19 Hours: The Story of Eiza and Emme
The Happiest and Worst moments of my life happened within 19 hours of each other. I got pregnant via IVF in November and the joy I felt at the first ultrasound where I got to see what looked like a lima bean was unmatched by any moment in my life up to that point. Then the following week at a check-up I got news that rocked my world; there was actually two little lima beans…TWINS! A wave of emotions hit me, and to be perfectly honest not all of them were good. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy but I was also scared and left wondering if I was capable of being a single mother to twins. I laughed and cried over the next couple of weeks coming to terms with this new twist but finally it settled in and I knew this was going to be an amazing journey.
At 14 weeks my story took another twist, I went in for an ultrasound and after the technician had problems with measurements on baby B the doctor came in with devastating news. I will never forget the words the doctor said to me, “it will be a miracle if baby B makes it through the entire pregnancy.” Baby B had extremely low amino which according to the doctor meant baby B could be reabsorbed since it was so early in the pregnancy or baby B would have issues that end up causing baby A problems. The one thing she never said was that baby B would be born and be healthy.
What does a person do with this information? Well, I will tell you that I started to question every little thing I had done over the last 4 months. Did I do something to cause this? Was this because of how I reacted when I found out I was having twins? Was I working too much? Was I not eating right? Was this somehow Karma for something I did earlier in my life? Why is this happening? How will I make it through? Is there a chance I will never get to meet one or both of these little babies? The questions just kept coming over the next few days with no real answers so I finally decided to believe in these little babies and hope for the best.
Over the next 11 weeks things started to look up, I found out at 20 weeks I was having girls and both were progressing at a normal rate and organ functions were fantastic. At 25 weeks, during an ultrasound they it appeared the membrane around baby B had ruptured so they did some tests confirming I was leaking amino fluid. On Apr24th 2013, I was admitted to the hospital for mandatory bedrest until my little girls decided it was time to enter the world. The hope was I would make it to 35 weeks. My daughters had a different plan and I went into labor just past the 28 week mark on May 11th 2013. Approximately 5 hours later, via an emergency C-Section Eiza was born at 1:37 pm at 1 lb 15 oz 12.5 in., and Emme was born at 1:39 pm at 2lb 3oz 14in. This was the “Happiest” moment in my life but due to my C-section I didn’t get to see my girls for over an hour after their birth. I did not get to spend a lot of time with them due to a bad reaction to one of the meds from my C-Section. I ended up having to stay in my hospital room in order to rest and not tear my incision. Immediately following their births, Emme was breathing on her own but Eiza was put on a ventilator. Unfortunately, Eiza’s lungs just weren't developed enough due to the low amino fluid around her throughout my pregnancy. After 15 hrs of Neonatologists trying everything and 4 hrs of me and my family holding/spending time with her in the NICU, I decided to take her off her vent and she died in my arms at 8:20 am Sunday morning which was also Mother’s Day.
The next 24 hours were a blur and I felt myself shutting down! The happiest moment in my life turned into the worst moment in my life. I just curled up in a ball in the hospital bed that had become my home over the last 4 weeks and cried more tears than I ever thought was possible. I did NOT want to move. I did NOT want anyone to tell me things would be ok. I did NOT want people to console me. I did NOT want anyone around me. I did NOT want this to be real. And at that moment I did NOT want to see my other daughter. Yes, I said it…I did not want to see Emme because I felt I had failed Eiza as a mother so how could I be one to Emme. I was in pain; physically, mentally, and emotionally and was scared this feeling would never go away. Eventually that night, with the support of my family around me I gathered my strength and went to see Emme for the first time after saying goodbye to Eiza.
It was a true struggle for me to try to stay strong as a Mom for Emme while also allowing myself time to grieve for Eiza. There were moments I felt like I could not do it because the grief was so intense. I wondered if Eiza knew how much I had loved her even though we only had a short time together. I would hold Emme with a yearning to hold Eiza in my arms. I wondered if Emme felt the same pain while at the same time fighting for her life. I would go home at night, cry myself to sleep then wake the next morning still crying. People would talk to me and I would pretend to listen while drowning in my own thoughts. I was afraid I would never truly be happy again since this sadness took over my entire mind, body, and soul. It’s been over three years, the pain has never truly went away but I’ve found ways to deal with it. I celebrate both Emme and Eiza’s life on their birthday and I mourn Eiza’s death a day later.
I do not hide from the pain or the joy Eiza brought me in those 19 hours. I feel Emme is aware of her sister; I talk to her about Eiza as often as possible and we talk about Eiza watching over her as her own private guardian Angel! Eiza and Emme’s story does not have the happy ending I expected when I got pregnant but it has taught me so much about how truly precious life really is.