This story isn’t a happy one.
I wish it could be. I wish I could tell you that this was a story with a happy ending. People may judge me and say it’s not over yet; but they’re wrong. That happy ending they’re so optimistically thinking of and hoping for can’t be told yet because it’s story hasn’t started. I’m here to tell you that. I’m here to tell you of the story that isn’t happy.
When I was 16 years old, I found out that I had primary amenorrhea. Before I was diagnosed, I remember being in a doctor’s office -nervous and scared. They told my mother that I didn’t have an uterus or ovaries -that instead I had two blood clots. I needed to go to a specialist. Thankfully, that specialist laughed at the photos they had diagnosed me with. He explained that those blood clots were my ovaries, and that a small faint object in the photos was my underdeveloped uterus.
Over the years, I developed. I was able to get my period by taking birth control. It gave my body the missing estrogen it needed to have its cycles. Throughout this time, I sort of prepped myself for the fact that I would never be a mom. You know, just in case. And even better, I tricked myself into believing I didn’t want kids. It almost worked.
Years went by, and then I met your father. Boy oh boy, did I fall hard for him. He had the kindest disposition, and the prettiest blue eyes this brown-eyed girl had ever seen. A lost soul -people would call him. But… I found him, and together we started on a very long road to our happiness.
Last year I told your daddy that it was time to start trying. My doctor told me that I needed to start trying with the help of fertility treatments -sooner rather than later because I wouldn’t have the ability like many others to say ok I’m married, and I want kids two years apart, and I want kids at so-and-so age. Your dad didn’t seem so keen on the idea at first. No, at first, he kept saying that there was so much more he wanted to do together before we had kids. I had to remind him, through tears, that I didn’t have that option. It was now or never.
So, after one failed IUI, we got pregnant in January on the second cycle. With not one baby, but two! Oh, how excited we were. Daddy said it was the happiest day of his life, when I called him while he was at work. For some odd reason, I wasn’t too excited. I had done too much research, and I read too many horror stories of miscarriages to be announcing it at the top of my lungs. In fact, we had a scare at 14 weeks. I thought I was having a miscarriage, but we found out it was just a “vanishing triplet.” A week later we did what all our friends and family would do, and we posted it on social media. I was just starting to really embrace being a mommy of twins. I was convinced that it was fraternal boys.
Then things started going wrong. At our 16 week scan, your daddy and I went to find out if I was right about having two boys. Instead, we left in tears. Baby B was in distress. It’s sac had ruptured. It was curled up in fetal position, and I was so sad that my baby was suffering. After careful consideration and thought -hearing out our options -we thought the best would be to make sure you would remain safe. We terminated Baby B.
It took me a month to stop grieving the loss of Baby B. Eventually, like they say, time heals all wounds. I started to take a different approach to the situation. I was so excited for you, Toren. That made Daddy happy too. He started working on your nursery, and I started putting together the baby registry. I was stressing over which stroller to get. How silly had I been!
On my 35th birthday, I had a routine cervix check. I went straight from work. Previously, everything had been great. You looked great at your 20 week scan, and my cervix hadn’t budged. Unfortunately, my cervix showed signs of funneling. That night I was put on bed rest, and I was going for a follow up 4 days later. I remember thinking it would be fine.
As your Mama and I headed to the follow up appointment, I remember telling her, “I have a feeling I’m not coming home. I don’t know why, but I just have this feeling.” Boy, was I right. I was in labor. In fact, I was 3 centimeters dilated. They wanted me to terminate you. I wasn’t having it. I was 23 and 5 weeks pregnant with you. Instead, we had an amniocentesis done, and there was no signs of infection. They hooked me up to some magnesium, and they were able to stop the labor.
Hospital bed rest. That’s what happened next. At 24 weeks, the doctor came in and said if you and I could make it another 4 weeks, I would be able to be on bedrest at home. I remember three days later, I was crying because I was so utterly homesick. Daddy was sending me photos of your fur brother and sister. I hate myself for that. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for that. I wanted to be home so badly. All I can say now is: Be careful what you wish for.
It wasn’t even a week later, and my tummy hurt. I told the nurses, and they put the monitor on, but they claimed I wasn’t in danger of having contractions. In fact, your heartbeat was coming in strong. That feeling of safety ended quickly though. The doctor came in and checked my cervix. I was 6 centimeters dilated. I was in labor again.
By the time I got to labor and delivery and my OBGYN came, I was 8–8 1/2 centimeters dilated. It was either going to be an emergency c-section or a vaginal birth. I can’t tell you the back and forth that went on -trying to figure out how we were going to proceed. In the end, the doctor broke my water, and with that your head popped out.
You were out in three pushes. In fact, my little bullet, you got your nickname at that moment because you flew right out to the end of the table. The NICU team came in and they took you away. Daddy cried tears of happiness and uncertainty. I was in disbelief and completely uncertain.
Forty hours later, Daddy and I were holding you saying our final goodbyes. In the end, it was an infection that took you. One that seemed to have been caused by Baby B -which had affected me and you. You entered this world like a bullet, and you left like one too.
Today, I would be getting ready to leave hospital bed rest tomorrow. My heart hurts. It’s been 4 weeks, and I don’t want to live. I don’t want to leave the house. I don’t want to see babies. I keep asking why -out of the 10 pregnant people I know that are due around the same time as me- it had to be me? Wasn’t losing your sibling enough? I probably wouldn’t get out of bed if it wasn’t for your fur brother and sister. Some days I cry more than others. I’m mad at the world. I don’t believe in good. I don’t have faith.
Your daddy has been as strong as he can be. He’s been a rock. Two weeks after you passed was Father’s Day. He went to pick up your ashes from the funeral home. He’s never been a fan of Father’s Day. Now, he loathes it. I don’t blame him. I hate every day without you.
It’s a story I’ll never forget. One that will always make me cry. It makes me miss your tiny hands grasping my thumb in the NICU. It makes me angry. It makes me feel empty. And this is the story that doesn’t have a happy ending. But, it’s your story, and oddly enough I love it.