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"Sharing" Our Stories/Thoughts - Along this Path


Christa's Diary...begun...1/6/98

Nicole Carolyn Faith 5lbs 9oz

and Kayla Sarah Hope 6lbs 1/2oz


July 27, 1998

Click on balloons for story and for a follow up in October!

Christa is our an "internet friend" that has agreed to let us share in her "subsequent" pregnancy. You can read about her experience: Christa and Gary's Experience Be aware, also, that Christa has contacted Dr. Collins (see Dr. Collins discusses Cord Accidents...) for information related to cord incidents. She and I will post some of her thoughts and events that occur as she and her husband, Gary, move through the next months. We feel that this may help others, especially those who don't have a group to attend, know some of what may happen during this time. Please feel free to e-mail Christa or I at any time.

Truro, NS

Entry #1 - 1/6/98

Hi Marcia: Just a note to let you know that Gary and I found out I am pregnant again. I didn't realize all the fears that go along with a subsequent pregnancy after a loss. A know the chance of our next baby having a knot in its cord like Lindsay is very rare but now I know of all the things that can happen to babies. I don't think I will be able to relax until I have a screaming baby in my arms!

Happy New Year and here's hoping 1998 is much better than 1997!

Entry # 2 - 1/15/98

I had my first appt with my OB this week and it was a big disappointment. I thought since I had a stillborn baby that I would be considered high risk thus more ultrasounds, tests, etc. My Ob considers this a normal pregnancy and will not do an ultrasound until 20 weeks. I think I might just lose my mind by the time 20 weeks rolls around! I was so looking forward to seeing that little heartbeat and being assured that everything is okay. I begged and pleaded but he stood firm and won't do it. He thinks that the more extras he does the more anxious and upset I am going to get but actually it is the other way around. The less he does, the more anxious I get! The only extra he is going to do is at the end of the pregnancy, he will send me once a week for planning scores and stress tests. I can see what he is trying to do but for me it is the wrong decision.

We went to our support group last night and it helped alot. There are four couples there that are pregnant again so we decided that we are going to get together once a month for a support group of our own. The group we go to is in Halifax (an hour away) and they have never had a subsequent pg group before but I think the need is there now. I need to talk about this new baby but don't think the group that we are going to to talk about our babies that died is the place to do it. I hope it works out and we are successful in establishing it.

Marcia's Comment: For the most part, women in our group prefer a choice of having an "up close and personal" approach during the subsequent pregnancy (even when the subsequent pregnancy is not deemed "high risk" by the doctor). Their innocence of having the living child because they are pregnant is long gone and nerves are raw(for many). Therefore, the cautious approach eases the soul - several of the favored doctors are those who support moms by not being alarmed when the mom asks for more ultrasounds, heartbeat monitoring, and stress tests. Sometimes a simple heartbeat check gives a worried mom hours, days(!) of relief. Our subsequent pregnancy group is very popular - supportive, "knowing" comments and reactions allow moms to realize that while their concerns may or may not be valid - they are experiencing normal reactions and feelings. Often just knowing that they're not "going crazy" helps them get through these months. Talking to other mothers "who have been there" also helps greatly.

Entry #3 1/17/98

Yet another update! After attending our support group Weds night things have come around. Our group is held at a big maternity hospital in Halifax with alot of equipment, specialists, etc. After our meeting Gary asked our facilitator if she could get us an ultrasound for peace of mind. She called the next day and told us that she got us an appt with the top high risk specialist at that hospital. We will be going through an early fetal assessment clinic and will have an ultrasound and all kinds of tests. We are really excited about this. It won't be done until 11 weeks (2.5 weeks from now) but at least we have something to look forward to. I haven't decided whether to inform my OB about this, I don't want him to think that I question his judgement, just something that I had to do. Just thought I would send you the good news! Christa

Entry #4 2/10/98 Thought I would send you an update after our ultrasound on Thursday. We are having twins!!! We are so excited and feel doubly blessed yet still in shock. I went to my regular OB today and told him and he has promised to take good care of us. From now on my appts will be at the hospital where he will do ultrasounds at each visit. I am so glad that he is going to follow us so carefully. He tried to find the heartbeats but could only find one. This was very upsetting to us but we are now realizing that not all things are in our control. I can do all I can to be careful, eat properly, not lift things, etc. but if something is going to go wrong, we cannot prevent it. We have to have faith that all is going to work out and these babies are going to be fine.

I go back again in four weeks for my next appt and u/s. I also go back to work in two weeks (the first time since Lindsay died) so the next six months should fly by. They have moved my due date up to August 21 so that is one less week that I have to wait! Christa

Entry #5 3/11/98

Hi Marcia: Sorry it has been so long since I wrote to you. I went back to work Feb 23 after being off for eight months, quite an adjustment! My first day back I developed a respiratory infection. By Weds night Gary had to rush me to the ER because I couldn't breathe, my airways were blocked plus I was having pains in my stomach-boy was I scared! They unblocked my airways and checked both babies and everything checked out fine. The pains in my stomach were from coughing so much, I was just overusing the muscles. None the less I insisted on hearing the heartbeats and getting an internal just to be sure, never to careful. I had to go back two days later because I was dehyrated so I spent the day hooked up to an IV. Things didn't slow down after that, Gary pulled a muscle in his back so I had to get better fast-needless to say I have been exhausted the passed two weeks and just feel like I am getting back to normal.

