The days leading up to and including July 26th, 2014 are days that will be with me for the rest of my life. In April we were surprised to find out we were pregnant with our 4th child. It wasn’t that we didn’t want another child, but we certainly we not planning on it. We have 3 beautiful and energetic children, at the time, ages 6, 4 and almost 3. We had just moved from Alaska to Pennsylvania to be closer to family and were living pay check to pay check. A new baby just wasn’t in our plans. It was, however, more than welcomed and we knew we’d be okay.
I began to get pretty excited about adding a new little one to the family and we didn’t wait long to tell everyone. My mom, as with every other pregnancy, wished twins upon us. The kids were super excited to have a new baby brother or sister. My daughter, being the oldest and only girl, was praying for a little sister. At my 12 wk appointment, I discussed my problem free previous pregnancies. We heard a beautiful, strong and healthy heartbeat. The midwife and I agreed that unless I really wanted to, no ultrasound was necessary at the time and we would wait until 20wks to find out if we’d be having a boy or girl. My next appointment was scheduled for 18wks, when I returned from an out of state vacation with my mother and the kids. Unfortunately, that appointment never came.
At exactly 17wks, on July 23rd, the day we were leaving to head home from vacation, I woke up spotting. I called the doctor and waited for a call back. We packed up and started what would be our 2 day drive home. Mom drove and I just sat and tried to keep calm. By that evening the spotting had stopped and the doctor called back saying if it started again or got worse to go to the ER, otherwise, schedule an appointment right when we got back. That night I had the most awful dream that I miscarried and held a beautiful tiny little girl. I woke up in tears the next morning, July 24th, and just knew something was wrong. I had my mom drop me off at the hospital on the way home and my husband met me there so mom could take the kids home after being in the car for so long.
We went in for an ultra sound and were told by the tech that they could not give me any information about the scan. I would be going right over to the doctor’s office from there and he would talk with me about what they find. My mind raced as I lay on the bed trying to make heads or tails over what I was seeing on the ultrasound screen. To my surprise, I saw that I thought was two babies! As we left the ultrasound room I told my husband, “I’m not even kidding, I think I’m pregnant with twins!” Still nervous about what the doctor would have to say, we walked over to his office and sat waiting. Once called back, we waited a little more. The doctor came in and said, “I’m so sorry, but I have some bad news. You are carrying TWINS, but unfortunately you lost both.” They stopped growing at around 13wks. I was devastated. Twins, but we lost them both. The rest of the appointment was a blur. He explained the process of a D & C and we were given the choice to be scheduled the next day, or wait the weekend and go in Monday. We chose to wait so we had the weekend to just comprehend everything and “prepare”. I was scheduled to go back in on Tuesday, July 29th.
The drive home was an already long 40 minute drive, but it seemed even longer this day. We didn’t speak much, but my husband just held my hand and told me he loved me very much and whatever I needed he was there for me. We stopped at my parents’ house to pick up the kids and let them know what had happened. As soon as I stepped out of the truck, my mom, trying to be cheerful, asked “Twins??” I burst in to tears. We cried together and she just hugged me. The kids wanted to know what was wrong, so I told them that Mommy actually had two babies in her belly, but God needed them in Heaven. They would have two siblings, but they would be in Heaven watching over them. They were sad, but being so young, kind of just took it in stride. After that I just went home and slept. I began to regret not taking the D & C sooner and wondered how the hell I was going to get through the weekend knowing I was carrying my dead babies.
We spent Friday with my parents and tried to just go about the day like any other normal day. Off and on I was cramping, but nothing more than menstrual like cramps and didn’t think much of it. That night my parents kept the kids for us. At about 3am on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 I woke up with a horrible pain, and knew the babies were coming on their own. I went into the bathroom and as soon as I sat on the toilet my water broke and there was the first baby. It happened almost EXACTLY how my dream had been a few nights before, which made me feel that this was my little girl. I yelled for my husband who helped me into the truck and we were off to the hospital. Not too long after arriving, around 4:30am, my second baby was born. He was a little more developed than the first baby and now, thinking back, I feel that at my 12wk appointment, the one twin had already passed away and there was only one heartbeat. I held my babies for a while. It was amazing how developed they were for only being 13wks gestation. Little hands, feet, fingers and toes. Nose and ears developing, tiny mouths. We had the hospital Chaplin come in and he gave us a beautiful little “goodbye” service. He asked if we had named the babies, and feeling in my gut that they were boy/girl twins, we decided on Elam Hovey and Zoey Annmarie. We chose to have out babies cremated together. We signed the paper work needed to give the babies to the funeral home director. Shortly after the doctor gave me the okay, we were back on our way home around 10am.
It’s been almost exactly 2 months. Some days are easier than others and I still have many triggers, the biggest of them being when I see twins… I can handle being out and about and function like I need to, but when I’m alone, I still cry. I am so blessed to have the three living children that I have, but these twins were not unwanted either. I loved them from the moment those lines showed positive. Elam and Zoey will always be a part of our family. The kids ask about them almost daily. My daughter has even included them in a school project about our family. For the most part, my family and friends have been very supportive and I haven’t been forced or told to just “get over it”. I know there will be a day I will reunite with my twins. But until then, I will live life to its fullest, enjoy my living children, and look into the sky knowing Elam and Zoey are watching over us. My heart goes out to all of the families going through the loss of a child. You are not alone. Do not let this devastation control you. Live this life for your child. Be the voice that he or she cannot be.