It has been well over 2 years now that Shawn and I have been trying to add to our little family. After all of the fertility tests we could go through I was finally told I had unexplained infertility and we needed a little help getting pregnant.
So we did.
And to our surprise we got pregnant on my very first cycle of the lowest does of Clomid.
On August 11th,2016 , at 10 weeks pregnant we went to our first ultra sound and couldn’t wait to see our little baby. I already had a swollen tummy, was ill and extremely tired.
I remember feeling so extremely nervous for this ultrasound. I lifted my shirt and felt the cold jelly on my tummy. And there it was on the screen…
Not only did we see our baby but we saw TWO.
It was TWINS!!!
I knew it. Everything in me knew it was twins. I was joking with my friends and family about how crazy it would be but that I thought it really was twins. And to make it even more crazy, I recently saw a psychic and turned over 2 stork cards!
Shawn saw it instantly as well. You could see these two tiny little things in my tummy. The amount of things that can go through your head in the matter of seconds is a bit insane( is our spare room big enough, we need a new car, can 3 car seats even fit in a car, there is no way I’m driving a van, oh man I cannot have twins…ect…ect.)
Anyway, we kind of went silent. Okay, my husband did not go silent. He was the most excited I had seen him in my whole life. He has always wanted twins. Actually, I have too. I remember writing in a little notebook when I was younger that I wanted twin girls when I was older. It was all so overwhelming and a bit crazy. It didn’t feel like real life. Maybe that’s because it was too good to be true.
It turns out we were having a very rare type of twins called Monozygotic Twins. This type of twin shares the same sac,which we could instantly see. Right away Shawn asked questions and the tech was very quiet. She looked and moved around but didn’t say much. Now since this wasn’t my first rodeo I knew there was something missing. Something wasn’t right.
So she cleaned me off and asked me to empty my bladder so she could do an internal ultrasound and check things out a bit closer.
I remember going to the bathroom, having all of these crazy thoughts go through my head about the car and the rooms but more than anything, it didn’t feel right. But I still smiled. I still thought holy hell my life is about to get really interesting…but then at the same time….something was wrong and I knew it.
I went back in the room and immediately after starting the ultrasound again, she said the words.
I’m sorry. Yes it is twins but unfortunately I can’t see either heartbeats.
The room fell silent. And I mean the kind of silent that just breaks your heart. Nobody said anything at all. The tech just kept doing her job and getting all of the pictures and info she needed for the doctor.
Shawn and I just sat there. No words were said. Not even an extra squeeze of a hand. Nothing. Maybe we were both in shock or maybe we both knew that any word or any movement would be the start of uncontrollable emotion. Something we just weren’t ready for.
The tech finished up and told me to get dressed and we would be moved to another room to wait for the doctor (who just happen to be in surgery so it would be a while…just AWESOME)
And I broke. I mean my body fell limp as I crumbled into Shawn’s arms. I was in pieces. And so was he.
I gathered myself, got dressed and changed rooms.
Again, we sat in silence. I mean, what do you say to one another. And we are both letting the information settle in. How can we possible be there for one another. It was all so much.
So we talked. We cried. We cried some more and we waited for the doctor to come in and give us some answers.
In the mean time, being at a fertility clinic we were surrounded by pregnant women or women with babies. We sat behind our closed door and listened to babies heart beats through the wall. Something we had hoped we would hear today, just not in that way.
I kept saying…twins. It WAS twins. I was in complete shock.
After about an hour the doctor (who is actually so awesome and I am incredibly lucky to have him following our journey) finally came in. I cannot imagine how hard his job is. He sees so much joy and so much pain so many times a day. What a rush that must be.
He immediately told us how sorry he was and then went into the details.
The fact that our twins were so young still, it looks like they stopped growing at 8.5 and 9 weeks, And being the rare twins that they were, their chances of having a healthy term or a life without complications was slim. Not to mention a very high risk pregnancy leading to bed rest at 24 weeks. He told us all of the statistics and while it did relieve a bit of pain, it all still hurt so much.
Why us? Why our twins? Why after so long trying did this have to happen?
The thing I will never forget is how he explained reproduction to us.
He said, a baby is a miracle. Two very perfect things need to come together perfectly to make a perfect baby. If those things don’t happen the pregnancy will fail in order to make things right. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and that’s when losses happen later on, or still births or worse, sick children.
