Shannon D’s Story

Our journey started with trying to conceive for a year.  Working in OB I had some insight as to what needed to happen and when and we were already in our 30s.

After 4 months of ovulation induction medication we were still unsuccessful and referred to a RE.

After 3 rounds of IUI and no success on we went to IVF. After retrieval and waiting 5 days we ended up with 5 embryos.

We decided to not do any testing on our embryos and transferred our only 2 AA embryos and to our surprise they both took! We were ecstatic to be having twins and could not wait!

Early on at 5 weeks 6 days I found myself in the ER with bleeding.  Both babies still had heartbeats and I learned I had a SCH. My bleeding continued off and on over the next few weeks and I finally got a couple weeks of reprieve from bleeding.  I got through the first trimester and thought I was in the clear.

One day at the end of the work day at 18 weeks I found myself starting to have some pressure.  I assumed it was just the babies pushing and trying to make room and made my way to meet someone to pick up onesies.

Well, my pressure was getting worse in the 4 block drive, so I called my Dr and asked him to please see me before I drove a half hour home.  He reluctantly agreed, so I made my way to labor and delivery.  By the time I got to the registration desk I could hardly stand.

I made my way to labor and delivery, got in a room and changed for my exam.  The look on my Drs face is one I’ll never forget….I had a bulging bag and appeared fully dilated.

After much discussion with me and my husband between my Dr and the Perinatologist we decided to transfer me to perinatology to attempt a rescue cerclage the next day. It was a long shot and last ditch effort but one we had to try.

After getting to the perinatologist and getting prepped for the cerclage, I was brought back to surgery.

When I woke up from my anesthesia, my husband told me it didn’t work. As they tried to push baby A back in, his sac broke plus they could smell that I had an infection.  The plan was then to start me on antibiotics for the next day and plan induction for Friday as my WBC level was rising.

For induction they tried Pitocin but that wasn’t working, so I was given vaginal Cytotec which worked within a couple hours.  I could feel that baby A was low and felt the need to push, so I called the nurse who brought the delivery team.  After a push, baby A, Cooper, was born and had a heartbeat.  We baptized him and after that the Dr had to manually extract my placenta.

After that was done she asked me if I was ready to deliver baby b. I couldn’t stop thinking and wanted to scream “No! I’m not ready! He needs to stay in!” After a couple of minutes of sobbing, I knew I had to, so she then broke baby b’s water and after a few pushes, baby b, Branch, was born with a heartbeat.  He was also baptized right away and the Dr again had to manually extract my placenta.

Both my boys passed away after about 30 minutes on November 1, 2019. There we sat, broken hearted and feeling empty. They took the boys away to clean them up, weigh them, take pictures and did hand and footprints.

To say we were devastated would have been an understatement. I took almost a full maternity leave and my husband took 2 weeks off.

We knew we wanted more children and we still had 3 embryos left.  By January 1st I made the call to our REI Dr to set up another transfer and on February 6, 2020 we were in our 2 week wait.  We were happy to find out that we were again pregnant with one baby this time.

Once again though I had bleeding early on, another hematoma, which brought me to the ER for a visit to confirm viability. Everything was still looking good and my bleeding would come and go over the next few weeks and stopped right before my prophylactic cerclage placement.

A couple weeks after my cerclage was placed my bleeding would start again with no reason we could find and would come and go and go from spotting to a gush of blood.  At 18 weeks 5 days while at work my water broke.

After being at the Dr for 2 hours with tests, ultrasounds and a phone call to the Perinatologist we made the decision to try and wait it out and to see MFM the next Friday for evaluation.  We made it to our visit without going into labor or spiking a fever so I was hopeful I could make it to viability.  My bleeding was still there, off and on along with small gushes of amniotic fluid.

At our appointment there was concern with my cord but nothing that would change our plan.  They had me change for an exam and upon exam they saw my baby’s foot popping through my cervix and back in.  My heart sank and deep down I knew this wasn’t going to go the way I planned, again.

The Dr told us with baby’s foot going in and out of my cervix that the foot would pick up bacteria and cause infection if I didn’t already start to have an infection.  I was given the option to wait still and relocate to the town my MFM was in or be at up for induction. I was too devastated to even think about delivery that day, so I opted to wait the weekend to see how things went and meet with MFM Monday again.  By Monday my bleeding was increasing and my WBC was slowly increasing, so we made the decision to schedule induction that day.

We were more prepared this time around bringing swaddles, a letterboard and camera with this time, something I shouldn’t have known.  Upon arrival to labor and delivery, they brought us back to the same room I delivered our boys.  After getting settled, I told them that Pitocin wouldn’t work and to give me Cytotec. After a few hours I felt that baby was moved down and the urge to push was there.  After calling in the nurse and being checked the Dr and delivery team came in and I delivered a beautiful baby girl,  Ella, on June 8th, 2020.

My bleeding wasn’t stopping so I had to hand her off quickly to my husband and get rushed back to the OR for a d and c to stop the bleeding, without knowing if she had a heartbeat or not.

Surgery went well but right before I was too go back I started to get short of breath and felt like I was going to pass out.  I feel that at the moment I passed out that this is when my baby Ella passed, even though they told me afterwards that she didn’t have a heartbeat and was stillborn, I believe otherwise as we have video of her heart beating.

We were more involved this time with knowing to ask for a cuddle cot, certain pictures and outfits for her, although this time around I felt more numb.

I only took 7 weeks off this time.

We didn’t jump into another transfer as quickly as we couldn’t handle another loss so soon again and mentally we just weren’t in that spot to try again.  So we got a chocolate lab named Bella.

After about 9 months we were scheduled for our 3rd IVF transfer. This time around I played it safe and did longer bedrest after transfer and took it easier at work when able. We were pregnant again but this time more scared than excited or happy.  Things this time around were going differently which was good but also more scary. So far I have not had any bleeding this pregnancy, I have a different type of cerclage in and things are progressing normally.

To say I’m relieved is one thing but with things going so well, it also brings on a different kind of anxiety that seems to worsen the further along I get.

As we are more excited now that I’m past viability there’s still the fear of something terrible happening that we try to push to the back of our heads.

Our double rainbow baby is due November 20, 2022.

I hope to update you all with photos of our rainbow baby around the holidays!





Photos taken by Rachel Boe Photography.

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