Late loss, I just need to get this down.

(126 Posts)
hetsto Tue 24-Sep-13 17:11:11

I just want to get this down whilst it’s fresh in my mind and I remember as much as I ever will of what’s been a total whirlwind.

On the 4th May 2013 I discovered I was 7 weeks pregnant, with an expected due date of 15th December 2013. I wasn’t surprised, as I’d been feeling pretty sick for a few weeks and this continued until I was about 14 weeks, because of the sickness, I was offered a dating scan at 8 weeks, which I took and confirmed that everything was normal and going well. At around 14 weeks the sickness and nausea subsided and I started to balloon! Pregnancy suddenly felt very real indeed and it was pretty obvious to everyone around me; I spoke to my employer and they were extremely supportive, as were family and friends. I think most of them had guessed a few weeks before to be honest.

My partner and I both knew we wanted children and as I had previously been diagnosed with PCOS, we were advised to start trying ASAP as it could take some time and certainly wouldn’t get any easier as I got older. My partner was very kind throughout the pregnancy, and I knew he’d be a brilliant father.

I had the standard 20 week abnormality scan and after a lot of scanning around the sonographer told me I was carrying twins!

The babies were both on the small side but, more concerning was that were looking rather different to each other. They were sharing one placenta, but in separate sacs and one of them had less amniotic fluid than the other, so there was a risk of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. I had an appointment with a specialist at King’s the next to investigate further and discuss options. I was simultaneously elated and terrified! I’d been totally unprepared for the shock and had been rather blasé about the whole thing up to then, not really worrying about anything major and thinking about lovely things like whether to find out the gender and names etc. This felt like another level… TWO BABIES?!

I was scanned again first thing the next morning and we then spoke to a lovely consultant (all good things people said about the staff at King’s proved completely true by the way!) who confirmed that one of the twins isn’t growing as quickly as the other and it looked like they had TTTS. We were both pretty frightened but the consultant explained that we qualified for laser surgery to sever the blood vessels that the twins were sharing, and that we could have it straight away. We knew the surgery was fairly high risk but the alternative was to wait and watch things get progressively worse, so it was a no-brainer really. The staff were all very reassuring; we went for a little walk and then was seen for the surgery later that morning.

It was amazing to be able to watch the consultant working on the babies from the inside; he severed 7 blood vessels from the amniotic sack of the largest twin and then drained some of the fluid from that sack. It was all over pretty quickly and then I just had to wait a few hours before they could scan me again to check whether the babies were ok. They were still holding on in there with pretty normal heartbeats, so we were asked to go back the next week to check their heart beats again and see whether the smaller twin has started to catch up.

We weren’t out of the woods yet and the twins continued to be monitored on a weekly or fortnightly basis for the rest of my pregnancy, but it felt like we’d moved quickly in the right direction. It all happened very fast and at the time I was in a total whirlwind of shock and uncertainty, but I slowly got my head around what was going on and from there my pregnancy continued on a fairly normal route.

Sickness returned at around 23 weeks, I think just because of the pressure on my stomach to be honest, and the consultant told us that the twins were a little on the small side and needed to start gaining weight more quickly. I was given some anti-sickness meds and around the same time, the weather also cooled down and the sickness subsided. The girls then seemed to put on a huge growth spurt and my belly was growing at a rate of knots; I was feeling fairly frustrated by being unable to do everything I could do before and couldn’t move around very quickly, but really I loved being ‘properly pregnant’. My partner was also slowly gaining confidence during this time, having got over the shock of twins and TTTS; I felt that we were prepared for parenthood and would do all that we needed to do. I’d been pretty thrilled about being pregnant since the very beginning, but it was during this time, after the shock and worry had worn off, that I started to get really excited about the girls’ arrival – I was enjoying choosing names, sorting out our home, getting things ready and talking to all and sundry about being a mother. I’d been able to feel movements fairly early on in my pregnancy, which is apparently quite common with twins, and as they grew the movements became more and more obvious, I also started being able to differentiate between which twin was kicking where and when, which was pretty cool! I’ve always been quite an active person and I was convinced they would be too.

