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Personal Stories


Tara’s Story

I have four children: Tony – 5+ years, my twins – Joshua, stillborn 8/97 and Maria 3-1/2 years, and David 1-1/2. Making the decision to conceive again wasn’t hard for us because when I was pregnant with Joshua and Maria we knew we were going to conceive again. So we didn’t feel in any way that we were trying to replace Joshua.

Just before we started trying to get pregnant again I started to interview doctors. We had moved to a new state and I wanted an OB/Gyn who was going to be sensitive to my situation. I didn’t know how I was going to react to the actual pregnancy because Joshua died from a cord accident at 38 weeks, something that can happen in a singleton pregnancy. I actually spoke with three doctors and really disliked two. One of them actually was preaching to me on what it was like to lose one of your babies in a multiple pregnancy because he had co-authored a book on loss… so he was the expert! The doctor I ended up going with was wonderful. He had actually lost a son at a few weeks old and understood some of what I would be experiencing. He was also willing to do a sonogram on me every week if I wanted, just to know that the baby was doing fine. I didn’t do that, but it was nice knowing I had the option. He believed that my emotional well being strongly affected the baby and that was a priority for him. Joshua’s cord accident happened just under 38 weeks and when we approached that time in my last pregnancy, my doctor had agreed to a c-section at the 38-week mark because I was starting to get very scared and was an emotional wreck. When it finally came to it, I cancelled the c-section because I felt that the baby needed more time to developed inside me and that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to him because I panicked and took him out early. As it turned out, once we were passed the point in my pregnancy when Joshua had died, I calmed down and ended up being induced 4 days after my due date because the baby was getting so big. (David was 9 lbs. 10-1/2 oz. when born).

In the hospital on the day of the delivery I was a mess. I kept going from being happy that I was going to have a baby to very sad that Joshua had died, and guilty that I was happy about this baby. First thing I did was explain to my nurse about Joshua so that she would at least have a clue why I was acting the way I was. It was a very emotional day. I was constantly asking if the baby was OK and when he was born and cried, I just cried too. I cried because I was afraid he wouldn’t, and because I never got to hear Joshua cry, and because I was glad this was over. The first time I held David my husband and I just looked at each other and we were both thinking of Joshua and what should have been.

David is now 1-1/2 years old. I often look at him and think of Joshua, just as I do when I look at Maria. I am very glad that we did have another baby. We aren’t going to have any more and my last experience at childbirth was happy. I am glad to leave it that way.

Tara

Brenda’s Story

I had two subsequent pregnancies after the loss of one of our identical twin boys in January of 1996. My surviving twin was premature by 4-5 weeks and weighed only 4 lbs. at one point during his stay at the hospital. However, he has been fine since! Thank GOD!

On August 27, 1997, we lost a baby in the 9th week. We never found out until the 11th week then had to have a D & C. It was quite devastating. I didn’t think we would ever have another child and wasn’t really sure I would get through another pregnancy!

In December of 1997, I did become pregnant again and after the longest 8-1/2 months had a beautiful baby boy who weighed 9# 8oz at two weeks before a planned c-section. He was delivered by c-section, as were the twins. We were elated to have finally experience a normal delivery. However, our world came crashing down again when he was 3 weeks old. He was diagnosed with some heart defects (pulmonary stenosis, aortic stenosis & some irregular blood flows around his enlarged right ventricle) and at 4 weeks old was in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation having his heart valve ballooned. He quit breathing twice after the procedure (the only two times I left the room); fortunately he recovered and is doing well! He will always be a heart patient with bi-yearly to yearly cardiac check-ups. At some point in his life it is likely he will have to have more procedures done on his valves and possibly valve replacement, then again he may never have trouble again!

Being pregnant after a loss is such a difficult thing. I was so worried that I would not be able to have a healthy baby and that it would die before birth. My doctors were absolutely wonderful about it throughout the pregnancy. Any time I had any concern at all they had me come in so they could show me all was well! That really helped me.

