Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mom to Mackenzie Renee, Born Sleeping October 6th, 2005
and Brendan Jon, Born Sleeping October 27th, 2005
Madison Heights, Michigan

My husband and I tried for a year on our own to become pregnant, after no success we turned to a fertility specialist.  I was diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  In order to become pregnant I had to take Clomid, FSH injections and HCG injections in order to ovulate.  After 3 years of hormones and several miscarriages (more than I can count on two hands) we finally became pregnant with twins in June 2005.   We were excited and nervous at the same time.  Every couple of days I went for blood work to monitor my hormone levels.  The numbers kept doubling as they were supposed to.   Everything was going along as expected, each week that passed was a happy one.  

I finally made it through a first trimester without any spotting or cramping.  This in itself was a victory!  We had started planning for the baby shower and getting the rooms ready.  Knowing that this will be a high risk pregnancy we wanted to make sure we had everything done and ready before I was put on bed rest.   My fertility doctor released me from his care and into the care of my OB/Gyn.  At my 3 month check up they had put me on Iron supplements.  Which of course came with the usual side effect of constipation.   I began taking stool softeners as well.  

At 17 ½ weeks I was at work and was having cramps which I thought were due to being constipated.  Each time I went to the bathroom I would go a little bit but never felt like I was completely done.  Around lunch time I felt a really strong urge, I went to the bathroom and had the most excruciating pain I had ever felt.  Not thinking that I could possibly be in labor, I pushed and had a huge gush of fluid.  I immediately called my doctor and the nurse assured me that it was most likely due to the pressure on my bladder and that the babies probably shifted which caused the big gush.  

Still not feeling well, I left work early and went home.   Once home, I again felt as though I still had to go so I went.  The next thing that happened was something I never thought would ever happen.  As I sat there and pushed, it just didn’t feel right.  I looked down and my daughters head was half way out.   I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it.   I delivered her at home, alone.  My husband was out of town for work.  I called my Mom she then called 911.  As I sat there holding my baby, I could hear the sirens coming down the street.  I was scared that I would have to deliver my second baby before they could get there, so with each cramp I tried to breathe through it until it subsided.  

When they arrived I explained what happened and that I was pregnant with twins and each baby was in their own sac.  There was still hope that our second baby still had a chance.  They rushed me to the hospital, by then the cramping had subsided.  As I lay there in the hospital room with my daughter just a few feet away, I listened to my doctor telling me that the best thing to do would be to induce labor to deliver the second baby.  This was not a decision I could make on my own nor was I willing to.  I told them I need to wait until my husband is here.  There was still a chance that I could carry the second baby to at least 26 weeks which would give him a fighting chance to survive.  Knowing that there was a possibility of survival I decided to fight for it.  

I spent the next 3 ½  weeks in the hospital.  They monitored my blood count because I had not stopped bleeding from the delivery of my daughter.  The concerns were if I lost too much blood or developed an infection they would have to induce immediately in order to save my life.   My blood count had stabilized and I had not developed a fever in the 3 ½ weeks I was in the hospital.  Since the baby was still growing and developing as expected they discharged me and put me on bed rest at home.  After 1 day at home I had gone to the bathroom and noticed that I had some tissue hanging down.  This concerned me and I didn’t want to tug on it for fear that it may have been part of my placenta.  We returned to the hospital and it turned out to be the remainder of the umbilical cord from my daughter which the nurse removed.  They felt that I may not have been mentally/emotionally ready to go home so they admitted me to the hospital once again.  The next morning I started not feeling well, I was nauseous and could not stay warm.  The nurse took my temperature and immediately called the doctor.  What I had feared was happening.  I developed a fever which meant there was an infection.  There was no second chance, they immediately ordered the meds to induce labor.   Our son was born sleeping exactly 3 ½ weeks after his sister.  My world was shattered.  I couldn’t understand how after everything we had been through that this could happen.   

We held both of our babies and cherished each moment that we had with them.   I have their pictures that I carry in my wallet with me every day.   I also wear a necklace that has their initials engraved on the back of it, I rarely ever take it off.  There isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t cross my mind, or wonder what they would be like today.  After I recovered from the deliveries, I decided that I was not ready to give up on becoming a parent.  We tried again, it took us 5 years to finally become parents.  Miscarriage and stillbirth is part of my life, I’ve experienced it and have lived through it.  You never know how strong you really are until you have to be.  When people ask if we only have one child my reply is, we have two in heaven and one in our arms.   


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