Difficult December

Waking up suddenly in the middle of the night,
I sensed immediately something was not right.
Tense hours driving through a blizzard to
the hospital…
Ten days in limbo wondering, hoping, praying
that my twins would survive.
I felt like a fly trapped in a spider’s web
Belts, and tubes, injections, and ultrasounds,
pokes, and prods, beeps, and heartbeats.
Suddenly, surprisingly, labor began, but the
doctors delayed it with terrible drugs.
Test results positive for fetal lung development
arrived and once again I labored.
Our dreams came true! Lillian and Dylan were
born small, but healthy!
Ten more days in the NICU flew by as the happi-
ness and joy we felt transformed us.
We brought our babies home for the holidays! And
though we had no tree, no bows, no ribbons,
or presents, we had the greatest gift life
could give us!
One short week as a family together at home. We
happily looked forward to celebrating our
10th anniversary on December 30th.
December 29th was the cruelest day of our lives.
We awoke in the middle of the night to Dylan’s cries.
Only to discover our Lillian was gone.
She died from SIDS.
And so, now each December I relive these events,
both the joy and the heartaches, the horrible
pain of her loss.
And of course through the year too, as I watch our
son grow and change I wonder what life might
have been like had Lillian lived.


…Her and her husband’s twins Lillian Rebeccah and Dylan Wilson –their first children, in their late 30’s, after fertility battles, and a miscarriage earlier – were born at 35 weeks along on December 13, 1994. Dylan is now a lively 9-year-old, with a little brother thankfully born when he was 5. Recently, she writes:

In reading the newsletter I found that my feelings were normal and I was not alone. I had felt so isolated. Connecting with other moms by correspondence was so helpful too. I think that a lotof my depression/grieving was heightened by post pregnancy hormone changes, and the challenges of caring for a premature infant. I was horrifically sleep deprived which I’ve also since learned can cause depression! Plus

I was terribly worried that my surviving son would die! So I think that it’s possible that all those things really made my situation snowball emotionally. And I’d be willing to bet that these same kinds of “events” are probably pretty common experiences with other parents dealing with twin loss. Of course grieving is ongoing but for me at least it’s not at that initial horrific level any more. I’m so thankful for my surviving twin Dylan and his younger brother Byron.

After her subsequent pregnancy, she wrote:

Byron (our 11-month-old) was a huge surprise! I didn’t even know I was pregnant until I was about 6 weeks along. Then as I’d previously had two miscarriages I didn’t tell my husband until the first trimester was completed. I was very nervous about his reaction because I thought that he would be unhappy about the possibility of another loss and more anguish. I was totally shocked when he was thrilled! I started sobbing and crying because I had been so worried that he would come unglued. I have to admit that I worried a lot during the pregnancy. If it didn’t seem like the baby was moving much I’d start to panic and try to wake the baby up by shaking my tummy or dancing around the room. We didn’t tell anyone except my mother until after the results came back from the amnio. And of course when we did it was really exciting to share the news.

At 30 weeks I ended up in the hospital because I thought I was in labor. I was freaking out that they’d put me on terbutaline again, but luckily I was just experiencing some very strong Braxton-Hicks. I actually had an incredibly good pregnancy. My best out of four! I went one week past term, which seemed really amazing since my twins were born 5-1/2 weeks early. My labor was three days long and my cervix was not dilating even though I was experiencing a lot of painful contractions. They wanted to put me on pitocin. I was really afraid to take the drug because of what I had read about it, and what my friends had told me of their experiences with it. The doctor thought my labor could take up to another 40 hours even with the pitocin. Since I had already had a c-section with my twins, I requested another. It was a let down since I had hoped for a VBAC but one hour later I was nursing my new baby! My son Byron weighed 7 lbs. 15 ozs. which was a big surprise! He seemed so enormous compared to my twins. Dylan had weighed 4 lbs. 12 ozs. and Lillian had weighed 4 lbs. 2 ozs.

That first night he slept with me, but I didn’t sleep much because of my excitement. I was also worried about him having trouble breathing or getting into a bad position. When you’ve had one child die from SIDS it’s really hard not to worry about it happening again. Because Byron nursed so well from the very first time, because he was full term, and because I had more family around things just seemed to go so smoothly. Byron has been a very mellow baby, and I have really experienced a lot of pleasure with him. After Lillian died I was such a basket case. I was severely depressed and fearful about Dylan. Nursing didn’t go well for several months. I worried all the time. I was constantly checking on Dylan when he slept even with the monitor on. I’d put a dish in the dishwasher and go look at him. I’d put another dish in the dishwasher and go look at him. I didn’t sleep much. It took until Dylan was 5-1/2 months before I could bring myself to buy anything for him. At that point I finally knew in my heart that he was going to be healthy, and strong, and survive. Byron liked to try to sleep on his tummy and I have to admit I didn’t like it one bit. We have been truly blessed and I am so grateful that I had a terrific pregnancy experience and such a wonderful baby.