Creighton & Morgan

I feel like I am the type of person to plan things. Clearly, this is not true when it comes to my babies. Our first daughter is now 3-1/2 years old. Hers was a textbook perfect pregnancy and delivery and she weighed a healthy 7 pounds, 15 ounces. She was however, a happy surprise to us. Eighteen months later another surprise; we were pregnant again. This time we would have liked to wait a little longer. My husband had just changed jobs and we were hoping to be in construction on our new house before we started again. I wasn’t in a hurry to rush to the doctor, I’ve done this before. We had our first appointment at 9 weeks and our doctor did a vaginal ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. Thankfully, my husband was there as we were told that there were two babies! Oh, the shock! Just convincing some of our family that we weren’t playing a joke was hard enough; imagine bringing home two more babies to our tiny house! We were happy, we were suddenly members of a special club and everyone was so excited for us.

We had the pleasure of living in this bliss for 10 weeks. On February 1, 2001 I was told that Baby A was not expected to live past birth. This begins a further rollercoaster that I could never have imagined. We transferred our care to a group of doctors at a teaching hospital an hour away from home. This is what we learned about our babies: Baby A was a girl. She had a kidney and bladder anomaly that blocked her urine from exiting her body. Both of these organs would be beyond repair at birth, further, the kidneys produce amniotic fluid and hers were not. She would not have the lung capacity to maintain life outside of the womb. Baby B was a boy, all indications pointed to him being healthy.

We were given the option of reducing the sick child but it was not recommend as it would put the healthy baby at risk. We were expected to have an easy time going close to full term as I was not carrying as much fluid as a “normal” twin pregnancy. We had very regular ultrasounds and we had just started to settle with our devastating news when I started to bleed at 24 weeks.

My husband drove us to the city, the doctors admitted me, and they stopped the bleeding. Four days later the doctor said I might be able to go home in a few days, bed rest all the way. (How am I going to do that? I have a two year-old, for crying out loud!) In retrospect I would’ve hung by my ankles for the next 15 weeks if it could stop what happened next. I was allowed to unhook myself from the monitors to use the restroom and I did. The babies started coming out with no warning at all. Suddenly many nurses carried me back to bed. Someone looked up at me and said “You are going to have these babies today”.

The next part of this story is not blurred. I remember everything, I will never forget. The doctor waited as long as he could before performing an emergency caesarean. My husband ran around the corner at the same time he had started walking to the O.R., my mom was there too. The team let them both stay with me as we had “special circumstances”. Morgan Francina was born first, she was silent. The nurse bundled her and gave her to me right away. Creighton Matthew was born next and made a big, quick cry for such a little guy. He went right to the NICU. I held my second daughter until I was ready to go to the recovery room and then handed her to my husband. We were separated.

A little more than an hour later Stephen brought her to me again. She had lived for 2 hours and 9 minutes and passed away in her daddy’s arms. She was here for a reason and I have made sense of those reasons. She came to bring me closer to my spiritual path. She came to help her brother arrive safely in our family. I believe this to be true and so it is.

Creighton came home from the hospital 2-1/2 months later. He has had complications with his health due to his prematurity but we can expect him to be “just one of the kids” in the long run. He has a long run ahead of him.

We just don’t get to make all of the choices in this life. We would like to think that we are in control but it just isn’t so. I have learned to practice living in this moment, the next may be a surprise. I celebrate the life of all three of my children, I am honored to be raising two of them and I am secure that our daughter that did not stay with us is in the best possible place.

To the members and readers of CLIMB,

I found out about this organization on the evening of February 1, 2001, the same day that I was told that I would suffer from the loss of a multiple. I appreciate the community and have taken great strength in others’ stories. I know that I am not alone. Anyone that would like to be in touch is more than welcome. Thank you for listening to my story.