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My husband and I always wanted a big family.
When we decided to start trying for a baby we struggled with infertility. I was diagnosed with PCOS which created issues with us trying to conceive.
After a year a trying we finally received a positive pregnancy test. We were so excited but we later found out at our doctor’s appointment at 12 weeks that we had lost the baby. I had no idea I had suffered a miscarriage.
We were devastated. We loved this baby who we had never met and who we would never know the gender.
It took another two years and countless failed attempts with fertility medicine. I refused to continue the fertility pills as it only made me feel emotionally unstable. That’s when we decided to seek a second opinion and saw a fertility specialist.
Our appointment with a fertility specialist
Our appointment with the specialist went great. The plain was to spend the first-month running several tests on both my husband and I. Then go from there. We discussed a list of options and what we felt comfortable with and how far we wanted to take testing and procedures.
We left the appointment feeling optimistic and hopeful for some answers. During the appointment, I had blood work ran and the following day the doctor called me to discuss the tests.
She said, “Kim we ran blood work yesterday and one of the tests we run is a pregnancy test”… Long pause. “And you are pregnant”.
I was shocked and confused I just took a pregnancy test the past week and it was negative. So I discussed the next plan of action with the doctor and would have more blood drawn the following week and get on progesterone pills.
I couldn’t wait to tell my husband. When I told him when he got home he said ”no fn way” and cried. We were so excited but since we had already experienced a miscarriage we were nervous.
Our first ultrasound was nerve-racking. The baby was very small and it turned out I wasn’t as far along as we thought and was only about 4 weeks.
Since we had a miscarriage we ended up telling our parents right away. Everyone was excited but again on edge.
We had a couple of weeks till our next appointment and when we went I was so nervous I wouldn’t look. I heard my husband gasp. And the technician says you know how last time I couldn’t tell how far along you were because the baby was so small.
I assumed she was going to tell us the bad news that the baby had no heartbeat.
Instead, she said well there are now TWO BABIES!
I was like no way and couldn’t stop laughing while my husband was pale and couldn’t even speak. the entire drive home we kept saying no way I can’t believe we are having twins.
It was always a joke with the family that we would have twins. And now it was coming true. Our family was so happy for us.
My pregnancy was pretty normal. I was exhausted, grew big early on, and had terrible morning sickness.
We found out early the gender that they were identical twin girls! We were both sure we were having boys. So we were shocked when we opened the envelope to read girls.
My husband was worried our bank account would never handle two girls and now he was really outnumbered. Even our three dogs are girls! I was worried that our house would be full of drama. But none the less we were happy.
At 19 weeks things changed
At the 19-week scan, I knew something was wrong. it was obvious that twin b was growing much smaller and about 2 weeks behind her sister twin a. We were sent to another room and waited for the doctor.
When the doctor came in she told us she wasn’t sure if it was Twin to Twin Transfusion (TTT) but needed to get me a second opinion right away. We were then transferred to our first fetal specialist.
The fetal specialist ruled out TTT but instead, we were diagnosed with Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction (sIUGR). This condition occurs when monochronic twins share an unequal percentage of the placenta. Which this condition one twin is growing at a normal size while the other twin is much smaller. Only 10-15% of monochronic twins get this condition.
At the time the plan was to just monitor the twins. We had ultrasounds weekly. The day after my birthday on November 20th we had an echo scheduled. After the appointment, the doctor rushed in and bluntly told us it appeared twin b had stopped growing. It was the worst news. We just Cried.
We went into another room where we were told our only option at this point was to selectively abort twin b in order to save twin a. I was shocked and sick to my stomach. What do you mean I have to abort one of my babies? The baby who I just heard her beating heartbeat in the ultrasound.
They were transferring us again to the best fetal specialist in the business.
We left the doctor’s appointment feeling empty. That night I went to bed crying as I thought it was my last night with both my babies in my belly.
Looking for hope
We went to our new fetal specialist at 7 am. We brought my mom who attended all of our appointments since we started seeing a specialist. It’s always good to have another ear. I was apprehensive. I was anxious to hear and see both girls in the ultrasound.
Afterward, we sat with the specialist for hours. He drew us a picture he explained everything detail by detail and gave us our three options.
