I remember the first couple of weeks and months after saying goodbye to my precious Jonah at 30 weeks gestation due to a heart condition as extremely difficult and filled with so many ups and downs, I felt like a marionette doll living someone else’s life, because there’s no way that much sadness could be…
Becoming a bereaved mother results in many losses. I didn’t just lose my twins, I lost a lot more. I lost an entire future that changed the second they passed. There are many other losses that people don’t think about when they think about child loss. They number many, but here are a few I really notice.
I lost my job. Although I quit my job– the main reason I quit was the loss of my twins. I couldn’t take the drive over an hour each way. It gave me way too much time to think about what happened, and every day I arrived to work with tears streaming down my face and completely disheveled. It was impossible to concentrate for 8-10 minutes let alone 8-10 hours. I wasn’t performing my best and I knew it. I also knew that since I was pregnant at this particular job, just walking in the building alone gave me so much anxiety and was such a trigger that I knew I could never perform well there again. I needed a new beginning. I had no choice but to leave.
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I lost relationships. Some people became distant. When we walked in a room, it felt like people would walk out. I don’t blame them, our story is sad, and no one wants to be sad. I needed support, but didn’t find it in the places I thought I would. Every single relationship I had changed as a result of losing our boys.
I lost faith. I grew up Catholic and always believed that good would happen to good people. I started to question God and why he chose me for this to happen. Did I do something wrong? Did God hate me? Why couldn’t He fix it? Why did He let this happen? People say to pray–I did my whole pregnancy and it didn’t work. It seemed like a cruel joke and I began to question my faith. If God really existed, why would He do something so horrible? It has taken me a long time to realize that sometimes God’s plans don’t make sense to us, but one day they will.
I lost security. I was diagnosed with PTSD after the loss of my twins and it was horrific. I began to question whether my husband was breathing at night. I would lay in bed staring at the ceiling wondering if someone was breaking into my parents’ house and hurting them. I had horrible visions of bad things happening to people I loved. I was afraid to get in a car, on a plane, to even walk out the front door. The world became a scary place that was against me. With the help of therapy, I have managed to curb these thoughts a bit, but it is still an awful way to live.
I lost a sense of who I was. This I am still working on. I always wanted to be a Mom. If I am not a Mom, then who am I? If I am not a Mom, what is my real purpose? What am I supposed to do?
I lost the ability to get through any holiday without tears. Easter brings tears. 4th of July. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Every holiday seems to bring cute outfits and happy families. Every darn holiday is another day to remember what I’m missing. Not like I need a reminder.
I lost any peace in future pregnancies. If I’m lucky enough to ever conceive again, I won’t ever be able to have the happy, stress-free, glowing pregnancy that I see so many others have. Any future pregnancy will be riddled with fear and obsession over if I’m eating the right foods, taking the right vitamins, using a toothpaste that doesn’t contain bad chemicals. Deep down I know that I couldn’t have done anything differently, but my mind will no doubt trick me into thinking I can control the outcome.
I lost getting to see the joy on my parents’ faces as they grandparent twins. I was so excited to see my dad with two boys riding on his tractor and my Mom dressing them up in matching outfits. I have wonderful parents and I couldn’t wait to see them with my boys. That will never happen.
I lost SO many things when our boys passed away.
But I also GAINED. I GAINED faith that my husband was a loving caring man who would stand by me through the thick and thin. I GAINED the blessing of appreciating every moment with my loved ones- even the little things. I GAINED so many friends and acquaintances who have gone through a similar situation who hold me up when I’m down. I GAINED the ability to love immensely and indiscriminately. I GAINED extra special moments with my godchildren who I love with every ounce of my being. Most importantly, I GAINED two angels, who I know watch over us and hopefully are smiling down as we try to parent them the best we can from afar.
Photo: Insung Yoon/Unsplash