Sunday, December 18, 2016

Stories of Hope - Jodie's story #13

 Admittedly though the feeling of joy, the knowledge of what a miracle Cameron was, the hope we felt for his future… so often those things were overshadowed by the pain and heartbreak we felt.  Most mornings up until the day we learned Cameron  was ok I had woke up in tears but that next morning I woke for the first time without crying and thought that it might be an okay day after all.  It didn’t last long as I stared at the Christmas tree and thought of all the Christmas’s we wouldn’t have with Cole.   Where I’d pictured two matching little boys sitting for photos under the tree or on Santa’s knee, where I saw my matching shepherds or angels in the Christmas pageant, I now saw an emptiness and felt a hole in my heart.  It just seemed so damned unfair that my two little boys wouldn’t grow up being the best of friends, that part of Cameron would always be missing.  It seemed like a raw deal that we wouldn’t have this little one in our family and wouldn’t be able to watch him grow and change.

I missed Cole so much already and I’d never even gotten to hold him yet.  I missed feeling him move inside of me, missed the worry of how on earth I’d make it work to feed two newborns, missed the thoughts of dressing them the same, missed the thoughts of the joy and uniqueness it would be to be the mom of twins. 

I didn’t understand why this had to happen.  What did I do to make this happen?  I knew that there was nothing I could have done to prevent it but part of me wondered if my sheer terror of having twins, of managing twins, of paying for the cost of twins plus 2 others made this happen.  Did God decide that I really couldn’t handle it after all?  Did me not being joyful and excited upon finding out there were two lives inside of me make him decide that it just wasn’t meant to be? 

I wanted to be happy that Cameron was alive and safe inside of me, I wanted to be joyful that I was going to have one baby, not no babies but then I’d feel guilty that I was not grieving for the child I had lost.  I wondered if I would ever really be able to grieve properly.  I had nothing physically to hold and it all seemed unreal that Cole, really wasn’t still moving in there.  I wondered if when it was all over and I was able to hold Cameron safe in my arms, would I be able to grieve for Cole then or would I even be able to hold him?  I wondered if I could handle that and how long was it going to be until that happened?  I didn’t want Cameron to be born then but I wanted to hold the life I’d lost, I wanted to cherish his little hands and feet, look into his little face.  But delivery meant the end, the final reality and I didn’t know if I could handle that.  What would it be like to hold my tiny still son?  How would Cole look?  What kind of a horrible mommy would I be if I decided I couldn’t look?  What kind of a memory would it forever leave with me to look? 

I feared what that time would be like for us.  I wondered if the joy of Cameron’s birth would overshadow the sorrow of the closure of Cole’s short little life.  It hardly seemed fair to him.  And in saying that, I wondered if the sadness and sorrow we’d feel at having the closure, at holding Cole’s still body and feeling the finality of it all would overshadow the joy I would feel for Cameron and his miracle birth.  It’s was all so mixed up in my head, so tough to imagine, so bittersweet. 

Christmas was pretty anticlimactic that year.  I didn’t wrap presents, didn’t do any baking or cooking, didn’t open any more Christmas cards and I didn’t want to see anyone.  I forced myself to go forward because I had to.  Zack and Brycen didn’t understand why I was so sad, they didn’t understand that the joy of the holiday was lost on me.  And so we carried on and I tried to keep my grief in check for them. 

Inside I was still so full of mixed feelings and still felt like I’d been run over by a train with the speed and devastation that our TTTS had entailed.  We’d had such a short time to come to terms with TTTS before we lost Cole and it just felt like I was completely lost and alone in this world of unknowns. I knew myself and knew that knowing my babies were sick and learning about this disease while it ravaged theirs and my body would have driven me nuts. I wouldn't have slept and I would have been obsessed with it. The only other stories I was reading at that point after the TTTS happened that sounded like mine came from the places to support those who lost both babies, often stillborn before they ever knew there was a problem. I could have found comfort in knowing we didn't completely run out of time and though it was quick it wasn't so quick as to not save Cameron. But I didn’t usually feel comfort in this, I just felt anger that it had to happen at all. I just wanted my baby back, alive, kicking and growing. I didn’t want to give birth to his lifeless body. I didn’t want to raise his brother as forever part of a team that's missing a key player. I wanted my life back. I wanted to stop crying at bizarre times and I wanted to stop this pain!!!!

I would love to tell you that it got better, that I settled into this world of twin loss and coped.  That might have come it I could have stopped myself form trying to find the ‘lesson’ on all of this, if I could have just accepted that there were things this side of Heaven that we are not meant to understand and if I could have stopped asking why.  Again, something that would take me, well years, to really be able to be comfortable with….that is  say that even now, as I write this, there are still days I ask why and wonder about the purpose in all of this.

The grief counsellor that we began seeing suggested that I write….write letters to both my twins, together and separate, journal, blog.  She also suggested I write letters to those who I felt had treated me unfairly or had minimized my loss.  I had a lot of anger towards a certain person who had hurt with me in how he had dealt with our loss.  She told me then, but it would take many months for me to really understand this and move on, that when you deal with a crisis it sometimes becomes easier to focus your feelings on one thing or person….to direct all the anger you are feeling at one person and that holds up your grieving process. It keeps you from moving forward, but oh, it is so easy to do!

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