Monday, February 6, 2012

Our very own angels, Harvey and Johnathan

                                                                                              September 13, 2011
   When I was 8 weeks pregnant we found out we would be having twins. From that day forward our minds were going at 100 miles an hour thinking and preparing ourselves for twins. Twin don't run in the family. At our 12 weeks check up the little munchkins were "swimming" like crazy on the ultrasound. Amazing what a difference they look like just 4 weeks later. We decided that this time that we need to start looking for a bigger home, so our search began. My pregnancy was going great, by this time i had only had maybe 3 episodes of morning sickness/vomiting.  I was still playing soccer and participating in normal activities, just not being so aggressive. Working in a NICU I know how common it is to have twins before 34 weeks and I wanted to give me a fighting chance to prove themselves to go to at least 36 weeks. Daily I would pray that they/I would do whatever needed to be done to get to those 36 weeks. I stopped playing soccer when I was 14 weeks along to help them out. This was difficult for me because I was feeling so great, but I knew I needed to protect them as much as possible. Since I found out I was pregnant I tried to stay away from sugars and stopped drinking caffeine- making from some long night shifts.
            These little guys would be the first grand-baby and great grand-baby for my husbands side. It was a very touching moment to let them know that we were expecting, they all were so excited and ready to do anything for us. For my side of the family I was the first daughter to get pregnant, even though my sweet mom was already a grandmother, it became something totally different for her as she shared her knowledge and past pregnancy experiences with me. Because of this I invited her to come to my 17 weeks check up so that she would know what gender bedding and blessing outfits would need to be made.  I was going to have her make the blessing outfits out of my wedding dress. The day before we went out looking and shopping for bedding and nursery ideas. I had decided that if they were boys I wanted to do vintage fighter planes and if they were girls I wanted to do owls. While we were out shopping it felt as if they were squeezing on to one side. My mom mentioned that I looked lopsided, like they were just sitting on one side. The morning of my check up I had some pretty bad stomach pains- diarrhea and vomiting- I was worried about making it through my appointment without having to run to the bathroom. As we sat in the office waiting for the doctor, we joked about what they would be. Just a few days before Chris and I were in Palm Springs running though lists to names that we both liked. And before we had left for Palm Springs, we had put in an offer on a home and it was accepted, things seemed to be falling into perfect place. It was crazy that in just a few minutes we would find out what we were having and be able to start narrow names and nursery colors.  That afternoon we were going through and doing the inspection on our "new" home. The doctor came in and said lets go do an ultrasound first. We went into one of to the ultrasound rooms and while he and I were prepping, he said we normally don't do ultrasounds every check up but because they are too small right now, we have to do them to get heartbeats. He placed the doppler on my belly and we saw one of them, again we all began throwing out our guesses. The doctor continued to look but not say anything, he then pulled the Doppler off and said "Sundee, things aren't looking so good," my heart sank "I need to look closely at some more things, are you okay if i continue?" As I replied I hoped that whatever he saw was just a fluke and that things would be okay. He again placed the doppler on my belly and asked if I would like him to tell me what he was seeing. I told him yes, please tell me everything. Crying my mom stood up and came to my side and hold my hand. The doctor said "this is were I should see the heart beat," there was nothing- no movements,  "I'm going to do some contrast to see if there is any blood flow."  Again, nothing. I was holding back the tears in hopes that the other twin was okay. My sweet Chris has also come to my side by this point. As he moved to the other twin, same thing, nothing. Lifelessness, inside when just the day before we could see them doing summer-salts. The doctor then took some measurements and took the doppler off and said that he loves his job and he absolutely hates his job in times like this. I began to tear up as I witnessed my doctor, whom I hold great respect for, get teary as well. He said "I wish things like this would never happen, I especially wish that something like this wouldn't happen to you. I hope that I am wrong, so I'm going to have another doctor take a second look, then I'll be back in. I want you to know that when something like this happens at this stage there are three things you need to remember, it wasn't something you did, it wasn't something you did, it wasn't something you did." 
          Hundreds of emotions ran through all of us, my mom said "it just can't be." Only a few moments went by and another doctor came in. He too looked at the where we should see the heartbeats and blood flow contrast, still nothing. He said "I am so sorry but I want you to know that it wasn't something you did, it wasn't something you did, it wasn't something you did." Tears kept coming down mine and my mom's face, it was hard for me to look at her or Chris, I know they just said it wasn't something i did, but I am only human, I thought about what I had done, should I have stop playing soccer earlier, was i too close for an x-ray at work, did i eat something I shouldn't have, ect... With a face of disbelief, Chris asked, "can we wait a couple of days then do another ultrasounds?" I told him we could ask. My doctor came back in and said "we need to discuss somethings, they are unfortunately too big to do a D&C, so you will need to be induced and deliver them we can do it today or another day, it's up to you." I asked what days he was on call. Luckily, he was on call that day and Monday (labor day). "Can we wait until Monday and do another ultrasound then induce?" My doctors said that we could do that because I wasn't far enough along that he worried about other complications from them being in there too long, be that we needed to be certain that this is what we wanted to do before we induced since we couldn't reverse it once it was started. So we all agreed that we would wait until Monday, do an ultrasound and induce if needed. He again expressed his sympathy to me and said I'll wait to hear from you until Monday, but if you need me you know how get a hold of  me. 
