**I chose this story for this week because tomorrow, September 19, 2013 marks one year since Jackalyn and Alexa were born. Happy first birthday, sweet girls in Heaven.
Sharing the stories of other mothers who have gone through the nightmare of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) can be so incredibly heartbreaking. But we do it for awareness. And the hope that the awareness we are sharing may help save even ONE family from the heartbreak we have experienced is good enough!
And those that write the stories do it to heal. To honor their children, here or in heaven, and to share with everyone those precious babies who are so important to us.
I have become friends with so many amazing women who, despite the most horrendous loss of losing one or both babies, have gone on to do incredible things. You may remember my post about Andrea from a few months ago, While Others Stand Still. Andrea, despite suffering such a horrendous loss, organized a huge drive for donations of bears, buttons, ribbons, and money for the Molly Bear organization. This wonderful charity sends bears to grieving mothers, specially designed to weigh the same amount as the baby lost. I am waiting for my Kathryn bear to arrive, and I can’t wait!
Andrea has decided that she is ready to share the story of her beautiful girls, Jackalyn and Alexa. Please read their story, as written by their beautiful mother, Andrea.
Jackalyn and Alexa – Too Soon to the Party
May 2012 was a stressful month, lots of travel from our home in North Carolina to family in Tennessee, to see my stepson in NJ and back all in about 20 days. It hadn’t been a great trip and I had smashed my face on the side of a roller coaster cracking a tooth. So I felt horrible, truly miserable, not really noticing when that time of the month came and went…. with no sign of evil red. After a particularly bad reaction to a work related encounter with a dead body I clued in.
I swear that first pregnancy test took forever to confirm, I woke my poor husband up after only an hour of sleep because I was crying so hard. I had always wanted to be a mommy. While the shock was still fresh I went to the dentist for that pesky tooth. Infected, so on to penicillin I went, and on came the puking. Nothing would stay down and after 3 straight days the dentist advised me to go to the ER afraid that the infant might have been harmed by the penicillin.
Panicked my husband and I went, we had only told a couple of friends and my mother we were expecting. My family has a strong history of miscarriage and I was determined to not get excited till 12 weeks. In the ER they wouldn’t let my husband into the ultrasound. and I laid on that cold table in tears, “Please” I kept whispering to the tech “Please just tell me there’s still a heartbeat” I was 7 weeks so I knew it might be hard to get. “shh” said the tech “I’m concentrating”. So I cried, I was convinced that sure enough I had lost this child already.
Finally the tech said “I’m not supposed to show you this, but here.” She turned the monitor my way and said “Here is Baby A, and here is Baby B”. I think at that point I cried harder! No history in the family, no fertility drugs, no clue what the next 5 months would hold.
That was by far not my only trip to the ER with my bundles of “joy” 🙂 I was sick every 45 mins for 8 weeks running. 30 pounds and several hospital stays later at 15 weeks finally I got to start enjoying my pregnancy. 18 weeks came and we had running bets among the family about boys, girls or both! On our way into “sexting” Ultrasound we joked about names and how much longer I would be able to waddle around. I was already measuring almost 30 weeks around!