I had another ultrasound yesterday. Both babies are moving alot and growing fine. I measured 21 weeks at 16.5 weeks, b/p was great and I have only gained 7 pounds so far in this pregnancy so the OB was pleased with my progress. I have another u/s booked for March 31-it is 1.5 hours long so hopefully they will be able to tell us the sex of the babies, I can't wait.

Entry #6 3/17/98

I am writing you again so soon because I want to share a new crisis I am going through. I am having terrible nightmares mostly every night. I keep dreaming that the babies die. The dream either starts in the u/s room (where I found out LIndsay died) or just after I find out. It is so awful! My OB is in the dreams and so are the nurses that were with me. It is getting me worried enough to be scared to go to my u/s in two weeks. Another one is that only one twin dies and the other survives. I try to talk to Gary about them but all he says is that everything is going to be fine and to stop worrying, easy for him to say! I wonder if this is normal for women who have lost children? I ran into my minister the other day and he told me to take two minutes to pray first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. I did last night and didn't have any nightmares but was awake about 10 times through the night. Hopefully things will get better soon.

Other than that I am feeling really great. I am still walking about 4 miles a day and hoping to continue that for as long as possible, it really helps to clear my head.

Dear Christa, Bless you - I have heard very similar stories throughout the 13 years that I have bee involved in SHARE. Both the nigthmares and our husband's assurance that it will be okay. Our poor husbands don't want to face any more pain or loss either. Most men see things in a one side or the other of reality. That tied with the fact that they are not actually carrying the baby(s) they can be a little more removed from all of the "in the face reality" that us moms go through. I see this even with issues around our living children.

Don't get me wrong, the men care A LOT about us and our babies, they can - and maybe good for all - remove themselves from the fear - a little more. That's WHY we have a subsequent pregnancy group that includes the men folks once every 4 months instead of every month. The women have more fears and realities that they are WILLING TO FACE AND TALK ABOUT!! Men get on the other side of the fence and have to stay THERE to survive. Mine has said he was unwilling to face the possibility of another loss after the pregnancy had begun...and I have heard this MANY times.

As to the nightmares - women who are pregnant are sometimes subjected to nightmares do to changing body chemistry, anyways. Add to that a previous loss, and things can be difficult at times. I have heard all sorts of horrible stories that come out of dreams. My dream was being pregnant one moment and finding that I ended up with puppies...NOT FUNNY at the time. I also have had parents share that they have dreamed the death of their baby and/or planned funerals, etc. Our subconscious minds do awful things. The prayer idea seems very important - I have prayed many prayers throughout my life. Not only are you praying for strength, protection and love, but you are asking and putting your mind and heart in a "Positive" place. You also have faced your pain and confusion - hopefully, eventually you can lose these adverse feelings. I do know that these dreams can go away and will not influence your pregnancy. I also know that they use a lot of energy as we "fight them off." (If for no other reason then the keeping us awake or not letting us sleep as we should). One health thought - drink lots of water and fluids to keep that chemistry working well...I'm sure the walking does this also.

It sounds as though you are moving along very well for carrying twins. I'm glad you wrote me. I can not say it enough - others have been there and survived this, but it is difficult as you move through it. I thought once after one of our meetings "I should record some of these nightmares..." then I thought better to forget. Most moms forget soon afterwards...but I can imagine if I picked up the phone and called a few of the moms who now have older children, who I remember shared such stories, they would say "Yes, what a hard reality during that subsequent pregnancy..."

Entry #7

I had my 20 wk u/s last Tuesday and everything looks great. Both babies are exactly the same weight and length. Neither one would cooperate and let us see the sex. I was really disappointed but as long as they are healthy that is all that matters. The u/s took almost 2 hours and the tech was great at showing us all the different body parts of both babies. My next check up is this Tues in the fetal assessment dept at our hospital. They will do a biophysical profile and another u/s-maybe they won't be so shy next time.

I am now 21 weeks and feel great! I am still working full time (8-4:30) and I am taking a computer course 2 nights a week from 6-9pm. I only have 3 wks left in the course and I am finished then it is time to slow down and get lots of rest. It still shocks me when I realize that I am carrying twins. I am so excited but yet so anxious.

I borrowed the birthing video from the prenatal class yesterday. I don't feel comfortable taking prenatal classes and know I would have a hard time watching the film with other people. As it was, I sat and cried through it but it was a good thing to see. My friend has asked me to be her birthing coach next month and I agreed. Now I am not so sure. I guess I will talk to my OB about it and find out his opinion.

Entry #8 4/19/98

Just a short update for you. I had an u/s last week and found out one baby is a girl. I am really excited to add yet another girl to the family. The other baby was being either very stubborn or very shy but it wouldn't uncross its legs! Everything else looks great-measurements are perfect, hearts, lungs, etc-perfect.

