I would wake in the mornings and somewhat forget what had happened and be in a blissful happiness. Another day (or minutes later) I would remember and would sob and ache for all that we had lost. It was in one of these quiet morning times that Geoff wrapped his arms around me and just held me. He hurt too but all he wanted to do was take my hurt away. He began to tell me about what my sons looked like inside of me and after calling them baby A and B a few times we realized that, though we had names for them, Cameron and Cole, we had never named each individual baby…our little angel baby and his brave surviving twin had no name of their own. And so through our tears we decided that our little baby B needed both names just as he would need to protection and guidance of his guardian angel twin to get him through the difficult days ahead. And we forever memorialized our little Cole Edward Ryan in his twins name, Cameron Cole Gregory. (and at that same time forever honoured the man who did all he could to save both our boys, Dr. Greg Ryan).
In the days, weeks and even months after we lost our baby I felt caught in a time warp of sorts. I could not go back and feared going forward. So many mixed emotions travelled through me each and every minute. There were few moments where I was truly in any one state of being. It was almost like being in vortex, swirling around and around, being able to see the world around me but not being able to stop and touch it at all.
I wanted to go back in time to before he left us but more over I wanted to go back and change so much of how I’d reacted and conducted myself in the days and weeks after I learned about the two of them. It was a feeling of deep regret and heartfelt longing. For so many reasons I was afraid of the future. I was afraid of what the future held for Cameron, was fearful of how I would handle meeting Cole and wasn’t even sure I could handle it at all. And I was most fearful of the moment when I would no longer be pregnant, when I would give birth to them both and I would no longer have Cole with me. I would no longer have any physical connection to him, not ever again. I dreaded the end most of all.
I was sore and uncomfortable and spent a lot time in disbelief and wonderment of it all. I tried to count my blessings and they were many....the timing behind all of this was amazing. I mean that ultrasound wasn’t even supposed to have happened. They could have waited and saw me in
first, they could
have chosen to wait a few days for surgery.
It was so hard to know how to grieve when I still had a life growing
inside of me. I knew that I needed to take very good care of myself right
then and grieving takes up a lot of energy but dammit that was what I wanted to
Telling others was very hard for us. Geoff did most of the calling, I sent emails and Facebook messages, impersonal I guess but it was all I could handle then. It was weeks before I had to verbally tell anyone then news. Friends called, dropped by, brought food, offered help and sent cards and flowers. No one knew what to say really though but I do remember having a very wonderful and spiritual discussion with Theresa, our wonderful minister friend. She touched on areas that others hid from. When I said that I would always know what Cole would look like she said what was in my heart but had not been on my lip s… ‘but does that make it easier or harder?’
I think one of the hardest things for me then and for months to come was guilt. I was overwhelmed with it at times because this wasn't a planned pregnancy and I had made that VERY public. When I found out I was having twins I was very scared, upset and really not looking forward to it. Eventually that passed to a stage of 'I want them but am sure I can't do this' and then finally to ‘I am scared but oh so very excited’…but that was a stage that I’d only recently gotten to. Now I felt like I brought this on. My realistic brain said I knew I didn't but trying to tell that to my heart was so very difficult. At the time I was a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So then I wondered again...is the reason that I just couldn’t handle twins. And then I’d feel guilty for even allowing myself to go down that road.
It was a terribly confusing time for me, I was just so confused and lost. I wanted to pray but I didn’t even know what I was praying for. I didn’t really know where to turn to for support either. All the baby loss support groups and sites were for full losses…. when It’s all over and you begin to pick up the pieces. I couldn’t even begin that stage; this wouldn’t be over for months. I was still carrying a baby who was alive.
Eventually I was able to find some amazing support on two places on the internet; The Fetal Hope Foundation and the Twin to Twin Transfusion Foundation. I will tell you with definite certainty, if it wasn’t for these groups, for the parents I met on these groups I would not have survived the journey with my sanity intact.
Christmas, it can be said, is the season of miracles. Over the years I’ve read many stories of miracles especially those that happen at Christmas. It is also a season of joy and hope.
That Christmas, most especially the day we travelled back to see Dr. Ryan, we really felt we understood Christmas miracles, fully comprehended what joy meant. Just 8 days since we’d made our first trip to
and Dr. Ryan, we made our third trip. We’d been down two days prior and had the
MRI done on Cameron’s brain and now ventured back, in the middle of a huge
snowstorm that closed most of the schools in southwestern Toronto , to see Dr. Ryan and check on his
progress. We were nervous, we were
stressed and we were tired. Ontario
We arrived to an overwhelmingly huge waiting room, unsure if we were in the right place, unsure of what we would find out. The most overwhelming part of the wait was looking around the room and seeing so many pregnant women and wondering what brought them there and knowing that many were there, carrying multiples, and doing great. Tears came so easily still and I hated the feeling that I had that people were staring at my watery eyes.
And then, after many scans by the nurse, we were taken to a room to meet Dr. Ryan. His demeanor in his office was very different then the man we had met in the middle of our crisis. He asked us how we had been doing. When we admitted to Dr. Ryan that we were feeling more than a bit shell shocked and overwhelmed he stopped looking in my chart and he put his hand on my arm.
The compassion in his voice was so geniune as he told us that it was going to feel like that for awhile and that he was so sorry that things didn’t work out the way we thought they would.
His voice was full of empathy and gone was the business only image that he had portrayed to us so much when we last saw him. Though we’d felt very comfortable and confident in his hands the previous weekend we now felt like we were a part of his family.
He was eager to get right to business and take a look a what our ‘young lad’ was up to. And then after some he stopped, looked up at us and smiled and told us that our ‘young lad’ looked great, exactly like he should for a 24 weeker. He was doing better than could be expected and we just needed him to grow now.
You can’t imagine what joy came over us. Cameron was going to be okay, not just alive and well, but he was going to be okay.