It's early on June 21
Time for the pregnancy middle-of-the-night potty time.
I look at the time on my phone...4:00 AM.
Strange, I usually get up at two, I think as I get up.
Still no movement from my girls.
I begin to become more worried and say a prayer...Heavenly Father, please let these girls be okay...and by okay, I mean "alive"...and by alive, I mean "alive HERE".
A feeling of uncomfortable peace comes upon me as if someone is telling me, "It's okay, but you'll find out soon enough."
I don't like that answer, but it is enough to let me return to bed.
It's lighter outside my window.
I look at the time again...9:30 AM
Porter enters the room sleepy and disheveled...I love how he looks in the morning.
"Good morning!" I say with a grin, and I start to stretch.
He responds with a smile and asks if I can make him breakfast.
That means it's time to get up.
I place my hand under my belly for support.
Still no movement from inside.
I haven't said anything to Seth, and decide to not tell him unless I'm really sure that something is wrong.
I start the usual "pregnant morning routine"--a drink of water, breakfast, nausea medication and shot.
The girls always move when I take my shot, I think as I eat, they'll move then.
I escape to the bathroom after putting my bowl in the dishwasher to prove my theory.
I start poking at my left side of my belly to get them to move, "Come on, girls"
Why isn't she moving away from me?
I start to freak out and I rush as fast as I can down the stairs while trying to hold back tears.
Seth and Porter are still enjoying breakfast. "Seth, some thing's wrong," I say and begin to cry while I explain that the girls haven't moved for a while.
"Well, let's go to the doctor and make sure every thing's okay," he says, calmly.
I call, set up an appointment and get ready for the day as best I can through spouts of tears.
It's okay...every thing's fine...I'll go to the doctor like I did yesterday and everything will be fine.
Seth isn't as worried as I am and tries to calm me down with words of encouragement.
I begin to calm down as much as I can...Seth's right...I'm sure it'll all be okay.
The time comes to leave.
We go as a family in the new-to-us Durango we bought as preparation for the girls' arrival--it needs to be registered.
Seth suggests I go in to the office while he goes to the DMV with Porter to register the car as it needs to be done soon.
I'm hesitant to say yes, but I agree that it would be a smart thing to do.
As I walk into the office alone, I'm positive my worry is written all over my face, and I regret sending Seth away.
"Hi, Sierra! You should just live here, you know." the receptionist jokes with a grin.
I give a faint smile and say, "I should just sleep out here in the waiting area on the couches."
She laughs, but I don't see the smile in her eyes...She can see straight through me.
Another pee donation, then I wait for what feels like a long time.
They must be really busy today...I should have brought my book.
I look at the TV in the waiting room not really registering what is on the screen.
My name is called, and I get up.
First things first, I stand on the scale.
It's a number I'm not happy with, so I groan a bit before I'm taken to the Non-Stress Test room in the center of the circle.
I go to my usual spot on the hospital bed where I begin telling my nurse, Lori, my fears.
After my explanation, she leaves the room to get the small ultrasound machine so she has an easier time finding the girls' hearts.
Ever since the girls' membrane broke, it's been harder to find out where they are for the test so this is normal, but I wait impatiently until she returns with the machine.
She stands in front of me, places her right arm across my belly and keeps her back to me...She's trying to block my view!
I tentatively peek under her shoulder where I can get a small glimpse of the screen.
I see the girls' hearts, but don't see them beating.
She didn't stay in the area of their hearts very long, so I begin to doubt my eyes.
Solemnly, she tells me she needs to have the doctor come in and double-check something.
That isn't normal and gives me an even stronger sense of foreboding.
The same doctor who saw me yesterday, Dr Jenkins, enters with Lori and takes over the ultrasound machine...trying to block my view, as well.
This time there is no mistaking it--the little hearts that I had seen and heard beating countless times were completely still.
Dr. Jenkins turns to me..."There's no easy way to say this...we don't know what happened, but the babies have died."
"I thought so," I respond as large, loud sobs escape my body.
Lori quickly comes to my side and holds me, "Is your husband here?"
Through uncontrollable sobs, I say where he is.
Lori continues to hold me, trying to give me comfort as I speak my mind about what I should have done different.
"There's no guarantee any of those things would have made a difference. You did everything you could have done for these babies. I'm so sorry, sweetie."
I really did do everything I thought was right for my girls...Most importantly, I loved them and wanted them.
Slowly, I begin to find my voice again and decide to call Seth.
After only a couple rings, he answers, "Hey, I'm driving back and I'm close."
I tell him the news, but my words seem unreal.
His tears bring on even more tears from me, and I have to get off the phone.
I wait for him to come in a shocked silence and with a headache.
Seth enters the room with a mirrored look of shock on his face and he rushes to my side.
We hold each other and cry for who knows how long.
As we begin to calm down, I notice we are left alone.
My eyes meet Porter's, and he looks confused.
We begin to tell him what happened making sure he knows that, even though we now wont be taking the girls home like we've been talking about every day for months, we can all be physically together as an entire family again and he will be able to hold his sisters like he wants to.
Shortly after our discussion, Dr. Jenkins returns to the room and informs us that I will need to deliver.
I notice his eyes are red, and I feel sorry for him...I can't imagine how he must feel being the one who sent me home yesterday.
He gives us two options--deliver as soon as possible or go home, let it sink in and then come back.
We choose to get it done as soon as possible.
He understands and goes to make the arrangements.
Seth leaves to take Porter to a sitter, and I go to the nurses station to look for Lori to take me to Labor and Delivery.
Finding her, we exit by going out the back toward the hospital and away from the waiting room so I don't have to face all of the other pregnant women.
Lori stays with me until she has to return to work, and promises she'll visit tomorrow.
Seth's still not back as I am taken to my room.
I'm left alone as a new wave of grief hits me.
The door opens with Seth's arrival--he came with my hospital bag, and I'm happy to see both him and the bag.
We sit in silence that is occasionally interrupted with statements about how happy we are that we chose to get married in the temple, how sad we are that we don't get to have our girls right now, and what we are going to have to do next.
We have visitors from our ward who come to bring us support--our home teacher and a friend who happened to be in the area, and the Relief Society President and a sister who had also had a stillborn.
Their visits are brief, but very much appreciated.
The door opens again, and my night nurse enters the room.
I do a double-take...Heather!
Heather had been my favorite night nurse when I came to the hospital with a complication I had the day the girls' membrane broke just a few weeks before.
"Remember me?" I ask with a crooked grin.
"Absolutely, I do," she responded without smiling, "I am so sorry."
After an update on what happened since I'd seen her last, Heather started talking about what I will have to do.
"You can ask me any question you may have," she said.
I ask my questions--her answers only make me cry more, but I need to hear them so I can be prepared.
Pills are handed to me, and I take them to help get this going.
While Seth and I turn on episodes from How the States Got Their Shapes as a distraction, my contractions get worse.
This may not take long.