I go back again in four weeks for my next appt and hopefully baby a will cooperate. I don't know why I have this overwhelming need to know the sex of these babies. I think it is probably because I didn't know Lindsay was a girl until she was born and then I only had a few short hours to know her as a girl until they took her away. I want to name these babies and call them by their names right now so if by chance something happens-oh I don't know. I hate to think that way but I can't help it.

Sorry for a very strange and drawn out note but thats about where I am these days emotionally. Christa

Entry #8 6/10/98

I am so sorry that I have been unable to update you for a while. I am now 31 weeks and assured that I am having two beautiful girls. At my 28wk check up I was put on modified activity which means if I want to keep working, I have to come right home and put my feet up until I go to bed at night. I haven't been on the computer and have been so out of touch with everyone. The pregnancy is going well other than my cervix is soft and they are worried that I may go into premature labor. The babies each weight about 3 pounds so they are pretty safe to arrive anytime but we would rather they wait for a few more weeks.

I had some pretty scary moments a few weeks ago. I thought that they babies had stopped moving and the more I thought about the nore anxious I got. By the time I got a hold of Gary I had myself in such a state I nearly caused him a heart attack. We made our way to the hospital and within 5 minutes I was having an ultrasound and seeing very strong heartbeats. I felt a little silly at that point but the doctor and nurses assured me that I had done the right thing and not to hesitate to come in whenever I needed to. A few weeks later I thought I was leaking fluid (I wasn't). They were wonderful to me again.

I love the feeling of having these babies kick inside of me but am really anxious to just get them out! Only a few more weeks! I have another check up tomorrow to make sure that I am not dialating and if not should be free to continue working for a few more weeks. I will keep you updated. Christa

Entry #9 August 15,1998 Nicole and Kayla Arrive!! (see New Arrivals for Pictures!!)

I delivered two healthy girls at 3:59am and 415am July 27 at 37 weeks. We named them Nicole Carolyn Faith 5lbs 9oz and Kayla Sarah Hope 6lbs 1/2oz. I had a very easy labor and delivery I reached 9cm dialated without any pain at all but then had to be induced because the labor stopped. All in all I had 45minutes of pain and delivered each twin in one push! Nicole was head down and Kayla was breech. Unfortunately I had a placental abruption, then hemorraged and came within 20 minutes of a hysterectomy. It was a very close call and we all prayed for the bleeding to stop and miraculously it did, I was very lucky.

Needless to say this is the first time on the computer in a few weeks. I am breastfeeding both at the same time and then trying to catch up on my sleep during the rest of the time. Both girls are doing well at 6lbs 3.5oz and 6lbs 6oz. We all feel really truly blessed.

Visit New Arrivals" for announcement and pictures!!

Entry # 10 - October 6, 1998

I would love to send you a pic of the babies. The girls are now over 11lbs and doing wonderfully. I had a slow start in the nursing but things are going well now. Both have slept through the night but of course at different times, we certainly don't mind getting up though!

They were baptized last week and were angels through it. My minister was wonderful in including Lindsay in the service and letting people know that we have a special angel watching over us. We also placed a balloon bouquet in the church in memory of her. We were very touched that our OB and his wife and one of the nurses and her husband also attended the baptism. We have all been through so much this last year it only seemed fitting.

We have also found out the girls were only 35 weeks gestation so we were extremely lucky that they didn't need any special care.

Thanks so much for keeping in touch and for all your support this last year. You are doing such a tremendous service for people like me and I really appreciate it. Christa

Entry #11 - Jan. '99: The girls are doing great-5 months old now. We had a wonderful Christmas-what a change from last year! We thought alot about Lindsay and attended a candle lighting service for her.

Entry #12 - Feb. '99: The girls are doing wonderfully, Nicole is 16.5lbs and Kayla is 17.5lbs They just turned 6 mths this week and are the joy of my life-along with my other girls of course! They are just cutting their bottom teeth so they are in need of lots of hugs and rocking, mommy loves that!

I have just started working again. I set up my own business at home so I don't have to leave my girls and I work after they go to bed. I am getting a little tired but it is well worth it.

I am planning the first Walk to Remember here possible on Mothers Day-what do you think of that? I thought it was a very suitable day to hold it. I have gotten approval to plant a tree at a local playground and that is probably where the ceremonies will be held. I can't think of anything else to do for Lindsay. I often feel guilty because I don't get to the cemetery as much as I used to and I am not sad all the time like I used to be but I hope that this is the way she would want me to be. I know one day we will be together again.

I have new pictures of the girls to send you if you send me your address again. They were taken for the newspapers "Babies of 1998" I remember last year when that came our and I was so upset that Lindsay's picture wasn't in it-so much can happen in a year!

Marcia's Thoughts: Your feelings of guilt around Lindsay are shared by many. I, too, went through that stage. As with living children, our love gets stretched. I have always felt that my three angels would want me to put their siblings, here on this good earth, first. I believe that the love I have for Joel and Aaron is increased because of Catherine, Elizabeth and Seth. The joy and good times that our family share is blessed by those three from above. That's why it feels so right to do for them and to be the family we are!

Entry #13...

May, 1999 ~ "Walk to Remember in Truro, Nova Scotia!! by Christa Giddens"

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