Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our baby boy

Let me introduce you to Cohen John born April 24th, 2009 born at 4.16am. Vital statistics 7lb14oz, 53cm long and just gorgeous. Back in the maternity ward after recovery DH and Cohen are bought to me as soon as I arrive back. Straight away we try to breastfeed and he is such a little champ and latches on straight away. I am so glad, breastfeeding my baby is the only thing through his whole pregnancy I gave any committed thought to......I am so relieved he is keen for boob. After feeding, DH and I spend the day behind closed curtains sharing time with our son and doing skin to skin. The haze of the mornings events starts to clear a little bit. I can finally look at him and see that he is just the most perfect little thing I have ever seen and can't imagine anyone else more perfect then him. I think that is the moment I can actually pin point for sure that I fell into complete, utter, head over heals love, beyond all imaginable belief. That feeling along with some linger haze of events though has me thinking at times that someone will come around from behind the curtain and thank me for babysitting and ask for their baby back. But I know he is mine, I just don't want anything happening to him he is mine and he is here and is just my world.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You're about to meet....

So the decision was made that I would be having a cesarean and a date was booked. I can't say that the reality of having an actual date bought me anymore calm about the delivery of my baby. I just lived in constant fear that something, somewhere along the line would go wrong, that I would be told again I was fine when everything wasn't fine. Well as the universe would have it the stars aligned on a different date April 23rd 2008, my waters broke and our baby decided he wasn't going to wait around for another 2 weeks......it's show time.

I was laying on our lounge and DH was giving me a back massage as had been the case for many, many weeks at that point. DH had just asked me to turn around so he could rub the other side of my back when I said those words "my waters just broke". Straight away DH says "right what do you want me to do?" I just tell him that I just need a second to go to the toilet and get myself organised and then we will go from there. After which I call the hospitals delivery suite to advise that my waters have broken and I am having some pain. I am advised that due to eight babies being born in the last 2 hours they don't have a bed for me. I am told to give it an hour or two and then head in and they should have a bed for me then. We call our dear friend and tell her its show time and ask if she will drop over to get our spare house keys so that she can drop back by in the morning to feed our animals etc. She comes on over and spends the next hour or two trying to keep our minds occupied. I must add now, that although I knew logically that my waters had broken and I was in pain, I was in complete and utter denial that I was having a baby. Our friend assured me that it was show time, to which I kept telling her to shut up its not funny, I'm probably going to go in and be told its all in my head nothing is happening. But no she kept giving that look, to which I kept giving the whatever, shut up, leave me alone look.

Just when it was about time to look at leaving home to head into the hospital my back pain was starting to increase and I was more then happy to be on our way to hospital. Now some of the following hours are a bit hazy and I suspect a lot of that has to do with my denial of being in labour, I know now that it was my minds way of protecting me from further hurt. I can tell you that once in delivery suite and monitors are put on me I did ask a midwife what was happening to me (in other words was I going home). She confirmed no you are having contractions and yes you will be having your baby but it will be a while yet! Yikes are you serious? No, I tell her and DH this is not happening! This is not happening! This can't be happening for real, can it, I'm actually going to have a baby soon! To which I am assured yes, yes you are! The midwife who was appointment to me was the head midwife and understood my previous history and understood my mental and emotional state and was very gentle in her reassurance and approach to me. She understood my fear and my reluctance to accept the fact that I was in labour, and why I just wanted to run away.

The midwife arranged for the doctor to see me and when he arrived he was all humour and I was all not laughs. He really was sweet, but I was in no mood for games. He talked to me about my toe nail polish colour selection and proceeded to tell me that I had chosen a popular colour amongst delivery mothers that night ha ha ha I thought (not). The doctors humour does turn to business and he proceeds with an internal examination and confirms that I at least 5cm dilated. He and the midwife tell me that I am doing really well to of got thus far no pain relief, or protest for anything. The doctor speaks with me and asks if I still wish to proceed with the cesarean delivery or would I like to try natural. At this point I am so much further in denial after the internal examination that I am having a baby and such fear about things I tell him I have to go through with the cesarean I can't keep going on for hours with worry, trauma, flashbacks and pain and wondering if I will have a baby this time at the end of it all. He understands completely and advises he will start making the necessary calls and preparations for theater. I am advised that I am going to have endure some time yet of labour pains etc until theater will be clear for me to go down.