Brenda

Jane’s Story

We conceived triplets after 6+ years of infertility. They were born after a very complicated pregnancy at 25 weeks. Amber died at 2 1/2 days. Cheyenne died at 15 days. Mario survived and is now a little over 3 years old. In July we gave birth to a subsequent baby boy, Dakota. He was conceived easily on Clomid and the pregnancy was without any complications (big difference from a multiple pregnancy). The delivery was a planned c-section and also was complication-free. In some ways I feel like I’m more amazed by this baby – but I’m sure it’s probably because the first few months memories of my other son are so clouded with grief.

Jane

Dawn’s Story

In 1997, I found out I was pregnant after years of trying. Around my second month I had some spotting and went to see my doctor to find out I was carrying triplets. Things went very well I wasn’t very tired I had little “morning sickness” and it seemed to be fun to be having triplets.

Just before the 20th week the membrane of “Baby C” (Adam) broke. The following day his cord prolapsed and two days later he died. I was given a cerclage and put on bed rest. At the end of 26 weeks a c-section delivered the other two babies. Both Alec and Anthony stayed in the NICU for 90 days. Alec had severe lung problems and was on oxygen for a year. Anthony survived NEC and is doing very well with only half of his large and small intestines. Both Alec and Anthony and doing well. We all miss Adam so very much.

We didn’t think we would be able to conceive on our own. Being pregnant again was about as scary as when we were going through the first pregnancy. I think it may be even more so since we now know so many of the terrible things that can happen to our children. We have dealt with so many different “bad” things we really have forgotten how good it felt to just know we’ve created a life. I am proud to announce to arrival of my daughter Allison Faye . She was born on April 3, 2001 and was 7 lb. 5 oz. After all of the worries, hospital stays and bed rest she was born just into the 37th week of pregnancy!

For as happy as we are it is amazing how much I miss our son Adam. I find myself being very wistful and asking what would it be like if only Adam was alive today. Sad and Happy have been my moods. Of course I’m told it’s the “baby blues”. I’m sure some of it is. But some of it is still my grieving for my lost son. Allison’s birth has been such a fresh reminder of our first pregnancy.

Dawn

Junelle’s Story

At the time I write this, my subsequent baby is 2 years old. She has brought great joy and a feeling of completeness to my life. My pregnancy with her, however, was filled with stress and fear. I could no longer glide through pregnancy as a naive woman. I learned the hard way what can and does go wrong. Despite this knowledge, I had an overwhelming desire to have a perfect pregnancy and birth. I wanted a chance for my ideal vision of delivery to come to be. I felt that I was robbed of that experience. So it became very important to me to have an OB/Gyn that would understand my emotional state and also comply with my very detailed birth plan, the first birth plan I had ever written.

And so the quest for the perfect doctor began. I was seemingly locked into an HMO group and sought out an appointment with one of the group OB/Gyns. I had to beg and plead to be seen by the OB before the standard 8-week mark. It seemed like an impossible wait to manage before being seen. At my first appointment, the nurse noted my history. I sat waiting for the doctor to come in wearing a cold paper gown. I heard my chart being pulled from the door. Through the door I heard the doctor say, “Oh my God, did you read this?” Moments later, she walked into the room commenting that she just read my chart. She said she wanted to do an ultrasound because of my history. She proceed to look with the ultrasound and commented that she thought she saw a twin or it could be the yolk sac and to return in two weeks to check. I was terrified of the possibility that I could be carrying twins while at the same time scared that I might not be carrying twins again. My next ultrasound revealed one fetus with a heartbeat. I suppose the mass they saw could have been a yolk sac but I will never know. I decided that this doctor was not the right one for me with my history; however, when I tried to change doctors I was given resistance by my insurance. I had to make a fair number of calls resolve this obstacle. I also had to work through the HMO system to be able to deliver at the hospital of my choice, yet another area where I became adamant. Interesting how the NICU level available and nursery policies can become so important (something I never even considered with my oldest child.)

