On September 18, 2013 I was in my 18th week of my twin pregnancy and was eagerly awaiting my ultrasound appointment. Eric and I were going to find out the sex of our babies. We were on top of the world when the tech told us they were both boys. We had picked out the best boy names: Thomas Bear and James Bane. We couldn’t believe that we were getting blessed with two little boys who could be the namesakes of two beloved Magees lost far too soon, Eric’s Dad Tom and brother Jimmy. I was beyond happy that I could repopulate the world with some Magee Men.
To good to be true.
What happened next felt at first like just a bump in the road but quickly progressed to the most devastating moment of my life thus far. A little snowflake that fell and soon would turn into an avalanche on the mountain of my perspective.
The tech left and the doctor came in to deliver us some concerning news. My cervix appeared to be softening and shortening, and if things didn’t change I could deliver the twins in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! That would only put me at 23 weeks, that was far too soon…
But even still, I was skeptical that I really needed to go on bed rest. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the severity of the situation. I was rattled for sure. Felt fragile in a way I had never before experienced. But things would work out OK. I just knew it. I was meant to have twins. I felt it in my bones.
A week later when I went back for my next appointment I was confident that there would be no change. Probably no improvement, but I didn’t think my cervix could have possibly gotten worse.
Wrong. It was worse. And it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I could lose it all. But I continued to follow doctor’s orders and I continued to be positive. I was scared to death but not hopeless.
After another week on bed rest, surely my cervix would be holding up. No. Worse again. After an internal exam, it was discovered that I was actually already dilated. At 20 weeks.
Then came the options from the doctor: Option 1. Terminate the Pregnancy this way. Option 2. Terminate the Pregnancy that way. Option 3. Head to the hospital and hope for the best. When the doctors left the room to allow us to absorb what was going on, I just looked at Eric in disbelief. This can’t be happening. Luckily neither one of us are quitters so the decision was easy. We were going to hang on to every last shred of strength we had and hope for the best. We’d take our chances. So we headed to the hospital where I’d stay for the next 15 days.
Not once during my stay did I ever envision I’d be leaving the hospital without my babies. Call me naive. But I believed I could hang on long enough. They’d be born premature, sure. But they’d be born, and they’d live. They. Would. Live. I believed it with every ounce of my being.
But I was wrong again. After a night of fighting with my body’s agonizing contractions and grappling with the burden of the inevitable, we decided it was time. On October 17, just one day shy of one month from the date that we first learned there was a problem, I delivered my twins.
James first. And I wailed when I saw him because I knew then that it was over. I knew then that I would be leaving the hospital without my babies. Fifteen minutes later I delivered Thomas. And then….it was over. And something new was beginning. Something so painful that I cry every time I think of it, and can’t bare to share the details of because they haunt my memories every day of my life.
So here I am a year later. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of my daughter Hannah Rose. Full term, at 37 weeks and counting. And still, deep down, scared to death. You see, I’m not fixed. I’m lucky to have gotten pregnant so quickly. I’m grateful to be pregnant still. I’m really good at putting on my game face. I’m optimistic through and through. But I’m not fixed. I’m still broken. Part of me always will be.
I want to bring home a healthy baby from the hospital. And I believe I will soon. But I will always wish things were different. I wish I could bring home all three.