Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mom to Makinsey Lynn
Born May 28, 2010
Grew her wings on August 8, 2010
Tecumseh, Michigan
September and October of 2009 were both very busy months for us. We had 2 weddings, 2 bridal showers, 2 Bachlorette parties, a baby shower, 2 birthday parties, a Halloween party...basically we were booked up for those 2 months solid. November 11th 2009 I started getting sick and was sick the rest of the week until Saturday and Sunday. Monday came around and I was sick again. On November 18th 2009 I just happened to think "Hmmm, when did I have a period last?" I couldn't remember at all so I decided to take a test just to be sure. It came back positive, but this time was different.

After two back to back miscarriages I refused to be excited until I went to the Dr and got to see what was going on in there. I called and made an appointment ASAP, and they were kind enough to get me in fast for 2 reasons....1) because of my track history with miscarriages and 2) because I didn't know how far along I was since I could not remember my last period. They scheduled me for the 24th of November.
I remember that when that day came it seemed odd. Not like I was going to the Dr because I was pregnant, but like I was going to the Dr to be seen for a cold. I literally had NO expectations going in, either good or bad. I remember I got in there, and again we went over my history, when I could have had a period last...yada, yada, yada...finally we moved on to the ultrasound.
I remember first seeing the picture and the first things I did was search for a heartbeat....there is was! Tears came to my eyes, I was so relieved! I felt like I could breath again. That was about the time the Dr moved the wand and a second sac came into view! I noticed it before he even had a chance to say anything. Two babies with two heartbeats! I could not be more happy. And with that things started to make sense, especially my awful morning sickness!!
The rest of my pregnancy was a pretty normal “twin pregnancy”, actually maybe a little bit better than a normal one. I was never put on serious bed rest, only light restrictions.Every ultrasound looked great, there was never any concern until about 33 weeks when There was a concern over Baby A (Makinsey’s) growth, but even then it was nothing major. She Was only a little bit behind Baby B (Brooklyn).
At 35 weeks, on May 28th, 2010, I went into labor and gave birth to two seemingly healthy but small little girls. Makinsey weighed in at 3 lbs 6 oz and Brooklyn weighed 4 lbs 3 oz. Because they were small and a bit early they were sent to the NICU. We thought we only had to get them feeding properly and that once we did that, we would be able to take them home. We were told to expect a couple of Weeks in the NICU. When the girls were one week old I received a phone call from one of the Dr at The hospital. He told me that while doing a routine check on Brooklyn they had discovered a heart defect Known as Interrupted Aortic Arch and a VSD (a hole in the chambers of the heart). I was told they would Need to transfer her to another hospital that was better equipped to handle the situation. I rushed to the Hospital in hopes of seeing her before they sent her out. I was devastated to think that my girls would be Separated and that we would have to split our time between two hospitals. In the time it took me to get to the hospital they had decided to check Makinsey and ended up finding the same exact heart defect on her also. Both of our girls needed to be transferred and would need open heart surgery to fix the problem.
At the time both girls were still to small to have the surgery so they were placed in the NICU at the new Hospital in hopes of getting their weight up so that they would be able to tolerate the surgery. It wasn’t an Easy task though, the heart defect they had could cause problems with their digestive tracks and because of that they had to stop feeding them formula and put them on IV nutrients. The problem is that when this is done, water Weight is gained also so they were also placed on a another medication to help get rid of fluids. On top of that the medication they were on to keep their hearts functioning causes an increased heart rate that in turn burns more Calories. It was all a very fine balancing act trying to put weight on Makinsey and Brooklyn. After 3 weeks in the NICU the Dr’s felt that Brooklyn was big enough for surgery. So on June 28th, 2010 she was sent to the O.R. I was a nervous wreck, I was scared out of my mind, and I had no idea what to expect.

Brooklyn did well though and didn’t have many complications after her surgery. They told us that she would look bad after the surgery, but it wasn’t as bad as the picture I had in my head. I was relieved!
Three days later on July 1st, 2010 the Dr’s thought that Makinsey had finally reached her goal weight for surgery and she was sent for hers. I remember being nervous and scared, but not as bad as I had been the first time around with Brooklyn. I just thought that everything would be fine, if I had only known then how it would turn out. They Came out during her surgery to give us an update. It wasn’t looking good from the start.

The weight that she had gained had been mostly water weight causing her tissues and organs to be mushy and hard to work on. They didn’t think that she was going to make it out of surgery let alone off the bypass machine. I instantly felt sick to my stomach and cried. I prayed the hardest I had ever prayed in my life at that point. I just wanted my baby to make it.

After a very long surgery Makinsey came off the bypass and we were allowed to go back and see her. They told us that she looked terrible, but then again they had told us that with Brooklyn so I thought I was prepared. I was not even close to being prepared for what I would come to see. My precious little girl was extremely swollen, so much so that they were unable to put her tiny heart back in her chest. It literally sat on her chest only covered with a clear piece of plastic. She had a horrible reaction to the bypass machine and her body was black and blue from head to toe. She was maxed out on every medication they could put her on.

