Our story of love, loss, and change.

Maddox and Our Angel Babies

I am 22 years old but I have been ready to start a family for a long time now. When Cody and I decided to start trying in May of 2012 I was so excited and I was so naive. It never crossed my mind that after we had our baby, we would not be bringing him home. That kind of stuff just did not happen to us. I now know that nobody is safe from the pain and heartache of baby loss.

My pregnancy began normal, I was tired, I was sick, and I was so excited. We went in for our first doctor's appointment at eight weeks and I was so happy that she said we would be doing an ultrasound. Even though we would be able to see very little, I was dying to see our baby. What happened next shocked us to the core. We saw FOUR babies. They were each in seperate sacks and they all had perfect little heartbeats. I cannot even describe the shock we felt. We laughed. Cody and I just stared at eachother for probably ten minutes with our mouths hanging open. Quadurplets. That is a lot for a person to take in. I was terrified of having one baby, I could not even wrap my head around four.

We were referred to a specialist and went to see him four weeks later. Those four weeks were the longest of my life. We had done our research and there was still so much unknown. When we met with our doctor he laid out our options to us. We could try to carry the quads but the risks were heavy. The chance of losing them all before they were old enough to survive on their own were higher than them all living. There was also a lot of risk to me, I am only five feet tall and there was not enough room to support all the babies. That put me at an even higher risk of delivering prematurely. My doctor told me that we would be lucky to carry the babies to 28 weeks. 28 weeks!? Our second option was to have a "selective reduction"....I had never even know that this was a thing! To increase the odds of having a healthy pregnancy we would need to reduce from quads to twins. How do you make this kind of decision? We thought long and hard about all the pros and cons and decided to do the reduction.

I was always a little on the fence about abortion and now I was faced with this. I believe in choice but I also believed that would never have an abortion. Well the universe is a funny thing. I felt like my beliefs were being tested and if I am being honest, I still do not know if I made the right choice. I know that we did the best thing for our other two babies, but what about the two that died? One more side thought...People keep telling me that I did not have an abortion but lets get real, that is exactly what it was. Yes I had good intentions for doing it but I went in to a room where a doctor then ended two of my babies lives based off a decision that I made. It is what it is so lets not sugar coat it.

Once we decided to do the reduction we found out that this is a procedure that is not done in Utah (kinda figures) so we had to fly to Oregon to have it done. We tried to be optimistic about the fact that we were getting a free "vacation" but I just could not enjoy the scenery. We had a whole day in Oregon before we had to do the procedure and so we drove around and took a little hike. I was just so anxious about the procedure that I barely remember anything about our time there. Except the actual procedure is burned into my brain.

When we got to the doctor's office we sat in the waiting room forever. We were the last appointment of the day. Once we got into the room they did a very detailed ultrasound. They were looking at each baby to see if any one of them was under developed or showed signs of not surviving. All the babies were equally healthy and developed, this meant that they would "target" the babies that were the easist to get to. That was something they actually said to me. It makes me shudder to think of "targeting" a baby.

The actual procedure was painful and long. I won't go into detail here on how they do the procedure. Not because it is too hard for me but I know that I would to still be naive enough to not know about such things. If you are truly interested in knowing I will of course share that part of my story with you upon request.

After it was done I felt...relieved. I had been stressing over this procedure for weeks and I was so thankful that it was finally over. However, this is what actually started my worst nightmare. We flew home and started planning our lives with our twins.

A few days after we got home I started spotting. Nothing major but enough to be worried. It was a saturday and when the bleeding got worse we decided to go to the emergency room. While there they did and ultrasound and the two babies were still there and all seemed good. They told me to take it easy and sent us on our way. The next Monday, my bleeding had gotten worse and I decided to go and see my doctor. It was the first appointment I went to on my own and I remember telling Cody "Don't worry about it, they will tell me everything is fine and then I will go back to work." I was sooo wrong. One of the babies hearts had stopped. The doctor told me like it was nothing. She said "There is no heartbeat, Im sorry. Talk to the nurse to schedule your next appointment." Then she left. I was devastated. I somehow made it out to my car and called Cody. I cried the whole time I drove to his work and then collapsed in his arms. We drove home and cried and the only thing that pushed me through was knowing we still had one healthy baby.

Over the next six weeks I was in the ER three times and had countless scares. I also had many wonderful moments. I started to feel the baby move at 18 weeks, those tiny little flutters made every awful thing I had gone through, worth it. We started planning for our son. We picked out a name, decided what the theme of the nursery would be, and all the other plans that go along with having a baby.

 I went to the ER on a Tuesday because I was bleeding so heavily. They were unsure exactly what was causing the bleeding but they did tell me that it would increase my risk of having a premature delivery. I read that babies can live after 24 weeks, it would still be hard but they could survive. I was praying to make it to 24 weeks. I was having contractions but after a few hours they stopped and again I was sent home. I was told to take it easy but that was all I could do. The following Friday I again started having contractions and bleeding heavily so we headed off to the ER again. After three hours in the ER  they wheeled me down to labor and delivery. I knew that something was very wrong. I JUST saw him moving on the ultrasound but I knew that they would not be taking me there unless he was coming.

When we got to labor and delivery a doctor came in and said that the placenta was detaching and that our son was about to be born and he would not survive. I had been gien morphine and my mind was so foggy. They took us to labor and delivery at 11 pm and Maddox was born at 11:42. He was absolutely perfect. I held him in my arms for hours through out the next day. We had most of our close family come to see him and hold him. It was a peaceful and sad time for us. I am so grateful for the time that we got to spend with, even though it was nowhere near enough.

We buried Maddox along with the other three babies and had a lovely funeral for them. I miss them more than I can express. This is not the life that I had pictured for us but we are now making the best of what we have been given.

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