On October 12th we had our check up appointment to see how our surviving baby was doing. Steph was really nervous to go because she was worried about getting bad news from the doctors. We were really glad we were able to meet with Dr. Belfort for our check up as he was the doctor who had done the surgeries and been with us through everything. He did an ultrasound and was very enthusiastic. He told us that he was very excited with the improvements that he saw. The amniotic fluid measured was where it should be. The week before at the largest point in the membrane it was 12 cm and that day it was at 6 cm. He was also happy with the strength of the babies heartbeat and bladder size.
After his inspection we talked about what we needed to do to help take this surviving baby to full term. We were going to have to do weekly, probably even twice a week, check up ultrasounds. The biggest change we faced was that Steph was put on bed rest. It was not strict stay on your bed bed rest, but Steph shouldn't do anything strenuous like house chores or walking further than the bathroom or kitchen. So I, the mighty husband Jarom, stepped up to my new duties with loving tenderness for my wife and baby! It really was a lot to be faced with since steph still had about 4 months left in the pregnancy! We were happy that our baby was doing well but stressed at the same time with steph not being able to do anything! On our way home we updated everyone on the situation and went on with our day, steph at home and me at work!
October 13th came and it seemed to be as normal a day as any day could be in this situation. But at ten in the morning steph started having regular contractions 3-7 min apart and she was worried because the docs said to tell them if that happened. So an hour later she texted me to tell me what was happening and I told her to call our doc. When she called Dr. Belfort he asked some questions and he told her that she better go up to the hospital right away. Sounds scary and intimidating right? well it was very much so! Steph called me and I dropped everything at work to take her to the hospital. That was the fastest I've ever packed clothes and stuff we needed! Since our doctor was in Idaho we met with one of his partners who also specializes in twin to twin. He did an ultrasound and found that the cerclauge keeping Steph's cervix closed was in fact not keeping it closed! He called what was happening a funnel. Meaning that the membrane with our baby in it was starting to squeeze its way past the cerclauge. The ultrasound image looked like an hour glass with the cerclauge being the skinny part. The Doctor told us that this was a very dangerous situation. He explained to us that nature is smarter than doctors and that nature was trying to take its course. What he thought was happening was that there was an infection in the uterus and the antibiotics Steph had been taking were slowing but not stopping it. Nature was trying to get rid of the infection, and by so doing was trying to deliver the babies. At this point the most important thing was to make sure that steph would survive this with the ability to still have children. The risk was that Steph's cervix was playing tug of war with the cerclauge which could potentially tear and permanently damage it. That would inhibit her every having children in the future. In light of this news, the doctor strongly recommended that we remove the cerclauge and deliver the babies. The bottom line was that our baby would not make it and that we needed to make sure that steph would be OK. While we were deciding whether to deliver there at St. Marks, or at the Timpanogos hospital (for insurance purposes) steph's water broke! When people say its messy, they really understate it! it was all over the place! Steph was out of control! We had to get her undressed and into a gown to take her down to a delivery room. I'll just say that everything was soaked (including the carpet) and I won't ever forget how up close and personal I had to get to help steph with this, and I hope she doesn't forget that either! So into the delivery room we went and there we waited for someone to show up and tell us what was going on. Later the delivery doctor came in, introduced himself as Dr. Yamashiro and explained the procedures we would go through. What he would do was remove the cercluage and then give steph some medicine to speed up the labor. Taking the cerclauge out took the longest scissors I've ever seen and looked really painful. To dull the pain steph got some pain medicine that made her pretty loopy and all she could say was how much she wanted Dr. Pepper! With the Cerclauge removed and labor sped up we started our wait for Steph to be dilated to around 5 cm to deliver our babies. When our nurses shift ended we were relieved and surprised to see that our new nurse was the same nurse that had checked us in when Steph had the surgeries! A couple of hours later Steph got a fever that got to 104 degrees! This really worried everyone because this could lead to steph having seizures and brain damage! To cool her down we had to put ice packs all over steph's body. As the hours passed Steph's contractions got more intense and more frequent to the point where steph was feeling a lot of pressure. We called in the nurse and she told Steph that she could start pushing!
Finally, at 11:03 pm Evelynn ( our "surviving" baby) was born at 21 weeks with no heart beat. She was breach and was very painful for steph to deliver! At 11:10 pm Annabell was born still in her amniotic sac. Dr. Yamashiro came in and took over the delivery. He explained that it was fortunate that Annabell was still in the sac because it meant that the placenta had detached from the uterus wall and could be delivered with no complications. This would save steph from needing to get a D and C. Needless to say steph was relieved to hear this and completely exhausted becuase she had done everything without an epidural. Delivering the placenta went as smooth as the doctor predicted. During this the nurses had cleaned the babies and wrapped them in little blankets. They gave us our babies to hold and some time alone with them. Holding our babies, though they were gone, really brought us closer to them. We cried and told them how much we loved them. We are so grateful that we were able to hold them and see them for the beautiful babies they were. What we felt at that time is very difficult to explain. We felt deep sadness for the loss and a great sense of disappointment for not being able to keep our babies to raise in our family. At the same time we kept telling each other that they will always be our baby girls and that we would see them again in Heaven. After a short time we kissed them and said our goodbyes. The nurses took them away and made us a memory box for each baby that contained impressions of their hands and feet, an outfit that they wore for pictures taken of them, a stuffed animal, a hand crocheted blanket and a certificate of remembrance that had their hand prints and footprints. We are so grateful they did the memory boxes for us, now we can have something that we can hold and look at to remember our baby girls. We will always love and miss them and they are never far from our thoughts and hearts.