This is Part 2 of my story. Here is Part 1 of our story.
“Start timing these. I feel like they are getting worse. Amanda, you’re in labor and we need to go to the hospital.” My husband was right. I was in labor, I did need to go to the hospital, but I didn’t want to. I did not want to be in labor. How could all of the hope I had felt after the appointment that morning just so suddenly come crashing down on me? My contractions started very mildly and I easily dismissed them. An hour and a half later, the pain was getting worse and every piece of my heart was hurting. I called into the office and was advised to lay down, drink some water, and take some Tylenol to see if these were true contractions. My husband left to get the Tylenol and I downloaded a contraction counter app that I used when I went into labor with our daughter. By the time he got back, I was ready to go. My contractions were coming less than every 2 minutes apart and were lasting 45 seconds. I skipped the Tylenol and let the hospital know we were on the way. Jon’s dad and my mom came to the rescue and stayed with Lillian while we reluctantly headed to the hospital.
The nursing staff was ready and waiting for us and we were escorted into room #13 as soon as I walked through the L&D doors right after 9:00 pm. I was checked by the on-call OB and she confirmed that I was in labor. I was 3 centimeters dilated and she could see one of the baby’s feet sticking out of my cervix. My contractions were terrible, much different than they were with my daughter. I honestly believe it was because of how terrified I was. I fought my body with every contraction and exhausted myself trying to close my entire body up. Ladies, I can attest to the fact that your perception and emotions can play a huge part on your birthing experience. My OB informed us that after the first baby was born that she would try to put a stitch in my cervix and hopefully stop labor for the second baby. Given the fact that they shared the same placenta, this was extremely unlikely but not impossible. It gave me hope, some small inkling of hope that we might be able to save one of our boys. Due to being breech, the delivery was excruciating. Our first born boy’s head was stuck in my cervix for 30 minutes and I have never felt so much pain in my life, physically and emotionally.
On September 16 at 12:38 am, Jonathan “Walker” Powell was born weighing 9.2 ounces, measuring 8.5 inches long. Unfortunately, after Walker was born, my OB informed me that she could already see baby B’s bag of waters descending into my vaginal canal and that she would be unable to stop labor. We were losing both of our boys. At 12:51 am Clark Alexander Powell was born weighing 9.5 ounces, measuring 8.75 inches long.
Our perfect identical boys were born with strong, beating hearts, but at 19 weeks and 3 days they did not have the proper lung development to survive outside of my body. Jon and I were able to hold them and love them during their short time on Earth, we loved our babies until they became angels. They were very much alive at birth and Clark even startled to our voices a couple of times, which made our hearts feel joy even in the midst of so much pain. Everything about Walker and Clark was absolutely perfect and I will cherish the time we had with them in the hospital for the rest of my life (Thank God for the people who donate Cuddle Cots). We were able to hold our babies, study their faces, count all of their fingers and toes. We were able to kiss them, sing lullabies, and sadly, say good-bye.
After delivery, I had to be taken to the operating room for issues delivering the placenta. I was able to be discharged from the hospital after 2 days, but I ended up needing another procedure for retained placenta two weeks after the delivery.
The road to physical recovery was long, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to the emotional recovery that I am still on. This was an experience that I never imagined going through. It was hard and painful, but it was worth it to see their faces and know that we did all we could. I would do it all again to have that time with our boys. Yes, I feel blessed to have gotten that time with Walker and Clark, I was able to bond with my babies and I find comfort in knowing that all they ever knew was love. I love my twin boys and I always will. I miss them so much and my heart breaks that they are no longer here with me. I hold tight to my faith and I know that one day I will hold my babies again. Until then, I carry them in my heart, for ever and for always.
Psalm 139: 13-18
13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17How precious to me are your thoughts,a God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.