The previous week was a little rough. I found myself wiping away hot tears or holding back rogue sobs several different times, never for really obvious reasons (other than the impending obvious). Interestingly, I was transported back somewhat to those very early weeks of grief, when the day of the week, rather than the actual date, held so much significance: the Sunday before (our one and only joyful trip to Babies 'R' Us during the pregnancy); Wednesday (the anniversary of our full ultrasound scan at the hospital to try and get to the bottom of my peach-turned-red mucus discharge, which I now know was a symptom of incompetent cervix).
I expected Thursday (the day Aliya's water broke and our lives turned upside down) and Friday (the day they were born) to be the same, but they weren't. Whew.
Folks had been asking whether we were going to have some sort of memorial service this weekend, and the simple fact is (and it's more complicated, but...) - we're not ready. I can't wrap my mind yet around planning something like that and having everyone around for it. Paul's been battling his demons and is in no position to face an event like that, no matter how big or small. Maybe next year, we'll just have to see.
I was reflecting, though, on our hospital experience, and my heart swells every time I think of the care we received from our three favorite nurses. Paul and I agreed to bring treats to the Family Birth Center - not just for our nurses, but for all of them - on Thursday evening. No, the actual anniversary of our 30-hour ordeal there wasn't until this weekend, but given that everything went down on Thursday and Friday last year, AND given we've run into two of our nurses a few times on our way to our Thursday night support group, we thought we'd chance it. I decided on cupcakes, but the bakery I thought I'd use, which is just down the street from my work, had crappy reviews (I'm sorry, but cupcakes "dry as cornbread" weren't going to cut it for this event!). I was going to give up and make them myself, but my counselor told me about Sweet Charley B's Cupcakery, over by our big farmer's market, and once I learned that the owner opened and named the store in honor of the daughter she lost to a blood infection at age six (Charlotte=Charley), I knew it was the perfect place to buy our cakes. I had made a dozen paper butterfly picks out of pink and blue vellum and scrap book paper, so I popped one into each cake when we got home, and then printed up a sign to tape inside the lid of the box so *everyone* who reached for a cupcake would know why they were there. In the end, our nurses weren't on duty, but the two who took the treats and card were very sweet and appropriately sympathetic. I cried a little as we walked out, but we both felt good about our decision to bring treats.
|I imagine these were as tasty as they were beautiful!|
Yesterday we decided to hang out in Westport for the day. It was nice. It was supposed to be super hot at home (in the 90s, ick!), so being near the ocean seemed like a good way to beat the heat. Plus, even though we were never there during our pregnancy, we spent time in the sand and crying at the waves in the weeks after we lost the twins, so somehow I feel closest to them there. I see my babies in the sparkles in the sand. I remembered my premonition there last year, and realized Paul was right...not only was the timing off (further off than I ever expected), but there's no way it'll be true next August, either, at least not with a baby the age I saw in my mind's eye. It was actually really hot there, too, over 80 degrees with a stiff breeze. We sat on a log and watched the waves for quite a while (and a couple with their beautiful horse, who they were probably breaking to ride in the dunes), then went back into town for dinner at Bennett's Fish Shack (!). It was a nice day. We both felt pretty at peace, which is amazing. When we came home, there was a lovely flower arrangement waiting on our side porch (Heather B. and Jason, we love you!!!), a very nice surprise. I did have a meltdown in the evening when I realized I'd lost my Aliya and Bennett locket (it's currently chainless so I carried it in my pocket)...but two or three minutes into my angry tearfest, I looked down and saw it on the bathroom floor. Thank you, God!
|Twin Harbors State Park - crowded!|
|Lots of surfers, but few good waves.|
|We couldn't resist. Pretty tasty!|
It's hard to say what today will bring. Our new Scottish Highland cow (well, bred heifer, technically) is coming home today (yay!), and we have to get ready for another week (laundry galore, house cleaning, Costco), so I suspect it will be low key.
And just like that, it'll be over with. We will have survived our first year of grief. That in itself feels like the most amazing accomplishment, something I couldn't imagine getting through months ago. We're looking forward to Tuesday's IVF consultation at University of Washington (so far, both people I've talked to there were fantastic!). We'll see what the future holds for us...but know that our babies will always, always, always be there in our hearts.