The ease with which I speak about the boys now startles me.  I started this job 6 and 1/2 months after Zoey was born.  Except for one person, no one knew that she wasn’t my first child.  I could have easily sweep that part of life under the rug and referenced only her when people asked me about my life, my loves and my losses. 

But I didn’t.

There was a time that I couldn’t even speak their names.  I would choke up and the tears would come and it was just easier not to try.  It took me a good 10 minutes to tell our therapist they were called, “Joshua and Owen.”  There was a time when I wouldn’t write their names even here on my blog where I’ve written a lot about myself and my life, my loves and my losses.

Today I found myself in the hallway, talking easily about how I never could see “parts” on my ultrasounds.  I never did see what made the boys…you know…boys….I could see their arms, legs, beating heartbeats…hell, I could have practically done all of Zoey’s ultrasounds without the aid of the technician but I never did see “parts.”  I recently watched that episode of “Friends” where Rachel and Ross find out they are having a girl and she cries, “I DON’T SEE IT…”  I about died laughing because that was me.

But I spoke about the boys with an ease I would have never thought possible.  I miss them and I still long for them and I love them but it’s getting easier.

I was visiting my mother and we took the baby out to dinner on Saturday night.  We walked into the restaurant and the hostess asked me, “is it going to eat people food?”

I smiled and said, “yes, my DAUGHTER is not a chihuahua – she does eat “people” food…but no, she doesn’t need a menu if that’s what you are asking….”

I about died laughing…

Last night I did something I swore I would never do….I got frustrated with Zoey.  She’s been sick with a cold (or she’s teething) and the combination of trying to crawl/cruise/walk has made my normal sleep-through-the-night baby wake up at 2:30 and 4 every morning for the last 3 nights.  Last night, she refused to go to sleep at her normal bedtime of 8pm.  Finally, at 9pm, after nursing her, reading to her, rocking her, singing to her, and then lather, rinse, repeat!  I snatched her up, cradled her in my arms and snapped, “GO. TO. SLEEP” and proceeded to to the bounce and walk from many months earlier…finally she settled down to go to sleep only to pop back up at 2:30, wide awake and ready to play…sigh…

I was so upset with myself that I snapped at her…I cherish every second I have with her because 3 days a week she’s with daycare and 2 days a week she’s with Hubby…I get her after work and on the weekends and I hate to think that time is spent growling at her because she’s tired…she can’t help it, she’s a baby! 

And she’s my only living child.  I know my experience as a baby lost mama makes me have a heightened sense of consciousness when it comes to spending time with her and trying to do right by her…I feel like I have more than my fair share of “the feeling guilties…”  I remember before Zoey was born but after the boys died, I would watch people with their kids.  I would see some dad scream at his child and think, “do you not understand how lucky you are?  Why would you scream at that child?  He’s alive and living and you are so fucking lucky you don’t even know!!!”  I think I even wrote about it on Surviving Baby…

I know, I know, get over it…it won’t be the last time I snap but by dog, I hated myself more when I dropped her at school this morning…

I need a glass of wine…

 

 

I had to laugh at the post on one of my favorite blogs today.  My Bittersweet Life wrote about how she was forgetting to blog now that she had her little boy.  She felt she didn’t have as much to write about (or the time to do it).  I’ve been feeling like that lately. 

Before I lost the boys, I often wondered, “what the hell do people blog about?  Nobody can really think their life is that interesting that they would have readers?  Really?”  Then I lost the boys and I realized that most people don’t blog for readers, they blog for themselves.  It’s the same reason people write journals (which, I must tell you, I’ve never been good at).  It’s not that bloggers are self-involved (as I had previously believed) but that they have a need to write and they don’t have a day job that allows them to do it.  I used to write on Surviving Baby and Belly almost daily.

That being said, I’m finding myself with less and less to write/complain about on this blog.  Belly has evolved from a place of sadness to one of worry to finally, one of happiness and joy.  Sprinkled in with all of that is a sense of loss, a fierce need not to forget the boys and desire to tell the world about my gorgeous girl. 

I guess I need to sit back and evaluate what I want to accomplish with this blog…and Fall seems the perfect time to do it…changing leaves, changing words…

For the last 5 years, life has been hectic and topsy-turvy.  We got married, moved to a new city, got new jobs, got pregnant, got blind-sided with the loss of the boys, got diagnosed with BT, bought a house, had multiple miscarriages, got laid off, went to marriage counseling, got a new job, got pregnant, got another new job, got doped up on antidepressants to survive the pregnancy, had a gorgeous little girl, got fired and got a new job. 

That’s a lot for two people to handle with grace and acceptance that this is the path that the universe had laid out for us but we’ve done it.

Today, on my birthday, I rejoice in quiet status quo and the knowledge that if my husband and I have survived the last 5 years together, we can survive the next 45 years together.  I’m aware that I’m one lucky bitch and I am grateful.

But I must say, I would like a couple of years of little or no drama…

Me, Hubby and Z baby were on vacation in San Diego for a week (talk about needing a Sherpa!!!).  It was lovely.  We got to visit some old friends, see the Zoo and Wild Animal Park and in general relax (well, I did, Hubby was there for a work conference).  I managed to keep Zoey from getting too sunburned and she seemed to enjoy all of the extra attention she got from her Aunties and Uncles…Zoey was an amazing traveler.  Despite being sick with a cold, she was quiet and calm on the plane, sat on my lap and looked out the window, nursed and relaxed and mainly slept all the way there and all the way back.  She’s an amazing child and I am thankful for her every day.

