I am the mother of fiveâ€”but I only get to kiss two of my children goodnight so far.Â I have two boys, Thomas and Henry, and two daughters, Bridget and Elsie.Â I also have another little boy on the way.Â Thomas is six, plays t-ball, gymnastics and thinks Justin Beiber is cool.Â Henry is three, adores his big brother, loves Mickey Mouse and is becoming such a little boy, no more toddler.Â Bridget and Elsie died an hour after they were both born. They should be nearly four years old.
It was my second pregnancy and we were shocked with spontaneous twins.Â Once the surprise wore off, we adjusted to the idea and to the never-ending question: â€œDo twins run in your family?â€Â
My twenty week ultrasound came and wentâ€¦ in this time weâ€™d learned the twins were both girls; weâ€™d just picked out names, the excitement was building, the reality settling in.Â Two weeks or so after my â€œgrandâ€ ultrasound I went back to my OB for a check-up.Â We did growth checks at each appointment and the girlsâ€™ heads had grown in two weeks, but not their stomachs.Â My doctor was concerned and sent me home on bedrest for two weeks. I never made it that far.
A little more than a week later I called my doctor at 5 am in the morning.Â I asked to come in and she said absolutelyâ€”call the office as soon as it opens, so I did and got an afternoon appointment.Â Around 10 am I called again and said I didnâ€™t feel right: could I come in sooner? They said yes.Â I left the house around noon.Â I wasnâ€™t swelling.Â I thought maybe I had â€œfloatersâ€ in my eyes.Â My urine was dark.Â I was bruising on my legs.Â Iâ€™d had a nose bleed a few days earlier that I had trouble stopping.Â There was no pain under my right ribcage, but I had had a pain in my right shoulder for nearly a week.
When I got to the doctor, I knew preeclampsia could be a concern because of the visual disturbances.Â My blood pressure was higher, but not alarming.Â I was spilling protein in my urine.Â My doctor sent me to the hospital and things went from bad to horrific.Â I was told I had preeclampsia and would be in the hospital at least a week.Â I was 24 weeks the next day at this point.Â Then my doctor and MFM came in the room.Â My MFM delivered the bad newsâ€¦ I was very, very sick.Â I had preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome (which I had NEVER heard of).Â I needed to deliver right away.Â If we chose to deliver cesarean, it would give the girls the best shot, but be very risky to me.Â I could bleed to death with my platelets in the 16,000 range.Â I could deliver vaginally and not attempt to save my daughters.
I had to call my husband over the phone with this news and we agreed the best thing to do would be to deliver vaginally, not risk all three of us and leaving behind our oldest son without his mother.Â From then, every kick I felt inside me was gut-wrenching knowing these little babies Iâ€™d tried so hard to keep safe were dying.Â Unable to have an epidural, I felt every push of labor, heard all the crying in the room from doctors and nurses and from my husband and me.Â We heard a deafening silence from our baby girls.
We held our daughters in our arms as they died.
I couldnâ€™t believe this had happened to me.Â I still canâ€™t.Â I recovered in the hospital another five days and went home to my computer and the internet for answers and my husband and my oldest son Thomas for healing.Â I will never understand why this had to happen, but I someday hope to know what happened to cause my body to betray me like that.Â I want to know how it happened and how others can prevent it.Â Reallyâ€¦ I want my baby girls backâ€¦ but Iâ€™m very blessed to have my own health and my sweet, perfect little boysâ€”both born completely preeclampsia-free.Â I am hopeful that Grady, our newest addition, will be born preeclampsia-free as well.