The twin pregnancy was going well...I was into the second trimester and loving it! Well, besides the fact that I was already showing quite alot... I was heading for quite the big tummy!! It was definitely time to narrow in on names for the babies. I'm the kinda of mamma that feels the urge to name an unborn baby as quickly as possible. I LOVE naming babies!!! Usually they're named before they're even conceived :), but this time around I just had one girl's name settled on. So i needed 3 more...1 girl and 2 boys....
Finally we settled on four "S" names...that way if it happened to be boy/girl combo they would still work together. I won't tell you the boy names, just in case we have a boy this time (I still like one of the names)...but Sadie Marie and Sophie Mae were the names we chose for girls. We also decided that the lower twin would be Sadie and the higher twin would be Sophie...they would come out alphabetical. How else could you decide which would be which!? I couldn't wait...to see those little girls. Every ounce of me believed them to be girls, from the very beginning. I imagined how I would dress them, imagined how they'd act together, wondered if they would be identical, wondered if they'd both have the curly hair..... I decided that I would make them little bracelets with their names on them. You know, make it easy on friends and family who couldn't remember which was which :) They were going to be adorable... we had it all planned out.
Another appointment rolled around. The whole family came along... it was a half and hour drive and I liked the excuse to have JJ with me. While the girls and JJ played in the waiting room I had my appointment. As was standard for twins, I headed to that same little sono room for another peak at my babies. It was dark and quiet, just me and my doctor. He rolled that little wand over my belly and the babies popped up on the screen. I saw them both, their perfect little profiles... but one of them wasn't moving. My eyes were glued on the screen... what seemed like forever passed, although I'm sure it was merely seconds, and finally I forced out the words "she's not moving..." I started to go numb...I don't even know what the doctor said after that. I just know that I desperately wanted to reach out and stroke the screen...wake her up... touch her. I just kept saying in my head, "Move, baby, move. Move, baby, move....". As the lower twin wiggled around below, the other lay perfectly still...
I was told to wait there, alone in that dark little room while they called to set up a better sono in the hospital ...just to make sure. I didn't have any hope. I saw it with my own eyes... As I walked on over to the hospital, my doctor went to talk to Jeremy. With my little girls as an audience, he gently explained to Jeremy the situation, all the while so careful not to let the girls know.
As I lay on that second table, as they poked around my stomach and jotted down notes, i just stared at the ceiling. I couldn't breath. I couldn't even imagine what came next. But what did it matter... everything was falling apart.
I met once more with my doctor back in the clinic. He was so kind and gentle with his words. He explained to me what would happen next. How we had to watch the baby that was left... He explained all the complications that were likely to occur because of the one twin's death... because the death occurred in the second trimester, not the first. I would come in every week to make sure the other baby was still alive. I was to watch for bruising on myself and cuts that wouldn't stop bleeding... a sign of a very possible blood clotting condition. My blood would also be checked bi-weekly to look for signs of this also. This blood clotting condition could be fatal to me, so if it did occur the baby would have to be taken...regardless of how far along I was. I asked how long the baby and I would be in danger... there was no definite answer, just that the farther out we got from today, the better the chances.
Time to go out and face my husband and my little girls. I couldn't feel my legs. When I opened that door into the waiting room I didn't want to look at Jeremy's face. I didn't want to see him cry. I didn't want to see the pain in his face. We walked in silence to the car, hand-in-hand. He just gently stroked my hand in his. After we loaded the girls into the car, he hugged me. He hugged me so hard it hurt... then the tears came. When I got into the car, Alice asked why I was crying. Through my sobs I managed, "Sophie died, honey..." That was the first time I said it. It hit me like a ton of bricks: Sophie died.
(Side note: Is this as draining to read as it is to write!? Now I understand why people write stories on their blogs in parts. It's hard to keep on going... and this is a long story, folks! We're not even close to being done!! So forgive me if I miss optimal stopping points or if I don't go long enough! I'm just trying to get through it. My husband keeps coming in and when I turn around from the computer with soggy eyes, he just says, "Oh, honey!!" ...I can't help it!! )
I didn't know what to do with myself. What are you supposed to do when you go home after you find out something like that? And I couldn't just curl up in a ball and sleep and cry. I had two little girls with big eyes watching my every move. They took their cues from us... from me. I had to be strong..... but I felt anything but strong. I remember I was preparing for a craft show in a couple months. I had a table in the dining room covered in all my stuff. I would sit there for hours... decoupaging buckets with fabric. Anything to keep my mind off what my heart was feeling.
