Monday, March 27, 2017

Current Struggles

I know this blog has focused on our miscarriage a lot lately, but that's just our life right now. Some days are worse than others - some moments are worse than others. These are some things I've been struggling with lately, that maybe I didn't expect to, or have been affecting more than I thought they would:

Last week I attended a PLC (professional learning community) for school about the effects of childhood trauma on the brain. This is something we've been discussing and learning about as a school and district a lot this year to be better supporters in the classroom. Anyway, the presenter was talking about how much the brain develops so much even as a fetus, before a baby is born. She was saying how things like stress in the mother and/or her smoking/drinking while pregnant has a negative effect on the baby's brain and development that could impact them for the rest of their life. It just made me think about how I tried to provide the best prenatal care that I could for my boys, but I still lost them and how that's not fair! How come the mom that drinks and smokes during her pregnancy can have her baby, but I didn't get to have my two boys...after six months of fertility treatments!
I know that life isn't fair. And I know that's just how the world is, but it just sucked a little bit extra that day, in that moment. It's things like this that pop up every now and then, that makes me think of what could/should have been and makes this whole experience hard.

Another thing that's been bothering me lately is that our boys don't have names. When we were in the hospital, after they were born, several of the nurses/staff asked us if we had names picked out, and we didn't. We thought we had another 3-4 months to pick out their names, so we hadn't really settled on anything - we hadn't even had a ton of ideas yet. Sitting in the hospital, trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I just gave birth to my babies half way through my pregnancy, and that they were dead......the idea of naming them just didn't feel right. We didn't have names picked out. How could I sit and name them when I didn't even get a chance to know them?!
But now, I want to. I have thought about their little faces every single day for the last seven weeks. I have put different names to their faces in my head and I want them to have names. I want them to have identities, even though they'll never grow up in our family - they're still my babies. They're still our sons. I don't know how to go about it, and obviously that's only something Tim and I can decide, but that's what's on my mind recently.

Pregnancy. That's what's on my mind a lot! I, honestly, cannot wait to get pregnant again. And it's not to replace the babies we've lost, but to grow our family the way we've always wanted to. I've written an entire separate blog post about this topic, that I'll share at a later date (no, I'm not pregnant), but it is absolutely something that is on my mind all the time.

Announcements of pregnancy & newborns. It seems like my entire Facebook feed has been filled with positive pregnancy tests, announcements, bump pictures, birth announcements and monthly photos of adorable little newborn babies! And maybe it's because I'm just a little extra sensitive right now, but I just can't handle it!

"I'm supposed to be posting the bump pictures. 
Today is Wednesday, that was the day we took the pictures.
I wonder how giant my belly would be today?
How far along would I be now?
We're supposed to have three kids.
Are they scared to share their news in case something happens? 
Why did my boys get taken away?
I wonder what they would have looked like."


Dreams. I've been having a lot of dreams recently about having babies, being pregnant, etc. One night I had a dream where we had a 4-5 month old son and while I was playing with him & feeding him, I couldn't remember his name or if he had a name. Then he was in an exersaucer, leaned forward, fell out and bumped his head. When I picked him up, he started getting smaller and eventually looked like Baby A. So I started nursing him, and he was back to his normal size and was totally fine. (WEIRD!)
Last night I had a dream that I was pregnant again, with one baby. I couldn't bring myself to find out the gender, I wanted to be surprised. But then someone looked at the screen during the ultrasound and said, "wow, yes, I can tell", and immediately I knew we were having a boy. I got so excited because we would be able to use the clothes that we bought, and still have, for the twins.

I'm guessing this is just the way my mind is working through not having our sons, but my heart still wanting them. I will always wonder how our life would have been different. I am not posting these things to make people feel bad for me. I'm not looking for your opinions on baby names or when would be the best time for us to try to expand our family again. I'm using this as a form of processing for me, and sharing my experience with others so that they can learn from or have someone to connect with if they've gone through something similar. This is real life for me. I don't ever want to forget the two little boys that were supposed to join our family this summer, and this is the way I'm choosing to grieve and process.

