Preston and Julian’s Birth Story
I’m going to tell you right now – this will be a hard read. It isn’t pretty. But I wrote Bella’s birth story, and just because Preston and Julian were early, or because it wasn’t at 30 odd weeks, doesn’t mean it wasn’t their birthday. I had to write this because until I do, it will eat away at me every day. Tonight it pulled at me so hard I had to sit and write it, no matter how painful. I don’t know if anyone will understand that, I had to write it. It’s ok if you don’t read it.
Wednesday May 2nd was another day at the hospital. Every time I moved I leaked amniotic fluid a little. That morning it had slowed and I told the MFM in hopes we would see a miracle. He wheeled the ultrasound machine in immediately, and for the first time in a week I saw them.
Yeah, it looks really different when there is no fluid. Just a little pocket around their faces. Their tiny heads so close together. We saw strong heartbeats. It was so hard to watch, so hard to lay there and wonder if they were in pain or suffering. I remember it being unbearable to think about. He printed off a picture and gave it to me. I had no idea it would be the last one of them.
That day was uneventful. We had my inlaws come visit, my mom was still there and decided to stay the night instead of Sam so Bella could be with him and he could have a good nights sleep. I remember around 11 being in a lot of pain. My favorite nurse and my own doctor were on shift that night, they checked and hooked me up to a monitor, but no one saw any contractions. I remember thinking how the pain came in waves – like contractions with Bella but different. They were really, really painful.
No one seemed to know what was going on, and they couldn’t check me for fear of infection since my membranes were ruptured, so we took our best guess that I needed to use the restroom soon.
I fell asleep.
At 3am, I woke to the most excruciating pain – I couldn’t even breathe. I thought I needed to use the restroom, and so I pushed the call button for the nurse and she helped me in. I told my mom not to worry about it, to just rest and I’d be right back.
I remember sitting there, trying not to push because everyone had said, “Don’t push!” So I just sat but felt like I needed to push. Really needed.
And I looked down, and they were there. I remember standing up and catching them in my hands and just screaming in a voice that seemed to be completely disconnected from me. I had no idea what had happened, none, I was so shocked, and I looked down and Preston was moving. He was moving still. My mom came running in and I remember her screaming and putting her hands over her mouth, and then calling for the nurse. They guided me to the bed and I shook so hard, I had no thoughts. None. Just complete shock.
I laid there and they laid them on my stomach. I knew Julian was gone, he was already gone and I never got to see him alive. Preston was still alive and I was so fearful of hurting him that when the attending asked if I wanted him on my chest I cried out, “No, no, leave him alone!” He fit into my hand and I marveled at him, even through the shock. He was so perfect. So tiny. His little hand gripped my finger as I tried to comprehend what was happening.
My mom had them baptized, and my doctor was there. She was so kind to me – she’d been with me since week 9 when we found out it was twins. I looked up at her face with tears in her eyes, and told her over and over, “I didn’t push, oh, I didn’t push, I promise. I’m so sorry.” And she shook her head and said, “It’s not your fault.” I talked with Sam, I don’t remember who called him, and told him to come quick. His voice broke on the phone as he said, “It’s over? It’s really over? They’re gone?” And he cried and I told him it was ok, he needed to bring Bella and he had to be careful.
I asked everyone to leave for a minute so I could be alone with them. I told them how very much I loved them, that I was their Mama and always would be. That one day I would see them again. That I was so, so sorry I hadn’t been able to carry them longer and how much I would miss them here on earth.
There was nothing they could do. The nurse heated up little washcloths and laid them over Preston to keep him warm. He moved and his little face screwed up and his mouth open and closed. He made little noises. We cut the cord on Julian and laid him on me. Sam got there and held him.
I finally asked if cutting the cord on Preston would mean he would go quicker. My doctor said yes, and I was so terrified he was in pain I told her to cut. All I wanted was for him to be in peace. She cut it and laid him on my chest, where I could feel him try to breathe. Sam sat next to me and we held hands and cried. I remember saying to him, “Remind me when this is all over and I start to feel so guilty about it all – how peaceful and perfect their moments here on earth were.” He called his mom and grandpa and told them what had happened and to come when they could. My mom was in the other room with Bella.
I waited for Preston to go while my hand was on him. Finally his little body stopped moving and he grew cold quickly. They weighed them both and gave them to me to kiss one last time. Their little bodies and faces are imprinted in my mind. I whispered to them both that I loved them, and they were wheeled away.
Later on we were brought their hand and footprints. The hospital took pictures of them for us as well. We had taken some of our own.
At first it was like everything was a dream. I felt like I was ok with it all, a deep peace had settled in on me when they laid me on the bed with them.
After they were gone, I felt guilt and deep sadness and almost a terror of them still being alive and being taken away from me without me knowing.
Then, because that wasn’t enough pain, the placenta wouldn’t come out and I ended up being induced with no epidural to get it out. It took about 4 hours. They didn’t want to do a D&C because I’d been through so much already. It was so painful and awful, I lost a ton of blood and I remember begging them to give me something, anything. They couldn’t give me much. I passed out in between pushes and contractions and when it finally came out I fell asleep for hours.
I woke up and Sam was there. I felt this overpowering urge to write about them, to hold those peaceful moments in time forever on something I could never forget. I bawled writing it, just like I’m sobbing writing this, but after it was done I felt a huge sense of relief. I’d blogged beginning to end with them, and never missed a milestone of their lives.
I miss them so much. So much. It’s so unfair. I wanted them to be here so bad, I feel every emotion still when it comes to thinking about their short lives. I almost can’t breathe through the tears writing this because it’s still so raw and painful to relive, but before I forgot anymore, it needed to be written.
I am so sad and I would give anything to have them back with me. My life is filled with wonderful moments, the hope of adoption, and so many blessings, yet there isn’t an hour of the day that I don’t think of the two little boys I held in my arms for a few hours. I will ache for them forever.