Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Two Together

by Melissa McSpadden

It was March 2008 when we found out we were pregnant with our second child. We were so excited to give our two year old daughter Camryn a sibling. About 2 weeks later I went into my obstetrician’s office for a checkup because I had had a little bit of spotting earlier in the day. An ultrasound was performed in which we found out we were having twins! I was scared but overjoyed.

The shock subsided and the excitement set in. Over the next 4 months the pregnancy continued normally. We were told our twins were identical and they were boys. We were so excited (especially my husband). We had started on their nursery; painting it blue, buying the furniture, the bedding, and even several matching outfits.

At around 20 weeks the problems started. I had tremendous pain and swelling in my belly. My doctor just assured me it was twins and that all was normal. I did my best to get through each day. On Saturday August 2, I could bear no more and had my husband take me to the emergency room. After a very detailed ultrasound I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios; excess fluid in the gestational sac. Finally I had an answer to what was causing the pain. I was sent home and scheduled to see a high risk specialist the following Monday, but that appointment would never come.

That night at 1 a.m. I woke up to an unusual feeling. I got out of bed and went and sat on the couch so I could focus on what awakened me. I was having a slow “rolling” feeling in my lower abdomen. It did not hurt, it was just uncomfortable. I sat there for about an hour until I realized that it had a rhythm to it. “There is no way this could be labor” I thought. I was only 22 weeks and 5 days along. I woke up my husband and told him my symptoms. He put his hand on my belly and could feel it tighten up and release. He convinced me we should go in. I started to get a few things together and that is when things really started to progress.

We sped to the hospital, running red lights and all. By now I was in a fetal position with the seat laid back, screaming at my husband to go faster. The pain had become so intense. I knew by now what was happening and I was scared to death.

I ran to Labor and Delivery, I was frantic and crying. They immediately took me back to a triage room. A nurse handed me a surgical gown and asked me to change. I had my clothes off before she could finish her sentence. That was when I noticed the strange feeling I had between my legs. I felt “down there” and touched something protruding out of me. It was the amniotic sac prolapsing from my cervix. I literally jumped onto the bed screaming. My OB checked me and I could see the horror on her face as she said “Oh Melissa.” At that moment I knew it was all over. My dreams were about to be shattered, my family and heart broken and my world turned upside down.

I was given an epidural which only numbed one side of my body. The physical and emotional pain was becoming so intense I was dispensed Stadol to provide additional relief and “relax” me. That was the last I can remember in clarity. I apparently had a negative reaction to the narcotic and it induced sleep. I would wake up here and there to ask questions and cry out in pain. I was given another dose of the epidural so that both sides of my body would be numb. This however caused my blood pressure to plummet and the alarm on the monitor to shriek. I was then given a medication to stabilize that issue. My doctor elevated my hospital bed so that my head was lower than my legs. She described to my husband that the amniotic sac was almost like an hourglass through the cervix and vagina. She was trying to keep my waters from breaking. I was later given the diagnosis of an incompetent cervix.

About 3 hours later my water broke. I do remember that very clearly. I remember it being a ton of water and a major physical relief on my abdomen. Then I was out again.

Around 6:00 in the morning of August 3, I came to from the pressure to push. I remember asking my doctor if my twins would be alive when they were born and she said “No, we have lost their heartbeats.” I felt like I had been socked in the chest.

At 6:14 a.m. Landon was born. He weighed 1 pound 4 ounces and was 11 1/4 inches long. Six minutes later Gavin was born. He weighed 1 pound 2 ounces and was 10.5 inches long. They were so perfect. We held them and cried. Our time spent with our angels was so short. We were given the option to go home later that afternoon. I was not thinking clearly and jumped at the chance to get out of there. To get away from my doctor and the nurses, to get away from the happy new mothers and their crying babies in the nearby rooms, to get away from everything. All not realizing that this meant I could not spend anymore time with my sons. Before I was discharged one of my nurses had brought me a disposable camera and asked if I wanted a picture of me holding my babies. I told her no and morbidly thought to myself “why would I want to take a picture of them…they are dead?” This is something I would regret for the rest of my life. Thankfully my nurse was well educated in bereavement and went against my wishes and filled an entire roll of film on my babies. She placed the camera in one of my white laced memory boxes (I had two of them…one for each baby). She told me what she had done and that it was there for me if I ever wanted to develop them, but that she did not want me to regret my decision since there was no going back. I thank God for her and her actions. Those pictures, even though they are of terrible quality are one of the most precious things I have in my life; one of the few items that validates the existence of my twins. They are the only images I have of my sons and I look at them often.

We chose to have our babies cremated and then placed their ashes in the “Two Together” box from Willow Tree. We keep it in our family room so that they can always be with us.

It has now been two years since we lost our boys. The pain has subsided slightly but it will never go away. I have since have had another daughter and am very thankful for my girls but I do look forward to the day I get to see my sons again and kiss their sweet faces.

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