This post is Part 1 of a five-part series on the birth and loss of my baby girls, Summer and Malia. A new part will be posted every Monday and Thursday.
Come back on April 18, 2016, for Part 2.
On March 7, 2016, I became a mother to two precious baby girls. On the day of their birth, I knew for the first time what it felt like to fall in love at first sight — something I had never experienced before, not even with my husband. I had always wondered how anyone could love a newborn baby. Sure, they’re cute and all, but it’s not like there’s a relationship there. Feeling kicks and jabs against your belly isn’t exactly the same as forming a relationship with someone through conversation and shared interests. You can imagine my surprise, then, when my mom put my babies in my arms for the first time. Lightning struck. I knew immediately that I loved both of them and wanted nothing more than for them to be safe and loved and to have the best things in life. It’s the strangest and most beautiful feeling.
Our babies had perfect little features. I couldn’t believe that they came out of me and that I was a part of creating them. It was the best day of my life.Sunday
The day before I had my girls was a Sunday.
Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
– Robert Browning
That morning, I woke up around 6:00 a.m. feeling nauseous. It was a familiar feeling because it was the same feeling I had in my first trimester. After making a quick trip down the porcelain highway, so to speak, I went downstairs to the kitchen to make myself a smoothie and some toast. Eating something always settled the nausea and vomiting. But about two hours later, after my husband got up, my body decided it didn’t want to keep my breakfast down and I threw up all over our hardwood floor. This would have worried me more had I not had a terrible first trimester of nausea and vomiting. (Sucks to be a woman.) I decided that I must have done too much the day before, even though I didn’t really feel like I did.
After my little episode, my husband and I agreed that I should go lie down and rest, so I went back upstairs to bed. As he quickly took care of the mess I had made, I curled up with my iPad and put on a movie.
My belly was massive at this point. The babies were 21 weeks and three days, but my belly looked like I was 30 weeks. I guess that’s what comes with having twins — hugeness. It was virtually impossible to find a comfortable position in bed. The closest position to comfortable that I found was lying reclined on my back against three layers of pillows. Of course, this position didn’t really help the frequent urination that accompanies pregnancy. All that reclining did was push on my bladder. I might as well have lived in the bathroom, or at least had a catheter.
Not long after I started my movie, my husband came to our bedroom with a sandwich in hand. He wanted me to eat something since I had just thrown up my breakfast. Our babies needed nourishment. It only made sense. After having my second breakfast, I was fairly confident that I could keep that meal down. Boy, was I wrong.
I managed to finish my movie when I decided to go downstairs. Not three steps after getting off the bed, I felt the sudden urge to vomit again. As I quickly yelled for my husband, I could feel my last meal coming up and slide down my chin and through my fingers while I covered my mouth. Suffice it to say that I didn’t make it to the bathroom before food started coming up, this time flying right out of my mouth. It was nothing like I had experienced before. I guess there’s a reason why they call it projectile vomiting. As I huddled over the sink, I felt a wave of worry overcome me.
Afterwards, yet again, my husband told me to go and rest. I went to one of our guest bedrooms (the one we planned to turn into the nursery) to lay down as he cleaned up the most recent mess I had made. I tried not to worry. What was going on? Did I catch some sort of food borne illness? I was so careful. Was it Listeria? It seemed like I had the symptoms. As I sat in bed confused about everything that was happening, my husband tried to reassure me and told me that everything was going to be okay. We would go to the doctor if things didn’t improve by morning. We agreed to wait and see for now.
After calming me down a bit, my husband went to the grocery store across the street to get crackers and some Gatorade. I needed electrolytes since I had thrown up everything I ate. By this time it was around 12:30 p.m. It was lunchtime, but because I couldn’t seem to keep anything down, it was crackers and Gatorade for me.
About 20 minutes later, my husband came back from the store with crackers, Gatorade, and a syringe to squirt the juice into my mouth. I took a small bite of a cracker and he shot 10 cc of Gatorade into my mouth, and then another 10 cc 15 minutes later. Shortly after that second round of Gatorade, I threw up all over the bed. It was nothing but fluid. I felt myself cry. What is going on with the babies? Are they okay? After that, we had no choice. I wasn’t even able to keep liquids down at that point. We had to go to the hospital.
I wish I could tell you that everything turned out fine and that my babies are still safe with me. But the horrifying truth is that things only got worse after we arrived at the hospital. Ironically, the best day of my life also turned out to be the worst, because the same day I met my babies, I lost them too.
To be continued …
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