Monday, March 6, 2017

One Month Later

Yesterday marked one month exactly since I miscarried our twin boys at 19+4 weeks. I'd have to say that Tim and I have been doing pretty well all things considering. Anna has been a fantastic distraction, and I don't know what/how I'd be doing without her!

Every day is different. Some moments I feel like I was never even pregnant because it was here and gone so fast. Sometimes I so look forward to the day I'm pregnant again. Other days seeing pregnant women makes me angry and jealous. I think a lot about the future, mostly about this summer. I was supposed to have three kids, not just one. The way I thought my summer was going to go is completely different. I try to think about the positives - I get to spend so much more time with Anna than I expected, especially before she starts preschool - but it still makes me sad because we were supposed to be expanding our family this summer and that's not going to happen.

I spent a lot of time last night allowing myself to remember our boys. I think about them often, especially with the perfect necklace I wear from our friends Kristen & Ryan. It's the perfect little reminder of my guys every day. I often think about them quickly and either get distracted by life/work/family, or find a distraction as not to dwell on the sadness of everything. But last night, I allowed myself a couple hours to really think about them and how much our lives have changed. I read posts and stories of other moms who have gone through similar situations. I decided to join a couple local SHARE groups to connect with other women. I shared the story of our boys and allowed myself to be sad for a while.

I keep coming back to a post I read the other day on a blog called "Scary Mommy". It discusses how women tend to have to grieve on their own when they experience and earlier miscarriage and how society doesn't know how to handle or talk about miscarriage even with it being so common. Now, obviously we are not grieving alone and this did not happen early for us, but there were several lines in her post that connected with me:

"You didn’t stay very long, but it doesn’t take long to become part of a family. And for the short time you were with us, you made us a family of four. You made us so, so happy."

"I am sorry you didn’t get to stay longer. I am sorry my body betrayed you. I am sorry that you did not get to grow. I grieve for the future that I had planned for you in that short amount of time. But I am so glad that I knew you, even for the briefest of times. And I will never forget you, little one, not ever."

"... there is no line graph where the love you feel for life inside you increases with the number of weeks it gestates. Pregnant is pregnant. Loss is loss.
Miscarriage isn’t just a loss we feel emotionally. It happens to our bodies, inside of us. We experience it physically. "
"While I have physically and emotionally healed from my miscarriage, I will always remember the life that could have been. I will never forget his due date nor the future I had imagined."

I will always think about what could have been, but I will not dwell on it. As time goes on, I will never, ever forget our two little boys. But our family will become stronger from this and we will move on to be better versions of ourselves.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Second Week - Recovery

Another week down, yet it feels like it's been forever. This week has been a bit easier, but I still think about both boys all the time. I've been playing a lot of "what-if" scenarios in my head this week: What if I knew my water broke? What if I didn't go to my CF appointment? What if I had gone in to be checked just one more time?... I don't like thinking this way because I know that there was absolutely no way to change the outcome of what happened, but sometimes I just can't help but think about it. I think these thoughts will always be in the back of my mind, and I'm looking forward to the days when they don't pop up frequently.

On a brighter note, going back to work felt so good - way better than I expected. In my last post I talked about how I was nervous about how the kids would react, or if things would be weird. Nothing weird or awkward! The kids were just so excited to have me back, I honestly bet half of them forgot why I was even gone. I did get several hugs from kids (and a few from adults) and felt so welcomed back! Everyone was extremely positive and sweet. Thursday, it felt so good to be teaching again. I remember thinking during a lesson, "This is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I'm supposed to be doing." Friday, I got to work and was full of energy. I cleaned and organized my room, rearranged desks, entered grades, sorted papers....all while I was supposed to be at a meeting - oops! Oh well, no biggie. :)

It was nice having a three day weekend, with gorgeous weather, to spend time with friends and my little family. Tim, Anna and I were able to enjoy lots of time outside this weekend which was so fun. It's tricky because I'm glad that I was able to go for a long walk with them this weekend, but it also made me a little sad because I'm not huge, pregnant and waddling like I expected to be. There are little moments like these that pop up day to day where I think to myself, "I wouldn't be able to do this if I was still pregnant." Sometimes I feel like I was never pregnant, but it's times like these where I remember that I absolutely was and those little guys were a part of our life, even for that short amount of time.