I can not tell you how much longer I waited before I started being prep for theater but I can only tell you that pain got worse. The only pain I had was all in my back now where else and I found it more traumatic rather then painful having been through this with Elle and Meg. Mind you I should add that the pain in my back, yes is the worst physical pain I have ever experienced in my life but physical pain took a back seat to emotional pain here. DH kept trying to rest in a chair beside the bed and I kept asking him to get up and rub my back when my contractions were causing me such intense back pain. The pain was intensifying to such a point I told him he was not to sit back down, because by the time he would get his arse out the chair and to rubbing my back it was too late. So DH does what I ask but rests his head on shoulder whilst rubbing my back. I can tell you for a short period of time just before I am taken to theater the pain starts to reach a new level where I am starting to panic about how painful it is and start saying things like I am going into the zone were I can't cope. I ask how long until I go to surgery, because I am starting to feel like I am going to lose control. My midwife suggests I try gas and I do it helps somewhat but I protest to DH that it feels like I have been out on a bender all night......to which he finds that entertaining. Its announced its show time they're taking me to theater, I ask if the gas is coming with me, to which I'm told no it has to stay here for the next person.......ohhh noooo, how am I meant to cope. Well of course I do cope, through verbal support from DH and my midwife.

Sitting on the cold hard table crunched over with the midwife holding me whilst others work on putting a needle in my back to administer the spinal block, my midwife asks how I am doing. I tell her I am having a contraction, it passes and then I tell her this is not happening and tell her I would like to get off the table and leave. Of course that's ridiculous I can't, I'm about to have a baby. I can't really recall much in the way of sounds and sensation whilst they are cutting me open, I guess that's because of my denial. I know I hear the docs say they have him out and I ask if the crying I can hear is him, is it my baby crying, is it a good cry, is he alright? Through tears DH assures me everything is fine and he is just so, so, so proud of me. DH goes over to the nurses whilst our son is being swaddled and then my son is bought to me and a see him properly and touch him and kiss him for the first time. I don't get much time with my son and DH, as he has to go to the nursery whilst I am stitched up. I'm in a daze though, has this all really happened, do I really have a baby......I must say in those moments in recovery it was the first time about 16 months I experience complete and utter relief.

So there you have it on the morning of April 24th 2009 at 4.16am our son was born.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Round two....

Well you've been introduced to Lacey and perhaps you have an understanding how she fits in on the Journey to Bliss. Well our dear Lacey was still a pup being kept indoors when we confirmed two cycles after losing Elle and Meg that I had fallen pregnant again. Lacey had gone from being DH's lap dog of sorts to laying on the lounge at night with her head and ear on my tummy. Being so young and not long weaned from her mother we think she had sensed that I was with child and was now wanting to spend every moment with me and would follow my every move.

Only weeks into the pregnancy and I was back at the docs with various concerns and symptoms and being told yet again with this pregnancy I had an UTI. My doctor looked at me concernedly and said that it was imperative after all that I had been through in recent times that I rest and give myself a chance to get back on top and give this pregnancy the best chance possible. She was insistent saying I must take a further month off work. When it come to approaching work on this matter, although they had been supportive through all my other woes they felt that I really needed to look at concentrating on work or my family. The initial decision was stressful having to confront a change in finances but after what we had been through who wouldn't give it all up just to concentrate on baking a bun in the oven and doing everything one could to realise that dream. So the decision was made that in the following 10 days I scaled my work back and left my job that I had been at for 5 years.

I left my work in November of 2008 and was not due to have my baby until April/May of 2009. Within the first 16 weeks of this pregnancy I had four bouts of bleeding that warranted rushing off to the hospital to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC). It was during one of these dashes to the hospital when I was fearing the worse and a repeat horror that I was treated so callously by a nurse. Her job as a EPAC nurse is to see to women in early stages of pregnancy with concerns about bleeding etc. She had access to my file could see my history, my recent trauma and proceeded to tell me after a scan where it was confirmed that the bleeding could not be explained but my baby was fine, that I needed to get a grip on my trauma over the girls pregnancy. She continued to tell me that I needed to learn what was worth worrying about and not worrying about with this current pregnancy and then berated me about how I had taken a time slot in ultrasound that could have been otherwise been taken by someone who's pregnancy was in a lot more precarious situation then my current pregnancy. It is beyond all imaginable belief that anyone, any health care professional could be so cold and callous after the trauma and tragedy I suffered to talk to me in such a way. I was in no mental state at the time to take on a fight with her, people normally don't get away speaking to me like that. However I had to make a decision what was more important; remaining calm and focused on my pregnancy or going to war with her. Don't worry later down the track, complaints were made though!!!!

