I have a picture on my living room wall that I look at and think "Life was so perfect back then." It's a picture of me, Brad & Addison at Christmas 2010 when I was 3 1/2 months pregnant with Tyler & Ethan. We're all smiling, looking forward to what was to come in 2011. I had no idea that my perfect little family was about to be hurt beyond belief.
I had always felt like something was not right about this pregnancy. I wasn't very sick. I had weird sensations when I walked around too much or picked Addison up sometimes. I would tell my doctor and call the doctor's nurse with my concerns, and every time they checked things, all was perfect. But I still worried; turns out it was with good reason.
On March 18, 2011 I went in for a cervical measurement (standard for twin pregnancies at my OB). They discovered that even though I wasn't even 22 weeks along, I was fully effaced and 1 cm dilated, plus Tyler's bag of waters was hanging into the cervical canal. I was put on full bedrest at home for a week until I started spotting, at which point I was admitted to the hospital. I had no contractions; no one knew what was going on. They put me on Magnesium for 48 hours (awful stuff), then a different drug to ward off contractions further. I had a lot of hope that I could hold on until the boys were better developed.
But then in the dark hours of the morning on Friday, April 1, full-blow contractions started. They examined me again and said that Tyler's water had leaked or broken and that his cord was prolapsed. They said we needed to make a quick decision: emergency c-section to try and save them or natural delivery and do not resuscitate. We had met with the NICU team twice and both times they had said that 24 week old babies who were twins & male only had about a 3% chance of survival without "morbid abnormalities". We couldn't bear to watch our children suffer a slow and painful death, as that was the most likely outcome, so we made the decison to not resuscitate. We held onto the hope that even though we would lose Tyler for sure, that Ethan would stay in and "cook" for a couple more weeks...our chance was less than 1%, but it was all we had.
As you know, Tyler and Ethan were both born that day on April 1. Tyler was stillborn due to the prolapsed cord. Ethan lived for about 45 minutes. We had pictures taken of them by a local organization while Ethan was still alive. Sara, our nurse, brought him back to me and he passed away just a minute or two later.
This blog will chronicle some of the things we've learned from Tyler & Ethan's brief lives. The reality of life is that my boys are gone, and the only thing I can do about it is learn something from them. I figure that is the best way of memorializing them and moving forward.