This was a pregnancy filled with fear. From that very first ultrasound just shy of 6 weeks when we saw 2 little heartbeats, there was fear.
The “can we survive twins again” fear, “how will it affect the other kids” fear, “how will we manage” fear. The questions, could we proceed with the pregnancy,m what’s the right thing to do for our family as a whole, could we consider selective reduction or termination. Many hard conversations with many tears.
Hope and nervous excitement, we can do this again, we can rock this! Joy, counting our blessings.
And then, at 16 weeks, 5 long minutes. A private scan booked for early gender determination. “It’s a girl!” laughter, excitement, joy. “This baby looks much smaller, you’ll have to call your doctor ASAP. See how the head is so much smaller than the other? It’s measuring about 14 weeks. Let me check for a heartbeat. I’m so sorry”. Heartbreak. 36 hours following filled with phone calls and appointments, finally another scan done, confirmation. Heartbreak all over again. Girl is a boy, a healthy boy.
Once again the fear invades, bringing with it a side of guilt. Will he survive? What happened? Will it happen to him to? Was it our fault? Did we somehow cause this to happen in those early weeks of fear? Had we not loved her enough? Wanted her enough?
No answers. Weeks of waiting and fear. Risks constantly in our minds. Switched from team to team at the hospital. Story repeated over and over. Thoughtless, insensitive comments, “oh yay twins” by radiology receptionist, “were you surprised when the other twin died?” by a radiology doctor. Anxiety. Stress. Simply being at the hospital for appointments would have me in tears. Always waiting for more bad news. Blood pressure high. Blood pressure rising.
Induction. Relief it was coming to an end. Fear would be gone when he was in our arms right? It will be quick surely, baby by lunch time right? Ha. Intense. Waiting. Fear. Letting go of Tillie. Don’t want to say goodbye. Fear. Will I be able to bond with/love the surviving twin after everything?
Dancing. P!nk playing, dancing through mild contractions. Disappointment, no progress. Never ending. Held by Thommo every step of the way. Love and support. Amazing midwife. Intense contractions. Never ending hot shower. Decelerations. Pain. Epidural please. Anesthetist in surgery, 40 minutes away. 4cms and waters broken. Contractions double peaking. Epidural too far away. Pushing and feeling wrong, all wrong. Amazing midwife. Reassurance, kindness. Thommo’s hand to hold. Pain.
Done. Relief. Cord wrapped around him twice. Tiny baby on my chest. So tiny. Too tiny? Fear. Sticky vernix coated baby on my skin. Healthy, crying. Relief.
He’s here. Relief. Love. Joy.