I try really hard not to dwell on the what-ifs and that "this would be different if I was still pregnant" moments because I cannot do anything to change what has happened. I don't want to surround myself with negativity and stress - that's not going to help this healing process AT ALL. I feel that both Tim and I have been dealing with everything and beginning to healing really well. We've had some wonderful talks, we've been really positive about everything and it's been great having him throughout all of this over the last couple weeks. I had no idea what to expect or how I'd handle this whole situation two weeks ago, but I really do feel that we've both come a long way and I'm proud of how we're handling everything. I'm sure there will be many tough moments ahead (their due date, this summer, milestones, holidays, etc), but I know that we are strong together and we can make it through. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Recovery

Tomorrow I return to work and I'm full of mixed emotions. I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" as much as I can. I crave routine and I love my job. I miss my kids, but I'm honestly nervous about seeing them for the first time. I'm worried that they're going to have questions that I can't answer, or may bring up emotions that I don't want to face in front of them. It's also going to be hard seeing all of my co-workers again. I'm sure there will be lots of hugs and probably even a few tears, but I'm going to try to be strong for my boys tomorrow and Friday. I chose to go back towards the end of the week so that I can ease myself back into the working world. I'll be working two days this week, then we have a 3 day weekend, and only a 3.5 day work week next week. I think slowly getting back into full time will help my mind and body adjust to working again.

I wanted to use this post to kind of re-cap the last ten days and what my recovery was like, physically and emotionally. To be honest, there are times when it felt like I was never even pregnant because it was ripped away so quickly. Then that makes me sad because I don't ever want to forget our little guys. Then there are times when I think about how far along I would be today and wonder what I would look like, if I would feel them squirming yet, etc.

Sunday - the day of: physically, I really did feel fine on Sunday in the hospital. Baby B was born around 3-3:30am, and for the next 5+ hours my body was forced into labor to deliver their placentas that didn't come out on their own. This process was honestly the worst of it all. I was cramping and in pain for over five hours, constantly pushing to try to get them out. Once they finally came out around 8:30-9, it was the biggest feeling of relief, physically. I don't think I even processed losing the boys because I was so worried about getting the placentas out without losing too much blood or screwing up my reproductive system (neither happened - everything went very well).
The rest of the day, Tim and I had to process what had just happened, and notify our family and friends. Physically, my body felt fine. I wasn't in pain, the cramping subsided and eventually stopped pretty quickly, and I really wasn't even fatigued. Emotionally, I was numb. I don't think I really realized what happened until a few days later. It was sad and really tough to call our family and friends to tell them what happened, but I don't think I really understood it. Tim and I were able to talk through a lot of it, but I wonder how much we really grasped it then.
Sunday evening, I was discharged from the hospital around 6pm. I declined a script for pain medication from the doctor because I was feeling fine in the hospital. We stopped by Walgreens to pick up some Motrin for me in case I had any physical pain when I got home. Once we got settled at home, I noticed that I was struggling to take a deep breath without having pain. I assumed it was from missing a few treatments since being in the hospital, so I forced myself to do a treatment before crashing in my bed. Unfortunately, the albuterol did not feel as good as I expected, and the pain didn't really go away. I was way too tired to even think about it, so I curled up in my bed and passed out for the night. (I hadn't slept since 1:30am, Sunday morning)

Monday - I woke up in pain! My body hurt! And it wasn't my uterus area, either, which surprised me the most. It hurt to breathe, bend, move in certain directions, swallow food/water, etc. The area all around my rib cage, front and back was so sore! I felt like a little old lady. It hurt to stand up straight and take a deep breath, so I was hobbling around the house, breathing very quick, shallow breaths. I tried not to move too much. I realized that I was so sore from bearing down and pushing for five hours! I took Motrin every four hours, but it didn't give me much relief. Anna's sleep schedule was thrown off too, so all three of us did a lot of laying around together this day.

