This is part 2 of the October Pregnant and Infant Loss Series – please read Part 1 HERE if you haven’t already.
All I wanted to do when I got home was sleep. I blamed it on the leftover anesthesia still flowing through my body but truthfully, I was just trying to escape the reality of the day. I stayed in bed for nearly 24 hours until the following afternoon when I decided it was time to “get over it”.
“Everyone will think I am crazy,” I kept telling myself, “They weren’t real babies, right? I didn’t hold them, I didn’t name them, I didn’t even ask any questions about them so obviously I just need to move on from this mess.”
I was living on pain meds and still feeling a terrible ache as I fumbled through the day. I got my basic Saturday routine of cleaning and shopping done before falling back into my bed that evening. I thought once my body was only mine once again, things would go back to normal but I was wrong. Instead of feeling like my normal self in a bit of pain, the hollow aching left me feeling more empty than I’d ever been before.
I was sure people were going to think I was crazy for not getting over this faster.
The next evening, we had floor seats for a concert we’d been looking forward to for almost a year. We talked about skipping it, but I was determined to show the world (and myself) that I was not crazy. I was fine because “these things happen” and I couldn’t mope forever. I had planned to go to the concert with my babies in my belly, so I certainly wasn’t skipping it just because they were gone.
It was the worst concert of my life. I’m not sure if it is because of who I was with (we divorced 2 years later), the fact that the band’s new album sucked (it really did), or that I spent half the concert running to the restroom to change another soaked pad all night. I just remember sitting in my seat and looking around at the arena packed with thousands of people wondering to myself if they could tell the pain I was in. I wondered if anyone else in that arena was feeling the same way. Had anyone else there ever felt that way? The feeling didn’t subside until I crawled into bed and drifted to sleep that night.
When I went to work Monday morning there were flowers and a card on my desk. The moment I walked in and saw them, I turned on my heel and walked back out the door. I had said it was not to be talked about. Not acknowledged or implied or anything. I told them I’d be back Tuesday and I expected my desk cleaned and everyone else over this by then.
How could I move on if the people around me were insisting on dragging me back into it.
That’s the part no one tells you in the cheap pamphlet the doctor hands you when you lose a baby. For every person who tells you “these things happen” or “God works in mysterious ways” there are just as many people who want you to grieve and go through the emotions of losing someone you love.
Both sides surround you and you’re never sure which way to go. You will alternate between both camps as you sort out the mess of emotions and hormones that come with losing a baby. You will hate your body for failing you while gingerly caring for it as it slowly heals from the physical trauma. You will feel like you’re losing your mind and not doing it “right” when really, there is no single right way to deal with this pain. You only need to do what is right for you. Lean into the feelings when they overcome and keep living your normal life when they go. How you react does not change how deep your loss was.
My babies should be turning 16 in the next few weeks. Their due date was November 11, 2005. For anyone who thinks things like this go away over time, I think about them every year on that date, even though I know as twins they likely would have come sooner.
I think about how badly I wanted to hold them and hug them on November 11. How I had planned to cover them with kisses, breathe in their essence, and tell them they were loved as they took their first breaths. I hope they felt loved every second of their short lives with me. More than anything, I’m so grateful they had each other. Whether they knew what was happening, felt any discomfort, or worried for even a second about what was happening they were not alone.
They had each other then and they have each other now in heaven. Someday, I know I will hold them and I will remind them they were loved for every second of their lives – and mine. They were loved like only a mother can love.
I am a mother four, who only got to hold two.