Today is a tough day but then there have been a lot of those these past couple of weeks. That has been my experience with this grief. It comes out of nowhere and not just once but again and again and then sometimes just for good measure, again, it hits. It is times like this when I consider talking to someone about medication. Now if you know me you are probably surprised that you just read something like that coming from me. Truth is that I have considered it but I won't. It just doesn’t make sense for me. I am not depressed, I hurt. I know why I am sad and I am able to function in my sadness so I figure all it would do is make me hurt less (of course there is no guarantee in that either – even antidepressants need boosters to work these days) and possibly mess with my body chemistry even more. I smile and laugh and play with my son. I am not overly angry. I can express my sadness and I can set it aside in the moment if I need to (such as working with my clients). I have hope for the future. I know what I believe and it has helped immensely and I am doing grief healing work. So medication might help me to hurt less BUT doesn't it make sense that I hurt? I mean, I am grieving the death of my infant son 8 ½ months ago. It makes me think about the expectations society has concerning grief and healing from it. My physical body has gone through hell in dealing with the stress of it all. So has my mind and my broken heart. It takes time to move away from that into balance again. So is something wrong with the world for people to believe that I should not be sad? Don’t get me wrong. Everyone in my life is supportive with my expression of my grief. I haven’t had a single person say anything about letting go now, getting over it, moving on, etc, which is good. I hear and read about other mothers in my support groups who have experienced such things and my heart hurts for them. I imagine that I will experience it sometime. God help the person who does it. I already feel sorry for what I may say.
I am currently friends on facebook with someone who is expecting fraternal twin girls. I am excited for her. It has been a long and difficult road to pregnancy and motherhood for her. This was her and her husband’s last chance and they were blessed with twin girls. A couple of weeks ago some pictures of her showed up on my facebook home page. They were amazing and beautiful professional pictures of her and her pregnant belly. I felt pain in my heart looking at those pictures. At the same time in my pregnancy I was fighting for my boys life and living in fear of one or both of their deaths. I wanted pictures of my pregnancy and after the diagnosis of TTTS I was so stiff in fear I could not move to make that happen.
May 20, 2010 I learned I was having identical twins - one year ago last week. I remember the shock, fear and amazement I felt when I heard those words. My beautiful boys.
Nolan had a doctor’s appointment last week to check his apnea monitor. Good news – no apnea or heart rate dropping events since April 4 and 5. I was talking to the nurse practitioner about how Nolan goes to sleep at night; that usually he falls asleep in my arms and then I lay him down in his bed. She asked me if he had always been spoiled. For some reason I saw red with this question. I took a deep breath and said to her “Respectfully, I am not sure what you mean by spoiled. Do you mean spoiled like when we had to have surgery during my pregnancy to save his and his brother’s life? Or spoiled like when he was in the NICU for the first 66 days of his life?” And then I started to cry. The nurse apologized profusely saying she said the wrong thing and she knew it as soon as the words were out of her mouth. I accepted her apology I believe she truly was sorry she had said what she said. I don't believe Nolan and I will be seeing her again.
Then also that day I see/hear someone call out for Dr Turbow at the hospital. Dr Turbow, a good doctor with a good heart. He was the doctor on duty during Eli’s illness. He is the one who called me at home, on that rare night I actually slept at home, to let me know Eli was sick with NEC. He was there throughout the night and into the morning that Eli died. He is the person who told me that I was the most important piece to Eli’s comfort and health when I asked if I could sit next to him. He was there as Eli was disconnected from everything and given to me to hold as he died. I saw the pain in the doctor’s eyes. When I heard someone call his name in the hospital I dropped my eyes and moved away as quickly as I could. There was no way in hell I could look at him in that moment and not fall on the floor a trembling sobbing mess. I couldn’t do that so I ran.
And finally, today is my nephew Owen’s first birthday. He is celebrating it in spirit as an angel. How I wish he could have stayed with us longer. I am feeling it today. As beautiful and loving as his celebration was on Sunday, no parent should ever have to celebrate a first birthday with out the child having the first birthday being there. But we, those who are left behind, do what we can to honor, remember and love our babies. I gave Owen’s gift to his parents. It felt right. I could not imagine going to his first birthday celebration without a gift. This has me thinking about Eli and Nolan’s first birthday coming up in September. How will I remember and honor my little Eli? I know many will be there to celebrate Nolan and I am thankful for that, he deserves it. I just hope that I can figure out how I can celebrate both of their very different lives and that I won’t be the only person to do so. My life - the strange, other worldly almost bi-polar experience of having identical twin boys, one living and one not.
And mixed in with all of that is teaching online and on ground, which I love. Working on my project Rediscovering Your Light, laughing, hugging Nolan, spending time with my family and telling clients that their grief will not kill them, it may feel like it but it won’t. That they can cry and even if it feels like the tears will never stop, they will. Somewhere in time they will stop. I tell them I understand grief because I am living it.