Sleep well, our Apollo and Artemis. - Narcissism is Necessary

Sleep well, our Apollo and Artemis.

It’s been 12 days since I lost my son and daughter to prematurity. They were born at 24 weeks 5 days gestation – 4 weeks away from having a shot at staying alive and 15 weeks away from being actual full-term babies. How do I even begin to describe the saddest day of my life?

The pregnancy

My pregnancy was uneventful apart from the excitement (and horror) of finding out that I was carrying twins. The babies were growing well, I felt happy and relaxed, I did not bleed like when I was carrying Liam.

At every check-up and ultrasound, I was given the all-clear. Other than some concern with my low red blood cells and placenta being a little close to my cervical opening, I was a healthy pregnant woman. My heart skipped with joy everytime I saw my babies on the screen; seeing the outlines of their faces, their hearts beating strong, their arms waving and legs kicking.

Sometimes I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, happily married to a wonderful man who loves me and about to have 3 kids with only two pregnancies. To become a mum of three; 2 sons and a daughter…my fantasy coming true.

I woke up that day a little tired but nothing alarming. That’s what carrying a heavy belly does to you afterall. I made lunch for Liam and myself, folded the laundry, ate tea jelly with red dates that I made the day before and watched The Good Wife. I touched my growing belly ever so often with quiet happiness. I was contented.

And then I chatted with husband on Whatsapp about dinner and with phone still in my hand, I went to relieve my bladder. It was around 6pm.

Finished, wiped and had a quick look at the tissue. When I saw what’s on it, my heart sank to my belly. I quickly tried to recall what stage of pregnancy I was in. Far too soon. My chest ached at the fact.

I messaged Gareth and said “Spotting” instead, eventhough I knew exactly what it was. I couldn’t bring myself to say it. It wasn’t any ordinary spotting, it was my mucus plug coming out. I sent a photo of the discharge to my husband and immediately he knew what it was too.

I still had a little hope, because in my previous experience, Liam was born 20 days after the mucus plug came off. The babies might just make it? I started calling both hospitals (I was visiting two different obygyns in a public hospital and a private hospital). My private doctor was on holiday and my public doctor was at home. I decided to wait till the day after to go to the hospital.

Gareth came home with some dinner and we ate while discussing our options. We tried to stay positive and offered each other scenarios of good outcomes.

Contractions

By 9pm, my contractions started kicking in. I kept telling myself they’re Braxton Hicks, but I knew they weren’t as they hurt like period cramps. I started timing them and they’re 4 minutes apart.

I started getting really upset. I messaged a friend who knew my public doctor for his personal contact and she gave it to me along with the advice of going straight to the hospital. Decided she was right as perhaps they have injections to help me stop the contractions? So we started packing for the hospital. The reality of what’s going to happen started to dawn on me. In the middle of packing for the hospital, I couldn’t help but cried.

I don’t know how but I had the foresight of removing my jewelleries and bringing my own maternity sanitary pads and clean undies. I think the pragmatic side of me knew I was going to give birth but the emotional side of me was still in denial.

We reached the public hospital, headed straight for the labour hall. They wheeled me in, plonked me on the examination bed. I kept telling the nurses and doctor to help my babies, to help me stop the pain, stop me from giving birth. I begged them to stop the contractions. A nurse said in malay, “Sorry, but you’re definitely giving birth cause you’re in such pain”.

A young doctor on duty gave me a vaginal examination with a speculum and as soon as she inserted it, my water broke. At that moment, I wish I could just die and not feel anything. I knew for sure that my babies were not going to make it. She then proceeded to say that she could feel either fingers or ear.

The labour

Not long after, another doctor came. He introduced himself and mentioned that he’s a specialist and he would take care of me. I have heard of this doctor before and was slightly relieved that he would be taking over. He told me that I had to deliver the babies now and they will try their best. At that point I was in so much pain I just wanted everything to be done and over with.

They wheeled me to the labour room and immediately I started pushing. After a few pushes, I felt the burning sensation of baby crowning and I saw my boy came out. He looked purple. They immediately took him away. When Liam came out he was pink and covered in vernix.

Then, doctor said the girl was breech and he kept massaging my stomach to try to turn her. They also wheeled in an ultrasound machine to scan my belly to check her position. I kept pushing as hard as I could eventhough my contractions had kind of died down. Eventually she too came out, also purple. It’s not even 12am yet.

After my placentas were expelled, they cleaned me up and I waited for Gareth to come in. The doctor told me kindly that they’re doing everything they can with the babies but to be prepared for bad news. I nodded. After all that pain, I was feeling numb.

Gareth finally came in with Liam. We talked about what happened and told ourselves that we would be fine if the twins died as it’s better than for them to be alive with severe disabilities.

Gareth and Liam in the birthing room.

The paediatrician came in to tell us that neither twin made it. They lived for about 45 minutes. He explained that they couldn’t really breathe on their own and that they were severely bruised due to the trauma from the birth as their skin was not strong enough. My girl was bruised on her back as she was breech while boy was bruised all over his face as he was born head first.

We didn’t cry. He asked if we would like to see them, and we said no. We told them to just deal with their bodies. A nurse in the room kept telling us to see them but we kept saying no.

After that, they said the “Forensics” were on the way and told Gareth to wait for them. We waited for a while more but Liam was getting really cranky so I told Gareth to just take Liam home. The forensics people never arrived. Now we understand that by “Forensics” that they had meant people from the mortuary.

Post-labour

After Gareth and Liam left, I was wheeled to my ward. I was on pitocin drips to get my womb contracting back to its original size – it was painful. Bad cramp after bad cramp for hours. In between cramps, I cried as the reality of the situation started sinking in.

