The sad loss of my special boys
With every story there is an inevitable ending, in this case a sad one.
I have been writing my blogs on being single, high up on the career ladder, choosing to be a single mum, going through IUI at IVF Australia, my frustrations on Medicare rebate legislation and about being a career girl who wants it all and how getting pregnant and finding myself in a rare, high risk pregnancy, really put my life and its values into perspective, I have also continually harped on about how we should all hold true to our self-worth. Here's the real inspiration behind Mum Is The Boss...
My real reason for starting this Blog, was to have an outlet for all I had been through earlier this year, to remind myself of all the good reasons for starting this process and to be able to remember the journey - when dealing with grief you go into auto-drive and just survive for a while, now looking back I realise the enormity of what I had been through.
When I found out, at 9 weeks, that my pregnancy was in fact with twins and unfortunately a very rare and high risk twin pregnancy, MCMA (Mono-Chorionic Mono-Amniotic twins) - I talk about this in detail in one of my Blog Posts, I knew this was just the beginning of a long journey and one that, in hindsight, has taught me so much about the value of life and what's really important.
It was coming up to mid December and mum and dad were heading over to spend Christmas in Sydney. Christmas Holidays were just around the corner and I decided to tell my team at work that I might be coming back to work looking a little heavier! As I was already well into my 2nd trimester I thought it about time to share the good news. They were all elated and very surprised (knowing that I am single, career hungry and power driven) but also knew that this was a personal dream for me. So off I went for a 2 week Christmas holiday knowing that everyone that needed to know, knew that I was pregnant with identical twins. I was starting to try to relax a little and enjoy the pregnancy and was planning a creative Social Media announcement, for when I got to 20 weeks.
Mum couldn't help herself and bought the twins their first christmas present - very cute and can be seen in this image. Prior to my 14 weeks I had always been a little cagey about buying anything, so as not to tempt fate but the twins were doing so well and I felt good so the shopping had commenced - only a little though, I knew I had a long way to go.
Maybe I did tempt fate... At the 17 week scan, I learnt that my twin boys were going to be still born within the next 24 hours, just before they made it to 18 weeks. Their little hearts had stopped beating and being a "mum" knowing there was nothing I could do about it was just devastating. It broke my heart and really just broke me, as a person! I was beyond despair and sadness, I have never known heart ache and pain quite like this. And to be such a strong, positive character, I found it really difficult to deal with the enormity of this sadness and pain.
Up until this fateful day I was always a high risk pregnant mum and was having scans weekly, as I needed constant monitoring, so I knew how to read a scan at this stage and before the Doctor said anything, I just knew. I felt quite sorry for him, I could see he was trying everything to get a heartbeat and it must be quite hard to have to deliver that news, no matter how many times they have to do it. I was trying to be very strong and trying to reason with myself that I knew this was a big risk all along, there was always a high probability this would happen somewhere along the pregnancy... but it just didn't make it any easier.
We later found out that as they were stage 3 identical twins - MCMA, it meant that as the egg split too late, the placenta just wasn't big enough to feed both babies and that explains why they were a week behind in measurements - very little bubbas that just weren't getting enough nutrients. This news actually made it more difficult as they were otherwise healthy according to all tests, had it not been for an under-sized placenta that was really only designed to feed one baby, they probably could have made it a little longer and been born premature. But now I ask myself, what kind of life would they have had, there was a high risk they would have been starved of oxygen and that could have been a very different life to one we all dream of when being a mum, doubtless I would have loved them and cared for them just as much but we also have to believe some things happen for a reason...We live in a world of "what-ifs" don't we?!
Being pregnant with MCMA (MoMo) Twins was always high risk and one that I knew I was taking, however even with this knowledge I am still very certain that I made the right decision to keep them and hope for the very best, I have no regrets. I knew there was a very high risk of cord entanglement, Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, premature delivery and still birth, but there was also the positive side to look out for too and I am a glass half-full kind of girl. I was mentally prepared for any outcomes but I would never have been able prepare myself emotionally, it was categorically the most difficult time of my life, to say goodbye to my my sons - Sebastien & Samuel, who I never got the chance to meet, only to hold for a short time and tell them that I loved them and would never forget them.
I was so lucky that mum had decided to fly back for that scan, not knowing what the outcome could be, as I would never have coped alone and I was in shock, naturally. Dad was on the next flight over and helped with the crematorium and other arrangements, that I absolutely couldn't bring myself to manage. I just wanted my mum and dad there and they were there for me, as always xx
The cremation itself was just unbearable, as you can probably imagine. Carrying your baby boys in, filling out paperwork and deciding what kind of service you wanted, was just heart-wrenching. To this day the most difficult part was writing their names and writing "Mother" as my relationship to them, on the form.
Mum, Dad and I took the boys into the Chapel and said our final goodbyes, planted our very last kisses and I knew from that moment on Seb & Sam would be my Angels looking over me for eternity.
To be honest, what followed was worse, part of me just wanted to die with them, the boys were a part of me, I had felt them kicking for a good 2 weeks prior to losing them and was watching their development on a weekly basis. I knew life had to go on but was still in shock and was so very sad. Looking back now, that was a big ordeal and my heart and sympathy goes out to all of those mums and dads who have lost a child, no matter at what point or what age.
I had prepared myself well for being a single mum but I had never prepared myself for the loss of my babies and to be honest I don't think anybody could prepare themselves emotionally for something like this. I have never been a big crier; now I know why, it just gives you a headache and is exhausting! I have never cried so much in my entire life and hope I don't have to go through as much grief as that again.
What keeps me going, is the knowledge that I am very lucky to have fallen pregnant, to have had that experience of weekly scans and am very grateful for that.
Thank you for reading my blog and coming on this journey.
With love from me, Sebastien and Samuel xxx