My first pregnancy was a complete surprise. We weren’t trying, I was on birth control. I only took a test because I just felt a little off and my period had never fully showed up. To my utter shock, it was positive! I was thrilled because although we weren’t trying, I had prayed the month before that somehow, someway, I would get pregnant. And I did! We told our families that night. Two days later I started bleeding heavily and ended up in the ER. We lost our first sweet angel baby at 6 weeks. It was November 2020 and the covid rules were still extremely tight. It was super traumatic to be miscarrying alone in the ER bathroom, ultrasound room and waiting room all alone. I actually went and waited outside so I could be with my husband and my dad. When the doctor gave us the results, she said there were no answers and they wouldn’t do any tests until three reoccurring losses. That entire experience was traumatic and we felt like we had whiplash. From not even having pregnancy on our radar on a Thursday to be mourning the loss of our first baby on a Sunday and going through the physical and emotional pain of a miscarriage for the following weeks. It is all still a scary and sad blur.
Thankfully my body healed rather quickly and we realized that we did indeed want a baby. We began trying as soon as I was cleared to, and after four months, we discovered we were pregnant again in May of 2021. This time, with twins! Right around the same time, we also discovered that I suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It wasn’t a complete surprise as my mom had experienced it in all three of her pregnancies, nonetheless, it turned our lives upside down. We were in and out of the IV clinic and fighting for prescriptions to help. During this time, around 14 weeks pregnant, my doctor was able to finally discern that our twins were Mono/Mono meaning that they shared a placenta and a gestational sac. Only 0.1% of all pregnancies are Mono/Mono, and it’s an extremely high risk pregnancy. We were immediately referred to a bigger hospital in a bigger city.
When we went there at 16 weeks for our high risk ultrasound, we discovered that our babies were boys, and that our baby B had passed away. We were heartbroken and confused and excited and hopeful all at once.
I continued to fight through sickness and tried to keep preparing for our Baby A. We were told that if he was going to pass away too, it would happen within a few days. We had another ultrasound 10 days after our high risk one, and he looked perfect and we took a deep breath thinking that we were in the clear. However, at 18 weeks and 6 days, we discovered we had lost our Baby A also. We scheduled with labor and delivery for the next morning.
On August 25th, 2021 at 19 weeks pregnant with less than 24 hours to prepare, we began the process of delivering our sweet twin boys, Beau Benjamin and Jack Joshua. After being induced, continuing to throw up the entire day and hours of waiting, I delivered the most beautiful babies I had ever seen. The doctor was able to determine that they passed from umbilical cord entanglement.
We were able to hold them for about an hour. Our nurse took photos and got their footprints and measurements. My mom was in the delivery room with my husband and I and was also able to get some photos. Something I’ve struggled with, still to this day, is the moment we told the nurse we were ready for her to take them. Because of course we weren’t ready. How does a mom decide she’s ready to never hold her babies again? It was just an impossible situation.
We went home the next morning. Wheeled out of the hospital empty handed except for two stuffed bears.
My recovery was very long after hemorrhaging during birth, multiple infections, regaining my strength from HG and going through all the motions of preparing to bury our babies.
We put trying for another baby on hold as we couldn’t even imagine trying to do it again.
We were actually able to bring our babies home and bury them in a garden that my family came together and made for them.
Emotions after loss: heartbreak, panic, anxiety, sadness, depression and just the never ending aching of wanting to have our babies back.
I couldn’t have asked for a better medical staff during my birthing experience of my twins. The doctor that was on call during my delivery and the nurses that I had throughout my stay at the hospital were absolutely precious, they were so kind, so soft spoken, so supportive and they prayed with us after the delivery. They took every effort to be sensitive and caring of my sweet babies. The nurse that took care of my babies and gathered all of our precious keepsakes for us, shared with me that she had lost a baby in a similar way. It was comforting and she welcomed me with the warmest embrace into the loss mom club.
The support system around us reaching out while we were in the hospital and the weeks and months when we got home was huge. One of the only pieces of light I can remember from such a dark time is all of the flower deliveries that I received. I have dried and saved all of them, hoping to display them in someway, someday. It was definitely a defining time of seeing who was there for us and with us when we had nothing to give, and we have some really good people in our lives, especially our families. Our families are our rock.
We actually had a family vacation planned in Cancun, Mexico with both my family and my husband’s family, almost exactly a year after we lost our twins. So throughout 2022, we spent the year in intense therapy and grieving and figuring out our lives again. I also finished and graduated college in the midst of that. All year we said that we would start trying after Mexico.
In September of 2022, we got home from Mexico, made sure all of my bloodwork came back normal and healthy and started trying.
To our complete shock and joy, we got pregnant immediately. Getting our first positive test on the one year anniversary of burying our sweet boys, Jack and Beau. Our gift from God and heaven above.
I don’t know if you’re ever really ready to start trying again after a loss. It’s always a scary decision with a lot more worries and triggers than it was before experiencing pregnancy and baby loss. I think it comes down to feeling like if another loss were to occur, you could handle it. And when hope finally feels like a real emotion again, not an unattainable goal.
My pregnancy with our rainbow baby has been both a dream and a nightmare. Fortunately, every test and scan has come back perfectly and our baby boy has been growing perfectly. We are 36 weeks along now and are so excited to meet him any day now. Unfortunately, I’ve suffered from very intense HG throughout this pregnancy as well. The first 20 weeks were very physically and mentally dark and hard, in and out of urgent car, getting IV’s and multiple medications just to stay hydrated and keep food down. It’s more managed now, but I am still on around the clock medication and absolutely can’t wait to not feel sick. I think that being so physically sick has been a blessing and a curse, because I haven’t had as much energy to be emotionally worried and scared of losing him. However, it’s a tricky spot to hate being pregnant but also want the baby so bad and knowing that so many people, yourself included, would do anything to be pregnant with a healthy baby. It’s been a battle, a two and a half year battle, and I’m so glad we’re near the end. We can’t wait to have our triple rainbow baby in our arms.
We honor our angel babies, all three of them, in so many ways. We have their ultrasound photos all over our house. We of course have their garden in our back yard. We celebrated their first birthday with balloons and family. We have Peter Pan (their intended nursery theme) quotes in special places and little nods to our babies in heaven all throughout our rainbow baby’s nursery. Our rainbow baby’s middle name is also in honor of his big brother’s in heaven. They are always a part of our lives and we will always hang their stockings at Christmas, say their names out loud and acknowledge Jack and Beau as our first and second born. We love them, and know our family will always be separated between heaven and earth.
Losing our babies is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. It’s something that not everyone will understand. It’s one of the most painful things that can happen in life. I wish it upon absolutely no-one. However, the “club” that nobody wants to be a part of, the loss mom’s club, is the most empathetic, brave, understanding and strong community in the world.
Honoring our babies is beautiful. And the second you receive a positive pregnancy test you are a mother.
Photos taken by Katie Watkins Photography.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!