7 Days have passed since I went into Labor.
It’s Day 7 since their birthday.
It’s exactly 1 week since I lost my soul.
No woman wants to lose a child, let alone detail out how they miscarried a baby, how they lost a child to either stillbirth or a spontaneous labor, least of all me. Most of us suffer alone. I know I suffer alone; Feeling as though God and Buddha singled me out to punish us and only us. Feeling like somehow THIS is ALL MY FAULT. Feeling the weight of this Guilt every second of every day – all I feel is this overwhelming heaviness, darkness on my soul. My eyes reflect the lack of light in my soul; they’re dull, listless, and dark.
Well meaning strangers, friends, and family tell you: “this is just a cruel twist of fate…” A twist of fate! If this is fate, then I am telling fate, “Go fuck yourself, Hard.” This isn’t fate, this is a tragedy, this is unfair, this is unthinkable… My mind runs through a plethora of ways I would torture and kill Fate. If Fate is real, then fate is to blame for our loss. Fate took away the babies, we prayed daily for, hoped for, and had dreams for. I hate Fate and everyone who tells me that Fate dictates that these babies were just not meant to be. I want to claw and destroy each person who says this to me but I’m too dead inside to do more than turn my head away as they ramble on.
So why am I about to open up what’s left of my soul to all of you???
Because I want people to know the story of my Girls: Zoey and Riley.
Because I promised my daughters I wouldn’t waste the sacrifice they made for us.
Because maybe; just maybe all of this pain and our story will help someone else. . .
When I heard the words, “Congratulations, You’re Pregnant!” I could not believe my ears.
We’ve been trying for so long and I had all but given up hope. We were finally going to have our own family. A few days later, a sonogram would confirm that not only were we pregnant but we would be expecting twins! I felt my heart burst with joy.
With each sonogram we saw our girls grow from little beans into little babies. Our Zoey (Baby A – Closest to my cervix) was a happy jumping little bean – full of energy and joy. Every sonogram she would dance, wave, or kick. It was like she was saying, “Mommy, Daddy, Look what I can do!” Our Riley (Baby B) was chill and always relaxed. She had my husbands temperament, occasionally waving at us but mostly just hanging out happily in my belly.
We could not be more full of joy and excitement. We began to dream and plan for the future – Family vacations, Nursery designs. . .
Each sonogram showed healthy and happy babies, we reached our 2nd trimester with no issues and never did it occur to us that something would go wrong.
On Friday, July 29th – as we were at our 16 week initial anatomy scan, the doctors found a little bit of mucus in my cervix, Normal they said for a multiple pregnancy. So we thought nothing of it, and planned another check-up for the following week just to keep an eye on it.
BUT on Sunday, July 31st – I began to experience cramping pains that lasted from late evening til early morning. I woke my husband up and told him, “I think something is wrong. It doesn’t feel right.”
I had a gut feeling that something was wrong but didn’t want to believe it so I pushed aside my fears and told myself it was likely just round ligament pains from the babies getting bigger. He calls the doctors office to let them know we are on the way.
A sonogram is performed and we see 2 perfect heartbeats and active little babies. We both sigh in relief.
The doctor however looks very worried. I feel my blood go cold.
He tells us, “You need to be admitted into the hospital ASAP, your cervix has shortened drastically from 3.5 on Friday to .05 today. That’s a significant decrease in such a short period of time.”
He makes a phone call to the hospital to notify them we would be on our way.
I’m in shock. I’m afraid of what a shortened cervix means for our little family. Thoughts of miscarriage, and my babies dying flood my mind, but my husband snaps me back to reality and reminds me we shouldn’t think about the what if’s and instead focus on getting to the hospital.
We numbly walk to the car, he holds my hand as I weep, he helps me into my seat and we head off to the hospital.
Once we arrive, the front desk has no idea who we are. We are both scared and confused so we ask them to call our doctor because he asked us to come to the hospital and that the nurses and doctors are already aware that we would be coming. We’re finally let into the back. I’m asked to fill out a bunch of forms before a nurse will even take my blood pressure. I’m scared. My husband is angry that no one is helping us. Finally, we are taken to a room to change, and wait for a doctor. My blood is drawn twice – 6 vials each time and an IV is put in. We are still waiting to see a doctor. We’re both scared. My husband holds me but for the first time I find no comfort in his arms.
