The life after

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here, but i’m hoping I will be able to find some time to post more often.  However, while mister is getting in a quick snooze, I wanted to post something that has been on my mind a lot lately.

About a month and half ago, I was asked by a friend how it was being pregnant and having a baby after loosing our twins.  Then, on one of our Sunday trips to the cemetery to see our boys, I made a statement to my husband and I was shocked by his answer.

Lets start at the beginning.

Deciding to try for another baby after we lost our twins was the most terrifying decision we have ever made.  For us, its not “Oh, we decided this, lets give it a few months and hopefully it will happen!”  It’s more of a call to the fertility clinic, go through lab draws, ultrasounds, injections, surgery, a few thousand dollars, an embryo transfer, and a whole heck of a lot of prayers that it all worked.

We lost our twins the last day in January and the first day of February.  In March, a nurse from the fertility clinic called to “Check in and see how the pregnancy was going”. I bluntly told her that we had lost the twins about a month ago and i’m sure made her feel utterly horrible.  We then had an appointment to see our fertility doctor in a few weeks to discuss our options.

After talking with my doctor, discussing it together, saying lots of prayers and MANY trips to the temple, we decided to go ahead with an embryo transfer.  Luckily, we were blessed to become pregnant.

Three days before I was to have my blood drawn to tell us if I was pregnant for sure or not, I took a pregnancy test at home.  As the two lines appeared, the fear, anxiety, worry, and grief washed over.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I did it all that a first time mom does, especially one who is a planner like myself.

I started stocking up on diapers, wipes, clothes, planned out the nursery, started painting the nursery, bought furniture for the nursery, everything you can think of.  When we lost the twins, my mom and niece went to our house while I was still in the hospital and put anything baby related into the nursery and closed the door.  That door stayed closed for a good two months.

With my second pregnancy, EVERYTHING was different.

We didn’t tell hardly anyone but our families for a good little while.  We didn’t announce on social media until we were reassured for the umpteenth time that things were going great. We didn’t take weekly bump pictures.  We didn’t have a gender reveal party. I didn’t buy anything baby related until I was 24 weeks. I listened to his heart beat every night with the doppler that we had purchased. We happened to move while I was pregnant, so a nursery wasn’t put together until right before he was born. A hospital bag was packed when I was discharged the first time for pre-term labor.  EVERYTHING happened differently.

Now, I’m sure I sound utterly crazy to you.  However, I’ve been reassured by my doctor that I am NOT crazy! Ha.

Grief is a funny thing, and every one grieves differently.

The entire time I was pregnant, I was terrified.  Terrified that I was going to give birth and only hold my little peanut for a short time before he returned home.  Terrified that one of the ultrasounds would show that his heart had stopped. Terrified that I was going to have to bury another child.

Basically, what i’m saying, unless you’ve been through a loss like this, you don’t really fully understand.  And if you have been through a loss like this, I’m sure some of this sounds all too familiar.

Luke is now four months old.  We lost the twins over a year ago.  And guess what?  I still grieve them.  I still miss them every day. I still occasionally find my self sad, and sometimes shed some tears for them.  I worry frequently that something is going to happen to Luke.  But, as my doctor has told me, He would be more concerned if I didn’t have these fears.

Going back to what I stated earlier.  When my friend asked me, I told her it was hard, because it was.  It’s the hardest thing we’ve had to do. I told her I still grieve, because I do. I wish that it was a walk in the park, but it isn’t.

Alex’s part of the conversation that day as we were driving through the cemetery is what has stuck with me the most.  He told me that if we hadn’t experienced that, we wouldn’t nearly be the people that we are today.  We wouldn’t have the faith that we have.  We wouldn’t have the understanding of the atonement that we do.  We wouldn’t have met the amazing people that we have, and we wouldn’t have grown to the better people that we are.

So, there you have it.  The truth of what its been like living the life after loss, and moving on.

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The weekend our world was turned upside down Part A

It was a Saturday morning.  It had been foggy the previous night, and it hadn’t quite cleared out yet.  Alex loaded my bag into the car, and we set off to the hospital.

When we arrived, we parked close to the doors in “Labor and delivery only” parking.  A security guard was standing by the doors and questioned us as to why we parked there. Alex kindly explained to him that I was in labor and we were heading up to be checked in. I was impressed with how well Alex handled that situation, because I knew he was beyond stressed.

We got up the fifth floor, labor and delivery.  We picked up the phone (its a locked unit) and I explained to the lady that I had been having contractions, and my doctors office had advised me to come in and get checked out.  She let us in, and called the head nurse for a room to put me in.   Soon we were being lead to room 16.

Once in the room, they gave me a gown to change into, told me they would need a urine sample, and that a nurse would be in shortly. Once changed, I settled into the bed and waited.  The head nurse for the shift was soon in our room.  She hooked the babies up to the monitor, and did the best she could to find their heartbeats, considering how little they were.  I was having regular contractions that she could feel on my stomach, but that the monitor wasn’t picking up.  She checked me to see if I was dilated at all, and once she felt my bag of water, she stopped checking and advised we wait for the doctor.

