real life

"I hold one in my arms and three in my heart." 11 months after losing her second, Katie lost twins.

This article discusses miscarriage and may be triggering for some readers.

I was nine weeks pregnant when we found out it was twins. As the ultrasound wand slid over my belly, I asked my obstetrician if there was a heartbeat. He confirmed there was, then he started laughing.

It took me a moment but then I was also laughing, although mine was a kind of hysterical scream-cackle. “Are you kidding me?” On the screen was the most terrifying and beautiful sight: there were two little ones in there.

As my husband realised what was going on, our eyes grew wide and we stared at each other, open-mouthed. “We will need to buy a house! And a bigger car!” Later that evening, we Facetimed our families to break the news, our eyes still wide in wonder and shock.

“Can you count?” I asked them, holding the little picture of our twins to the screen.

A tribute to the babies we’ve lost. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

I was ten weeks pregnant when we helped our son blow out the candles on his Mickey Mouse birthday cake then told our friends the news. Despite what happened, I don’t regret it. It’s not often you get to see 30 people react like that at the same time.

I was twelve weeks pregnant and due to have the regular blood tests to check for chromosomal conditions. My belly had popped out just a few days earlier, which made me hopeful. I laid on the examination bed and watched the black and white images light up the dark room. Their stillness was familiar, as was the rising fear.

My husband started squeezing my hand tighter. 11 months earlier, we’d seen the same stillness in this same room. 11 months earlier, we’d lost our second baby. This time the babies looked like babies, I thought – the little one we’d called Blueberry looked softer, blurry, undefined – but just like Blueberry, they were so still.

I looked hard at the screen, hoping to see just the slightest of wiggles. “They are identical,” said the doctor, then he was quiet. I asked if they were alright, already knowing the answer. “Well, no, I’m afraid,” he said. “There’s no easy way to say this.”

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He leaves the room to give us privacy. As I choked on my tears I said to my husband, “I can’t believe this is happening again.” In the same way. In the same room. 11 months almost to the day. It felt like a nightmare.

Katie K
Katie her her two-year-old son Enzo. Image: Supplied.

Later that afternoon, my obstetrician would say that this often happened with the type of identical twins I was carrying: “You probably googled the risks.” But I hadn’t - I was too busy googling “best prams for two newborns and a toddler do they even exist” and “how the hell do you breastfeed two at once - can you still leave the house?”

I wasn’t prepared for the worst day of my life to happen twice.

Two and a half months have passed since we lost the twins. I probably talk about my miscarriages more than is average. I have to talk about the three babies we lost. They were real and they happened to me.

For two weeks after the scan and the Dilation and Curette that followed, I cried every day. And then one day I didn’t cry. I cried again the next day, and the next, but then the tears stopped again.

Sometimes I stood in the shower and relived the moment I heard the words “there’s no easy way to say this” to make myself cry because I didn’t want to start feeling better. That would mean I had moved on from my pregnancy. And I didn’t want to have to leave our babies in the past.

Despite our losses, I know we are still so fortunate. We have a healthy, sunshine-sweet two-year-old boy who is so wonderful that sometimes my husband and I turn to each other in amazement to ask, “How is he real?” If you were to ask me if I am happy, the answer would be: I guess so? But I will always have a pocket of sadness tucked away inside me.

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Katie K 2
Katie holds Enzo in her arms, but she also holds his three siblings in her heart. Image: Supplied.

I think often of all the other people experiencing pregnancy loss or infertility, going about their day-to-day lives while quietly despairing. I think of the women who’ve carried babies much further than I did and then had to say goodbye. I can’t imagine their pain. But I too know the sadness, the anger, the bitterness and the deep understanding that the random nature of life is seemingly cruel and definitely not fair.

This is what it’s like for me now: I’ve broken a bone. And it’s healed, but it hasn’t healed right. The break is mended but the bone is in the wrong place and it’s weakened. Most of the time it’s fine. I can live with this. But every now and then I will feel a sharp shooting pain. Or a dull ache. So it’s fine. But it’s not.

I hold one in my arms and three in my heart.

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

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