I had the pleasure of getting to know Samantha, because like me, she had a baby due in January 2012. While pregnant, Sam learned that her sweet baby, Gabriel Ray, had Potters Syndrome – Bilateral Renal Agenesis. This meant that he had no kidneys, leading to other malformations, and he didn’t have enough amniotic fluid. She found this out at the time of her anatomy scan when she was 20 weeks pregnant. She chose to carry him as long as she could, knowing his prognosis, and delivered this sweet angel at 36 weeks. He was born on December 8, 2011 and they spent 35 minutes showering him with the largest amount of love a baby could ever feel before he passed. I will not tell the full extent of her story, because I absolutely can’t do it justice. I encourage you to visit her blog and read Gabriel’s story. I also urge you to take a moment to read Gabriel’s birth plan. Sam’s story is truly inspirational and will give you new perspective. She is by far, one of the strongest women I will ever know.
Not very long ago, Sam found out that she was pregnant again! Little did she know at that moment, that she was expecting not one but TWO babies. Sam is very blessed and has now welcomed twin BOYS. They are a month old, and doing amazing with their rock star mother! I sent her a few questions to answer so that she could share a little about her experience of having twins after her loss. She is also juggling these adorable twin boys and big sis Evelyn. (She must have eight arms!)
After everything you’ve been through and sharing your story, what message do you hope to get out to others?
I want people to know that you can get through anything. I want people to know they have to do what’s best for them, not what’s best for doctors or anyone else. I would like people to look at our story, to take what we have been through, and find strength and courage to get through something that they may be going through. You have courage and strength within yourself, you just have to dig deep and find it.
So far, what has been the hardest part of having TWINS?
Sleep and feeding. They are tied for first place toughness right now. I’m exclusively breastfeeding which has proven difficult. Trying to keep them on the same eating schedule has proven nearly impossible. They wake up at alternating hours which makes it seem like I get no sleep at all.
The most rewarding?
Seeing how much they are alike/different. Learning their different personalities and preferences. Most recently: Seeing how they stare at eachother. Its also nice that people don’t have to fight over who gets to hold the baby (Including Derrick and I), there’s 2 so everyone can hold one!
What was the scariest part of your chaotic delivery experience?
The scariest part for me was when I was laying in the hospital bed bleeding, nobody had told me what exactly was going on but surgical staff was coming in to introduce themselves. They were already prepping me for an emergency c-section before anybody told me why/what was happening. I was terrified and in the dark about what was going on or what they thought was wrong. I was afraid something would be wrong when they came out because they were only 36 weeks. Lucky for me, everything went perfect and the boys came out kicking and screaming.
How is big sis holding up? What does she think of her two new baby brothers?
I spent a lot of time preparing Evelyn for the babies arrival. I spent many hours showing her what two babies means, what it means when we say “there’s a baby in mommys tummy” and other things. We spent countless hours playing with her dollys, learning how to care for a baby. We put into place some “rules” so that when people come over they would greet her first and allow her to show them the babies instead of just running to them first thing. She loves them. We’ve had very little jealousy issues with her. She always wants to help, to give them baths, to change their diapers and rock them. When we hold them, often times she will demand that she holds them instead. I’m so impressed with how she’s adapted and couldn’t be more proud of her.
Anyone who has had a baby knows how hard (and wonderful) the first few weeks are on everyone’s sanity, how’s the fellow holding up?
Derrick doesn’t do well with lack of sleep, he doesn’t do well getting up in the middle of the night or being tired after. However, he has done fairly well. He gets up to change diapers for me or to burp the babies after I’ve fed them. He tries to help as much as he can, but he’s somewhat limited.
You are breastfeeding twins, that is amazing. How’s it going?
I was told from the beginning to try to feed them at the same times. When one wakes up, wake up the other one to eat too. This is difficult, more difficult than I imagined it would be. You can’t force feed a baby that isn’t hungry. Although I battle feeding times, I am lucky that my body is supplying them enough milk and am able to pump for my freezer. I have nearly mastered tandem feeding them which helps save a lot of time!
Do you think there will be more children in your future?
I don’t want to say no, although Derrick would. Right now we are in no place to be able to afford more children. We were only going to have one more and then be done for now (surprise, someone else had better plans!). If I had it my way and money wasn’t an issue, I’d have a house full. Sadly that isn’t in the cards for us financially. Perhaps our finances will change years down the road and we’ll be able to have at least one more. If nothing else, I’d like to someday adopt a child into our family.
Anything you would like to add?
At the moment I can’t think of anything….. This took me days in between feedings and diaper changes haha!
Again, please take a moment and show support to Sam by visiting her blog and reading her full story.
She is also in the top three running to win a ton of cloth diapers (which would obviously be very beneficial and helpful to her since she has two bums to diaper) in the Pay it Forward contest. The contest (hosted by www..diaperparties.com) ends at the end of February, but if you have time before then, take a moment and vote for her. I can’t imagine that anyone could be more deserving of such a prize. Others must agree, because she is winning by a land slide.