Saturday, April 08, 2006

Winter - part II

So now I'll explain. On September 25 2005 we found out we were pregnant!! We were both so excited, and a little scared of what was going to happen. It was not an easy pregnancy from the beginning. I immediately had complications which put me on bedrest for a week. That week was a blessing though because we were able to have an ultrasound to determine the viability of the pregnancy, what a surprise it was when the doctor saw two yolk sacs. There was no heart beat yet, so we couldn't be sure of what would happen next, but there were two...yes two yolk sacs!! I spent hours on line reading up on the chances of those two yolk sacs turning out to be two babies. I quickly learned that it's common for a pregnancy to start out with two and then end in one before anyone even knows (vanishing twin syndrome). I didn't get my hopes up. On November first I had some more problems, and was sent in for an emergency ultrasound. It turns out we had nothing to worry about because everything was going great and the babies were doing great. What?? Did I just Babies?? I did; at that ultrasound it was confirmed that we were pregnant with identical twins!!! There was a catch though, it appeared there was no membrane dividing the two which would mean we were going to have a very risky, dangerous pregnancy. We were told not to worry because it was just too early to make any diagnosis on the membrane situation.

November 15 we had another ultrasound (different company - different doctor) and this one also confirmed there was no membrane. Once again we were told it was too early for a diagnosis, so we waited for the next ultrasound sheduled on Jan 4 2006. My doctor quickly switched me over to a specialist who told me that although they weren't 100% sure, they would treat me like I was pregnant with monoamniotic monochorionic (momo) twins. I cried and cried, but he told me to wait until January for my final confirmation. I researched my little (well constantly expanding) butt off, hoping I would find something that would prove my doctors wrong. What I found was comfirmation that because we'd seen two yolk sacs earlier, the odds were in our favour. 98% of the time two yolk sacs turns out to be two amniotic sacs - there was most likely a thin membrane that had been missed. We really cherished this statistic and let it lead us into denial. I'm grateful for that denial though. We searched for any little sign that the ultrasound had been wrong - our favourite sign was the fact that the ultrasound tech couldn't find the second baby for almost 5 minutes. She swore the second baby had died and vanished. I knew better, so I asked her to look again...she was surprised when she did find the baby. We figured, if she couldn't find an entire baby, how could she see a clear membran, as thin as saran wrap in clear fluid - we assumed she couldn't.

So we waited for our Jan 4th Ultrasound with the Perinatalogist. We knew what he would find, we just knew there was a membrane. We waited, and my tummy grew.

Ben and I spent Christmas with our families and I had so much fun with my two pregnant sisters, Tan was 6 (ish) weeks, I was 20 weeks and Becc was 39 weeks. We took pictures of us at all different stages and laughed at how Sarah was the only one who wasn't pregnant. We went to Bens family get together (cousins and all) and I loved that not only was I due in the spring, but two of his cousins were too. At my family get together (cousins as well) I hung out with my cousin Randa was also pregnant and due on April 8. We do everything at the same time: She was born just a few weeks before me, we got engaged the same week to boys from the same town, and we got married the same weekend. We thought it just made sense that I was going to have my babies just two days before she was due. (My due date was really June 1, but because of the type of pregnancy I would only be allowed to carry until 32 weeks which would be April 6 2006.)

So on January 4th our family prayed for two miracles. That day Becc went in for her c-section and Bradley was born - we prayed he would be healthy because there had been a down syndrome scare during her pregnancy. That same day we went in for our big ultrasound - we prayed for a membrane. Becc's miracle was a reality when Bradley was born healthy. Our prayers were answered in a different way, we did not see a membrane and it was confirmed 100% that we were having momo twins. We were sad and excited because they were healthy and strong girls!! We learned that day that we would be having twins girls!!!

January 5th - I had had a rough day, I was tired and pregnant. I called my mom and told her that I just wanted a normal pregnancy, I didn't want one where there was only a 50% chance my girls would live. I just was so tired of the struggles we'd faced. She told me that she just knew we were going to have two healthy living girls. I wasn't too sure.

January 6th - we had to go to another ultrasound because after 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday (Jan 4) the doctor couldn't get all the measurements finished. We walked into the clinic so proud that we were going to be parents to two very rare and perfect twins girls. We knew we belonged to a special club. The technician asked if we would allow an ultrasound student to watch - she had never seen momo twins before and could easilly go her whole career without seeing them again. We agreed of course - any chance to show off our babies. The technician explained that she would first go over things with the student, then show us the babies and then bring in the peri. We agreed and waited our turn. Within a minute of turning the machine on, the technician frowned, turned to the student and told her to grab the peri. As the student was leaving the technician asked us when our last ultrasound was. We explained that it was just two days ago. She asked if everything had been normal, we told her that everything was fine. She frowned and accepted the answer without saying anything. We knew something was wrong but didn't think it was worse than a cord knot (which we knew we'd have).

The peri came in and looked at the screen then turned to us and asked us a question you never want to hear from a doctor: "Do you want the bad news here, or in another room?" We of course wanted to know immediately. So she turned the screen toward us and we saw instantly there were no heart beats where we had seen them just two days earlier. She showed us the cord flow chart and we could see that there was none, she showed us the cord knot that had ultimately ended their lives. She then left the room and asked that we meet her in a special room. We cleaned up, cried and clung to eachother. We were devastated.

Our families struggled along with us and cried for us. They too missed out girls. We went to the hospital to deliver the girls on January 8 2006. I was induced at 3:30PM Sunday afternoon, 6 hours later I got an epidurel, and another 6 hours later my water broke and I was forced to push my little girls out so I could say good bye. They were born at 3:27 and 3:32 AM Monday January 09 2006. Weighing 5 oz each and only measuring at 16 and 18 cm they looked like mini babies. Their little hands were perfectly formed, their faces were chubby and soft, there tummy's were round and their legs small but long. They were beautiful. I'll spare you the pictures of them because it's shocking to see there transluscent skin bruised from the pressures of labour. We held them and stared at them as said goodbye to Emma and Jayne McCance - our first children.

We left the hospital that evening. We had to leave our girls there, but we left with a box full of their hospital memories (unused hospital bracelets, birth certificates, footprint cards, little baby clothes and blankets).

I spent the next week coming to terms with my post pregnancy body - milk and all. I struggled with the fact that I had the baby rolls everyone else gets after pregnancy but I had nothing to show for it. I struggled with the fact that my family was happy for my sister and her new baby but also sad for my loss - how do you balance those emotions? I struggled (and still do sometimes) with his birth and his life. I want him to talk to me and tell me all about Emma and Jayne. I know he knows them and I want to know too. I had a hard time with the fact that Becc was sore from breast feeding and I was sore because I couldn't. I had a hard tim knowing that Tan was still pregnant and I wasn't. We no longer joked that Sarah was the only one not pregnant because now Tan was the only one who was pregnant. I struggled with the fact that life went on for eveyone else and mine just stayed still - I couldn't move forward because I still wanted to be in the past. I hated that I was part of a special club - but not one I wanted to join. We now belonged to the "pregnancy and infant loss" club. No one wants to be there. I struggled when people talked about their miscarriages like they didn't realize I had delivered babies - I didn't just lose a pregnancy- it was a stillbirth!! They were stillborn, but still born. The were born.

Flowers graced our countertops for weeks after our loss. I loved the flowers, but hated them too. I didn't want flowers because I didn't want the loss that they were associated with. I didn't want any of it.

Something terrible had happened and I couldn't stop it. Winter had come.

1 comment:

Ms.Rayne said...

meagan, I love you and love that you wrote this post. I know that this story written in your own words is going to be a support and inspiration for anyone who reads it.