Tuesday - I decided I needed something stronger for this pain! I called the OB who was on-call at the hospital and asked for a script for something. She ended up prescribing me Norco and 600mg of Ibuprofen. We drove to the OB's office to pick up the script for Norco and had to bring it to a Walgreens to get filled - which took an hour because they were so busy!
We also stopped at the funeral home on this day. I thought we were going to pick up our babies, but we just met with one of the employees (my co-teacher's dad, he was amazing!) to discuss how cremation would go and what to expect.
Then, later that afternoon, Anna had her 2.5 year check-up. With all the chaos going on, I thought about rescheduling, but I also thought it would be a good distraction and a nice focus on our little girl. Tim wasn't feeling the best & was also on Benadryl, so I took Anna to her appointment. She was SUCH a big girl! She was able to use the big kid scale for the first time, and they measured her height against the wall for the first time, too. She also allowed the doctor to look at her and listen to her without having to sit on my lap! From her appointment at two years old, Anna gained over two pounds and grew 1.5 inches! The doctor and I were both very pleased with her growth, and I was so proud of how well she did at her appointment. :)
The rest of the day, I took it easy - that was the most I had to do since Sunday, and I was exhausted. I took the Norco as prescribed, but I felt it didn't make a huge difference in my pain level.

Wednesday - Tim went back to work on this day, which made me a little sad, but I know that he's the type of person that needs to keep busy. Thankfully my friend Catie had the day off already due to babysitter issues, so she and her adorable daughter, Lila, came down to hang out with Anna and I. Catie was a huge help! Her and I have been best friends for over ten years and she just gets me. She helped me with things around the house, helped with both girls while we went into school so I could get my midterms done, and even ran to the grocery store for us! It was wonderful being able to spend the day with her, and Anna loved having Lila to play with.
Physically, I was starting to feel better, I was able to breathe a bit better, but still tried to move slow and take it easy. One new symptom I noticed was that my boobs were starting to hurt in the morning, and by afternoon, my milk was coming in. This was not something I even thought about since having the boys, so it really threw me for a loop! It made me sad that my body thought I had the babies home with me and was preparing to feed them. I knew there wasn't much I could do, but figured I'd ask at my doctor appointment the following day.

Thursday - This was definitely my most emotional day. I woke up really sad. I don't know if it was because my physical pain was finally gone, so now I could start processing the emotional pain of it all; or if it was because I had my appointment with MFM and I knew it was going to be so hard to see the team again.
Thankfully my friend Kristin went with me to my appointment. I asked her a couple days in advance because I wasn't sure what I'd feel like being on the Norco and if I should drive. I also wasn't sure if emotionally I'd be able to drive after my appointment, so I was happy when she told me she'd take me. She picked me up early and we hit up the mall for a little bit before the appointment, which was a nice little distraction.
When we got to MFM, they called me back pretty quickly and as soon as the first nurse came in, I lost it. She looked so sad to see me, immediately gave me a hug and we cried together. Once I settled down, I told her the story of how everything happened Sunday and we talked it through. She told me how sad everyone was to hear about it and how they all cried together for me. It was nice to be able to talk to her though. And when she left, the nurse practitioner came in and it was the same thing all over. We hugged, we cried, I talked (a lot) and we had a great conversation. She was able to answer any questions I had, gave me a couple tips on how to help dry my milk, and was extremely comforting. She reassured me that there really was nothing that anyone could have done differently and that unfortunately things like this just happen and there's no way to stop them. After talking to the both of them, I felt better and was able to leave feeling pretty good. Kristin and I got some lunch together and I was so drained when I got home that I took a nap!
I remember thinking on this day, "Oh my goodness, how is it Thursday already?!" Then I realized how quickly Monday was coming up and how I was definitely not ready to go back to work yet. After talking with the nurses and Kristin about how I was feeling, I decided that Monday was not the day I'd go back to work. I decided to take a few more days the next week and make my first week back nice and short. That's when I texted my principal that I'd be coming back in one week, the following Thursday.

