This post has been sitting in my drafts, unpublished for quite some time. Originally it was meant to explain the blog-silence that occurred shortly after my last post on July 1st and while it still aims to do that, I come here today under very different circumstances to explain exactly what's been going on and why I've M-I-A for quite some time. For those near and dear to me, they already know, but for the few readers who pop in occasionally to check in or have asked where I ran off to (thank you) - this post aims to answer it all.
It's taken me quite some time, a month to the day in fact, to feel OK enough to be able to open up and share what's happened over the last few months. Even as I sit here and type this post, I'm overwhelmed with emotion and unsure if I can even make it through without crying. But I have to try.
Here's to trying.
At the end of May, we found out that we were expecting. We stood outside the bathroom door and waited the few agonizing minutes for the test to decide whether our lives were about to change. When the time was up, I remember being so scared to look. I don't know why I was so scared. I wanted this so bad. I knew in my heart of hearts what the results would be, so I think I was just scared that I was mistaken.
But mistaken, I was not. We were pregnant!
In June, at 9 weeks pregnant, the OB confirmed the pregnancy, and during the ultrasound found not one but two little white blobs on the screen. I was absolutely shocked and could barely wrap my mind around the idea that not only were we pregnant...we were having twins. Immediately after the twin discovery, the following weeks and months were a whirlwind of appointments, blood tests, and ultrasounds. Sometime during the early weeks of pregnancy, it was determined that our babies were identical - two separate sacs separated by a very thin membrane but they shared a placenta. The doctors explained all the risks and concerns regarding an identical twin pregnancy (pre-term labor, low birth weight, TTTS, etc...) but none of it could curb our utter excitement!
In the weeks that followed we spent countless hours researching anything and everything we could regarding identical twins...we Googled, read articles and blogs, we watched hours upon hours of vlogs posted by other twin mamas, and by the end of it, we knew the risks of an identical twin pregnancy, but also knew the immense joy and just how lucky we were to be chosen to carry these precious babies.
During this time blogging took a backseat. Between being overly tired and adjusting to my changing body, my brain was focused only on the babies. Not to mention that our lives were changing by the minute. In a matter of weeks, our 2 bedroom apartment, our vehicles, and our wallets, were all going to need a major upgrade in order to accommodate these two new lives.
We determined that we most definitely needed to move into a bigger place and blog-wise, it didn't make sense to blog about home projects when we'd be packing up and moving in a matter of months. Since we fund all our own projects, throwing money at projects just didn't make financial sense when in a few short months, we'd need two of everything. I could've blogged about moving, life changes ( I did allude to it here), nursery plans (which were well underway), but we hadn't yet revealed our news so it sorta left me with nothing to blog about and simply a pregnancy to enjoy. So I did.
We waited the recommended 13+ weeks before telling a single soul our happy news and in those early weeks it was the best kept secret that only we knew and could celebrate in. Keeping the secret those 13+ weeks was so, so hard and made even more difficult given that I had the Hawaii trip planned at the beginning of June and was surrounded day and night by my Mom and sister.
One weekend after the 1st trimester we gathered everyone around and shared the good news but only told my Mom that we were expecting twins. We decided early on that we didn't want to share the twin news with anyone by my Mom until we found out the gender and could reveal both surprises at once. We thought it'd make for an extra special reveal. So we swore Mom to secrecy and did our best to keep the secret for the next 8 weeks.
During those 8 weeks it was all baby, baby, baby. Entering into our 2nd trimester I was more tired than ever and getting bigger and more uncomfortable as each day passed. Blogging was hardly a thought in my baby brain.
At the end of August we found out that we were expecting two little girls. And on September 5th, surrounded by our closest friends and family, we revealed our biggest surprise to date...not one but TWO baby girls! Our family hasn't had a new baby in over 10 years. They were elated. My grandma almost had a heart attack. It was that epic. And we caught it all on tape.
