Andy wanted a big family...five children and a wife that stayed home and raised them. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I had already had my twins, and that was it for me. While I enjoyed the fantasy of being an "apron wearing, cookie baking Mrs. Cleaver kind of mother and wife with a dog, 2.5 children and a white picket fence", I knew I couldn't conceive again.
I was only 21 when I finished chemotherapy so I understood, my twins were it for me. I had accepted that the chemo had killed my eggs, it was an exchange I was willing to make. I hadn't allowed myself to dream of having more children, I didn't need more and was grateful for the two I had. I also understood it could be a challenge to meet a man that would feel the same way I did.
Andy and I talked about marriage and I loved him, but, I loved him enough to let him go, knowing his dream couldn't be my reality. He suggested we 'try' to get pregnant, and I agreed to humor him.
Four weeks later the talk of pregnancy had ensued in my place of employment, as a co-worker was surprised by her own expectancy. On a whim, before we went to lunch, I ran into the nearby grocery store pharmacy and purchased a pregnancy test. I decided to take the test before I ate, and I didn't have to wait long to see it was negative. For some strange reason, I didn't leave that little stick in the garbage pail of the ladies room, I instead put it in my purse. I discovered it when I returned to work and decided to look, just one more time - maybe the results had changed. Indeed they had, that negative turned into a positive. As hard as that was to believe, I went back to the pharmacy and purchased several more tests....all showing positive results. I was, by some miracle pregnant. Now what? Four weeks later, we were married.
We were all in shock and my dad was concerned, he was convinced pregnancy was too hard on my body. My mom insisted we go see my oncologist, just to make sure. He smiled, his blissful smile, and said, "Once again, Amy surprises us all" and assured us there was no need for concern. Erica and Alexis were going to be big sisters and that was all they thought about.
Eighteen weeks was an important marker for me, as I had gone into labor with Erica and Alexis at 18 weeks. My doctor was certain I was not pregnant with twins and because of that, there were no restrictions placed on me.
My sister Renee and I commuted to work together and I needed a maternity tights, so we stopped at Wal-Mart. She pulled up to the door, I stepped out and I felt this sensation, like perhaps I had a leak. I leaned down to make a comment to Renee and her face was white with fear. I looked down to my foot as I felt a warm liquid filling around my toes. That is when I realized blood was pouring down both of my legs. I stood and began to cry and Renee shouted "Get in! Get in! We have to get to the hospital!"
Renee raced us to the emergency room with a frantic calmness. I was hemorrhaging. I've never seen so much blood. I felt no pain, just blood. When we arrived at the ER, they rushed me to a room quickly. I was in shock and cannot recall how the bleeding stopped, or how long we were there. Then, the nurse came to take me to ultrasound. They knew I had lost my baby, what they needed to know now, was to see if a dilation and curettage (D&C) was necessary. She helped me stand, and when I did, "something" fell out of me and onto the floor. A hush came over the room, the nurse looked at me and asked if I was ok, or if I needed time to deal with what just happened before the ultrasound. I didn't want to deal with anything. I wanted to get whatever this was over with and go home. I wanted to go home and be with my babies.
The ultrasound room was very dimly lit. I laid on the table and the tech began, first with the cold jelly, then rolling the wand over, up, down and all around my belly. I've had ultrasounds before, this one was different. They weren't sharing the screen with me. There was no heartbeat to hear. She left the room and returned again with the nurse and doctor. And repeat. I laid on that bed while one nurse, then another, this Dr. and that. One tech then two hovered around this little screen and exchanged conversations under their breath. Finally, they finished the testing and took me back to the room. I waited what seemed to be another lifetime before they came back. The doctor said, "Amy, we are going to release you with some restrictions. By some miracle, what we found with your ultrasound that you are still carrying one of the two babies - it's a viable healthy pregnancy!" We lost Drew's twin that day.
I gave birth to Drew and he was 7 pounds and six ounces and perfect! He is not half of anything, he is the whole of the two. He is the whole of my heart. He is a miracle to me and for my life. I hadn't allowed myself to dream of a third child. I couldn't have imagined a child as incredible as Drew. He is not, was not, separated from his twin, they both live on in him. They shared an egg and my womb and they continue to share my heart.
This boy, my Drew, my miracle, he is a gift and constant reminder of God's Grace.