Friday, January 26, 2007

Your Names

Dear Kate and Riley,

I thought you might want to know how you got your names. Dad and I were surprised at how hard it was to name both of you, we thought that with two of you it would be easy since we wouldn't have to narrow it down to one, but instead it was hard to find two names that "went" together but didn't rhyme or start with the same letter (my rules). Before we knew you were girls we thought of a lot of boy names, I liked Andrew and Zachary (Drew and Zach) but after a little while I knew you would be girls and then we found out you were for sure so we were on to girl names. I thought I had decided right away, Katherine and Elizabeth. I always thought my first daughter would be named Katherine Elizabeth so it made sense to me to just split them up. But dad wasn't on board. We spent weeks searching through baby name books. I always knew I wanted a Katie so that was pretty set. The question was what would Katie be short for, we went through Katherine, Katelyn and finally settled on Kate. I liked it because it was simple and I could still have my Katie. Even though we didn't really say who would be Kate, I knew it would have to be baby A since technically, you would be my first daughter even if only by a few minutes.
Riley's name was much harder to come up with. I was still pushing for Elizabeth and use Libby for short. I still might use that for one of your sisters some day. Dad wasn't sure about that. So after many nights of me going through name books and yelling out names only to have your dad make a bad face about EVERY name, I finally told him, FINE, YOU come up with a name! So then Dad started going through the books. I was glad he was getting involved and he realized it WAS hard to pick out a name! Then one night he said, "What about Riley" I said I thought I could like it and it pretty much stuck.
We started telling people your names a few weeks before Thanksgiving. I liked calling you by name and since I knew where you were in my belly I liked knowing if Kate was moving or Riley was. Then it was time to think of middle names.
Dad came up with Riley Lynn, I thought it was cute and since Dad's Grandpa's name is Lynn it was good. With Kate we struggled. We couldn't find anything that went well with Kate for a middle name. I thought it should start with an "e" so we went through a lot of E names. Then over Thanksgiving Aunt Jill was filling out a family tree to give as a gift for Christmas. We saw that dad's grandma Chris' real name was Evelyn. We decided that would be good and since it was Grandpa Lynn's wife it only made sense.
So when they asked us in the hospital if we had named you dad and I looked at each other for a second and I think the nurse was surprised that I didn't even have to think twice before I said A is Kate Evelyn and B is Riley Lynn. I love that each of us picked one name. I wonder if you had been here if one of you would have been more of a mama's girl and one more of a daddy's girl. I know daddy wanted you BOTH to be daddy's girl and play sports. But you probably would have inherited your mother's lack of athletic talent at all. Lucky for you, I think in Heaven you get to be good at everything.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Dear Kate and Riley,

Leaving the hospital without you was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I kept wanting to go back and get you but I knew you weren't really there. I felt like I was deserting you. Also, I didn't feel like I really got to say goodbye the last time we had held you.

I don't remember much about that first week after we got home. I remember that people from church brought dinners I remember never answering my phone. I remember our friends came over and kept us company most nights. I remember that Bella was so happy we were home. I also found the silent grief website which has been a real lifeline for me. My mom came sometime that week to help out but its all kind of a blur to me.

On Friday, the day after we got home, we went to the mortuary. What a sad job that must be. It was very strange I just kept thinking that we were too young to be in a place like that. I wondered if they had very many young couples in there. The cemetery had a special spot just for babies. I liked it because all around you would be other babies. People had left toys and other decorations on the graves. I felt like every family who had someone there had felt the same heartache that we had. There are a lot of twins and triplets buried there and that also made me feel less alone somehow. We chose a small white coffin that would fit both of you. We gave them the white blankets my grandma Wiggins had made for you so you could be wrapped in them. We got to see you one last time. You were in a beautiful white bassinet and you looked very peaceful. I was so sad in that moment. Dad and I stayed with you for a while and I got to feel like I had a chance to say goodbye.

