Out of nowhere, late this afternoon, the weepiness started again. I was putting away some of our Christmas decorations, removing the withered holiday flowers I'd bought for us, putting away the Christmas cards and setting the mantle back to normal. I picked up our memory box from its (so far) permanent home on the TV armoire in the living room, untied the pale teal satin ribbon, and pulled out the contents.
As soon as I cracked open the first of our two "Baby's First Picture" cards in which Dr. M. had placed each baby's very first photo, 7 weeks 0 days, when they looked like little lumps with beating hearts, the tears came. I cried through each ultrasound picture, flipping through 7 weeks, 9 weeks, 11 weeks, 12 weeks 6 days, and, finally, 14 weeks, that last set of images, our babies' perfect little profiles, Aliya's little button nose, Bennett's hand up by his face, peeling that scab off my tender heart once again.
I feel so raw inside, knowing that in just days - four, to be exact - they would have been full term. I've popped in periodically on my former February 2012 Twins and Multiples online birth board, where I started out the furthest along and then became the first to crash and burn (but not the last). The girls who've "made it" have been dropping like flies, delivering their twins at 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34 weeks and now 35 weeks. The "second in command," a girl who was due a few days after me, is being induced next Friday at 37 weeks, full term for twins. My darling friend from work, who for some reason I always think of as being a week and a half ahead of me in gestation, but who, in reality, was only 5 days ahead, has been dilated to 1-2 cm and 70% effaced for days and is so ready to meet her little boy. And, today, I understand, the girl from my Christmas Day debacle had her baby, a girl.
My heart is so broken, knowing that all of my friends and (former) fellow twin moms - the ones with whom I commisserated with over aches and pains and vomiting and bed rest during my pregnancy - are now experiencing that which I am not...laboring and worrying about vaginal birth versus c-sections or "double whammy" (Baby A coming vaginally and Baby B needing to be delivered via c-section) and meeting their precious babies, learning to breastfeed and get rest where they can, and loving on their children. Worrying about how to survive those hard first three months with twins, how to pack them around, how daycare will work, what the future will be like.
I so hope that will be me again some day, even though it will never be what it should have been, full of innocent fears and simple worries. But, for right now, I have to just let the tears flow, my heart bleed, my soul ache for my babies.