Finding the Light
I had to live. I had to appreciate every moment. Strung together, these rays of light built a rope for me to hold onto. Even if I started at the bottom, I would eventually pull myself up. My boys hearts are no longer beating, but mine is.
I held our twin boys, one in each arm, shaking with tears streaming down my face. This was the moment I had been waiting for. I was holding my first child (children!) in my arms and looking at their sweet faces. But this is not how the moment was supposed to be. Our boys could not and would not be saved. I would have to hand them back. William Matthew Lamie & Harrison Michael Lamie were our first born children.
And we would never take them home.
I didn’t think I would ever leave that hospital room. I thought I would die right there. My heart was irrevocably broken—not even broken, but completely shattered. I felt like my life had gone through a shredder. I didn’t know how my heart could continue to beat after the hell I had just endured.
But it did. My heart beat, and beat, and beat.
At first, I didn’t even realize my heart was still beating. I was wheeled out of the labor and delivery ward to my car empty handed and in complete silence. Happy families holding balloons and flowers passed me and my husband to greet their new family members and celebrate their healthy arrival. That was supposed to be us. But it wasn’t. My boys were still inside, but I was forced to leave them. There was no other choice. I have never felt so helpless in my life.
I felt dead. In fact, for the next almost 2 years, I felt like I had died right along with them. At my worst moments, I wished I had.
I went home to an empty house. My husband and I sat on the couch while I stared into space and stifled suffocating sobs. The silence was deafening. No cries from the twins room. No washer and dryer cleaning their sweet matching onesies I had bought. No trash bags full of dirty diapers. I wanted all of the hardships that came with mothering- all the ones that other people complained about. I would give anything to be awake all night, covered in spitup, a bag full of smelly diapers stinking up the room. I would love every minute. Instead, I got the hell of living without them.
Flowers arrived. Wine and chocolate arrived. Cookies, cards and letters from friends, family, and even strangers came. It was nice to feel like people cared and acknowledged our sweet children. After about a week or so, the calls stopped. The flowers and visits stopped.
Everyone returned back to their busy, happy lives. It was as if our twins never existed, and that was the most heartbreaking thing of all.
I read books about grief. I prayed to a God I no longer trusted and wasn’t even sure I believed in anymore. I wondered what I did to deserve this. I wanted the best for my husband- he deserved it. I felt like I wasn’t good enough.
The first year, I don’t remember much. I tried to go to work. I tried to be normal and social, and plastered a fake smile on my face. I attended events, celebrations, and BBQs and would end up hiding in the bathroom, sobbing.
Time passed. My heart was still beating. I had to live again.
I knew I had tried everything: therapy, medication, books… Nothing would bring them back. The only thing that could pull me through this was myself.
I started reaching out to other Mamas who were suffering the same tragic outcome that I was. These women became my tribe. I met so many selfless, understanding women who helped me to focus on the good. I decided that every day, my goal would be to look for the light. I’d find as many things that I could each day to be thankful about.
A hug from my husband, big smiles from my niece that lit up her whole face, hearing my nephew giggle, walks with our new puppy- these things became my light. I admired a perfect rose in my garden, a blue butterfly fluttering by, the sound of the ocean. I cherished a text from my best friend, lunches with my mom, photography discussions with my dad. All of the little things I took for granted before were now the big things. These were my reasons for living. Little by little, these rays of light picked me up and flung me across the threshold of despair.
I had to live. I had to appreciate every moment. Strung together, these rays of light built a rope for me to hold onto. Even if I started at the bottom, I would eventually pull myself up. My boys hearts are no longer beating, but mine is. My husband’s is. Our future is waiting.
Almost two years later, I still have bad days. I have painful moments when I see baby boy clothing, a happy pregnant woman shopping, toys, boys that are around 2 years old, or god forbid –twins.
The future is uncertain. But, in every painful moment of the future, every day that seems too hard to bear, every horrific memory that pops up, I will do what I can to find the light. I will search for it, and I know I will find it somewhere.
Look for the light in every day. I do this and I repeat one of my favorite quotes when I get down. Ironically, this quote is in one of my niece’s favorite songs, and when I hear her sing it, the light just beams out of her face, and in turn, lights up mine.
“Turn your face towards the sun, let the shadows fall behind you.” ~Maori Proverb