A week later on Saturday we had a small graveside service for you. We probably could have had 100 people there, so many people had offered to mourn with us. But we wanted it to be small, just family. My parents came from Texas and my cousin Taylor and his wife, Sheri, came down from LA. On Dad's side Grandpa Frank and uncles Andrew and Austin came from Utah and uncle Adam and aunt Tracy with your cousins, Maddy, Aubrey, Ashton, Braden and Myra came up from San Diego. Our bishop also came to conduct. The day was rainy and gray and it seemed appropriate. We gathered at the cemetery at your little spot. The bishop opened up, we sang "I am a Child of God" and Grandpa Frank said a family prayer. My dad gave a little talk, I don't really remember much of it but it was good and I felt like it really made you real and it was important to me that all of those people there loved you too. My dad read a poem which I really liked. It is by Emily Dickenson:
They dropped like flakes, they dropped like stars'
Like petals from a rose, When suddenly across the June
A wind with fingers goes.

They perished in the seamless grass, -
No eye could find the place:
But God on his repealless list
Can summon every face
I do feel like you were my little snowflakes, just here for a moment. But I know that you were real and Heavenly Father knows you and there is a plan for you.

After my dad spoke he dedicated your grave. Then the bishop talked again and we were done. It was a beautiful and simple service. It was perfect for you.

So, this is kind of the end of your story but not really. I mean I don't want you to think your story is over. I think that your short lives have changed our lives forever and that your story will live on and continue to touch lives. I have a feeling that Heavenly Father has something great in mind for you and that is why he needed to take you back.

Love, Mom

Monday, January 22, 2007

Meeting You

Dear Kate and Riley,
Sorry tomorrow never ends up actually being tomorrow does it? Well its not like I have a lot going on, but writing this does end up being emotionally draining.

Sadly, the first time we got to actually meet you, we really just met your tiny bodies since you were already gone. After you were born and they had stitched me up (ouch!) and the doctor left, the nurse brought you back in. At that point I was pretty exhausted, we hadn't slept, I was tired from giving birth and my memory is fuzzy here. I remember the nurse bringing you in wrapped up and giving you both to me. Kate, you were smaller and Riley you were bigger and it was a little easier to tell what you would have looked like if you were full term. The one thing I really noticed about you were your noses and your mouths. You had these tiny mouths but they weren't just tiny because you were small, they were tiny mouths just like dad's. Even right now when dad is sleeping sometimes his mouth looks JUST like yours. It is funny. Your noses reminded me of your cousins Braden and Myra. I think you would have had the same noses as them.

Holding you was good, it made you seem very real. I have to admit though that I was sort of scared to hold you. I didn't know how I would react and once I was holding you you were SO tiny and fragile I kept worrying that I would break you or something. You seemed like tiny dolls. Kate you weighed 1 lb 3 oz and Riley you weighed 1 lb 10 oz. It was strange that there was such a growth difference because you had always measured exactly the same. The other thing that was strange is that you were the exact same length, 12 1/2 in. So I don't really understand the weight difference. Riley's face was more filled out. Both of you had long fingers, they were so tiny and perfect. Every part of you was perfect.

That early morning dad and I held you for a little while but I was so exhausted and I needed to eat and sleep. The nurses promised we could see you as much as we wanted to while we were there at the hospital. So after a little while they took you away and I ate and slept. Then in the morning they brought you back and this time I must have been more coherent because I remember I cried and cried. Dad and I both took turns holding you a lot, we held each of you individually and we held both of you together. I think that seeing you was very significant for dad because you probably weren't very real to him before he saw you, to me you had been so real for so long since you were inside of me and I felt so connected to you.

We held you that morning and again later that afternoon. I think it was so good for us to get to hold you because it made it real. It was hard for me to "get" that you were gone, that I wasn't pregnant any more, that you weren't waking up, that this wasn't a dream or something like that. Seeing you and holding you helped me to "get it". But it was hard and sad. No one should ever have to do that. No one should give birth and have their own crying be the only crying. No one should have to have silent babies. I don't know why Heavenly Father took you back. I don't know why we didn't get even a minute with you outside of me, were you just too precious to ever even have to leave the safety of my body? Too pure and perfect? I think you needed bodies, we gave you those bodies and that is all that you had to be here for.

The nurses at the hospital were wonderful. They took you away and took pictures of you. They took pictures of us holding you. I am so glad we have those pictures. Of course, now, I wish I had other pictures too but we are lucky because other people I have talked to don't have any or many pictures and we have quite a few.

