Days later at my Dr's office we finally got to see, I was carrying not one, but two little sacs that would change my life forever.
All kinds of feelings I had, some good, some bad. I was scared as scared could be, how was I going to manage being the mom of twins?
Even though morning sickness was the worse, I was more happy than I had ever been. They called them A and
B and with that, our journey began.
This post is so hard to write, and I have postponed it for a while, but here it finally is.
Baby B was always lagging on growth, not a reason was found for that. The gap between A and B grew bigger and bigger as the weeks went by. Juan, my 3 year old, was a small baby, and since the twins were fraternal, I honestly wasn't worried. In my mind, nothing bad could ever happen to me. They appear to only happen to people I didn't know, stories on Facebook pages, random stories that friends told. I felt I had paid my due with every single bad thing that happened to me during my youth.
18 weeks and we already knew that I was carrying 2 precious boys, and my love for them just grew. As I started to imagine what they would be like, the things we would do and how they would look. I had all kinds of plans, you see, life was perfect, my family would be complete.
So at 18 weeks we had a scan and were told baby B was so small that he was probably not going to survive. I am a very optimistic person, and I still believed that things could change. Genetic tests came out fine and I just thought Marcelo was simply small. He had to be! Nothing bad was ever going to happen to me. Julian was perfect, he was growing on point. and their 20 week scan showed that they were both physically perfect, but Marcelo was still small.
At week 23 I had another scan. I was now a patient of Maternal Fetal Medicine because of Marcelo's size. And this is where it all went downhill.
"Your pressure is really high today" is all I can really recall from that day, except for the part were they sent me downstairs to be immediately admitted to the hospital for possible preeclampsia.
I was shaking from fear and in total disbelief, still I believed that everything would be alright. I mean, you read all the time of the signs you should watch once you hit the 20 week mark. I wasn't gaining a lot of weight or swollen out of the ordinary. And the little swelling I had I attributed to the summer heat and just pregnancy. I had a sinus infection and did have lots of headaches, but again, I thought it was because of the sinus infection, and they could've been, who knows anymore? The truth is that I never really thought I had preeclampsia or was really worried about it. But the fact is, preeclampsia is real and it can really kill. Oh! and I did! The tests confirmed it.
I had read about preeclampsia in my sleepless google sessions. But to me, it didn't seem as such a big deal, why? I really have no idea, maybe I'm just way too optimistic, very naive or borderline insane. But I never paid much attention to it. I hope I'm the only one who is this way, because this is a very serious matter.
Fast forward 5 days later and at 24 weeks and 2 days I developed HELLP syndrome, which is a very rare variant of preeclamplsia, according to the Preeclampsia foundation, HELLP stands for Hemolysis (the breaking down of red blood cells), Elevated liver enzymes and low patelet count*. At the same time, my blood pressure kept on rising and at one given moment my eyesight was completely gone, except for rainbow colored lights that were moving in front of a black background (that is the best way I can explain it, really).
C-Section time it was, and there was no way around it for me. I was immediately given another dose of magnesium, which I was on for the first 2 days that I was hospitalized. And I regained my vision. This was honestly the scariest, most dark moment of my life. And the thing is that I wasn't even thinking about myself, I could care less about myself! I needed to stay pregnant for at least another day to give both my babies a slightly better chance. But there was nothing to be done, off to the OR I went, and along with me, all my hopes and dreams.
Julian was born first and was immediately tended by the NICU team and taken almost as fast to the NICU. Marcelo was deemed to small to be taken upstairs so they handed him to my husband so we could spend some time with him. HOLY CRAP! How hard it was! we kept it together and talked to him, sang songs to him and prayed with him. He was as beautiful as an angel, and an angel he would be. We had the most amazing half an hour with him. We had been preparing for this and he got to hear our voices, he got to feel our touch, he got to be held by daddy and kissed by us both. And we got to love him, we got to fall in love with him even more. We got the chance to meet an angel in real life and we got to be grateful for his short but perfect life. We still are, I still am. I am in love with a precious little angel, who I can call mine.
I was unable to leave my bed for about 24 hours. My husband got to go and see Julian and spend a lot of time with him. He would bring an album full of pictures and I got to see how gorgeous he was. My little champ! He was doing great! We were just so proud! We still are. It must've been hard for him to be away from mommy after being a part of me for 24 weeks. But he was still a part of me, he still is, as when he was born, a part of his heart stayed with me.
Little Julian was with us for 2 days. My little champ's brain started to bleed and that's when we were called to see our second angel go. We held him so tight and gently. We sang to him the same lullaby his brother heard. He held our finger and with our finger he held our hearts. We counted his toes and fingers and kissed him a hundred times. I was now the mother of two little angels, who took a piece of my heart.
40 days have passed since their birthday. 40 days that I have cried. I loved them from the moment they were conceived, as we were trying to conceive them so hard. I got to feel their kicks and hear their heartbeats. But I never get to hear their laughs or feel their warm hugs. Because you see, I did not just lose two babies, I lost two toddlers, two teens, to grown men that I never get to see.
This is motherhood as no one should ever experience. Because even though they are gone, they are still here. I'm still their mother and they are still my children. This is also motherhood, but it is a side of motherhood that no one should ever experience. This is their legacy, as today I chose life and I chose love, as another angel mom told me not long ago. Their legacy will forever be love, and what can be greater than love?
*Preeclampsia Foundation (http://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/hellp-syndrome)