I remember telling Jeremy how I didn't want to be sad. How I wanted to move on. I wanted to be excited for the other life that was in me. But how could I? I didn't even know if Sadie would be alive next week. To make it worse, I was right at that point in the pregnancy where you should be feeling the baby move, but I couldn't yet. It tormented me daily...if I could only feel her move!! The other thing that I told Jeremy was that I wanted to handle this loss right. I wanted to trust God, to praise him as an act obedience in the midst of this overwhelming trial. And I did...we both did. But it wasn't a magic formula to make it all better or make the pain less. I consciously praised him with my mind and as I tried to control my thoughts, but my heart was still screaming "Why God?!!" I knew that eventually I would heal... I knew that God would see me through... Unfortunately grieving and healing are a process. I desperately wanted to skip that process. I wanted to be strong and get over it. I wanted to have joy and go on. But, as I learned, that's not the way it works...
The next weeks were filled with doctors appointments and hard conversations with God. The baby, Sadie, was due Dec. 23 and August was upon are struggling little family. I had, in the beginning, been looking forward to Aug. for two reasons: my brother from California was coming and we would find out the sex of the babies. It ended up that Jeremy had to been gone for work the week that my brother and his family came to Kansas. This was still during the point when I was going in weekly to check on the baby and to watch for the clotting thing. One night in the shower as I was shaving my legs, I noticed a bruise... a huge dark deep red and purple bruise. I froze. This was it. This was what I was told to look for. I had the blood clotting disorder thing.... they were going to make me abort my baby to save myself.
I called Jeremy sobbing. But what could he do? He was in Virginia Beach! He prayed with my and tried to offer comforting words, but when we hung up I was alone. No husband... kids in bed... I was terrified. That night I remember so clearly... I laid in bed and cried out to God with all my heart. "Don't let me lose this baby! Please, God, help me.... " There was no way I could do it... if it came to that: there was no way that I could kill this baby who was clinging to life inside of me. I would rather die.
The next morning I called my doctor and he asked me to come in that afternoon. Jeremy was trying to catch an early flight home to be with me, but wouldn't be back till the next day. I felt so alone. I called my parent to see if one of them could take me to the appointment, half an hour away. I didn't want to drive by myself...i was way too emotional for that. They couldn't do it... so I asked my brother from CA. His wife offered to watch the girls. So odd as it was... my dear brother instead of my husband took me in.
As I sat and talked to my sweet doctor my fears were lessened. He looked at the bruise and was fairly confident that it did not indicate the clotting disorder. He was glad I came in and tried to comfort me... dear Doctor Bradley... They checked my blood just in case and sent me on my way. As I got back in the car with my brother, I felt relieved, but not free of fear. I looked down at the cotton ball taped on my arm and it was soaked with blood. I was still so scared. Even though my doctor told me he thought I was alright, it all see way to coincidental. I never have had a bruise like that before, nor since then. It was awful looking; nor did I remember bumping my leg in a manner that would be worthy of such a bruise. The soaked cotton ball freaked me out too... that also never happened.
Jeremy came home the next day... the doctor called the next day... my blood work was fine. My baby was going to stay where it belonged inside of me. God had saved me... God had saved her. Yes, I believe he turned it around. I believe it was nothing short of his hand of intervention that didn't allow me to develop that condition. I believe he allowed me to see those scary symptoms so that I would recognize his grace and care for me. I knew as a result he was taking care of me and this baby. We had made it through one more trial and experienced a victory. Through it all I could feel my strength increasing.... I could feel my ability to blindly trust him growing. It began to occur to me that if God had in his power given me those babies, then why did I not trust him fully with the rest. If the beginning wasn't an accident; wasn't random... the rest wasn't either. God was in control. God had a plan... for my growth and his glory. I just had to hold on tight, survive the storm, and praise him in the midst of it.
READ PART 3 HERE
Part 3 will finish it up...hopefully sooner this time! Sorry about the long gap between parts... we all got the flu this past week :( I did have my first doctors appointment last week and I was able to hear the heart beat....Yeah! ... such a relief and an answer to prayer... Thank you for all who shared in that prayer burden.Blessings,