Friday - I really don't remember much of what we did on Friday. Anna spent the day with Grandma on Thursday since I had my appointment, but I chose to have her home with me on Friday since it was really my first day home alone without visitors or anything. I know that was the first day I took Benadryl to help dry up my milk, and ended up taking a long nap on the couch. Thankfully Anna also took a long nap in her room, so we were both able to catch up on our sleep.

Saturday - We chose to spend the day with Tim's mom, sister, our nephews and then Tim's Grandma. It was nice to spend time with family and to watch Anna, Cole and Liam play together for a while. They're so funny together and act like siblings, so it's always entertaining.

Sunday - We had a lazy day around the house and it was wonderful! I think we ran some errands, but my days are blurring together, so I honestly don't remember. I know that physically, at this point, I was starting to feel so much more normal. I did have a bit of cramping over the weekend, but that's to be expected. Thankfully it only lasted a day or two and hasn't stuck around.

Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday - This week has flown by! Over the weekend, I remember thinking to myself that I had no idea what I was going to do this week, but I cannot believe how quickly it's gone by. Anna and I have been able to spend a lot of time together and it's been so nice! We've cuddled a lot, read books, played, painted, went to the museum, to the park and ran some errands. It was wonderful being able to soak up her extra cuddles and spend this time with her before having to return to work.
Each day I slowly felt more normal, both physically and emotionally. My body is getting back to the way it was prior to my pregnancy little by little. My milk is definitely drying up - thanks Benadryl - and I'm no longer in any physical pain from all of this. Emotionally, I'm okay. I am able to laugh with my family and friends, look forward to seeing people and doing things and I don't feel like I'm stuck in a rut. It feels like so long ago that I was pregnant, and sometimes feels like all of this was just a terrible dream. I still have several flashbacks, daily, about holding my baby boys and being in the hospital. I know, with time, that will get better.

And now, here we are - Wednesday night. I'm up later than I wanted to be, but that's not surprising. I'm feeling nervous about returning to work tomorrow because I really don't know how the kids are going to react. I feel bad that I've had to put them through something like this at such a young age.
I can deal with adults, and I'm looking forward to laughing with everyone again, but it's the kids I'm just not sure about. I really hope they allow us to go about our day as normal as possible. I'm worried about crying in front of them. I'm worried that they'll ask me questions that I can't answer. It's just a lot of unknowns which I never like...
Here's to a good night's sleep and cooperative little children tomorrow! :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

One Week Later - Emotions

Wow, as we come up on a week already since losing the boys, I am overwhelmed with many emotions.

Of course I'm sad that all of this happened. It hurts that we won't see our little guys grow up together with their sister. I'm still confused as to why this happened - something we will never, ever have the answer to. I'm disappointed that after going through months and months of fertility treatments to even get pregnant, we had to say good-bye to our little boys before they were ready to be born. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted from the actual event of it all, and replaying it in my mind over and over...

But despite all of these "expected" emotions, I've also been overwhelmed with love. The love that I have for my husband and daughter has been my strength to get me through this. The way he has supported me over this week makes me so proud and so lucky to be his wife. We've both been so happy to have Anna as our little ray of sunshine to keep us happy and laughing during the difficult/emotional moments.

But what's more, is that I cannot believe how lucky we are to have such amazing people in our lives! The amount of love that has come our way over this last week has been absolutely amazing and I cannot even begin to put into words (even though I'm going to try) how thankful we are to each and every person that reached out to us.

When such a tragedy happens to a loved one, as an outsider, you don't know what to do or say that's going to make those people feel better. You don't want to say too much, or not enough, and you really don't know what you're supposed to do.
But when the tragedy happens to you, I've realized that it doesn't matter what people say or how much they say - what matters is that they are there and that you know they love you. I didn't know what I wanted people to say to me after all of this -- what could they really say that was going to make me feel better?! What helped was knowing that people cared, no matter how they showed it. Our family and friends have been amazing over this last week. The outpouring of love towards our family has been unbelievable and truly, greatly appreciated. We seriously have the best family supporting us through this situation.