I slept most of the day and dad went home to take care of Bella and shower. That afternoon we had the nurses bring you back so we could hold you one last time. I didn't want to have bad memories of you and your little bodies were changing the more time you spent outside of me plus you were cold and that made me sad, babies aren't supposed to be cold. So we decided that would be our last time to hold you. But we would say our official goodbyes later at the mortuary.

That night our friends all came again to see us and to bring us food. We decided not to have our friends see you, I knew it would be upsetting and I didn't want to watch my friends upset over you. Instead we showed them the pictures. They were great and let us tell them all about your birth. I was glad we could talk about you and your birth and not feel uncomfortable. We have been blessed with good friends. Our 1st and 2nd counselor from the bishopric came to see us that night too. They were concerned and caring and cried with us too. It was sweet. I felt uplifted by everyone in our ward.

Honestly, I have to say that I thought that I would have some amazing spiritual experience while we were at the hospital. I thought maybe when I was giving birth that I would see your spirits or that I would have all pain taken away. I thought that I would have this huge spiritual experience somehow. But I never did. I just hurt and I was sad and I felt alone. I realize now that this experience was a trial. It was something to test me and try me and I think the spiritual growth will come with time as I push forward and endure through this. And I realize that even if I had some amazing experience it wouldn't make this hurt any less. It hurt so bad. But I was glad that I gave birth to you. I am your mom, I suffered for you, I brought you into this world. I pray for you every night. I pray that you will know who we are. You were made from the love that your dad and I share and you will always be our babies.


Riley and Kate (retouched to help Riley's bruising)

You with dad

You with Mom

Friday, January 19, 2007

Your Birth

the view from our hospital room

Dear Kate and Riley,
You were born on December 6th, 2006.
Once we decided we weren't going to go to LA, my doctor told us to come to the hospital right away so I could be induced to give birth to you, this was Tuesday, the 5th. She warned me that since my body wasn't ready to give birth it could be a long process. I was very scared since I didn't know what to expect at all and I was afraid the people at the hospital wouldn't know how to handle us. I was also scared of seeing other mothers with their babies, I knew that would make me very sad.
I was admitted to the hospital around noon. Everyone at Hoag (the hospital) was wonderful. They knew we were coming and were very prepared for our situation. The room was very nice and big and I was sad that this wasn't a happy time for us. It didn't seem real at all. They got me changed and put an IV in then the doctor came in to put some pills inside of me to soften my cervix to get ready for birth. They put a monitor on my belly to see my contractions. Dad and I were very nervous and just kind of sat around in the room.
The hospital sent in a social worker to talk to us about your burial and other things. It was so hard for me to be in the hospital to give birth but also to make plans to bury you. Dad called uncle Adam and had him take care of finding a place. The afternoon is a blur, the medicine started my contractions, they were pretty regular but not too painful for a while. Later in the afternoon it started getting a little painful and they gave me medicine in my IV that made me feel REALLY good but also made me throw up. In the afternoon my friends Crystal and Elizabeth came to visit which was good because dad and I were having a hard time just sitting around and staring at each other. Crystal brought me treats and she and Elizabeth and Elizabeth's baby Jack stayed and hung out for a while. It was really good to have company. Later that night Megan, Clarke, Meghan, Cameron, Barbara and Jared came. We are so lucky to have such good friends who came to be by our side and support us. They were wonderful, they took care of Bella and cheered us up.
