Monday, December 20, 2010

There should've been three...

I can't seem to let go of that feeling. It seems like there's always some reminder that some one's missing. It's the silliest things. Like filling out a form that asks how many children you have. I always hesitate, I desperately want to check off 3, but I don't. It's looking at the two car seats and wondering why there isn't a third. Going to restaurant and asking for a table for 4 rather than 5. Or that my survivor has taken an interest in toy cars and trucks. Most parents of daughters probably wouldn't even give it a second thought, but it makes me so sad. All I can think about is how she should be playing trucks with her twin brother. Whenever she shows an interest in something that is typically a boy toy or activity my heart feels so heavy. I used to occasionally buy my older daughter boy pajamas if they were on clearance, because what's the difference right, but I can't bear to put them on my survivor.

Why do people need to ask how many children I have. I never know how to answer and any answer I choose hurts. It makes me want to scream. I want to go up to strangers at the store and say, please think for a moment before you ask someone how many children they have. You just never know what someone has been through and the pain that question might bring them. The question that hurts the most is when people look at my beautiful daughters and say (without thinking I'm sure), "Oh, just the two girls." That one stabs me in the heart. Most days I just nod and say yes. Other days I might say I have a son too and keep going on my way before the follow-up questions start. Every once in awhile I might tell my story. But, no matter what, it still hurts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I've been wondering a lot lately whether my survivor understands what she's lost. She seems to be drawn to other boy/girl twins. Is it just a coincidence or on some level does she know. One of my biggest fears is putting my grief on her. My grief is not her burden (or my older daughter's either) to bear. However, I'm not sure how to balance explaining the loss to her without burdening her. I want her to know she had a twin brother, but I don't ever want her to blame herself or somehow not feel whole. The hardest part for me is that we don't even really have any memories to share with her. He was stillborn, other than me, my survivor is really the only other person that got to share some time with him while he was alive. I'm not sure there are any answers, but I sure wish there were. It seems like when you have a stillborn child, like a miscarriage, that you're supposed to pretend it never happened. That somehow you're child wasn't real because they never lived outside the womb.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wondering about who he would've been...

Last year at this time all I could think about was there should be two. I was supposed to have twins, a boy and a girl. Two years out, I keep wondering who my son would be now. What would he look like, what type of personality would he have? Would he be big like his older sister, tiny like his twin, straight hair, curly hair, eye color, etc.? I still have questions, but they're different then the early grief stage. My arms might not feel as empty, but my heart still aches.

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of my son's death.

I wasn't dreading this year like I was last year, but the hurt sort of snuck up on me. Maybe it's because my husband (who never travels) is leaving today for a business trip and will be gone until Friday, leaving me on my own for the anniversary. Maybe it's the piece I heard on NPR this morning about grief. Or maybe its that empty place in my heart that should be filled with a little boy, running and laughing with his twin sister.

Luckily my surviving twin has been extra cuddly today, because all I want to do is sit on the couch and hold onto her. I want to hold onto both my girls as tight as I can, because time goes so fast. My pregnancy, my son's death, delivering the twins seems like a lifetime ago. My oldest is finishing up kindergarten and my tiny little preemie, my precious survivor is going to be 2 years old in less than two weeks. Life goes on and while time definitely does NOT heal all wounds, I guess it does have a way of dulling the pain. Some days though, it's not nearly dull enough.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anniversary approaching...

As we approach my survivor's second birthday and the second anniversary of my son's death, I feel great ambivalence. I don't feel the overwhelming grief that I felt last year. My son's presence or lack there of is less heavy. However, this in and of itself makes me feel sad. Grief doesn't come with a rule book, which each mourn our losses in different ways, but sometimes I feel guilty. Are the choices I've made wrong, have I not done enough to honor my son's memory? Obviously I will never forget and his loss will always be felt, but I desperately want to move forward. For myself, for my daughters, my husband. Selfishly I don't want him to be part of our everyday lives, isn't life for the living? I don't want my daughters' lives to be overshadowed by their missing brother. He wasn't even here, he was stillborn. We don't know what he would've been like, I mourn the loss of what could have been sure, but I don't know if I mourn him, I never knew him.

My husband and I have chosen not to make our son part of our everyday lives. We have chosen not to have elaborate ceremonies to remember. We light a candle on his anniversary and other significant days in the Jewish calendar, but that's about it. My husband, older daughter and I all feel the loss of what could have been. I think we'll always carrier him in our hearts. I'm not sure yet what my surviving twin will think. I don't know if she'll remember him or feel his loss. She's a happy little girl and I don't ever want to burden her with our grief. I'd never hide the loss from her, but I don't want it to shape her.

I'm starting to feel some peace with our choices, but there's that little nagging voice that says you're not doing enough, you're forgetting about him, what kind of mother are you! How do I quiet that voice? That insecurity that some how we're not good enough. I guess I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. On my darkest days I remember that there are two little girls here that need me, that the best way I can honor my son is to be the best mother I can to his sisters. And, most of all that it's ok to be happy for what I have rather than sad for what I don't and if anyone judges me for that, then that's not my problem. Some days it's a lot easier than others. This year I'm working on letting going of the guilt. Now, I just need to figure out how to celebrate my survivor's birthday and mark another milestone that my son won't reach.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The future?

Whether or not to try and get pregnant again has been weighing heavily on mind. Sometimes I think I want another baby other times I wonder if I just want a do-over. A chance to get right what went wrong with the twins. Obviously I know it doesn't work that way, but I can't help but wonder if that's why I want to try again. I know many women believe that their subsequent babies healed the hurt and mended their broken hearts, but I'm not sure I can put our family through another pregnancy.

I think my daughters are mending my broken heart. Those two little girls are what sustained me through the darkest hours of my life. When I didn't want to get out of bed or eat or even breathe, I did it because they needed me too. The baby needed to nurse, so I needed to eat. My oldest needed her Mommy more than she ever had and so I just put one foot in front of another and just pushed through.

Not only did my son die, but I lost so much time with my daughters, how can we put our family through another pregnancy. I have so many positive memories of my oldest daughter's first year, the little one's first year is a blur. We're finally starting to get ourselves back together and a pregnancy seems like going backwards to some extent. I can probably list a dozen reasons why another pregnancy is a bad idea, but there's that pull. That pull that I just can't articulate.

We're going to an adoption info session next week. We've been talking about possibly adopting a child through the foster care system. We always thought that we'd have two kids, but when we got pregnant with the twins we opened our hearts to having three. We have room in our hearts and our home for a third child, it seems right to fill that space with a child that needs a home. I know adopting an older child through the foster care system is not an easy road. My first job out of law school was representing abused and neglected children. I have a fairly realistic idea of what we're getting ourselves into. Anyway, that's our dilemma do we take in a child who desperately needs a home or do we take the pregnancy plunge. I'm hoping the answer will come to us.