Forever Finn

By Katherine Grainger

On Friday, March 15, 2019, I spent my birthday at a routine ultrasound appointment where I got to hear both of my twins’ healthy heartbeats. Little did I know this would be the last time I would get to hear their hearts beating together. They were perfect and almost the exact same size. Actually, the whole pregnancy had been pretty perfect as far as twin pregnancies go. My twins were di/di meaning they were each safely in their own sac and had their own placenta…the least risky type of twin pregnancy.

That following Tuesday, March 19th, I had my last growth ultrasound. I was excited to see how big the boys were going to be when I had my scheduled c-section on Thursday. It was my husband’s last day of work before his FMLA started so I went to the appointment alone. It was the only appointment he had not been able to go to throughout the entire pregnancy. During the growth ultrasound, the technician could not find Finn’s heartbeat. I’ll never forget how still yet peaceful he looked on the screen. It was the worst moment of my life. His heartbeat was gone. I felt robbed. I had to call my husband, who was working in the ER at the time, to come to be with me at the OBGYN. Because we didn’t know what had caused Finn’s heartbeat to stop, my doctor decided it would be best to deliver both boys as soon as possible.

In complete disbelief, we rushed to the hospital only to find out we would have to wait 6 hours before my c-section all because I had eaten breakfast that morning. Those were the longest 6 hours of my life. During the time that I had to wait in L&D, my nurse asked me if I would be interested in having a photographer come to take pictures of the twins after they were born. I was completely numb and indecisive about all the things that were being discussed and I was so nervous something was going to go wrong with Rowan as well. We were discussing funeral arrangements, talking to chaplains, discussing burial options, headstones, and now contemplating newborn photography with my one living son and my other dead son. My head was spinning, and I was completely overwhelmed. My nurse stressed that we would need to call the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer to see if a volunteer was available and despite my reluctance, I am so thankful she made that call. Our nurse knew exactly what we needed.

Rowan and Finn were born at 37 weeks and 4 days on March 19th at 4:30 and 4:33 pm. Rowan was 6lbs 2 oz and 18″ long and Finn was 5lbs 11oz and 19.5″ long. Both were beautiful and perfect in every way. They were most definitely not identical. Finn had black curly hair (like his dada) and Rowan had bright red hair. Doctors were never able to determine what caused Finn’s heart to stop and that has been so hard for me. He truly was perfect.

Several hours later, up on the Mother/Baby floor, our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer quietly entered our room. Coincidentally, she too was a twin. She moved with grace and compassion as she took the most beautiful pictures of Finn and of all 3 of my boys together. Most importantly, she took the only pictures we will ever have of our family together.

Photograph courtesy of the Grainger family

Today, we have these photographs printed and framed around our house and on our desks at work. I wear a photo of the twins snuggled together in a locket around my neck. We consider these photos one of our most valuable possessions. We talk about Finn every day in our family. He is our guardian angel in heaven. When we see butterflies, we know it is him paying us a visit. I am forever grateful that our nurse called our photographer that day. These photographs allow Finn’s twin Rowan and his big brother Kenton to remember what he looked like. We will never forget our Finn. He will always and forever be Finn, Rowan’s perfect twin.

Photograph courtesy of the Grainger family

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