Liam & Grace’s story
One of the things I feared most about being pregnant with twins was that they would be born prematurely. I knew it was one of the risk factors of a multiple pregnancy and I feared my babies would need to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before coming home to us. I suppose I associated premature birth and NICU together, I never considered a premature birth that would mean both my babies would die.
When you are pregnant there are so many important milestones. First the 3-month scan which traditionally means it’s safe to tell people and then the big 20 week scan. These milestones were so significant for us and we celebrated them, we had been pregnant 3 times previously but sadly had never reached these milestones. We breathed a huge sigh of relief after the big 20-week scan when we found out everything was perfect with both babies and we were having a boy and a girl. But as Google and a pregnancy app were now my best friends I found out we had another big hurdle to overcome, one I wasn’t as familiar with, we needed to get to the 24 week milestone which would mean my babies would be able to survive outside the womb.
March 22nd 2018 was an ordinary Thursday, I remember it so clearly now as that was the day that divided my life into before and after. I remember driving home from the City Centre around 7pm and feeling a sudden sharp pain which took my breath away. I was 22 weeks, 6 days pregnant so I never even considered being in labour and as the pain intensified, I remember thinking how am I going to manage labour when I can’t even manage pregnancy pain. It wasn’t until my waters broke a short time later that I realised we were in trouble and panic set in as we rushed to the hospital. I felt so much relief when a scan showed both babies hearts were beating but following an examination our worst fears were confirmed. I was told I was in premature labour and our babies wouldn’t survive. I can never explain the pain of going through labour knowing your babies won’t get to live. I tried to fight against nature, ignore the urges to push, I wanted my babies to stay safely inside me, but my body took over. My beautiful son Liam, our Warrior, had the tough birth and he died just before he was born. He gifted his sister, our little Princess Grace an easier birth which gave her the strength to breathe for 31 precious minutes. As they both lay on my chest with their daddy beside me, I felt a completeness, a rush of pure overwhelming, unconditional love and I remember thinking so this is what life is all about. I was a mammy to the two most beautiful babies and my heart felt like it would burst with love and pride.
Liam and Grace were both perfect and the cause of their deaths was premature rupture of the membranes. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done to save them, but I hope that more research into premature birth and neonatal care for babies born around the same gestation will help families in the future.
And although Liam and Grace’s time here was so short, they have made their mark on this World and I am so proud to be their mammy. To read more about them please visit their blog https://thewarriorandtheprincess.home.blog/author/thewarriorandtheprincess/page/2/.