Five months ago today, this minute, Paul and I were sitting in the ER waiting room at Providence St. Peter Hospital, wondering what the hell was going on and trying to believe everything would be ok. I think I was even cracking jokes while we sat there...totally oblivious that a mere 6 hours later, our lives would crumble to pieces, that Paul would see our babies on the ultrasound screen for the very last time, Aliya with no "room" around her body because she'd lost almost all of her amniotic fluid. We had no options. Without amniotic fluid, not only could Aliya not move around, she also couldn't practice breathing, nor could her kidneys and bladder continue to develop. And with signs of infection, both babies, the pregnancy and all our hopes and dreams were doomed in that once instance.
The last five months have been such a roller coaster of emotion for us and our families. I am so grateful to this loving community of fellow baby loss mamas (and daddies) I found, and to the friends we've made in our support groups, for without their specific understanding and compassion, we would not have made it. I would not have made it. The loss of a baby or babies is not something anyone should ever have to experience, most certainly alone. This is a very lonely journey, one where I can feel people in our lives pulling away, the "aren't you over this yet?" kind of distaste as I, especially, continue to reel and fight my way to some understanding of myself in this new life. Thankfully, we were forewarned about how people would react, how they'd grow impatient with our struggles, how some would fail - be it from inability to show emotion or worry they'd show too much - to say anything at all. None of this has been a surprise, but damn. Ouch.
I'm fast-approaching the final pregnancy milestones I have been most plagued by - full term (next Wednesday, when I should be 37 weeks pregnant), and January 18th, the 38-week due date goal I'd set for myself. The culmination of holiday expecations and dread, and the New Year full of promise and taunt, put me into a full-blown tailspin. I had a few very, very dark days in there. I'm better now...for now. I don't pretend to know when those ugly feelings will strike again, only that they will.. That's to be expected and is normal in this abnormal life I now find myself in. Even Paul, who rarely says anything about his grief anymore except during support groups, has been melancholy lately, snapping at co-workers and feeling generally tired and blue. It's all normal. I hope that once I get past February, the other milestones will feel more vague (although I'm sure both Mother's Day and Father's Day will hurt fiercely).
What we need, and crave, more than ever, is your love and support. We need to hear it, please. Tell us. I know who reads this blog - even with it set to private - and I know that you love us, but a tiny few have ever talked to us about our babies, our loss, our grief, our love for our children, or told us how it impacts them. Please, don't be shy. We need it. No one has the power to make us "sad," even though so many mistakenly believe that mentioning our babies' names or talking about our loss makes us sad...believe me, we LIVE sad underneath everything we do. It's hiding in the cracks in our thoughts, in the quiet times. And while we may cry at hearing our babies' names sometimes, it's not your fault. It's just our love and our hurt pouring out...and it has to come out, otherwise, it's a poison.
Our Christmas tree is still up. It's the most beautiful tree we've ever had, perfect in its half-groomed state, full of ornaments honoring our babies. It will be so hard to take it down. Fitting that we're celebrating the five month mark with beauty around us. Before we get to six months, I hope to have a special display place so that some of these can be out year round, to help us remember and celebrate our daughter and our son and their tiny, perfect lives.