Between April 1st, the time we posted on Facebook that we were expecting twins, and April 10th of 2014 when we were to go to New York to visit family, we had another doctors appointment that changed our lives. But this time it was the most devastating news any expecting parents could possibly hear, “there’s something wrong with one of them.”
As soon as we heard the news I cried. I cried harder than I ever cried before, I’m sure of it. I was on a cloud with the last doctors visit, but this time I was at an all time low. I was told that one child will not survive the pregnancy (this was the one and only time they mentioned abortion and I remember my husbands reaction to that was as if the doctor told him something offensive… It was never mentioned to us again). Well, we got the same unfortunate news confirmed by another doctor as well as a specialist soon after. In the ultrasound, it showed a very large cystic hygroma on the back of her neck, a cystic hygroma is basically a very large pocket of skin filled with cysts inside. They also saw hydrops around her heart and her abdomen, which is an accumulation of fluid around these areas. They mentioned that she probably had something called Turners Syndrome because of everything the ultrasound showed. They also confirmed we were have a boy and a girl during this time. On paper were blessed with a dream come true but in reality it seemed like we were in a nightmare. Looking back I wish I would have had more faith in my daughter, my pregnancy and my Lord.
For the rest of the pregnancy in North Carolina I followed up closely with the specialist. Josh and I went to every doctors appointment expecting for them to tell us she passed away but that was so far from what actually happened. In fact our last appoint in North Carolina, before I moved back to Houston, the specialist told us in a very surprised voice that our daughters hydrops looked better. He mentioned that if in fact she did make it that she would be the second baby that he had ever seen survive after having such significant issues in utero.
I must mention that after the babies were born, the specialist called me himself to ask about her. I proudly informed him that they were both doing well but it was going to be a long road for her. At that point I had no idea how long and bumpy it was going to be but I am happy that I had such a wonderful team during our pregnancy in North Carolina.
When we got pregnant with the babies I knew the day after that I was pregnant. I have not a clue how but I did, and I told my husband immediately. Then when it was time for me to take the test we were snowed in. So after two days of being stuck inside our house, and after the commissary was FINALLY opened, I scrapped the snow off of my car and rushed to buy the tests before I had to go to work. When I got back I took a test and it was negative… I took the second test and it was negative and then I took a third test and it was POSITIVE! I was excited/scared and in shock. This was January of 2014 and the first pregnancy after my corrective surgery on my uterus. I knew this could be the one… or in this case the two.
After finding out about the pregnancy I ended up putting my two weeks at MAC on February 20. I knew this pregnancy I had to take it easy this time. Despite how much I tried to be relaxed I had some scares so I became that paranoid patient that called the doctor for every unusual thing. And then March came along and we went for our ultrasound and as I looked at the monitor I saw two somethings, but I didn’t have the training to know exactly what I was looking at. Then the doctor said it….. “Looks like were making up for lost time.” I looked at my husband and his eyes looked full of fear and excitement. The doctor confirmed, TWINS! I gathered up my words and the only thing that could come out of my mouth was, a lot of eff words. I mean a lot of EFF words. I cried, I laughed so hard I sounded like a maniac.
The news came as a shock because neither one of us have twins in the family. You can imagine as we called our family members to inform them of the unusual news, we had very interesting reactions. We also celebrated with my first craving… Popeyes. It took us a while to accept that we were pregnant with twins, I even found out that women over 30 and that are taller than average have higher chances of having twins. Well in my case I fit that profile and God had big plans for us. We even took advantage that on April 1st (April Fools Day) was our last day of our first trimester so we shared only the above picture on Facebook and the reactions were priceless.
I had an abortion. That never gets easier to say and it never will. I had an abortion long before finding out that I had a uterus that would not allow me to carry any child over the first trimester. I found out this somber news in North Carolina after having a total of 3 miscarriages. I made a choice to terminate a pregnancy that would have ultimately terminated itself. That is a hard pill to swallow.
Was God angry at me? Was this punishment for my abortion? Those were the thoughts I had after every miscarriage. Every time we told people we were pregnant, we soon after had to tell them that we had a miscarriage. Holy crap, the look of pity from the army wives that heard from the grapevine was just terrible. It was almost embarrassing for me sometimes because I felt like I am a woman, I should be able to do this but I couldn’t do the one thing women are supposed to do.
