On May 9, 2014 around 2 am, I woke up with extremely painful stomach cramps. I tried to use the bathroom, but nothing helped. I forced myself to lie back down. I was hoping lying flat on my stomach would help. Nothing helped, so that same morning I decided to skip work and go to see my doctor. I went to Sick Call located on Hanscom Air Force Base in Hanscom, MA. As I waited to be seen my stomach pain seemed to subside. When I was with the doctor I explained my symptoms and told how I felt (as far as my pain level). The doctor did some blood work and a urine test on me. I was told about 30 minutes later that I was pregnant.Order now
The first thing I asked the doctor was how that was possible since I currently had an IUD inside of me. I thought I could not get pregnant with one. I was instructed to go to the emergency room to have my IUD removed before it would cause further pain and the loss of my baby. ?As I drove to the hospital I started wondering how this was possible; how I could be pregnant. My OBGYN told me that the IUD was one of the most effective birth controls I could use. I knew we were not ready for another child. I had just gotten my promotion in the Army and was doing an amazing job as a recruiter.
I became one the best Army Reserve recruiters in Boston since the previous year. I felt this pregnancy would be such a setback for me. I was also worried about my health and this baby’s health due to the fact I was still in pain. When I arrived in the emergency department it would be about two hours later before I would be admitted. Later I was probed with questions by the doctor and nurse and after a full examination, I was informed that my IUD would need to be removed and I would need an ultrasound to rule out possibilities of pre-term delivery, vaginal bleeding, clinical chorioamnioitis and placental abruption and an ectopic pregnancy.
So just having these medical terms thrown at me with such grave and scary meanings to them. I started to cry as I laid on that hard cold hospital bed. I cried until they left the room. I decided it was time to call my husband and inform of this new development. My husband was at work when I called him, he told me he would come as soon as he could and to keep him informed of any updates and to stay calm so that everything would be alright. About an hour later I was taken to the ultrasound room.
As I looked at monitor I saw little didn’t really understand what I was looking at and the technician wasn’t the nice, nor as she good at explaining anything. She kept saying the doctor will explain everything to me after he read the results. I stared up at the ceiling and began to say a silent prayer to God that he would make everything okay. I prayed that he would give me the strength to handle whatever this new trail was that he had set for me. Once she had finished with me, I was pushed back to my room. As I waited for the doctor to come back I asked for a blanket cause that room was so cold.
I started thinking about my other two pregnancies (with my daughters) and when I found out about them; they never were so scary. When I was given something for my stomach pain, I finally fell asleep. When I woke up to the doctor calling my name. The doctor told that I was only four weeks pregnant, but they needed to take out the IUD because it may cause a miscarriage. He wanted to take it out immediately. I watched as him and two nurses prepped the room for removal, I was just in daze. How could this be happening and why was this happening?
As I laid down flat and told to open my legs, I feel a cold foreign object entering me. I felt when the IUD was pulled out and the doctor finished up with an examination. The doctor told me that I would remain overnight in case I had a miscarriage. I was also told that I would be moved to another area of the hospital for the night. After everyone left I called my husband (in tears) and told him what was going on. He said he would done in an hour and be on his way. I feel back asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night in a different room with my husband’s head laying on my side. I woke him up and had him sleep next to me.
In the morning I woke with a nurse checking my vital signs, she asked if I was bleeding; I checked and I wasn’t. The doctor was able to discharge me that morning with a prescription for prenatal vitamins and pain medication. The very next day I found an OBGYN doctor near my home and made an appointment. I was seen there for over fifteen weeks into my pregnancy. On my sixteenth week visit an ultrasound was done and I was told devastating news. My doctor told that I was pregnant with twins and baby one was measuring at a ten weeks baby even though I was sixteen weeks along, and its heart rate was low.
They called it IUGR (which stands for intrauterine growth retardation). This meant that baby one was growing slowly and didn’t weigh as much as my doctor expected of this stage of pregnancy. Baby two looked to have a huge bubble on the side of its head, which later named an encephalocele. Encephalocele is an opening in the skull where brain and membrane comes out. It very deadly for newborns and many times the babies don’t make it through the pregnancy. The only treatment is surgery which could be deadly for the newborn as well. After being told that kind of information I was beside myself (and so was my husband).
My doctor advised me personally to terminate the pregnancy, because later it could become even harmful to my health and wellbeing furthermore, there was a ninety percent chance I would lose both babies during the pregnancy. My husband and I were told to take some time and make a decision. We were given fact sheet about unborn babies with encephalocele and IUGR. I spent every available second I had researching and researching. I talked to my pastor, my parents and friends. I even went to support groups for mothers with children with encephalocele and other disorders.
My husband told me one day that he didn’t want to have to raise two children with possible major disorders while he already had two girls with no kinds of problems. He agreed with the doctor (to have the pregnancy terminated). At eighteen weeks along I went back to my OB doctor and told him that I would be keeping my babies and deal with whatever circumstances occurred. My husband was not happy with my decision, he kept referring to it becoming a hardship, and that it would put a strain of our marriage and the kids. I told him to have faith that God would make everything alright and that God won’t give us challenge we can’t handle.
During my pregnancy at 24 weeks I came down with preeclampsia and was told to remain in bed until I delivered. There were times I would bleed and I thought I was going through a miscarriage. At 28 weeks while in bed, my blood pressure went through the roof. I passed out and was hospitalized for almost a week. On November 6, 2014 (at 30 weeks) I went into labor. By the time I reached the hospital my daughter’s head was coming out. I was wheeled in from my car seat in front of the hospital. Christina Victoria Timmons was born at 2:45 p. m. and she died at 2:52 p. m. from collapsed lungs.
Christian made his way out shortly after. I was not given any pain meds due the fact there was no time since these babies came out so fast. Christian was taken straight to Boston Children Hospital awaited by his neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon ready operate on his skull and brain. When they began surgery on Christian a discovery was made; that his skull open was full of membrane that formed a sack sort of like a bubble the size of a strawberry. There was no brain matter coming out of his skull that was seem from previous MRI scans. Christian brain was still inside his skull.
The sack was removed and his skull opening was repaired then closed. I was told Christian would have some learning disabilities, and that his brain and skull development would be difficult. He would need constant neuro therapy and development therapy. We had a funeral for my beautiful pale skinned red lipped big dreamy eyed little girl, Christina. I thanked her for being able to meet her and for being able to kiss her good bye. I knew she was with God and she was in the best hands. Christian was in the hospital for nearly three months after his birth.
Even though I lost my little girl having Christian in my life has been such a blessing. He is such a wonderful little boy who has fought for his life every day. Each day he gets stronger (and more handsome). I love that boy with all that I have. I am grateful for my decision to keep the pregnancy and never giving up. Through my son I have learned what true strength means. It doesn’t always occur on the battlefield as I use to think. Strength comes from within, facing those tough life or death decisions, putting my life and health aside and caring for my unborn babies, as well as my two older girls.
Christian continues to prove doctors wrong with every growth period, his CAT scans shows he no longer has any brain problem, his skull and brain are growing at a normal rate and size. He is meeting every mile stone he is suppose to (for his age). Christian keeps me grounded and I’m proud to be his mother, Christian is my hero. I know I made the right decision and would do again if I had too. My family feels so complete, I mourn the lost of my baby, Christina every day, but I know she is watching over us all.