and I were going to wait a year till we were going to try again. To say the least, that didn't last long.