Five years...how can it possibly be five years since I last felt Cole move. How can it be five years since I heard those horrible words...'this baby doesn't have a heartbeat. I'm sorry, your baby has died'.
These memories can take me to such horrible places of unrest but they are vitally important because they keep me connected to Cole. When I forget that day then bit by bit I forget what it was like to have the good memories. Bit by bit I forget Cole.
I have some amazing memories that do bring me peace. I remember the day I learned that I was having twins. I was scared, I wasn't overjoyed and yet at the same time I was so excited. I remember the first time I felt them move...like little butterfly flutters. It was early...like 15 weeks maybe. It would be weeks and weeks before I felt true kicks and punches and when they came they were so amazing because there were so many... four hands, four feet...they can really make an 'impact'. Cole was always busier, on ultrasound and in movements too. For those that know Cameron I am sure this shocks you that he was actually the calmer twin!
The morning after surgery, five years ago today, I woke early. The sun was just beginning the rise so the room was darker, shadowy. I hadn't slept well and was uncomfortable from the surgery. I rolled onto back and felt this huge, strong kick from the place the belonged to Cole. And I smiled...just what I needed to feel... my baby was still alive. When Geoff awoke in his cot beside me I shared my news with him and we both were so happy, so relieved.
Around 11:00 we went to Sick Kids Hospital via the underground tunnels to have a fetal echo cardiogram. And the laughter we shared with our porter about how many boys we would now have and the sports teams we could build was the last innocent moment of happiness I have had.
A few minutes later my world stopped, my dreams were shattered..I was forever changed. I have such vivid memories of the man who told us this. What he wore... jeans and a grey sweater. What he looked like... dark, grey hair, in his 50's. I can remember the orange colour of the walls in the room, the way the bed felt below me. I remember seeing Geoff's face, seeing it crumble like mine. I remember rolling over to the wall and wailing. I remember the silence, the defeaning silence. No sound of a heart beating, no comments from this doctor, nothing. Just silence.
Once the doctor was done he sent us out to a waiting room while he made some calls and arranged for the porter to come back. I remember looking over the city, the snowy rooftops, the people down below, the Christmas decorations and I remember thinking 'what a friggin joke, Christmas, miracles... who are you kidding'. The walk back to Mt. Sinai was horrible. We walked by so many people who must have wondered what this pregnant woman in pink pj's in the wheel chair was so upset about. I am sure many tried to imagine what awful news we had just heard.
And I remember waiting... for Dr. Ryan to come and see us, for my parents to arrive, for the next procedure to begin. Wait and cry. Cry and wait. I felt so hopeless and helpless and so very alone. So devastated that I would never meet this much loved child.
And the next day, the memory that sticks out most in my mind... driving back into Monkton realizing that our lives were forever changed and it had only been 3 days since we left town. And our comments to each other...'we need to do something to give back to this place, to help other families to not experience this hell we are living'.
And now, five years later, we will travel back to Mt. Sinai and we will give back, we will help raise hopes through the funds we raised. At this point it looks like we should well exceed our goal to bring our 4 year total of money raised through our efforts at fundraisers and through the efforts of others who have donated to mark special occaisions or as gifts in honour of our boys to $20 000. Our plan for this year's funds is to use it for a brochure to help other families know where emotional support and financial assistance can be found, to begin a fund for financial assistance to pay for bills while in Toronto (hotels, food etc) as well as to put some towards projects that Dr. Ryan wishes our support for.
Now 5 years later I assitant to administrate 2 TTTS facebook groups to help support those going through TTTS and those coping with loss of one baby to TTTS. I am also involved with awareness campaigns through twin groups on facebook groups and those groups are changing the face of TTTS, they are changing the awareness that expectant mothers have, they are changing their knowledge of how often they need to be seen and what tests need to be done. I think, just maybe, they are helping to save babies lives. From someone who thought, within an hour of knowing one of her twins was gone that she never, ever wanted to see the twin stroller she had purchased just a month ago to someone who frequently chats with mothers expecting healthy identical twins, I know I have found a 'piece of peace'.
In 5 years I have peace in the knowledge that Cole is with Jesus. I picture him in Jesus' big rocking chair, singing songs, reading stories and getting snuggles from our Lord. I picture him running with the wind at his back, through the streets of heaven towards the gates, towards me as I approach them at the end of my life.
Now 5 years later I tell his story, even those horrible parts above, with pride, with hope, with love, with joy and most of all with peace. He is at peace and he is my peace.
Happy 5th Angel Day my sweet boy! What a wonderful time of year to be with Jesus...celebrating his birthday and the hope that brought to the world. Happy 5th Angel Day Cole and thank you so much for all that you have given the world and all that you have inspired in me. I love you!