Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moving Forward

When you lose someone you love there is no going back.  No matter how many times I wished and prayed it was all a terrible dream, my babies were still gone.  Since there is no going back, one might assume that you move forward, through the grief.  This is not always true.  Many days I have been at a standstill.  Stuck in the deep pit of despair.  The thought of moving forward is sometimes terrifying.  There is a deep sense of guilt that if I move forward I am letting go.  The last thing I want to do is forget about my son and daughter, they will always be a part of me.  However, I know that I can't live my whole life in such intense pain.  

Moving forward through grief is a very delicate process, one that I have just begun to experience.  It has been one year since my babies came and went.  Most of this past year has been spent in survival mode.  I have relied heavily on routine and keeping busy, afraid if I stop to think I will break down.  I have no shame in crying, but it can be physically and emotionally draining.  While I slowly takes steps forward, moving away from the pit of despair, I have to proceed with caution.  I have many fears.  I worry that my memories will fade, that my love will fade, that I will move too quickly and fall backwards.  As I leave survival mode I begin to come to terms with my new identity.  I am not a freshly grief stricken parent anymore.  I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a stay at home mom, a friend.

My husband and I have recently discussed the idea of trying to have another child.  Just the discussion alone brought up so many negative feeling for me.  Mostly I felt angry.  I should not be having this discussion, we should be done having children.  I have given birth to three children and that is enough.  I don't want to go through the stress and anxiety that another pregnancy will bring.  I want all of my children here with me.  I know I will never be able to replace my son and daughter and I worry that having another child will feel that way.  But I also want to have another living child.  I want to have a healthy baby that I can nurse, snuggle, change diapers, bathe, and love.  I want Gwenevere to have a living sibling, one that she can play and fight with.  I want to see my husband as a new father again.  I want to see my parents with a new grandchild.  I want to go through the whole nine months of pregnancy.  I want to feel baby kicks, heartburn, exaustion, and excitement.

I am so thankful every day that James and Penelope are part of our family.  They have changed me in ways I could have never imagined.  I see the impact that they have had on our family and friends and it warms my heart.  I move forward knowing that they will never be forgotten.  They are forever a part of me and a part of you.  


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Yes, I'm Still Grieving

Next week will mark the one year anniversary of the birth and death of my son and daughter.  I have come so far from where I was last year.  If someone were to offer me a billion dollars to go back to the first day after they were gone I would never accept.  That was the most intense sadness and emptiness I have ever experienced and don't think I could survive it again.  Now if I were able to go back to the day that they were born and be able to hold them in my arms again, even for one minute, I would do it all over again.  I realize that may sound crazy, but I would give anything to be able to see their beautiful faces and hold their precious bodies in my arms.  I would take pictures, tons of pictures.  I would hold them, dress them, kiss them and snuggle them.  Those short moments that I had with my babies were priceless.

Whenever I think of what it was like in the days and weeks after their death my heart hurts.  I remember who I was at that time; a grieving mother.  I remember the emotions I felt, the anger, the despair, the guilt, the desperate desire to go back in time and change it all.  I remember bursting out weeping throughout the day.  I cried and cried and cried.  My eyes nearly swelled shut and my face was blotchy and red.  I remember my empty soft stomach.  I remember my breasts engorged with milk.  I wanted to pump, but I knew that I couldn't handle seeing the milk that was supposed to be for my babies.  I remember people coming and going with meals and messages of sympathy.  I remember wanting to pray to God for comfort but feeling too angry.  I remember feeling broken.  I remember feeling like I wasn't even real.

Nearly one year later I am the same grieving mother.  It may look different, it may feel different, but it is the same.  I still cry sometimes when I remember that my twins aren't here with me.  I wonder what they would be like.  I got so little time with them, I feel like there was so much more to them that I will never know.  My body has recovered and gone back to normal.  I don't feel broken anymore, I feel changed.  I realize that the world may no longer view me as a grieving parent.  My story is no longer fresh.  But it is fresh to me.  The wound still stings and I still feel the pain.  I know as time goes on I will continue to heal.  But I also know that I will always grieve the loss of Penelope and James.  I am forever changed by them and I will always grieve their death.

The days leading up to James and Penelope's 1st birthday have been challenging.  I have been hit with emotions that I haven't had to face in months.  Sadness, bitterness, jealousy, anger and guilt.  I know the day will come and go like any other day.  But I also know that the world is a better place because of them.  I am different because of them and if their story touches or inspires just one person, their lives had meaning.