The radiant Victoria Rodriquez and Jude (4 weeks today, 39 weeks gestations adjusted)
Victoria and her husband tried for five years to conceive before they were able to get pregnant. After four years of trying they decided to see a fertility specialist and ultimately began IVF. They had already agreed that if their first round was not successful they would foster to adopt but wanted to give it a go. Their IVF resulted in two embryos and they decided to have them both transferred. Both embryos took and they were thrilled to see two strong heart beats at their next check. Victoria was devastated when they learned at following appointment that one baby no longer had a heart beat. The weren't able to determine a reason and simply said it was vanishing twin syndrome.
While those around her were hopeful and told her to be happy that the other baby was doing well, she was understandably grief stricken. Every milestone that she made it to with Jude, she mourned the fact that she didn't have his twin to celebrate too. While this lessened and shifted as her pregnancy progressed it remained present and she feared she would lose him too.
When Victoria was 32 weeks pregnant she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and told that she would need to be induced at 37 weeks. While she was disappointed to learn she wouldn't be able to carry to term and go into labor on her own she knew that at that gestation everything would likely be okay. At 35 weeks, Victoria learned that her blood pressure was just too high to continue on. She went in immediately for induction and much to her surprise, things progressed very quickly. They had been cautioned to expect that Jude would need to be taken to NICU immediately after birth but he arrived safely and after cleaning him up Victoria was able to have immediate skin to skin and nurse right away. Other than some time under phototherapy lights Jude was in perfect health and they were able to go home from hospital after 3-4 days.
Now that Jude is earth side, Victoria says that her grief is different. As she was about to give birth to him everything came rushing back and she couldn't understand why she couldn't just have both of her babies. The grief is still there but perhaps not as sharp as it was in the beginning.
Sharing her story and talking about her baby she never got to meet is incredibly important to Victoria. "Embracing our bodies and ourselves within a supportive community is so needed", she echoes. "We need to talk about it. We need to share."