We are coming up on more of our "one year ago" milestones. So far they haven't been too hard. The one year ago we found out we were having twins, one year ago we found out they were boys, one year ago Cohen had a funny test result.
But now, the hard ones are coming. I didn't think it would affect me this much but I can already start to feel it sneaking up. Even a few days ago, I was talking to a friend and telling her that I thought I was doing okay. And then just like that, it hit me. May. The month when things started to get really hard. When we found out that the boys would be early, it would just be a question of how early. We were told that our babies weren't viable and at this point there would be nothing that could be done to save them. We were diagnosed with TTTS. I stopped working and was put on bedrest at home. And then the day I went in for my appointment and was told to go home and pack some things and drive to Seattle to be admitted to the hospital. Those days were so, so hard. There were many tears, prayers, and pleas for my boys.
And now, those days are coming back to me. I can't believe it's been a year and yet it seems like just yesterday. My friend and I also talked about how there are certain triggers that bring back so many of those feelings and emotions. For me, it's double strollers reminding me of how I thought my life would be. It's that shirt I found in my closet that I wore while I was pregnant. It's sitting on the couch where I spent my days on bedrest. It's the weather. It's just all coming back like a big rush and I can't get away from it. I suppose these are things that I need to go through. It's just hard to feel like I am reliving those days of fear and the unknown. But, there were also good moments. The moments I could lay on the couch and feel my boys moving around. Where I could see their little rumps or heads or arms or something poking out of my belly. Back when I had them both.
There are days when I leave the house and as I leave, I turn around and look at my house just how it is. I remember coming home for the first time after the boys were born. It had probably been around a month since the last time I had seen my house. I walked through the front door and it was just so strange to see my house exactly the way we had left it that night we drove to the hospital, like nothing had changed. Except everything had changed. Everything we knew had been turned upside down.
The death of Carter and the roller coaster of having a NICU baby seem to be two huge life events in themselves, but we were experiencing them simultaneously, while not being able to really fully deal with either of them.
It's going to be hard, I know it is. As the days come and I go through those "one year ago" moments, it's going to be so hard. I wish I could just skip over it or hibernate for a few months and wake up when it's over, but I know this is something that I need to go through, despite the pain.
My friend sent me this and I just thought she said it so perfectly. "This single twin loss thing with a micropreemie survivor is a unique and
complicated journey. Grief for Carter didn't hit all at once because
you were wrapped up in using all of your strength, gratitude, and faith
to keep Cohen alive. Only now that he is home and growing well and life
has mellowed some in those scary medical ways do you have ability to be
emotionally punched in the gut. You are
coming up on all of the "firsts," only this time you don't have the
luxury of the unknown or the escape of shock/denial. You know exactly
how it all went down and you are dreading reliving it. You are not
crazy. You are not sinking into an emotional abyss from which you will
never escape. You are not being ungrateful for the blessing that you
have in Cohen's survival. You are not taking an alarming step backward
in your healing process. Your faith in God is not faltering. This is
just part of this weird journey and I wish that I could just help you
bypass this messy business entirely... but I can't :( You can do
this. You can do hard things, after all. VERY hard things" Thanks friend, I needed that, and I hope I can do it.