We decided that the stresses and concerns over this pregnancy and the impact of the girls loss potentially on this pregnancy was something we needed a second opinion on. So we decided to call our grief counsellor who had a few connections on the Gold Coast and was able to get us into one of the best if not the best OBGYN on the coast. We went along to our first appointment with this doctor and spoke at length about the girls pregnancy and concerns relating to the current pregnancy. I spoke to him about my GP's concern of a possible underlying issue of an incompetent cervix. He listened to all our concerns and was so understanding and gentle with us. He explained how he oversees many twin and high risk pregnancies and with well over 20 odd years experience he was confident with what he was about to tell us. He told us from everything I had explained to him it was without a doubt in his a opinion twin to twin transfusion syndrome that ultimately saw my pregnancy end with the girls. We were so thankful that we had finally found someone who was willing to commit to a reason to what happened, it oddly made us feel better and took some weight off our shoulders. The weight that was lifted off our shoulders was also attributed to the fact that he didn't see any reason why the girls loss should have any impact on my current pregnancy, and couldn't see any reason why I shouldn't carry to term.

We continued to see this private OBGYN on share care with the public hospital, he took us on a special case as he knew my emotional stability was a concern in this pregnancy given that I had some bleeding concerns. But ever time I had to see him for a check up or a concern he had the most calming way of dealing with my feelings before I even voice them. I guess so many years experience he just knows the right things to say at the right time. I had the public hospital high risk OBGYN overseeing my pregnancy due to my mental and emotional state and also had the assistance of the maternal social worker. These three health care professional along with a few other staff in the public hospital became an integral part of our support team for the remainder of my pregnancy.

As my pregnancy progressed the high risk OBGN at the public hospital started to speak with me about labour, things started to hit home. Up until this point in my pregnancy I had been non-committal about everything, out of fear of making any decision or choice regarding my baby again and it ending badly. Ever time I tried to think about labouring my baby naturally trauma and flashbacks to the pain and horror I experienced with the girls would flood back to me......EVER time. I was given the option to consider a cesarean delivery and was given a week to give them an answer. After further consultation with anesthetist about spinal blocks due to concerns I have with a back condition, I was assured of being low risk of any issue with my back and an decision was made. I decided that the best option for me to protect my mental health, therefore having me in the best state to care for my baby was a cesarean delivery. Had I never suffered the horror of losing Elle and Meg I would never have ever entertained a cesarean delivery. I have always wanted to be the one to delivery naturally with no pain relief, breastfeed and cloth bum my babes, but some time life throws you challenges and you got to find the best way around them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just things I want to share.....

I didn't return to work for over a month after losing the twins. One I wasn't ready to and two I had a workmate who I had to share an office with who was due to have her baby any day. I wasn't prepared in any case to return to work until she had left for maternity leave. During the time I was off work DH had no choice but to return to work, he runs a business with his father. I had to start forcing myself to be able to cope without him. DH tried his best each day to get his work done and get home to me a soon as possible each day. Some days I would call him several times and just be in tears and need to hear his voice, it sucked. That's not to say that every day I felt like that but some days I did and some days I had good days. Good days gave me confidence that there would be other good days. But in the early days I could have a good day or two but then the rest of the week could be a battle. Sometimes it was so consuming I would just mutter the words "I just don't want to breath anymore". On one of those good days that DH was working and I was all by myself at home, I got a feeling. This feeling was just telling me it was time, it was time to confront some of the hard stuff. I opened the nursery door and stood at what should have been my twins cots. I picked up a package that we were given on leaving the hospital it was something I had sad yes to wanting for record of my babies. It was my babies blankets, caps, tags, footprints, hand prints and a CD with their photos.

