by Sara Middleton
The story of my twins begins with a surprise pregnancy. My husband James and I were very much in love but not yet married. James was attending college two hours away. From the moment I saw the results of the home pregnancy test and the nurse at the doctors office told us the results of the test were "definitely positive" our girls were very loved and very wanted.
The beginning of my pregnancy was very uneventful. Other than some swelling things were going very well. We had heard our baby's heartbeat and we were very excited for our first ultrasound. The day finally came, three days before our wedding. James and I were so excited yet nervous to get a peek at our baby and hopefully find out the sex. We sat very in the waiting room with videotape in hand. Finally we were called into the small and dark room for the ultrasound
Instead of calming any fears that we had this ultrasound brought on many more. The tech began the scan and showed us two little heads. We were having twins! James and I were very excited to hear this news. The tech sent James out to tell the front desk we would be a bit longer than expected. Soon after we received this exciting news and saw heartbeats and body parts for both of our girls we received news that was not very good. The tech told us that Baby A, Lauren, was about 30% smaller than Baby B, Colleen. She assured us that this was normal but wanted to send us to a perinatologist at the hospital to be checked further.
Several hours and many tears after my first ultrasound we sat in the waiting room of Dr. C., the perinatologist. Once again a tech took a lot of measurements from both of our babies and went to get Dr. C. Dr. C. agreed that there was a fairly large difference between the two girls. He told us a few things that could be causing this problem. We were basically given no hope for either one of our babies and told to come back for a repeat ultrasound. How could this be? We had just been told we were having twins and now being told we might lose one or both of our babies.
Three days after this shocking news James and I were married. It was a beautiful day and family and friends surrounded us. Our ceremony was beautiful and both of our girls were there with us. They kicked and squirmed throughout the ceremony. I am so happy that our girls were with us that day.
I received several ultrasounds in the following months. Each one gave us less hope for Lauren. Colleen continued to grow and develop right on schedule. James and I continued to keep hope for both girls. We thought that maybe Lauren was just small like me and Colleen was big like him. No matter how much we dreamed of our girls and made plans for the future Dr. C. continued to give us little hope while my OB Dr. D. was telling me everything would be fine. We refused to give up hope and I tried so hard to believe Dr. D.
On November 22nd I had an ultrasound with Dr. C. The tech started with Colleen as usual. She showed us her heart and went through all of her body parts. Then she quickly took a few measurements of Lauren and left to get Dr. C. I knew what he was going to say but could not bring myself to believe it. We had been to enough ultrasounds that I knew the number the tech entered were the same from the last scan and I knew that she did not show us Lauren's heart because it was not longer beating. Dr. C came in and told us that he was sorry but Lauren's heart was not longer beating. We were devastated. I do not remember the rest of the day.
At my appointment with the OB I was asked how the babies were doing. The OB had not yet received a copy of my ultrasound report. How heartbreaking it is to hear a nurse ask about our angel. Dr. D. told me that I would continue on with my pregnancy to give Colleen the best chance we could. They would continue to monitor me and I would receive another ultrasound to make sure that Colleen was not in any danger. I continued on in denial that one of my babies was no longer living. The next weeks are a blur to me. I so desperately wanted Colleen in my arms where I would know that she was okay.
On January 23rd Lauren was stillborn around 10:30 p.m. Colleen was born at 4:44 am on January 24, 2001. I did not allow myself to grieve for Lauren for quite some time. I focused all of my attention on Colleen thinking that if I was sad for Lauren I would let Colleen down. I am finally able to realize that no matter how happy I am to have Colleen my heart still holds a special place for Lauren. I have finally begun down the path of grieving and healing. I know it is going to be a long and difficult journey but I know that I will make it. I have taken a few steps backwards but I will make it. I am so proud and happy to have Colleen and I will always hold Lauren in my heart.
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