Last January, we found out I was pregnant. It was a rough start. I was super emotional and weepy. I had a morning sickness. But one day after a run I started having problems.
The kind of problems that lead you to believe you’re no longer pregnant. Rob was at work. I was home alone with Jackson. It hurt, I was in pain. I was afraid. I didn’t have an OB yet.
I reached out to a midwife I knew and asked her what to do. She said, the scary truth. There isn’t anything you can do. Nature takes its course and you don’t get a vote. I remember feeling grateful for her boldness. That she wasn’t overly precious about it. In times of confusion flowery words add to the cloud. I needed black and white. She advised me of a local office where I could get an ultrasound. To confirm whether or not I was still pregnant. “Knowing is better then waiting” she said. I agreed.
I hung up the phone and curled up into a ball on my bed and wrapping my arms around my stomach. I wept. Not because of the pain although it was intense Bc of the loss. I cried until there were no more tears. My brain was stuck in a loop and I spoke it out loud. Over and over.
“You are wanted. You are wanted. You have a Mommy and a Daddy. We love you. You are wanted.”
When everyone said I was powerless. All that was left was love. I was powerless to stop what was happening, but I didn’t have to do it without feeling, without loving my child.
Rob came home. We spoke about what happened. We made an appointment for a few days later.
The day of the appointment I was sick again. There was a part of me that was hopeful that my pregnancy symptoms were present maybe the baby was ok. I was afraid to invest any emotions either way. I was physically shaking and trembling all morning I was so nervous.
Good or bad we were going to go into that room, and when we came out life would never ever be the same. One of those life moments where your path takes a hard turn and you’re on a new path. Only we had no say in the outcome.
We went to the ultrasound. There was a kids show on in the waiting room. We had Jackson with us. I couldn’t stop trembling. I wanted to throw up. The called us back. Jackson was everywhere he was pulling on the mini blinds and climbing on the bed.
I remember sitting in that dark room. Cold gel on my stomach. Rob holding J trying to distract him, while J frantically tried to escape. I had my eyes firmly set on the technicians face. I didn’t want to see the screen.
I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Minutes past. Nothing. There was a large screen in front of us. I kept waiting hopeful for the sounds of a heartbeat to fill the room.
More time passed.
She started asking questions. I closed my eyes against the sting of emotion.
“How did you find out you were pregnant?”
“Have you met with your OB?”
“Were you doing any fertility treatments? ..are you considered high risk?”
-I started to cry. Obviously if it was good news if everyone was “fine” these would not be the questions she would be asking.
Then she said it. “It’s ok, you don’t need to cry it looks like both babies are fine”
I looked at Rob in disbelief. “What did she say?”
I was angry. I thought she misspoke and my heart was raw and broken and it stung.
She isolated each fetus and played a snippet of their heartbeat for us. “I said both, you’re pregnant with twins, both of them have strong heartbeats”
“Twins. There are at least two, you’re going to need another ultrasound to confirm there are not three, there is a shadow here I can’t identify.”
Good or bad we went into that room thinking we were a family of 3. For good or bad our life took a hard turn and we came out as a family of 5. (At least)
That day she told us I was in the highest risk category. That they appeared to be in the same sack. She warned me about vanishing twin syndrome. She warned me that I might spend half my pregnancy in the hospital. That the survival rate of this type of twin was 50%.
If you ask I guarantee Rob doesn’t remember that part. We told our families. We told our friends. I made an appointment with a dr and waited for 6 more weeks. To find out what our survival rates would be. I did not sleep much.
The irony is when we went to the doctor, they did a second ultrasound everyone was fine. They put me in the lowest category for risk, but they were wrong too. We found when the twins were actually born they were a step between. I was moderately high risk. But the good news is they were born.
They told me “you’ll spend half your pregnancy in the hospital” and later, “you’ll spend half your pregnancy on bed rest possibly a month in the hospital”
The truth is I worked at the salon the day before I went to the hospital I spend 48 hours pregnant in the hospital. Not 5 months.
They said “your babies will be born early and spend months in the NICU” and “prepare yourself to leave the hospital without your babies. ”
The truth is they never saw the inside of the NICU. They came straight to the room with us.
Now it wasn’t totally free of drama. Turns out birthing two humans in 30 minutes can throw your body into pretty severe trauma. I spent every bit of my life force pushing. And I have almost no memory of the several hours that follow. I had post partum preeclampsia. I received emergency care post partum and had a relapse a few days later. Our Doctor assured us that if this pregnancy had taken place in any other decade the odds were stacked high against any of us surviving the pregnancy and birth.
After their birth I put this story away. I locked it deep in my heart where painful things go. Where I keep boxes I don’t like looking in. But Timehop had this ultrasound picture in it. The post from when we shared our news with the world. And all the emotions I felt that day came back.
I’m not sure what the point of the post is. To remember That tiny thread that connects us to life is so fragile. so my children will always always know.
That they were wanted. They were wanted. They have a Mommy and Daddy. They are loved. That they were wanted.
Even before they were born, even after I’m gone. They have my whole heart.
My tiny Valentines,