Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Year in Review

January: Find out we are having TWINS! My favorite memory: sitting at a sub shop with Brian after our ultrasound, listening to him run through ALL of the things we will have to buy for two babies-in HIGH SCHOOL! He totally skipped the first 15 years of their life and started worrying about prom and class rings and letter jackets.

February: Spent most of this month reading pregnancy books, looking at baby stuff online (especially during my prep time at school-oops!), freaking out about having two babies at once, and in general, just floating along on cloud 9, wondering how my life had gotten so lucky. Got my first maternity clothes and started cleaning out the extra bedroom, which would be a baby room!

March-Had our 20 week ultrasound to find out that we had two perfectly healthy babies, one boy and one girl! Started really picking out names. I had my first real gut feeling that something was really wrong when the DVD they give you of your ultrasound was broken and did not work-twice. I had real worries all along, but after that I started to feel funny. That very day of the ultrasound we drove and bought a Dodge Grand Caravan. After all, our little car can't hold two babies, us, and a very spolied dog! Bought two cribs, two gilders, and a changing table. Painted the nursery "dancing green" and picked a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme.
29th: went to bed feeling very uncomfortable. Rolled around like crazy. At 9:40 pm, my water broke. It is actually not at all like it is in the movies. It is a waterfall gushing down your legs. I will never, ever, forget that drive to the hospital.

April: Spend two weeks terrified to move. Pray that the babies will stay put. Pray that there will be no infection. The birth and death of my first two children. Instant depression. I laid in bed, surfing on the internet to find other stories like mine. I made myself shower every day. Barely left the house. Only spoke to my husband and mom for the most part.

May: Quite similar to April. Getting up for a shower each day gets harder. Refuse to go anywhere. Spend the days alone while B goes to work, crying and blogging, reading books about grief. avoiding phone calls.

June: Decide to go to France. Decide not to. Decide to put our house on the market. SO thankful that Brian is home with me now.

July: This month is a blur to me. I remember watching fireworks and bawling my head off. I think I was in sort of a numb state

August: Anxiety sets in about going back to work. Celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary and try to run away from the babies' due date by going to Las Vegas. First meeting back was horrible.

September: Meet with high risk doctor. Go back to work. Survive.

October: First cycle trying for a new baby. Take a new drug and have a few ultrasounds. October 31st, one year after we conceived Aiden and Sophie, we find out we are pregnant again.

November: Find out it is for sure one baby. 1st anniversary of Rudy's death. Survive. Thanksgiving was horrible.

December: Anxiety for this pregnancy sets in. Feel like no one in real life remembers the twins besides me. Mostly because if people think of us or them they tell us afterward. Which is well-meaning, but a little after the fact. Struggle. Survive.

This is my life. It's so focused on this that I don't remember a single other thing that happened this year. I seriously don't. I know my friends had very important life events, which I have tried to be a part of, but for the most part, I am wrapped up in myself. B is gone tonight, out with friends. I haven't been alone in a very, very long time. He left and I was overtaken by a giant wave of grief. I sobbed and sobbed. Louis tried to lick the tears away as quickly as he could. He always attacks me when I cry :) I know I will never have answers. But I just cannot understand how this happened. How they are not here. How I do the rest of this. How I bring a real, live baby into this world.
Please, please God let me bring a real, live baby into this world.

A year in review: Survival. Desperation. Grief.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I am a contortionist.
I can take anything that is said, or done, and change it in my mind. It twists and turns and shapes until it is what I want to be. Which is sometimes something so terrible that I am sick and other times fluffy nonsense that I know is the ultimate un-reality.
I wake up in the night to use the bathroom and then I lie down in bed and I take the days events and they fly around in my brain. Swish, swosh. They fumble around. I try to make sense. I try not to think of the worst. I don't let myself replay "that" night anymore. Nothing good seems to come of it. These thoughts become so un-real that they cause me to have random nightmares. Strange, strange nightmares.

