2 weeks ago tomorrow, I gave birth to our first children William Matthew and Harrison Michael. 2 weeks ago tomorrow, we also lost our first children. My water broke the Thursday before after a dizzying few weeks of a shortening and funneling cervix, progesterone supplements, and an emergency rescue cerclage on an awful Friday evening 7/24.
The doctor warned us that the cerclage could be unsuccessful and we had a 50/50 change of losing one or both babies right there on the operating table. We took our chances and did what we could to save the babies, because without the cerclage, it looked like they were coming in the next few days. It was way too early, and there was no chance for survival. Not doing anything wasn’t optimal. Getting the cerclage wasn’t optimal. Either way, outcome was poor.
The surgery was supposed to take 45 minutes. Instead it took 3 hours. I was awake the whole time, and had a weird sense of calm throughout the procedure. Our surgeon was our maternal fetal medicine specialist, who was smart, funny, and who we trusted. He did an amazing job on the cerclage and I came out of surgery with hope. Everyone seemed so happy that I made it through with both babies. I am so thankful we had him as one of our doctors, we could tell he was doing his best to help us. Some things just aren’t in our control.
Every day after the cerclage, things started to change. The early morning 5:30 am birds that tweet outside our window used to drive me crazy. All I wanted to do was sleep and they were so loud. After the cerclage, every time I heard the birds at 5:30 am, I was happy. It was now a welcome sound. It meant that the babies had made it another day.
Every morning I woke up was another day the babies made it. I was so happy and starting to lose my anxiety. My dad bought me a great recliner chair and I set up shop there on bedrest to make it as far as I could with the babies.
Then, Thursday morning after the surgery, things changed. I woke up around 4 am. I had to pee a few times and something just didn’t feel right. I felt a twitching in my stomach that was new, but I chalked it up to the cerclage and maybe the babies were just moving more. I settled back into bed with the giraffe that played music- the one I played for my babies at night before bed.
I closed my eyes and tried to relax, but I just felt this weird anxiety wash over me. The birds weren’t tweeting and it was approaching 5:00am. The dark room was enveloped in a silent darkness and my hubby was deep asleep.
Suddenly, I felt a rush of wetness. It came on fast and strong. I knew immediately what it was. I ran to the bathroom with water pouring out and sat on the toilet as the awful flood came, nothing i could do to stop it. I silently hoped I was just peeing myself, but I knew the difference. I was just fooling myself.
Life since that moment has been a blur. Nick drove me to the hospital where they tested my water and confirmed that it did break. We were told we would be delivering the babies soon. We waited it out for 24 hours before they told us we needed to induce. The risk of getting infection and possibly losing my uterus or worse was too high. My husband said he couldn’t live with going home without the babies and without me. They used pitocin and we waited. And waited, and waited. It didn’t work.
They then put a pill in to induce (which i later found out is not even approved by the FDA and could have killed me!) and a few hours later, I could tell the babies were coming. There is nothing worse than giving birth to babies you hoped and prayed for, only to realize they wouldn’t survive. Labor was relatively quick, the boys were born 2 minutes apart.
Nick and I held them, and sobbed. The Chaplain came in and prayed for the boys and baptized them. We held them and stared into their beautiful faces, wishing there was something we could do. They were just way too small. Harrison was also almost twice as big as William, so we suspect TTTS. After about a half hour, my husband and I both decided we needed to say goodbye. It hurt too much to look at them and see their frail, underdeveloped bodies, and we felt so helpless.
The nurses took them away. I was cleaned up and given a new bed. I hadn’t eaten in days so Nick ran to the cafeteria, but I threw up everything I ate.
The next morning, we were discharged.
It all happened so fast and doesn’t seem real.
2 weeks have gone by. We have received so many gifts, cards, and wishes, but nothing can bring back our boys. The only thing we can do is keep on living. But it is so hard without them.
Our house is silent most times. We read, watch tv, or cuddle on the couch. This may be the worst part. There should be crying and dirty diapers, and silly toys playing silly songs. There should be bottles being washed, songs being sung, and whispering after the boys go to sleep. Instead, there is this silence. In the silence I sometimes hear this: Things will be ok.
But mostly I hear this: Things will never be ok again.
I am facing a life sentence without my babies. The babies I hoped and prayed for were taken away from me. I have no idea why. That is the worst part. Having to live without them and not knowing why.