Dallas & Dalton

On March 29, 2002, at 19 weeks and 4 days along, a routine ultrasound showed that we were having twins. My husband had gone to work that morning and would be meeting me at the ultrasound. I arrived there at 8:30 and the ultrasound tech took me back. I told her that my husband would be meeting me and she said that we would just get ready and when he arrived, she would bring him back. Before he even got there, she scanned my belly and told me that I was going to be shocked. As she briefly did that scan, I watched and knew instantly that there was more than one baby in there. When my husband came back to the room, she told him to have a seat, he might need it, for he was in for a shock. When he looked up at the monitor, he knew in a second just what he was looking at. He said, “We’re having twins, aren’t we?!” We were both so excited and just kept smiling and eyeing that monitor at our babies. The babies were both exactly the same in length and weight. They had their own sacs, but shared a placenta.

Our 4 1/2-year-old daughter kept telling us, very early on in the pregnancy, that I had two babies in my tummy. We just kept telling her, “No honey, they only hear one heartbeat.” We had had about four doctors appointments already and during the two previous appointments, when they were able to detect the heartbeats, they would only hear one. So, we were really shocked at the news of twins. Shocked, but very much excited. As we left the ultrasound office, we called anyone we could get a hold of. I even called my doctors office to tell them. I knew, of course, eventually that they would find out, but I was even excited for my doctor, who would deliver our twins.

Two weeks later, on April 12, we had another doctor appointment. Our doctor was pleased at the progress of the babies. On April 26, two weeks later, we had another ultrasound (routine for someone having twins is to have one ultrasound every month to watch their growth and make sure it is normal). Once again, this ultrasound revealed that the babies, boys (which we did not know at the time) were once again growing pretty equal to each other. Baby B was about 1 ounce larger than Baby A…normal.

Another two weeks later (I was so glad we had a doctors appointment and ultrasound every two weeks as I was nervous) we had another doctor appointment. We heard two healthy heartbeats. My weight gain was normal. In fact, I had gained less with this pregnancy at this point than with my daughter and son. My doctor was pleased with the ultrasound results so far and that I was healthy.

About 1-1/2 weeks later, during the weekend, it just seemed like the boys weren’t as active as they had been. I was so worried, but then I am a worrier, so I figured that maybe they were just running out of room in there. (I am 5’2″.) But, on Monday, to ease my fears, I called my doctor’s office to see if I could come in to hear the heartbeats. I went in on Tuesday morning, May 21. My husband met me there. We heard the heartbeats and were relieved! I was originally scheduled to see my doctor that Friday, but since I was already there, we decided to go ahead and do our exam. Our doctor did an internal to make sure my cervix was closed. Everything looked fine. He was only a little concerned, thinking that maybe they were running out of room for my body size, but sent me for a biological ultrasound. He wanted to make sure the boys were growing at the same rate and that they weren’t running into problems. That ultrasound was scheduled at the hospital at 1:45 p.m. My husband had meetings at work and asked if I would be okay at the appointment. I told him yes, I was only slightly worried that the ultrasound would reveal any problems. I mean, we did hear the heartbeats just a short time ago.

Before going to the ultrasound, I went to work for a couple of hours. I ate lunch and then headed over to the hospital. I checked in at the desk, filled out paperwork and went into the room. The ultrasound tech, who was different than the one we had been having because it was at a different place, started. About one minute into it, she left saying she’d be right back. When she finally did come back, which seemed like an eternity, she had someone else with her. I would find out later that she was a doctor that specialized in babies with problems. I knew instantly that there was a problem. As I watched them scan, I didn’t see my baby boys move. The doctor and tech kept whispering, like I wasn’t even there. They just kept on and on about “what could it be?”, “what do you think it is?” Then I heard them say Twin to Twin Transfusion, and I knew what they were talking about and that something was so very wrong. After all the whispering was done, the doctor turned to me and told me that the boys had TTTS and that they were already gone. At certain points during her talking, she made it sound like one had passed away, but the other one was still hanging on. When I questioned her, she said that there was no hope and that neither boy made it. I was so devastated. There was no one there for me. And, I’d have to call my husband and tell him the bad news. I had to break into his meeting by informing the lady on the phone that it was an emergency. The tech called my doctor, the office said he had just left the hospital. I wish that they would have at least been able to reach him before he left, then maybe I’d have someone to comfort me. My poor husband felt so bad for me to have to go through it alone. He would have been there, if we really thought it would have come to this. He was there for every appointment and every movement.