You see when I was unable in the middle of all my trauma in hospital to commit to seeing my babies they offered to take photos and do this package up. So here I am at home by myself and I sit down at our laptop and look at my babies for the first time. I know straight away from looking at them that they are girls, my little girls. You see, although they were pretty certain in hospital that they were girls we were still waiting on my 6 week check up and chromosomal testing to come back to confirm for sure so we could name them for certain. I didn't need any of that confirmation I just knew, I guess a mother just knows.....doesn't she? They had beautiful long necks like their mumma, I look at them and they are all swaddled up sweetly in their baby blankets and little caps on.....they just look asleep, like sweet little angels. They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I compose myself after a little while of silent tears and call DH to tell him that what I have done. He is so proud that I have been able to do that, he tells me that he won't be looking at the pics as he saw his babies once in the hospital and he doesn't know if or when he can ever do it again....it hurts too much. I feel proud of myself that I have been strong enough to take this leap and I prove to myself that I haven't died of sadness in the process. DH and I decide that no one else except for us will ever see these precious keepsakes or photos of our babies. We feel that since we were robbed of that moment where mum and dad, see their baby/ babies for the first time, its our way of keeping something just for us. We have had friends and family ask to see the photos and keepsakes, and everyone has been told that its "our precious memories" in lieu of those moments in the delivery room for the first time with your baby/babies. A few people have been funny about our unwillingness to share, but that's not our problem frankly.

I eventually return to work after over a month off, it sucks I don't want to be there the first week is terrible. I spent many moments in tears at work, but in some respects although I loathed being there it helped get my mind busy again. As I felt I had nothing much else to focus on, I just started putting my head back down and bum up and kept showing my strong work ethic I have always demonstrated. Two weeks back at work and I had to take a day off work because we were having my 6+ week check up and results from all our testing and babies testing. I knew that it was going to be an emotionally charged day being confronted by everything again in a medical context (smartly we lined up a counselling session for afterwards). The doctor we see is a funny looking guy who looks more like a crazy artist then a OBGYN. We are told because of the type of twins I carried and the rarity of carrying them (1 in 10,000 chance of conceiving mono-mono twins in the first place) that its too hard from them to say that any one thing was the cause to us losing them. He tells us that one twin was a little smaller then the other. Other confronting stats are given to us like the likely odds of carrying mono-mono twins to survival..... 50/50. This fact makes it hard, real hard to bare......you feel like you never had much of a chance from the get go. We are assured that there should be little if any impact at all on subsequent pregnancies. We are just told over and over that its just one of those things and there is nothing that could have been done.

We leave the appoitnment mostly feeling relieved that we can now most certainly call our babies by their names Elle Samantha and Meg Melissa. We are still sadden though that we feel as though we still have no real answers, it doesn't help fill the void of unanswered questions. We have our counselling session later on and debrief the information we have and rejoice in our girls names and agonise at having no real answers. But for the main part today is special in that our darlings have their names now. When we got home my dear friend has left a gift bag at our door. I had text messaged a few close friends after our doctors appointment to announce our little girls names and ask that they have them in their thoughts and prayers that day. I collect the gift bag from the front door and my sweet darling friend has given us two small cherubs just perfect for our garden by "the girls tree" (the hibiscus tree I spoke of in an earlier entry). Also in the gift bag is an antique Tibetan bell I can't explain how but it just gives me hope......it makes sense to me, it might not to others but that's ok.

Our day ends by talking about our discussions with the doctor he told us at the appointment that we could start trying again as long as my cycle has returned of course. We knew even in the earliest days of our devastation that the right thing for us, and what felt right for us was to start trying again as soon as we could.........and a good thing that we do just that!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time to help myself!

I will go a little off track to share with you some of my actions in my early stages of grief. I will list some of the things I did and felt, but I did them because I knew no other way of making myself feel better and to regain some control of my life.
* Within the first few days of being home and when I had enough strength I cleared out my wardrobe. I felt that I had to rid myself of any and every item of clothing that I had worn at any point in my pregnancy with the twins. I mean everything down to my underwear. I felt that I couldn't have items that if worn again would trigger memories of being pregnant with my babies or worse cause what I thought could be bad energy for trying for another baby. I made DH go and by me countless pairs of fresh, brand new underwear. He watched me spend money to replace my wardrobe I only had a very few items that I hadn't worn during the pregnancy and actually fit my in between figure now.
* I avoided situations where I thought I might run into people I knew. I didn't want to have to explain myself. If I saw someone with a twin pram I would turn around and walk in another direction.
* I couldn't look at other pregnant women, I couldn't hear news of someone else falling pregnant. I could barely hear people talk about their children.
* I had the interior of the house painted because I needed a fresh start in the house.
* I made DH do things that I couldn't do myself (things that I knew would bring on trauma) out of the belief that I thought if I did it, it was going to cause me further sadness and bad luck.