Our first option was to continue the pregnancy and hope we could continue to give the twins a vital chance of surviving. As at this point I was only 22 weeks and there was little to no chance they would survive if I was to deliver that early.
The second option was to selectively abort twin b. Which gives a 20% of aborting twin A as well.
The third option was to abort both twins.
I wanted to throw up. How are those my option? This is the worst news I would have ever expected.
Admitted to the hospital
Before we even made a decision I was transferred to the pregnancy center as my blood pressure was extremely high.
I was put on magnesium which is absolutely the worst! It was confirmed I had preeclampsia. I stayed in the hospital a few days till they could regulate my blood pressure with medicine and was released on Thanksgiving.
The following week I went back to the fetal specialist for an ultrasound and was readmitted to the hospital for yet again another blood pressure spike.
The next day I was told I would be staying there until I delivered. The goal was to do ultrasounds each week and ensure both twins heartbeats were strong. My goal was to keep them in until 32 weeks.
Being in the hospital was awful. An hour away from friends and family. I missed home. But we made it work.
A 25 week update
At my 25 week scan, I was nervous. This was when the team would discuss the next plan. I knew it was bad when a large team came knocking on the door. They told us that twin b only had another 3-7 day before she would pass and we needed to deliver them asap in order to give twin a, a chance of survival.
Twin a was given 60% chance to survive and twin b was 15%. They told us from their head to their feet what complications were ahead of us. We were scheduled for a c-section the next day at 10:30 am.
At 3:30 the doctor came in and said twin b’s heart rate was slowing and it was time. Within three minutes they had me in the operating room. I had no time to process what was happening or that this is the last-minute both girls would be alive.
Once my husband got in the room I felt better. He sat next to me holding my hand encouraging me. At 4:50 am twin A which would be Emerson was born weighing 1 lb 9 oz. At 4:51 am twin B, Finley was born at 1 lb 2 oz.
We had to wait a few minutes which felt like hours to know if both girls were alive which they were. We saw a glimpse of them before they were rushed to the NICU.
A few hours later my husband and mom went to visit them. Shortly after I was rushed down them as well. At the time I didn’t know they were predicting Finely wasn’t going to make it much longer. I remember my husband calling my dad telling him he needed to come and my mom was crying but I had no idea.
The nurses got me situated and I was able to hold Finley’s hand. She squeezed my finger. It was an amazing experience. She was wrapped in plastic and wires everywhere. She was so tiny.
Then I got to see Emerson. The same feeling happened. She too was in plastic, wires, machines everywhere.
I stayed in the hospital for a few days. Visited the girls several times a day.
Leaving the hospital was so sad. We went in with two babies and were left with neither. I was exhausted and felt empty.
Our worst nightmare
The following day we got the call we needed to get up there as Finley wasn’t doing good. We went into a room where the doctor told us that Finley was sick and they had done everything they possibly could do to save her. She was now suffering and wouldn’t make it much longer.
We never wanted her to suffer. We went into a private room where they wheeled Finley in and we got to hold her for the first time. She opened her eyes for the first time, and she passed away shortly after in my husband arms and mine.
No sleep was done that night. We were devastated. Even though we knew there was always a chance of her passing away it took us by surprise. I was broken. But we had to stay strong for Emerson.
Emerson was now alone in the NICU fighting and had a long bumpy road ahead of her. Emerson gave us several scares and had many complications. But finally, after 162 days, she graduated from the NICU.
Finally coming home
The doctors, nurses, staff, OT and PT were amazing to us and took excellent care of all of us.
We were so grateful we brought home a healthy baby after losing Finley and not knowing if we would have lost both girls.
Looking back I still would have made the same choice as I did. I gave Finley a fighting chance and she was so strong. I believe she stayed alive as long as she could to allow Emerson a fighting chance.
At first, I blamed myself entirely and maybe some days I still do. I play the what if game. It doesn’t do any good to do that though.
Having a preterm birth is emotional, the NICU is a roller coaster and losing a baby is devastating. I will always have my bad days as I continue to mourn the loss of my baby and the dramatic experience we had in the NICU.
Now Emerson has one amazing guardian angel watching out for her at all times.
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