I rub my belly and tell my girls everything will be ok, but I’m not sure if it will be. 3 Doctors come in and tell us with a shortened cervix our babies are at risk and I’m at risk of going into premature labor. With our girls just turning 17 weeks, they would not survive the labor. I’m frantic, I immediately think this is my fault. What did I do to cause this to happen. The doctors are still talking but I only hear bits and pieces because I’m slowly maddening, my heart is breaking. They talk about potentially being able to delay the labor by giving me a stitch in my cervix called a Cerclage but won’t perform the procedure until they are sure there isn’t an infection and that I won’t go into labor that day. We are told to wait, and I’m admitted for overnight observance. The doctor tells me if I go into labor or have an infection there is nothing they can do – I translate this to my babies will die. She tells me the only way to know if I have an infection is if I allow them to perform an Amnio. I agree before my husband can protest. I beg God/Buddha to please let me be infection free. She returns with a long needle and a few syringes to collect the amnio fluids. I’m scared out of my mind but more afraid for my babies. I ask her again if it will hurt my babies. She reassures me that it will not. I’m skeptical but I let her go on with it. I see my Zoey reach for the needle and laugh at her playfulness but quickly replace my smile with a grimace as the doctor must reposition the needle so not to hurt her. I feel like a knife just sliced through my abdomen, but I don’t let it show. I don’t want to make it worse for my husband. I can already see the pain and fear on his face. He is afraid for me, he is afraid for our girls. They leave; taking the fluids with them and leaving us with unanswered questions and fear for our girls. I cry again. It seems I’m reduced to a weeping pile of flesh and bones with no other mode than crying and being numb. I feel sorry for my husband.
We are moved to the maternity floor. My cramping continues every 20-35 minutes. I tell myself it’s not contractions but inside I know it is. The nurses tell me to have hope, they’ve seen this kind of thing happen before and both mommy and babies survive. it gives me a small amount of hope. I pray again. I pray that my cervix will close. I pray that I don’t go into labor. I pray that I have no infection. I pray for my babies survival.
It’s 3 am August 2nd and I need to use the restroom. I’m used to peeing all the time so I think nothing of it. I feel a gush come out of me. I know my water just broke. I scream for my husband. I’m wailing, I’m crying. I know my girls are in trouble. I hate myself. The doctor arrives and confirms my water did break, she does a sonogram and says my Zoey has no amniotic fluid anymore, and her heart is slowing. She is dying. I feel a pain slice through me so deep, I have no words. I just cry, I let my tears pour down my face, into my ears, over my mouth. I hear myself wailing. I ask about Riley. The doctor says chances are slim she will survive but we need to wait til morning to see. Waiting again – that’s all they ever say. I want to scream at her. I want to rail at her and ask her how she could be so calm when my beautiful babies are dying. Instead I just clutch my belly and cry for my babies.
An hour passes and again I feel the urge to use the restroom. This time my Zoey comes out. I see her little hand and I’m screaming. I can’t believe my baby’s first view into the world is of my shit. I’m screaming for help. I am wailing for anyone, someone to come and save my baby. My husband runs to get the nurses. They come in, and see what’s happening and rush me to the bed. A doctor comes in, everyone is pinning me down. I hear the most horrific screaming, and wonder what kind of hell must that person be living that the screams would sound like that; only I realize it’s coming from me.
I’m drowning in my own tears but I don’t care. I’m begging them not to take my baby. I feel the doctor’s hands inside of me, I feel her hand in my most private of places. I’m screaming. I feel like I’m being torn in half physically. I feel my soul splitting and my heart turning into ash. My husband is weeping and saying, “Honey, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” The doctor tells me I’m closing up. I know this is true because I’m telling my body to hold on to my baby. I don’t want to believe she is dying. I don’t want to let these people take her from me. I feel the nurses holding my wrists and legs down because I keep trying to get away. they are pushing medication into my IV line for pain. I want to rip it out. I want to feel the pain because I feel I deserve to be in the most excruciating pain possible if my girls are dying. I curse the Gods. I curse my grandfather and uncle for not coming to help me save my girls. I’m taken downstairs to a labor and delivery room.
The doctor’s come back, they tell me the Cerclage is no longer an option, and that to avoid a serious infection I must induce labor and give up Riley. I don’t want to hear it. I refuse. But I think of my husband having just watched our daughter die, and then having to watch me die with our second daughter. I can’t do that to him. Even he who is stronger than anyone I know; would not survive it.
I agree to allow the doctors to induce labor, hating myself the entire time. Knowing that it meant the death of my Riley.
I force myself to take the pills they give me. I hate myself the entire time.
I’m more frozen inside than I’ve ever been. Something inside me shatters. I know it’s my heart and possibly my sanity.
Labor comes fast and painful…
I welcome the pain. I deserve it. My beautiful babies are dying.
I want my body to die with them. I wish the pain will snuff out my life.
But life is cruel. Somehow my body survives.
The doctors say, “You did great. Everything went perfectly. Even the placenta of both babies came out. You don’t have anything to worry about.”
I think to myself, “Great?! You call my cursed body pushing out my precious babies, killing them a great job done by all?!”
My husband is weeping but I have no comfort to give. This too fills me with guilt and regret.
They tell us the babies were girls, and hand us our babies. I can’t breathe. They tell me not to open the blanket for Zoey, they make me promise. I see her head is crushed, her little face is still perfect. She’s so beautiful. They give us Riley, she looks just like my husband. She even has his toes.
Grief engulfs the both of us and I think we both go insane. We cry so violently and with such force that I can’t breathe but I don’t care. My husband holds me as the nurses come back for the girls. It takes all the self control I have left not to throw myself on my babies. It’s his strength, his arms that keeps me from the darkest recesses of my mind and soul.
It’s in him that I’m able to share this now. It’s for my girls that I choose to want to get better, to regain my soul.
Forever in our hearts – my 2 little monkey babies – Zoey + Riley