The children are growing up! Treyton turned two in February, and the girls turned four a few weeks ago. In particular with the girls, I get sappy when I think of their birth. It was a wild, unexpected day, it was wonderful, painful and terrifying. I remain grateful that the girls survived their birth and thrived in the ensuing days, months and years. I look at pictures from their two weeks in the NICU and can't help getting teary-eyed.
I don't admit this to all that many people, so putting this out there for public consumption is a fairly big deal for me. When discovered I was pregnant with the twins, I had actually been told that I was pregnant with triplets. An ultrasound showed two egg sacs, one with identical twins, and a second sac with a fraternal triplet. Not only did an egg split, a la Reese and Reagan, but a third baby was conceived. When the doctor shared this news item with me, I was shocked and terrified, to put it mildly. It was kindly suggested to expect one, two, or three babies, or none at all.
This may sound really freakish, but I had a dream the night before I was to have a routine ultrasound, at about 12 weeks along. I was sitting up in a hospital bed, with two babies, swaddled and laying across my lap. They were so tiny and so beautiful, and I knew they were girls. A nurse stood to my left wearing all white. Without speaking, I looked up from the babies to the nurse and asked for the third baby. I didn't know where he was, but I did not feel concerned. She wordlessly told me he was okay, but that I needed to focus on the two babies that I had. I awoke feeling completely reassured that everything was fine, and that the third baby was perfectly fine.
The next morning, in the middle of my work day, at the doctor's office, alone, I was told that the third baby, measured at 7 weeks and 5 days, ceased his short life. It was awful . . . I had finally begun to accept this massive change in our lives only to have it taken away from us. I drove straight home and melted into a slobbering, despondent mess of self-pity and self-loathing with a new and extreme fear for the remaining two babies. After a day of mourning, I decided that I needed to haul myself off the sofa and continue to live my life and continue to anticipate and cherish the babies that remained. My one day to mourn was my only day to mourn. And here I am four years later, with two of the most beautiful little girls in the whole wide world.
I although I rarely think about it, miscarriage never completely leaves you. I have four beautiful children, for whom I thank God every day. Every day. But the night before the girls' birthday, as I decorated their cake, it passed through my mind that there could have been three. There should have been three. And right then I cried. I cried for the other little blue eyed, curly haired baby that never was, that never had a chance. I got myself so worked up that I had to lock myself in the bathroom to get myself together.
Maybe one day of mourning wasn't enough. For any woman who has lost a pregnancy, it doesn't matter how far along you were. It doesn't matter if you have other children. For Michelle Duggar, who already has 19 children, I'm guessing it doesn't matter. A friend and co-worker lost a pregnancy at 27 weeks, delivered, named and then buried her son. Another friend carried a son to term only to lose him shortly before his birth because the umbilical cord was wrapped too tightly around his neck. That was more than 20 years ago, and she still hurts.
Celebrating Reese's and Reagan's birthday was wonderful fun, filled with family, friends, and love. They pranced around and giggled and doled out plenty of hugs, and were the recipients of lots of hugs too. A tiny little bit of me wished for one more little person to hug, and I couldn't help wondering "what if." Nevertheless, I express gratitude for my girls, for my boys, for my stepdaughters and empathize more than you know, with the loss of a pregnancy.