The nurses at the hospital were great. They were all so sensitive, they cried with us, they took such good care of me. We made a plan for when you were born. I knew it would be too hard for me to see you right away so they were going to take you after you were born, clean you up and wrap you up a little and then bring you in when I was ready. I didn't want dad to watch you born because I knew it would make him too sad. They were very good about helping me to make a plan so I would feel as comfortable as possible. Around 8 they gave me some more medicine to help open my cervix. My contractions started getting stronger.
Our friends left around 10 which was good because it helped pass a lot of the time. We tried to get some sleep but my contractions were getting stronger and they hurt more and more. The nurses checked me and I had progressed a little and they started thinking I would deliver that night (which was good because before we thought it might take a few days for my body to be ready). Around midnight the doctor came in to give me my epidural. That was bad, I did NOT like having a giant needle in my back and it almost made dad pass out! The doctor messed up and had to do it over again! It was no fun. For a while I felt better after the epidural and slept for a little bit but I had this weird reaction where my legs were aching and aching and I wasn't going numb everywhere like I should.
At that point things started going pretty fast. I would say around 2 or 3 am things started getting intense. I was in a LOT of pain, they gave me another dose in my epidural but that didn't seem to help at all! It wasn't fair! I was trying not to freak out because it hurt so bad. The nurse, Kim, was great and dad was trying his best to make me feel better but there wasn't much he could do. I dialated quickly and the pain got even worse. At one point they said they were going to call the doctor and that wait was the worst. I wanted to push but the nurses needed me to wait for the doctor, but it hurt so bad! The waiting was the awful, I felt like it took about 2 hours but dad said it was only about 15 min. I felt like I wasn't even in my body, it was just really weird. My doctor finally arrived, it was very nice of her to come and do the delivery herself instead of having some doctor there that I didn't know. I know it must have been hard and sad for her too.
Once the doctor got there they got me ready to push. It hurt really bad but I knew that if I pushed I could be done. Kate came out fast. You were low in position and always had been. The doctor was surprised that my epidural wasn't working well, I pretty much felt everything. After only a few pushes Kate arrived. I didn't see you, the nurses whisked you off but I think daddy saw you though and that must have really hit him because he started crying. I think that everyone in the room was crying, me, dad, the nurses and doctor. They said Kate was pretty wrapped up in her cord but that can also happen after you die so they weren't sure. Kate you were born at 4 am on December 6th.
They let me rest for a few minutes but I just wanted to be done. Riley was up really high so that was hard. They had to leave your water in tact so I could push you down. I pushed hard for a half hour, at one point your water finally broke and it went everywhere, I screamed! It seemed like it was all out of a movie. I felt for a moment very alone, like this just couldn't possibly be happening AND hurt so bad. I'm not sure about this but Riley had always been transverse and I think I actually delivered you that way so it was a lot harder, plus you were bigger than Kate. You were really bruised and red the doctor said that might have meant that you actually died first so the mystery only deepened. Riley you were born at 4: 30 am on December 6th.
After you were both born I delivered your placenta. When it came out the doctor saw right away that it wasn't right. I only saw it for a second but I could see it was much bigger on one side than the other. So probably Kate was smaller because she wasn't getting enough nutrients and Riley may have gotten too much. We won't really ever know for sure but at least it gave us a few answers.
This is getting really long so I will talk about seeing you and holding you tomorrow.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Part 5: finding out