These are just some of the things I did to name a few but the last point is a pretty serious one which had me confronting some truths about my whole life. I had read an article about a woman with OCD but her OCD wasn't an urge or need to clean. Her OCD was about ritualistic thoughts and urges that if fulfilled she thought would cause or bring bad luck to her or loved ones. I couldn't believe what I was reading, the article was talking about me. I had been much like her in many of the ways described in this lengthy article throughout my whole life. For me it had always been at a manageable level and no one and I mean no one not even DH knew of this issue in my life. The only times where it had been an issue was during stressful times and upsets in my personal life. During those stressful times if I couldn't fulfill tasks because of these thoughts other bad behaviours manifested in others ways to avoid the fear of being found out. After losing my babies all these issues started to manifest to such a point that I could no longer live with the amount it was consuming my life and the effect it was having on everything. I was relying on DH for everything and I had to admit to him that there was something about me after all this time he didn't know. The night that I had to sit him down and show him the article and tell him how it felt like me in the article and admit that things I had been asking him to do were out of fears that if I did them I would suffer. He was wonderful and supportive and said that we would do whatever it took to help for me. We addressed these issues with our grief counsellor who had some experience with OCD issues coming on after traumatic events. With her assistance and more reading and cognitive exercises I was able to get a handle back on things and was able to stop relying on DH so much and regain my independence. Sometimes even now 20 months after losing the twins, I have times when these OCD ritualistic thoughts and tendencies pop up. But now I am able to be open about these feelings coming on and we manage it together.

Sunshine when you least expect!

We pull into our driveway DH says to me honey it might just be best for you to get into bed and take it easy. I get out of the car and walk out of the garage across our front lawn to the mailbox. I think DH expected I would have just walked straight on into the house and to bed. But I walk gingerly to collect the mail, clearly something that hadn't been done for several days. I see an envelope that is addressed to me but not a bill or something else I normally expect to see. I open it, I HAVE WON seriously can you believe at a time like now, I HAVE WON something, it's a competition a had entered and forgotten about. I have have won a dinner for two to the value of $100 at a local Indian restaurant. I walk up the driveway tenderly and wobbly, I'm crying and DH is asking what is it. I just say to him isn't it strange how when you just think there is no light, no hope, no nothing after everything you are reminded that there is light and fortune for you.

I stop at the internal door to our garage that leads into the house and remember that the nursery is in the house with 2 cots set up. I tell DH that he must go in first and close the door to the room as I just can't be confronted by that just yet. DH calls out from inside the house "Ok Babe". I walk in and I am dumb, this moment is meant to of gone differently, I am meant to be carrying my babies into the house. I walk to the kitchen and stand supported at the bench and look out into our garden. I feel a lump in throat, and burning in my eyes it's coming, I have seen something that has set me off. DH some time ago had planted hibiscus trees in our garden and we had been waiting and waiting and waiting for them flower. We would often go out into the garden examining the trees for signs that we would be getting flowers. I remember about a week prior to losing my babies I had been in the garden checking them out and there were no signs for buds. Damn it, stupid plants I thought at the time....we are never going to have flowers. Well I can not explain how this is possible but as I am standing at the kitchen bench being engulfed by emotion I am looking at the tree that is outside our bedroom window and its centre branch and at its very tip is a flower, one single bright yellow hibiscus flower. As bright as a new day! It meant something to us at that moment, it felt like a message.

Our first night home together alone in our devastation was exhausting, we couldn't sleep in silence. We resorted to playing DVDs over and over again to send us off to sleep in bed together whilst we held one another. If one of us woke, we both woke we could cry, I would howl, at points I screamed so hard and so loud that I thought I would break all over again. I cursed, I asked why us, I damned others who didn't care properly for the children they have. This went on for days, I spent the first few days in bed and not really wanting to do anything, but I felt so weak. I felt weak from the devastation but alot of it had to also do with my recovery from general anaesthetic. I never respond well to being under general and it is generally a week long process at least to regain some physical normalcy. I would shower and have to sit down, I needed my DH for everything.....I couldn't bare to be alone for more then a few minutes at a time. I didn't want something else bad happening to me and him not being there. DH had already showed his measure as a man to me in his actions in our marriage, but his care of me in this time showed us a depth in our marriage I could never of imagined. It surprised us both that in our devastation that we were being shown new levels and depths of our love and commitment to one another.

