I knew my pregnancy was high risk and there were complications at 20 weeks. I was transferred to two fetal specialists, monitored on a weekly basis, and put on bed rest. My pregnancy was up in the air. All planning was put on hold including decorating the nursery, a baby shower, maternity photos. It’s as if the pause button was hit. I tried to be strong but it was hard hearing their heartbeats and seeing my belly expand not knowing if I would ever be able to hold them.
I delivered identical twin girls at 25 weeks. It was a miracle they both survived birth given the 60% and 15% chance the doctors gave them. However, after 4 days of fighting, my Finley lost her battle. After losing my daughter’s twin I still had my surviving daughter in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit hooked up to monitors, not being able to eat or breath on her own and who had a long road ahead of her.
I was living in a fog. I was so wrapped up in my surviving daughter’s fight I didn’t have a lot of time to grief. It was when my daughter came home that it really hit me and became clear that this wasn’t a bad nightmare I would wake up from. This was my life and I lost a baby.
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I kept saying it over and over again. I lost a baby. My baby died. She’s gone.
I can clearly remember what I was wearing, how the room smelt, the sounds in the room and how I was feeling when my daughter passed away in my arms. It was the first time I was able to hold her, to see her eyes, and to see her not hooked up to any monitors. I was able to give her the love and comfort she needed to take her last breath.
Now that my surviving daughter is home and healthy I find myself wondering what life would be like if my daughter’s twin was still here. I ask myself would they have the same laugh, the same smile, the same appetite, or favorite toy. Questions I will never get the answer to but will always wonder.
Grieving for a twin that’s no longer here is hard as you are constantly reminded of what life could have been like if she would have survived. From the start of my grief, I was constantly blaming myself for her passing. What did I do wrong, was I stressed about the thought of providing for two babies? But then I realized it wasn’t my fault and I would never be able to grieve if I constantly blamed myself for something that was out of my control.
I was always told – well at least you still have a baby. True. I did and I’m beyond grateful for that. But that didn’t lessen the pain. I was so frustrated and confused about why this happened. Just because I had a surviving daughter didn’t take away the pain and grief I felt for Finley away. Every milestone my daughter was hitting would cause some type of sadness as I was reminded that I will never get that chance to celebrate with Finley. I will never get to see her crawl, say her first word, take her first steps, go to school, grow up, graduate, or get married.
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I know it’s a constant battle I will face for the rest of my life. I’m about to celebrate their first birthday. It should be a day of celebration but it’s also a reminder that only one of my daughters is alive to celebrate. The day still calls for a celebration. I delivered both girls on this day and they proved what miracles they were by surviving delivery. It’s not fair to my daughter to make it about sadness. So instead we will celebrate the little time we had with Finley and the time I continue to have with my daughter.
Finley will forever be a part of our lives. I look forward but also fear the day I sit down with my daughter and tell her about her twin sister. I don’t want her to have any sadness or blame on herself for her twin passing. I know to grieve for my daughter’s twin has just started and I have a lifetime ahead of me. But for now, I will find comfort in knowing that when I’m looking into my daughter’s eyes I’m also looking into Finley’s eyes.
Featured photo courtesy of bella luxe photography llc
Kim is a wife and a mom of one here, and two in heaven. She shares her experience of being a first-time mom to a preemie, surviving the loss of a baby, and trying again after a miscarriage. She loves writing and spending time with loved ones. Find her on: