Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sad days of July

Today is July 29th.

All I’ve been able to think about the last few days is what I was doing 1 year ago.

One year ago on July 26th, my day started fine, I was a bit nervous about going in for an amnio. We had been through so much already with infertility for so many years. I was finally feeling better after the miscarriage of my triplet. I had been so sick the beginning of my pregnancy, and now I felt fabulous.

Brian and I were still undecided if we wanted to know the sex of our twins. At the pre amnio ultrasound, they asked us if we wanted to find out, we looked at each other and said ok, why not….We joyously found out we were having 2 little girls. Two perfect little girls. The ultrasound showed that everything looked perfect, at least no visible signs of birth defects. I think we both “knew” that we would have at least one daughter, and figured it might be likely that both would be girls. Brian said because he was such a “naughty” boy that he would be “blessed” with having daughters – so we always knew. We were ecstatic!! Two daughters. My heart was just swimming!!!!

Looking back, trying to remember those feelings, the joy I felt in my heart knowing I was having two healthy girls. All the anticipation of twins. I feel such incredible sorrow now, for those lost joyous memories. I want them back. I want both my girls. I want my healthy full term twin daughters back. I want the choice again to not do an amnio. My life changed forever that day. Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone. Let nature take its course?

Obviously, with my “advanced maternal” age at the time of 38 (almost 39), we were worried about possible Downs Syndrom and other birth defects; it was “standard practice” to do an amnio when you are over 35. After the ultra sound tech left and we were there getting ready for the doc to come in to do the amnio, Brian asked me, everything looks good, do you think we really need to do the amnio? I think I said something like, “Well, it’s my age, they really recommend it”….Famous last words, right? I’ve regretted that “moment” so many times over this last year. If I could take it back. How was I to know?

Well, before the amnio started, the doc said he was going to insert one needle into my abdomen, and go into both sacs. I said to him, “Well, why would you want to put two holes in one of the sacs, doesn’t that seem more risky?” He answered “Well, that’s just eh way I do amnios.” Again famous last words.

(If you couldn’t tell, I DEFINITELY have a problem with the way he did the amnio, as any other doctor I've ever spoken to always sounds "surpirsed" when they hear he did it with one needle stick versus two. Also, by the fact that he didn't use dye to differintiate the two sacs).

He inserted the needle to extract amniotic fluid through Corinne’s sac, through the membrane that separated the two of them and then into Kaitlyn’s sac. He seemed to have to really “push” to break through into Kaitlyn's sac. I was so scared, I could hardly breathe. On the ultrasound we could see our girls not liking this intrusion into their worlds. He withdrew fluid from Kaitlyn’s sac. Then pulled back the needle again into Corinne’s sac and withdrew fluid from her sac. I was so nervous.

Fast forward to getting home. I spent the entire day in bed, (as recommended). I have a picture of myself lying on the bed with our female dog. Brian took a picture of the 4 McCarthy Girls. We were going to give this picture to our family to surprise them with the news that we were having 2 girls! We were so excited. It FINALLY felt like this pregnancy was going to materialize – that we were going to be parents. We were having daughters!!! Here's a link to that picture (I'm having problems uploading pictures to blogger): The 4 McCarthy Girls At the bottom of this picture you can see the date and time it was taken 1:20 on 7/26/2005.

At about 10pm on the 26th, I felt a trickle. The Doc had said there might be some minor leaking from the procedure. It didn’t think much of it. Later that night I felt more, but again didn’t think much of it.

On the morning of the 27th, my water broke. I started leaking a lot more amniotic fluid. I hear of women wondering whether it was “urine” or amniotic fluid – I NEVER had a doubt in my mind. This was definitely amniotic fluid leaking out of me. We called the doc’s office. They said get in bed – (I was given the choice of coming in), but what would that have shown? That I was leaking amniotic fluid (I knew I was), and all they could have done was to tell me to stay down in bed. The doc who did the amnio NEVER called. Never got on the phone with me….

What is happening? Oh My God. This can’t be happening. I felt in shock. I still believed that it was going to seal. In 2 days time we are supposed to be moving to our new house that we just purchased.

Fast forward to a year ago today, 7/29. We move. Well, I don’t really move. Brian packs everything except for the bed I’m lying on. He takes our guest bed to our new house. My mom flew up to help. I got out of bed, laid in the back seat of her car, drove to the new house, went straight to the guest bed and got back into bed. No looking at my new house. Nothing. Straight into the bed. For 10 weeks!! 3 months!! I finally owned my first house and never even saw it for 10 weeks.

