Why do I watch Discovery Health and TLC and all the other channels that air baby programming? I mean, let's face it. I'm either sad because it hits too close to home -or- pissed off at the way things are portrayed.
For example... Watched an 8 minute clip about six 25-weekers. The poor mom is bawling because she tried so hard to hold them in and her body just gave out. Looking at those tiny 1-2 pound babies made my eyes well up. One baby came home at 3 months old; the last at 5 months old. Watched some of "Make Room for Multiples". Now, I know, that technically, a 36 week baby is premature. That being said, 36 weeks for twins is considered full term and damn good! Lamenting about having a 36 week set of twins is like a slap in the face. (Again, I know these folks all have their own circumstances and expectations and this wasnt it, since she had a c/s scheduled for the next week and was expecting that, etc. Just my crazy, it's midnight, rant...) And then, there are the "I Didnt Know I Was Pregnant" and therefore I smoked, drank, did drugs, etc, and miraculously delivered a full term baby who had no complications, even though s/he was exposed to drugs in utero and had no prenatal care whatsoever moms.
Really??? Really??? What sucky ass lottery did those of us who battled infertility and then loss win?
Okay. I feel better. Rant over.
On to something sad. Remember when I went to my first mom's group? Well, this month's group had a fair amount of sadness. The mom I referenced lost her baby. This was her fifth pregnancy and, at 17w, went in for an appointment to find out that her baby had died around 11w. As she was grieving, I shared about Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander, and my miscarriages. And then another woman shared her 24w stillborn son. And then, another. All of us had sat around the tables for months. And yet, no one knew the silent sorrows in our hearts. And, as we rallied around a new member of this club that none of us wants to be in and, worse yet, wants anyone else to be in, we all were able to see that other mothers hide that same sadness behind their gaze... That, when they hold their living children, their arms are still slightly empty. That family portraits are always missing a face or two... or three... or more.
It made me realize just how much silence we all have. How loss is something kept close to one's heart. How, when mothers first bury children, they feel alone. Because we, the ones who have been there before, are quiet. It made me wish that I had been more open with the group to start. The leader knew my history because she knew me from our parish. And I wrote all the kids names on the info sheet. And, when asked, I said that Bobby and Maya werent my first children. But, when we were discussing things, I didnt volunteer information. It was the first time that I wanted to try to fit in just because I didnt want to have to respond to the "I'm sorry's" or the "It was probably for the best".
And then, when that mom miscarried, I felt sorry that she had to feel alone. Even if now she knows she isnt.
Reba, of Life Without My Twins, wrote an interesting post. In it, she writes about an encounter with her dentist, who, knowing her history (she delivered extremely preterm twins who died and later had a little girl who is growing like a weed!), made a statement that things, in pregnancy, always work out as they should. For those of us for whom pregnancy is not a fun experience, those of us who have had our children die in our arms or are wombs, it is hard to fathom that this is how it is "supposed" to be. In my world, this is NOT how I pictured my motherhood. I didnt imagine miscarriages, PTLs, IC and cerclages, bedrest, inversion, drug after drug to try and stop a PTL that was bound and determined to happen, and, ultimately, after a decade of infertility, 3 miscarriages, and 3 infant deaths, to have my best case scenario end up as 27 weekers in the NICU.
But, in a way, he's right.
I cant imagine a world without Bobby and Maya. Without his smile or her giggle. His "monkey face" and her drama queen hands. That world cant exist. A world where I never have "Mayakisses" or "Bobbyhugs". Where I dont have him hold my neck like I'm the only person in the world that matters. Where there is no sweet girl to reach for me when she is scared and hold my hand as she drifts to sleep.
My world is worth everything: the pain, the hurt, everything. It has to be. How could it not be as it should be?
God knows, I would have done anything in the world... Anything... To save my miscarried babies... To save Nicholas. Sophia. Alexander. I would have stood on my head for months if it meant a lifetime with them.
And that moment... That was our lifetime... I wouldnt trade a lifetime of heartache for that second of bliss when each child was born. I couldnt.
It's hard to hear. And, perhaps, if I was still waiting for the "happy ending" as crazy as that sounds to write, I'd think the dentist was a jerk.
But sitting here... Hearing them sleep on the monitor after holding them in my arms until they fell into a blissful sleep... I cant picture it any other way.
I got to have them all. I live in the only world that I could live in. It did work out. Even if three of my children were only in my arms for a short time before ascending to a new life. Even if two of my babies spent weeks in the hospital because 27w5d was all my body could give them. Even if it breaks my heart every single day.
"A sword will pierce...your...soul..." (Luke 2:35)