Sometimes I feel crazy. Sometimes I feel like I miss these two babies too entirely much because, really, I didn't know them. Then sometimes I feel like I am that horrible person who doesn't feel sad enough for her loss. Doesn't feel "in touch" with her loss. I don't see them in my dreams. I don't really see "signs" of them anywhere. I don't have a symbol, really, that screams out "Aiden and Sophie" to me. Sometimes I feel so numb. Maybe I am just really bad at doing this; at being this.

Instead of thinking about bringing a baby home in July, I play in my mind what I will do this time when this baby dies. What I will bring to the hospital, who I will call and how, how I will make myself go back to work. The only thing I think about baby wise is a name, because I figure at 13 weeks along if I lose this baby any time after now he/she should at least have a name. This makes me feel sick. I feel like a horrible person. I want to enjoy this. I need to. I deserve to. But I'm so scared. My imagination doesn't go beyond March 20th, when I turn 24 weeks. I don't know how to fix this. I feel twisted, delusional, like a terrible mother both to Aiden and Sophie and to this baby as well.

This past week was so hard. I know I don't have to tell you, because you know. You know what it's like. Hubby and I had lunch with my father today. It was strange. I haven't seen him in 2 years. I try to look past what happened in my childhood and beyond. But I cannot. Too much happened. So we chat. Superficial level. Have you sold your house? How's work? How's the dog? I am my father's only child. His first daughter, Mary, is buried next to my grandma. We have this is common. He doesn't mention it. His hair is cut too short, he is too thin. He talks about "buddies" but I'm not sure they exist. Guilt, Guilt, Guilt. You're his only family. He is lonely. He has no one. My head screams out, "HE DID IT TO HIMSELF. HE LEFT US. HE CHEATED ON US." Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

I feel like a broken record.
I don't know how to do this.
I just don't know how to do this.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

If I Could Be Where You Are

Where are you this moment?
Only in my dreams.
You're missing, but you're always a heartbeat from me.
I'm lost now without you, I don't know where you are.
I keep watching, I keep hoping, but time keeps us apart.
Is there a way I can find you, is there a sign I should know,
is there a road I could follow to bring you back home?
Winter lies before me now you're so far away.
In the darkness of my dreaming the light of you will stay
If I could be close beside you
If I could be where you are
if I could reach out and touch you and bring you back home
Is there a way I can find you
Is there a sign I should know
Is there a road I could follow to bring you back home to me

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Last night I wrote my Aunt J. She had her son D at 24 weeks gestation 24 years ago. He is alive and healthy-has some delays and needs some help on a day to day basis, but definitely what you would call thriving. She had him early due to an incompetent cervix. She had the same doctor as I do now. With her second pregnancy, she had her son T at 37 weeks, thanks to a cerclage that Dr. P put in for her. I'm sure that she is fluffing it up a bit, but she basically says, "Eh, they stitched me up and when I was ready, they pulled out that stitch, and bam! Out he came." Heaven knows it is NOT that easy.
Anyway, she not only has (somewhat of) a similar experience to me, but had the same doctor and is one of the smartest people I know. She's actually my husband's aunt, but out of anyone in the family, I relate to her best.
She wrote me an e-mail that made me sob crying. I will copy in my favorite part:

"The trust and whatever you have endured or are going to endure prepares you, teaches you and allows you to carry on for whatever comes next - the trick is to firmly plant that seed, file it, rely on it - know it's there when you need it but don't dwell on the happenings that brought you to that preparedness - take each and every moment of joy that comes and relish it - look forward - not what if - but what is."

I have read these few lines over and over and over today. I want to be there. I want to trust. I need to trust.

But trust in who? In what? Who do you trust in when it seems like everyone has let you down? I recently had an experience where someone, in not so many words, inferred that it was a good thing the twins died because they either would have been very ill or perhaps murderers or in jail-so it's pretty much that God did it to save us agony in the longrun.

Is this helpful? And how do I trust anything then? If that is the case (which I certainly do NOT believe-I couldn't believe that), then what if all my children are future mass murderers?

It is not just this pregnancy that I don't have trust in. I'm so sorry for continuing to go on and on about being pregnant. I know some of you have stopped reading because of it. The thing is, my grief just feels like it's getting worse because of that. I'm having a hard time trusting anything.

"It's not what IF, but what IS."

Can I live be these words? Can I let the what ifs go? Can I let the should've beens go? The could've beens?