The nurses told us that if we were thinking about going home, since we lived an hour away, that we needed to tell her good-bye like it would be the last time we would see her. They didn’t think she was going to make it through the night, and they knew that if something were to happen there would be no way for us to make it back in time. We ended up spending that night in the waiting room. She made it though the night, but the next morning we were faced with a new problem. She had a lot of internal bleeding and they didn’t know why, again they told us it didn’t look good. But after being sent back to the O.R. to find the bleeding we put that behind us. The surgeon told us that if she could make it though the night that the next day might be a better day. The next day came and it was indeed a better day. She was starting to stabilize, and they worked on lowering her meds.
Our girls were in the same recovery area, a bed apart. I can not begin to describe the roller coaster of emotions that comes from looking at one baby doing so well, but to literally turn around and see the other fighting for life. After a rocky week and a half Makinsey seemed to be on the right track. She was doing well, but we quickly learned just how fast things can change. In the matter of an hour she went from doing great to spiking a temperature and her blood pressure dropping. It was the first sign of an infection and they started treating her for it instantly. We thought that because they had caught it so fast that it was a good thing, but again, if we had only known then how things would turn out.

Over the next week her kidney’s slowly stopped working causing her to hold a lot of fluid. We were sat down with the Dr’s and told they didn’t see a good outcome for her. They didn’t have many options to help her. But they could try a kind of dialysis used on babies. They didn’t think that actual dialysis was even an option because she was so small. We pushed forward with it periodontal dialysis, and for a moment it seemed to be helping.
Every step forward gave me hope. I thought for sure that she would pull though. I kept thinking “she made it this far. If she wasn’t suppose to be here and pull through this then she wouldn’t have fought this long and hard!” But soon the periodontal dialysis stopped working, and started leaking around the site, causing a lot of concern over the high risk of infection. We were told that our next option was to make the dialysis tube more “permanent” to help with the leaking and to lower the risk of infection. But we were told that we would have to wait 48 hours after having the procedure done to put it to use. We never got that chance.

24 hours after having the permanent line placed they discovered that Makinsey’s bottom two heart chambers were stiff and not pumping the blood like it needed to. We were told this news and then told that there was nothing else they could do, this was something that could not be fixed and it was fatal, she would not survive. It was devastating to hear those words, to know that nothing could be done and that nothing would save our sweet little girl. My husband and I had to make the decision to let her go, to not keep pushing her already weak and tired body and to finally let her be at peace.

On August 8th, 2010 our sweet little Makinsey grew her wings and flew to heaven. Nothing and no one could have ever prepared me for the immense pain you feel when you lose a child. But I find peace in knowing that she is once again perfect, free of pain and suffering, and that she put up one hell of a fight so that we could have the most cherished 3 months with her no matter how rough the road was along the way.
I have heard about that “special twin bond” before, however I was never really sure of it until I witnessed it first hand! While Makinsey was sick, Brooklyn, twice, was moved out to the step down unit at the hospital and both times she was moved right back by her sister because of minor complications. It was like she did just enough to stay at the hospital with her sister. I’m not sure if it was Makinsey who needed Brooklyn or if it was Brooklyn who needed Makinsey, either way they needed each other. After Makinsey passed away Brooklyn made a very speedy recovery at the hospital. I like to think that whatever little bit of fight Makinsey had left in her, she left it for her sister once she was gone. After 3 months in the hospital we were finally able to bring Brooklyn home, a bitter sweet moment to say the least.
I want so much to blame someone for this, but the only one I feel like I could blame would be God, but if I blame him for taking Makinsey, don’t I also have to thank him for leaving Brooklyn?! I think I’m actually afraid to question God, almost like if I did he would see me as ungrateful and take away all I have left. I know that seems ridiculous, but I am still scared of that. I never thought this would be my life, I never imagined that we would ever have to go through this. People say “I could have never gone through what you have, I would never have been able to keep it together as well as you.” To be honest had I heard the story from someone else I would have had the same reaction, but I guess when you are the one in the situation and you have no other choice, you learn, as hard as it is, to keep going. But at the same time I wonder if people think I’m uncaring, like maybe in the back of their head they are thinking “Well it must not have affected her to bad, she seems fine.” I guess some people are just better at hiding it though.

Although I will never have to wonder what Makinsey would look like, because they were identical twins all I have to do is look at Brooklyn. At the same time, every time I look at her it is a constant reminder that Makinsey is missing.
Cathy can be contacted at


Unknown said...

No one in their right mind can honestly say that you don't care. If they even have that thought in the back of their mind, they don't know you at all. There's no doubt at all, your love for your beautiful girls and how much this has changed you. If nothing else, I've seen how much more you cherish your family. You are absolutely right in saying that if you're in the situation, you have no choice but to be strong and push through it. I admire your strength. Love all of you! ! !

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