Disclaimer: This story includes mention of child loss and pictures that may be triggering to some.
“On November 24, 1999, our whole world came crashing down. I was getting contractions, so Cesar and I went to the hospital. On the way there, we were so excited and giggling over how we wouldn’t get any sleep anymore. Our twin boys were on their way. With our diaper bag filled with their homecoming outfits and little toys, we walked into Labor and Delivery.
I was all set up in a room and waiting for our doctor. We were holding hands with excitement for the arrival of our boys. Our doctor came in and hooked me up to the monitor. I noticed he made a strange face. Our smiles started to fade with nervousness. He kept moving the wand all over my belly with this look on his face. Then he asked the nurse for another machine.
The nurse came back with another machine, and he began to check on our babies. The doctor looked serious and worried. Then, he said the words that broke my soul, ‘I can’t find a heartbeat. I’m sorry.’ I looked up and asked, ‘Both of them?’ He nodded as if he couldn’t find the words. I let out a sound I can’t even explain. It was a cry. It was pain. It was heartbreak. It was failure.
I still had to deliver our boys. The doctor asked us if we wanted to see them. I said no because I thought if I saw them, it would break me even more if that was even possible. How can I see them and not be able to take them home with me? As I was being wheeled into the delivery room, a nurse whispered in my ear, ‘I’m so sorry. Can I pray for you?’ This is something I still remember as clear as day because I needed to hear that. I nodded as tears fell from my eyes.
When they were delivered, Cesar was able to cut the cord. He said they were perfect and just looked like they were sleeping. A sleep they would never wake up from. I decided I did want to see them and hold them. When they placed them in my arms, my world stopped in that moment. Here they were, our Angel and our Christian. I finally got to meet them after all those months of anticipation. They laid peacefully in my arms and instead of saying, ‘Hello,’ I was saying, ‘Good-bye.’
When we got home, it was the loudest silence I ever heard. I felt empty with no baby boys to bring home. All of their stuff was there to remind me of what will never be. Their clothes would never be worn despite making sure they were all washed and ready for them. Their bassinets would never be slept in with all their new sheets and stuffed animals. On top of that, I was producing milk they would never drink.
Time moved on but our life froze. The pain was too much to bear at times as I slipped into the dark. Cesar was my rock. He made sure I ate, he bathed me, he let me cry, he let me be angry, and he took it all. I would catch him crying when he thought he was alone. I once asked him why he thought he had to hide his pain from me. He said, ‘I need to be the strong one. I’m here for you. How can we get past this if we are both falling apart?’ I told him we’re in this together and he doesn’t have to hide anymore. As crazy as it seemed, it actually helped me to see him join me in this pain and we helped each other through it.
Years passed by and we had rejoined the world. We were working and trying to get pregnant again. For some reason, we couldn’t get pregnant. We had physicals done and were told we were healthy. We exercised and tried not to think about getting pregnant but it didn’t work.
One day, his parents had a talk with us and told us we were not getting pregnant because we were still holding onto our twins. We knew what they meant. We were still going to the cemetery every weekend to give them flowers and we still had all their stuff at home. It had been over 3 years and yet, we still had not let go. Unbeknown to me, while I was at work, Cesar stayed home and cleared out all of our twins’ stuff. He knew I couldn’t do it. When I got home and didn’t see their things, I cried. It was like losing them all over again. They truly were gone and not coming back. As the saying goes, we truly had to ‘let go and let God.’
Two months later, I found out I was pregnant. I knew our next baby was going to be a girl because earlier I had a dream where our twins visited me to let me know they were okay. They then ran off to play with a little girl. I had a feeling the little girl in my dream was our baby girl. True enough, months later, we found out we were going to have a girl.
When I went into labor, I had to have an emergency cesarean because I had placenta previa. I was able to deliver our healthy baby girl on November 24, 2003. The same day as her brothers, just 4 years later. I felt their presence there. We named her Gabriella Maria (using her brother’s middle names in the feminine form).
Many years passed and we were so happy with our little family. We thought Gabriella would be our only child. Then out of the blue, I started having these vivid dreams of a little baby boy and it kept happening repeatedly. I felt like we were supposed to have a son next but I had a hysterectomy because of my placenta previa, so that was impossible. The only way was through adoption, so I talked to Cesar about it, and he was onboard.
We decided on private domestic adoption, which is where you are matched with a birth mother within the United States. We were only going to give it one year because, after a year, you have to start the process all over again. We were so excited! The month we started was May 2010.
During the year, we had a few potential matches, which meant that a birth mom was considering us as one of the adoptive families for her baby. Our adoption facilitator would say she would call if we were chosen. We would jump every time the phone would ring, but we never got the call. We were now in April 2011. A year was almost up. I couldn’t help but wonder why I had dreams of a baby boy, which I felt was our son but our year was coming to an end.
Then, on April 22, 2011, Good Friday, we got a call a baby boy was born and the mom wanted to meet us. They sent us over his information with his picture. Cesar didn’t even need to see the picture because he was ready to go. Cesar, Gabby, and I hopped on a red-eye flight to Minnesota to meet our potential son.
When we found out she chose us to adopt her son, we were thrilled beyond words. The hospital gave us a room because we had to stay there for a few days. During that time, we got to bond with our new son. His birth mom chose his name Jonathan, and we chose his middle name, Nicholas. We realized out of all the places we could have adopted our son from, he was born in St. Paul, which happens to be one of the ‘Twin’ cities. We couldn’t help but be in awe of that.
After three years, we decided to adopt again but this time through the foster system. Our only request was for a boy, but we were open to everything else such as race. We got a call soon after we received our foster license. His caseworker said his case was headed toward adoption. He was 2 years old, just one year younger than our Jonathan.
Two weeks later, we were asked if we were interested in adopting him. Of course, we said yes. The caseworker said, ‘Great because he has a baby sister and we would like them to be together. Would that be okay?’
That got me thinking about a quote we had framed for our twin boys, ‘Two by two, they came.’ Immediately, we said, ‘Yes!’ Two and a half years later, Koda and Kaia were officially adopted into our family.
We have always felt all of our kids are all somehow connected to each other. They each found their way to us, and we found our way to them. Even after losing our twin boys, their presence has always been felt with each child. They are truly watching over us. We just hope they are proud of what they see!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jennifer from Los Angeles, CA. You can follow their journey on Instagram and YouTube. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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