Today I am having a freak out day. My emotions are running high as I get closer to the same point in this pregnancy as I was when I lost my twins. Today I am 21 weeks and 4 days. I went into labor with Penelope and James at 22 weeks and 5 days. Every little ache and twinge that I feel has me wanting to run to the hospital. I try to breathe, stay calm and just relax. I have been listening to my "Healthy Pregnancy" meditation CD frequently. I looked over my "Preterm Labor Warning Signs" paper that hangs on my refrigerator today, it made me feel worse. Some of the symptoms it lists include- Cramping (mild or severe), abdominal heaviness, feeling bad. I'm pretty sure I've had all of those for the past few weeks. I remember feeling all of those things with my first pregnancy as well though, and there was nothing wrong. It's just so hard to sort out normal pregnancy feelings and preterm labor.
Earlier today while I was cleaning out our spare bedroom's closet I stumbled upon all of the ultrasound pictures from my pregnancy with the twins. At first I felt so happy. I had looked for those pictures this time last year only to come up empty handed. I grieved intensely for losing such important mementos. Now that they are found I am so so relieved. I carefully looked over each picture, we have dozens. The first pictures were taken when I was just 8 weeks pregnant and all you can see are two little amniotic sacs, each with a little spec in the middle labeled "Baby A" and "Baby B". At our 12 week scan you can see that the sacs have gotten much bigger and in the middle of each is the beginning of an actual baby shape. Then again at 16 weeks you can see two actual little babies. Finally at our 20 week scan there was no longer room on the screen to see both babies at the same time. We have some pictures of "Baby A", James and some pictures of "Baby B", Penelope.
After my initial reaction of joy upon finding this lost treasure another emotion swept over me, despair. I remembered so clearly those appointments when we got to see our babies up on the ultrasound screen. Our initial reaction of surprise when the technician told us there were two babies, to relief and joy every time we got to see them kicking around and hearing their hearts beat. I remember at our 20 week appointment waiting with apprehension as the technician carefully measured each important organ, hearts, brain, kidneys, bone length. Also that exciting moment when she told us that we were having one boy and one girl, I couldn't have been happier! If you were to ask me before I had any children how many I would like to have and what genders they would be (if I could magically choose) I would have said three, two girls and one boy. My little family was going to be complete!
Today as I looked down at those ultrasound photos all of those memories came flooding back to me. I became so angry and sad. Why did my perfect family have to be taken away from me? What did I do to deserve this pain? As my crying continued my sweet daughter came and gave me hug. At that moment I remembered all that I have to still be grateful for. Almost two years after the loss of my twins I still have an amazing family. My three year old is seriously the best kid that I have ever known. My husband has proven time and time again to be the most caring, supportive and wonderful man that I have ever know. And now I have this new life growing inside me once again. She gives me hope.
I may never have what I once considered my "perfect" family. This baby girl that I am now carrying is probably our last. I will always grieve the loss of my twins. But I know that the family I have right now is my new perfect.