               As we walked out of the office the tears were still coming, I asked Chris if he was ok and if he still wanted to go to work, he said sure. We kissed and hugged for what seemed a life time said our I love yous and sent each other on our separate ways. I was suppose to go into work after my appointment (the hospital was just across the parking lot) so my mom and I walked over to the hospital so I could talk with my manager. Unfortunately, there was no "back way" to my managers office and I would have to pass co-workers, I knew I was going to have a hard time because almost everyone knew I was finding out the sexes that day. I had forgotten my cell phone at home, so I knew that I was going to have to call one of my dear friends Jen to tell her the news. I didn't know how I was going to call and tell her or anyone else for the matter, all I knew was that I wasn't going to be able to tell them what I was going to have. As I walked up to the front desk, I saw Jen working, she was standing at the printer. I walked up behind her and grabber her elbow as she turned I starting bawling, she gave me a big hug and walked me around the corner and just let me cry into her shoulder for awhile until I could catch my breath. How could I be telling one of my best friends who “already have fabric picked out” that she wasn’t going to be able to make them anything? As I calmed down enough to speak all that come out of my mouth was, “They’re gone, they’re not there.”
“They don’t have heartbeats,” my manager walked around the corner, “they couldn’t find any heartbeats, they’re gone." My mom, Jen and I just hugged each other and cried. I told her I had to be induced on Monday, because of their size. My manager and the scheduler gave me hugs and told me that I could have as much time as I needed. My other friend Missy had come around the corner and hugged my mom and I. Jen hugged my mom and told her that if she needed anything I have her number. Jen started crying and hugged me again and told me she had lost 4. We cried for awhile then they told me to go home and rest. Missy asked if she could contact our friends and asks them to fast on Sunday, I was so happy that others were thinking on their feet. My mom and I walked out to the car in tears. 
          My sister Ginger called us on the way to home find out the news, again crying I had a hard time telling her and told her we could talk when we got home. I rejected the phone call from my dad and figured we could tell people when we were home and not driving. As soon as we got home I went straight into the house and started packing all of the maternity and baby items that I gotten thus far and put them in the garage. Then I packed up the pack-n-play and some boxes of diapers and wipes so that I could return them. Mean while my mom had text my other siblings, what I don’t know, but I got a phone call from my oldest brother asking me what had happened. With each phone call from my siblings and father I seemed to cry harder and harder with the realization that my babies were gone.
           How could they be gone?  I know we all were hoping for a miracle but as a nurse I knew they were gone. I couldn’t believe that I was basically half way there and had no inkling that anything was wrong. I seemed just to be a blob in the day, went for the home inspection and just seemed to go through the motions of the day with depression, from crying/bawling to just staring off in the distance. When I met Chris at the house he told me that I missed his break down, I had never seen my husband cry. As I walked through the house I had a hard time not thinking about what I wanted to do for a nursery and what this house meant to us. Thoughts of whether or not we should continue with the purchase flooded my mind. I finally settle that I wouldn’t be hurt if we did or didn’t get the house. My mom and Chris stayed with me the rest of the day.
            I am amazed at how in just a couple of hours I went from wanted to eat the healthiest items to not wanting anything at all. I felt so empty and helpless. Thank goodness to family and friends I was blessed with treats, meals and love for the next couple of weeks. My mom left late that night in tears to go home, she and my dad would be back on Sunday. I filled out my advanced directives, because the nurse in me says to prepare for the worst. Chris told me he better not need to use it. 
         Little did I know, that would be the longest night of my life. Lying in bed, I couldn’t feel any fluttering, I cried. I thought about what would happen on Monday, I cried.  I felt empty, I cried. I would wake up what seemed like every 5 minutes, when and if I did fall asleep with different thoughts and start crying. Chris, the sweet man he is, would roll me over and hold me tight every time. I’m sure he thought the night and crying would never end, but no matter when I cry he’s always right there, still to this day.
         On Saturday Chris needed to get some work done, so I went with him because I knew I wouldn’t be okay alone. During that day we shared a couple of smiles and laughs. Just the day before I thought I would never be able to feel the least bit happy again. After we finished the work Chris needed to get done we came home and started doing work on our house so that we can rent it out. Chris has also told his uncle and some of his friends that day; I am so touched at the response we got from everyone. I will never be able to express my gratitude to everyone for their support. That day I received many heart felt messages. As Chris and I talked about our beliefs and the love of the Savior, I had a small sour spot in me and I told Chris “I don’t want to be loved this much nor do I want to be strong enough to handle this, I just want everything to be ok.”  Chris then talked to me about the atonement of Jesus Chris and he will never give us something that we can’t handle. Over the next couple of days I would realize that I had angels watching over me. We kept ourselves busy most of the day, and then tried to relax that night. We just held each other all night. I am so grateful for a loving and supportive husband. That night went better, only two crying episodes. 