I am pleased to say that overall my pregnancy went quite well. Even the delivery was almost the fruition of my ideal. I feel that once you have lost a baby, any scare during delivery can be traumatic. In my experience, I found out there was meconium in the fluid. It seemed that my baby aspirated some of it as her heart rate dropped suddenly during delivery. I was terrified. I couldn’t face the nightmare of losing another baby. They rushed an oxygen mask on me and stressed the urgency of getting her out on the next push. As an impulse I sat up and bent over to touch her as soon as she was born. She was not crying and was lying still between my legs. In that moment, I was frightened. If she were going to die, I had to let her know that I loved her. I touched her small soft back and said, “I am here for you baby. Mama’s here.” She let out a cry and the pediatrician took her to suction the meconium that she had aspirated. It turned out she was OK.

My subsequent baby is a blessing. We chose to name her Beth Ann to honor the memory of Rachael Bethany.

Junelle

Emily’s Story

My husband and I were married nearly 5 years before the birth of our first son. He was the “result” of clomid/IUI (third try). My pregnancy was fairly routine until the 21st week, when my ultrasound showed a shortened cervix. I was put on “limited activity” (which meant I didn’t go to work any more) for the duration of the pregnancy, and had weekly doctor appointments. I made it to 37-1/2 weeks – which was a miracle.

I got pregnant with twins (clomid/IUI again) in July of 1997. I had a cerclage at 12 weeks and everything was great until my water broke at 21 weeks, 5 days. Our beautiful, precious daughters, Martha & Polly, were stillborn at 22 weeks 1 day, on December 18, 1997.

After a LONG year, my husband and I decided we were willing to “try” one more pregnancy. Whatever the outcome, this was going to be our last attempt. We knew that we could be facing another loss – we knew that I was extremely high-risk, but we wanted to try. I always felt that if I could just hold a living baby – MY living baby – in my arms, it might help to ease the pain I felt every time I thought about Martha & Polly. After 11 months and 7 “attempts”, I was once again pregnant (this time on our 3rd round of Follistim/IUI after 4 rounds of Clomid/IUI). We found out I was pregnant on 11/18/99, and that it was twins on 12/6.

The mixed emotions I felt when I heard the doctor say “It’s twins,” can hardly be described. I was terrified mostly. I was so scared that we would lose these babies, too. I couldn’t even imagine how I would get through the next (God willing) 8 months worrying that something bad would happen. And how would this all affect our son, who was not quite 4 years old. I knew that bed rest was pretty much a certainty – who would take care of Danny? All these thoughts went through my mind, but I could never really have imagined how long a road we all had ahead of us…

I had three episodes of unexplained bleeding in my first 8 weeks. At twelve weeks I had another episode that included my passing two very large blood clots. That landed me in the hospital for 4 days and I was diagnosed with a low-lying placenta for Baby A. At 13 weeks I had my cerclage, which was accompanied by a spinal headache that was unbelievably painful and for 4 days I thought my head was going to explode every time I tried to sit up. Ultrasounds at 14 and 16 weeks showed my cervix closed and holding strong at 4.0 centimeters, but at 18 weeks 3 days it had shortened dramatically to 1.5 and there was a significant amount of funneling. BEDREST….

I was able to stay home for the first 5 days, but when it became clear (through home monitoring, since I wasn’t really FEELING anything) that I was having pre-term labor contractions, my doctor had me admitted to the hospital to put me on a terbutaline pump and to evaluate the situation. I went into the hospital at 19 weeks, 1 day, and there I stayed…for the next 12 weeks. It was the longest 12 weeks of my life, and the hardest, but the result was the safe birth (at 30 weeks, 3 days, on May 22, 2000) of our twins, Jacob and Anna, who are nearly 11 months old now and doing wonderfully. They are our little miracles – I honestly believe that. I’ve never been very religious (coming from a mixed religious background), but I do believe that the power of prayer had SOMETHING to do with our blessings. I also believe that our little angels, Martha & Polly, were looking out for there siblings, and that they helped insure their safe arrival. So many people prayed for our babies – even I started to pray each night before sleep. I still do actually, and I start out each night by saying, “Thank you for today…”

