Everyone’s got a story. They’ve got that day, moment, or experience in life that changed them forever. For me, it’s a specific day and it happened after a crazy, scary experience.
15 years ago I DOUBLED DOWN ON LIFE.
After 6 years of infertility, 5 miscarriages, 4 IVF treatments, thousands of injections, hundreds of miles, thousands of dollars, and one healthy baby boy named Madux, my husband and I were crazy enough to want to do it all over again.
Baby A, Baby B, and Baby C! SURPRISE…TRIPLETS!
This turned my world upside down, as Baby C was not progressing, it left us with only 2 options: Natural selection or selective abortion putting the twins in jeopardy.
A little relief came as we found out nature had taken its course just in time. A bittersweet moment. Part of me was relieved, and part was devastated. As every baby I have lost has come at the price of extreme measures taken to get to that point.
I had an amazing pregnancy up until the last 3 weeks. I started to have severe back pain, edema, and vomiting all day. I battled through and made it to 37.5 weeks.
October 9, 2006, CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.
I went to the hospital in severe pain believing my water had broken. They ran some tests and admitted me right away. The results showed I had developed H.E.L.L.P disease syndrome in addition to preeclampsia.
In just a few short hours all hell broke loose. I was rushed to the ER where I was greeted by a large team and my doctor and husband to follow in scrubs. The light was very bright and the room was a bit intimidating for not having a clue why I was even there.
They opened my legs and Merek came flying into this world at 5:32 p.m. lifeless and blue with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. My doctor’s face was full of fear as she tried to revive him. After several rounds, she passed him onto a nurse who took him to a secluded area I could not see. I kept asking if he was ok, and the doctor said “He will be fine, I need you to focus on the second baby.” It seemed like an eternity but I did hear a faint cry eventually which calmed me for a moment, and then on to the next delivery.
2 nurses, one on each side, held Milana in place who was trying her best to change positions and go breech.
I remember feeling very dizzy and sleepy as if I just could not stay awake. I was mumbling to my husband I need to go to sleep. He translated this to my doctor who said “no, she needs to stay awake.” I tried with everything I had to stay awake and was so damn confused. It’s like everything was in slow motion for me and I was not comprehending why my mind and body were not aligned.
The room was greeted by a few more nurses. One put a mask with a shield on my doctor and one held a bag, all to catch the blood that was spraying out which looked like something from a horror movie. I was hemorrhaging severely and it continued for 31 minutes straight until the princess decided it was time to come out.
We welcomed Milana into the world at 6:03 p.m. I was severely anemic and white as a ghost. As soon as she came out, she was screaming, and they also took her straight to the secluded area as well. My husband looked at me and said, “She is perfect.” I looked at him and asked if I could go to sleep now. He looked up at the doctor, and then back down at me and said, “Yes, you can go to sleep now.”
I woke up the next day in ICU. MY BODY WAS BURNING HOT AND ON FIRE.
I had muscular paralysis and was barely able to move my head from side to side. I was seeing 16 of everything and within the hour I went blind. I started hallucinating and drifting in and out of consciousness.
Last I knew I had twins, and I woke up to this whirlwind of chaos. For someone who likes control, I sure felt like I had none. I felt helpless, scared, and extremely sick. Doctors and nurses rushed in when they found out I had woken up. With my husband by my side, they explained my condition as severe. They told me I had lost a lot of blood and my body was destroying my red and white blood cells at such a rapid rate, a blood transfusion was not an option. They explained my liver was failing, my blood pressure had increased from a normal low of 90/60 to an extreme high of 239/132, and I was on the brink of a stroke and or aneurysm. They went on to explain all the meds they had me on to keep me alive, including magnesium sulfate.
My room was kept at 60 degrees to cool off my body. I was not allowed to have visitors, phone calls, flowers, tv, any noise, or light. A slight rise in my blood pressure could end my life at this critical stage.
My husband was incredible through this whole battle. He slept with me every night on a cot. He would bring the twins in my room 2 times a day and sit them in my arms and explain what they looked like and how great they were doing. I could barely feel them, I could not see them, but I knew they were there and it lifted my HOPE. He would tell me about the personalities they had developed already. He told me how important it was that I live to be their mother and raise them. He also convinced the nurse to allow our 3-year-old son Madux to visit my room for an hour a day. The nurses hesitantly agreed because they thought the stress of not seeing him would be greater than the stress of seeing him. He washed me, comforted me, and above all was my guiding light.
Day 1 turned into 2, 2 turned into 3 and the doctors got discouraged by the results and my declining health.
By day 5, they brought my husband in for a meeting and told him he needed to consider making plans if I did not make it.
Day 6 and 7 were my worst days. I remember fighting so hard but feeling like no one understood me. I was part coherent and part delusional, but always knew my mission was just to survive. I didn’t even fully understand until later what I was even fighting, at the time I was just fighting to not die, to see my babies.
Early in the morning of day 7, I woke my husband in a panic. I told him my heart was beating really fast, everything was really big, and I felt like I was dying. He held my hand and told me to relax. He told me dying was not an option. He encouraged me to relax and control my breathing while he called the nurses. I don’t remember anything after that, but I do remember walking to his big smile the next morning. My husband explained my body and results were finally turning around and I was going to be ok.
Slowly I started to regain my vision, and movement in my body, my speech came back, the swelling started to subside, my blood pressure was going down, my red and white blood cell count was increasing, and my liver failure was reversing. But the greatest thing of all happened on day 9…..for the first time since their birth, I saw and held my twin babies.
In some ways, this is my birthday too because I WAS REBORN!
For every great battle that ends in victory, there is a story to be told….This is my story!
15 years ago I DOUBLED DOWN ON LIFE.
I was never the same woman. I thought about things differently, I felt things differently, I acted differently, my vision for life completely changed. What seemed to be fuzzy in the past was now crystal clear. I had a NEW APPRECIATION FOR LIFE.