So today is just a truly crappy day. It's been crappy since the moment I woke up...in tears. I hate this day and I am not sure I will ever NOT hate this day. I am very certain that in time this day will have joyful memories...of things we do, of things the boys do or say. But right now it just SUCKS!!! I often hear from people when I say things about Cole and our loss that we are so lucky we have Cameron. And I know this, appreciate this, cherish this. But today the joy of having a surviving twin is so heavily overshadowed by the loss of his twin brother. Even when I think back to that day there aren't really any joyful memories of Cameron that day with the exception of the words 'baby B is alive or baby B seems to be doing okay' but the reality was that he wasn't okay and was very sick and that day was filled with stress, pain, devastation and heartbreak.
I am wishing I could forget these memories, wishing that I only had the memories of the good times in the twin pregnancy or even just the memories up until about 11:00 that day....
It went a bit like this...
The last good memories end with us going over to Sick Kids for a fetal echo. Our porter's name was Claude and he asked if this was our first baby. We explained our situation and that this was baby boys #3 and #4. He laughed and joked that we should keep going and make a baseball team...we laughed back and said no, hockey. Soon we were at the heart specialists office and taken to the ultrasound machine.
The doctor doing the scan asked which side the recipient baby was on and then sucked in his breath sharply. Without looking up at us or stopping he said “This baby has no heartbeat. Your baby has died. I’m sorry, your baby passed away”. And the world crashed around us. All I wanted to do was curl up and cry, all I wanted was to be left alone with Geoff to cry and hold each other. Instead this doctor was all business and after a minute or two he said “I’m very sorry Mrs. Tummers, this should have been checked before you left Mt. Sinai but I still need to scan the other baby... please you need to calm down so I can scan you.” The doctor told us that all seemed fine with the other baby. We asked him what this meant for the other survivor and he said everything should be fine but Dr. Ryan will confirm that. But what about the other baby…what will happen now was my question. And the most devastating (and incorrect answer) was given to me…your body will just absorb him.
And I sobbed and sobbed. Not only was I not going to get to have my twins together, not only was I now the mother of an angel baby, but I was never going to meet my angel, it would be like my baby never existed. He was wrong, this was explained to me later that day but at the time it was the most devastating thing.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity he was done. Geoff had gone and called our families and a few friends and we were left to wait for our porter to come back for us. I remember looking around at this area of Sick Kids and thinking 'if I wasn't so shattered I'd appreciate all they've done to make this place look cool for kids but I really hope I never see it again'. (ironically we ended up in this very spot 4 days later for a fetal MRI on Cameron's brain...I lost it all over again!)
I remember very vividly my parents arriving that day. Oh how we cried. I am so very grateful they were there but wished (and still do)that I didn't have to break their hearts with this horrible news. Learning shortly after they arrived that not only had we lost one of our sons but that the other was shockingly very ill was just about all I could handle. I'll never forget the doctor saying to me that they were doing all they tests on Cameron's brain to 'make sure they weren't saving a very sick baby'.
The second hardest thing, after learning that one of my children was gone to Heaven, actually occurred 2 days later when I had to explain to my two other children that our dreams of twins were shattered, that they now had a brother in Heaven. This is the memory that got me today as I lay in bed this morning. It just broke my heart that day.
I know that in time there will be happier thoughts of this day and that I will be able to cope better with it. I have hope...I didn't lose it that day or in the days that followed. I know that Cole is in an amazing place and that he is the lucky one. He will never live with stress, with illness, with pain, with heartache. I know he lives with loss, I know that he misses us all. But he has God and Jesus to comfort him and he is very aware of what the reasons are for him to be there and us to be here. And as life continues on and I can see those reasons more clearly I am sure that it will be easier for me too. But for now, for today, I am going to cry, I am going to feel a heartwrenching sadness, I am going to wish that life was different. It's just where I am, it's just who I am.
Tomorrow is a new day.
P.S. We placed this angel tree topper on our tree today. We've been trying to come up with a tree topper since shortly after we lost Cole and we thank 'aunt' Diane for this great idea.
P.S.S. For anyone who is worried that I live in a perpetual world of depression and sadness...please know that today (and a good chunk of December) is a pretty crappy time for me but most days really are filled with the joy of raising all of our boys and the miracle that they are. What I post here and on facebook are just minor moments in my world and don't reflect my everyday life. But thanks for your prayers and concerns...they mean so much to me!