I could never have survived my pregnancy without the support of so many people. Right before I went on bed rest, I had connected with a few other women who had suffered a multiple loss and had (or were having) a subsequent multiple pregnancy. My husband used to bring me the email from MAMS and several women called me throughout my hospital stay. Visits from family and friends were crucial to my sanity – my son came at least 3 times a week (we live an hour from the hospital, so I couldn’t see him every day which was the hardest part of my being away…) and the hospital personnel were incredible. I will never be able to thank all the people who helped us survive…

Now life is crazy and wonderful. I think about Martha & Polly every day, and I miss them. My older son, Danny, often says, “I wonder how big Martha & Polly would be now…” They will always be part of our family. Jacob and Anna have brought joy to our lives that we never thought we would have again. Although it was surely the most incredibly difficult time in our lives, it was worth every moment.

Emily

Darcy’s Story

When I was pregnant with my daughter, Kendyll, I kept a journal. I found one of those hard covered books with the empty pages in it. I knew this would be sturdy enough to last a long time. My plans were to give her the journal as a gift when she was older. So I kept up with the entries as best I could. I would enter all the doctor’s visits and what was said and my statistics as far as weight gain and measurements and so on. I also made sure I wrote down any feelings that I was having or funny stories, my hopes for her my fears. I also made sure her father brought it to the delivery and we wrote in it as she was coming into this world.

Time went on and life got busy. We moved to a different state and bought a house. When Kendyll was 16 months old I found out I was pregnant again. I went and found the journal and decided to continue in the same book. I figured at a later date I would copy it for both the children. By the time I found a new doctor and got around to getting an appointment I figured I was ten or twelve weeks pregnant. I had a little belly already but figured this was normal for a second child since your body had done this before. (I won’t go into this whole pregnancy here, I will save that for another story.) The first thing my doctor did was an ultrasound and that is when we were delivered the surprise of our lives, TWINS. Again through this pregnancy I was good about keeping the journal and made a promise to myself to enjoy this pregnancy seeing how it was going to be my last. My last entry in that book was July 4, 1996. My twins were stillborn July 6th, at 36 weeks. I have not been able to bring myself to look at the book, never mind finishing Adam and Jacob’s story. It’s been almost five years and it’s still too painful.

I never intended my Kendyll to be an only child. I was now 39 years old and did not want to wait very much longer knowing that the older you got the higher risk you were. February 1997, I became pregnant again. I never opened up that journal nor did I start another one. Just in case something happened again I did not want or need anymore painful reminders around the house. I treated this pregnancy very clinically and felt very detached from it. I would not allow myself to invest my heart and soul for fear that if something were to happen again I didn’t know if I would ever recover. I had a new set of doctors because when I was three months pregnant with Payton we moved back to Connecticut to be near my family. My group of doctors was wonderful with me. Every one of my million questions were answered, I was monitored very closely. In plain English I was a wreck for most of that pregnancy.

As soon as we knew what sex the twins were we had names picked out and I did not even start thinking about names for this baby till about two weeks before she was delivered. I had lost the boys at 36 weeks gestation so the nearer I got to that the more of a wreck I was. It did not help the matters any either, starting at 34 weeks it was found out that I had low levels of amniotic fluid. They decided to take her early and at 36 weeks I was induced and at 2:32 a.m. October 29, 1997 Payton came quietly into this world. She did not make one peep and the pediatrician took her right away to check her out (because she was a 36-weeker) and at this point my doctor was trying to sew me up and I was practically standing up in the stirrups craning my head to watch every move they were making with my daughter. (It’s rather comical actually when I think back.) I kept saying “She is so quiet, why is she so quiet, something is wrong and you are not telling me!” I wanted her to come out screaming so that I knew she was ALIVE. She kept her eyes clamped shut and still did not utter one peep. They calmed me down and assured me she was perfect and a good size given her prematurity. 6 pounds , 12 ounces and 20 inches long. They bundled her up and put her in my arms and I said, “Payton, it’s me Mommy” and with that she opened her eyes and at that moment our eyes met and the tears started flowing and my heart just melted and I felt overwhelming sense of relief. I did not realize how nervous I was till that moment.

