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.

BranchingOut Tue 24-Sep-13 18:20:13

I am so sorry, how devastating.
Please take things very slowly.

PinkWitch803 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:22:35

Lots of love H. Your strength is an inspiration.

PistachioTruffle Tue 24-Sep-13 18:22:38

Oh Hetsto, I'm so, so sorry. What gorgeous names flowers

I'll be thinking of you.

I am so, so sorry.

Your girls sound beautiful.

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 24-Sep-13 18:29:09

I am so sorry for your loss OP. Your love for your beautiful girls shines through in your post. I'm so sorry they didn't make it.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 24-Sep-13 18:29:51

I am so very very sorry you lost your beautiful girls.

Hessy Tue 24-Sep-13 18:39:10

I am so sorry for your loss. Sending love xxx

RibenaFiend Tue 24-Sep-13 18:45:27

I am so so sorry for your losses. Be proud of yourself that you and your DP created two such perfect beautiful children.

Bless you. Thank you for having the strength to share your story. I will remember you and your family in my prayers.

Faith48 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:47:30

It breaks my heart to read this.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Your babies were too beautiful for earth and now they are two beautiful angels.

thistlelicker Tue 24-Sep-13 18:51:24

Sorry to hear of your sad news! Your girls sound just perfect!!! thanks

garlicbaguette Tue 24-Sep-13 18:59:57

Huge sympathy to you and your husband. What an ordeal.
Well done for writing it down. It's the start of what will be a long & difficult process.
Please be kind to yourselves and each other, and take your time.
flowers

MadameGazelleIsMyMum Tue 24-Sep-13 19:00:28

So sorry for your loss OP.

NomDeClavier Tue 24-Sep-13 19:00:31

hetsto I'm so, so sorry your beautiful twins didn't make it. You must be absolutely devastated and in so much pain. Sending you love and strength.

Sleep peacefully, Eleanor and Rosa.

violetbean Tue 24-Sep-13 19:03:20

hetsto, thank you for your supportive words and updates on the December 2013 thread, we are always here for you and I hope you have a lot of help and support around you to help you through this.

It sounds like you and your DH are both incredibly brave and very close and will look after each other.

So sorry for the loss of your gorgeous girls. Don't be afraid to seek help and to give yourselves time to just 'be'.

Much love.

pebbles1234 Tue 24-Sep-13 19:04:15

So so sad and sorry to hear of your sad loss. Thoughts and prayers to you all xx

Alyssa1978 Tue 24-Sep-13 19:04:52

hetsto

Words can't in any way express how so sorry I am for you that your beautiful girls won't grow up into those beautiful women they would have been.

No parent should ever have to go through what you and your dp have, thinking of you sweetheart. I am devastated for you.
Xxxxxxxx

Hesto I am so sorry to read about your heartbreaking loss. It has moved me to tears. I send you and your DP my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love to you all xx

I am here if you ever want to chat x

Patilla Tue 24-Sep-13 19:10:40

Beautiful names for beautiful girls. I pray that you don't walk this path alone but have all the support you need.

You describe your time with them so movingly your love pours from your words. You have been and are a loving mother to these two angels.

I pray they dance together in heaven tonight knowing that they were so wonderfully loved in their short time on earth.

abcdemma Tue 24-Sep-13 19:25:30

Hesto I'm so incredibly sorry for you and your DP.
I imagine no words will help but rest assured your beautiful angels will be watching over you and with you forever.
Thinking of you all flowers

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Tue 24-Sep-13 19:46:43

Rosa and Eleanor are beautiful names and they sound like beautiful girls. I am so sorry. Thank you for telling us about them.

Chilli81 Tue 24-Sep-13 19:48:38

Oh Hetsto - I am so incredibly sorry for you and your DP. No-one should ever have to go through that. I know from all the support you have given everyone else and your kind words on the December thread that you will make wonderful parents when you are ready.

TortoiseshellMillie Tue 24-Sep-13 19:53:49

I am so sorry for your loss. I don't know what to say, apart from that we are all here to listen x

Bakingtins Tue 24-Sep-13 20:01:01

I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. You are amazing to be able to write about it so movingly and coherently when it must be so raw and devastating. I expect you've been pointed in the direction of SANDS, but if not do contact them, they were such a help to a friend who lost a baby at 25 weeks.

Skygirls Tue 24-Sep-13 20:02:09

How heartbreaking. I'm in tears reading your story.
So sorry for you and your DH.
flowers

NanaNina Tue 24-Sep-13 20:04:49

Me too so sorry for you and your DP- a close friend had a stillborn little boy earlier this year, born at full term. She found SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity) very helpful, as someone has just mentioned.

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