I still don’t think I am completely over it. The last miscarriage I had was right before Josh deployed and I suffered in silence. I was so far away from my family and friends, but because of the distance I felt like they didn’t know me anymore, hell I didn’t know myself. The one person I wanted or could talk to was on a dangerous deployment and I was so scared that I prepared myself (as much as I could) for him not coming home. I was in a miserable place that a piece of me still lives in.
The surgery (uterine septum removal) that was September 2013 (one year exactly before the babies were born) allowed me to get pregnant after all of these heart breaking miscarriages. It basically removed a large septum in my uterus that did not allow the babies to grow and receive the nutrients they needed to survive. The doctor mentioned that it was one of the largest he had ever seen (of course it was). When I got out of anesthesia I told the doctor he was my best friend and when he told me my husband was there and that my husband was my best friend, I cried. I also woke up in the middle of the procedure and told the nurse that I would do her makeup. Anesthesia is such a strange medication.
It is still very hard to accept that blood on my hands but it is there no matter how many times I wash it. After having my babies I make it a point to inform women that it is a decision that will more than likely follow you for the rest of your life. It is something that can’t be taken back and that child cannot be replaced. I realized after having my babies that my babies were my babies from time of conception until the day I die.
I would say that this picture sums up my whole experience as an army wife, right there on my face. It was rough and I applaud every woman out there that has experienced this life because it is hard, lonely, infuriating, frightening, and exciting all in one. I was never able to remember his company, unit, squad, brigade… all of the above. I was judged by some for my lack of interest in all of this but all I knew was that my husband was much more than just the army. This was not long term for us and the more involved I was I felt the more stuck I was in a lifestyle that didn’t suit me. But I stuck it out for the love of my life and I am so happy I did. We grew stronger and stronger every day, every 14 hour working day.
In our 4 years in the army I…
Moved to North Carolina,
Lived in a motel for months with my new husband with whom I never lived with before,
Got my GED (at 29) after leaving high school in 10th grade,
Got rehired at MAC,
Went to college and figured out I’m a lot smarter than I once thought,
Often waited next to our window thinking that someone was going to knock on our door and tell me my husband was not coming home, while he was deployed,
Had corrective surgery on my uterus because of multiple miscarriages,
Got pregnant with twins,
Found out our daughter had turners syndrome.
It was very challenging for the both of us and it is easy to see why the divorce rate is high in the army. It was a difficult time for even us, best friends turned husband and wife, but I met some people that I will never forget. Some I talk to once in a while, some I never talk to anymore but every single one of them will stay with me for the rest of my life and I pray I was able to make an impact on them as well.
I met my husband October of 2007 at a bar, at the time it was called 1415 and the name has changed since. My way of flirting when we first met is my husbands favorite story to tell. In a nut shell I am aggressive…. thats just who I am…. I told him to get in my car and I would take him to the next bar that everyone was going to. He declined, we met up at the other bar and his was of flirting was sitting on my lap. I like to think we are even.
Fast forward to our first date… at a Vietnamese restaurant that has since burned down, was at the middle of the night, where we got to know each other better. At first he seemed way to immature for me but soon after I KNEW he was the one. He is the best man I have ever met in my life. Patient, honest (sometimes way too much), tough as heck, gentle as a dove. I don’t mean to be mushy but I am truly undeserving of him. Anyone that knows me will tell you I am impatient, annoying, pushy and even more honest than him, but these are all things I’m working on.
So he joined the army 2010, we got married that December and moved to Fort Bragg soon after (I will get in depth of that part of my life at another time so stay focused). We suffered two miscarriages, a deployment, a surgery to correct my uterus, found out we were expecting soon after, then found out we were expecting twins, and yet again, soon after that found out that there was a problem with one of the babies. I refused to give birth in North Carolina so we moved back to our home town, to the great land of Houston, Texas July 2014. Through it all I feel our lives were not complete until the babies were born. Then I finally found the purpose of my life and thank God I did.