I am starting to jump around a bit now in relaying events to you, but I think that's because for weeks after I came home minutes, hours and days had little meaning or importance to me. I didn't care what day it was, or what time of the day I would do something, I would eat (if I could) in the middle of the night. Some nights I would wake from a short burst of sleep having being woken by flashbacks and DH would get up and make me a cup of tea and some toast and we would talk and start watching a DVD at some stupid hour until we were groggy enough again for sleep. As you can see from this entry you can see there were moments early on where we could see and acknowledged signs of hope, but those moments were often engulfed by heartache sooner or later during the day.

I have been through difficult times in my life previous to this event and I knew back then that I needed help and had sort out counselling many years earlier for a period of a few months. I knew how beneficial it was to me at that time in understanding what was happening in my life then, and why it was happening. I knew even before I had left the hospital I was going need to best help possible this time, I knew that I couldn't do it alone and if I tried to this time I would break forever if I didn't get help. We therefore sort out the assistance of the best grief counsellor we could who specialised in helping parents with pregnancy loss.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Awake......do I really want to be?

I am back from surgery in my private room the same room in which only a little while go was a war zone and my babies birthplace. I am groggy from surgery, sick from drugs, sick with sadness and complete utter devastation. DH is there waiting for me and the nurses kindly tell him that he can stay the night with me so that he will be there for whenever I need him. I need that more then anything else, something that is painful to this day is that he wasn't with me in that moment of my life when I needed him most. It's not his fault, it's no ones fault.....it's just one of things that he wasn't there. Perhaps for his emotional well being maybe in the long run it's a good thing he wasn't there.....I don't know, we will never know. So DH spent the night we both dropped off into some type of slumber every now and again, through exhaustion and desolation. It was a terrible night the darkest of my life, broken by nurses checking my obs and me requiring assistance with various things. All the nurses were so sweet and gentle with me and DH, we couldn't of asked for anything better in such a horrible situation.

As morning started to break I had a nurse come in to check on me yet again. I don't know why or what came over me, but there was some calm and sense to what I proceed to ask her. I asked if she would pull back the curtains on the window just enough so I could see the sun coming up. She looked at me strangely but followed through with my request. DH asked how I was and through tears I say to him, "This is so hard to say but today is a new day and laying in a darkened room isn't going to give me hope for the future." That same morning a social worker by the name of Maia comes to see us to discuss what will happen now. She is such a sweet and gentle women and we feel calm in her presence. We are advised that because our babies have fallen just shy of 20 weeks their births/deaths won't be registered and there won't be any formal burial. She advises however that we have the option of cremation and the ashes to be returned to us to do what would like with them or a communal cremation. The communal cremation involves our babies being cremated with the other babies born too early that month and their combined ashes interred at a memorial garden at the local cemetery.

Although we are given time to think about it we didn't need it, DH and I both look out the window at the sun coming up on a new and beautiful day and know that our little ones must be with the other little ones to play free in the garden. Maia sits and speaks with us for ages and provides us information on all sorts of avenues for grief counselling and on going help. She leaves us that morning as the blood collection lady has come for my veins. We have agreed to a whole array of testing on both DH and I and our babies to ensure that there are no on-going chromosomal issues that will effect us trying again for a family. The rest of our day is spent, trying to rest, crying, grieving, aching and waiting.........I want to go home, this place hurts too much, I can hear other women and their newborn babies crying on the ward.......I don't want to be here, let me go home.

Thankfully my discharge is arranged for late that afternoon, although I am very physically weak I don't want to be there anymore. Before discharging several of the nurses who attended to me during that critical moment I lost my babies, pay us a visit. They sit and talk with us and cry with us and somehow amongst it all we try to be hopeful. Karen, my Karen I now call her, what a lady she holds us with no boundaries and speaks with us softly and kindly. She passes us a card and tells me, to wait until I am home and ready to read it.......I guess its too painful for both of us, who wants to of witnessed such an event in someones life. I inform Maia on her final visit to us that day that I can't walk out of this room and be confronted by mothers and fathers roaming the halls with their newborns, it's too much, it's too painful. It is decided that I will be wheeled out in a wheelchair, I put on my i-pod with music blaring in my ears and looking down at my lap......my lap of which only 24 odd hours ago I could only see partially. We leave and as I am wheeled nurses touch my arm, offer a hug and kiss on the head, a sorry, a frown.........thank god I'm going home.

Did they try to say goodbye, Mummy!

