I remember the words, “THERE ARE TWO” – forever ingrained in my mind.
I remember the months and months of trying. Rounds of infertility treatment. Pain, anguish and prayer after prayer after prayer.
I remember that in this moment, I thought this was my reward for patience.
I remember that I would hold my breath through every appointment. Google when my pregnancy was considered “safe”. I ate all the right foods, took my vitamins, cut out caffeine.
I wouldn’t so much as spray myself with perfume out of fear of, well, EVERYTHING.
I remember finally hitting that point in my pregnancy when I should no longer have had to fear a miscarriage; where I should have been able to breathe a sigh of relief.
I’ll never forget hearing the words, “I’m afraid that you’re going to lose your babies”. There is no way to describe what I felt in those moments, that could do my situation any justice. I didn’t believe this doctor, where was MY doctor? I wasn’t even supposed to be seeing this person. I thought she was lying; that she just wanted me to enroll into her clinical trial. This news just couldn’t be true because my babies were fine and how could she be saying this to me? How could she dare to tell me that THESE babies, that I’d near sold my soul for, were now in danger inside of me? I couldn’t understand. I remember demanding to schedule an appointment with my regular doctor because he would tell me this wasn’t true.
I wish I didn’t have to remember.
After an exam with my regular doctor, he told me to get dressed and come into his office. I wasn’t naive enough to believe that this meant anything good. He told me that indeed, my babies were in danger. He didn’t feel that my body would be able to hold the pregnancy until they could reach a gestation survivable outside of my womb. He told me I was young and that I would be able to have more children. He didn’t understand what THESE babies meant to me. I didn’t want OTHER children; OTHER babies! I wanted THESE BABIES. THESE babies who already had names, who were already brother and sister. The babies who already completed our family and were wanted with every morsel of my soul. I remember that I cried like I’ve never cried before, BEGGING him to try ave save them! Do anything, I don’t care just please save them!
I’ll always remember.
For a week after that appointment, I remained on bedrest, trying to be hopeful. The doctor saw how distraught I was and did what he could do to try and help. I saw the look in his eyes when he said “this procedure has a 50/50 chance of working”. He didn’t believe his own words.
For the rest of my life, I will remember just one week later. I fell to my knees as I felt the “burst” and “pop” of my water breaking, all over my bedroom floor…and it wouldn’t stop. I fell to my knees and cried in sheer anguish; the only words to coming out of my mouth were “no, no, no, no"! This wasn’t an episode of a sitcom where the water trickles on the floor and the woman says “it’s time”. This was like a faucet that wouldn’t turn off, intensifying my suffering. I CLEARLY remember that in those moments, the desire to protect my children, and my vows to keep them safe, were promises I was unable to uphold.
One cannot begin to imagine, nor forget, the pain and the suffering that a Mother feels on the day she realizes that she cannot protect her babies. She cannot trade her life for theirs, like in the movies, no matter how much she wishes that she could.
Many decisions were made on the day that my life changed forever. I remember preaching that I wanted everything for my twins to always be “fair and equal”. However, on this day, nothing was fair. The only thing that was equal was my love for both of these babies.
I knew that it had been my Son’s water that broke. I knew that at his gestational age, there was nothing that would be done to save him. I knew that whether I liked it or not, I would be meeting him that day. I made the decision that I was still going to fight for my daughter, knowing that there was a minuet chance that she could be saved.
I remember that I held him in one arm with the other placed over my belly. I wanted just a moment to hold my Son and my Daughter together at the same time. He on the outside and her still safely tucked inside my belly. I questioned how this could happen to my perfect, sweet boy who never even got the chance that he deserved. Was this my fault because I wanted a little girl so badly?
I’ll be honest, as I looked at this sweet, perfect little boy, I would have traded anything for his life to be spared. I remember wondering what color the hairs on his little head would have been, if only he had just a few more weeks. Why couldn’t he have had just 6 more weeks? 6 more and maybe he could have survived, maybe they BOTH could have had a chance. I don’t ever stop wishing that he could have had a chance.
I remember, clear as day, that this was one of the worst days of my life. Yet, in all of this heartache, anguish and sheer disgust of what had just happened to my little boy, was something beautiful and peaceful. I finally held my baby in my arms. I held the baby that I had hoped and prayed for almost my entire life. He was perfect, with the sweetest expression on his tiny face; peaceful and simply beautiful. I will ALWAYS remember that here he was, my little boy, and I couldn’t have loved him anymore.
I will never, ever forget.
About the Author:
My name is Erin Epstein and I live in New Jersey with my wife, Jaclyn. We have two angel babies, a boy and a girl, Dylan Charles and Madelyn Joy. I have a master’s degree in Social Work, a BA in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Women's Studies. Currently, I work with individuals who are facing advanced illness. I help people, and their families, plan ahead in order to ensure that their values and preferences align with their medical care. In my personal life, I am an infertility warrior and have a deep passion for those who have faced, or are facing, infertility and loss. I am continuing to share my children and our journey, in an effort to bring purpose to their lives and mine. If even one life can be changed, or one person can feel understood after hearing our story, that brings me peace.
See more about our journey on on Facebook page HERE.
Erin wants our families to know, if you are experiencing a loss and/or going through infertility treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out. She'll always be here as a safe space for you!
Her personal email is: ErinREpstein@gmail.com