Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The story of our twins

Seeing those two tiny heartbeats for the first time changed my life. Despite Chad and I both knowing that having twins was a real possibility, I think part of us were thinking it was just going to be one little baby in there. But sure enough, there were two.

{our two tiny little babies at six weeks}

Baby A was measuring right where it was supposed to, and we could see it's strong heartbeat at 6 weeks. Baby B was a teeny bit smaller and the heartbeat was much harder to find. Our doctor prepared us that it really could go either way. The smaller baby could catch right on up with its brother or sister.... or else we might not see a heartbeat the following week. We prayed so much during the week between appointments... as did so many of our loved ones. I remember singing (and praying) lyrics from one of my favorite songs: "I hear the Savior say, 'Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all." I just pictured my two little babies - so tiny and weak - and reminded myself that once more, God was in control... not me. There was nothing I could do.

I was miserably sick during that week, and was sure it was because my body was working extra hard to get Baby B growing. I just knew that when we went in for our next ultrasound, we'd have two perfect little peanuts in there. During the wait, Chad was cautiously optimistic, but I think did a better job preparing himself that we could lose one. I wasn't ready to give up hope - and daydreamed about our twins frequently. I even started doing research on co-sleeping the two little ones, how likely I would be put on bedrest, etc. I was a google maniac. I could almost picture their little faces.... and the little one making fun of their "bigger" sibling for hogging all the nutrients in the womb.

The day came for our follow-up appointment. I was pretty calm... all things considered. The doctor started the ultrasound, and right away I could tell the news wasn't going to be what I wanted to hear. Baby A stood out nice and strong and measuring right on track, but we could tell a noticeable difference in the sizes between Baby A and B. While Baby A tripled in size since our last appointment, you couldn't tell that Baby B grew at all. At first, the doctor didn't even think there was a heartbeat on Baby B. But he eventually found it, slowly but steadily pounding away. My eyes well up with tears just thinking about it. I think that was the hardest part to me. I feel like if at that point Baby B had no heartbeat, I would have been better able to move on. But I was just heartbroken over its sweet little heart trying to hold on.

The doctor walked out of the room and gave Chad and I some time to ourselves. To my honest, I think I was in shock. We hugged each other for awhile. Told each other this was for the best. Said how thankful we were that Baby A was nice and strong. I couldn't even really let myself think about Baby B too much.

Immediately after the appointment, I was able to mentally accept what was bound to happen. I tried to tell myself that it was for the best. There is always a higher risk of premature birth among multiples... possible lengthy NICU stays... an increased chance of me having to go on bedrest.... etc. I told myself what I could to make me "okay" with what was going on. The doctor told me that at my next appointment, Baby B would probably have vanished. However, at the next appointment - once more, we could still spot little Baby B in the womb. I'm thankful, however, that my OBGYN didn't bring the ultrasound wand toward him/her... I couldn't bear to see (or not see) that tiny heartbeat again. My doctor warned me that since the little one hadn't disappeared yet, there was a good chance that I was see a gush of blood one day to indicate I had miscarried... and (hah!) to "not panic." How can you not!?

While mentally I had accepted the news, emotionally, it was a very different story. For weeks afterward, I would randomly be overcome with grief. I felt so selfish for not being able to solely celebrate the one healthy life we created. I felt like I didn't have a right to truly grieve my miscarriage. My mom was such a huge support to me during this time, letting me know I had every right to be upset --- that it would be unnatural not to. I created two little lives. I saw them both. I watched two little heartbeats flicker.

And then there was just one.

I originally didn't even want to write this post. Even today, it is still a raw place in my heart. I thought leaving the general explanation that this started as a twin pregnancy that naturally reduced to one would be enough. But I wanted other women who might be going through a similar position to know that they aren't alone in the mix of emotions you feel when having one baby while losing another.

But I also felt I owed it to Baby B to put this out there. They were not an afterthought or a preface to the "real" baby. But to let my sweet, precious angel know that they were deeply, deeply loved. And I am so thankful for every second I carried you as your mama.

I can't wait for the day I'll get to hold you in my arms and tell you that in person.

"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill and see what you find there with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair." -M&S


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you found it theraputic to write that out. I pray your baby keeps growing stong and healthy. Many blessings to you....keep the faith. Much love.

  2. I know I am horomonal... but my gosh the tears are streaming. I can't wait to meet little baby b one day and tell him or her how much he or she was loved in such a short amount of time.