Some people know about our story and it's one I feel comfortable telling. But there is always one question that gets me - how many children have you had? The answer is 5 - 1 angel baby and 4 here on earth. How many pregnancies? 6.
Joe and I got pregnant on our honeymoon - first time we didn't use the "pull and pray" method. I went to the store shortly after we returned because I just didn't feel like myself - to get a test. You can imagine our shock when we saw the lines confirming that we were pregnant. I believe Joe's exact words were "it can't happen the first time." And I said two things - "I
ve never had a false positive before" and if we have a daughter, those are words that better never come out of your mouth! :) I too went to my first appointment alone (as Joe was on a mission). I remember the doctor doing the ultrasound and then turned the screen to me and asked me what I saw, I'd never looked at an ultrasound before - so I said, "a baby" and he said "babies." We were having twins! I was totally surprised and to be honest - super excited. I sent Joe a picture and when hs landed he called right away. We were so excited. The whole pregnancy everything was fine. Blood test were normal, ultrasounds (every two weeks from 16 weeks on, were good.). Joe deployed in late February and was going to retun in May as we were due June 28 - but since it was twins, they could have come earlier in June. We didn't want to know what we were having - all we knew was that they were each in their own sac and I had one placenta. Which could mean they were identical or fraternal depending on when the egg split. At my 28 week ultrasound the doctor saw a dark spot on Twin A's head. He hadn't seen it two weeks before so he thought we were going to be ok, but sent a referra to the medical university (MUSC) to schedule an appointment. It was Good Friday. MUSC hadn't called by Tuesday, so I went back to my doctor on Wednesday thinking maybe he could get a better view and everything was fine. He still thought that I should go to MUSC to get a better ultrasound. They called and scheduled an appointment for Thursday - Joe was still deployed so one of my girlfriends came with me. They did the ultrasound and I wasn't looking because I didn't want to know the sex - which I made adamantly clear. I was asking questions and she of course said that she couldn't say anything, that the doctor would when he came in. Well, she finished and left and I started to freak out a little bit and then 6 people walked in the room - so you know that whatever they are going to say isn't going to be good. They told me that Twin A had alot of anomalies that would not be compatible with life. There wasn't anything they could do. They had never seen anything like this - one baby having all these anomalies and one that didn't. It was that day we learned they were identical and we became the talk of the office. They had meetings about our pregnancy trying to figure out how it was even possible. Best case was that Twin A would be born alive and worst case it would pass away in the womb and all the blood would rush to try to save twin A all while putting twin B in jeopardy. The Air Force rushed Joe home from Qatar in 24 hours - which was amazing. My good friend (now one of my best who I had literally met that February when our husband deployed together) was truly amazing that night. We continued to go to MUSC every week for ultrasound and to check all the dopplers to make sure Twin A was doing well. At 32 weeks they called a few days later and said they wanted to go ahead and induce us the following week. We had come up with a name for our little Twin A - Cayden - which means fighter- because they fought hard so that little Twin B could be here. You see - they believe that Cayden had trisomy 13, but when they checked her blood at birth - there wasn't a trace of it. It's something they should have seen on the 12 week ultrasound, but they didn't for a reason unbeknownst to anyone. On the morning of May 8, 2012 - I gave birth to two identical twin girls - Cayden at 8:12 and Windsor at 8:22. Cayden lived for 5 and half hours. We had her baptized at the hospital and she was able to meet Windsor outside the womb. She passed away peacefully in my arms next to her sister. It was truly one of the most heartbreaking of times and the most joyful - all at the same time. Windsor doesn't have a trace of anything - Cayden took it all so that Windsor could be here with us. They are both little miracles in their own ways. We have our days - Windsor knows about her and loves her and will always tell others about her twin. When she hears others ask how many children we have - she will answer 5 before I can. She will ask the hard questions about why she isn't here and I so wish that I had the answer.
Of course our story doesn't end there. :). We wanted to get pregnant again right away so that Windsor could have a sibling close in age since she wasn't going to get to have her twin. We got pregnant about a month before Windsor turned 1 and of course I was nervous for each ultrasound (especially since mine had been all good till week 28). This time - everything went fine and we welcomed a healthy baby boy in Dubai.
Fast forward a year and our boy turns 1 - two weeks after that I had what I thought was a super heavy (and long) period, but too much blood and something fell out around day 7. I had never taken a test, but I know that was when I suffered my first miscarriage.
Then we get to May of the same year - I'm feeling super tired, so I take a test and sure enough we are pregnant. Go in for the ultrasound around 7 weeks and she can find the heartbeat and everything looks pretty good, but it's measuring small, but that can be normal. She says to come back in a couple of weeks, so we do. This time I feel like she can barely find the heartbeat, but it's still there, so we don't think anything of it. About a week later, I have a horrible headache and just slept most of the day. We got the little ones in bed and we were just hanging out. I went to the bathroom and there was a little bit of blood, just some spotting - which I know can be normal for some people, but I've never had any of that. We call the nurse hotline and she asked the normal questions and says if it's just spotting to wait till the morning and go in if you feel like you need to. The next morning - more blood, so we decide to go to the ER (kids in tow). They do an ultrasound and it's confirmed - no more heartbeat. Then they say that I can go home and either wait for it to come out on it's own or do a D&C if it doesn't in about a week. The bleeding feels like it's never going to end and you are always wondering when the embryo is going to fall out. Mine did - in the middle of the night when I had felt a rush of blood - it plopped right into the toilet. I knew it by the noise. It was an emotional thing, but in such a different way than the other loss that we had experienced.
When we went through everything with the Cayden and Windsor we met with a geneticist - he told us that 95% of miscarriages are do to an abnormality - they still don't understand why they happen - he said it's God's way of taking that little one back to him.
We went out to get pregnant that following October and had a healthy baby girl in July 2016 followed by another healthy little girl in June 2018. We have 5 little babies that we had the pleasure of meeting and holding and loving. Plus two others that God took back to embrace before we could.