by Leidra Marie
I found out I was pregnant very early along – at just 5 weeks. After another round of infertility treatments – this time to get us baby #2 – we were pretty used to the routine by now, and the early ultrasounds. At 7 weeks, we went back to confirm viability and it was then that the doctor informed us there were two sacs – we were having twins! I was elated, but immediately cautioned by the physician that many times, twins this early on, do not both survive. Despite his warnings, I jumped in, head over heels, for these babies. They were mine and I was theirs. Forever.
At 11 weeks, we had yet another ultrasound. This time, the ultrasound tech searched and searched for both heartbeats. She found one pretty easily, but the other was nowhere to be found. There was no heartbeat. We lost one of the twins. The reality was setting in. Seeing both babies on the screen – one alive, the other, not – was the hardest thing I’ve ever seen. I saw both sacs and both babies and felt like it was my fault that one didn’t make it. I was their mother. What was wrong with me? All the questions flooded my mind in that moment and in the days to follow. Two days later, I went back in for yet another ultrasound, hoping, praying, that the other baby was going to be okay this time. They were not. The baby was still much smaller than their sibling. There was no heartbeat again. Only one baby was going to continue to grow in my belly. It was a truth I had to accept. And I was determined to do everything in my power to ensure that baby survived.
After giving birth to a 27-weeker just 18 months prior to this pregnancy, we knew the risks and what had to be done to minimize them. This meant weekly hormone injections for 20 weeks of my pregnancy. Each week, my daughter and I would trek over to the doctor’s office and I would get my shot. The shots were painful, but the thought of losing this baby, too, was even more painful to bear. Thankfully, the injections worked, and at 39 weeks, my baby boy bust into this world at 8 lb. 10 oz. Today, he is a happy, healthy 18-month-old, loving life and his adventures with his big sister. He knows not of the sibling he’ll never have, and we’ll probably keep it that way – at least for now. It’s not his heartache to bear. Just know that there is hope. My son is my sunrise baby. His sibling that we lost too soon is my sunset baby. Each day, as the sun rises and the sun sets, I take a moment to think of the life we have and the life we lost and remember how truly blessed I am as a mother.