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So I went to the new Guy-nee…unbeknownst to me, she recently left UNC Hospitals to move to this practice closer to her home.  She asked about which practice I was with there.  When I told her Maternal Fetal Medicine, she seemed shocked that I would need the high risk group.  Then the nurse did a history.  Of course she asked all of the questions that I dreaded and of course, I didn’t fit into any of the usual boxes.  I tried to keep it light.  Finally, she said, “I don’t know how to put that information into the computer so I will ask the doctor and come back.”

Yeah, well, I’m still trying to figure out how to put that information in my head so when you figure it out…let me know.  Words like “stillbirth,” “miscarriage,” “I’m sorry, I’m not finding a heartbeat…” they don’t compute easily, even after nearly 4 years.

Other than that, it went fine.  The doctor asked if I was on birth control…I laughed for a good minute or so and said, “no…”  She said, “oh, you figure if it happens, it happens?” 

Ah, no.  I figure if it happens AND sticks it will be a Christmas/Hannukah/New Years/Valentine’s Day/etc. miracle (seeing as how we finally have a living child, we only seem to “do it” on holidays….)

I think my 3 children are enough….

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Baby Boys:

Tomorrow would be your second birthday.  This year feels different for obvious reasons.  It’s a different kind of hurt knowing that you would be 2 and there are all these changes happening that you aren’t here for. 

Bottom line is I miss you both terribly and nothing will change that.  Ever.  You will forever be part of my heart, my soul, my existence.

I love you,

Mommy

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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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