At 27 weeks, the Braxton hicks contractions that I’d been having started to become more and more frequent and, although never really painful, grew in intensity. On Thursday 20th September, in the evening I went into the early stages of labour, although I didn’t know it was that at the time. Luckily, I’d seen my consultant that morning and when I told him about the Braxton hicks he advised me to call the labour ward for advice if I was having more than ten in three hours. I rang the labour ward and described what was going on and they asked me to go in to be checked. My partner came with me to the labour ward, where was examined by a midwife. They monitored the girls’ heartbeats, the contractions I was having and checked my cervix. I was told that what I thought were Braxton hicks were actually labour contractions and that my cervix was 30% effaced and 2cm dilated. We went into panic mode again and I was given progesterone to stop the contractions as well as steroids to grow the twins’ lungs. I was kept in overnight, until the contractions stopped then was sent home the next morning and advised to keep movement to a minimum, to prevent any further dilation. As I said, I’m a pretty active person and I’m afraid to say that I found this a real challenge. My activity over the next couple of days pretty much involved walking very slowly from the sofa to bed, via the loo, a few times a day.

After a few days, at just 28 weeks, in the early morning of Sunday 22nd September, contractions started again and this time I knew exactly what was going on! They were much stronger than the week before and I struggled to speak or walk through them. My partner called labour ward and told them what was going on, before calling a taxi to take me to the hospital. When I arrived, it was the same routine as the week before; monitoring and cervical examinations but I knew this time felt different – I wasn’t in control of what was happening to my body and the pain was excruciating. This time I was fully effaced and 6cm dilated and I was told that they couldn’t do anything to stop my labour now. I hadn’t heard anything about the heartbeat monitoring and was focusing on getting through each contraction as well as starting to worry about the fact that it looked like my children were going to be born extremely prematurely. I knew the stats for babies born at 28 weeks as I’d spent a lot of the last few days on Google, and they weren’t good, but I was hoping that with their recent growth spurt and a stay in SCBU, we’d get through. The room then almost emptied and I was left with my partner, a doctor and one midwife; the doctor explained to us that they couldn’t find the babies’ heartbeats and there was a risk that they had already died. We all knew we needed to get them out as quickly as possible and I was told that C-Section would probably be the best way of doing that. By this point, I was pretty much just going along with whatever anyone was telling me, and trying to concentrate despite the contractions and enormous pressure down below. My partner looked ready to drop, but he was amazing and did his best to keep me calm. The midwife asked to examine me again before prepping me for surgery and it was all I could do to lie on the bed crying and writhing to be honest. Things had moved really quickly and the midwife told me she could see the head of my first baby; I didn’t really take in what this meant, but I was being told to push so I figured a C-Section wasn’t happening anymore.

It only took a few big pushes for Rosa to be born – she was floppy and grey and was whisked straight away to be resuscitated. We could see them working on her in the corner of the room, where two little cots had appeared and I’ve seen enough of ‘Midwives’ and ‘OBEM’ to convince me of the amazing things they can do with babies who don’t cry when they’re born. It sounds odd, but I found the sight of all the doctors and nurses around her hugely reassuring. Within what seemed like only a few minutes, I was pushing Eleanor out feet first and she slid out in one big push.

It was then that silence descended on the room and I started to feel really scared; I could see that both girls were hooked up to lots of machines and were surrounded by doctors and nurses and it didn’t sound like either of them were responding quickly. It must have been around this time that the placenta came out too, but I don’t really remember to be honest and I think the midwives were trying to quietly sort me out whilst we were focussing on what was going on, on the other side of the room. Eventually, I was told that Rosa had died and that although they were still working on Eleanor, it wasn’t looking good. They had used a pulse oximeter to measure the girls’ oxygen saturation levels and heart rates at birth and neither had heart rates. They had managed to get some oxygen into Rosa, but not to get her heart beating, so, when she was given to me to hold she was pink rather than pale. Whilst I was holding Rosa, Eleanor was delivered to my partner as well and we were told she hadn’t made it. We held them both for a while, which was both lovely and pretty awful.

They were so beautiful; tiny and almost translucent with skinny arms and legs. In lots of ways they looked more like tiny people than babies; their heads were in proportion to their bodies and they didn’t have the chubby baby look that full-term babies have. Both had black hair and blue eyes with little pointed noses and the most gorgeous little cherry lips you’ve ever seen. Obviously I’m completely biased but they were the cutest, most lovely babies and I just know they’d have grown to be beautiful, strong, wonderful women, had circumstances only gone our way.