Before you proceed in reading this next entry, I must warn you that I have not hidden any detail about the trauma of loosing my babies. If you don't feel you can handle it, I would warn you now that it might just be easier for you not to read this entry. However if you do read on through this entry I will be honoured to of been able to share my story with you. I hope if you have suffered as I have that my story/our stories help us not feel so lonely about these moments we re-live.

My first night on the maternity ward, I can't tell you how much sleep I got but I can tell you I got enough to have a dream. This dream will stay with me forever and what I think it ended up symbolising to me later. Throughout the pregnancy I had thought that my twins were boys and therefore why they must have come to me in a dream as boys so I would understand. In my dream my grandfather (I call him Pop) was there, Bengt my DH and my twins (who's names if born boys were to be Cohen and Frazer). In this dream we were in the hospital on the maternity ward and my pop and DH were dotting over Frazer making baby sounds at him. I had taken Cohen off for a walk and propped him up on a pillow and a chair. That's when in my dream Cohen spoke to me and said "Pop and Dad are silly, don't they know that Frazer can talk." I don't remember any other details of the dream, but shortly you may understand why it had so much impact on me.

Other then having enough sleep to have a dream there really wasn't much other sleep that night due to being uncomfortable and having to use the toilet often and nurses coming into to do my obs. DH came back into the hospital that morning as soon as visiting hours allowed, he spent time with me and I was examined again by another doctor. I was told that I would be going downstairs later that day for a comprehensive ultrasound. I had asked if DH could attend the ultrasound as this was possibly the chance we had at confirming the sex of our twins. At the ultrasound the twins were showing strong heartbeats, my cervix was looking good, the twins were moving around but moved around so much that we couldn't get confirmation of their sex. So once again I felt assured that I had seen the twins on the ultrasound and they appeared to be fine. It did nothing for the pain I was suffering but I just tried to take solace they were ok and still something just not be right with me.

On my return to the maternity ward I am advised that they are changing me to a private room as I need to rest and they don't think its fair to me having to share a room with new mums and crying babies. I am thankful for the consideration and tell DH to go home everything is fine and I will try and get some rest. He asks me if I am sure and I tell him that I am in the best place if I'm not right and the twins are fine and tell him to go home and rest. Later that same afternoon I have one of my dearest friends come to visit me. I try my best in my ever increasing pain to catch up with her and listening to her updates. I keep excusing myself to use the bathroom and at one point just ask her to stop talking as I try to get a handle on the pain I am suffering. I decide at this point I can't handle it and I buzz the nurse in, her name is Karen. I tell Karen that I understand that I have had pain medication an hour ago but the pain is unbearable I need something else. She quizzes me about my pain and I just keep telling her its in my back and it is sooooo painful that I am going to loss my mind. She asks me if I think I am having contractions, if the pain comes and goes. I tell her since I haven't had a baby before I have no idea if its a contraction, its just pain in my back and it is the worst thing I have experienced. Just at about the time Karen decides she will go and speak to someone about my care plan, "I say hold on I feel like I just passed a clot or something". I tell her I'm going to the toilet! She tells me that I will just wait a second whilst she gets some gloves and she will come with me.

Now this is where things get hard to write these series of events........this is sooo hard, my breathing as I am about to type this is picking up and my heart is racing. So here goes.....

I get off the bed and I look back on the bed and I see a small wet patch. I recall not thinking to much of it and proceed to the toilet in my private room with Karen with me. I sit on the toilet and a big gush comes out, Karen who is now kneeling down in front of me says "Is that a pee?". "It doesn't feel like it", I say. Then the worse moment of my life happens I feel my body loose, and the life and literally the lives inside of me gush out of me. This is sooo hard to re-live and tell people!!!! I scream the most primal scream one could ever imagine, I believe I kept screaming and screaming no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. My nurse is witnessing this, my girlfriend is 6 feet away watching her best friend go through the worst moment of her life. I hear my friend scream "Please help." My girlfriend is pushed out the room and my room is filled with nurses. They are trying to get me to move off the toilet, I can't, I am like stone, I am a dead weight......I just can't I tell them. I don't know how but they were able to remove me from the toilet and onto my bed. My room has more nurses, more doctors in there. I am being poked, prodded, jabbed with needles. My husband is called by my screaming girlfriend out in the corridor and god knows how he makes it to the hospital in 8 mins flat (should have been at least 20min trip). He drives to the hospital not even knowing what has happen, other then being told to get there now. My poor DH walks into what I could only describe for him as being a war zone. I lay on the bed him hugging me and I am sobbing and saying "I'm sorry, I am so sorry." My placenta hasn't come away and the nurses and doctors are watching the clock and taking count of blood loss. I'm asked if I want to see my babies, they have been retrieved from the toilet and have been swaddled up like you would a newborn baby. I am in so much shock, I can barely breath, I just keep crying I can't, I can't, I can't. My DH decides he will and goes to the corner of the room with another nurse, I see him stand there with another nurse with her arm around him as he looks at his children and the love of my life is sobbing. This just hurts so much more now seeing my DH in this pain as well, I feel like I want to die. The call is made by the team of people in my room that I must go to surgery now, I must now have a D&C as my placenta just won't come away and I am suffering too much mental trauma. Off to theater I go and to sleep I am put for them to complete the procedure, Karen had come down with me and DH and gave DH support once I was wheeled away.

