Saturday, October 17, 2015

Our Boys in Heaven (Pictures)

**This post includes graphic pictures of my 12 week old fetus.  View at your own discretion. If you choose to read the original post without pictures visit here.  NO COPYING

                                                                                    2 days before miscarriage

Sam is driving me to the hospital.  We run a red light.  I’m not wearing a seat belt.  It doesn’t matter how fast he is going, it’s not fast enough.  For the past 15min our mini van is giving us an audible warning: 
 “Please Fasten Passenger Seatbelt” followed by 6 annoying beeps.  
I look like a cat trapped in a glass box.  I squirm in my seat clawing to brace myself  for some relief but with each move I’m stabbed with more pain.  Breathing helps but I can’t catch my breath.  
My body feels like a piece of paper thrown into a flame.  It’s  shriveling into a ball.  Everything from the outside feels like it’s caving in.  Pressure, tightness, pain. 
  Just as we get to the Hospital Entrance my body packs a final punch.  I feel a pop in my gut and then the pain is gone.  All I feel is liquid.

Sam pulls into the ER and puts the car in park.  I feel fine.  No pain.  He jumps out to get a wheelchair.  I don’t move.  If I'm still enough I don’t feel the fluid I’m sitting in.  For that moment I try to believe nothing has happened.  I’m fine.  I can go back home now and continue to be pregnant.  I don’t hurt anymore.
A wheelchair is at my door and I still hesitate.  I don’t want to move.  I don’t want to face what just happened.

Inside the ER I’m asked what the problem is.  I play dumb and say “I’m 12.5 weeks pregnant and I’m all wet”
In my mind I’m trying to think of a scenario where the end result was still pregnancy.  
I’m given some scrubs to change into and wheeled into a bathroom to change while Sam checks me in. 

When I stand up I’m relieved to see the liquid isn’t blood. Another flush of fluid volunteered itself and  then came the blood.  Out of instinct I reached down to catch the mass coming outside of me.  Before I could process what was happening, cupped in my hands I'm holding 2 12.5 week old babies and their placenta.  Perfect little bodies.  
Exactly the same.

“Sam Hobi!” I yell through the bathroom walls.  “Someone get Sam Hobi!”  
WIth him at my side we discover our identical babies are (most likely) boys.

In this moment is when I finally allow myself to daydream of our nursing nights, first steps, baby laughs, sport teams, school days, family vacations and birthdays we won’t have. For the first time these babies felt mine. It felt as real as it was over. I ached for my other children to have them too.  Instant love poured out of me. 

From the get go nothing about this pregnancy has been normal.   We weren’t “planning” on getting pregnant.  I had a 10 year IUD and was only 4.5 years into it.   A positive pregnancy test had me checking off the signs of grief rather than celebration.
I felt denial.  In fact, I didn’t tell my husband till noon the next day!
I felt angry.  I was NOT ready for this.  I did not want to be pregnant.  My youngest was starting kindergarten the next day!  Sam has been on board for having another baby for a few years now. I haven’t. 
I even felt depressed, albeit, for a day or two.  I have 4 kids.  I know what pregnancy/motherhood requires of me and I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t want to fail. 

I had such a hard time accepting I was pregnant. With my other pregnancies it was an instant celebration.  All of them were planned and all of them were easy to come by, thankfully.  We joke that I can get pregnant just by my husband being in the same room.  
Confidence didn't accompany this pregnancy but neither did fear.  I decided the only thing I could do about the situation was I trust it would go the way God intended it.
I didn’t want to tell the kids right away because it didn’t feel “real” yet.  I don’t know why?

The objective at my first Dr. visit was to get the IUD removed.  This posed a problem right away because the string couldn’t be found. With the help of an ultrasounds the IUD was spotted...right on top of the pregnancy. pregnancy. My uterus was tilted at an angle so we couldn’t get a visual on it without the ultrasound. I was only  6 weeks along so not much could be seen of the pregnancy.  It looked like a dark hole.   Was I really pregnant? Could this be a Ectopic pregnancy?   Ectopic pregnancies are common with an IUD so I’m ordered to have blood work drawn every 12 hours for 3 days to ensure my blood count is in fact increasing like it should if I really am pregnant. 
Pulling the IUD is 30% risk of miscarriage.  Should we remove it?  Should we not?  In order to remove it would require a scope surgery. The IUD and the pregnancy are hand in hand hiding in the corner of my round body.

I go home confused.  

After 72 hours I get a call from my OBGYN with good news.  My blood count is high.  In fact it jumped really high.  This is not a tubal pregnancy. Another ultrasound is scheduled at 8 weeks to check for a heartbeat. 

