Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heavy Heart

This week it felt like my grief was re-emerging (not that it ever really goes away, but you know).  I just had such a heavy heart.  I felt so angry about losing Elias.  I felt like I was losing him all over again. 

Monday was my postpartum appointment.  It was such a normal experience - going in all smiles with a gift for my OBGYN, women in the waiting room making superficial comments about how I don't even look like I had a baby, everyone ooohing and ahhhing over my son. 

Everything went so perfectly smooth.

I got home to an email on my phone - a newsletter from CLIMB (center for loss in multiple births).  William's birth announcement was in there, along with my friend's birth of her rainbow baby girl.  We both had our rainbows on the same day, and we both had rainbows the same gender as the babies we lost. The babies we lost were both part of boy girl twin sets.  My loss was tragically close to delivery while her loss was during delivery, likely due to a medical mistake.  Seeing those two birth announcements next to one another, I felt so grateful that we found one another and made a connection, especially in those early days where we both needed support.  But then I just got really pissed off.  Why did she have to lose her daughter?  Why did I have to lose my son?

I think the injustice of it all struck me especially hard due to my just having come from my postpartum appointment.  A postpartum appointment where things went perfectly right for once.  That's how things are supposed to go.

I'm angry that I know anything other than how things are supposed to go. 
That I know what it's like to go to a postpartum appointment without your baby.
That I know what it's like to go over preliminary autopsy results with your doctor.
That I know what it's like to agonize whether or not you or someone else did something to cause the worst pain you've ever known.
That I know what it's like to feel like the ultimate failure of a mother.
That I know what it's like to have your baby in an urn on a shelf rather than in your arms living and breathing.
That I know what it's like to say hello and goodbye in one breath.  To kiss a baby for the first and last time.  To go to sleep and never want to wake up in a world where your baby will never grow up.

It's all so wrong.

I let myself go there - I let myself imagine what it might have been like to have both of my twins here healthy and happy, to bring them both to a postpartum appointment, to have a gift for my OBGYN rather than anger and confusion over what happened, to have joy in my heart rather than the heaviest grief and inner turmoil beyond my wildest imagination.

Why didn't I deserve that?  Why didn't I deserve to have him here after carrying him for 37 weeks? 

One thing is certain.  My son certainly didn't deserve to die.
That anger is still there simmering beneath the surface, and nothing seems to help when it flares as it has this week.

Yesterday I thought to myself, all of this on top of already having had a loss.  The baby I miscarried yet rarely talk about.  We have an ornament on the Christmas tree every year but have no ritual for mourning that loss, and it makes me sad.  Then I realized what day it was...February 20th.  If that first baby hadn't miscarried, if he/she had been born on their due date, they would have turned three years old yesterday.


...But then I would have never gotten pregnant with the twins, so Evelyn wouldn't be here...And then I wouldn't have lost Elias either, so then William wouldn't be here....I hate these mind games my brain plays! All the alternate realities just twist my heart. 

I feel like it will take me a lifetime to process everything I've been through.  I don't mean it in a pity party way, just being reflective here.  I do feel Elias has made me a better person in many ways, even though some of these posts I write don't always communicate that.  I love the children I hold in my arms so very fiercely, so isn't it a betrayal somehow that I wish the children I lost could be here?  In no scenario would they all have been here realistically.  All these thoughts just leave me with a heavy heart and no resolution.


  1. I think that's one of the most frustrating things about trying to wrap your head around all this - there's just no resolution. I don't talk about the baby I miscarried (my last pregnancy) nearly as often as I do Cale. But that due date is coming up and I know it will make me grieve for all that should have been.

    So glad you have a friend you can to relate to who understands your pain.... Just hate that you do understand each other.

  2. I don't think that there is any way that the mind can reconcile the death of a child. I think it's too primal. Too animal. I try to talk myself into and out of all kinds of things, but there is something so deep in my brain that just rages at not having my son here. I often find myself totally confused, and it's because I don't have an 18 month old around that I'm supposed to keep my eyes on all of the time. Your anger is totally justified. I don't think that we're programmed to handle a loss like this.

  3. I know what you mean. I am frustrated that my mind doesn't quite grasp that we can't have "that life". We can't have "that baby".

    Hope your darkest days are becoming brighter. I find this stuff ebbs and flows.

  4. I got chills reading this, once again having the EXACT SAME experience on Monday. Bringing pictures and the birth announcements to the OB, with the juxtaposition of never seeing the OB that delivered Madelyn again and crying my way through my post partum appointment with his partner, who was terrible. Finally getting unadulterated congratulations without a condolence is confusing for some reason. Thinking about how different my life would be with twins and a baby, all 2 under 2. Thinking about my daughter's loss now since her sister isn't here to grow up with her. I am feeling all the same things, so at the very least, we're "normal," right?

    I meant to email you because I printed out and sent the birth announcement to some family and my therapist (who's like family), and they all cried and wanted me to pass on their congratulations. It's special more so because you are the first twin loss mom I ever connected with. That means so much to me!