Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A new little life and a terrible loss

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I'm not even sure where to start as I sit here on my couch almost not wanting to even place my fingers on these keys. When I write it, it becomes true and real. So I can feel the anxiety building up in me as my fingers keep moving.

I'm pregnant.

And we're beyond thrilled.

But in the same breath my heart is shattered, I have tears in my eyes, I feel like I can't breathe, and I can feel the weight on my chest of absolute heartache.

Because I was pregnant with twins.

TWINS. My absolute dream came true. It was actually happening. My prayers, my wishes, my belief that I was meant to have twins...it had all come true.

Until this past weekend, when everything changed. When I found myself sitting on a hospital bed, having blood drawn, ultrasounds taken, blood pressure monitored...because one of our twins has died.

I can't even write that without tears pouring down my cheeks, because now it's real. Now it's true. We have lost our baby and we are absolutely shattered.

I still remember so clearly lying there on that crinkly paper as the ultrasound technician ran the cold gel over my pregnant belly and turned the screen to show me our babies--our perfect, healthy, little babies with strong heartbeats. My heart jumped out of my chest as she said "It appears that you have more than one baby in there. You're pregnant with twins".

I couldn't contain my excitement, I couldn't stop smiling, I just couldn't believe it.

"Most people cry when I tell them they're having twins", she said laughing.

"Because they're so happy?" I asked, naively.

"Um, no", she replied. "They're usually not too happy, so I'm so glad to see that you are".

Then I proceeded to explain to her that with every baby I've been pregnant with I have always asked the ultrasound technician if there was more than one baby in there, hoping and praying that we'd be blessed with two.  But with a resounding "no" from each of them, I loved on the single pregnancies that we were so blessed with and counted our lucky stars that we were so lucky to even be pregnant with one beautiful baby.

So when I found out that I was carrying twins, it literally felt like a dream come true.

I left the building, carrying that ultrasound picture of those two beautiful sacs side by side, holding those two beautiful little babies inside, and brought it home to show Terry and mom who were waiting back with the kids at our house. I had no idea what their reaction would be. Terry had ultimately made the decision to take the leap and try for baby number 4 back in the summer--knowing that it wouldn't take anything at all to convince me to try for a fourth. But I ultimately had no idea what having five kids, 6yrs old and under, would mean to him.

But you know what? He was excited. Sure he was shocked as much as I was. But as I went through the millions of emotions that come with the idea of carrying two babies at once, it was him who was calm, confident and telling me how lucky we were and how happy this news was. We were actually having twins! Dreams really do come true, I thought.

So as I sat there in that hospital bed just this past weekend, it felt like our dream had turned into a nightmare and I was desperate to wake up.

I wanted so badly to leave. I wanted the doctors to stop coming in. I wanted the ultrasound technician to stop looking. I wanted that screen shot that I secretly saw when she was moving the gel along my belly to leave my memory. Because all I remember seeing were two sacs on that screen...one with a good sized baby in it and another with a tiny one. And right then and there I knew. It was over.

Our baby was gone.

I wanted to run. I wanted her to just stop. I wanted her to tell me that it's all been a big mistake. I wanted her to tell me that our babies were okay.

But she didn't.

And when the doctor came in to discuss the results, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest as I heard the words "Baby B has died".

So I sit here now in a bit of a daze. In a heartbroken, desperate, daze..not knowing what to do or how to feel or how to act. Because when we miscarried our last baby, it was so final. It was so devastating because it was over. The pregnancy was completely over. But this time, the heartache is so real and raw and terrible--but I'm still pregnant. I still have an incredible little baby growing inside of me, and I'm so ridiculously grateful. I think that's why for the first couple of days after hearing this news I was in a lot of shock, and in a lot of denial. I tried to go on about our days with our kids as if this all wasn't happening. I held my tears in for most of the day, and cried late at night. Because it was all just too much to handle. Because the other terrible news that the doctor also told us is that there is no guarantee for our other baby at this point. Many surviving twins go on to be just fine and healthy, but there are no guarantees. There really are never any guarantees in any pregnancy. So with more ultrasounds, blood tests and OB visits scheduled for this week, we are holding our breath and praying that our baby will still be okay.

"The grief comes in waves", Terry said to me as I broke down yesterday. Because one minute life feels normal, as we're cleaning up dinner dishes and tucking kids into bed. But the next moment it hits us, and we cry and cry together.

I just want this feeling to end. I want our baby back. I want this all to go away.

But it won't. And it can't.

And we now still have another beautiful baby to live for, to be happy for, to be excited about. Our dream of Sophia being a big sister is still here, in this very moment.

 So we're going to hold onto that. We're going to hold onto it so tightly that it can't slip away.

 Erica xo

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