Mira & Sadie’s Life

My husband and I have been married for 13 years and dated for 6 years before we were married. He always knew that I wanted to have children but we wanted to have time to ourselves first. I know that sounds selfish to some people but I really think that helped us mature and grow before we became parents. Of course now I regret that we didn’t try sooner as we aren’t getting any younger and the risks are higher at our age.

We went to Australia last October and joked that we were going to get pregnant there as we were just starting to TTC. AF should have arrived the day after we returned home but I waited until I was four days late to take a test because I didn’t want to be disappointed. There it was, a BFP. I couldn’t wait until my husband came home as I had made a card for him. He said I never had given him a card before on Veterans Day so I think he knew something was up.

I had a feeling before my ultrasound at eight weeks that I was carrying twins but I never knew why I felt that way nor did I share it with anyone because I knew they would think I was crazy. I was so surprised when my doctor said there were two sacs but she could only see one baby. I had to go back the next day when the ultrasound technician was there and sure enough, there were twins. My husband and I were of course in shock but I was excited to be having twins. What an experience it would have been to raise two babies at the same time. We have a few set of twins in the family but they are older now, however my good friend from college has a set who are 2 years old. I use to think it was a shame that they lived so far from us as they are in Oklahoma, but now I think it’s a blessing because I don’t think I could bear seeing them right now. It’s hard enough for me to see a baby, let alone twins.

When everyone warned me that twins usually come early, I unfortunately joked with them and said that I would just have to stick a cork in so that they would stay in until they were ready. Now I look back at that and can’t believe I said such a thing. I couldn’t believe it when I went in for my next ultrasound at 17 weeks and found out that my cervix was funneling. I really didn’t know how bad it was until the specialist said I only had about 3⁄4 of a cm. left of my cervix holding. I never knew how long one’s cervix is supposed to be until after everything happened and I began reading books and looking for information on the internet. I always look back and say “what if”. I know that isn’t good but one can dream. I wanted my daughters so much.

I was admitted to the hospital that afternoon where they put a cerclage in place later that night to keep my cervix from funneling anymore. I was then sent home on moderate bed rest. Unfortunately though at 19 weeks the sac around baby A (Sadie) ruptured just after finishing dinner. We went to the hospital and were once again immediately admitted. My doctor wanted to remove the cerclage that night but we asked to see the perinatologist the next day for a second opinion. It turned out that the cerclage was to stay in place. After being in the hospital for six days, I was being sent home on March 1st as they said there wasn’t anything else they could do for me there since I was only 20 weeks (exactly to the day). There wasn’t any sign of infection and they had switched me over to oral antibiotics since my veins kept collapsing from the IVs. I had 3 IVs in the first 4 days before they finally gave up and decided that I could go on the orals.

I actually had asked to speak to the head nurse before lunch of the day I was being discharged. I asked her if she thought it was appropriate for me to be going home on the 6th day because they originally said that I would be there at least 7 – 10 days. She indicated that there was nothing else they could do for me there since they had switched my medication so she thought it was okay that I was being sent home at 20 weeks to be on complete bed rest. I asked her about the discomfort I was having and she stopped there, asking what discomfort. I told her about the back pain and the funny feeling I was having around my abdomen (it didn’t feel anything like cramping, which I had communicated to my last two nurses) and she said that they never send patients home with those feelings. She sent my nurse back in and put the monitor on me and sure enough I was having contractions.

My parents and husband arrived shortly after lunch as they had been at home moving our bed down to the first floor of the house so that I could be on the main floor while on bed rest. At 6:00 p.m. they moved me to one of the birthing rooms (turned out to be the same one that I was in when they put in the cerclage). My doctor finally came in and tried to remove the cerclage but she was having difficulties so they said I would have to go to the OR to have it removed and they would also give me the epidural at that time. After that, things seemed to happen fairly quickly, in fact, more so than expected as my doctor had gone home to have dinner.

We were hoping that we could at least save Mira and try to deliver only Sadie when the time came, but unfortunately things didn’t work out that way. My parents left around 8:15 p.m. as my epidural was starting to wear off and they needed to administer the next dose but the anesthesiologist didn’t get it hung in time as the second membrane ruptured at that point. Mira was born at 8:48 p.m. weighing 10 ounces and Sadie followed shortly after, being born at 9:07 p.m. weighing 8 ounces. The girls then died at 9:33 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. while they lay on my chest. This was the saddest time in my entire life.

After that the on-call doctor (yes, my doctor wasn’t there yet) tried to deliver the placentas. He thought he was making progress when my doctor arrived so she took over. At first she thought she got one of them out but it turned out to be a giant blood clot. Shortly after that my blood pressure dropped to 36⁄18 because I was losing so much blood. Once they got me stabilized they said that I was going back to the OR to have a D&C done. That was one of the worst things to have to experience since I was awake and essentially by myself since my husband wasn’t allowed in the OR. I don’t think I would have wanted him to go through that anyway since he had experienced enough watching our girls be born. He said it was the most traumatic thing he’d ever seen afterwards. My blood pressure dropped yet again but this time I don’t think it went quite as low. I ended up having a blood transfusion that night.

I was in the hospital for the next full day with expectations of being discharged the next day, Thursday. One of my blood counts was only at 6 but my doctor thought I would be okay if I went on iron pills and a high iron diet. Unfortunately though I was very woozy after I took my shower before heading home that I ended up getting two more pints of blood. That brought my one blood count up to 8 so I was discharged on Friday. Leaving the hospital without my children was one of the hardest things to do. I never imagined how difficult this would be until they brought the wheelchair in to take me downstairs.

I have such a DH that he not only stayed at the hospital every night with me during this whole ordeal, but he had also made all of the necessary arrangements for our daughters to be buried on Sunday after I came home. It was a very small service with only our immediate families in attendance.

My husband and I both believed in God before this but I must say that our faith was questioned when God took our children from us. In fact, the week before my first membrane ruptured, our SIL miscarried. When I went into the hospital, we said there was no way God would take all three of the babies our family was expecting this summer, but he did. I have been able to maintain my faith but I find it difficult. I’m not sure if my husband has much if any faith left at all as he was never very religious to begin with.

Things have slowly gotten better as I’m able to get through the days one day at a time. We are once again thinking about the future as hard as it may be to think of a life without our daughters. I know that I will see them again one day but until then, they will always be in our hearts. The dream of having twins to raise has been taken from us. Our daughters were due on July 19, just days before we were to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. I went to the cemetery yesterday and it was one of my worst days since their EDD. I think it was because Mira and Sadie should have been two months old today.

As I mentioned before, we are looking to the future. Although I’m sure we weren’t ready emotionally, we began TTC again in June (or at least stopped using contraceptives). I have actually switched doctors and the new doctor was able to give me a new perspective on things. In fact, she has already begun a series of tests and said she would have me go through more extensive testing if we weren’t pregnant by March. That seems a lifetime from now, especially knowing that it will mark the 1st anniversary of Mira and Sadie’s first and last day here with us.

Thank you for listening to my story. I have been meaning to write it down someday and felt today was a good day to share the memory of our daughters.

Amy B.

Amy’s subsequent son was born a year after her story was written, near full term. Five years later, after a number of miscarriages, she is near her due date with another subsequent baby.