Monday, December 14, 2009


OK, so today I took action. Because I can't just lay around and cry about this. SO, I called Dr. P's office and left a message with the nurses that I'd like him to look into the 17p shots for me. He told me this summer that the research doesn't show much-but I'm going to ask him again.
I then called Dr. B's office and left a message. She is the doctor I had when I was pregnant with the twins (I was shared between the two of them). She actually was in the NICU when things crashed with Aiden and she stayed in there the entire time. Rubbing my back, my shoulders, watching me watch my baby die. You could say we have a connection. So I asked in my message if we could share care again this time. Dr. P's nurse said if my cervix stays put, eventually I'd graduate anyway, so maybe she should be following me, too, either way? Yesterday I spent some time researching a switch in MFMs.
Dr. P is the only perinatologist in my hospital. There are two at the other hospital in town, but my insurance won't work there. Well, it pays 60%. But I saw the bill from one day in the NICU. There's no way we could afford it. So I'm sort of stuck. But I'm not going to sit back and feel bad about this and guilty. If this baby (dear God, please let this baby live) should have something horrible happen, I will never get over the guilt if I just sit back and not fight for what I want. I deserve a good bedside manner. I deserve to be comforted! I am NORMAL for having anxiety.
Just who in the heck wouldn't!?!?!?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My (dis)appointment

This is going to be a jumbled one, and for that I am sorry. Today marks eight months since the babies were born. Each month that passes I tell myself, "This month, this will be the one that I celebrate and honor them instead of crying all day. I can do this. I will look at their photos and rememberance items with love instead of pain." Well, I'll tell ya, this is not the month, either.
Friday I had an appointment with my perinatologist. I was dreading/looking forward to this appointment for 3 weeks. I don't know how much I've mentioned before about my peri. The first time I met him, I was 20 weeks and some change pregnant with the twins. The first thing he said to me was, "11 % of twins in this country are born weighing less than 3 pounds."
The irony was I laughed later on thinking about it. Less than 3 pounds! That's ridiculous. I wonder if I was too cocky? Maybe I needed to be knocked down a notch.
Anyway, he is, what we might call, the "creme de la creme" of doctors. He's widely known, written books, etc. But what I have accepted about him is that his bedside manner is almost non-existent. He is very scientific, very by the book. But he's a genius, and his concentration is pre-term labor.
So, I digress.
We get to the appointment and meet with M, his nurse. M is the first person to speak the word "funeral" to me. I dread seeing her. She tells me that I'm not eating enough. I need more protein. I might be dehydrated. Gotta eat more. Asks me all sorts of questions. Then says, "Well, Dr. P will be in to talk to you and give you a pap smear/exam. Just so you know, I'm thinking you won't be considered high-risk for long and we'll probably graduate you back to your regular OB as long as everything is going normal."
No, I am high-risk. I have two dead babies. That makes me risky, doesn't it? I start panicking.
He comes in. He wants to talk about the "normal pregnancy stuff first."
So, he tells me two things. 1. I don't need to gain ANY weight during this pregnancy. No one will mind if I don't even gain a pound. 2. If I don't want to take my prenatals because they make me sick, I just need to keep taking the folic acid.
So then he gives me a pap smear (which holy CRAP does that hurt way more when you are pregnant) feels my uterus and says, "Feels about 10 weeks. How far along are you?" (10 weeks). Tells me I probably will have some spotting.
Leaves so I can get dressed. Comes back, do I have any questions?
I just said, "I just feel like I should be doing something different this time. I'm scared and I want to know that we're taking precautions."
He said, "Oh, we are doing something VERY different. We are watching over a singleton pregnancy instead of a multiple one. That makes ALL the difference."
And then he leaves.
And I am left to think, what in the world do I do?
Do I try to switch doctors to find someone more caring/who can tend to my severe emotional needs? Do I stay with the "guru", the "big guy."?
So, no ultrasound, no heartbeat, he wants to start measuring cervix at 18 weeks but is "very sure" it was not my cervix, that it was an infection which is a "one time thing."
I'm going totally nuts. I picked a fight with my husband all weekend. Perhaps I need to find a therapist. Perhaps I need to be put in a coma until this is all over.
Tomorrow night is a candlelight ceremony for babies at the hospital. We've had it on the calendar forever. I don't know if I can do it. I feel myself spiraling down, backwards, away from the goal. I've had a draft of an e-mail asking friends if they'll do the march for babies with us sitting in my e-mail for 2 weeks. Why am I not sending it?
Holidays, pregnancy, hormons, emotions, grief. Frustrations at work.
I need to relax. I went and bought a prenatal yoga DVD. Looked up stuff about meditation. Looked into places I can go walk in the winter. Looked into buying a treadmill.
I can do this.
I can do this.
I can do this.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The NICU in which Sophie and Aiden spent their short lives sent us a package. I didn't exactly know it was from the NICU, I just knew it was from the hospital. I immediately started sobbing when I opened it and saw tissue paper.
There was a handwritten note from the Doctor that took care of the twins for the first 24 hours. She tried so hard to save my beautiful babies.
A handwritten note. From someone who spends 48 hour shifts in the hospital.
There was a card signed by all the nurses.
There were two ornaments-beautiful ornaments-with the babies' names written on them and the year written on the back.
So, so amazing. Just so amazing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A year ago...

