The flashbacks are like a movie playing in my mind, 3D has nothing on my memories. I’m taken straight back to December 10 last year. I remember what the cramps felt like. I remember what the gush of fluid felt like. I remember the look of fear on my Mom’s face and then of heartbreak when she realized what we were facing after I screamed for her. I remember not wanting to have to tell Jason what had just happened.
I remember Jeopardy was playing in the background, I could hear my family talking outside the bathroom door. I didn’t know what pregnancy was supposed to feel like. Having thrown up 10 plus times a day for the past 4.5 months made me feel like nothing was normal. Having ovaries the size of grapefruits from IVF gone bad made me kind of used to the cramping. I remember the dr telling me that morning, the cramps were the boys growing. Kicking and moving, I saw them on the screen.
So when my water broke, I didn’t understand. I remember looking down, terrified that I would see something awful, so when I didn’t, I calmed down. Until I realized what had just happened and I understood. I remember knowing that my life would never be the same.
My parents running around, Jason standing there looking as helpless as I felt. Both of us scared, lost, rushing to get the hospital so they could fix me. They could stop this. I remember our families running right behind us.
I remember I was wearing my dad’s gym shorts. The 2nd pair because I’d soaked through my jeans and the first pair he gave me. Jason was driving as I sat in the passenger seat, rocking back and forth, telling him I was so, so sorry. I remember him telling me, over and over, to stop. It wasn’t my fault. I remember him telling me we’d be ok.
I remember the noises, the smells. I remember the ultrasound showing us that Tucker didn’t have much fluid but Fletcher did. They were both strong. Sometimes the sac replenishes. I’ve never talked so much to God as I was then. Pleading, praying, believing.
I remember all the days spent in the hospital with some dr’s giving us worst case, some telling us miracles happen but all telling us to pray and believe. I never stopped doing either.
I remember going to the bathroom and feeling another gush. I started screaming and Jason and a nurse ran in. I knew it was our baby. I couldn’t look. Jason looked and saw a huge clot but reassured me over and over that it wasn’t our baby. I can still hear my screams, they wake me up sometimes then I realize that part, the screaming at least, is only a nightmare.
I remember being in the worst pain of my life. I remember what labor felt like, what contractions felt like. What I don’t remember is the dr telling us that Tucker had moved into the birth canal, because I was finally asleep after 24 hours of pain. I missed that announcement. I wish I hadn’t.
I remember going to the bathroom, by myself. First time in 3 days I had been by myself. I felt another gush, I knew it was a clot; I’d already been through this. I remember looking down and seeing our baby. My beautiful baby Tucker Harris, alive but too small to survive. I remember pulling the string for the nurses. Screaming for Jason. I remember being in complete shock and Jason holding my face, telling me to look at him. I remember looking over and seeing them working on our baby and was surprised to see the nurses and dr crying.
I remember holding him. This little miracle that was half Jason and half me. He was beautiful. He was perfect. He had my lips, he was so peaceful. I remember having to let him go.
I remember nurses that called to check on me on their days off. I remember the ones who climbed into bed with me and cried and held me. I remember every scan, every scare and every moment of the 13 days in the hospital. I remember them telling me if I spiked a fever it would be really bad because I still had Tucker’s placenta. I still had a very healthy baby alive inside me I had to protect.
I remember seeing Fletcher wave to us on the screen one morning. I remember the dr holding my hand and telling me that the odds were very bad but miracles happen. I remember taking my temperature every 20 minutes to make sure I didn’t have an infection and yelling at a new nurse that told me to relax with the temperature taking.
I remember the hope. I remember what it felt like, as each day passed into evening and then morning, waking up and realizing I still had my baby growing inside me. I remember the moment I believed that we would have our miracle to bring home with us.
I remember the cramps. They said it was gas pains because my body had so many strong antibiotics being pumped through and I was on bed rest so the gas was trapped. I remember being assured that if I were going to lose Fletcher, my water would break first. I remember them promising I wouldn’t be surprised again.
I remember the longest night of my life. My parents wouldn’t leave, Jason, who never left my side, in bed with me, holding me, rubbing my back. I remember screaming out in pain, praying for God to take this pain and protect my baby. I remember rebuking Satan and telling him to leave us alone.
I remember going to the bathroom, early that morning. Christmas Eve. I remember the all too familiar gush. I remember looking down and seeing my beautiful Fletcher and I remember the feeling of just kind of floating away. I remember screaming for my mom and not realizing the scream was coming from me. The nurse who sat on the floor in front of me, near panic just held onto my leg, crying.
I remember having a very real feeling that I was going to die. That after my husband, my parents, our families, had watched me deliver and lose our boys, that they were going to lose me too.
I remember asking my mom to pray for me. To not stop praying. To pray for Jason, whose heart was as broken as mine.
I remember holding Fletcher Thomas. He was so much bigger than his brother. I remember being amazed at what an extra 11 days in the momma’s womb does for her baby.
I remember letting him go and feeling my heart go with him.
I remember everything. I hate that I can’t stop the bad memories but I remember because they are what we have left. They are my birth story.
They are our boys.
Now, a year later, I remember this all as though it happened to someone else. It still doesn’t feel real. But I know it is. Everyday I live with the reminder of what happened.
But now, a year later, I also remember the excitement I felt in this picture. 2 days before all hell broke loose. I was glowing, I was in love and I was at peace.
A year later, I miss my boys. Everyday. But I’m healing. Everyday. We celebrate our boys this month and the fact that life does go on. And as hard as so many moments felt, as sure as I was that I would drown in this pain, I didn’t.
I remember the hope I had when we went through IVF. I remember the joy I felt when it was confirmed they were twins, then to find out they were boys. I remember the way my heart opened to a love I never knew possible when I held our boys.
I remember what life was like before. And I recognize that I will never be that person again. This has changed me. But I’m proud of who I’ve let the past year make me into and I am thankful that we made it through the first year of “Firsts.”
I look forward to a new year, a fresh start and new beginnings. A mom to 2 babies, always, but I’m moving forward to see what lies ahead of this broken road I’ve been traveling.
I remember. I don’t ever want to forget.