I can’t describe how happy it makes me to feel the babies move. I just spent some time with a friend who has five month old twin boys and being around them made this all feel so much more real. While she thought she was scaring me, I was really just getting giddy with excitement at the thought of my own two boys. Read More
My thoughts just before going in for our 17 week appointment, when we would pass our loss milestone.
It’s a strange thing to realize that I am now again at the point in my pregnancy that I thought I’d be experiencing almost 11 months ago. I kind of hate it when my brain tries to “simplify” things. It tries to do math like, “17 weeks = 17 weeks. Read More
Today was a big appointment for us for a few reasons. It was our first check for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), it was the first time we got to see measurements or anatomy or even a detailed scan at a doctor’s office since 9 weeks, and it was the 16 week appointment–the last appointment we saw Liam alive. I was super nervous this morning. Most weeks as we’re driving to our appointments it occurs to me, “Am I prepared for today to be the day that we receive that bad news?”
Today was my due date. If I’d been allowed to keep my second pregnancy we’d probably be holding a baby right now. I imagined we’d have a girl, and I tried to convince Kam that her middle name should be Valeri since she would be due close to Valentine’s Day.
Those imaginings only got to last a few days. We lost that pregnancy almost right when it started. It might seem like I shouldn’t be bothered by a missed due date now that the twins are on the way. And having the twins helps. But you just don’t forget what you thought might have been. I remember my friends who were due around the same time who either now have their babies or are about to have them any day. I had thought that would be me, too.
It doesn’t sting as much with the twins on the way. I know that if our second pregnancy had lasted, I wouldn’t be here, carrying my twins right now. And I wouldn’t give that up. But there’s always part of you wishing you didn’t have to give one thing up to have the other. That it didn’t come down to that.
It’s different from missing Liam’s due date, too. I had imaginings for my second pregnancy, but I never really felt like I got to know someone to miss. It was heartbreaking and frustrating and scary. But the longing wasn’t the same. I don’t think it really had to do with the length of the pregnancy so much as just motherly intuition. When Liam was gone, I felt like I got to know him. When my second pregnancy was gone, I didn’t get that feeling. And that was a new kind of hard.
Today is not so bad. Kam and I are going dancing for Valentine’s Day. My twins are here. There are good things. But I just felt that I had to say that I didn’t forget. Today was my due date, and I could never forget that.
20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.
21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
– Isaiah 49:20-21
Lately, I’ve been starting to feel a little better physically. Morning sickness hits less often, and even my food aversions are starting to let up. I have been getting a little more energy during the day even though I’m starting to waddle. And the babies are looking chunkier and less alien like at every scan. Second trimester has its perks.
But I am literally sick and tired of grief.
Today as I was looking through some old blog posts I realized it’s been 302 days since we lost Liam. I don’t know how it’s been that long.
Most days I feel fine. I was telling my mom recently that all of my worry right now is completely focused on making sure the twins make it to us safe. Read More
incredibly long story fifteen minute read of how we found out we’re having twins
I’ve been working on this post for over a week now, and just writing it down has helped me manage this last week’s emotions. Every week after our appointments I go through a cycle of highs and lows. My weekly scans give me hope that maybe everything will actually turn out okay this time, and I start to get a little more excited. But as the days pass I find myself worrying every so often until by the time Tuesday morning comes around the worries have piled up to dread. I’m half convinced today will be that day. The day we get the bad news. And then it isn’t. And I thank God for that. And then I start getting excited about little things like cribs and strollers again until the next cycle starts. It’s exhausting.
But there’s one thing that reassures me, if I can just remember and focus on it. It’s just a feeling–call it inspiration, or revelation, or mother’s intuition–that something good is coming.
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
- 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.)