[Trigger warning: This post contains loss]
A heartfelt thank you to Abby, for sharing your stories with us xxx
In 2008 I was thrilled that after 3 years I was finally pregnant. My excitement grew when I had my first ultrasound and found out I had twins, although it was also tainted with fear. I have a congenital heart condition and had gotten pregnant against the advice of medical professionals… How would my body cope with the strain of twins?
I was heavily monitored from about 16 weeks with frequent checks on my heart, the babies hearts and their general growth. All was going well until 19 weeks where I was then told I would be admitted to have a cervical stitch as my cervix was short, thin and funnelling. I was basically told if I didn’t have the stitch my babies would be born in the next week or so. Terrified I went to theatre and had a spinal block while they stitched my cervix closed. A few days later I was out of hospital and recovering nicely at home expecting that I still had a while to go before I’d meet my babies…
Only 4 weeks later I started cramping which turned into severe pain. At only 23wks I was in labour. No medication would stop the labour, but I managed to hold on til 24+2wks before my babies were born via c-section due to breech presentation. The c-section went really well – my beautiful firstborn son was brought into the world weighing a tiny 784gms, but showing signs of life. My son was taken over to a table to be worked on while Drs tried to get baby number 2 out. My 2nd son was transverse so after having a vertical incision in my uterus they finally got him out. Twin 2 was a tiny 767gms and he too was taken away to be worked on… We named our tiny miracles Taite and Seth.
Although I was awake I didn’t get to see my sons until some 3 hours later when I was finally able to be taken to the nursery. Unfortunately I was only able to see Seth, as Taite’s room had a sterile procedure happening.. I was very anxious and upset, but was so amazed by this tiny little person that was mine.. I loved Seth instantly and couldn’t wait to meet Taite. It wasn’t until the next day I met my other tiny miracle… Instant love!! It was so hard only being able to touch my babies through the isolette.
[Taite on the day he was born]
[Seth day of birth]
I stayed in the coronary care ward so they could monitor how my heart was coping with the stress of the birth. My heart was fine and I moved the maternity ward after only 2 days.
Being born at only 24wks, my sons had many medical problems. One thing was certain though, they had an amazing twin connection and did most things together. I watched my sons fight for life. Unfortunately they both had too much and they died peacefully together at 12 days old with their Mummy and Daddy. I was heartbroken and had no idea how I’d ever smile again…
[My first twin cuddle, the day they passed, 12 days old]
[My babies at peace, 12 days old]
2011 brought a reason to smile when saw those precious 2 lines appear. I was finally pregnant again after another 3 years. This time, there was only one baby and medical professionals discussed how this could change the outcome. After a few scares of bleeding in the first trimester, I then had a stitch placed at 14wks, things looked positive and I settled in for what I’d hoped was going to be a long pregnancy. 19wk scan showed another complication though, I had placenta previa.. I was terrified of birthing another premmy, but tried to relax and rest as much as possible. I had progesterone pessaries from 16wks and I knew that there was nothing else I could do to prevent another prem birth if that’s what was to happen. When I reached 24+2wks I breathed with relief.. I was still pregnant! Then it happened, at 25+3 wks I woke up soaked in blood..I went straight to hospital and was monitored. Bub was doing well and my bleeding slowed. The stitch was holding my cervix together nicely so I set my pregnancy goal for 28wks. Just 3 more weeks I begged bubba to stay in for.
It was only 2 days later when I had more haemorrhages and my contractions turned from Braxton hicks to the real thing. A blood transfusion was ordered for me and theatre was arranged. The Obstetricians didn’t want me to labour as I had a previous classical (vertical) incision with my last c section. All of a sudden I was screaming that I had to push. We were on our way to theatre but bub didn’t want to wait. My waters broke with a huge gush, nurses checked bubs presentation and told me to push this baby out. I was terrified. The baby’s father hadn’t arrived yet and I was on my own. I was so scared of having another premmy I didn’t want to do this.. Eventually I succumbed to the contractions and went with it. I pushed my perfect 3rd son into the world and got to hear his cry and touch him before he was taken away to be worked on. I named him Jett, he was my biggest baby at 874gms.
[The day of Jett's birth: 25w 5d]
Soon after I felt I had lost a large amount of blood. The Drs explained they couldn’t get the placenta out and I was bleeding. They gave me an epidural so they could take me to theatre. I lost more and more blood. I was taken into theatre. By this time I had bled so much my body lost all clotting capabilities and I was bleeding out fast. I was awake as I heard Drs discuss the urgency of the situation..They were trying to gain IV access but my blood pressure was so low they were having trouble. I was so scared, I begged them to knock me out. They didn’t have time, they had to gain IV access and try to get blood into me as fast as it was coming out. I asked if I was going to die they responded “We are doing all we can”…
3 hours later I was stable.. I had vaginal packing to prevent anymore haemorrhaging and 5 IV access lines. 1 in each arm, 1 in each groin and 1 in my foot. I had plenty of bruising and mental trauma. That afternoon I was finally taken to see my son. I don’t really remember much of it, I was still very unwell, but I know, just like with his brothers I fell instantly in love…
[First cuddle, 16 days old]
Born at 25wks, Jett still faced many issues from being a prem. We were lucky this time though and after 157 days (just over 5 months) I took my Earthside miracle home. He is now 19 months old and developing beautifully. He is small for his age and is moderately hearing impaired, but apart from that you would never know the trauma we went through to get him home… Jett is amazing and I strongly believe that we are both alive today because we had our very own guardian angels Taite and Seth.
[First breastfeed at 135 days old]
[1st birthday - photo by atomicbutterfly photography]
[Still Boobing at 18 months!]