 I was told to arrive at 10:45 with a full bladder.  At 12pm I tell the front desk lady that  I’m going to PEE my pants.  Hurry things up already. (In my nice pregnancy voice)
Soon thereafter, I’m exposing my belly to a nurse who begins asking me the typical pregnancy questions. 
Is this your 1st pregnancy? no.  It’s my 5th
What are the ages of my kids? 14,12,10,& 5

As she rubs my belly with her magic wand she points out the unmistakable shinny IUD implanted to the pregnancy.  We laugh at the odds and she continues to explore.  In a calm but very curious tone she asks:
“So...did you know...there are...two babies here?”
She asks me to take in a deep breath and hold.  When it’s safe to release she confirms there are 2 babies!
 She has to stop the ultrasound because I’m laughing so hard she can’t keep contact with my belly.
“How does one get pregnant with TWINS while having an IUD?!” I half yell and cry.
“You weren’t aware you were expecting twins? she asks me wondering if I was teasing her.
“No!” I'm here for a heartbeat!“
I had been waiting for this ultrasound to make sense of any of it.  
So, now I know.  Yes, I am pregnant. x2

To Tell or not to Tell

 I realized I needed a new game plan when my hunger kicked in and I became the very hungry caterpillar eating my way through our house and I couldn’t get through a day without a nap.  My 12 year old daughter made the observation I “looked” pregnant  and they’d continue to catch me in a dead sleep on the couch after school again and again.

At  8 weeks and my 5th pregnancy I had already gained 10 pounds.  My body was giving away my secret -ready or not.  After hearing healthy heartbeats and a positive check up we told the kids we were expecting.  
I didn’t get jazzed about telling them, which is unlike me.  I can turn anything boring into "something".  It felt forced.  Not fun or creative. We told them individually with the video camera so I could catch each reaction.  The trick was doing it in the same day but fast enough that one wouldn't spill the beans to another.  We told the boys then on my way to my daughters room I found she had already went to bed! I'd have to catch her first thing in the morning before anyone talked to her.  I went to bed feeling agitated and unfulfilled.  Why?  
We didn’t tell them they were twins.  We decided to share that news as a family.

A few days later over Sunday dinner I asked them if they wanted to see pictures of the baby.  I handed out 2 pictures.  As they were looking at the “blobs” I told them one page was baby A and the other page is baby B.
The response was priceless.  Wait?  What?  We’re having TWINS?

That night I posted the news on facebook.  

I went to bed feeling better.  Maybe accepting the news and sharing it is what I needed.

As the weeks rolled on it was fun to have people congratulate us.  I was surprised at the interest we got from our 14 year olds  friends. When you have 4 kids the word spreads fast.(Facebook speeds things up a bit too)  
Immediately our kids were wanting to make room arrangements so a baby could sleep in their room. Guesses were placed on gender and the waiting game was already torture!  

Identical Twins is hitting the Jack Pot!  Buy one get one free! Who doesn't like a good deal?  Even at that, I went to bed each night grateful my body was assisting God in this miracle.  BUT they didn't feel MINE.

Monday(12 weeks and 4 days) morning came and went.  By 1pm I snuggled up to the couch like I do everyday for a little nap.  I woke up with a slight stomach ache.  I grabbed a banana and peanut butter and went to our backyard to sit in the sun.   I remember thinking it felt like a Garden of Eden Day.  Not too hot, not too cool.  Perfect. 
Then I distinctly remember thanking God for that very moment I was having.  The sky was clear blue, the sun at perfect temperature and I was sitting in my place on Earth in complete peace & safety.  That moment was noticed because I know so many suffer.  So many Christians in the East are fleeing for their lives with nothing to sustain them.  It breaks my heart to think of women and children living in fear.  None of that exists in my world.  I felt blessed and sad at the same time. 

After about 15 min.(3pm) I moved back to the couch.  The snack wasn't helping.  I didn't feel right.  I got off the couch at 5pm to drive my boys to football practice.  The pain was tightening pressure in my stomach.  Maybe my uterus is expanding?  When I got home I asked Sam if he would give me a Blessing if I wasn't feeling better when he returned from coaching football. (Which would be 7pm) 
He asked me if I wanted it now, before he left, rather than waiting, but I wanted to see if eating again would help.  Once he shut the door and drove away I questioned my decision.
30min. later I had him on the phone asking him to drive me to the ER.

He was home before I made it downstairs.  I fell to my knees hunched over a couch footstool in deliberate breathing exercises trying to endure the pain while he gave me a Blessing of Healing.  I heard him bless me that my body will be fine and I did feel peace.  I knew I was going to be fine.  He didn't say anything about the babies. That wasn't lost on me. We had to leave now.

