On December 13, 2019 I found out I was pregnant with mine and my husband’s 3rd baby. We were a little surprised, but excited to add another little one to our family. Judging by my last period, we could expect our bundle of joy in August, so we set out to enjoy the holidays and hope that no one was suspicious of me turning down that glass of wine.
We talked about all the normal things when adding another human to your family– how life would change, how our older two would do with a new baby, if it was a boy or a girl. But what came shortly after was nothing but a roller coaster of emotions, so much overwhelm and surprise. Here’s my story of my 3rd and very different, pregnancy journey.
This blog post may be a trigger for some, but this is my story that I want to share with other women. If you are struggling with infertility or miscarriage this may not be the blog post for you. Please do not judge, I don’t want to come off as ungrateful, I’m just sharing my personal story.
First Trimester Whirlwind
On January 2nd, 2020 I had my very first ultrasound for this pregnancy. Ultrasounds make me SO nervous. The very first one I got I received devastating news that my baby didn’t have a heart beat. You can read more about that story here. So needless to say, I get anxious when I have one even though I’ve had 2 healthy pregnancies since.
I sat in the little ultrasound room with my husband and our daughter. After the ultrasound tech looked around for a few minutes she said to me, “are you seeing my I’m seeing?” And in that moment, I did…
I was pregnant with twins.
I looked at her with nothing but fear on my face and responded, “don’t even tell me that’s twins.”
She validated my words and congratulated me as she continued with the ultrasound.
I was in complete and utter shock. No words came out of my mouth, I barely could feel anything except disbelief. I looked at my husband with wide eyes and nervousness. Twins? We were going to have 4 babies? My overall fear of having twins was overwhelming it was hard for me to feel excitement.
I left my doctor’s office with lots of ultrasound images of 2 little babies, awestruck. I was uncertain, afraid, and very overwhelmed. Three babies is something I always wanted, but twins to make us a family of 6 was nerve wracking and I would’ve never expected that news.
The next few days were a blur of emotions. Honestly, I cried for about 5 days straight over it all. All the worst case scenarios went through my mind; Needing bed rest, longer hospital stays, preemie babies, NICU babies, breastfeeding twins, having room in our home for twins, having enough time for my 2 older children. Any worry you can imagine, I had.
Finding out we were having twins explained the intense nausea I was having on top of the incredible hunger I felt though. I ate all.the.time. I couldn’t stop eating, I always felt insatiable hunger and thirst.
Telling our families
We ended up telling our immediate family the news of my pregnancy very early. Keeping twins to ourselves didn’t seem possible, even though we were scared. And of course, our families were thrilled! Their excitement and support was helpful. I felt a little less emotional and began to feel happy and get excited because this was indeed what was happening. I was going to have a big family and even though I knew the first few months (or years) would be VERY difficult, it would all be worth it.
My First Trimester Scan
With twins comes lots of extra doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds. I was nervous to be considered “high-risk” but kept telling myself that maybe I won’t get massive or have them too early; That I would go almost full term and have 2 healthy babies.
On January 30th, I had my 12 week ultrasound, I was once again nervous, but this time for different reasons. I had noticed a decrease in my pregnancy symptoms over the last 10ish days. The nausea and hunger decreased a lot and I wasn’t as tired as I had been in previous weeks. I told the ultrasound tech this but she didn’t seem too concerned.
We started the ultrasound. We checked out Baby A who was measuring a few days ahead and had a strong heartbeat. She went to Baby B and immediately I could tell something was wrong. The baby was significantly smaller than Baby A. My instincts were right…Baby B had no heartbeat. The baby had stopped growing around 8 weeks, about one week after my first ultrasound.
The ultrasound tech expressed her apologies, but honestly I wasn’t too surprised, I knew in my gut something was wrong, but I still had a mix of emotions. I was sad, indifferent, overwhelmed, but I’ll be honest too, in that moment I did feel a sense of relief…
Vanishing Twin Syndrome
It’s called Vanishing Twin Syndrome and it’s actually fairly common. One baby is miscarried, and eventually is absorbed into the mother’s body. It “vanishes.”
I shed a few tears on my solo-ride home that day. My husband was away for work and my mom was home with my older 2. I had to call Tom and let him know the news. . .While we had lost one baby, my midwife told me there was no reason I shouldn’t go on to carry a completely healthy baby and have a normal singleton pregnancy.
Miscarriage is hard and this was not the pregnancy journey I envisioned. No matter if your gut was telling you it happened or if you were blindsided, it sucks. I will never ever forget this baby I carried. And as I write this almost one year after finding out I was pregnant, I’m still sad and emotional over that baby I never got to hold. I probably didn’t completely grieve this baby I lost in the moment either, because I was so happy to still have one healthy baby. But my living baby will be told about this story and she will know she was originally a twin. My family and I will never forget this baby and I know we’ll always wonder, “what if.”
Please don’t think I’m a terrible person. January was a whirlwind of emotions for me. Going from the shock of finding out it was twins, and those “what am I going to do” thoughts, to starting to feel ok about it, only to find out it wasn’t happening anymore was INSANE. It was the most emotional 30 days of my life I think. But knowing I was going to have a normal singleton pregnancy took a lot of worries and overwhelm away.
A Pandemic Pregnancy Journey
After finding out we were having twins, then not having twins, I did go on to have a normal pregnancy. Well, as normal as one could be during a pandemic! Talk about so many unplanned events happening in 9 months! We announced my pregnancy one week before America shut down. Tom wasn’t able to go to any appointments with me (between work trips and the pandemic he only made it to the very first ultrasound appointment with me.) I was sad he missed out on so many appointments since we knew this would be our last baby.
We chose to wait to find out the sex of the baby until the day he/she was born and that was so exciting! It was something we hadn’t done with our 2 older ones, so it was fun. Kinsey was born after only 8 hours of labor, on her due date, August 18! She was born at 1:10 AM, weighed 6lbs 15oz and was 20 inches long.
Am I still sad? OF COURSE. Twins haunt me – I see them everywhere, I hear about them all the time on TV or on Instagram. I see adorable videos of twins at birth hugging each other and the precious newborn twin photo shoots and it breaks my heart! I couldn’t wait to see first hand, my twins grow up together and bond with each other. And I couldn’t wait to see my kid’s faces when we told them they were going to have two baby siblings.
Now I have only “what-ifs” and “I wonder.”
I wonder if the twin would have been a boy or a girl.
I wonder who that baby would’ve been like.
Can you imagine if there were 2 Kinseys?
I wonder what we would have named them.
I have an empty place in my heart and another miscarriage story. But within the same pregnancy I also have a rainbow baby. I can choose to dwell on this pregnancy journey and be sad or I can be happy. I’m choosing to see the light in this experience instead of being in a dark place, because let’s face it 2020 has been a year (for everyone!) I realize how lucky I am to have one healthy baby. This is now part of my story and there’s nothing I can do about it, except to accept what is. And this is the pregnancy journey that was chosen for me.
If you’re going through miscarriage, know you’re not alone. One in four women experience miscarriage and I’ve now experienced it twice. It’s never easy, no matter the situation. But if you feel you need months to mourn your miscarriage or you feel “over it” quickly, that’s ok. Both feelings are ok, and both feelings are valid. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.