In 2019 my husband, Jeremiah, and I decided to try and start our family. We had suspicions of the difficulty we would face due to medical history, but that didn’t make the wait any less painful.
After a year and a half of trying to conceive we started the process of IVF, our only chance of having biological children.
September of 2021 we had a successful egg retrieval resulting in 3 embryos.
December we had our first frozen embryo transfer. I waited patiently until the day after Christmas to test as I didn’t want to spend the day upset if it wasn’t positive.
It was positive. We were over the moon and in amazement that our first transfer was successful.
And our amazement grew when we had one of first ultrasounds tell us that we were expecting identical twins! I will never forget the look on my husband’s face when we found out.
The pregnancy had some scares early on, and I was high risk. But as the weeks went by, as we made it into the second trimester I felt confident we would be bringing our little boys home.
Unfortunately that wouldn’t be the case.
Around 23 weeks I started having some concerns and brought them up to my doctors. Never did anyone intervene or show any concern.
Everytime I would be told: “that’s normal”, “relax”, “drink more water”.
In fact I was told over the phone to “relax and drink water” not even an hour before an ambulance would be arriving to take me to the hospital. I was in preterm labor and they were unable to stop it. I was 23 weeks and 3 days along. May 10th, 2022.
We got to the hospital, I was immediately surrounded by dozens of people. I remember lying about the boys gestation as I was worried they wouldn’t help them. I ended up slipping up on the due date. But they assured me they would do everything possible to save them.
They told me an emergency c section was their best chance at survival and next thing I knew I was being put under for the procedure.
And I woke up to my husbands tearful face to find out our son, Remy, had passed shortly after birth. I had never felt pain like I did in that moment.
I didn’t have much time to process when I was being told that Arlo, our other son, was still alive but he didn’t have much time.
They wheeled me down to the NICU still in my hospital bed.
I got to see my tiny, perfect son. He perked up the moment he heard our voices, for a moment I had hope. Maybe he would pull through. Only to be told he was very sick and would not make it.
My husband and I both had the opportunity to hold him. We cried and told him how much we loved him and his brother both. I sang “the Blessing” by Kari Jobe to him, a song I sang often during my pregnancy to my boys. I still to this day can’t listen to it.
Arlo passed away in our arms just a few hours after his birth.
We spent the next few days in the hospital recovering and holding our boys.
They were so beautiful and perfect to me.
Remy Micah weighed 1 lb 5 oz, 12 inches long. Arlo Robert weighed 1 lb 7 oz, also 12 inches long. I marveled at how small and precious they were. Both sets of grandparents were able to come and see them, I’m so grateful that they did.
We had a wonderful team of nurses take care of us and help us make some special memories together. It’s not something you ever really think about, how little time you get to spend with them. It went by all too fast. I’m forever grateful for the photos, mementos, scrapbooks, and molds of their little feet and hands.
The day we left the hospital a funeral director came and picked up our sons. She brought a little basket for them.
The screams that came from me as she took them away were otherworldly. I can still hear myself. I knew they couldn’t stay with me. But I didn’t want to be away from my babies.
The next months were a painful blur. I honestly am amazed that I made it somedays. I ate solely for my husband’s sake, I barely functioned. I got diagnosed with PTSD along with reactive depression and anxiety. I’m proud of how far I’ve come since then.
With the support of my husband, my family, my grief counselor/therapist, and an amazing online community of mothers like me, I eventually got to a point of wanting to live again. Feeling hope for the future.
I will never be over the death of my sons. I will never stop missing them, loving them, and wishing they were here. Now I live for them and hope to make them proud of their mama.
In my journey I have come to realize how grief illiterate our society is. Which baffles me as unfortunately everyone will lose someone they love. There is no timeline, no finish line to grief. I will grieve as long as I live. As long as I love.
I’ve been told hurtful things by well-meaning people. I’ve lost friendships.
And while there is never a reason for horrible things to happen. There is NO silver lining. I will admit I gained a lot of strength. I’ve learned to advocate for me and my babies. To lay down boundaries.
Would I want to go through it again to learn these things? No, of course not. I’d only go through it again for those few brief moments with my sons. To hold them for even a minute.
I would do anything for my children.
We are now expecting Arlo and Remy’s little sister in just a few short weeks.
Pregnancy after loss has been the second hardest thing I have been through following the death of my sons.
I’ve been holding my breath since the very beginning, every week going by a miracle in my eyes. Getting past the twins gestation was a big milestone for us. I started to have hope she might actually come home with us. I’m still scared, but my hope is bigger.
And all I know is that no matter the outcome I will love her no matter what. Whether or not she gets to stay. But we have hope that she will.
Photos taken by Candid in Catskill.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!