And a special shout-out to my work family! Holy cow, you guys! I've worked in this building for five years, and have seen our staff come together and support each other and our families many, many times. But to be on the receiving end of that support....it's unimaginable. To see that the people you work along side every day (and some you just see in passing because we're all so busy) truly care about you and your family is amazing. Again, I cannot express how thankful we are to everyone who helped cover my classroom, fill in my plans, talk to and support my kids through this hard time, donate their sick days, their time, their energy to make getting through this difficult time just a tad bit easier - it means the world to me.

I know that my emotions are going to be all over the place for a long time coming, and I don't think it's ever something we'll completely get over, but it'll get easier with time. But for those rough, emotional, hard times, I know that we are absolutely surrounded by people that love us so much and that truly makes all the difference. So, to every single person who has reached out to our family in any way, THANK YOU are not big enough words to express how much we appreciate you and your love.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2 1/2!

Two and half, how can it be?! I feel like you've grown up so much over these last six months. It amazes me to see such an independent little person walking around our house! :)


Another big change that will be coming up will be preschool -when you turn 3- and you are SO excited!! We won't know for sure until March whether you got in (I hope so, otherwise you're going to be so disappointed), but you talk about it like you've already been. You're always telling Daddy and I things that you did at preschool. You play games there, you eat with your friends, you use the potty, watch TV, play outside, etc. You have an amazing imagination!

You've been good, but you're getting better, at entertaining yourself. You'll go into your room and just talk away and play for a while. Of course you love when we play with you, but it's nice that you can play on your own. Together, we build puzzles, play with Play-Doh, play Candy Land, Hi-ho Cherry-O, and read books. You also love to sing! It's typically more in the car, but sometimes at home too. If you hear a song you like, but don't know the words, you mumble right along pretending you do. :)

Oh Anna, most days you're so easy and so fun, but those "terrible twos" emotional moments are slowly starting to come out. Along with your yearn to be independent, comes with wanting things your way, all the time. Most days we can negotiate, but sometimes in your mind, it's your way or no way! You cry over little things and are sometimes over emotional about stuff, but we always get through it - even if it's at 3am and you're throwing a huge fit because Daddy turned the bathroom light on instead of Mommy (yes, that just happened a couple weeks ago).

You have such a mix of your Daddy and my personalities, it's cool to see them meshed together into one little person. You definitely took the independence one from both of us, you've got my OCD and need for organization (you love loading/unloading the dishwasher because everything has it's own spot), and you are definitely absorbing Daddy's creative nature which makes me so happy. You love to help Daddy work on everything (especially measuring), you love to draw and color, and you have such a creative imagination. You're also very silly, which you get from both of us!  :)

*You're fully potty trained!
*You can complete get yourself dressed/undressed which is so helpful, and usually pick out your own clothes!
*Just last week you learned how to zip your jacket!! :)
*You know at least 15-20 capital letters, know a few lowercase, a few sounds, how write an O and A (even though the A is upside-down)
*Your vocabulary is expanding by the day! You LOVE to talk!! You're also listening when we don't think you are and tend to repeat things you shouldn't - which is kind of funny!
*You will randomly start dancing at times and it's hilarious! You'll say, "look at these dance moves!"
*Daniel Tiger is still one of your favorite shows, even though Daddy & I are over it!


**I wrote this entire post before we lost your brothers, and debated deleting this section, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

You love to do everything yourself and often say things like, "I a big helper!" I cannot wait for you to become a big sister!! You already love these little babies so much, even though you have no idea the chaos they're going to bring into our lives in a few months. As soon as we found out I was pregnant, you would walk around saying that you had two babies in your belly, too. Now that I'm getting bigger, you'll stick your tummy out, pat it and say, "these are my two babies, they're growing". You also love to pat my belly and say, "Hi babies!" The other day, you were even patting my belly and singing "You Are My Sunshine" to them - it was so adorable!!! I can't wait for you to be able to see/feel their movements, so that it might help you understand a bit that there really are babies in there. You've had to try out all of their things - car seats, stroller, rock n play, any toys we find, etc. You love looking through baby clothes - whether it's sorting through your old stuff, picking clothes at the store, or just staring in the boys' closet.

