Hi ladies...I've posted on some threads but haven't introduced myself, and I thought I should. I just hate telling my story for some reason, but I'm encouraged by some of the others that have shared and found some support.
I got pregnant with spontaneous twins in October of last year. My pregnancy was uncomplicated and one of the happiest times of my life. We found out in January that we were having a boy and a girl, and their growth during the frequent scans and ultrasounds was excellent. No bed rest, I continued working, and I started NSTs at 29 weeks and going in weekly, where my OB also did cervical checks. At 31 weeks, 3 days, I was having Braxton Hicks, but showing no signs of labor. I woke up around 3 a.m. on Monday, May 9th (32 weeks, 3 days) with contractions every seven minutes, and my husband and I went to L & D.
It was our plan to have a vaginal delivery, and both babies were head down since about 24 weeks. I was dilated to a 3 when they admitted me, and quickly progressed to a 5. They tried to stop the labor with magnesium sulfate but couldn't, and we were told we were going to have to deliver. They gave me a epidural and brought in a neonatologist to brief us on what we might expect with babies that were 8 weeks early, and then my doctor came in for the first time and did an ultrasound to double check where the babies were. Baby B (our son) was breech, and so we had to switch from vaginal to c-section. I was nervous but this wasn't completely unexpected, as with twins you are constantly told that a c-section is likely.
On the way to the operating room my water broke, and they put me on the table and started right away. There was no signs of distress on the monitors, so my doctor did a low horizontal incision. My husband came in, and I don't remember much of what happened next, but my doctor was screaming for another OB. My daughter Madelyn was born at 8:18 a.m.(4 lbs, 4 ounces and 18 inches!) and Jackson came at 8:19 a.m (a whopping 5 lbs, 4 ounces and an inch shorter than his sister - 17 inches).
Most of what happened in the next five days is too difficult to share. My son was doing very well and I got to hold him in the delivery room, and he went to the Level II NICU. My daughter was briefly wheeled into the recovery room and went to Level III, and needed pretty much every intervention imaginable. They were very vague with us about what went wrong, but after a neurologist saw her on Thursday, May 12 he told us that she had no brain function, and on Friday, May 13th after transitioning to comfort care Madelyn passed in my husband's arms. She was absolutely beautiful and we have some really touching photos from a NILMDS photographer. My biggest regret is that no one offered to bring up my son, and I was too much in a fog to think to do that. The last time were were in a room together before we brought home Madelyn's ashes was the delivery room on May 9th, and I never got to hold both of my twins. I feel like I have a missing limb sometimes when I hold my son.
Our son was only in the NICU for 10 days and is now a very healthy, happy 6 and a half month old. He is such a joy and I have been able to stay home with him (it was originally our plan when I was pregnant that I would go back to work). That does a lot for me, but it doesn't make up for the unexpected death of our very special daughter (other twin moms or moms with other children can relate to that horrible phrase "At least you have your son/another child" - NEVER okay to say).
We had an autopsy and our records have been reviewed by an independent expert witness, and it looks like our daughter's severe brain injury was due to some complications during the delivery. I'm mincing words, but it's apparent that my doctor made some poor decisions and that her death had nothing to do with her prematurity, as we were originally led to believe by the hospital. I pursued this largely because the hospital also gave us the impression I had had a placental abruption, but once I secured my medical records and pathology we found this not to be the case (side note: I recommend anyone seeking answers to get copies of your records from the hospital and your OB, just for your own knowledge to read if you're comfortable with that). Based on the large number of growth scans we had during the pregnancy for twins we know she had no neurological or congenital problems, and the autopsy confirmed that. We are going through a very difficult time with getting closure from the hospital, and for whatever reason I'm very uncomfortable talking about that. Some people interpret this as we are just bitter, jaded parents looking for blame and money, so it's easier just not to talk about it out of fear of being misunderstood. We just want answers and for the right person to be accountable for what looks more and more like a completely preventable outcome.
This loss has pretty much torn our families apart. My husband and I have grown even closer and seem to be able to grieve together, or be strong when the other is having a more difficult time. We've been able to find a balance as parents of caring for our son while mourning our daughter, and we feel strongly that our son's health and continued development is a reflection of that. My parents and some of my close friends have also been a great source of support. However, my husband's family and some of my extended family have truly been horrible. I have heard some cold, terrible things come out of their mouths. Often I dwell on those terrible things instead of thinking about some of the support I've received.
I've been seeing a counselor for the last five months - that's absolutely something I recommend. My husband is such a wonderful, strong man, but I know he feels some relief after my weekly counseling sessions where I can kind of burden an objective person. Lurking on this board has helped me so much to not feel so alone. After this first happened I felt like the only person in the world who had lost one twin shortly after childbirth, but I've since found some resources and met some other moms and while I hate that anyone could every be in this situation, it's brought me a lot of comfort.
I'm very thankful that this board was created recently, as I haven't been able to go to the boards I frequented before the birth (July 2011 and Multiples). Reading the Babies board, despite having my son, is often difficult too. I'm so sorry for everyone's losses and the daily struggles we face everyday that no one can even imagine. Thank you for reading - you are all in my prayers.