Christine’s Story

My journey into motherhood started off… well… interesting. My husband and I knew we wanted kids. But I was starting to become hesitant about timing in 2020 when I was a full time COVID ICU nurse… I had two pregnant moms parish that I took care of. One with child and the others baby was saved by emergency c-section before she passed. The world scared me. It still does honestly. I also started my master’s program that next year and timing seemed off to try to start having kids.

So through therapy and a lot of soul searching. I finally decided that life was far too short to put off dreams- we started trying to have children fall of 2021. I realize how triggering this may be to some because we found out we were quite fertile. I got pregnant two months after coming off birth control. But unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage a week after the positive test. It was then when I truly learned how much I wanted children, when a glimpse into a dream was shattered. I know it was only a chemical pregnancy but I mourned the loss of the dream with a lot of anxiety. 

So we kept trying and in January 2022- we had another positive test. This time I had my HcG levels checked and they nearly tripled upon reassessment. My mother who was a midwife guessed I was pregnant with twins. Valentine’s Day 2022- we found out she was right. I was pregnant with mono-di (identical placenta sharing with two sacs) twin boys.

I was so cautious to be excited that first trimester. I was also very ill. I lost 15 pounds quickly. Finally around late second trimester I was feeling beautiful in my skin and just amazed by my body. I felt powerful and happy and so excited to be a twin mom. We were able to see the boys every two weeks on ultrasound. We were closely monitored for fluid levels and growth. The boys seemed to stay in their spots pretty religiously- so twin A – who would have been born first and was near my pelvis was named Jameson and twin b- who was cradled under my diaphragm was named Finnegan. 

28 weeks came and my OB third trimester visit was good. Heartbeats heard on Doppler and I was sent on my merry way. My next visit was the Friday the following week. However the Monday after that visit- I was laying in bed confused by the boys movements. I never felt them very well and I never knew who was moving. But for some reason I had a lot of anxiety. I called my OB- and they suggested drinking some cold soda and giving it a half an hour and leave it up to me if I wanted to come in. I somehow talked myself into the fact that I was over thinking and I’m sure they were just fine after I felt some more random kicks. (This is something I will regret for the rest of my life).

That Tuesday I started my one of three night shifts as a RN. By Thursday I was feeling terrible physically and that night I had a really tough patient assignment. I hadn’t slept well and I was cramping and I knew I was constipated so I blamed it on that. I didn’t sit down until 1am (starting at 7pm). I drank some water and put my feet up but the cramping was becoming intense. I called one of my good coworker friends and she was the one to get out of me that these cramps were every 5 minutes and far beyond Braxton hicks. She dragged me to OB triage. 

When we got to triage and they were trying to place monitors on my boys and I was trying to brush the whole thing off. And it was taking them a while to find twin a. They had me call my husband just in case and I’m glad they did. When he arrived they were doing an ultrasound. They found Finnegan just fine. Once my husband sat down with me- the three providers that were looking turned off the ultrasound and stood at the end of my bed and told me there was no heartbeat on Jameson. 

I’m sure this is where the community can all agree that this was the worst pain in my entire life. The scream that came out of me and the shock that broke my soul was something NO ONE should ever go through. I made them show me because denial was immediate. 

From there- I shoved everything deep into my heart and focused on Finn. I had to make sure I didn’t loose him. My birth story of Finnegan and Jameson is tragic. The following 48 hours after we found out we lost Jameson was grueling. I continued to contract and labor despite magnesium. I got steroid injections for Finn and I didn’t sleep one minute- obsessed with his heartbeat on the monitor. It was the only thing keeping me going. Sunday at 1am when I finally dilated to 4cm and Finn’s heart rate was getting a tad slow- we went for an emergent classical c-section. I remember my OB looking over the curtain telling me that this incision was emergent and needed due to the position of the boys. I will never be able to VBAC. Of course Finn’s survival was priority at this time and I agreed. 

The silence of when Jameson was born first was deafening. The nurse made eye contact with me and I wanted to see him. And she showed me his tiny beautiful face. Thankfully- Finn came out screaming and had a high APGAR score for a tiny 29 weeker. They let me touch him once. And they let us take one family photo together with Jameson before they rushed Finn off to the NICU. My husband followed them. 

The anesthesiologist that was on let my mom in and helped me hold Jameson while I was closed up. I sang him lullabies and held him so close, touching his hands and feet. I continued to hold him to recovery where the nurses came and took him for some photos. They created a memory box of him for me with pictures and foot prints. 

My husband and I then held and mourned our little boy for a few hours before saying goodbye forever. We decided on burial. Jameson was buried above his great grandmother- and his funeral was another hard day I’m sure I don’t have to describe to a lot of loss moms out there.

Finn ended up staying in the NICU for 2.5 months. But now he is all caught up and absolutely thriving. 

The reason for Jameson’s death is still uncertain. It is speculated that he had the smaller side of the placenta. And in the end it couldn’t keep up with his growth. But that still remains to be uncertain… 

The decision for another child came quick. We knew pretty quickly that we could not let Finn be an only child. He was destined for a sibling. Whatever robbed him, and us, of Jameson was not his fault.

So it took us longer this time to get pregnant. (Nothing compared to what other women face I know). But the positive pregnancy test this past December resulted me sitting on the floor of the bathroom sobbing. In fear, in happiness, in anxiety- the tears came from deep within me. 

We found out it’s a boy and have named him Tadhg. We know Jameson has sent him to us. 

So I’m writing this now at 24.5 weeks. I’m having such anxiety trying to monitor and count kicks. I don’t want to second guess myself again… 

We recently lost my 2.5 year old dog this weekend. His loss and how we lost him has the wounds of Jameson opening back up. I feel like it’s my fault all over again- but I have some peace trying to believe that my pup had to go be with Jameson. And my other dog is still here with Finn. 

I’ve been able to attach myself very well to this pregnancy. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past four years is that life is far too short to live in fear. I don’t want to waste time in fear when I can share love. I want to love this baby every second I can. Because both me and him deserve some happiness while it exists. 

The plan is for a scheduled c-section between July 26th and august 2nd. Putting the baby at 36 or 37 weeks. I’m mourning the loss of having a natural birth. But im planning on making that OR a god damn party when Tadhg is born. And I will be sure to have him on my chest as soon as possible. 

The what if’s haunt me. But I will love this rainbow baby every moment I can. And I will not ever say that Jameson was the storm. Our journey as a family has been one in a ship in a sea of a hurricane, but ahead of us… there is light.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. She stands on a large rock in front of the water.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. She stands on a large rock in front of the water. A white balloon is at the forefront of the photo.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. She stands on the shore by the water.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. She holds the skirt in the air out to one side.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. Her young child sits on the edge of the skirt on the ground.

Christine wears a blue dress and the rainbow skirt. She holds the skirt bunched up in her arms and her young child holds the end on the ground.

Christine's young child sits on the bottom of the rainbow skirt that rests on the ground.

Photos taken by Brigid Hecht Photography.

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