We hope that some day you'll still get to be the best big sister we know you'll be. Unfortunately, it's just not going to happen as we imagined, and that's okay. You still walk around saying that you have babies in your belly, and sometimes ask where our babies are, and I have to tell you that they're gone. You definitely don't understand what death means or why they're all of a sudden gone, but you've accepted this last tragic week very well.

I am SO proud of the little person you are growing up to be. I love how you love your family and friends; I love how excited you get over the little things; I love that you have a sense of humor and love to laugh with Daddy and I; I love your sweet, caring nature; I love how polite and well-behaved you are; and I love that you are our daughter. You are the perfect fit for Daddy and I and we could not love you more, little Peanut. :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

To Our Beautiful Baby Boys

Baby boys,
You left us too soon. I'm so..... I don't even have the right words to describe how I'm feeling - hurt, sad, confused, disappointed...I could go on and on.

You were 19 weeks and 4 days along, which was about 1/2 way for a twin pregnancy. Your little bodies were perfectly proportioned. You both had distinct and different facial features, meaning you were definitely fraternal. Your fingers, toes, and ears were just perfect. But your lungs were not developed and there was no way you could survive life outside of my womb. Baby A's face was narrower, and his nose was long and skinny. Even though on the ultrasound he looked just like Anna did on one of her ultrasounds, as soon as I saw Baby B's face, he looked just like Anna does now. He had a round little face, with a smaller little button nose just like his sister. Daddy and I were happy that we were able to hold you both for a little while before having to say goodbye. Anna was even able to see you, too.

According to all the doctors and nurses that helped us on Sunday, there was absolutely nothing I could have done differently and things like this "just happen". It definitely doesn't help not having an exact reason, but one of the first things the doctor told me was, "People feel like everything happens for a reason. This does not. There is absolutely no reason that this happened." As much as that sucked to hear, she was right. My body went into "silent preterm labor" meaning I didn't feel it and I didn't know, and I had an incompetent cervix, meaning it opened on it's own, well before it should have. There was nothing anyone could have done differently to save these precious little boys.

Even still, I feel like I've failed. It was my responsibility to grow those babies and keep them in my uterus until they were fully mature. I know that I didn't do anything wrong, but my body still failed. I failed as their mother, and I failed Tim as his wife. I know that these are feelings that I will have to work through on my own time, but right now, they're raw and real.

I'm constantly having flashbacks to my sweet little Baby A being born at home, and knowing that he was gone, but hanging on to any little hope that Baby B would be okay. Deep down, I think I knew it was over, but I wasn't giving up. About an hour after arriving at the hospital, Baby B came out peacefully and was laid on my chest, but he was already gone.

We decided to get your footprints done which are just as precious as ever and are the perfect little way to remember your sweet little frames. We're also having you cremated which is something we never thought we'd have to go through. But you were our babies, even if you were just 8 1/2 inches. You were alive for 19 weeks and I want to remember you always.It's going to be tough moving on from something like this, but we're taking it one day at a time. Anna has been a wonderful distraction for Daddy and I.

We will always remember our little "Butter & Jelly"
Love, Mommy

18 & 19 Weeks

**I debated whether or not to share this post, since I never quite finished it, but I'm going to publish it so I have it for the memories.

January 24 - 18 Weeks today!
The title of the week on my app this morning was "The Smooth Second" -- I beg to differ! This last week has really thrown me off and I cannot wait to be feeling the "smooth" second trimester feelings. Although with twins, I feel like that may have been from about week 12-14, haha!

Yesterday, I woke up with the chills and took some Tylenol every six hours to get through work. When I got home (after a professional development meeting, of course - can't miss out on those hours!) was shaking & felt terrible. I took my temperature with Anna's little ear thermometer and it was 99.8*F. I don't know if that exactly counts as a fever, but I'd say it is based on the way I'm feeling. As soon as the Tylenol wears off, I'm shivering and shaking with a headache until I take it and it kicks in....then of course, I start sweating...