My relationship with my daughters is one of, well, some people might say overprotection. Having a family did not come easy for me and I am fierce about protecting them. I can say one thing though. My children know that they are wanted and hugely loved!!!

Darcy

Darcie’s Story

My husband and I got pregnant the very first month we tried with my son Avi. When he turned three we were ready to try for number two and were surprised that after 6 months, I still wasn’t pregnant. I then went on the lowest dose of Clomid for a month (after reassurances that it was not associated with higher order multiples.) The 9-week ultrasound showed twins, which was scary and exciting for us. When we went for an amnio (now our third ultrasound) the doctor discovered there was a third baby. We were blown away and discovered a week later that the fraternal triplet had died and we were now expecting identical girls. The remainder of my pregnancy was closely followed and was problem free. I was healthy, and the girls looked great. Then on September 15, 1997 I found out my twins, Mia and Grace, had unexpectedly died at 35 weeks. I will never forget the horror of seeing their still little bodies on the ultrasound screen. The reason for their deaths remains a mystery, as the autopsies were inconclusive. Apparently it was not related to the triplet’s demise and may have been some type of acute TTTS. We were shattered. Burying my twins and my dreams has left deep scars for or entire family. Packing up the nursery, telling our 3 1/2 year old, my parents’ grief, and the emptiness were all horrible.

Since I was 38, I felt we needed to try again as soon as possible. My husband wanted to wait, which was hard for us. We tried again in January (4 months postpartum) and did the Clomid again (reassured that twins again were unlikely). While we were waiting to find out if I was pregnant, I realized that my husband was right, it was too soon and I had conceived Mia and Grace in January, so the whole pregnancy would be the same timing. But I found out that I was indeed pregnant and my due date was exactly the same as Mia and Grace. We were very happy despite our misgivings and then we found out we were expecting twins again. That terrified us, despite the fact we had been grieving the loss of being twin parents. I had already given away the doubles of everything and all the twin- related stuff since I was sure we would never have twins again. The doctors reassured us that fraternal twins did not have the same risks of identicals and monitored me closely. It was a very difficult pregnancy to live through. While I was healthy and there were no problems, the stress was terrific. Every ultrasound or nonstress test I would be sick in fear that one or both of the babies would be dead. Every hour without movement would send me into hysterics. Wearing the same maternity clothes at the same times was just so painful. In hindsight, I definitely recommend not to get pregnant the same month again! I think getting pregnant quickly turned out to be a good thing for our family. But expecting twin girls again was both wonderful and too much the same.

I made it through with lots of support from friends, a counselor, writing, working, and traveling a lot. Just couldn’t think about it too much. I feel sad that there was so little joy but I felt I could no longer trust that good things would happen.

Although I had delivered my first three children vaginally, these two were head up so I was scheduled for a c-section at 36 weeks. An amnio showed that their lungs weren’t ready and we went home disappointed and scared to wait another 10 days. Then on October 1, 1998 I finally had my babies. The sound of the first twin crying as they pulled her out of me was the most beautiful I had ever heard. I named my girls Elena Grace and Isabel Mia after their sisters. They were 5#5 and 5#2 and gorgeous! Isabel needed a little oxygen and had a heart problem (that cured itself eventually) but basically both were fine and we were able to go home in less then a week. They are now 18 months old and such joys. I feel so lucky to have had twins again (although I wouldn’t have chosen it) and to have daughters. But I still mourn my Mia and Grace, visit their grave often, think about how old they should be, look at identicals wistfully, and carry the loss always.

