Eleven years since I became a mom.
Eleven years since I held my first babies.
I first discovered I was pregnant in the summer of 2011. I hadn’t even realized until I took a test just to see.
We were all elated. We were having my parents’ first grandbabies. But we didn’t find out there were two for a few more weeks.
And when we did, we weren’t even surprised. My mom was a fraternal twin, so we knew the odds I’d have twins were pretty high. Knowing there were two little lives growing inside me was exciting and terrifying.
Becoming a mother is a scary experience, never mind becoming a mother to two little babies. So I quit my retail job I had just started so I could rest during the pregnancy. I had terrible food aversions; most food made me sick.
Once I was around 18 weeks, we went to a special 3D ultrasound to find out the sexes, and we saw we were having a boy and a girl! We were so excited. We started thinking of names right away and I began my twin research. I enjoyed being prepared and having a plan as much as possible. We had even already started taking prenatal classes, and we had told everyone we were having twins in March 2012.
Everything was great. Things were going as planned.
Until they weren’t.
Until I was 22 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
Until I began bleeding for no reason at home and it wouldn’t stop, and we rushed to the hospital.
They admitted me, and the bleeding subsided. Both babies still looked great on the ultrasound, and I still felt them kicking. The doctors weren’t too concerned, but they wanted me to stay overnight just to be safe. They figured I may just need to be on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy.
My husband went home around 11pm to get some rest and I stayed at the hospital to go to sleep.
But I was having a really tough time. I kept having these weird cramps that came and went. The nurses would come check on me and give me more morphine. That helped for a while.
Until it didn’t.
After the cramps were coming on closer together, the OB on call came to see me. She told me the devastating news that they weren’t cramps.
I was having contractions. I was going into pre-term labour.
And we didn’t know why.
I called my husband, and he drove over right away to be with me. I begged the doctor and nurses to just stop the labour. They could do that, right?
They told me they couldn’t. The babies were also too early to be viable. Their little lungs wouldn’t be developed enough to let them live outside the safety of my womb.
And then the cramps kept coming. And I was crying.
I felt my body telling me to push, to expel my baby from my body, but I didn’t want to. I wasn’t ready to meet them. They needed to wait just a little longer.
But they couldn’t.
That was when Kira Rose was born. She was born alive. She took breaths in my arms as I held her tiny body, so much smaller than she should have been the first time I held her. And then she was gone.
But I wasn’t done. Her twin still needed to come out now, too, so I had to endure the pain and sorrow of pushing and birthing my baby boy now, even though it was much too soon.
And then Ethan Harry was born, and we held him, too, for the short time he was with us.
Both Kira and Ethan knew love for the five minutes they spent with us.
Then they were taken from us so the nurses could clean them up and dress them. My husband and I broke down, crying and screaming for our babies. It was a pain I never wanted to know and would never wish on anyone.
Later, the babies were brought back to us and we took photos. That was extremely difficult, but I’m so grateful we have those photos now. They prove they existed, that they matter.
And then we had to go home. I went to the hospital, my belly swollen with two babies, and now I had to leave, my arms and belly both empty.
I struggled with this loss immensely. The feeling of emptiness inside was excruciating. And I had so many questions: Why did this happen? What did I do wrong? Maybe we couldn’t have kids?
I wanted to talk about them, and what had happened, but no one wanted to hear that. Dead babies make people uncomfortable. I kept my pain inside, mostly.
Because I felt so empty and robbed of not only my babies but my pregnancy, too, I wanted another baby desperately.
And we were gifted our oldest daughter, who was born almost one year after Kira and Ethan. She was our rainbow baby: our sunshine after the storm. She lights up our lives and we are so grateful for her.
Because she was born so soon after, I struggled with my emotions. I felt deep sadness at not having Kira and Ethan with me, yet if they had been born, I wouldn’t have had our daughter. It was a hard thing to wrap my head around.
We have since had twins again and I’m so thankful for that. I desperately wanted to be a “twin mom.” I never got to really experience that with Kira and Ethan, of course. And our twins that came home with us are a boy and girl again!
So I’m a mother to five beautiful children, but only three are earth-side. I don’t speak of my heavenly babies often, but today is the day they were born, and the day they died. Today is the day I’m allowed to talk about them.
I know this all can be hard to read. It’s hard to write, too. But it matters. Knowing this happens matters. I felt so alone when we lost our babies, only to find out that this happens all too often, but no one talks about it.
It wasn’t my fault. It just…happened. I hated that, but I think I’ve come to terms with that fact now.
This kind of loss shouldn’t happen. Ever. But it does. And it’s important to know that you’re not alone if it does. I know that’s what I needed eleven years ago.
Leave a Reply