In that moment I could have gone to sleep and not cared if I ever woke up again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Things start to get heavy.....

Firstly I have been stalling somewhat about getting on with the next chapter in my journey with the twins! I thought I would give myself a break over the Christmas/ New Years break from confronting it in word. However I feel like I need not have bothered as I today I am having a bad day as it is, I figured getting on to my blog may just help work the feelings out and allow it pass soon. So here we are the next chapter.......

Second last week of May 2008 and I was starting to struggle and not feeling right. I had sharp pain in my back, I felt as though I was running hot and cold, I was going to the toilet even more then what I would of expected with my pregnancy. I took myself off to the doctors and after checking me out and with my symptoms being ambiguous he treated me for what he thought was an UTI. I spent the follow 36hours trying to rest but in a lot of pain, the pain got worse and I was started suffering pain on my stomach. We had called the doctors office and advised of my concerns and that I wanted to come back in but was told I wouldn't be able to see anyone until late that afternoon. Sitting at home waiting for the afternoon to come and the pain I was in was increasing so much so to a point that I just felt so concerned that an ambulance was called to take me to hospital. I spent 8 hours in emergency that day waiting around and being checked out by several doctors etc. I had a fast scan by the bedside done which confirmed our little ladies (although we didn't know they were girls at that point) were moving around just fine and they were all good. I felt assured by this and felt that if everything was ok with them, there just must not be something right with me. The whole emergency department visit resulted in them not being able to explain what was happening to me and sending me home. I was told that if things got worse or I had discharge etc to come straight back.

What I am about to say I kick myself for but foolishly the next day I dragged myself into work, I didn't want to be there but I was trying to do my part (perhaps another downfall on my part trying to be too much of a team player). I came home from work that day and literally said to DH I am having a shower and getting into bed. I had dinner in bed and rested the night away in total and complete discomfort. Note I said rested, because there wasn't much sleep. I even tried sleeping in the recliner that DH had shifted up into our bedroom for me....no such luck. At around 6am I get up to use the toilet and find that I had some pinkish discharge. I realise this could be cause for concern but could also be completely normal for my pregnancy, I try not to let my thoughts carry away. I go about my business and get ready for the day and pop into the work before doing anything I go to the toilet again and there is more pinkish discharge this time. I call DH and the ER and I am told to go straight back in. I spend the day in ER being tested and all regular stats being monitored. We wait all day until early evening when finally and OB doc is free to come down and see me.

Finally we are sitting with an OB doc she has checked me out and done another bedside scan and internal exam and makes the decision that since its my second time to present at the ER in the matter of days I would be admitted so they could get to the bottom of things. She is a lovely Doctor and proceeds to have a very serious chat with us about our pregnancy. She advises us that there will be no chance whatsoever of a natural birth because of them sharing the same sac and placenta.....they are each others life line for survival. I will be having them by cesarean, we are told that unless I go earlier I will be extremely lucky to make it to 30 weeks (at this stage I am somewhere between 18 - 20 weeks) and if I do the docs will not let me proceed past 32 - 34 weeks. She also warns me that I wouldn't be having these babies in this hospital but I would be having them in Brisbane and I would be with my babies in Brisbane for sometime.

Wow that is heavy information to digest but we are still positive and optimistic and we are up for whatever it is to bring our little ones safely into this world. Maternity ward and doctors debate about whether or not I will be admitted on to the Maternity ward or regular ward as they have a policy that you must be clear of 22 weeks. But the decision is made and assume ably because of my high risk status that I will be admitted to maternity I send DH on his way home and I try to sleep that night on a ward with other mums who have just had their babies.
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