Here is a poem I wrote while pregnant with Elena and Isabel:

Half a Year

Wisps of ghosts
cling to me still
web like in their delicate tenacity
tasting only of
shadows and the
memory of faith.

But the seeds of joy
(tender butterflies stirring)
now grow inside
so tenuous
and untrustworthy.

Nourishing me
with bittersweet spoonfuls
of hope
that I swallow brazenly
(perhaps foolishly)
amid this wanton
randomness
of this life.
DD 3/97

Darcie

Resources For Further Reading

Many mothers find that reading literature provides valuable information about subsequent pregnancy. There are several resources available that primarily address subsequent pregnancy after the loss of a singleton but have been found to be helpful for multiple birth loss mothers.

Still to be Born, Perinatal Loss, Portland, OR (503) 284-7426 A valuable guide for bereaved parents who are making decisions about their future. This is a comprehensive 122 page long booklet that includes chapters such as “After a Loss”, “Living Through Another Pregnancy” and “Beyond Birth”. This booklet covers a variety of issues such as the decision to try again, medical considerations, the gender of your subsequent baby, taking care of yourself and how men grieve. In addition, the Perinatal Loss’s booklet for grieving fathers Strong and Tender includes a section on “The Next Pregnancy”.

Trying Again: A Guide To Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss is the first book to arm couples who are pregnant again after a loss with the facts they need to get through their next pregnancy. The book addresses the major causes of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss; how to tell when you’re ready to start trying again; what you can do to increase your chances of conceiving quickly; the facts about the most common worries that couples experience during a subsequent pregnancy; preparing for your subsequent birth; and “life after baby.” The book is written by Ann Douglas and John R. Sussman, M.D., the best-selling authors of The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby (the first mainstream pregnancy book to discuss miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death in detail) and contains a forward from Deborah Davis, Ph.D., author of the best-selling guide to pregnancy loss, Empty Cradle, Broken Heart.

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart has a substantial section on subsequent childbearing and parenting, as does A Silent Sorrow (see our Bibliography).

Traci’s Story

Traci – Mom to twins – Kevin – now 9 and twin sister Kylee in heaven and to twins Cooper and Cole now 3…

When did you decide you wanted to try again? We knew at the hospital when they told us she died we’d try again. I guess it is curious looking back now, but my husband told me immediately we would try again even knowing it would mean more IVF attempts…..(when before she died, he was pretty sure he DID not want more children) If you are deciding now, what are the most important factors to you? While not deciding now, but because it took SO LONG (5 more IVF cycles) to get pregnant again…the important factors to us were to bring hope and joy back into our lives, to not “replace” her, but to give Kevin siblings, to have a “new normal”….I don’t know, we just knew right away that our family was not complete (and I believe it still isn’t!) At 41, I’d have another set of twins or a singleton if I could : )

At what point did you tell others you were pregnant? We told my family right away we were pregnant and others slowly, it was hard to keep it a secret since EVERYONE knew we were doing IVF and everyone was cheering for us. At what point did you tell your other children (if any)? Kevin was the one that told me I was pregnant (he was 5 at the time, now 9 years old). I was so sure that the IVF didn’t work. I was sorting toys for Kylee’s Giving Tree when my husband John and Kevin came down (I kept waiting for a phone call from the clinic that never came) and told me in person. You see, the clinic called John and told him the test was positive. So he and Kevin jumped in the car, and Kevin ran to me and said, “Mommy, you have a baby in your tummy!” That will always be one of THE best moments of my life. I was in total SHOCK!

How did you deal with people asking difficult questions such as; Is this your first baby? For me, it was a little different, people asked a lot about the pregnancy and I had to explain that I had already had a set of twins and that my son Kevin was alive and that Kylee died at 23 months. I didn’t tell everyone – my rule sort of was – if I was only seeing&#frasl;meeting the person once, I wouldn’t tell them unless I knew⁄had a vibe from them that they could “handle it”….People that we knew we’d have to interact with regularly we told the story too, or told them about the charity⁄web-site where they could read about it so I didn’t have to explain it OVER and over again.

