Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby B

I apologize in advance for the lengthy post. Chances are you know we are expecting baby #2 mid-March. I wanted to share the other part of the story that not many know. Some people may think it’s private and shouldn’t be shared. For whatever reason, I just don't feel that way.

At around 10 weeks, I was working on a normal Thursday when I (sorry if this is TMI!) had some spotting, which is not really what you want to see at any stage in pregnancy. Back at my desk, my phone was at 5% battery life. It was 4:30 so I shut down the computer, left work quietly, and texted Joel: “I’m spotting, low cell battery. Call the OB to see what we should do, text me back.” I then used what little battery life I had to call my parents to get them in the loop. Between all of us, we got the message that the OB said to go to the ER since their offices were closing for the day, and my parents would be waiting with Brady at our house for the plan of action while Joel came from Ames.

I drove the 25-minute drive from Adel to home as fast but safely as I could. A million thoughts went through my mind. I knew the risk of miscarriage was significantly greater in the first trimester. I don’t tend to panic prematurely – I am the type who tries to stay calm and cool until I know the outcome of a situation. But it was a long drive home.

At home we decided my mom would accompany me to Mercy West, since it was close by and Joel was not due home for another 40 minutes or so. Check in went pretty fast, and Joel arrived soon after I was admitted.

At the exam, everything looked good. We were waiting on the final piece of reassurance, the ultrasound, but due to some complication at the downtown hospital, we decided to go home after three hours and do the ultrasound in our doctor’s office the next day. We felt pretty confident that nothing was wrong, but still anticipated the results of the ultrasound.

The next day, the technician got right to work. After checking a few organ-type things, she focused in on the baby. She told us, “I have good news and bad news.” That was not at all what we expected her to say! She started by telling us that she didn’t see any concerning signs or sources of bleeding, and that the baby seemed healthy and normal for 10 weeks….but that we were pregnant with twins and, unfortunately, one didn’t make it.

That was…..totally unexpected. Aside from some several jokes on my part about carrying twins, (maybe I just knew??) we never expected to hear that kind of report. We could clearly see, though, the larger, thriving baby with beating heart, and the smaller, less defined baby measuring a couple weeks behind.

The tech left Joel and me, and we didn’t quite know what to say or think. We were sad and happy at the same time. What a strange range of emotion, to be relieved I was still pregnant, but to also mourn the loss of the other baby. While I’m not sure I would know what to do with twins, no one wishes for the loss of a child.

Healthy Baby "A" at 10 weeks.

Baby "B" at 10 weeks, stopped growing around  weeks.

The twins - you can definitely tell size and developmental differences.

We met next with an OB in our practice. He came in and didn’t quite look at our chart closely, making a couple errors. Most notably, he didn’t realize one twin was no longer alive, and he was just Mr. Jolly about the whole thing, asking us if we were surprised by the ultrasound and what not. I think he thought we were ungrateful and weird when we replied with melancholy faces and indifferent expressions. After he explained the whole twin thing to us for awhile, he finally flipped the chart and realized his error.

I was still unsure what to feel the whole time we were in the appointment. The hardest part was seeing the lost baby on the ultrasound and in the photograph. I did manage a little humor, telling Joel, “You know, Dwight was a twin.” Referencing a favorite show of ours, The Office: “Yeah I was a twin. I reabsorbed the other fetus. I now have the strength of a grown man and a little baby.” It made him smile, and I think he was glad to see I was doing ok with the situation.

We are now just weeks away from delivery. We weren't sure if we'd see anything of Baby B on the 20-week ultrasound, and to our untrained eyes, we didn't.

It’s a strange feeling, knowing we lost that baby. Many people who miscarry don’t tell people about it. I can understand why some would want to keep that private. For whatever reason, I think I’m the opposite. It feels unfair to just pretend he or she never existed. Most people would never know they lost a twin since you don’t actually miscarry the fetus. I’m so thankful we didn’t plan on having twins and then find out otherwise: we found out at the same time that we had two and lost one.

In the book Heaven is for Real, the author claims that his son met a girl in Heaven who was the miscarried child of his parents. That she was alive and well in Heaven, and anticipating the day her parents would get there and name her and meet her. I don’t know if that is true, if unborn children, who would never be viable outside of the womb, are in Heaven, but I like to think that could be the case. And maybe someday, we will get the joyful surprise of meeting a child we never got to hold and love here on Earth.

So, this is our recognition of little Baby B. We can't wait to meet Baby A in March :)

On a side note: our neighborhood has eight houses, with three pregnancies at once. The other two families are expecting or just had twins and, well, we were on that path, too. We marvel at how statistically impossible that is! So, I don’t know what’s going on, but if you don’t want twins, don't move here :)


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