Angel Babies: A Miscarriage Story

It is with a sad heart we share that our twin baby girls' hearts have stopped beating and they have become our little angel babies in heaven.

The Story

I went to the doctor on Monday (at 15 weeks + 1 day) for what I expected to be a very low-key OB visit.  I hadn't seen my doctor for five weeks, as my prior appointment had been with one of her colleagues.  We talked about all of the recent findings (the discovery of the urachal cysts at Children's Mercy two weeks prior, and a possible diagnosis of gastrochisis at Advent Health two weeks before that) and did all of the normal OB things.  She then attempted to find the heartbeats on the portable sono machine.  For whatever reason, the doppler heartbeat monitor was never used.  In the early weeks, I assumed it was because an itty bitty heartbeat can be hard to hear at such an early stage.  At 15 weeks, however, I am left to assume a quick peek via sono is more standard in twins....perhaps it's hard to distinguish one twin heartbeat from another via doppler?  Anyway, she couldn't see the heartbeats.  I had grown pretty good at identifying them myself, and I couldn't see them either.  She took me across the hall to the higher-tech sonogram machine/room.  The sonographer came to the same, sad conclusion.

I Facetimed Craig, who had already checked in once, and had oddly enough asked, "Are their hearts still beating?"  He said he had a bad feeling about that appointment. 

The babies were measuring right at 15 weeks (15 + 3 to be exact) so it had likely just happened in the day or few prior.  There is no explanation or reason.  It could be the higher-risk mono-di twin pregnancy, could be the cysts, could be the IUD, could be a genetic issue, or could be a random coincidence.

Of course I googled "miscarriage at 15 weeks."  I shouldn't be surprised after all we've been through.

A miscarriage in the second trimester is a pregnancy loss that happens specifically between 13 weeks 0 days and 20 weeks 0 days of gestation. The incidence of second trimester loss up to 20 weeks is less than 1%. (source)

What happens next?

Today, we met with a specialist at KU Med.  On Thursday, I am going back for a procedure called dilation and evacuation (D&E).  They will put me under (anesthesia) and vaginally remove the pregnancy.  It is similar to a D&C, but used more commonly during the second trimester when the babies have bones.

The other option was to induce labor and have me deliver the babies, but this option comes with more risk because of the twin pregnancy and the IUD.  Quite honestly, I would rather be put under than have to endure labor knowing the end result.

We opted to do genetic testing on the remains of the babies.  I don't know that we'll ever know 100% the cause of this, but the specialist recommended it, mostly because of the presence of the cysts.  It may or may not give us a bit of closer.

How are we doing?

We are doing surprisingly well.  Of course, we are heartbroken and sad to have to grieve the loss of two little lives.  We had not only warmed up to the idea of identical twin girls, but had made some initial plans and were even getting excited, so it's a hard pill to swallow.  

At the same time, we are feeling at peace as we move forward.  It's a very strange thing to mourn something we never planned for.  In so many ways, these babies were going to change our lives drastically.  Certainly, they would have brought a lot of joy, but a lot of unexpected changes, too...none of which we had planned for.

We've kept the mindset throughout this pregnancy that whatever happens happens.  We have tried to focus on the positives and not dwell on the things we cannot change.  It's hard to understand the reasons behind such a, why did God give us these babies and put us through so much in just seven short weeks to inevitably take them away?  But then again, there is a lot about life we can't nor won't ever understand. 

I don't regret anything.  I don't regret making our announcement to the world, or telling our kids (yes, we have also shared with them that their baby sisters are in heaven...Rhett asked how they got to heaven when babies can't fly...Holden is sad he no longer gets bunk beds).  I don't regret finding out the sex or taking baby bump photos.  I don't regret feeling nervous or anxious or scared or excited.  I will treasure the photos and the experience.  I am thankful for these last seven (but really, 15) weeks and for all the support we have received.  I am also beyond grateful to know they were girls.  I consider these girls a gift I never expected to have.

Though we hadn't officially decided on names, Hollyn and Hadley were at the top of our list.  I don't know that I will ever refer to them by name, but I will always know my little girls are watching over us as angels in heaven.  I look forward to meeting them someday. πŸ’•πŸ‘ΌπŸΌπŸ‘ΌπŸΌ

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