I’m starting to rely on the future where these babies survive. And that scares me a little. I’ve always tried to be hopeful, but I’ve always felt hopeful is different from expecting, and I’ve caught myself using that word. I used to hate that word. After Liam died it took on new meaning. You could have a certain expectation, but that didn’t mean the universe was going to meet it for you. But now I catch myself saying I’m “expecting” twins this summer. Read More
Archives for January 2016
- When people ask “Is this your first?” or “How many children do you have?” they don’t know how to respond to hearing about loss and a current twin pregnancy all in one breath. I don’t spare them. I figure it’s the closest they can get to understanding how I feel.
- People like to tell you twins are hard. I’m sure they are. I welcome it. I’m really hoping that if having living twins is hard enough God won’t ask me to take on anything else.
- Your reaction to finding out you’re having twins is one third surprise, one third relief because hopefully you’ll bring home two babies which would cut out the extra two or three pregnancies you were expecting to have between living babies 1 & 2, and one third fear because you know multiple pregnancies mean increased risks, and you really don’t need any more of those.
- You countdown to the point when you lost your latest pregnancy, and then you realize that’s when doctors start monitoring for TTTS and hold your breath again.
- You feel guilty for not having two boys and two girls names picked out ahead of time. Because you feel guilty about anything you can twist into something to feel guilty about.
- You feel guilty for being concerned about how big you’re going to get, because you know that’s the least of your worries. And also because it was just another thing you could feel guilty about.
- You know you’ll start showing before your first trimester is over, so you better decide how you’re going to handle the awkward conversations or buy a whole lot of flowy shirts.
- You are relieved to hear that twins generally come early, because your distrust of your body means you want your babies out as soon as safely possible.
- You are relieved to hear that you will probably have a scheduled c-section, because you don’t trust your body to birth your babies, either. Basically, you’d like to overrule your body in any way you can.
- Hearing the statistics that everything will be okay means nothing to you. You beat the odds by losing your other pregnancies, and you beat the odds by having twins. Why would the odds apply to you now?
- Your symptoms are double. Which is awesome! Double the morning sickness means half the anxiety, right?
- Is that constipation or cramping? Or round ligament pain? Or all three?
- You feel like the stakes are doubled. Having twice the babies to love means having twice the babies to lose. You know someone is thinking something about how you’ll hopefully have at least one baby to take home this time, and they just don’t get it.
- People seem to think bringing up that, “I ate my twin in the womb,” quote from Pitch Perfect is somehow okay. Um, no. It’s not.
- Hearing about other people’s losses with singletons seems more like a tragic, isolated event. Hearing about other people’s losses with multiples makes you want to print out the parents’ story and send it to your doctor so he can study it and make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
- People get really excited about twins. They don’t always understand why you’re not 100% excited 100% of the time.
- Between being a twin mom and a loss mom you’ve essentially become Molly Weasley on steroids. When it comes to your children, people will do as you say, and they will like it.
It’s definitely not all bad though. Definitely. While I find it hard not to focus on the ways loss has tainted my experience with pregnancy, in some ways it has helped me to more fully enjoy it. I know how precious each week is, how having even a short time to celebrate can make a world of difference when things get hard. I know that my life is going to be more interesting than I had planned, and that while I’ve been on the wrong side of slim odds before, now those shocking statistics are working in my favor and maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe if crazy bad things can happen to us crazy good things can happen, too. I know now that the inconvenience of raising twins that I once considered so staggering is insignificant in comparison to other fates. And I know how to love a baby who’s different. I know how to love a baby when it’s hard. And I’m confident I could–I will do it again. I look at the jagged, messy path I’ve taken to get here, and I feel like somehow I’m where I’m meant to be. I couldn’t be who I am now without all I’ve been through, and what I am now is the right mom for these babies. (All three of them.)
It just occurred to me how much farther along I am than I ever got in my last two pregnancies. I’ve been focusing so much on getting through the weeks leading up to when we lost Liam that I haven’t taken any time to appreciate that.
It’s funny the kinds of things you appreciate when you’re pregnant after loss. Someone brought in donut holes at work and every time I pass them I remember something I recently read saying that each of our babies is the size of a donut hole. I stood there and stared at the box for a while, picturing a tiny baby carved out of each of those donut holes. I thought about how our babies are actually starting to look like babies already. Read More
Today during a lesson at church I was asked to think about times I’ve felt God’s love. Initially, I started thinking about how blessed I am to be pregnant with my twins, and how grateful I’ve been every time I’ve gone to the doctor so anxiously praying things haven’t gone wrong like I’ve imagined over and over, and there they are–wiggling around, hearts beating strong. But really, gratitude and anxious relief don’t necessarily feel the same as being loved. I feel blessed, and in our lesson a lot of people talked about how their blessings help them feel loved, but feeling blessed paled in comparison to what I knew love could feel like.
Last week we saw our high risk doctor for the first time and got our fourth ultrasound. We’ve officially “graduated” from the fertility clinic, as they only see patients for the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. Which works out fine, because my Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor will only see us after “viability” (meaning, in this case, that they’ve seen a heartbeat), which for us happened at 6 weeks. The only problem is that so far, I like our fertility clinic a lot better.
When we got to the waiting room it was packed. I filled out all my paperwork as quickly as possible because I was so impatient to see our babies again. I’d had a sinking feeling all day. We were supposed to have our appointment at 8:30 am, because the only way I can keep myself calm on the day of an appointment is to have it before I’ve completely woken up. But the evening before our appointment they called me and said they had scheduled me in the wrong office and needed to reschedule. Luckily, they could fit me in for the same day, but not until 3 pm. Which meant I had an extra eight hours to worry. Obviously, I could not see my babies’ heartbeats again soon enough.
The waiting room was packed, which seemed weird. After about 10 minutes a receptionist came around passing out cookies. I realized what was going on. For some reason the doctor’s office was seriously backed up, and because this was a high risk office, everyone in the waiting room with me was just as nervous as I was. It was an awful feeling being in that waiting room knowing that the office was probably backed up because of an emergency, and all the people waiting before me were probably just as nervous as I was, and still I just wanted to be seen first.Read More
Sometimes I feel guilty. Ever since we’ve found out about the twins I’ve been a little happier. Or at least, I’ve been less sad. I don’t feel the heartache quite as often, or as strongly. And sometimes, when that heartache is missing, it feels like you’re farther away. And I don’t like it. But if feeling miserable is what it takes to feel close to you, I just can’t do that. I’d do anything for you, but I just can’t do that. I can’t be miserable every day anymore. And I’m just not.
But I know you wouldn’t want me to be.