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Christmas 2007 was filled with such excitement and joy.  I announced our pregnancy to Hubby with a pair of baby booties as an early Christmas gift (only one pair, I didn’t know they were twins until about a month later).  We were outted to our family by the inability to get Lasik…we stayed home to enjoy our last Christmas, “just the two of us…”

Christmas 2008 was filled with sadness and anger and depression.

Christmas 2009 was filled with sadness and hope.

Christmas 2010 was filled with trepidation, anticipation and anxiety.  In just 3 days I would hopefully have my healthy little girl safe and sound.  We were on the lookout for any bleeding that could signal an emergency trip to the hospital.  My name was on a helicopter transport list – Dr. Hot Rockstar would deliver my little girl if he had to snow ski through Chapel Hill to do it.

Christmas 2011 is filled with joy and gratefulness and still a little sadness.  I have my little girl.  She’s perfect and I love her so much.  I miss my boys.  I’m lucky and grateful but I’m still a lost baby mama.  This year we can’t afford to make our usual donations honoring the boys so I organized a quick toy drive at work for Toys for Tots.  I’ve gotten a ton of donations and that makes it a little easier.  I reminded Hubby last night that eventhough we can’t buy each other gifts, there isn’t anything else I need…I have him, Zoey and the dogs (well, honestly, I could use a new nursing bra – this one is poking me like crazy!!). 

I’m lucky, I know it.

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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.

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 was incredibly close to my college roommate.  We didn’t know each other before we elected to room together our Sophomore year of college.  She grew up with a girl I met through my Freshman year roommate, we needed a fourth girl for our apartment and she needed a place to live.  We ended up pledging the same sorority that year and that was it.  After that it was “Martha and Carisa, Carisa and Martha.”  I was not only close with her but her parents as well and my mother and father love her dearly.  We lived together for 5 years until she left for medical school in Nashville and I moved in with my boyfriend for law school.  Still, we stayed in touch.  She visited me in San Diego, I went to Nashville, and she came to North Carolina to be my maid of honor when I got married 5 years ago.  We would still chat on the phone and she was the third person I called when I got pregnant with the boys 3 years ago.

And that’s where it all breaks down and becomes an incredibly sad tale of woe and grief.

Her father died a week before Owen (Baby A).  I feel like I never got to grieve for him and with her because 4 weeks later, Joshua (Baby B) died.  As you all know (really KNOW), you lose a child(ren) you are not in your right mind.  You cease to function.  You cease to be socially responsible or able to observe social pleasantries.

That does not mean that my eyes don’t well up when I think about her father.  My heart hurts at the loss of such a fun, smart, witty man who adored his daughter.  He adored her.  You could see it when they were together how much he loved her.  That’s the kind of relationship fathers and daughters should have.  She and I were lucky to be loved that way.

That might be somewhat excusable.  She was grieving, I was grieving and we would eventually come out of our cocoons and reunite.  But then Carisa got pregnant.  She didn’t tell me until she was 7 months along.  I knew when she left me a message that she had something important to tell me.  I just knew.  That was a mere 18 months after the boys died and after scores of miscarriages. 

I behaved badly.  I tried to fake excitement but I was jealous.  So jealous.  So incredibly jealous of someone who I love so much and want every happiness for but I was just not capable of behaving well.  And what would have been better is if I had said to her, “I’m so happy for you but sad for me.”  I didn’t though.  I faked enthusiasm and then cut all contact.  I’ve only seen one picture of her little girl.  I have not spoken to her since Zoey was born.  Her daughter is almost exactly a year older than Z baby.  A good friend suggested that I write her a letter explaining all of this.  I guess that’s what I will do.

I have a hole in my heart and I miss her.

PS Some of you may know us in real life.  Please be respectful of our relationship as we try and get it back on track.

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