Aside from the day I sat down to write the story of miscarrying my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.
It’s taken me 15 months to come to terms with this idea, and to realize that I do actually believe it.
I think an ultrasound killed my twin babies.
I’m scared in sharing this with others, because I’m afraid it sounds so desperate. Desperate for answers when no doctor or specialist has been able to give me one. Desperate to find a reason why my water broke at 17 weeks pregnant during an otherwise picture-perfect pregnancy.
But this isn’t desperation. This is what I feel to be true.
If my babies had been born, if they were alive today, I’d call this mother’s intuition. But my babies are gone. And I’ve been robbed of motherhood.
Eight hours before my water broke, I had an elective gender-reveal ultrasound at a shwanky ultrasound boutique. It was four days before Christmas, and I was to surprise my family on Christmas morning and over the holiday season with the exciting news of whether we were having two boys, two girls, or one of each.
The ultrasound machine was a brand new, super high-tech model. It was far superior to anything my fertility center or regular OB’s office had. It was meant to be more powerful, more accurate at detecting the sex of babies before the standard 20 weeks.
And the beautiful machine showed me I was pregnant with a son and a daughter. But I wouldn’t know that until I opened the card the ultrasound tech sent home with me so my spouse and I could both learn of the blessed news together.
This was my early Christmas gift to us both.
I signed a waiver stating that the ultrasound was 100 percent elective and not diagnostic in nature. It also said that if the ultrasound tech did see something suspicious, she would simply tell me to contact my doctor — she would not be allowed to give me any details.
I rushed through the waiver, reading it all but wanting to get to it already. I still have my copy. It sits in a box of other ultrasounds and sympathy cards from our loss. The box is all we have left of our twin babies.
Early that evening, we sat on the couch and opened up the card from the ultrasound boutique.
Baby A – Boy
Baby B – Girl
We were overjoyed, and sobbing tears of happiness. We would have a son and a daughter. That would be our family.
Two hours after that wondrous moment, I noticed a spot of pink on my toilet tissue after I peed. I called my OB. He was on vacation, and the doctor covering him asked me some questions.
Are you cramping?
Is it spotting or bleeding?
Did you do anything physically unusual today?
I told him I had an elective ultrasound at a special boutique place, and do you think that could have caused this?
It was the only thing I did differently that day.
No, no, that’s not it. Just take it easy and call again if you have questions. If you start to cramp or the spotting turns to bleeding, go directly to the emergency room.
I was nervous, but he was certain. So I did what he said, and we went to bed around 8:30 that night. Looking back, I wish I had gone to the emergency room right then. Maybe something could have been done.
At 11:45 PM, I awoke to a burst moving from the depths of my womb outside of me. My water broke.
The maxi pad I had put on to be able to gauge any changes in my spotting was completely saturated. I wobbled to the bathroom and knew something was wrong.
Within hours, my twin babies were gone.
We did an autopsy. Nothing.
Since I had undergone fertility treatments, I had previously been tested for countless genetic issues, diseases, all of it. Nothing.
Since I had conceived at a fertility center, I had been monitored weekly since the day we found out I was pregnant. Everything was so perfect.
For 17 weeks and 1 day, everything was so perfect.
But 8 hours after my selfish and unnecessary elective gender-reveal ultrasound, my water broke and my twin babies died.
This isn’t me needing an answer. This is me knowing in the part of my heart that belongs to a mother who cannot hold her children: An ultrasound killed my twin babies.
I have nothing but my gut to tell me this is so. But there is nothing more I need than that.
My pregnancy was perfect. There was never the slightest concern. And the ultrasound tech at this boutique hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, otherwise she would have said something. And each of the ultrasounds I had during the course of my 17 weeks showed nothing but healthy and growing babies — and I had numerous weekly ultrasounds (and blood work) starting from week 4. I probably had one of the best monitored pregnancies ever.
And everything was perfect.
That is, until I had an elective ultrasound with some new, high-tech machine.
I write this today to finally breathe life into what I’ve been feeling for almost a year. I write this today in honor of my twin babies.
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