My babies, my children are gone forever. I delivered 3 babies but I only have one with me. Why? Why did my son and daughter have to die? Why couldn’t I keep them in? They were healthy, thriving babies. No troubles for 6 whole months to suddenly delivering them in just 5 hours. It’s all so fucked up the more I thought about it.

As a fully paying patient, I got my own air-conditioned room with en-suite in the public hospital. In hindsight, I am so glad I got the privacy as I got to cry, groan and wail in my own room without disturbing anyone. I couldn’t imagine myself holding it together while being in a ward filled with women and their newborns (in public hospital the mothers are expected to take care of their babies right after birth).

I did not sleep at all. I couldn’t. I had a lot of time to myself to think. After the shock had passed, I longed to see my babies. I messaged Gareth that we had to see them and he agreed as well. As for what to do with their bodies, we decided to still let the hospital handled them. No ceremony.


20 Responses to Sleep well, our Apollo and Artemis.

  1. MsJerseycow September 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    i couldn’t stop shedding tears reading this post. i am truly sorry for your loss. *hugs*

  2. Rachel September 12, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Truly sorry for your loss Kimberly. Truly truly sorry. I cried tears when I read your story. My thoughts and prayers for you and Gareth

  3. Eve September 12, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

    I’m so so sorry for your lost. Breaks my heart reading this.

  4. Carol September 13, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    Hi Kim, I’m the product of TVC, my mom finally carried me to term after having lost babies prior to me, and I suspect between my birth and my sister’s (6 years apart). Never knew the term IC or TVC but your description perfectly fits what I know about my birth situation. I’ve never really asked her about that, but maybe someday I will. I hope this little anecdote gives you some encouragement.

    Wishing you all the best.

  5. Eva September 13, 2016 at 6:50 am #

    I am very sorry for your loss.. my deepest condolences… I truly understand how you feel as I too lost my 1st baby 8 years ago at 34 weeks. do take your time to grieve. take care and stay strong.

  6. Estee September 13, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Hello there,

    I went through exactly what you’ve been through with twin boys. I had a TVC when I was pregnant a year later with a beautiful baby girl. I hope you are recouping well, I know there is nothing anyone can say to make you feel any better. I feel you. Stay strong and you will make it through!

    • Mun October 13, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Estee,

      May I know where/which doctor you went to performed the TVC as I have a friend might be facing IC issue.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

      Thank you.

  7. Cor September 13, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    Hi, I too have IC. Lost my first son at 24 weeks, went on to have 2 more living children with a Shirodkar cervical stitch. My doctor was Mark Umstad from Melbourne. I’m so sorry for your loss. There’s nothing more painful than losing your own children. Grief, cry, let it all out. Time will make the pain better, day by day you’ll find the will to go on. But the pain will never go away, it’ll always be with you. Maybe to a lesser degree. It’s been 9 years for us, but the heart ache is still there. I’ve left my email address, feel free to reach out.

  8. Angela September 13, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    Hello Kimberly, having gone through IC myself, I know how it felt like to lose a child I never have a chance to hold, kiss and love. The pain and grief remain raw despite it happened 7 years ago. Since then, I am blessed with two boys with the help of TVC. It wasn’t easy, physically, mentality and emotionally for both of us. Every week we go through roller coaster ride with vaginal scan. After the two boys, both of decide that it’s time to close shop, though we love to have another child. Maybe it’s a sign from God when I read your article this morning because my eldest boy ask for a baby sister yesterday. Do let me know if there’s any doctor is willing to do TAC in Malaysia. I wish to make my family complete. ;)

  9. heartbrokenmama September 13, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I wished i could hug and cry with you now.. Reminds me of my dear boy whom i lost him to NEC 6days after he was born prematurely in Feb 2015..
    Dear mommy, please take all the time to grieve and stay strong. I’m sure your angels will be well taken care of in the hands of god. We are special and thus god gave us angels.

  10. Keshia September 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your loss.
    My heart breaks with yours.
    Take care.

  11. SherReen September 13, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    *Silent hug*

  12. Saint T. September 14, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Dear Kim, I’ve been keeping up with your pregnacy updates and got as excited each time i read your updates. My heart breaks with you and Gareth too, i’m so very sorry that you both have to go through the suffering of your loss. There will be no words I can say to make you feel better.. Big hugs and please take care of yourself and your family. Sending you love and kisses xxx

  13. Ann Teoh September 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    Very sorry to hear of your loss.

  14. Isabel September 19, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    Thank you for sharing this publicly. It made me wonder how you could have so much strength to revisit and recall all the intimate details and the pain. I was visiting your blog more often when I stumbled on the post of how you were expecting twins as I’m expecting my first child. I am sorry for your loss but also grateful for your story. It made me realise not to take my own pregnancy for granted and to be careful to protect and cherish my own child even now. May you find a peace that can cradle all that has happened in its entirety.

  15. adel October 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    *hugs*

  16. Peggy October 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    Take good care Kimberly. The twins are now is a happy angel living in heaven looking after ur family.. be strong.

  17. Irene November 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Hello Kimberly.. chanced upon your blog while searching for pasta.. you live in Malaysia? why not consider Singapore… Its nearer Malaysia so easier for family to come take care of you… Singapore also has very good medical services.. Will keep you in my prayers.. hope to hear happy news again… have faith.. pray.

  18. Alison November 17, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    I am sorry for your loss hun (Hugs)..I’ve got 2 Angels in Heaven as well..

  19. Alison November 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    Maybe you can try giving this place a call..Quite highly recommended by mums with high risk n such..Fetal Medicine and Gynaecology Centre (FMGC), Jaya One (fmgc.com.my).There’s Dr Rahman and Dr Patrick Chia…Gambateh..

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