I was reminded again though that the grief of losing children doesn’t stop because you had another one.  On our plane from San Diego home, there were twin boys about a year old.  The mother was struggling to get on the plane with her boys and all of their gear and she made a comment about how lucky we were to have only one to deal with…Hubby looked so sad that for the first time, I realized that he still misses them as much as I do.  I smiled at her and said, “always remember you are lucky to have two…” 

I’m saddened by the loss of one of my favorite blogs Still Life With Circles.  I understand why Angie is leaving us but I’ve often, over the last 8 months relied on her to guide me through this phase of my life.  It’s hard to explain to those of you who have yet to have your next child but the grief is still there.  It doesn’t end because you’ve had another living child.  It lessens.  The joy of my little girl outweighs the sadness I feel about my little boys but that loss, it’s still there.  The realization that this is a loss that I will not ever get over is unsettling as well.  I don’t know what I thought I would feel after Zoey was born but this feeling of grief at what could have been with the boys has been unexpected.  Angie guided me through a lot.  I will miss her writing and honesty and reflection and humor.

You know when you read something and you think, “exactly, that’s it, right there.”  The post over at Glow In the Woods is like that for me.  The author writes about feeling mute as she goes into the birth of her third child after losing her first at 41 weeks. 

In some ways, I feel like I don’t have a right to write about being happy.  I feel like my blog still needs to be able the boys and that if I don’t write about them, I’m so how dishonoring them.  It’s hard because I have a gorgeous, perfect little girl and I still miss my boys.  My boys would have have been 3 on August 8th.  Three years old.  More often than not, I think, what the hell happened that I DON’T have 3 year old twins.  I think that before Zoey, I didn’t really know what I was missing, only that I was missing something.  Now, when she smiles and giggles and laughs, sometimes, I think, “God, that’s what I missed with Joshua and Owen.”  I thought that having her would make all the pain go away.  It didn’t.  It only makes the joy that much more intense.

It’s like a dish at a Chinese restaurant…sweet and sour joy and sadness.

 

I am totally and completely in love with Z baby.  She’s a good, sweet baby and she’s fun to take places and show new things.  My mother, with all the tact of a rhino constantly says, “did you ever think you’d love something so much?”  “Of course, I did,” I want to say, “I loved the boys with all my heart.”  Sigh.  I don’t say that because we are just getting our relationship back on track.

Anywho, not only is Z a good baby, she’s a very pretty child.  It’s like she got the best of me and the best of Tim.  Huge blue eyes, soft pale pink skin, a gorgeous smile and a great little laugh.  I know she’s pretty because she’s my child and I have to think that but…here’s the problem, people stop me in the street to tell me she’s gorgeous.  It’s become almost comical.  It took me an hour to get out of the grocery store yesterday despite only having 4 items.  I was waylaid by the throngs of Z fans cooing and smiling and laughing at her antics.  That’s a minor issue compared to the monster that has been created by this phenomenon.

Zoey loves to smile at people and get attention.  She catches people’s eyes and grins until they smile back and then she usually laughs or throws her hands up or coos.  However, if you don’t return her smile?  Well, she’s pissed.  My darling sweet child will pluck her Maggie Simpson like pacifier from her perfect rosebud pink mouth and hurl it at the lowly peon who dared not return her affections.  And then it’s followed by a yell which I can only guess means, “you are an ass!” in baby speak.

It’s her world people and we just live in it.

My boys would have been 3 years old today.

What would today have been like if they hadn’t died?

I love you little boys.  Thanks for giving me your sister.

Love,

Mommy

I was totally and completely unprepared for Aunt Flo to come screaming into town yesterday.  Luckily it was at the end of the day so I only had to trust the small little mini-pad I found crammed in the bottom of my purse for about an hour.  I did not have a single provision for Aunt Flo returning.  And what the hell happened to a certain brand of pads?  The are made from some weird plastic-y looking material…yikes.  Anywho, I felt a little betrayed.  I thought she’d stay away for at least another couple of months but apparently the timing is right.  I’m guessing this is how people end up with kids 18 months apart…

On that note…Hubby was getting his hair cut yesterday and he took Zoey with him.  The hair dresser apparently commented on what a good baby she is, so quiet and sweet and that the next one would probably be a holy terror.  He said that he laughed and said probably but when he got in the car he said he thought, “next one?  We are lucky to have her.”  He said that’s all he could think about was that we were lucky we got her, he couldn’t think about a “next one.”

I totally understand where he’s coming from.  I can’t imagine another child.  I feel like we worked so hard for her, I feel like I fought to fiercely to make her happen – that I can’t imagine another one.  I made the comment the other day that if we have another, it will likely be the product of egg donation.  Honestly, I don’t think that’s the case.  I just don’t think I will seek out a fourth child.  If it happens, great but if not, I think I could be done.  I’m not taking birth control pills because, well, that’s just pee away money so it could happen.  I’m just not going to try and MAKE it happen like we did with Z baby.

I might just be a mother of three.