Do you want a boy or a girl? I didn’t expressly say it, but I did want a girl….and still do. I am not sure, if I’d never have had Kylee I’d be so compelled to want a little girl. But having had her for almost two years, I just mourn all the things I’d have done for her as her mother. Other mothers who have lost their daughters and have gone on to have another daughter have told me that it does “make life better” and while I know I’d never have Kylee again, another little girl would bring me immense joy. My boys bring me immense joy, just different joy than Kylee did. They are all so unique and different. Did you hope for multiples again? Absolutely, and it was a miracle we had another set of twins.

Did you become pregnant again with multiples? Yes How did this make you feel? Wonderful, scared, anxious, blessed.

Was it difficult for you to bond with your new pregnancy? No, not initially, I was on cloud nine….but when we found out at 18 weeks that I was having two boys and that one of them had a birth defect (2 vessel cord instead of a 3 vessel cord – which meant 20% chance of dying in utero, and several possibilities of limited to severe birth defects) it was VERY HARD to know that there was a REAL possibility that I would have another child die) and I had to go on TOTAL bed rest because I went into labor because the other twin had placenta previa. It was a long, scary, complicated pregnancy.

Did you go back to the same doctor⁄hospital? We went to different doctors (both IVF and OBs) the 2nd time – we had moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Sacramento, CA.

Did it help you to have the same or different doctors? Yes, it very much helped having different doctors – they knew our story. I didn’t let any medical professional touch me unless they had read my CLIMB story…so they would know what I had been through and what I had gone through to get this far to have another chance at having children. Some of the docs and nurses were wonderful, some of them were still totally removed, ignorant and ill-informed.

How did you differentiate your new pregnancy from your previous pregnancy? It was harder the second time because I KNEW all the risks…(the first time I think I was lucky and slightly ignorant.)….but I had MUCH better pre-natal care as well the 2nd time. I was at the hospital for tests 3x per week from 28 weeks to 38 weeks and that gave me enormous reassurance.

How did you deal with anxiety? My husband John was my rock. He constantly reassured me that nothing would go wrong. He saw all positive. I leaned on him a lot. I prayed. I had a lot of people cheering me on and I just took it day by day, week by week. Cole ended up being in the NICU for 7 days after he was a full term twin. But, I still have to deal with the anxiety – active toddler boys who have no fear – my reaction to when they get hurt or get sick is totally anxiety ridden – I think OK, are they going to die? I have to remember to relax and breathe and take a step back and deal with the situation as rationally as I can in those situations.

How did you deal with any complications that came up? I asked a lot of questions, asked for more tests, asked for more ultrasounds, hoped, prayed, believed it would be ok, did everything I was supposed to do in terms of staying in bed, listening to my body when I needed to rest…but I knew in my heart a lot of it was out of my control…again, just took things one day, one week at a time.

Was there a turning point in your pregnancy where you started to feel more comfortable and⁄or relaxed? After about 33 weeks, I started to sigh some relief, knowing that if they were born early, they’d have a good chance at survival, including little Cole. But then as things got further along to 37 weeks I was very anxious and scared again that Cole would die too. They just told me he was “compromised” and that we wouldn’t know for sure how, or to what degree he’d have birth defects and as that reality drew near, it was terrifying…the birth, the C-section, the waiting to see how he’d do in the NICU. Today, gratefully, he is a totally normal, happy, active 3 year old who while small (10th percentile) he has more spitfire than both his brothers. : )

Did you have a baby shower? Yes, I think at around 33 weeks, I said that my friends could give me a baby shower. We had a lot of things left over from Kylee and Kevin, but we needed a lot of new things as well. Did you reuse the items you had from your previous pregnancy? Yes, some things like clothes, stroller, cribs….. To this day, 7 years later, some of Kylee’s things I still cannot see without completely breaking down….some of her things though – like being able to reuse the infant twin outfits – was truly special and heartwarming.