Tomorrow marks the six month anniversary of the birth and death of my twins. I am searching for the words to explain how I feel, but I am at a loss. I think the biggest things I am feeling at this point are sadness and disbelief. It has been just long enough now that when I first wake up in the morning the memory of them almost seems like a dream. While I am so glad that I have started to pick up the pieces and move forward with my life, part of me is sad that as the time passes the memory becomes less real. I can no longer picture with vivid detail the tiny fingers, wet hair, and beautiful faces. It's more like a blur. I have pictures to remind me, but they don't do James and Penelope justice. They were truly beautiful babies.
Although my mind has pushed some of the details to the side, there are things I will never forget. I will never forget the look on the Doctor's face as she told me that "Things don't look good". I will never forget those five minutes of lying in the hospital bed alone waiting for Micah and Gwenevere to return from their walk around the hospital. I didn't cry. I just stared at the TV playing an old episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" as I tried to find the words to tell my husband that we might be losing our son and daughter. When he opened the door to my room I just looked and him and began to weep. He nodded and said that he would go call my parents to pick up Gwenevere to take her home. At that moment I didn't know that my babies were going to die, but I felt it.
I will never forget the feelings of intense love I had the moment I met my babies. I was shocked that it was just as intense as the moment I first met Gwenevere. I knew they were going to die, but at that moment all that mattered was that I was their Mom and I loved them more than anything else in the world. I cherished every minute I had with them repeatedly telling both of them how much I loved them and how sorry I was. After snuggling each of them I reluctantly handed them over to Micah so they could meet their Dad. He cried over their tiny bodies and whispered how much he loved them. With each of them, the moment they passed he looked me in the eye and said they were gone.
It is true what everyone says, it gets better with time. Sometimes though, time is painfully slow. I remember those early days after their death. I was in a fog. I cried often and violently. My body shook and I made noises that I didn't know I could make. I just felt such despair, I didn't know what to do. My eyes practically swelled shut a few times and I would lay with ice packs on my face to reduce the swelling. I wasn't really a mother to Gwenevere or a wife to Micah during those first few weeks, I was just trying to survive. I didn't like leaving the house. The only people I saw were people that came to our house to visit or bring us meals. I really don't remember that time, only that I was lost.
I am now slowly starting to get my life back. I am engaged and playful with Gwenevere, laughing with Micah, exercising daily, going to a weekly yoga class, hanging out with friends, shopping and cooking. There is still pain, quite a bit in fact. Sometimes it hits me like a wave and almost takes my breath away. Penelope and James are my children and I miss them both so much. But, I am starting to come to terms with the fact that they are gone. With their short life and death they have given me a gift. I have a new sense of appreciation for life. Gwenevere is my daughter and she is here. She is strong. She survived a whole nine months of pregnancy and was born into this world and crying, healthy baby. She is my miracle. Two of my children may be gone, but I am so lucky to have one amazing child here with me. I think that James and Penelope have other gifts that they have given to me and others, I just haven't discovered what they are yet. Their lives may have been short, but they were not meaningless. I know as time continues to pass I will continue to heal. But I will never forget my precious angels.