I was kept in the hospital overnight and discharged yesterday morning. We took some time to ourselves and didn’t really see anyone until today when our families rallied; I was exhausted, sore and bewildered to start with and still am to an extent, but I just couldn’t bear to speak to anyone other than my partner until we’d had a bit of time to process what happened. Now there are jobs that need doing, like registering, deciding about post-mortems and arranging to say goodbye more formally. I found mumsnet to be a huge support throughout my pregnancy and wanted to share what happened, but I haven’t intended to scare anyone or suggest that this is normal – I know that many people have perfectly health twin (and singleton) pregnancies, births and babies, but unfortunately that isn’t how it went for me.

phantomhairpuller Tue 24-Sep-13 17:22:55

I'm so so sorry for your loss. I'm afraid I don't have anything useful to say, but I couldn't read and run.

RIP beautiful angels.

sad very sorry for your loss. Must be incredibly hard. sad

DaleyBump Tue 24-Sep-13 17:31:52

Hetsto, I don't have any words. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girls. Take good care of yourself flowers

EeyoreIsh Tue 24-Sep-13 17:37:37

so sorry for your loss, how devastating for you and your partner. Take care of yourself flowers

Rooners Tue 24-Sep-13 17:38:05

Oh my goodness sad

You poor, poor lady.

I am very moved by what you have written and it is clear that you would have been brilliant parents to your dear little girls.

I can't imagine how much it must hurt.

Sending love, and my thoughts are with you flowers

Ruggle Tue 24-Sep-13 17:40:47

Devasted for you! Sitting in work with tears in my eyes reading this.
x

chocolatefrog Tue 24-Sep-13 17:44:42

I am so very sorry at the loss of your beautiful girls. I can't imagine the pain you must be going through. Take good care of yourself x

nemno Tue 24-Sep-13 17:44:43

I am so sorry to read this. This is so hard on you and really unfair. I really wish you all the love and strength you need to get through today, tomorrow and onwards. x

kasbah72 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:45:29

I am so so sorry. Rest in peace little angels Rosa and Eleanor. You will always be your parents' precious girls and you will never be forgotten by those who have never met you.

Thoughts and love with you all.

onlysettleforbutterflies Tue 24-Sep-13 17:46:13

So sorry you lost your beautiful little girls Eleanor and Rosa. Xx

TweenageAngst Tue 24-Sep-13 17:48:40

I am so sorry to read this. What beautiful names you chose for your daughters. Wishing you much strength in your dark times x

bluebump Tue 24-Sep-13 17:55:58

I'm sorry for your loss. xx

sad!! So sorry for your loss!
Brought a tear to my eye

Your babies are beautiful angels now, just remember that!

Big hugs xoxo

Norem Tue 24-Sep-13 17:57:08

So sorry that your beautiful daughters died.
Wishing you lots of comfort from your family and friends for the journey ahead x

absentmindeddooooodles Tue 24-Sep-13 17:58:02

Im so so sorry to hear this. I csnt imagine how hard it must be for you both. Sending love to both you and your beautiful little angels eleanor and rosa xxx

Stom91 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:58:41

Oh hetsto. I am so sorry for your loss.
Sending you all the love in the world.

Heaven has gained 2 beautiful angels.
Thinking of you thanks
Xxx

WhisperMen Tue 24-Sep-13 18:03:41

hetsto I'm so so sorry to hear your news. You and your DP must be heartbroken. I am sending you all of my love and hugs. Be strong, we're all here on the december thread if you need us.

SweetieTime Tue 24-Sep-13 18:04:38

Hetsto sweetheart I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you have the love and support you need to help you and your DP in this most difficult of times. Beautiful names for your girls who will be in your heart forever.

stardusty5 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:08:12

I am very sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking x

Oh hetsto I'm so sorry to hear this, those are beautiful names for your lovely girls x thanks

LadyEnglefield Tue 24-Sep-13 18:11:32

So sorry that you lost your beautiful girls.

What a truly heartbreaking story. I don't know what say except that my thoughts are with you.

xx

Mama1980 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:12:53

I am so very sorry for your loss. Such beautiful names x

Platinumstart Tue 24-Sep-13 18:16:48

I'm so sorry for your loss.

You will never, ever forget and nor should you your beautiful babies, but I promise you your pain will get easier to bear.

When I lost my darling little boy I found sands a real source of comfort and hope.

Please take care

Luisa72 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:19:36

I am so sorry to hear of your loss of your two beautiful girls. Much love to you and your family x

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