My doctor wanted to see me back in his office to talk to us and to comfort us. My husband left work and met me there. Using our cell phones, my husband and I talked until we met up. My husband didn’t want me to go through a delivery where we would not hear healthy cries. We both thought we should just get it done quickly. My doctor, who I think is the best ever, told us that a vaginal delivery was the best for me physically and mentally. Little did we know that he was so right. He told us how terrible this all was and his eyes and body told us how badly he hurt for us. He scheduled us to be at the hospital at 6 p.m. that night and said he’d meet us there.

My husband and I picked up our daughter and our 2-year-old son at day care. We informed them that the babies had gone to heaven. Our daughter took it fairly well, our son is too young to know what happened. Instantly our daughter knew they would never be coming home with us, except in our hearts and memories of them being in mommy’s tummy. We made arrangements with friends of ours to have the kids spend the night. At the hospital, they got us into a room and settled in. Our doctor came in and sat with us for a little while. He decided that I should be started on an IV with medication to get my contractions started. I was given sleeping pills to try to get some sleep, which I did. He told us he was there for us if we needed or wanted him. In the morning, he came in and sat and talked for a little while again. He decided to break my water. When he did, the water just gushed out. He was amazed at the amount of fluid I was releasing. I was given an epidural. Shortly after, the boys arrived. On Wednesday, May 22, 2002, Dallas, Baby A, was delivered head-down at 9:03 a.m. weighing 2 lbs. 1 oz. and Dalton, Baby B, was delivered feet first at 9:05 a.m. weighing 2 lbs. 12 oz.

The hospital staff, my doctor and everyone involved in their delivery were great. In all that we were going through, they were all professional and caring. They let us hold our boys, dress them, and spend as much time with them as we wanted. They took pictures and even gave us a camera to take pictures that we wanted. We had the boys blessed at the hospital. We left the hospital sad with empty arms, but with knowing that the boys were in good hands. They are angels in heaven and have each other forever. I know and feel that they are always with me, around me, helping me to move on. As each day passes, I know that my boys were not given to me to carry so that I would be sad and grieve the rest of my life. I have yet to understand why we were given them for such a short while, but I know that they are happy and want me to be too.

The Friday after they arrived, we went and made arrangements for them. We decided to have them cremated. We couldn’t bear the thought of burying them, for if we ever moved, we wouldn’t be able to take them with us. My daughter and I painted them a box, wrote inside of it and I placed pictures of all of us in there and a rose from a bouquet my husband gave me when we found out we were pregnant with them. The hospital gave us two little bears and their hospital hats. I placed them on top of the box. Every morning, to help me make it through my day, I talk to the boys and ask them to help me out. I tell them I love them and will never forget the way they made me feel so special as I was carrying them, because they were and still are special.

Every day I try to make it through that day only and try not to think of the way things were and the way things were supposed to be. It tears me apart to think of the way things were going to be. I do not get upset to see a pregnant woman, but when I do, I just want to wish her a happy, healthy pregnancy. I also want to tell her to enjoy each and every moment of it. Not to take it for granted. My husband and I thought we were home free with our pregnancy, because we were 27 weeks along. I was so grateful every day to be pregnant and elated at being pregnant with twins. My husband took great care of us. Every night after work, he’d come home, make me sit down and he’d make dinner. He would not let me do anything. He didn’t want me to get worn out and wanted me to take it easy. We rented movies about two or three times a week. We were preparing ourselves for not having much husband and wife time, because having two already and expecting the twins, we expected to be very busy and were happy to be. Those memories are so wonderful. We had many dreams.

After all we’ve been through, we decided that we still want to fulfill our dreams. We’ve decided that we want more children. Our boys will never be forgotten. They will always be a part of our lives. We will celebrate their births every year. Future siblings will know about them. Their memory, in time, will bring us more joy, then their deaths did sorrow. We have to move on, they would want us to.

I also wanted to tell you what we are going to make for Christmas this year. Maybe it would give others an idea as a way to honor and remember their babies. A few Christmases ago, our Christmas tree fell and our angel tree topper went flying across the room. Needless to say, she broke. I was never able to find another angel that I liked, so, this year I am going to make my own. It will either have two boy angels or, an angel holding two babies. I haven’t decided yet. As soon as Michael’s gets in their Christmas decorations, I will be there to search out the perfect materials for my Baby Angels. I also am thinking about making my own pin. Something that I can wear on their birthday and on Christmas to honor them. I don’t really like to say “remember” them, because something tells me that I will remember them every day until I can hold them in my arms again.