It was after our reveal party that I drafted my original post. Intent on re-entering the blog world and dive right in to all things baby - the big reveal, the upcoming move, nursery plans, nursery progress - the whole shebang!
Unfortunately none of that happened. From there everything change so fast. As quickly as it changed the day we found out that we were pregnant, it was all about to change again.
On Friday, September 18th during a routine ultrasound, we were told that our girls had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)...something they warned us about very early on. Without going into major detail, because the babies shared a placenta, Baby B was falling behind weight wise. Baby A was getting more of the nutrients which at the time, resulted in a 22% discrepancy in their gestational weight. If left untreated, it would only get worse. This site does a great job at explaining all the risks and concerns regarding TTTS. Bottom line was that things were bad, if left untreated would only get worse, so we had to do something ASAP. They discussed a few different options but ultimately decided that I needed surgery to laser the connecting blood vessels of the placenta to give these babies a fighting chance. The surgery was scheduled for the upcoming Tuesday. It wasn't a guarantee but it was the best option we had.
This is where things get hard for me.
Late September 19th (Saturday) I called the doctor after being concerned that I was leaking fluid and was told to go to the hospital immediately. We did. At the hospital they confirmed that not only was I leaking fluid but that my water had broken. I was 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant. We were told that both babies wouldn't survive and weren't viable this early in the pregnancy. That if they lived, they would be faced with a lifetime of problems and complications.
We asked so many questions. We begged. We pleaded. We got angry. We cried. We prayed. We cried some more. We were out of options.
On September 21st at 12:37 AM I delivered Baby A and at 12:40 AM, Baby B was born. Miraculously, both girls were born alive. Baby A weighed 388.6 grams and Baby B weighed 302.8 grams. A few short hours after they were born, we lost them.
In the month since every day has been a challenge. I miss them every. single. day. Every day. We wanted them so badly. With every fiber of our being, we wanted them.
My heart aches for them. My mind desperately clings to every detail of their sweet faces and every second that we had with them because I don't want to forget. I can't forget. They deserve to be remembered. They deserve so much more than I was able to give them and it kills me that I couldn't protect them and keep them safe. I'll never be able to hold them, love on them, or know what their personalities would've been like. I'll never see them grow up, what they would've achieved, or see their bond between one another - but I can imagine.
Life will never be the same but we're slowly learning how to live life after babies. It's hard. Extremely hard. Some days are good and some days are really, really bad. I never know waking up whether today will be a good day or whether it'll be a day where it's nearly impossible to hold back the tears. And when the good days come, I feel guilty. Guilty for laughing and smiling, when clearly, I should be sad.
Walking into the hospital pregnant and leaving the hospital not pregnant and without your babies is something my brain is still trying to comprehend. It messes with you.
But I'm getting through. Together we're getting through. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other...sometimes hour by hour.
I don't know why this happened to us but through this massive tragedy I have learned so much. SO much. I may not know why this happened but what I do know is this:
I am loved - very, very loved. And for that, I couldn't be more humble or grateful.
I am strong - stronger that I ever knew I could be.
I am a Mom - those two precious girls made me a Mom. For however short they were here, they will always be mine and I will always be theirs.
I am blessed - through this I have seen just how great a man I have. Through it all, he never left my side. He was kind, and gentle, and was my rock. Never ever have I loved him more than I do today.
So what's next for me? For us? For this blog?
Honestly...I don't know. For a person who's always had a plan, a vision, a road map all laid out for the future, for the first time in forever, I don't know where I'm going and I'm OK with that. Or at least I'm trying to be. For all the bad that's happened over the last month, I'm really just looking forward to the good and hope it's right around the corner. We could use it.
Personally...I just want to get back to the things that make me happy and focus on that. The girls would've wanted it that way. So for me that means surrounding myself with friends, family, and blogging about my favorite past time - home decor and DIY. It's these 3 things that make my heart happy even when it hurts so bad. So bear with me while I ease back into life, ummmk?