This was one of my mother's favorite lines. Before she died almost seven years ago she told me she'd be sitting on my shoulder, watching, I guess, making sure I was behaving myself.
I really wanted to write something for the February 29 day of remembering "the almost" but I went the whole day without writing a word. I really meant to do it, but I couldn't even open a journal. Maybe it's still too raw, too new. I'm still surprised when I suddenly fall apart, especially in public. On Thursday & Friday, it was 8 weeks since I delivered the boys around midnight, January 3 and 4. Most of that night is a blur. At some point I'll write down what I do remember, so I don't lose it altogether. They deserve better. Better than that, maybe better than me. Okay, I know I "did the best I could," but it doesn't really feel like that.
On Friday, I reached the peri to talk about the pathology report on the placentas. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary, he said. There were a couple of things related to my pre-existing IF-related issues, but no inflammation, no sign of infection. Nothing that suggested a reason for both waters to break, other than my age and carrying multiples. He said there was a 12% chance of this happening again.
When I asked about the future, if/when... before I could even get the words out, he said, "No twins." I should not even try to carry twins. Why is this so upsetting? I should be happy to get pregnant with a healthy baby carried to term and born alive, born to outlive me. Maybe it's because I was so excited about having two. I felt special, not only to be pregnant, but twins. Once I got over the fear -- did I even feel the fear? maybe it was just panic about how can we afford this, how will we manage this logistically -- it was so exciting and, well, we would have our family.
I was sick the entire pregnancy (nauseous, dehydrated, underfed, never gained any weight) and after all our troubles conceiving, we wouldn't have to worry about trying again. We would have our family. Two little boys with blue eyes and... well, I don't even know. It hurts to try to imagine.
When I called my dad after my water broke and we knew Joshua was gone, he rallied the troops and he and my sister flew out from opposite coasts that night to be with us. My brother came a few days later. He stayed for almost a week, and my sister and father were here for two and a half weeks, I think. I was not close with my sister until after my mother died. In the years that followed, we grew closer, and wound up bonding over our struggles with infertility.
While here my sister (along with my dad) did a lot to take care of me, both practically and emotionally. She cleaned our kitchen, bought us groceries, cooked and froze away food for us so we could reheat instead of cook. After she flew back home, my sister called me every couple of days to check in on me.
At the end of January, when my head had cleared a little, I remembered she had an FET scheduled for when she got back. I sent her an email (silly me!) and asked her how it went. In a very sensitively written email, she told me that she did have the FET and was, indeed, pregnant. Strong, doubling beta, waiting on the ultrasound. What was I thinking? She gave me lots of space to recover from the news (almost typed noose) and we were even able to talk a little about it. the horrible timing. She had tried for years, even before I had started trying. The irony was disgusting.
While I was pregnant, I tried to be sensitive to her pain, because as happy she had been for me, she was so sad about her own situation. Now the roles are reversed. It's so infuriating -- I have been wishing for her to be be pg for years, and now it happens? And why couldn't we be pregnant together? Something to share and grow closer with, instead of something painful to get in the way? She's letting me take the lead in dealing with this. We've been able to talk about it, and about being pregnant; and it's actually okay while we're talking. It's just after I hang up that I feel it. She is SO happy -- not counting chickens, not gloating, just trying to enjoy it while she can -- and she's where I want to be. After we hang up, I remember all things I'm not feeling anymore, what I'm missing and how close I was to having it. A month away. Six weeks. And it's all, just...gone. All I have left is ashes. The blankets they were wrapped in. A few pictures and two death certificates. Empty belly. Empty arms. It's all so fucking cliche. I can't stand it.
Icing on the cake? Her ultrasound showed two heartbeats. Twins. She's going to have a family and I'm back to the fucking drawing board.
This turned out way longer than I intended. She'll be 9 weeks tomorrow, I think. Has her 3rd ultrasound on Monday. If all goes well, they're going to tell my dad and brother. A few weeks later, probably the rest of the family. They will all be kind and sensitive and seeing as I live almost a thousand miles from my nearest relatives (all of whom knew about my twins), distance will help. There's going to be a surprise party for my dad in April, though I have already begged off. My brother is getting married in July. My sister won't be there, as she'll likely be 6 or 7 months pregnant with twins and won't be allowed to travel. But I'll be there. Thinking of her, no doubt.
A whole new circle of hell. Great.