Spencer & Conner

When Brian and I decided to start our family, I thought we would have problems since when I wasn’t on the Pill I would only have about one period a year. My Ob/Gyn put me on clomid (five cycles from 50 mg. up to 200 mg.). The results always came out negative, so she sent us to a fertility specialist who said that I had Polycystic Ovarian Disease and started me on Metrodin. We started the Metrodin in March, 1996, and on April 18 the nurse called to tell me that I was pregnant (first cycle). Then on April 27 (week 6) we found out we were having twins – we were SO excited. I had spotting three times in the first trimester with one or two weeks’ bed rest each time. I had sonograms each time and there was no sign of anything wrong or what was causing the spotting. I went back to my Ob/Gyn now for the normal pregnancy visits. On July 14 we found out they were both boys. My mother and sister, who both live in Pennsylvania, wanted to have a shower for us, so we planned it for Saturday, August 31 (Labor Day weekend) since the doctor said that she would not want me traveling much past then.

Then on August 9 (almost week 21) I went for a scheduled check-up and the sono technician noticed that I was effaced, so the doctor said that I would need to be on bed rest until my babies were born. I went back for another appointment the next week (8/16) and things were steady and then again the next week (8/23) things were still steady, so the doctor said to continue the bed rest, but that I didn’t need to come back for two weeks (instead of one). Since I was on bed rest and would not be able to travel, we had to decide what to do about the shower. Brian’s brother, Dave, and his girlfriend, Kim, who live about 25 miles from us, said that they would spend the weekend with me so that Brian could go to Pennsylvania on Saturday for the shower.

Saturday August 31, 1996 – THE WORST DAY OF OUR LIFE

Around 6 a.m. I woke up with a mild pain across my lower abdomen, it wasn’t that bad so I just thought it was gas. Brian and I had breakfast together and then he left for Pennsylvania around 8 a.m. He kept telling me that he wouldn’t go if I didn’t want him to, but I told him to go and have a nice time. I went back to sleep until about 10 a.m. when my mom and sister called to see how I was, I didn’t say anything about the pain since it wasn’t any worse. Then I laid there and started to wonder if was something more than gas pains. I noticed that it seemed to come and go, so I started to watch the time to see if there was any rhythm to them. I didn’t notice any pattern, so I assumed that they weren’t contractions. Then I decided to check the book I had about childbirth to see exactly what a contraction feels like and what else I should be looking for. It said that mild pain was not uncommon, but if there was any blood to call the doctor, there was no blood up to this time. Then around 11:45 1 noticed just a tiny little speck of blood, so I called the doctor. The service said that she was at the hospital and would call me back as soon as possible. I laid there waiting and the phone rang after a few minutes, but it was Dave, so I told him I would call him back in a few minutes (since we didn’t have call waiting – we do now). Then at noon the phone rang again and this time it was Brian calling to tell me that he had made it to Pennsylvania. I hated to worry him, but I had to get him off of the phone, so I told him that I was waiting for the doctor to call me back and that I would call him back as soon as I spoke with her.

After a few more minutes the doctor called and I told her about the pain and the little bit of blood, she told me to lie on my left side and drink a lot of water and to call her back in one hour and let her know how I was doing. She didn’t seem too concerned or worried, so I figured that it must be ok. I called Brian back and told him what the doctor said and said that I would call if anything else happened. Then I called Dave and Kim and they said that they were on their way over. Things didn’t get any better or worse during the hour, so I told the doctor and she told me to come to the hospital and she would check me to see what was going on. By the time Dave and Kim got there and we drove to the hospital and did all of the paperwork. It was around 2:30 before I got into a room. The nurse started hooking up all of the monitors and machines, the doctor came in a few minutes later and did a sono and an exam and saw that I was 5 cm. dilated.

At this time Dave called Brian and told him that I was going in to deliver our babies and told him to come back as soon as possible. They started steroids for their lungs, magnesium sulfate to try to hold off labor and an antibiotic (I had Strep B earlier in pregnancy). After about 10 minutes she checked me again and I was even more dilated and had a bulging membrane. At first the nurse told me that they would have a 50-50 chance of surviving. They moved me to an operating room and I started the delivery process of Baby A. Everyone in the room kept asking me what their names were, but Brian and I had not made the final decision, so I had to pick the names – Baby A would be Spencer and Baby B would be Conner. It took about an hour for Spencer to be born, Spencer was born at 5:05 p.m., he weighed 1 lb., 3 oz. and was 12 inches long. They kept going back and forth – one minute he was ok then next he wasn’t. And by this time the neonatologist said that she thought his chances were very low and if he did make it that he would have a lot of problems. During the whole delivery I just keeping hoping that Brian was going to get here in time to see them alive. My doctor decided to try to reach up and turn Conner around, since he was lying across, and got him in a breech position. She said that his chances were very low either way, since Spencer wasn’t doing too well and that a breech position would not worsen his survival chances so I delivered him vaginally also. Conner was born at 6:07 p.m. and he weighed 1 lb., 4 oz. and was also 12 inches long.

By this time they were doing all they could for Spencer in the NICU and they tried all they could with Conner, but he only lived for 10 minutes (6:17). He died in the operating room just a few feet from me. They handed Conner to me. They moved Conner and me into the NICU to be with Spencer. They had him on a heat table with all kinds of tubes and monitors on him. He was so tiny but he was kicking his little legs and moving around and then I put my little finger in his hand and he grabbed it. The nurse and doctor said that he was not going to make it and they wanted me to hold him while he was still alive. I wanted them to keep him alive until Brian got there, so he would at least be able to see one of his sons alive, but they did not think that Spencer would make it much longer (and we had no idea when Brian would get there). So I said that I wanted to hold him. They unhooked everything and put him in my arm, so I just laid there holding Spencer and Conner and wondering when Brian would get there. They said it was 7:15 when Spencer died, so he lived for 2 hours and 10 minutes.

We were taken back to my room and I just held them and waited for Brian to get there. He arrived around 8:00 or so. I told him what I named them and I was concerned that he would be upset about the names, but he said that they were great names and then we picked Douglas, Brian’s middle name, for both of their middle names. So we have two little angels – Spencer Douglas and Conner Douglas.


…Lisa became pregnant again and (after several months of bed rest and hospitalization) gave birth to a healthy daughter near term a month before her sons’ first birthday and anniversary.