Thinking about trying again was a very hard decision.
Part of me wanted to have twins again – my husband and I sadly lost our twin girls Ivy and Ava to TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) on 7th July 2013 at 22 weeks. I felt so cheated that the girls were taken away from us, but a twin pregnancy would cause enormous stress. We knew we were more likely to have a singleton and we knew that it would not present the same issues and complications that we faced with Ivy and Ava. But there was still that chance of having twins again…
In November 2013, four months after losing the twins we found out we were pregnant. Both of us had mixed emotions, excitement shadowed by anxiety. We went for an early scan at eight weeks to check everything was ok and to check if it was twins again. We nervously waited to be called, looked at the scan and there was just one little baby there. I asked the sonographer to check several times – there was definitely only one baby!
Our date of conception turned out to be 8th November which was the twins due date! That made us feel the girls were with us and playing a part in their new little brother or sister’s safe entry to the world. At the scan the baby looked like a snowman, so we named the baby ‘Frosty’. We had a few extra scans and saw the consultant a couple of times to check that everything was ok. We knew the TTTS was never going to happen in a singleton pregnancy, but keeping calm and knowing everything would be ok was not easy after all we’d been through previously.
Everyone who knew we were expecting was hugely supportive, but we didn’t tell too many people, not because we wanted to hide it, but it was just easier for us to get through the pregnancy without people asking us how we were all the time. Every day was a step closer to the due date and was a day closer to hoping everything would be ok, and that our healthy baby would come into the world. People kept telling us everything would be ok, but until this precious one was safe in our arms we couldn’t believe it.
We were both convinced ‘Frosty’ was a boy. We chose not to find out during a scan, and everyone around us also thought we were having a boy. Maybe we thought this way to ease the stress, as knowing we were expecting a girl would have been more worrying having already lost Ivy and Ava. No logic to our thoughts!
The SPRING counselling sessions throughout my pregnancy really helped to keep me sane and our friends and family were amazing.
At 34 weeks I didn’t feel the baby move for 12 hours and I panicked. We went to ANDA who saw us straight away, knowing our history. They kept us in for a few hours to monitor us and carry out some tests. I started having a few contractions, but they passed after a few hours as I calmed down and we eventually went home. At least we could say we’d had a test run to the hospital.
The due date came and went. Three days later we had just gone to bed when my waters broke at 10:45pm. By 11:15pm I started to have contractions pretty close together and they were really quite intense. After 30 minutes, my husband Dan rang St. Mary’s Maternity Unit, Poole and explained our history. We then went to the hospital to be examined, but were told to expect to be sent home again. I was 3cm dilated.
30 minutes later I was 6cm dilated, pretty quick going! However, alongside this, my blood pressure went up too high. They decided to transfer me to the delivery suite to monitor myself and ‘Frosty’ a little closer. I had to have a monitor strapped round my middle, a blood pressure cuff around my arm and some tablets for my blood pressure. This little one was on their way and they wanted out quick!
At 2:16am the following morning our beautiful baby was born weighing 7lb 8oz. When she was held up to us, Dan and I were both so shocked to see a gorgeous little girl in front of our eyes. We were so overwhelmed with love and relief that she was safe and well. The three hour labour was frighteningly fast, but it was also a relief that she came so quick having laboured with the twins, knowing it wasn’t going to be a good outcome. Our beautiful baby girl…we just couldn’t get enough cuddles!
We often lie awake at night watching her sleep, seeing her breathe and staring at her precious tiny fingers and toes. We are so very grateful for our beautiful rainbow baby, Nora Murray, born 18th August 2014 – a beautiful little sister to our much loved and missed Ivy and Ava.
Four months down the line and Christmas was an exciting time with little Nora around. She was well and truly spoilt by everyone – not that she knew anything about it! Anytime is hard without the twins, but Christmas seems harder as we think of Ivy and Ava who can’t be with us. We lit our lanterns and hung their baubles on the tree so they were a part of it all.
We will never forget our beautiful girls and they will never be replaced. When Nora grows up we will tell her all about her big sisters. We are thankful, through all the sorrow, to have our beautiful, precious rainbow baby in our lives.