We didn’t let the babies out of our hands  All I wanted to do was look at them.  For being so young their bodies are so developed.  I examined every little finger and toe.  It was all so amazing to me.  I felt proud to be a mother again.  I won’t have them in this life and that’s ok.  We will have them in Heaven.

The scripture in D&C 29:25 comforts me.
And not one hair neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand.

These little boys are the workmanship of me, Sam & the Lord.  They are Eternal.
This knowledge brings peace but my heart still hurts.  I don’t understand why all this took place.  Such a strange turn of events to have end like this.  You can’t get “Identical Twin Boys“ back by just getting pregnant again. It hurts to miss out on that.

A room was prepared for us in the ER so i could be examined.  The IUD didn’t come out with the placenta. After 3 unpleasant pelvic exams an ultrasound was used to help remove it.   
5 hours later I walked out of the hospital with a clean bill of health.  My body totally capable of carrying more babies as soon as my cycle restarts.
No solid explanation for the turn of events.  The babies measured exactly as they ought at their stage and the placenta was healthy.
Just like that.  Game Over.

Returning home was the hard part.  Church friends were called to watch over the family while we were gone but were told not to share the news.  
My house was clean, my kids were fed and the lights were out when we came in.  How peaceful my home felt in that moment and I dreaded what had to happen next.  After warm hugs and goodbyes my friends left and the younger two who had been "pretending" to sleep darted from their rooms to my side.  
Do you know the gender?!!? My 10 year old begged with huge hopeful eyes and a wide smile literally jumping up and down. He is expecting a gender announcement.  I dodge his question by asking him to sit on the couch while we gather the rest of the family.  He makes a running leap onto the couch and bounces like he is on a pogo stick.  "This is worse than Christmas Eve Mom!  You're going to tell us what they are aren't you? Pure delight plastered on his face.

The following 5 days I sit in my bed day and night. I’m an Introvert.  I thrive on ”quiet time“.  I process my feelings through writing. So, I sit and write to find my peace.
I sleep for the good part of 2 days. With each passing day my body heals but my heart continues to break.  Each morning when I wake up it’s like ripping off the band aid again.  
Friends & Family drop off dinner, clean my house and text me throughout the day. It helps.  A lot.  
I have many friends  who have experienced a miscarriage and I’m willing to bet there are several I’m unaware of.  I think of you and draw strength.  I remember your child and your story.  Thank you for sharing.   I’ve never known this sadness but I trust you do.  

This week was a hard week.  I'm a better person because of it.  God knew what I can handle and he knew I would need some help to give up these babies.  I like the way it happened.  He was coaxing me along from the beginning.  I look forward to more insights as time heals and reveals.


Julie said...

Hi beautiful ember. I saw your Facebook posts and came to read about your babies. My heart breaks reading this. I don't think you know, but I lost twins in 2013, then had two more miscarriages in that same year. It was the most painful, heartbreaking year of my life. My body healed quickly, but my heart took years. I'm praying you feel peace and comfort during this time. I sure love and miss you. Love, julie christensen

Mary said...

I'm so very sorry this happened to you. I came across your posting after researching about IUDs. I saw the photo of your twin boys and was utterly fascinated by their little hands and feet... It's so sad and beautiful at the same time.

I don't know if this will give you any reassurance, but it does for me. I have 3 siblings, and I am the youngest one now 25 years old. My mother had a miscarriage after her first born, and another 3 between myself and my sister. That is why her and I are almost 7 years apart. My mom said she waited a long time for me, and that I was very wanted.

My mom is very spiritual. One birthday, a few years ago, we got her a present. It was a spirit baby reading. When she did the reading, we were all very surprised by the results. The woman said that my mom had no spirit babies and that she had all of the children she was meant to have...

If you believe in this, that means that the first miscarriage was my brother and the last 3 were all me.

My parents are divorced and there would have been a lot of fighting around that time. Who knows..? Maybe something about the timing wasn't right or the body wasn't my choosing...

Only He knows.

I believe your twin sons will find their way into your life.

You have my deepest condolences, and I wish you all of the love in the world.


Mary Wilson

margaux bagnoli said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I came across your post while browsing through images of how to check an IUD.
Looking at the two babies in your hands is both heartbreaking and fascinating. Even in their minuteness they are a reminder of how life is unfathomable.
I have 3 children: 7,4 and an 11 month old. I had an ectopic a year after I had my daughter (the oldest). After I gave birth with my 3rd, I decided to take contraception. I was thinking of doing the ligation or him having the vasectomy. But he was reluctant so I ended up with an IUd.
A month after it was inserted, I returned to the clinic for placement check. It was not dislodged, still in place. I know pregnancies are rare but somehow I'm not totally at ease. Like you, I get pregnant easily too.
I hope you are well. God bless