Let me start by saying that I’m a Sonographer. I knew I was pregnant and knew it was twins very early – at around 5 and a half weeks. At 8 weeks I had it confirmed that I was expecting di/mo twins. It was very exciting for us since this would be the second set in our family. My sister has identical twin girls. My coworkers and I scanned my babies almost every day I worked. I know that is probably frowned upon, but it was just a quick peek to say hello, and (spoiler alert!) I credit one of these quick scans with saving my survivor’s life.
I had a normal appearing anatomy scan at around 19 weeks and we officially confirmed I was having boys. I began making baby registries with double everything and shopping for all my twin stuff.
On September 3rd, 2015 my fairy tale became a nightmare. My twin boys were diagnosed with TTTS. I was 22 weeks and 6 days pregnant. The doctor told us right then that we needed to get on a plane to one of the hospitals that does the laser photocoagulation therapy that day. We had no savings and no way to pay for plane tickets on a moments notice. My mom came to our rescue and gave us enough money to fly to Houston. Two days after diagnosis I had the surgery and both babies made it through.
Twenty-four hours after the surgery, during one of the routine checks, baby A’s heart stopped. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever heard anyone say, ” I’m sorry, one of your babies no longer has a heartbeat”. Elliot, baby A, was gone. Emmet, baby B was getting better, though. His bladder was visible the very next day. He had fluid around him.
I came home and tried to readjust to a life where I wasn’t having twins. I had to delete one of everything from my registries. I had to look at the matching outfits and decide if I could keep both. We told our 7-year-old daughter that Elliot was too sick to be born so she wasn’t going to get to meet him. My journey wasn’t over.
At 26 weeks my water broke at home one night. I was taken 2 hours away to a special hospital in Charleston that could handle premature babies, but Emmet wasn’t ready. It was Elliot’s water that broke and Emmet was content to stay in a while longer.
After being admitted for almost 8 weeks it was time for me to be induced. I was 34 weeks and at risk for infection. Forty-two hours after induction I welcomed my survivor and my Angel into our family after a last minute c section.
It was rough. The entire pregnancy after diagnosis was very hard. I didn’t know about the Fetal Health Foundation or any other organization that could help us. I was lost and didn’t have the resources I needed for my journey. My family and friends came to my rescue. We did the best we could. I now have support groups online and I am actively trying to spread awareness about TTTS to other sonographers and sonography students. I hope to help a family like mine someday. I am planning on doing a fundraiser at least once a year to honor my survivor and my angel! This year will be our first. I am a mother of twins.
I have two boys. Just because I don’t see one every day doesn’t mean he didn’t exist.
I wrote a few things for Eliot. This is one of my favorites…
Ten tiny fingers
ten tiny toes
Pale pink skin
little button nose
Your Berry-sized heart
could’ve fit in my hand
You left a hole in mine
That I can hardly stand
A Mirror image of your brother
with tiny wings so you can soar
I’m so proud to be your mother
For always ever more