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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.

angelopal Fri 25-Jul-14 08:35:13

Sorry for your loss and congratulations on your new pregnancy.

Not sure if you had any support from SANDS. On their forum they have a next pregnancy group which helped keep me sane during my pregnancy after a neonatal loss.

Hope it all goes well. My rainbow is now 5 months old and currently napping on me.

HilariousInHindsight Wed 23-Jul-14 17:47:08


I am so sorry for your loss.

My friends lost their little girl on New Year's Eve at 34 weeks - it's heartbreaking.

Wishing you all the best for this pregnancy.

HilariousInHindsight Wed 23-Jul-14 17:47:00


I am so sorry for your loss.

My friends lost their little girl on New Year's Eve at 34 weeks - it's heartbreaking.

Wishing you all the best for this pregnancy.

MeganChips Wed 23-Jul-14 17:28:08

Congratulations. I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful girls and I wish you all the best for this pregnancy.

I'm sure you'll make wonderful parents.

Picklepest Wed 23-Jul-14 17:26:14

Oh op I'm silent. I'm so sorry for your family. Love xxxx

longestlurkerever Wed 23-Jul-14 17:22:33

Sorry - I posted before reading your update. Wishing you every happiness in your pregnancy and for the future.

longestlurkerever Wed 23-Jul-14 17:21:21

I am so sorry to read this. What you have written is beautiful and has really affected me. My thoughts are with you, your dh and your beautiful girls.

Marmaladecat1 Tue 22-Jul-14 17:47:29

I am terribly sorry for your loss.
I have everything crossed that you have a happy healthy pregnancy.

thepurplepenguin Tue 22-Jul-14 15:52:06

hetsto I didn't read your story before but I just wanted to say how truly sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful girls. I hope your pregnancy progresses smoothly, best of luck for the future x

Greyhound Mon 21-Jul-14 13:42:59

Oh how unbearably tragic for you all - I am so sad for you.

hetsto Mon 21-Jul-14 13:37:07

Hi all,

I haven't been on Mumsnet in a long while, but just wanted to post here since I've been lurking for a few weeks.

Thank you all so much for these kind thoughts; you can't imagine how comforting they were at the time, and I wanted to let you know how much we appreciated all the messages, both on this thread and otherwise.

It's been a long dark road, and we still think of Eleanor and Rosa everyday, but glimmers of light are starting to appear now. We recently found out that I'm pregnant again, which feels very strange but I think we're ready for some happiness now and we're hoping against hope that things go better this time around.

Lots of love to all,

Het. x

(((( hetsto ))))

hetsto Mon 30-Sep-13 11:09:55

Thank you all so very much for your kind messages of support, they are very much appreciated. Life is a struggle right now, but everyone has been so good to us and I know that we will slowly regain strength in our little family.
Thank you all again.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sat 28-Sep-13 11:59:13

Keeping you very close in my thoughts. Beautiful Rosa and Eleanor. So very sorry.


NomDeClavier Sat 28-Sep-13 11:55:01

Popping by to say you, your DP and your girls are still in my thoughts and prayers.

TaytoCrisp Fri 27-Sep-13 00:54:14

hetsto so sorry to hear of the dreadful loss of Rosa and Eleanor. Such beautiful names. Sending you and your husband love, courage and hope for now and the time ahead. Xxxxxx

bellablot Thu 26-Sep-13 20:40:56

sad So so sorry for your loss. No words.

claire0605 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:26:29

You have such courage to write about your tragic loss, I am heartfully sorry for you and your family. I hope you find some comfort in these posts as I have after 2 miscarriages. Hopefully time is a healer and you can eventually see a positive future for you and your husband with hopefully children in it. All the best to you and thanks for

greentshirt Thu 26-Sep-13 13:32:10

How sad and awful for you, really makes you realise how fragile human life is. I hope you can find strength during this terrible time, feeling very sad on your behalf xxxxx

soimpressed Thu 26-Sep-13 09:30:43

So sorry for the loss of your beautiful girls.

SilverSixpence Thu 26-Sep-13 09:09:53

Your story brought tears to my eyes. So sorry for your loss.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 26-Sep-13 08:59:28

Big hugs lovely, so very sorry Xx

justhayley Wed 25-Sep-13 22:26:48

I can't even begin to imagine what you must be feeling right now. I read something once about our babies choosing their mothers before conception even if they know they won't live. It was truly beautiful. Your little girls will be with you forever and although its probably the last thing on your mind right now I'm sure you will go on to be a wonderful mother to some more beautiful children. Saying a little preyer for you Rosa & Eleanor tonight.
Rip little angels Xxxx

Wantohope Wed 25-Sep-13 21:59:00

So sorry for your loss and all the pain you're going through.

b0nker5Mum Wed 25-Sep-13 14:39:39

Thinking of you at this sad time xx flowers

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