Having Sophie made us realise how much I wanted another baby. We started to try for another a few months later. Although I really wanted another, I had my reservations. Would I be replacing her? I couldn’t replace her, but would it be right so soon afterwards?
I fell pregnant 2 months later and although excited, my anxiety kicked in. What would I do if it happened again? I thought about all the things that could go wrong. Things I never considered during my first two pregnancies. We told no one. I wasn’t planning on telling anyone either until I couldn’t hide it anymore.
I knew I wanted a genetic test this time. I had never considered it before, but after Sophie’s condition, we couldn’t go through that again. I also made sure I saw the doctor early on. This time to a different hospital, there were too many bad memories to go back.
My first Gynaecologist visit after baby loss
Having to explain to the doctor on the first visit was harder than I thought. Emotions took over and I felt I was reliving it all again. She asked me to lie on the bed and she would check the heartbeat. It all seemed fine and there was a heartbeat. Then she stopped…my heart skipped a beat as I expected the worst. There was two…You’re having twins!
I stared at my husband and both of us were in total shock. Twins did not run in our family. We hadn’t gone through IVF. Was this fate? Was this destiny? It had taken us by surprise and had stunned us to silence. Twins now posed further risks and complications that we were unaware of at the time.
The stress of tests & fear of experiencing pain again
The genetic tests all came back as low risk, but I was very much aware that it didn’t screen for the condition Sophie had. I thought my this would have eased my mind, but it didn’t. I was still so anxious and scared about what could happen. All I could think about was what the test hadn’t screened for. This was now a waiting game to get to 12 weeks with no complications.
12 weeks came and went without any issues. At the 16-week scan, we found out we were having MoDi boys, twins who share a placenta but are in different sacks. This pregnancy now posed an even higher risk as twin-to-twin syndrome could occur, as well as other complications single pregnancies didn’t have.
We needed more frequent scans and monitoring to ensure the babies were OK. Throughout my whole pregnancy, I remained pessimistic about everything. I felt guilty for wanting to get excited about the boys. Every time I felt myself getting excited, I would think about what could go wrong. I couldn’t see past being pregnant. I couldn’t see myself having the babies at home and looking after them as I hadn’t had the opportunity last time.
Being pregnant after experiencing baby loss
In my head, I was pregnant, but I couldn’t picture having two baby boys at home with me. I remember thinking, twins will never happen. What if one doesn’t make it? We may end up bringing one back from hospital, but not two. I had convinced myself that they would not come home with us. My husband understood why I thought that but dealt with it differently. He remained distant, like the pregnancy wasn’t happening. He didn’t want to get his hopes up until the babies were here.
At each appointment, the doctors were happy with how it was progressing. I still couldn’t believe them as I had been told this previously with Sophie. Looking back, I knew something was wrong last time, it was very different to my first. Something wasn’t right, but I never thought something would be wrong with the baby. I had just thought it was a difficult pregnancy, like other people I know had been through.
I kept my pregnancy a secret from everyone for as long as possible. I didn’t want to have to start explaining if things went wrong again. It also took an emotional toll on me as so many emotions and memories came flooding back. When I did tell people, I was on the verge of tears and I had no understanding why. It was supposed to be happy news, but I couldn’t allow myself to believe that and felt so much guilt.
Was I replacing her? Did having twins mean something? Do miracles really happen?
I was lucky enough to be able to work from home from 26 weeks (Thanks Covid!). I didn’t need to talk to anyone or have anyone congratulate me for being pregnant. People were being nice and were excited for me, but I couldn’t deal with that. I just wanted to get to the end and ensure everything was OK. I lived every day at a time praying I would get closer to them being full term. Each night, I crossed a day off my list, being grateful that another day has gone by without ending up in hospital. I passed 31 weeks, the week I had Sophie, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Only another 5 weeks to go! Could I make it that far?
Experiencing birth of twins after losing a child
My caesarian section was booked in for 36+0 weeks due to the shared placenta. I was petrified. Before I went into the OR, I tried my hardest to hold back the tears, but no one understood the reason. It wasn’t because I was scared of the surgery (Well, maybe slightly), it was because all the emotions of my previous birth came rushing back. What if something goes wrong? What if they don’t cry? What if the babies aren’t, OK? What if they end up in NICU again? I couldn’t do another NICU journey and identical twins were high risk. They would be premature babies and the chances of NICU were extremely high.
I was still in denial that I was actually having two babies. I told myself it wasn’t real until the babies were here AND all the checks had been completed to reassure me it would all be OK.
The caesarian section was a success, I heard them both cry! I kept asking the doctors if they were OK. I still wasn’t convinced. After they were born, twin 1 went to NICU and twin 2 came to my room with us. A few hours later, twin 2 was also taken to NICU due to low blood sugar. Was this the start of another NICU journey?
It turns out that it was only for a few hours. All they needed was phototherapy for jaundice and the monitoring of blood sugar levels. Twin 1 spent the first night with me, while twin 2 was in NICU. The next day, we were all reunited, the newborn checks were normal and my fears were gradually disappearing. I had two beautiful healthy baby boys in front of me and my anxiety had finally gone. I could finally move forward.
We had been blessed with three healthy children. The journey to get there was one of the hardest of our lives, but to see the smiles made the emotional roller-coaster worth it.
If you have been affected by any of these issues or want to get involved, please join the Facebook groups below or follow them on Instagram. The community is fantastic and there are so many people who are able to offer advice and support.
Small and Mighty Babies – Love through loss: A community bringing people together who have experienced loss.
Small and Mighty Babies: A Community bringing people together by offering support and care to those families anticipating premature birth, currently in NICU or who have recently come home.
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