I feel... I dont even know how to express how I feel. It may sound crazy. I dont know...
Am I a success story? In the IF and loss community, what makes that? Is it the BFP? Getting out of the 1st Trimester? Passing the milestones of when your previous babies were miscarried or died? Is it bringing home a baby from the hospital or celebrating the babies 2nd birthday, when the risk of SIDS is so far gone that you stop worrying? Is it when they graduate high school? Get married? Is there a safe time that we are considered "successful" in pregnancy and childbearing?
I dont feel like a success story. I tell myself that maybe had I gone full term I might be able to consider everything a success, even with the bedrest, etc. But did I succeed? I dont feel that way. I feel like I was several weeks shy of it. Which makes no sense, since we all know that full term doesnt equal happy ending. Hell, bringing baby home doesnt equal it either.
So, is this a success story because Bobby and Maya are alive and doing well, in spite of their prematurity?
And that brings me to the guilt... And not the guilt of not holding them in long enough but the guilt I feel in the Community. This may make no sense at all, but I cant help but look at other "just shy of 28w" twin mommies who lost one of their babies... And I am so heartbroken. This is true of all of the blogs I follow where I passed by the time that babies were delivered. I remember feeling the pang of sadness when blog and IRL friends passed by 16w... 17w... 18w... There was joy that they were beyond that but it also hurt. And so I wonder: when I marked each day off the calendar and passed by each week, who was reading who felt joy that we were another day closer but felt that stab in their chest because I was farther along in pregnancy than they were when their baby/babies were born? Who reads the NICU updates and, once a certain day passes, is both happy because Bobby and Maya are doing well, but said because their baby died in the NICU on day X?
I feel guilty for bringing pain. I know there is so much more joy in how Bobby and Maya are doing, but I also feel a stab when I write, wondering who is reading and if it hurts. I know that we read the blogs of others who have lost and that it rekindles our hurts, but in that, we support one another and help each other through the rough times. But our pain in still there and, especially when rekindled, burns brighter... Hurts a little more... Let's us know it will always be there with us...
Last night was a bad belly night. In the morning, I did some very light housekeeping. (VERY light, I swear. I made the bed and sorted mail. Nothing major. I did walk back and forth quite a bit but that is "good" for me.) I was tired when I got back from the hospital and lunch, so after pumping, I broke my new afternoon rule of no sleeping and took a nap. It was lovely. I know that I need to get my days and nights back on track, but man, I miss those afternoon naps. Given, my day was pretty funny: pump, shower, hospital, Maya's care, pump, Bobby's care, lunch, home, pump, nap, pump, dinner, hospital, Maya's care/holding, Bobby's care/holding, home, pump, sleep. (and then wake this morning and start with pumping!). Not a whole lot else going on! But that is A-OK with me. They are growing and that is so important. But, last night, I started to feel it. I was aching a little when we got to the hospital. I sat down during Maya's care and, since Peter was holding her, I sat next to them. Then, I went and helped with Bobby's care, but needed to sit down afterwards and have his nurse bring him to me. (We are now allowed to pick them up ourselves but because i need both hands to sit down, I have been asking the nurses to continue bringing them to me). Peter sat next to me, and we had a wonderful hour of holdings, even though I really started to ache at the end. By the time we were leaving the NICU, I was really feeling it. I hadnt taken anything all day and was really hoping I was pretty much weaned off the drugs. But, I was in serious pain by the time I got in the car. Eventually, I fell asleep and Peter helped get me inside once we got home. After pumping, he gave me some pain meds and helped get me situated in bed, where I very quickly fell asleep.
I feel better this morning. There is still just so much healing to do. It's hard to be gentle on yourself when you feel like you should be healed already. Peter and Sarah both tell me that it's abdominal surgery and I cant expect to just go back to normal in 2 weeks. Online, it talks about months to heal fully. I think that once the "ridge" has healed and I dont feel like I have the Grand Canyon around my incision mark, I will feel better. Until then, the ice packs and I are practically married...
The NICU nurses think I'm healing faster than average and that I am more mobile because of my history of yoga. I told them that I was not in great shape prior to this pregnancy, but they say that there is a difference. So perhaps they are right. I'll blame this "fast" recovery on yoga.
The babies... No post would be complete without mentioning them. There is no pain in my belly that cant disappear when holding them close. Peter asked last night if I wanted to put him away early because I was uncomfortable. Never! It's well worth it.
Oct 5th is the NICU fundraising dinner. We bought tickets to go. There is a golf thing (which we arent going to since neither of us golf) and then dinner and a silent auction. It will rearrange when we see the babies but we felt it was important to donate and to go.
I guess that is all for now. I plan on updating pics to the photo blog soon. I know I'm a tad behind...
Maya, 9/18, my favorite of her thus far