I always said I would wait to have kids until I turned 30. Well, as soon as I hit the big 29, I began to have a craving for babies. I soon went off birth control and my husband and I started to “unofficially” try to have a baby. We weren’t tracking anything and hoped it would just happen. In February 2011, we were so happy to get our first ever BFP! Sadly, that pregnancy ended in a chemical pregnancy a few weeks later. We had planned to wait a few cycles before trying again, but we had an “oops!” moment two weeks after the chemical pregnancy.
Two weeks later, I received a positive test. We went in for our first ultrasound and discovered a beautiful heartbeat. At our nine week appointment, we were shocked to find that I was actually carrying mono mono twins: a very rare and risky identical twin pregnancy. Even though it was risky, we were so excited to be having twins! The pregnancy was smooth sailing up until our 15 week appointment when we had found out that one of our twins had passed. Still keeping faith and hoping we would deliver our surviving twin, we were anxiously awaiting to make it to 24 weeks, which would make her viable outside the womb. When I hit 17 weeks, I felt off and knew something wasn’t right. I immediately called my doctor and we went for an emergency ultrasound. It was confirmed that our other baby girl had passed. A few days later I had a procedure to remove the girls from my body and ended up having to stay in the hospital due to significant blood loss.
This loss was devastating for my husband and I, and I told myself that I couldn’t go through being pregnant again after having losing three babies within five months. Four months after losing the twins, I began to feel normal again, and wanted to become pregnant, even though I was scared to death of losing another baby. To our surprise, in January 2012, we found out we were expecting our rainbow baby. I was cautiously excited and wanted that baby more than anything. The night before our first appointment, I started spotting. I freaked out and thought that we were also going to lose the baby. The next day we went for our ultrasound, which was bittersweet, as that was the same room that we had found out we had lost our second twin. Once the wand was placed into me, I immediately began to search the screen. My heart jumped and tears came down my cheeks as I saw our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I had a feeling that everything was going to be okay.
The pregnancy was very easy for me–no morning sickness, and I felt great up until the day my son was delivered.
September 2nd, 2012 was a typical Sunday morning. I woke up at 8:30 a.m., went to the bathroom and crawled back into bed. A few minutes later, I felt something warm and wet running down my leg. I was thinking to myself, “are you kidding me? I freaking peed myself!” So I got up, went back to the bathroom and squatted on the toilet. I looked down and saw a gush of red and the toilet bowl immediately filled up with my blood. I knew something was not right, so my husband called 911 and the paramedics came. So here I was, half naked with blood all over me while these hot paramedics were taking me out on a gurney to the ambulance. The whole time I kept waiting for my son to kick me so that I knew he was okay. I kept yelling and screaming that it wasn’t fair for us to get this close to having a baby in our arms and have him taken away Finally, once I was put on my side and given oxygen, I felt him move and knew that he was still alive.
Once we got to the hospital, the doctors completed an ultrasound and had found that I had placenta previa that was undiagnosed and it had caused me to hemorrhage. They decided on an emergency C-section. After being wheeled into the OR, my clothes were stripped and I heard a buzzing sound. I looked down and saw that the nurse had an electric razor in her hand and she was shaving my pubic hair in front of everyone in the OR! I As I sat up on the operating table, clinging onto the contraption in front of me to keep me upright, the anesthesiologist placed a 10-inch needle in my spine to numb me. Holy Cow! Can I just say ouch! It felt like 100 piranhas biting you at once. Once I was numb, my doctor came in, cut a three-inch strip above my pubic bone and proceeded to try to deliver my son. Because my son was only 34 weeks gestation, he hadn’t dropped and my doctor couldn’t get him out. She had another doctor assist by pushing down on my ribs. Every time she pushed down, I couldn’t breathe and I swear I could hear my ribs breaking. I looked up at my husband and his face was white. He said that he could see all of my guts out on the table and my blood had squirted all over the doctors’ masks.
While one doctor was pushing, my doctor was pulling and eventually my doctor had to use a vacuum to get my son out. My son was born at 10:53 a.m., weighing 4 pounds 9 ounces and was looking bluish grey because of all the blood I had lost. After they cleaned him up, I heard a small cry that sounded like a kitten. The respiratory team brought him over to me for a quick kiss before he was swept away to the NICU. I lived in the NICU for the next 13 days feeding, holding and cuddling my little man. Day by day he got stronger and was able to come home on September 15th, 2012. I am so thankful for him everyday and couldn’t imagine life without him.
I’m Elizabeth Stone. I was born in Carson City, Nevada and was raised in Northern California on a farm. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Cal State University Long Beach, I began teaching elementary school in Southern, CA. I have been teaching 5th grade at a private school in Irvine for the past seven years and I cannot imagine a more perfect job for me. I also received my Master’s Degree and National Board Certification in the middle of getting married and having babies. When my son was six months old, we found out we were expecting again! It came as a huge surprise, but we are so blessed to have our little munchkins so close in age. Now I am just trying to balance my time as a full time working momma. We recently relocated to Orange, CA and absolutely love our new house!