Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The mystery I live in

I have had so many thoughts running through my mind lately that it's exhausting! I've been wanting to write them down but I feel like they all run together and I'm having trouble sorting them in my head alone on paper. David and I had coffee yesterday and he let me regurgitate my thoughts to him and that helped some.

So often I feel okay and then out of no where a sadness will come over me like a rainy cloud. I wasn't bothered so much by other women who were pregnant or had babies, but now it all seems painful. Not that I can't separate myself from them, it's more like a reminder of what would have been coming in a few weeks.

Another piece that I've been wrestling with is the balance between meaning and lack of meaning. At first when I came home from the hospital, the best way for me to think of what happened was that it's just life. Void of any supernatural or spiritual meaning or purpose. I feel like that was my reaction to growing up in the Christian faith, that says everything has a purpose or God has a plan. The way I saw it, was if losing the boys had a purpose or it was God's plan, then he (God) made it happen. If this was the case then I didn't really want to know this God. Though I am still not saying that it had to happen this way. Or that as some have told me, "God didn't want you to have your boys", which I just can't believe; somewhere there is meaning in some of it. I honestly don't know if it happened for a reason, or if there is meaning in its happening or if things just happen for no reason, or if nothing happens without a reason! I have no idea, but I'm still wrestling through this. I guess I grew up with one extreme of everything happens for a reason then I went to the other extreme recently that there was no reason this happened. Don't get me wrong I want there to be meaning in my loss, but I am uncomfortable at times with how that can be expressed through this whole conversation of God and his "plan". I'm not saying it did or didn't happen for a reason, but as things move and time comes, I begin to see things I never would have seen, and for this I am wondering if there is a reason.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dates, dates and more dates

They warned me from the day I left the hospital. I've read about it from others. You just don't know what it will feel like until it happens. Those days come, and they go and I'm still okay but they are painful. Today is the 2 month mark from the day I delivered the boys. Last Saturday, Valentines day was our "big goal". If we could make it to Feb. 14, 30 weeks, our boys would have had a fighting chance. Though time has been the greatest source of healing, it can be those days that provide healing that also hold a sense of emptiness. I've been told to be aware of feelings of sadness that may come as my due day comes near. I just didn't realize that all the dates that should have had a happy meaning, would hold the opposite. (Sigh) It's just been a rough day.

On a happier note, I've healed physically enough that I hit the slopes yesterday with my brother Trevor. We had a good time together on the mountain snowboarding...I'll post some photos from our trip soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Share The Road...

Last night David and I were driving on I-84 and a semi truck was passing us at a rather fast speed. Though not often, the highway was slightly crowded and David quietly under his breath, said "Share the road buddy." Him saying that reminded me of what our license plates look like. This specific use of the saying is a reminder to share the same road we drive our cars on with bicyclist and pedestrians. Often times we become too comfortable in our mode of transportation, usually driving, that we forget to be courteous to others using the same road. I've caught myself before, driving in a near "auto pilot" mode that when something unexpected comes my way, it can be a hindrance in my journey in no time at all.

Do you catch where I'm going with this idea?

Often we travel through life outside of our cars with the same mentality. We become so comfortable with our own ways of life that we don't recognize all those around us traveling the same journey just in different modes. This can cause segregation and division if we aren't careful to share the road. It may seem like a silly analogy, but I've found when we aren't considerate of those we journey this life with, we can miss huge opportunities for growth and friendship. Even if their style of travel looks different than mine.

I haven't written in a while and I am happy to say that I've been busy. I still want to take the time to sit and reflect on life and this journey of healing, but it has been nice to have a schedule again nonetheless.