Dear Kate and Riley,
This is where your story gets sad...
I worked hard during my last week of work to get ready to leave my students for the rest of the year. I was so excited though that I was able to make it through the week even though I was very uncomfortable. I was really sad on my last day with my students because I really loved being a teacher. But I was also excited to start a new phase in my life. On the last day of work for me, my friends at work threw me a baby shower. It was so sweet and so much fun. I met with my substitute and promised everyone I would come back a lot to visit.
That weekend our friend, Harmony, came to visit. She is the one who introduced mom and dad. We had a fun weekend and I was so excited to show her all of the stuff we had for you. On Monday I had to get up and take my gestational diabetes test. At that time my biggest worry was not being able to eat sugar for a few more months! I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon and was looking forward to seeing you and getting reassurance that everything was ok but I had convinced myself that it would be.
On my way to the doctor's appointment I started to get nervous again. But I just kept telling myself that I would go and see that you had changed positions and that was why I wasn't feeling you move. About half way there I decided I should say a quick prayer in the car. I asked Heavenly Father to let me see that everything was ok. Instead of the usual calm feeling I would get this time something different happened. I felt a very distinct thought in my head which said "I'm so sorry I have to give you this trial" now of course that scared me to death but I convinced myself that I had just imagined it and that everything would be fine.
I was nervous in the waiting room, I just wanted to get in there and know everything was ok. Robin, the ultrasound tech came to get me and we chatted a little, I told her I really wanted to know what was going on inside of me and what you two were doing. I was hoping I was just moments away from the reassurance I wanted so badly. I laid down on the table, as I had so many other times before and Robin smeared the goop on my now very big belly. I saw Riley first and I knew something was wrong, you were so limp and just sort of floating there. Robin, the tech, said "Oh Brooke, I'm not seeing what I want to see today" it must be hard for her to give people bad news. Then she told me she wasn't seeing a heartbeat. "On either?" I said, not believing her and hoping we hadn't lost you both. She told me to wait for a second and said "no, I have no heartbeat on B for sure and no not on A either" (Riley you were B and Kate you were A). I could not believe it. I put my hands over my face and Robin ran out to call in the doctor. I started crying and crying, what had happened? How could this be happening? Could she have made a mistake? Robin came back in and had to take a few more pictures to make sure she was right. She told me that it was for sure, we had lost both of you. She took a few pictures and helped me up off the table. She told me Kate looked wrapped up in her cord and that is what could have caused her to die and then since you shared so much Riley would have gone too. Kate was measuring smaller, so at first they thought you went first. It turned out none of this was right but this is what I was told at the time. She put her hand on my leg and said how sorry she was. I just could not believe this was happening.
A nurse came to get me and rushed me into a room. The asked if they could call dad, I said yes but just felt in a haze. They called dad and told him he needed to come right away but they couldn't tell him why. He asked to talk to me so they let me go into one of the doctor's offices and talk to him. I didn't know what to say, I was crying so hard I just said "Aaron, the babies died" I can't even remember what he said, maybe he also asked both of you or how I can't remember but he was on his way. My doctor was coming from a meeting so another doctor came in and talked to me. She told me what they thought might have happened, which I said turned out not to be right and I asked her what would happen next. I didn't know anything about a situation like this, it wasn't anything I had imagined could happen. She told me they might send me to a place in LA where I would give birth to you. I had been so scared of giving birth ever since I got pregnant and to imagine doing it after I knew you were gone was really hard for me.
Eventually my doctor got to the office and she cried with me. She was sad and said she also hadn't imagined that this could happen and that this was VERY rare. She assured me that this wasn't something that was wrong with me it had just happened and that it wouldn't affect me having children in the future. At the time I didn't care I just wanted YOU. She wanted to send me to a clinic in LA where I could be asleep when I had you. I agreed because I didn't know what else to do.
Dad got there and we cried and talked to the doctor. They sent us over to the hospital to have some blood taken to make sure there wasn't something wrong with me like an infection or a clotting disorder. I was in a fog at that point, just feeling really numb. I think I called my mom and a few other people to tell them.
After the hospital we went home to wait. I was supposed to go to LA in the morning to start the process. I was having a lot of bad feelings about going to LA. It was so far away. That night we cried a lot and our friends came over to bring us dinner, give me a blessing and keep us company. I couldn't sleep at all and I wasn't supposed to eat after a certain time so I got up in the middle of the night to eat. I just kept crying.
In the morning dad talked to our insurance companies and to the place in LA and it just kept sounding like it wasn't a good idea. After talking to my doctor we decided to go to the hospital where you were supposed to be born to have me induced. It meant that I would have to give birth to you awake like any other birth but now I'm really glad that I did that. I am glad I was awake and alert when you were born.
Ok, tomorrow I will tell you about the hospital.