The OB office that I go to has you rotate through all of the doctors in the clinic, because they rotate being on call at the hospital.  They like you to do this so that you can get to know each of them, since you never know who will be there the day you deliver. Lucky for me, this particular weekend happened to be one of the doctors I had seen in my short visits to the office, and one that I really liked.  He came in and checked me, and told me that I was dilated to 3, I was 50% effaced, and that he could definitely feel baby A’s amniotic sac. He said the plan was to monitor over the weekend, strict bed rest, and see where we were Monday morning.

We let our families know, Alex ran home to grab a few things that we had forgotten, and that I needed in order to make it through the long weekend.  He returned and we settled in for our stay. We were an emotional mess.  I was scared.  I knew the outcome, and it wasn’t a very good one.  I knew that viability for babies was 24 weeks, and with twins, it was slim at 24 weeks for them to both live.  I tried not to stress, but it was hard.

We had a nurse (our nurse assigned to us at the time) who came into our room a couple of times and told us that she wanted to talk to us.  She finally came in and sat down and talked.  I still to this day, refer to her as the “dooms day nurse”.  Why is that you ask?  Well, let me tell you.  She sat down on the stool next to my bed and told Alex and I that if we wanted to keep these babies in, I had to lay in trendelenburg position at all times, not get up to even use the bathroom.  She highly recommended that I get used to the idea of using the bathroom at all times while in bed.  I would do this for weeks, and I would be 100% committed to doing that if I wanted my babies to have any chance at all. She then went on to say that even if we did try that, we would probably end up having our babies pass away anyway.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I understand that she was trying to help us see the reality of the situation, but Alex and I were both very much aware of the situation.  I sobbed for easily an hour after she left our room.  Luckily, the unit was slow and they sent her home around 8:00  that night.  I couldn’t have been happier, especially because she was replaced with the sweetest nurse possible.

As I laid in bed, I sat watching the contraction monitor barely picking up any of the contractions I was feeling.  I remember laying there at midnight and watching it switch from me being 20.6 weeks to 21 weeks and thinking to my self “Just a few more weeks babies, we can do this.” I then drifted off to sleep.

Just before 2:00 AM, I woke up to a popping sound, and sudden complete wet feeling.  I called out to Alex in a panic voice and told him that my water had just broke.  I quickly called the nurses, and within seconds, we had three lovely nurses in our room who helped me change my gown and changed out my bedding.  I asked what this meant, and all they told me was they were contacting the doctor on call.  They transformed my room around, clearing things out, setting things up, etc.  I still had the monitors on, and I wasn’t contracting anymore than I was before.

Before too long, the neonatologist who was on that night was in our room talking with us.  She was telling me what I already knew.  That if the babies were to come tonight, there would be nothing they could do.  Where we did IVF, we knew exactly how old the babies were, and they were just too little.  I appreciated her coming over, but it didn’t really help me any.

Around 3:00, my contractions changed.  They were much more painful than they had been and were starting to get closer.  I called out to my nurse, and she was in my room shortly after.  She told me that I was in active labor and that I unfortunately was going to deliver that night. Soon after, the pressure came, and I had the feeling to push.  The charge nurse had already set up for a delivery, and checked me to see if I was progressing.  I had passed my bloody show, and she could feel baby parts as she checked.  They had already paged the on call doctor who lived about 10 minutes away from the hospital, and he was on his way.  We called my family to let them know what had happened, and they were on their way as well.  Little did Alex and I know, but it was incredibly foggy outside, and visibility was poor.  I remember feeling like I needed to push, and the nurses told me to try not to push, and to wait for the doctor.  This was around 4:00. The doctor arrived soon after, I pushed, and we welcomed our sweet little “baby a”, Jaxson Charles into the world at 4:21 a.m. They tied off his umbilical cord, and left the placenta in place, in hopes to trick my body into thinking that there was still a baby in there, and that my cervix would close and labor would stop.

Holding him was the most amazing thing in the world.  He had made me a Mom! I had waited for this day for so many years.  Everything was perfect about him.  His ears, his fingers, his toes, his little eyelashes, everything. We were able to snuggle him and hold him for about an hour and twenty minutes before he returned to live with our Heavenly Father.  It was the most amazing, heart breaking hour and twenty minutes of my life.

Luckily, labor had stopped, and my cervix had pretty much closed back up after about two hours.  I was given heavy doses of antibiotics, and we spent the day celebrating and mourning our little boy.  Our families were both there to support us.  We had an AMAZING bereavement specialist who came and helped us with our sweet boy. It wasn’t a day that we wanted, but given the circumstances, it was an amazing day remembering and honoring our sweet Jaxson boy.

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