In the past few weeks I've had coffee and conversation, or just conversation with those who live too far away for coffee, with a few people who have also walked this path of losing a baby (or babies). To you, thank you for sharing your stories and sharing tears. Though our stories don't look the same on every form their are so many similarities. Thank you for telling your story and listening to mine.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our Story

This week a woman that I work with at the Baker Food Co-op, told me that her friend had also lost twin girls to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Her friend, Tracey has been so kind in sending emails with pictures and pieces of their story. I wrote her an email this weekend about our journey with the boys and our battle with TTTS. I thought I would post it here for anyone joining this blog without the background of what went wrong. It's long so only read what you want!

For David and I it was our first experience of pregnancy. I found I was pregnant a few weeks after our 4th wedding anniversary. We were stoked! I was in finals week, finishing my bachelors degree, David had just gotten a job and we had bought our first house. There was so much excitement!

We live in a rural community and I was nervous about this since we had just moved from Portland and I was already missing the larger city amenities such as health care. I made an appointment and was told that we would only have one ultra sound and it would be at 22 weeks. I was okay with this but being so new to being pregnant and so excited I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to see our little one sooner or more often. My husband and I had one appointment then we went off to Europe for a month. I grew out of all my clothes during our one month trip and was surprised. I didn't think I would even notice a little bump for several months. At 14 weeks we returned home and I was growing fast! My doctor thought things looked okay. I even joked about the Doppler he did, asking if he was sure that there was only one heart beat cause I thought my belly was big. He said only one heart beat. We went to Portland to see some friends and saw a girl who was about a month further along than I was and she still had a flat belly, I looked about 5 or 6 months pregnant at about 16 wks along. People were teasing me about having twins and I never once really thought it was possible. Two weeks later I was getting nervous about things not being normal. I was sure that I had an infection or was farther along. I called the DR and they said I was probably okay but they would let me have my ultra sound early. The night before my ultra sound I felt the baby kick, even David felt him. We were so surprised! I knew at that point I was much farther along and that would explain the size of my belly. We were floored to find two babies inside the next day! We laughed and laughed all the way home from the doctors office...all day we just couldn't believe it. They looked healthy and we felt so blessed to be parents of two at once! We had our apt with our DR since he didn't do the ultrasound and he told us there were two placentas and that was good since things like TTTS can happen when there is only one placenta. I had read about TTTS during the few days between my ultrasound and DR apt and was relieved that this wasn't something we would have to worry about. Since we live in a rural location we were referred to a specialist 2 hours away for the following week.

We went to the appointment the next week to hear our worst nightmare. There was only one placenta and we were in the early stages of TTTS. How could this be...last week we were told that we wouldn't have to worry about TTTS specifically! We were again shocked. We were referred to DR Walker in Seattle for the laser surgery that week. We drove home and I cried the whole 2 hours. We had dinner with both our parents and devised a plan for the next day. We took off with my mom and the three of us made the 8 hour drive to Seattle. I was seen Wednesday morning and the surgery was scheduled for Friday morning. I was so nervous but we were so hopeful. I'm sure you know but we were told that 90% of the time one baby makes it and 70% both babies. Surely we thought the numbers could be in our favor this time. The surgery went well and after the long night of waiting to see if the boys made it through the night we could breath again when we saw two heart beats. During the surgery I was awake and David held my hand. We saw both boys by camera, I had met my children in the operating room and at that point I had never wanted anything so badly in my life. I pleaded with God, I knew these precious boys would have such a story to tell when they grew up. I wanted to have the honor of being their mother. Please God, please.