One year ago, we had just gotten back from a wedding in Jamaica. We got to Minneapolis at midnight on a Sunday night and still had to drive all the way home, in a snowstorm, and then go to work the next day! I woke up Monday morning and wondered if I should take a pregnancy test. It was far enough in my cycle (the first one from the women's clinic), but I was worried about how terrible my day after seeing a neg. test would be since I was already exhausted. I had seen what felt like a million negative pregnancy tests, and no matter how many you've seen, it doesn't make the next one easier. So I went into the bathroom and got undressed for my shower. At the last second, I changed my mind and grabbed a digital pregnancy test. I sat there, watching the little blinking hourglass. When it flashed up a few seconds later, I could hardly believe it. They had forgotten to put the "Not" in front of the "Pregnant." I remember running into Brian's bathroom (still naked!) and almost knocking him over, shoving the pee stick in his face. I was crying and screaming and generally throwing a fit. I would give anything to have that innocence back. That pure, pure joy. That hope. Elation. Confidence that our future was changing. This was a gift from Rudy, we said. He sent us this from Heaven.
We didn't know that in the end this gift would end up in Heaven, too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am a complete basketcase.
Seriously. My emotions are up and down, swing around. Cry, feel hopeful. Throw a fit, rejoice. Optimism, denial.
You may have noticed the background on my blog changed. This is because I am a basketcase. When I first created this blog, in the horrid, horrid, bleak days surrounding Sophie and Aiden's death, I already had a family blog. I first started writing on there, and then when my close friends were calling to make sure I hadn't slit my wrists, I decided that it wasn't the greatest idea to post my "real" feelings there because, while I was certainly not suicidal, my deep, dark thoughts scared the bejeebers out of them. I guess that's understandable. How could they know?
So, anyway, I wanted to make a new blog, and around the same time I stumbled across Our Own Creation. I could not believe it. I read every single word from every single entry. I couldn't sleep until I had read every bit of the story. I felt so horrible that someone else had a similar experience to me, but so comforted at the same time. I, nervously, wrote the blog owner an e-mail. She more than graciously sent me a long response, which started me off. I began to crave this interaction with people that really understood me.
So then I got nervous that my family would find me, especially if this public blog was linked under the same profile as my private blog. So I created a new blogger account.
In the depths of my grief, for some reason, I chose the log-in name "babylosttimes2."
Ya know, two babies. Twins.
But as time creeped on, because I am a total basketcase, I started getting nervous about that login name. By the time I found out I was pregnant a while ago, I was convinced that my log-in name was going to jinx me. The universe would think I meant that I had lost a baby two separate times.
I realize this is irrational.
But instead, I googled how to change accounts.
So I made a new account "" and forwarded everything from that e-mail into a new email.
It took a really. long. time.
Every time someone close to me goes through a tragedy, I wonder if I am their friend because I will go through it, too. I didn't use to think I was the superstitious type, but now I think I might be.
Just what I need!!