I decided to stay home from work today so I could do extra treatments, although I'm not noticing much difference in my lungs; rest; stay hydrated and just relax. I've had a stressful week with the increasing pressure and bleeding, and now fevers. I'm over it! Thankfully I'm not vomiting, I'm able to keep food and water down just fine, not noticing any respiratory issues. Just headaches, chills/sweats.

I called MFM this morning to let them know about the fevers and they told me I'm allowed to take 2 extra strength Tylenol every six hours, so that's what I've been doing. I also just got off the phone with my CF doctor, who I was supposed to go see tomorrow for my three-month follow-up appointment. She said she doesn't want me driving that far by myself, so if I could get someone to come with me she'd still like to see me. If not, then she's okay with post-poning the visit unless I seem to get worse. She did tell me to have someone local see me and swab me for the flu, just in case. She said it may just be a viral thing that has to run it's coarse, but she wants me to get checked anyway. So as soon as I'm done with my treatments, I'm going to head to Express Care in town to see what they have to say.

January 25 - 18w, 1d

Good news: I don't have the flu! And my fevers are gone!!
I was able to go to my CF clinic appointment today which went pretty well. My lung function is down a tad, but that's to be expected with two growing little guys in there and a little extra mucus production. Lung-wise, I've been feeling great lately, so I'm not worried about the small decrease. I think once I start my Cayston back up in a week or two, it'll help get rid of some of the excess mucus I have going on.
My weight is still hanging at 138lbs which my CF doctor is complete fine with. I told her that I was worried I wasn't gaining enough weight with this pregnancy (only 4lbs so far) and she was worried one bit. She reminded me that I started out this pregnancy much higher than I did when I was pregnant with Anna, so that gives me a little "reserves" to use and means I don't have to gain as much as quickly this time. She thinks the further along I get, I'll eventually start putting on more weight, but she told me not to stress about it. I was able to talk to her and the dietitian today to get some more meal/snack ideas. They definitely don't want me cutting carbs because I need the nutrients and calories, but I just have to watch my sugars. My CF doctor is a bit more lax on what my fasting and two-hour numbers should be, which makes me feel better because I'd been having a hard time keeping them so low.

I feel like I'm finally starting to get better. I've had barely any fever-like symptoms today, only taken 3 Tylenol pills all day, although no naps, so I'm exhausted. I'm very happy that tomorrow is Friday so I can rest this weekend.

January 28 - 18w, 3d
I made it through work yesterday feeling pretty good. I did sit a lot which helps. Again, I'm just so surprised at how quickly I get worn out and tired. This last week has really put into perspective for me how much different and harder growing two humans is than one. I really had no clue!
I'm still having lingering headaches and some leaking/discharge, but I have a feeling those aren't going to go away any time soon. Oh the glamours of pregnancy... :)

I'm so anxious to start feeling the boys move!! Sometimes I can tell when they shift or are maybe sitting close to each other because I'll feel a lot of pressure in a specific area, but I still haven't felt any little flutters or jabs. I also can't wait for Anna to be able to feel them, too. She often gently pats my belly and says "Hi babies". This morning she laid in bed, patting my belly and singing "You Are My Sunshine" to them - it was adorable!!

January 30 - 18w, 5d
I can finally say I'm feeling better! I haven't had a big headache all day, I'm not super exhausted or in a lot of pain - yay!!! Even though I was feeling a lot better at work today, I still reminded myself to take it easy and slow. I sat when I could, walked slow when I had to walk and felt pretty good throughout the day. The boys still seem to be sitting fairly low and often put pressure on my lower uterus, but that's something I'm getting used to.

February 1 - 19 weeks
I think I fully slept through the night last night! I went to bed kind of early, and I don't remember rolling around uncomfortable or switching positions a million times. I actually woke up feeling rested this morning! Woo hoo!!

We're 19 weeks along today and you should be measuring about 6 inches long, each. You could be beginning to get little hairs on your head, your arms and legs are just about proportional to your body now, and your coordination is developing to control your arms and legs better.

I'm so excited for Monday's appointment to get your measurements for the first time. I'm also hoping we'll get lots of cute pictures and be able to see both of your faces. I can't wait to see every little inch of your bodies and make sure you're both healthy and developing as you should be.