       Sunday morning we got up a read our patriarchal blessings. Again another sour patch hit as I comment that, neither of our blessing said anything about raising children in heaven and not on earth. Again, Chris redirected my thoughts and made me comfortable. I knew that today many people were praying and fasting on our behalf, even people who weren’t active members of our faith. We got ready and went to church. We walked in and the overflow was open so we went in and sat down. After the opening song the conductor announced that they opened the over flow because they had three baby blessings, I started sobbing and walked out to compose myself. After I was able to calm myself down I went back in. It was fast and testimony meeting, kind of a hard one to go to when you’re hurting so badly inside, most of the testimonies were about being patient and family. I know now that it was things I needed to hear. The closing song was “God be with you ‘til we meet again,” cried through the whole song, Chris and I decided we needed to leave then and spend time together at home. That evening my family came over, John, Chris’s uncle arrived from Virginia and Jen brought us dinner and spent time with us. It was comforting to have some of the people that I hold closest to my heart with me to prepare for what might be a long day on Monday. I received a blessing of comfort and peace that night from my father and Chris. 
         Sunday night went about as well as Saturday night. I got up ate some breakfast and called my doctor. Chris and I then got ready and headed to the hospital. When we got to L&D all the nurses met me at the door and gave us hugs. We then went into the ultrasound room and met with my doctor, again he looked at the babies like he did on Friday, no changes. I asked him to print off pictures. We then were admitted and started the process, they told us to prepare for two to three days. I kept praying that it wouldn’t take that long, that if I had to go through it this way that the Lord would help me progress fast enough that I wouldn’t have to dwell on it for days. I was told that I was being treated as if I would full term and that I would have access to any pain meds if I needed them, such as an epidural. I got my first dose of Cytotec at 11am and would continue to get it every 4 hours. The Cytotec are small pills that are placed right next/in the cervix to help it soften and dilate. With my first dose I was a figure tip and less than 50% effaced, I started worrying that I was going to be there for two days. So the wait and see game began. I got multiple visitors that day; I was never left alone in my room. I am so grateful for the people who showed their support for me that day, in the hospital and out. I occationally would take walks around the unit. At 10pm the nurse talked to me about getting some pain medications before the next dose of Ctyotec, so I asked to have Toradol, IV Motrin, because I figured I’d start cramping. At 11pm I got my last dose of Cytotec, after ever dose I had to lay on my back for at least 30 minutes, I was a 2 and 90% at that dose, I was on my way but still hadn’t progressed a ton, so I sent my mom and Ginger home. After laying on my back for 40 minutes I started to sit up when I felt a gush. So I called the nurse in and she said that the stripe was positive, my water had broken. I called my mom and told her, so that they could start heading back. I got up an went to the bathroom and had a big gush then. I got back into bed and cramps started coming almost constantly, Chris instantly came to my aid to help me deal, the whole day I hadn’t really had too bad of cramping. I was cramping so much that I thought I would going to vomit, so I had Chris call the nurse for some Zofran. She came in quickly and saw the state I was in and asked if I would like a stronger pain medication, the contractions seemed like they would never let down or give me a break. My mom and Ginger got back and instantly started trying to help me breath. Again, gushing almost constantly I wanted to go to the bathroom, but as I got up the nurse came back and told me I needed to get back into bed. As I started to lay down I could feel something coming. I let the nurse know that I could feel something, she checked me and there were two feet. I was shaking uncontrollably, she called for the doctor, who had been waiting for me all day, and he came right in, just a tiny push and the first one was out. I just laid there and relax, no more contractions, but the other one was too high I was going to have to wait to deliver it. 
    Chris announced to me that it was a boy. Chris still hold me, asked if I wanted to see him, I said yes. The nurse handed me the tiniest human I have ever seen. He looked just like a baby, just on a lot smaller scale. Tiny hands, feet, ears, but still so cute, I asked Chris what he wanted to name him. He replied Harvey. Harvey was the name that we talked about when I first found out I was pregnant. We had out little Harvey in hand, sooner then we were expecting but the name was perfect. Again I started feeling a couple of cramps and the doctor came back. I felt some pressure, more then I did with the first one and Baby B came out back first, bag intact with the placenta. I had Chris follow the doctor and take pictures as the cut him out of the sack. They did an ultrasound to see if any placenta was left and it looked like I was good, my uterus had  eady shrunk to about a 10 week size. I got cleaned up and then the nurse handed me my babies, my sweet little angel boys. Chris and I just sat there in awe, they both weighed 4 oz (122g) and were 7 inches long. I couldn't believe that they were exactly the same. They looked like perfect little babies, just with transparent skin. I am amazed at how well developed they were. I then asked Chris to name baby b, he choose Johnathan. Our little boys delivered on September 6 @ 12:27 and 12:56 am. 

