Today is 7/26/07. A date that is forever etched in my memory. This day changed my life forever and ever and ever and ever. I would take it back a million times over if I could.
I had an amnio 2 years ago today and found out the sex of my surviving twins. (I had miscarried my triplet just a few weeks prior).
2 years ago today I found out I was going to have 2 twin daughters. Girls! I was on cloud 9.
We were so excited!! After years of infertility, horrible injections, doctor visits, surgeries.. Finally I was going to be a mother. I knew I would be a mother. I always knew. Even with all the problems I had, I just KNEW.
In the evening I realized I started leaking amniotic fluid. The doctor said that was possible.
2 years ago tonight, I went to bed thinking that I was leaking amniotic fluid, but trying to think positive and dreaming of my dream of finally being a mother to two girls.
By the morning, I had a lot of liquid leaking...I think my water may have broken- I was in shock, something was terribly wrong.
I could never have imagined how my life would be altered FOREVER by this date.
I attribute this day to loosing my daughter Corinne.
A choice I made because I was 39 and it was what I was supposed to do changed my life forever.
I spent 10 weeks (3 months) laying in bed and leaking amniotic fluid not knowing if I would ever have children to hold in my arms.
I couldn't work to help pay the mortgage on my newly purchased first home.
My husband had to take care of me 24 hours a day and with his 24 hour normal schedule it threw our life in a tizzy.
I was told over and over to abort my pregnancy because I would never carry this pregnancy.
I moved in to my first house 2 days later and never left my bedroom for 12 weeks.
I flew to Florida (on bedrest - wheelchairs etc) and battled my insurance company (and lost) to try an amnio-patch which didn't work to try to save both my daughters. My husband and I were grief-stricken and stuck in literal "hell" in a horrible motel room in Florida when we discovered the procedure probably didn't work. We both cried and cried.
I flew back home to my bedroom existence.
My daughters both grew inside me looking healthy, growing and fighting for their lives. Both of them! No one could understand that. They would say, but one is ok, right? One doesn't have ANY fluid, but the other is ok, right? My answer: "They are both in my uterus and without amniotic fluid in one, I risked the chance of horrible infection and pre-term labor for BOTH of my daughters. It was a 2 for one deal. And I wanted both of my daughters. I had already lost my triplet, I couldn't possibly loose an more.
Every week the doctors would say to me, "Wow, you still haven't gotten an infection. you know it's inevitable, you'll never make it. " I told myself I was going to make it to at least 3o weeks.
I started researching NICU's and the outcomes for preemies. It wasn't good.
Every week on Wednesday my mother sent me a huge bouquet of flowers, congratulating me on making it one more week to viability. I was convinced I was going to beat the odds. I believed in positive thinking and I was going to show all the doctors, I was going to give birth to 2 healthy daughters.
I went into labor. I was 23 weeks pregnant. I didn't know it was labor starting. I went to the hospital for monitoring, I was given drugs to stop the labor and sent back home. My babies were not viable I was told.
At just into my 25th week of pregnancy, I again started having labor contractions. My brother Gary was visiting and helping us out. He rushed me to the Hosptial. I was admitted on the spot.
I met a NICU Doctor and we had frank discussion about odds of pre-term deliveries. It was fairly grim.
I was given steroids to help my babies lungs develop. Every doctor in the world came by after hearing my story that my water broke at just under 17 weeks pregnant and I hadn't yet delivered. I was given all kinds of other horrible drugs to try to stop my labor. Mag, Terb, I can't remember them all. The hospital was having a labor strike. at 5 every morning they were chanting and yelling out my window. I wanted to yell, "who cares about your plight...I'm trying to hang on to my babies here....."
My mother Corinne flew up. a week went by. I sent my mother home. I told my husband to go back to work. I was holding these babies in me until I was 30 weeks.
Then on the night of October 3rd the contractions started again. I was a bit over 26 weeks pregnant. This time the contractions were strong. Really strong. I was given a lot of drugs again. My husband was working at the fire department. The labor nurse and I called him 'repeatedly. She said she was going to make sure I didn't deliver. Hours later at 4 am my temperature started spiking. The dreaded sign of "the infection" was there. The doctors had no choice. It was time.
I remember thinking over and over and telling Elizabeth, my labor nurse, that it wasn't time, it was too soon, I wasn't ready, the girls weren't ready. My Doctor was called. She was off, but said she'd come anyways. My delivery was delayed long enough (an extra hour) for my husband to get off work and come to the hospital (no easy feat when you are a fire man, and he had to wake up the Fire Captain and tell him he was leaving immediately).
My husband arrived. I was terrified. We were terrified.
I threw up on the way to the Surgery room. I remember chanting over and over "No, this can't be happening, I was going to make it to 30 weeks." I was introduced to 2 NICU doctors (one I had already met).
Here's a picture of how terrified I was:
My nurse Elizabeth held my hand as I clenched onto hers. My husband was right there next to me. They cut into me and my first born daughter arrived into the world.
I had always knows that I would have a daughter named after my mother. My mother never knew this - it was the most special gift that I could ever have given her. We hadn't know which daughter to name after our mothers - Brian felt strongly that our first born, whose water had broken needed all the strength she could get, so she was named on the spot "Corinne Margaret" ..after our mothers. Then our 2nd born was delivered a minute later, "Kaitlyn Elizabeth"....
They were both whisked away. No cries. No nothing. My husband left my side to check on our daughters. He took pictures of them being delivered. I am forever grateful to have these pictures, as I really feel like the whole experience of delivery was a bit of a fog for me. I felt in shock. I felt ill and sick and in shock. I'll never forget this moment for the rest of my life. This isn't how it was supposed to be.
There was no joy of birth. There was no cry out of life. There was no tears of joy. There was no holding my babies to my chest. It was just silence. Unknown...It was frightful. I was empty. I felt hollow. I felt my babies were ripped out of me when I knew they weren't ready to come into this world.
3 hours later one of the NICU doctors came to tell us that Corinne just wasn't getting any oxygen. They tried and tried and were doing all they could, but her lungs just weren't mature enough to get any oxygen into her blood stream. I was in complete shock. I had 100% believed that I was going to beat the odds. That I would have my twin daughters to love forever.
That wasn't to be the case.
It was October 4th. 10 weeks after July 26th when my life changed forever. 2 years ago today. Not a great memory. Not a great anniversary.
This wasn't the life I planned.