Love, Mom

Friday, January 12, 2007

Part 4: Thanksgiving

Dear Kate and Riley,
Thanksgiving was the last time I was going to be able to travel. So dad and I planned a trip to Utah, we go there every year for Thanksgiving to visit with his family. We stayed with Uncle Austin and Aunt Jill and we brought Bella on her first plane ride with us! I was SO excited to have some time off of work and to relax. I spent most of the trip sleeping and relaxing. I was really getting big with the two of you. The day before we left on our trip the doctor wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. It would be the last time I got to see you alive. I was so nervous going in to the ultrasound that they would tell me I couldn't go on the trip. But at that time everything looked good, you were in there wiggling around and I got the green light to go on the trip.
During our trip to Utah Aunt Stacy threw a baby shower for you. It was so much fun and everyone was so excited to give you clothes and things! I was so excited for all of the pink pink pink. Grandma Wiggins had crocheted beautiful white blankets for your blessings, we ended up wrapping you in them when we burried you. The baby shower was one of my last really awesome memories of you. Even though it makes me sad now to see all of the things you will never get to use, I am glad that our family and friends got to celebrate your life before we lost you. I think it made you more real to all of them too.

Great Grandma Hansen and Great Aunt Alisa Cousin Autumn, Aunt Jill and Aunt Stacy

Mom and "aunt" Michelle

A few days after the baby shower is when I started to wonder if something was wrong. The day before Thanksgiving I realized I hadn't felt you kicking all day. I was really nervous. Dad asked if I wanted to go to the hospital but I thought I was being paranoid. Also, your placenta was in front and the doctor and ultrasound tech had told me all along I wouldn't feel very much movement, they were even surprised that I felt you as much as I did. So I figured Riley, who had always been at the top, had moved down lower so I couldn't feel her kicks any more. In reality I don't know if that is when we lost both of you, or if you started to slow down and I couldn't feel strong kicks any more. I did think I felt kicking the next day, I don't know if I did or not now. I thought I felt a little movement every day after that which always reassured me, but it could have been braxton hicks or other twinges that I was confusing with your tiny kicks. I will always wish I had gone to the doctor that night but it was still so early the doctors probably wouldn't have taken you out so I don't think it would have made a difference. I comfort myself by knowing that if Heavenly Father wanted you back with Him he was going to take you either way. I had prayed VERY very hard that night for comfort and to know if I should go to the doctor and I didn't feel like I should.
We left Utah on Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was very excited to go back and finish my last week of work. I thought a lot about calling the doctor that week but felt like everything would be ok and decided to wait until my appointment the next Monday.
Well this is the last happy part of your story so I'm going to leave it like this for now.
Love, Mom

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Part 3: Buying stuff!

Dear Kate and Riley,
One thing dad would tell you your mom is REALLY good at is spending money! As soon as we made it through 1st trimester (where we naively thought we were "in the clear") I started buying stuff for you. But I was good! I bought used stuff off of craigslist and cheap stuff off of e-bay. I bought you two swings, two bouncers, two front packs, and aunt Tracy gave us a bunch of stuff from your twin cousins, Ashton and Braden. We were set. I had lots of fun over the summer searching on craigslist and getting ready for you. We started to clean out the room upstairs because it was too full!
In October we found out you were girls. I knew in my heart that you would be girls, I just knew it. Dad and I weren't surprised at all at the ultrasound, I think we both knew. That day Dad and I went to the mall and bought you each two outfits, they are SO cute and I hope that someday your sisters or your cousins can wear them, I'm sure you won't mind.
Our biggest purchase of all for you was our van. Now I have always wanted a minivan, I'll admit and I promised dad I wouldn't ask for one for YEARS down the road but when I found out there were two of you, you can bet I wanted my minivan! Now dad and I both have a little problem of "over" planning, you can see I bought a lot of stuff at the very beginning and dad was excited to get the BEST deal he could on a minivan. Now for my part I WILL say that I did NOT want to get one so early but dad wanted to get a DEAL! So off we were, shopping for minivans. And we got you a good one! It is white with leather seats, a tv and a dvd player, wireless headphones, all the good stuff. Maybe its good you won't get to use it to rot your brain with silly dvd's. Anyway, that's the hardest one now, imagine your mom, the silly lady who drives a minivan with no kids in it! Its a good thing its a nice car.
Up until that point I worried about you and prayed hard for you every night. I did have a huge fear of losing you, maybe Heavenly Father was trying to prepare me. I almost felt like my prayers were silly, I would say "Heavenly Father please let us have these babies, please let us take them home with us, please let us have both of them." I felt like I was begging him a lot of times, fighting Him to keep you here with us, but at the time I didn't know why, I thought I was just paranoid. For some reason though I always thought if we lost you we would lose ONE of you, I never was prepared to find out that we could lose both of you. But, every time I went to the doctor, I was reassured that you were fine. At one point the doctor said to me "well these are pretty average looking babies and average is what we want". As the weeks passed I started to feel more and more safe.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Your Story: And then there were two

Dear Kate and Riley,
Here is the second part of your story, when we found out there were two!

