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This is the year of taking care of myself and I’m focusing on my health.  Along with $800 worth of dental work, I am long overdue for a trip to the Guy-nee…I was proudly telling a co-worker that I was going to a new doctor on Wednesday. 

Me: “I used to go to UNC because that’s where I went with the boys and then Zoey and they just knew me and my story and I didn’t have to tell them anything…oh crap….”

I stopped and looked at her and said quietly, “they are going to ask me about the boys…”  She put her hand on my back and said, “yes but you’ve told their story before, this is just one more time…”

How could I have forgotten?  Tomorrow I will have to navigate the waters of “How many times have you been pregnant?”  (Lots)  and “How many children do you have?” (Three – 1 living and 2 dead) with a complete and total stranger. 

And Oh. My. Dog.  Please don’t let there be the form with the teeny-tiny blanks and boxes that ask you all kinds of questions that people like me can’t answer without writing a dissertation or the answers make absolutely no sense…I once had a new nurse at UNC make me fill out a form (she didn’t know me from previous visits – she may have been a temp actually because I never saw her again).  Where it asked, “how many times have you been pregnant?”  I answered 6-7 times.  Where it asked, “how many children do you have?”  I answered zero.  She looked at me and said, “so what you are saying is that you’ve had several abortions?”  Sigh….

Can’t I just show my lostbabymama membership card and be done with it?  But no, I can’t.  Because even as I typed that, I remind myself I was lucky to be the boys Mommy.  I am lucky to have experienced all I experienced with them, even the bad.  I wouldn’t trade that time in my life – despite it being the worst thing to ever happen to me and Hubby – for anything.  I wish it had been different.  I wish that I had 2 little boys AND a little girl.  I wish my 3 year old sons were down the hall from their 10 month old sister but they aren’t.

But I don’t wish it didn’t happen and that’s the reason I can walk into the doctor’s office tomorrow and tell their story.

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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 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…

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.

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

When you, random stranger, ask me, “is this your first?” and I answer “sort of…”  I”m not being “cheeky,”  I’m sparing us both the story by not answering what I really want to say.  What would your reaction be if I said, “no, I should be buying 2 little tiger costumes for 2 year old twin boys but they died.”  If you continue to push me into telling you about my boys by saying, “what’s that supposed to mean?”  or flippantly say, “oh okay, well, whatever!”  I will tell you about my boys.  I will tell you about how I’ve never been this pregnant before, how I grieve for them even though they were so little when they left us or how every second that Baby Girl doesn’t kick, my heart stops, just for a minute.  How I’m so grateful to Baby Girl when she kicks me so hard I can see it on my belly.  Or how I bargain with the anxiety and ration the pills so I don’t take more than I should because let’s face it, I could take a 1/2 of one daily until delivery.  But I’m trying.  I’m trying and so instead of unloading on this person when they ask, “is this your first?”, I say, “well, sort of – we’ve been waiting for Baby Girl for a long time…”

But push me and you should consider yourself warned.

You know, like from “A Christmas Story”?  I don’t think I’ll be receiving any “fra-gee-lay” lamps but to tell you I’m more than thrilled would be an understatement.  Thank you to Parenthood for Me for picking my essay, “The Room,” as this year’s winner for their essay contest.

http://parenthoodforme.blogspot.com/2010/05/essay-contest-winner-finally.html

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