Jennifer Ripel lost her twin babies in her first trimester of pregnancy 7 years ago this October and is still struggling with the pain & loss. She hopes by sharing her story, she can gain some healing, support & maybe help someone else who is struggling with the same thing. It can be hard when you lose a child or children and people around you become pregnant. You may go back and forth between feeling happy for them, yet resentful that it didn't happen for you. Here is Jennifer's story.
“Do you feel special?” the nurse asked me as I sat in her office. “Do you feel special that you are pregnant with twins? It’s not special. One in 9 pregnancies results in twins”. I didn’t know what to think. I just found out that I was carrying two beautiful little lives inside of me, and yes, I did feel special. I felt darn special. What she said I now know to be false. Around one in thirty pregnancies will result in twins, not nine. No matter the information, it wasn’t a wanted conversation and I was shocked to hear it.
I had a daughter; she was just eight months old when I found out about the second pregnancy. She was the apple of my eye and my colorful rainbow in the sky. Her smile can light up a room even if the power was to go out. It was her sweet chubby cheeks that helped me get through the horrific morning sickness that I endured. I was never sick with my first, aside from the one time I was craving a plum and the only one left was rotten. I ate it anyways. Every day I prayed to the porcelain toilet to make it stop. Every day I wondered if I was going to be able to wake up and get dressed and go out of the house. Each and every day I felt horrible. It all made sense once I found out that I was carrying multiples as I had always heard morning sickness comes on strong when you are.
I was so excited to be having twins. In my heart, I think I always knew I would. I imagined it from the time I was a little girl playing the game of Life, always eagerly waiting to have twin girls. I just knew. I was also so scared. My Jasmine was only a baby still. A small baby that needed her Mommy and my heart broke thinking about the position I would be putting her in. I am a third child, followed by a fourth. I know what it is like to be left out and I swore that would never happen to my children. I knew everything would fall into place though. I believed it would. I thought it would.
The pain was so bad. In my abdomen, my thighs, and in my heart. There is no pain worse than that of a broken heart. I knew what was happening inside of me. I didn’t want it to happen and I prayed from the first shock of pain that it wouldn’t happen, but it did. Late at night on October 4th I made my way to the bathroom after being woke in bed by my conscious telling me to go. There I birthed two tiny little people. I cried, and I cried, and I cried. I wasn’t through my first trimester as of yet, but I felt a strong connection to them. They were a part of my heart, me and my husband, a part of my family and life. I crawled back into my bed trying not to wake my husband. I think I was in a state of shock. Little did I know that life would never be the same for me.
I see commercials on the TV. I think this day and age it’s all about multiples. So many refer to having twins. Thank goodness for PVR and being able to fast forward right through them. My husband’s cousin and now my cousin are both pregnant with twins. Luckily, I can hide posts or profiles on Facebook. I know I can’t live this way, and I know I need to move on as my sister told me not long ago. I just don’t know how to move on. I don’t know how to pretend that this didn’t happen. I don’t know how to just forget about the babies that I lost, that I birthed, that I loved.
I now have another beautiful daughter. She was somehow conceived just weeks after I lost my beautiful babies, through protection and all. She was an easy pregnancy, much different than the previous. After the horrific pain and guilt I had from my loss just weeks before, I didn’t want more children. I didn’t want to chance going through something like that again. I knew I couldn’t do it. Not mentally, emotionally or spiritually. I had a daughter to be strong for. A beautiful little girl that looked up to me and I wanted to be there for her in every way possible.
We named our unborn baby Sarryn, short for serendipity or un-planned fortune. No, she wasn’t planned and that is okay. She was still made from love and she really is my little fortune! She was due at the very end of October, and at the end of a very healthy, wonderful pregnancy I suddenly went into pre-term labor at the end of 34 weeks. It came on nice and slow, but after a trip to the hospital, then an ambulance ride to the nearby bigger city, I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Sarryn Georgia Rose, 5 lbs 11 oz. Rosy pink, healthy as could be and oh so cute! She was born on October 4th. The day in which just one year before, I had lost my beautiful babies. A day of loss was now a day of celebration.
I still can’t watch TV shows with multiples. I still fast forward the commercials that have them in it. I still cry for days when I find out that my friend or relative is expecting twins. But as the years go on it does get easier and I don’t cry nearly as much. As fate would have it, a few years ago I met someone who is now my best friend. She has two girls. Twins. Some days it is hard, but most days I am just happy for her that she gets to experience what I never had the chance to experience. It is helping me to heal. I also have my two beautiful girls in my life that I couldn’t be more thankful for. They are both the apples of my eyes and my colorful rainbows in the sky. I love them to pieces.
Losing my babies put in a hole in my heart I have yet to learn how to fix. I have seen multiple counselors, I have had candle light prayers (and I’m not one to pray often), and I have even considered getting little footprint tattoos on my shoulder so that in a sense they could always be with me. Even if the ink were to be on my skin, it would not heal me.