Harvey (left) Johnathan (right)
        Chris and I spent sometime with them and the family member that had come, and then we handed them over to Heather Walker from Angel Watch. She did hand and feet molds, prints and took some pictures. In the days before I didn’t think that I wanted do have these things done, but during that day, especially after they were born, I am so glad that I had it done. I know will always have little mementos to remember them and how special each of us (Chris, Harvey, Johnathan and I) are to each other. Still to this day I dream that things would have changed and that I would have been able to raise them here on earth. Nevertheless, I know that because of this blessing and my faith I will be able to see my boys again and raise them in the millennium. I know that my Heavenly Father and my boys knew that I would be well taken care of, I haven’t had a day yet when someone asks me how I am doing. People have told me that they are amazed at our bravery, but in all honesty I am strong because of those many people and friends who are looking out for me. Our boys will always be in our hearts.
       My mom spent a week with us at our house, taking care of us. I know her heart aches for me and for the loss of the grand-babies, we have never had a miscarriage in our family, it had been a totally different experience for everyone. I am so grateful that the Lord trusted me enough to carry these boys to the point where they needed to return to him. Again, I am grateful and so blessed to have such loving friends and family to support me through this time. I am deeply sadden of the thought of not raising my boys, but I am grateful for the eternal marriage that Chris and I have to that we will be able to return to heaven and reunite with our sweet Harvey and Johnathan. Next biggest fear/decision that we will have to make if that of having more children and when, only time will tell.  


  1. Sundee, I'm so sorry for your loss and pray that you will continue to heal and feel peace, especially as you reach your due date. Thank you for sharing your story, it really touched my heart. Hugs, Lana

  2. Sundee, Thanks for sharing their birth story. I miss working with you guys. I'm thinking about you all the time.

  3. Sundee, you don't know me, but we have a Facebook friend in common--when she commented on your link to this post, it showed up in my news feed and caught my eye, so I came here and as a fellow "loss mom" I felt I couldn't leave without commenting. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious baby boys. Next Sunday marks three years since I lost my own baby boy in my second trimester, and I remember all too well the heartache that accompanied my due date that year. Time truly does heal, and I hope and pray that you will find continued peace and healing as you reach your due date and beyond. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband.

  4. As I sit here bawling, I am so moved by your bravery and strength. The title of this post is so amazing. What a wonderful thing to have two angels assigned to your family. I loved all the sweet things you wrote about Chris in this post, to have an eternal and loving marriage is the greatest blessing. I am so glad you have that.

    Thank you for sharing. I wish I had been there for you. I am so sorry you and Chris had to go through this, but so grateful for the gospel and the atonement that can bring us peace.

    We love you! You are the best nurse in the whole world.

    We must get together!