The first few weeks of pregnancy were uneventful. I was so excited, reading everything on the internet that I could, reading books, etc. I wasn't sick so that made me a little nervous but I did have some other symptoms. I was teaching summer school so I was glad that I wasn't sick. We were planning on waiting a few weeks to tell everyone but ended up telling all of the family that first week. We found out Aunt Stacy was pregnant too, we were so excited.
At week 6 1/2 (2 1/2 weeks after we found out) I started bleeding. I knew that couldn't be good and I was so scared. I cried and cried and poor dad had to leave me the next day to go out of town. That Sunday I kept bleeding so I called the doctor. On Monday they sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound. Aunt Jenny was at work and dad was out of town so I took my friend Crystal since I didn't want to be alone to get any bad news. I was so scared at the hospital and it felt like we waited forever. I laid on a table and the lady started the ultrasound. She didn't say anything for a very long time. Crystal and I looked at each other wondering if everything was ok. Then the lady said she needed help and left the room! She brought in another ultrasound tech and asked her how to do "A" and "B" with the machine. We didn't know what that meant but for a second it crossed my mind that there could be two of you. I couldn't believe it though. The two of them did some things on the screen but since you were so little we couldn't tell if you were ok or not. FINALLY, the tech said "OK, let me tell you what we are looking at. See the flashing light?" we did "that is the heartbeat" ok, that's good "see the other flashing light?" we did "That is another heartbeat" WHAT!? I could NOT believe it. There were two of you! I was SO surprised. I tried to call dad but he was in meetings and couldn't answer his phone. I called my mom and told her. We were in shock.
Crystal and I were SO happy everything was ok and called a bunch of people to tell them. I called dad probably 200 times. Finally he called me back. He was so shocked he didn't know what to say. I knew he would be scared to have two babies. He hung up and said he needed to "process this". All of our friends joked around that it was ruining his spreadsheet. (I'll tell you all about dad's spreadsheet another time)
I was SO nervous and excited that there were two of you. I started reading everything I could about twins. The bleeding had come from what is called a subchorionic hematoma so I knew we were not out of the woods. The doctor put me on medicine and I IMMEDIATELY started feeling VERY sick. I stayed very sick for the next 8 weeks. I was supposed to rest and not walk a lot. We went on our trip to Wyoming and I sat on the couch the whole time, I was very scared to lose you, I just wanted you to be safe.

Ok girls, more later.
Love, Mom

Friday, January 05, 2007

Your Story: The beginning

Dear Kate and Riley,
One of the things I want to have here is your story. Now you would think that for only being here 27 weeks your story would be pretty short; but luckily you have a very long winded mother who also happens to remember almost every detail about your short lives. So this will be Part 1: The beginning.

It all started for us on June 26th, 2006. It was one day after our 1 year wedding anniversary. Dad and I had a big fight the night before, one of our first or maybe even only but I was SO emotional it just didn't seem normal (I'd find out why the next day). I cried and cried and poor daddy thought I was crazy! The next day was my first day of summer vacation. I kept thinking ALL day that I might be pregnant but I promised daddy I wouldn't take a test that early. Well all day with nothing to do was too much for me. After driving to five different stores to find the cheapest one, I came home with a box of two pregnancy tests. I promised myself I was just going to buy them but would wait at least a few more days until I took one. But of course, I couldn't resist. I thought, I'll just take it and since it is GOING to be negative, I will just throw it away and Aaron will never know.
Well, I took it. And it was positive! And so fast! I couldn't believe it! I remember I started shaking. I called Dad on his phone at work. He didn't answer so I kept calling him until he did. I asked him if he was sitting down. "Why? what's wrong? Where are you?" I told him I was in the bathroom. He asked why, I said "I think we're going to have a baby!" He said, "you think?" I told him I took a test and it was positive. He was really surprised, neither of us thought it would happen so fast.
I was SO excited. I called Liz, I called Michelle and I couldn't WAIT for aunt Jenny to get home. When she got home, I showed her and we jumped and screamed together.
Dad was convinced I took the test wrong. So the next day he woke me up before he left for work to take the second test from the box. I took it and it was positive too. Dad said, "I guess you're pregnant!" Now I'm glad I have two tests, one for each of you.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

This is for you

Mom and Dad holding you right after you were born

Dear Kate and Riley,
Do they have the internet in heaven? I started this blog because I was so excited to have you. I am still excited to have you, now I just have to wait a lot longer. But I know we'll be together some day. I want to keep this blog going to remember you, to remember the happy times of being pregnant with you, to share your story with our family and friends and to chart my journey through my grief for you and hopefully the joy that is still to come in our lives. Maybe someday your sisters and brothers can read this so they can know about you and how much we love you.