I’m a Twin Mommy

Im-a-twin-mommy-bloc-graphic

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a how-to on being a twin Mommy {let’s face it, that can’t possibly exist!} or what it is like to change around 5,000 diapers a year. This is about a statement — “I’m a twin Mommy.” The aforementioned title was something I never thought I’d be able to say. It was something so close to becoming real for me with a result that ended in a thousand shattered pieces. Thankfully, that is not where my story ends.

Let me start off by saying, achieving pregnancy was NOT easy for me.

It was waiting,

it was having blood drawn and ultrasounds over and over,

it was disappointment.

That aspect is something to be shared another day, but let me just say we may have shed a few tears when just before Christmas in 2010, it happened! That extra line on the stick that I sometimes had looked so closely for just waiting for a glimmer of hope to appear, did! Oh man–wow–is this real? We had prayed for so long … inhale, exhale–ok I got this–I was made for this.

 

Both angels pool pic

After my labs where monitored for a few weeks, it was time for the big ultrasound, which revealed not one, but TWO little heartbeats pitter pattering away. It was THE most beautiful thing in existence. I bawled like a big ole baby because I was just so very thankful to see two lives growing inside of me after I had wondered for so long if I was ever going to be given the gift of even ONE. (Did I mention, my husband and I, being an item half of our lifetimes now, have always wanted twins?!)

So here comes the usual, FUN pregnancy things that I strangely welcomed. It was comforting knowing that my body was working after feeling broken for so long. Yes, the gagging on tooth paste, the nausea, not being able to tolerate smells–my husband still will not let it go that I tossed his very pungent BBQ ribs one evening–all of it. With it being a twin pregnancy, they watched me closely, so I practically lived at my OB and had round-the-clock ultrasounds. But then there was that one ultrasound, that one that changed EVERYTHING.

Baby Ait’s a girl!
Baby Bit’s a girl!

We were thrilled and already picking out names while she was doing all the measurements and checking every little inch. Then she saw it, something that made the smile on her face turn to concern. She left the room to get the high-risk doctor to take a look. We didn’t get a lot of answers that day, but were told that Baby B had a swollen foot. We were given a few options as to the cause, but we were reassured that every other checkmark was perfect.

She was whole. She was beautiful. She was perfect.

Over the course of the next two weeks, nothing changed; we just had to wait and watch. Each scan, the same result. All the while enjoying each sweet kick from both of my girls and mustering up the strength to believe it would be ok.

The decision was made to send the scans over to a fetal surgeon and immediately he confirmed it was an amniotic band that had broken away from the very bubble that was supposed to keep her safe. It had wrapped around her ankle and they were hopeful, so hopeful they booked an OR and had us scheduled on the board for two days later to allow for travel time. As a nurse that has only worked in high acuity areas, I kept calm, I knew how to keep calm in the face of fear.

I wanted to cry, but I wanted to fight for her. I connected all the dots and said I will do whatever I need to do to save her.

But I couldn’t. I had no control over the course of events unraveling without even knowing. We made it to our destination and the plan was to check both babies in more detail and ensure positions were favorable for operating. She started with Baby A and then all of a sudden, all done. We were taken to another waiting room and she said the surgeon would be with us shortly. What seemed like an eternity later, back on the table, he was there completing the scan. He started with an apology and informed us Baby B was no longer with us.

Wait–no, how?
The life I carried for five months,
the life I wanted and dreamed of,
the heart I saw beating on countless scans before,
LIFELESS.

It goes without saying, that every fiber of me hurt. How does everything look favorable and then the very next day, her entry to Heaven was gained? The doctor continued the scan to help gain understanding of what happened, but I wasn’t there, I had already checked out, frozen, hurt, confused.

My sweet little baby, so close to surgery, so close to hope. The same band that had caught ahold of her ankle, proceeded to get entangled with her umbilical cord and cause her demise. We left there with words that didn’t bring any comfort as naturally my body was going to be confused and our other baby was in danger.

It was all a blur after that, we drove the longest four hour car ride home, mostly in silence, alternating with eyes full of tears. Kind of like the ones filling my eyes NOW as it still stings to relive. I remember us stopping for dinner, I didn’t want to eat, but I had to, another sweet baby girl STILL depended on me. I wanted to crawl into a ball and just forget about the world, but I couldn’t.

We had picked first names beforehand, Emmy & Ella. Now we finally knew middle names–Emmy Faith & Ella Joy. Faith that Emmy’s life had a purpose that we would see one day through it all and we spoke over Ella that she would bring joy to us through the pain as she continued to be with us.

I had this super sweet friend that was a twin mommy and she gave me the most beautiful, heartfelt card. Amidst her writing, she said, “you will always be a twin mommy.” I wanted to feel that way but I didn’t. Nothing could make me feel that way… I wanted BOTH my girls–there. It wasn’t the same, I wanted to feel differently, but I couldn’t.


I am going to fast forward through the unbearable emotions you can only imagine existed. Not because I don’t want to talk about them, but because I made it through that, only by the peace that God can give. There is so much to that part that I can go on and on about, how we could see Him in every detail, but for right now I want to talk about how good God is. How He restores that which is broken. How He amazes. How He will always be the light in dark places.


Ella baby heart pic

I went on to carry our Ella Joy to term and boy, has she filled our lives with that exact joy we hoped for. I held her tight, so tight that had she been able to speak, she certainly would have given me the brush-off that teenage kids give when you will want to hug and kiss on them.

Don’t get me wrong, the struggle was (is) way real, a sweet little girl will always be missing from every milestone and a lifetime of memories, but for now, we will cling to our hope in eternity: no more tears, no more sorrow, only pure happiness exist there.

We savored every moment with Ella Joy, and when she was 18 months old, we had that feeling like we were ready for another child. This time, the pregnancy happened so quick. Still lots of pokes and tests and the sort, but we knew what worked (and didn’t work) this time around.

Several weeks later when time for the scan— Twins. ❤️

Jase and Lola


MEET THE AUTHOR

Ashley Solberg
Ashley Solberg – I am a Mommy to three precious kiddos four and under, phew! My husband and I are on staff in the children’s ministry at our church, citylife, in Tampa, FL and have been attending there since we were children ourselves. Our anthem is grace & love. I am the founder of She is {blank space}, where ladies find inspiration and wholesome, fun, tid bits of information each with a She is {fill in the blank} topic in mind.

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