This and the birth entries were ones I didn’t really want to write, because I don’t want this blog to be seen as a sad one about loss, I want it to be about positivity and hope! But I suppose in order for me to talk about being happy and overcoming hard times….I need to explain the hard times and the challenges I’ve overcome. That being said, please forgive the ‘matter of fact’ tone to this one….its a story that needs telling sadly….
Of all our problems, getting pregnant was not an issue for me and my husband. Once we did however it was pretty much a horror show from start to finish…and then some. I had an early scan at 7 weeks and this is where they found it was a twin pregnancy. I remember bursting into tears in panic, I’m not sure many people have ever said ‘lets try for twins’. But you let it sink in and realise there are many out there who struggle to conceive and appreciate it as a genuine miracle.
At the 12 week scan, the shit show started its momentum. We were told one baby was smaller than the other and had much less fluid around it….this apparently was an early sign of something called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) in which one baby takes all the resources in the womb and the other suffers from this, in a way that can be fatal in its worst cases. The babies were sharing a placenta but in their own sacs, which made mine a ‘middle risk’ twin pregnancy, as whilst they had their own ‘room’ so to speak, they had to share nutrients and blood flow.
The next couple of scans were more positive and things had actually evened themselves out. We started bi-weekly scans, something standard for twin pregnancies as there is so much always going on and more to plan around etc. At around 17 weeks they couldn’t find the bladder in one baby. I came back the next day for them to try and find it….on my own…thinking that it would be fine and it was just a box to tick. Tip – NEVER GO TO A SCAN ON YOUR OWN! It still couldn’t be found and now the fluid around looked ‘shrink wrapped’ – both big red flags for TTTS. Throughout the whole pregnancy there were very few fleeting moments of things looking ok and me actually being able to enjoy it, but overall I had avoided getting excited or planning too much. There was no babymoon or baby shower, no proudly displaying my bump full of joy, how could I embrace being pregnant knowing there was so much risk of it going wrong?
So off we went, now every week, under the premise that it was very likely one or both babies were at risk. This went from weeks 17-24 which is the bracket TTTS is at its highest risk of developing. We were told each week that things were again slowly evening out and had rectified themselves. For all these weeks which dragged by unbearably slow, I was unable to look at the screen or hear the blood flow checks, because it was just too awful and I wanted to protect myself from getting attached to the babies. I couldn’t talk to anyone properly or give eye contact. I didn’t eat properly, didn’t wear makeup or take care of myself, and hid my bump under huge jumpers. Somehow though, we eventually got to our 24 week mark with all finally looking well. We thought we were on the home stretch.
We were discharged and sent back to the normal hospital. The next scan, just short of 28 weeks, we were told one heartbeat couldn’t be found. Its hard to explain how that felt. First it was pure rage, like I was going to smash up the room, then total numbness, then legitimately wanting to jump in front of a train. We have since had reports back on what happened, and it was found that Eva had the ‘lion’s share’ of my nutrients and resources, whereas the other baby was tucked into the side of the womb with a tiny umbilical chord….this is what caused the many ups and downs of the pregnancy as it went along…however there was no indication that the small chord was impacting on the baby anymore after 24 weeks. If noticed earlier, this would have meant both babies would have had to come out as early as 25/26 weeks, where its unlikely either would have made it. In as much comfort as you can take from a situation like this, that’s where I take it from the most. In all its cruelty, this pregnancy was never really going to result in two babies, it was always going to be Eva. That doesn’t make it hurt less, but it gives you some peace.