I knew it was twins. Call it mother's intuition or a prompting or something, but I knew. As I was praying this pregnancy was viable I felt like it's okay to say babies. There's more than one. The next morning was the ultrasound and immediately I saw both of our babies. I was thrilled. Aside from our wedding day, I think that was the happiest I've ever been. We immediately announced and got to planning.
When we lost Baby B a few weeks later, I was devastated. I AM devastated. While we were surrounded with love and support, I was blown away by the few comments of "well at least there's still one." Which I admit I let it get to me, because I know plenty of people waiting and praying for a baby of their own. How selfish am I for wanting two? Or the assumption that because we lost them during the first trimester that they weren't real. That they didn't matter. I wanted to yell I HAVE TWO BABIES! But that's not how it looks now does it? And who possibly knows what to say to someone going through this situation? I don't even know what I would want someone to say to me. Nothing can be said to change the situation. Medically Dr's told me that if this was going to happen this was the best time. In fact, this was common! Medically for the health of everyone involved sure. But don't try and explain that to my heart. I would have been in bed for nine months to get both babies here safely. That's the reality. I would have done anything, but that wasn't my option. I fought for them from the beginning, and did everything possible to keep them here. But it wasn't their time to come. It looks like I have one baby. But I have two. We have two. And I will defend that for eternity. That is our child. And they are real, and they matter.
When I think about Baby B I float between sadness, anger, and sometimes jealousy. Sometimes when I see pictures of twins or a commercial. I tear up. Sometimes I cry a lot about how badly I miss our sweet baby. I was so grateful for a Sister in Law to give me the heads up we'll still see Baby B on our ultrasounds for awhile. That was hard for me to stomach. And to see. But you have so many mixed emotions. You get to see them, which I loved for about a second, but then they're right next to their sibling who is growing. As hard as it was to see that it made it so clear to my heart that it wasn't their time yet. Because of our complications (separate from our lost twin) I've had quite a few more ultrasounds than a normal pregnancy. I admit that even still there's a small piece of me that hopes at every ultrasound the Dr. Is going to say, "Surprise! There's baby #2!" But it isn't going to happen.
I bought matching Harry Potter onesies for our babies when we found out they were twins, because I wanted them to let their imaginations run wild and feel the magic of love and good conquering evil. (So many good values in those books.) As nerdy as it is, we found out we lost one of our twins on the anniversary that Molly Weasley lost one of her twins. Someone tweeted about it that day and that really set me off. Magic couldn't even bring him back. And magic couldn't even bring back our baby. I often listen to Harry Potter to help me sleep at night, it calms me down. When I told Lindsay about the coincidence she pointed out that that was why there are so many things in the world. Because Heavenly Father uses countless ways to talk to his children. For me, on that hard day, it was Harry Potter, and looking back on that it's a tender mercy.
We were put in such a weird situation. I don't handle loss, death or grief well at all. I hold onto grief and loss for a long time. I have always been a very compassionate person, and this is a catch-22 of that trait. I am grateful that in this situation of losing my own child I have felt understanding much quicker. The grief is not a daily battle to fight. I admit I felt really guilty a week after it happened and I had stopped crying every day. How would my baby know how much I loved them if I was happy and at peace with what happened? It took a lot to recognize that that was the best for me. And being happy and at peace is what was supposed to happen.
This is where the Mom Guilt comes in. As upset as I was when we found out, I didn't think I had time to grieve. Which made it worse. I still had a bouncing baby in my belly to take care of, and double the anxiety to not lose them too. I was so grateful for the advice to be upset about Baby B, to stay in bed all day and be sad. That Baby A would understand that Baby B needed my emotions more.
I have a sliver of understanding of how Mom's feel being happy for one child and sad for the other because I've been there. That it's okay to buy Baby A outfits and celebrate their growth milestones while crying every once in awhile that we have to wait a little longer to love on Baby B.
After it happened one of my best friends told me her theory was that Baby A needed Baby B to hold their hand to come down to Earth, but it just wasn't time for Baby B to come yet. It was a very sweet visual to picture our babies loving each other so much to hold hands to get to us.
The other really great advice I got from someone who has lost a baby was to let yourself feel it and don't be mad at yourself for feeling it. There are so many emotions to fight through, and turns out you can't control them at all, but it gets better. We are doing so much better, it has brought us so much closer together as a couple and I really think we've grown a lot. I'm sure we're borderline obnoxious with how many little things we celebrate and post on social media with our little boy. But it's necessary, and I think in part it's helping us grieve, because we know how fragile pregnancy is and it can be taken away from us quickly. We are choosing joy.
I have zero doubt that we will get to raise Baby B, what a sweet reunion it will be to have all four of us together again.
I think writing all of this out really put my heart in a vulnerable place. An unplanned discussion popped up tonight about Baby B and I think as Scott and I discussed what we were both feeling it was both healing and left us both vulnerable. And then Scott said something that I had felt for a long time and it filled that hope bucket right to the brim. It was so healing to know our hearts were in the same place. On the same page. Isn't it funny how you can be full of peace, hope, and sadness at the same time?
Laying awake tonight trying to finish processing our conversation I stumbled onto this quote, and I'm adding it to my Tender Mercy bucket.
We love you sweet Baby B, we will not give up the fight to get you to our arms safely. We both have a feeling you'll be coming home to us as quick as possible. You've already taught us so much, and we can't wait to see what else you have in store for us. We'll miss you every day we're waiting. We love you!
Mom & Dad
Parents of the cutest twins.