CLIMB

Matthew & Mason


It has been two years now since the loss of a dream-come-true pregnancy that ended in tragedy for us. My husband and I have been married for seven years now and have been battling infertility for almost the entire time. On May 23, 1993, after, at that time, 3-1/2 years of infertility, our miracle happened. I became pregnant on our fourth cycle of clomid/IUI. That was one of the happiest days of my life. We had been given guarded hope as to ever conceiving, so we were thrilled.

Because of the means of conception, I was followed very closely and on June 8, we had our first ultrasound, another memorable day. There were “2.” We were going to have twins – my miracle children.

Although the first couple months went well and I felt great, the pregnancy was complicated early on when at 9-1/2 weeks I started spotting. The scariest night of my life! I was told to go to bed and that I would need an ultrasound in the a.m.. I was so afraid at that point that everything was over, but the ultrasound did not show any problems other than they were monoamniotic (I would learn later how dangerous this could be). There was no explanation for the bleeding, but both babies were moving about, looking good.

I was put on “couch” rest at home and ended up being off work for about a month. They watched me very closely and things stabilized to the point that we were again having positive thoughts about having our twins.

I went back to work (I’m a nurse) the first part of August for half days. Everyone was so supportive of me and took such good care of me. I had so many people pulling for me and praying for me. I was so thankful for each passing week on the calendar.

Then, on September 11, 20 weeks into my pregnancy, I passed what I know now was my mucus plug. Unaware at the time of impending problems, I was concerned but carried on with my day. Later that night, I started having squeezing pains in my abdomen. I was unaware these were contractions at the time, but they continued through the night, and the next morning I called the doctor. She said it was probably nothing (they had stopped by then), but since I was carrying twins, to go to the hospital to get checked. After being there several hours, the pains restarted and were showing up on the monitor as contractions. I was given Brethine shots to stop them. The nurses were all very reassuring and we were hopeful at this point we could get past this and still have a positive outcome. The contractions slowed after several doses of Brethine and I was sent home the next morning (much to my surprise)! They had found also that I had a bladder infection which was thought to be the cause of the premature contractions and I was given antibiotics for this. I was told to follow up with the doctor the next day. It was a very emotional time. I was so scared, but the doctor was still hopeful things would work out for us. My appointment was at 1:00 p.m. I was told to continue the Brethine for the next week to hopefully stop all the contractions. The ultrasound in the office showed both babies active and looking well without any signs of impending problems. Again, I left on a positive emotional note full of hope that this would only be a setback. Later that afternoon at home, alone, my water broke, totally out of the blue. I was rushed to the hospital by a neighbor and met by my husband and friends I work with at the hospital.

We both knew at 20-1/2 weeks our miracle babies were just too small to live and there would be nothing anyone could do to save them.

The next day our precious twin boys were stillborn. They were so small but so perfect in every other way. It seemed so unfair.

The nurses were great and very supportive and my doctor was wonderful throughout the whole experience which I am thankful for. I was so afraid at first to see them, but the nurses cleaned them up and dressed them and, with my husband, brought them both to me. These were my children, my dream, my future. I was their mother. My heart was broken and will forever ache for them.

We were told we had choices regarding arrangements for burial and after seeing and holding them, we knew we had to make the best decisions we could for them. My husband took care of all the arrangements that day and he and his twin brother even hand delivered them to the funeral home to be placed in their casket. They had been conceived and carried together and it only seemed right to keep them together now.

We had a small private family service for them a few days later and buried them in the small town my husband was raised in alongside other babes in the infant section.

After all we had gone through to become pregnant, I was devastated. There would be no guarantees it would ever happen again for us. Now, two years after that awful day, we are still struggling for success. We have attempted multiple cycles with several different treatment options but have yet to receive that wonderful news we did over three years ago now.

I still think about our little angels every day and each day wonder how much richer our lives would be if we had the boys here with us now. They would be 2 this month (September), had they lived. Boy would our lives be different!

We know we can never replace them, but hope someday to experience that wonderful joy we know they would have brought to us and to our families.

Matthew & Mason, your mommy and daddy will never forget you and will forever love you.

Jan

I Am Your Mommy

I am your mommy…
and I wanted you very much.
So did your daddy and your family.

You came to us like a miracle,
When we were getting very discouraged and tired.
You gave all of us something very precious,
hope…anticipation…appreciation for life.

Many things about your short lives
were symbolic of our love for you and for each other.
These things will forever anchor your
memory in our hearts and souls.

We cried tears of joy when we knew
you were coming…all of us did.
You were wanted…loved from the
moment you existed…yearned for.

Your daddy is a twin, it means so much
that you were twins…a validation of life –
Yours and his.

There was a flood when I was carrying you
and I needed to go where I could take good
care of myself, so we went to Joni’s
It was beautiful time for us,
sharing your presence and the joy of waiting for your birth.

We would do anything to keep you with us,
and did…it just wasn’t to be.
You needed me to exist, and I did everything I could
to carry you…I needed you too.You were a dream, a future unfulfilled, the culmination
of much love, work and prayer…

Your lives ended before they began, and yet they touched us
for the rest of our lives in a very deep and lasting way.
You will always be a part of our family, always missed,
always loved –
When the landmark occasions pass, we will remember, grieve
and cherish the memory of our two little boys
Oh how we love you.

We always will.

Matthew and Mason, I am your mommy, I wanted you very much
and I miss you and love you.
I always will.

Jan

Jan wrote her “update interview” five years later…

Interview…

1. I lost both my twins, identical boys, after premature rupture of membranes for no known cause, after years of infertility and treatment-Matthew & Mason, born and died 9-15-93. I now have a 3-year-old daughter named Jennifer, and have had two miscarriages since her birth (as well as several early losses before her pregnancy).

2. When I remember my babies, I… dream of what it would be like to have twins, to deliver twins, to raise boys like their daddy (who is an identical twin) and to be involved with twin groups and belong to such special groups.

3. The worst part is… the difficulty we have had with subsequent pregnancies-it makes our loss so much greater.

4. I have coped with anger by… having the greatest of friends and pen pals to write and air my feelings to-those who can relate to my pain have been the most wonderful gifts of all.

5. I still have problems with… wanting to have more children to raise and dealing with the loss of our boys.

6. I have learned that… sometimes you aren’t able to achieve things in your life you want so badly and have to deal with what life does hand you.

7. I no longer think that… my dream of having more children will come true.

8. I remember when… the first ultrasound showed twins. As I looked back that must have been the happiest day of my life.

9. My partner and I feel close when… we talk about our boys, Matthew & Mason, and visit their gravesite. We do have good memories of them.

10. The best times to remember my babies is… any time and every time they come into our thoughts.

11. The worst times to remember my babies are… after I see other families with multiples. It absolutely breaks my heart and I think it always will.

12. Sometimes I wish…that I had never been pregnant with twins in the first place.

13. When I could handle it again, I… wrote my story and made a special memory scrapbook for them.

14. If I could choose whether or not to have twins again… a definite yes – I would risk it again in a minute. It seems so easy for so many other people!