This was hell. Horrible, horrible hell. I can’t believe this is happening…..

This morning I sat out on our deck in our back-yard thinking about all this. Remembering one year ago. I haven't spoken about it for a while now, as it’s very, very painful for me to remember. I felt the need this morning to remember and to let all of you know who may not have been with me from the beginning.

Kaitlyn just vomited terribly this morning. Yes, I’ve indicated the vomit is “better”, but when I say better, she’s not vomiting 20x a day any more, now it’s just maybe 8-15 times. She’s still vomiting. I miss my daughter Corinne more than I can say. It’s so hard for me to put up a wall when I see twins. I get so sad. That should be me. That should be our family. Brian often tells me when he thinks of Corinne too and how much he misses her. My mother Corinne (who our daughter is named after), too remembers her and wonders what she would be like. I like it when people remember her. It means a lot to me, as I gave birth to my two daughters. Corinne lived and died in my arms.

Here is a link to a slideshow of their birth on 10/4/05:
Kaitlyn and Corinne's Birth Slideshow

Thank you everyone for your comments and helping us remember Corinne. She’ll never be forgotten. Corinne’s ashes are in Kaitlyn’s room, along with a snip of her hair, both of their ID bracelets from the hospital, the blanket that Corinne was wrapped in when she died, a picture of the two of them together, with Kaitlyn holding Corinne’s hand, hand-knit booties from Jodi, a PROM mom friend that were made to match their feet sizes when they were born, I have angels sitting on the box that hold all of these items. And this box is next to the box of ash's of our poor pup, Kailan, who became very sick throughout this whole ordeal and we had to put to sleep in February.

My angel daughter Corinne is looking down on her sister. Corinne who stayed in my belly for 10 long weeks of leaking her precious fluid out of me day after day. She stayed long enough for Kaitlyn to be here with us today. Thank you my beautiful daughter Corinne for being strong enough to watch over your sister and keep her safe forever. As I write this tears roll down my checks. Why is this still so hard and painful?

1 year ago, this all started. July 26th is a day that will forever be etched into my memory. I want to take that day back. I want to feel my babies in my belly again. I want to have a normal pregnancy, I want to have a normal deliery, I want to have normal breast feeding, I want to hear my babies cry when they are born (I'm still waiting to hear Kaitlyn's cry), I want to hold them in my arms and not have one die in my arms in a few hours and wait another month to hold the other, to bring them home a few days after they were born instead of 4 long months.

Why did I have that amnio? Why, why, why why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why????????????

If you would like to "relive" my story from a year ago, read the first post of my blog: The first post


Michelle said...

Liz, I'd just like to say that you are such a wonderful Mother. Your daughters know you, BOTH of them. I can't imagine what it feels like to lose a child, & I know this time especially is difficult for you. No Parent should have to experience the pain that you & your husband have. Please know that just in the short time I've known your story, I've been touched by your strength, and courage. You are such a loving Mother who put your babies first. You joined together other Mom's of Preemies as a very valued support group, which I very much needed, and am so grateful I found. I'm so very sorry for your sadness, and pray for your heavy heart.
Preemie mom to Katy & Mady

Anne said...

I remember Corrine.

stephasteph said...

Wow Liz, I am just sitting here bawling. I so feel your pain. I lost a baby because she had acrania and I never got to hold her. I am just enjoying your blog so much. I too asked myself why. it has been 3 years for me as of August. It will get better I promise and you will stop asking why because Corrine has the answer. Only she and God and thats all that matters. You will get through this. I know because I did.

Nana Corinne said...

Liz,you and Brian have been through so much. I was so thrilled and honored that you named one of your twins after both of your moms, it breaks my heart that Corinne can't be with us. Kaitlyn looks so much like Brian, maybe Corinne would have looked more like you. We all expect to bury our parents but not our child. My heart is sad for all of us. Kaitlyn is a miracle baby and Corinne was a fighter and survived long enough so that her sister had a chance. She will always be rememberd and loved by her Nana as if he were here.

Jenny said...

I fell your pain Liz. One of my preemie cousins (out of seven) died in my arms because her mother was still under anasthesia. the mother decided that if the baby was not able to be saved and would pass away while she was still under anasthesia, that i hold her when that happens. she told me that i was her favorite out of the family, so that is why she chose me. this was two years ago. we lost three of the seven preemies. one from a carbon monoxide accident. maybe you can try again one day. i saw the pictures of corinne. she is beautiful.

Maggie said...