I was on bed rest just to recover from the procedure and would then continue weekly appointments with our specialist. They had drained a liter and a half during the process and my back pain wasn't so sever. I started eating as much protein as I could and I was pleased with myself every time I met the 176grams at the end of the day. I was gaining proper weight and was thinking positive about bed rest. Our first appointment after the surgery went okay. There wasn't much progress with the boys but nothing negative either. Their fluid levels had evened out, but the stress that their hearts were under hadn't improved. We thought we just needed some more time. My cervix had lost about 1 cm and was "beaking" . They didn't seem too concerned so I stayed on bed rest and continued with the diet. I had a couple of nights that the contractions had gotten alittle rough so I took the proper amount of terbutaline they recommended. It was time for our 2nd week apt and we felt good about things. The boy's condition looked slightly worse but we didn't understand what it all meant. Then they checked my cervix, it was gone and starting to open. I was starting early term labor and was once again shocked. Due to the intrusion to the uterus along with the dimming condition of the boys my body was doing what was only normal when things aren't healthy. We were admitted to the hospital to see what they could do. 24 hours after being on the highest does of terbutaline and some other muscle relaxant, the contractions continued. We started to realize the dimness of our situation. The next morning I was wheeled to labor and delivery and after 13 hours Quintin was born. He was laid on my chest alive but not moving. The tears started. Five minuets later Speedy was born. There on my broken heart they lay, both boys alive, but only for a short time. Speedy was making some noises and moving his arms and legs. He was the recipient baby, and his heart was very enlarged. He grabbed Davids finger and held on. We wept.

We spent the hour of their short lives with both our parents and two of my sisters and one brother in-law. At times it was overwhelming and we would ask them to leave our room periodically throughout the day, but I am so thankful they were there. It’s been seven weeks now and I feel that I am healing. The pain of coming home empty handed has been a journey. I still haven’t put the baby things away, but they are at least all in the bedroom we were setting up as the nursery.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lessons taugh by example


This weekend three friends from Portland took the time and energy to come to Baker and visit David and I. I meant alot that they would drive 5 hours to stay one day with us. Many times out of good intention we tell people that we are going to visit them, or that we wish we could spend time together. Well these girls showed me the importance of giving, and being on the recipient side, it was so wonderful. I don't ever want to forget how much it meant to have them here to share, laugh and cry. I feel like I was taught something important as well, I want to be there for others when they need a friend. I think about times friends have been through rough patches and I always count on someone else, someone closer, to take care of them. Thanks Jenn, Liz and Kaitlin for being such wonderful friends, and showing me how to care for others. Kaitlin, Greyson is perfect!

Jenn's kids sent a little care package with their mom for me. Her two kids wanted to send me a gift. Along with the gifts of lip gloss, a candle and a beautiful necklace, they had made cards. Her son wrote the card here. The honesty and sincerity of a child are beautiful. I was so touched by his card and his sense of loss. I think of all the people that I am sure wanted to meet my boys, and yet only a child has told me. As adults we lose the sense of freedom to speak honestly, we carefully calculate how we speak and how it will be received (which is usually good). In a strange way, knowing that he felt loss as well as I did was powerful and healing in itself. Though I don't want to be a child again, I do feel that there are some lessons they are much better at teaching.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going Back

As I sit here, way too late to have many thoughts that are of any use at such a late hour. David is playing a song on his laptop that brought me back a few years to when we were dating. He was living in Seattle, I in Winlock. He burned me a CD that I listened to constantly, partly because I liked the music, mostly because I was totally in love with the boy who gave me the music. A small smile made its way to my face. It brought me back to the days we spend our last waking moments of the day talking on the phone, dreaming of the day that we would be together, forever. His voice would make me fall even more in love, neither of us would want to hang up. We were hopelessly in love and no one could convince us of anything else. It's funny how a simple song can bring your mind and thoughts back to a different time.

Tonight as I sat bored during the 2nd quarter of the Superbowl game, my sleepy eyes and wondering mind woke up as the announcer said "speedy". I didn't catch the whole sentence, nor was I really paying attention as I laid on the floor in a blanket, but the minute I heard "speedy" my mind became alert again. I was brought back to a short moment of my life that I had with my boys. This is how it will be. Out of nowhere, words, images, thoughts, songs, ect. they will evoke emotion and memories. I will carry them with me always, more than I realized. I think it may be too late to make anything more of this realization. I'm tired and should rest this tired little head on her pillow and call it a day. It was a good one. I love you Quintin and Speedy, I always will.