So on September 8, 2011 Todd and I found out we were expecting identical twins from our August IUI cycle. We were thrilled!! Our RE was cautious though because she was unable to find a membrane separating the two of them in the placenta. This is what is called monoamniotic/monochorionic twins. This means they share a placenta with no separation. This can cause major issues with cord entanglement and Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Needless to say were were scared even though they looked good.
We were released to my OB around 9 weeks and before my first appointment I experienced my first episode of bleeding. I was SO scared that it was over. After having been through the fight of infertility how was I to know that my body would carry a baby?!? I ended up not going to the ER after I started bleeding and to wait until my doctor's office opened on Monday. If for some reason I was miscarrying there would be nothing they could do for me.
Got to the OB's office the next day and was told the babies were fine. Strong heartbeats and wiggling around. The only issue was I had a subchorionic hemorrhage which causes bleeding in the first trimester. It was not endangering the babies, but it cause me to have lots of scary bleeding and hemorrhaging until about 13 weeks. I was even on bed rest for 2 1/2 weeks to try and get the bleeding and spotting to stop. Every time I had a serious bleed I thought it was over, but these kids kept pulling through!!
Once the bleeding stopped I was happy that everything seemed to be moving right along.
On November 15, 2011 we had an ultrasound with the OB. There the kids were, moving around and looking great! What a relief every time we see them on the ultrasound machine.
We went about our day and that evening I had just taken the dog out to go potty and I was walking through the kitchen to the living room when I had a gush of fluid. I thought to myself, I must have totally peed myself!! So I ran to the bathroom and removed my pants and then it hit me...what if my water broke??? I smelled the fluid and it was absolutely odorless...
I called the OB's office and got the after hours service. They advised me to head to the ER. While I was on the phone with them I had another gush of fluid. I called Todd as he was driving home and told him what happened and that we needed to go to the emergency room as soon as he got home. I changed again into some dry clothes and waited for him to get there.
We arrived at the ER and I was getting out of the car I had a third gush of fluid. I just stood there in the parking lot of the hospital and bawled. Todd ran in to get someone and an orderly came out with a wheelchair and I was immediately brought back to a room. They explained they were going to tests the fluid to see if it was urine or amniotic fluid from the sac. I was also going to get an ultrasound so check on the babies.
Well it was confirmed by these two methods that my water had broken and that there was little to no fluid around the babies. It was certain that I was going to miscarry. I was instructed to follow up with my OB's office in the morning to find out what to do next.
Well the next morning we went to the OB's office where we talked and he did a quick vaginal check. He thought he felt a bulging sac of water and wanted us to go down the hall to the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist for an ultrasound to confirm there was nothing we could do.
During the ultrasound we could only really see one baby. The baby still had a great heart rate. The other twin they finally found moving into the birth canal with a decreased heart rate of about 80. It was confirmed we would lose the twins.
After speaking with the OB, it was determined to be best for me if I was induced and I deliver the babies vaginally.
This completely freaked me out since I did not want to remember the birth of my lost twins as my first memory of childbirth!! I understood though that it was best for me.
So around 3:00pm on November 16, 2011 Todd and I drove over to Memorial North and walked up to Labor & Delivery. They were expecting us. We were brought to a room and explained the process. They got me all hooked up to IVs and monitors and everything and were going through paperwork. Questions I never wanted to answer.
What did we want to do with the babies? Did we have a funeral home? Did we want the hospital to take care of them? Did we want to see them? Did we want to hold them?
You have to understand we were distraught and we had to make highly personal and morbid decisions that day. It was decided by Todd and I that we did not want to see or hold them. We knew in our hearts they were perfect and I want to think of them as happy babies up in heaven. We also decided to let the hospital take care of them. We were alone in Colorado, so we wouldn't have had a service or anything of that nature.
I was given Cytotec to soften my cervix and to start dilation. I was already at 4cm when I arrived and my body had started the childbirth process. Around 7:30pm the anesthesiologist came in to set up my epidural. I was leaning over while he worked on getting everything inserted into my back when I had awful amounts of pressure. I looked at the nurse and told her I think I needed to push.
They laid me back down and said to go ahead. I then pushed and I felt something come out and the nurse whispered to me, "It's okay, they are both out."
I lost it. "It's not okay!" I screamed!! This isn't how this was supposed to happen. Todd was there by my side holding me while I cried. I asked the nurse what they were and she said to me two little boys. We knew their names instantly.
Tobin Robert Ginter and Miles Edward Ginter were born at 7:54pm on November 16, 2011. They weighed around 4 ounces each and were just shy of 7 inches long.
Shortly after their birth I then delivered the placenta, again before the epidural was set up. They then started me on Pitocin to start contractions to shrink my uterus.
I as there overnight and slept comfortably with sleeping meds. The next morning we worked on getting me all cleaned up and ready to go home. I was given a bag from a wonderful organization Walk To Remember which included a book on grief and baby blankets and other items to help me cope with the loss we had just experienced. The nurses also put together little name bracelets with their names and had a small box with imprints of the hand and foot prints inside. Their foot prints were no bigger than the pad of my index finger. The nurse also included a sealed envelope with pictures of the boys inside. She said sometimes the hospital has lost the photos they take and would rather us have them in case we wanted to open them.
The envelope remains sealed to this day.
The hardest part of the process was the mental healing, but we have found ways to celebrate. Walk To Remember has an annual walk where you can go and celebrate the lives all the lost babies in our area. There is a beautiful balloon release as well and it just make the grief bearable seeing all these families celebrating the children that are no longer with us. I plan to do this walk every year I am able and plan to bring my children with me. They will know of their older brothers and know that they will always have angels looking out for them.