Your whole family is in my prayers. My husband and I both watched the slide show. There were many tears shed here. Nobody should have to experience what you've been through. Both of you have incredible strength. I am in awe of your strength and courage.
Lots of hugs and prayers~
Preemie mom to Sarah

Jodi from PROM said...

Your trip down memory lane brings me back too. I have similar memories of my own situation with the Why's and What If's and that stupid amnio. However your loss is much bigger than mine.

I remember you joining the PROM list last year, and me following your progress and praying that your babies would both make it.

And here we are a year later, and I still check on you and Kaitlyn frequently and pray that she stops vomiting and keeps progressing and that you have the strength to keep going.

When strangers see you, they make think you are a mommy of one, but your friends and family know you are a mommy of twins. We won't forget Corrine. And I know you will make sure that her sister remembers her and loves her too.

Thinking of you often and still praying,
:) Jodi

Jodi from PROM said...

A Well Chosen Mother Has Special Qualities
By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecelia. Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint...Give her Gerard. He is used to profanity."

Finally He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious, "Why this one, God? She is so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I do not want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see the child I am going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world, and that is not going to be easy," said God.

"But Lord, I do not even think she believes in You."

God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods, "If she cannot separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She does not realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word.' She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'Mama' for the first time she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly all the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice; and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asked the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

Jenny said...

You and yuor family are in my prayers Liz. I watched the slide show and it brought tears to my eyes. yuo have two beautiful girls, and Corinne will protect you and your family forever.

Tonya said...

Liz after reading that post I have no words only tears for all you have been through. You are a very strong and courageous woman to have had to deal with all of this. I don't know if I could have. I wish I could give you a hug because there are no words of real comfort here other than I am sure Corrine is looking down on you all now.. *hugs*

Naz Siddiqi said...

Hi Liz,

I stumbled accross your blog just by chance. I am lost for words and cried the same tears of sadness I felt for my 2 babies. You and your husband are both incredibly brave and I can't begin to imagine the pain you must have gone through and continue to go through on a daily basis. You have done a wonderful act by just sharing so much with women in the same situation. I have been touched by your strength and if anything you have given me a great deal of courage and encouragement to carry on. I have lost 2 pregnancies and this is my third. Read my blog if you wish.

The pictures of the birth reminded me of what we went through. I felt your incredible sadness and with tears rolling down my face and a heavy heart I prayed for you. May god bless you with peace and mercy.

Not a day goes by like you when I don't think of my 2 lost angels. Remember your baby girl will always be with you.


Anonymous said...

Hi- I lost a twin too and have a 25 weeker 16m adjusted (who is doing great! It does get better...). Anyway, I am wondering if you have considered suing the doctor. -E

Allison said...


Such a touching post! Although I don't know you, I know your story and feel deep compassion for you. Fortunatley you have one daughter to live for, and a husband and they both need you!

Julie said...

Liz- It is so hard to read your post- I am sad... sad for what you had to go through- sad for your sweet babies that didn't get to grow up to be Kaitlyn's playmates, sad that You and Brian are missing them so much. I am sorry you have to go through this. Thanks for sharing your heart even though it is sad. I pray that as you heal, you will find comfort in your sweet Kaitlyn. I am praying for ya'll during this tough time.

miraclebaby said...

Just looking at those pictures is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I am thinking of you.

Michelle Flannagan said...

Liz- I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Corrine will always be with all of you. She is watching over Kaitlyn and you, sending her love every day. You will forever be the mother of twins. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of their birth.

I'm glad Jodi pubished that poem from Erma Bombeck, I have carried that in my wallet for 4 1/2 years now. I know that it helped me then, and is still an inspiration to me.
I know the summer will be a tough time for you remembering all that happened last year. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Michelle

Amanda Tadlock said...

I just joined you on preemieblogmoms. I thought I was the only one right now feeling the pain of losing one of my twins. I know different now. My Saylor passed on Aug 2, 2005. I understand your trip down memory lane, it's often all too painful to visit. I am thinking of you and hope you will find some peaceful moments during these days.

Danielle Elgin said...

God bless you and your family.
I am sitting here so sad for your loss. I know Corrine is watching you and your family. Thank you for sharing your loss. You are just beautiful


Growing Your Baby said...

Hi Liz, I have a 24 weeker and went without fluid for 5 weeks. My pregnancy was filled with mulitple trips to the hospital and a total of 14 ultrasounds by the time he was delivered. I know what you have been through. I have not cried in a long time, today I cried reading your story. It brought me back to the worst time of my life. Which transitioned into the best thing we have ever done!! You can see our baby's journey at Have a great day. treasure every day - which you already know!!

loahlam said...
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