It sat with me and it allowed me to walk out of that office.
But before that, he gave me options. Options I did not think I would have to choose from that day. I thought I would be walking out of there with an ultra sound picture in my hand and a smile on my face.
Instead I was having to decide whether to let nature take it’s course and lose the babies when they were ready.
To have a d&c and move on.
I struggled. Like really really struggled with this. But because I couldn’t go on knowing they weren’t living inside of me, I opted to have the d&c the next day.
It was an awful day. One I will absolutely never forget in my whole life.
How do you wake up knowing today you will have your babies taken out of you? You will go to sleep and wake up and it will be like nothing happened?
As we walked down the halls of the hospital everything felt surreal. I was numb and removed. The amount of times I had to tell a nurse or doctor that I was having a D&C was absolutely disturbing. I know this is for their protection and that they don’t mess things up but come on as if I want to repeat this over and over again.
So I had the surgery. It was quick and painless. I actually was pretty happy I was put to sleep. It was 10 whole minutes where I could shut my brain off.
After the surgery we decided we needed some time. Time to grieve. Time to accept what just happened. Time to just breathe and be.
So we packed the car and we headed to the ocean, B.C.
We hiked and walked and lounged and snuggled. We had much needed family time, just the three of us. We visited Shawn’s family. Everything was o.k.
But we knew why we were there and it was for the twins. Shawn mentioned to me that we should do a send off for them. Celebrate them and say good-bye.
This sounded amazing to me. So we went out, we got a little wooden boat and some candles. Two small bottles and some paper. Shawn even painted the boat teal because it’s my favorite color. He knew how much all of this meant to me.
It just so happened that one of my friends and local photographer Vannessa Brown was in Nanaimo as well. I knew this was something I would love to have documented. So I contacted her and she was so generous to come photograph our celebration for us. I included some images from this very special night below.
We headed out at sunset. We knelt in the muddy waters and each wrote a little note to the twins. We put them in two little bottles. But a candle on the boat and had a moment. A moment where tears streamed down our face and where Mason asked us why the babies had to go to heaven. This was our time to say goodbye.
So we did. We let the boat go. We watched the waves take it further and further away. We listened to Mason say No he wanted it to stay. And we cried. We held each other and we cried.
I wasn’t ready.
As silly as it is that it was “just” a boat. I needed it back. I wasn’t ready for it to be gone.
And Shawn knew it.
He emptied his pockets and jumped in the water. It was about 9 at night. It was cold and getting dark. I could barely see the candle on the little boat.
Mason and I sat on the small piece of sand and watched Shawn swim. Our hearts were racing. It probably wasn’t the best idea in the world but man did I fall head over heels in love with him all over again.
He brought the boat back. I held it and I sobbed. I didn’t want to let go. And here I had this wonderful man by my side, who is also grieving, but all he can think about is me holding this little boat.
We had our moment. We held the boat with all of our hands, and we said good-bye. And again, we sat in silence.
It was a day I will never forget. It was life changing and will forever be part of our lives. Something we shared together.
Having a miscarriage has completely changed me. Changed the way I think and changed the way I see things. One of the hardest things for me has been social media and just apps in general.
My pregnancy tracking app
My period tracking app
Pinterest where I had already been pinning baby ideas
Facebook pregnancy announcements
Everything was a reminder. And it all hurt. But one of the biggest eye opening things was when I openly discussed this on my personal Facebook page. The amount of love and support that poured in was unreal. But there was also surprise. The number of emails, texts, and messages I got from people I knew that have been in my shoes was insane to me. It made me feel completely supported and also so incredibly sad. Sad that I didn’t know this was going on and sad that so many people have felt the way I do.
Losing a child is the hardest thing in life. Whether full grown or an embryo, a child is a child. It is hopes and dreams and wishes and love
A dear friend of mine said to me…
A person is a person no matter how small
Or little M&M’s will forever be part of us. As I say, I am a Mom of 3, two them just happen to be angel babies.
Mama of 3
Did you know…
15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, a safe estimate would be that in the general population the risk of pregnancy loss after 12 weeks is 3-4%
And that 1 in 5 women will have a miscarriage in their life.
Next time you are in a room with your girlfriends, look around at that 1/5 number and so how huge that is.