Six Years.

~10th of October 2007~

ava

 

I walked into a room one day, thinking I carried one,

I learnt I was a mummy to two, yet walked away with none.

Identical in every way, including the angel wings they’d grown.

Before I had a chance to know them, to heaven they had flown.

They blessed me with their sister, a girl wise beyond her years, ella

I think they may have told her about all my fallen tears.

My destiny in life is only one child to birth,

To hold and love and to mother on this earth.

So my daughter will be my only child that you see,

But always in my heart, I am a mother to three.

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Reflections Five Years On.

Five years and one day ago, I sat in a small room on my own, whilst a sonographer told me that not only was I carrying identical twins, but they had both died.

Five years ago today I walked into a hospital, with two tiny baby inside me, and woke up from a general anaesthetic empty. With a gaping hole not just where my babies had been, but also where my heart had been.

Time passed. Life went on. I finally let go of my toxic partner. I started to heal. I still carried that ache inside me, where they were missing, but it didn’t consume me anymore. I met my husband, we had our beautiful daughter. Five years later, I am living a beautiful life.

A life I wouldn’t be living, if my twins had lived. I struggle to make sense of this. How can I grieve them, miss the possibility of them, yet know if they were here, I would not have this life. I would not have my daughter.

My heart aches for all that I lost, those two little souls, my children. I was their mother, and I would have given them a beautiful life, but it wouldn’t be this life. They would not have had a father in their life. They would not have had the loving strong family unit that my daughter has. They would not have had financial security. We would have made it, the three of us, I have no doubt. None of that mattered, then. I would have fought, and struggled, and done everything in my power to give them the life that they deserved, if I had of been given the chance. I never got that chance.

And time keeps moving, and now I have this life. This life, my little family, that I wouldn’t give up for anything in the world. I try to understand how the twins fit in this life. I know that they are my daughters siblings. I believe that they delivered her to me, safely. I know that I think about them, wonder what they would have looked like, what their little personalities would have been like. I know every time I see twins, there is a twinge inside me, a tiny stab, a vision of what could have been.

People say that everything happens for a reason, but I don’t think I believe that. No matter how awful, and difficult my circumstances were, I don’t believe there was ever a good enough reason for them to have been taken from me. And even now, whilst I live happily ever after with my husband and daughter, I can’t believe that they had to die, so I could have this life.

Maybe there is no plan? Maybe sometimes really awful, shitty things happen to people, and sometimes wonderful, beautiful miracles happen to those same people? Maybe life just doesn’t make sense, and all you can do is keep getting up each morning, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and have faith that the world keeps turning, no matter what happens.

I can’t make sense of why I lost my babies.There is no sense. I did not have a choice. I do know that I am a different person because of them. I do know that I will never forget them. I do know that they will always be my children, no matter what happens, no matter how many years pass. I know that every October, the tears will flow, tears that I keep under wrap most of the time. I know that when I think of them, of the short time we had together, I will curse the universe for taking them from me.

I can’t understand how my beautiful angels could fit into the life I have now. This is what I do know ~ I can grieve for them, cry for them, wish everything was different, long to hold them in my arms. I can feel all of that, and still be grateful for all that I have now, for my husband and my daughter. One thing does not cancel out the other. Life does not make sense. The ‘what ifs’ cannot change a thing. This is my life. I am a mother to a daughter on earth and two angels in Heaven. I will love them, remember them, cherish them, until the day comes that we will be together again. That is all I know. xx

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Bears of Hope.

In 2007, my whole world changed forever when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, made even more traumatic with the discovery that I was carrying twins.
For 12 months, I suffered in silence, not understanding my grief, thinking I should be ‘over it’. Crying every day, in secret, trying to ignore the ache in me that just wouldn’t go away. Then one day, I stumbled across a facebook page called ‘Bears of Hope’.  I visited the website, joined the online forum, and finally began to heal. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the Bears of Hope, I think I would have eventually had some kind of breakdown. I was carrying so much grief, and guilt, and felt so alone, until I met these beautiful, amazing Angel Mummies, who have become lifelong friends. I was sent two beautiful bears from another mother, who had also lost twins, Jacinta and Madelin. I treasure these bears, and like to think Jacinta and Madelin are playing with my girls, up in the clouds, and looking after them.

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Bears of Hope do so much fantastic work for bereaved parents. The website has a wealth of information and support, not just for parents, but also for friends and family. There are also links to forums for parents to connect online, as well as a number of  ‘in person’ support groups in NSW.
Bears of Hope work tirelessly to raise funds, so they can continue to donate bears to families who have experienced loss.  (From their website): “Through the donation of a bear of hope, parents are provided with the comfort of knowing they are not alone from the very beginning, and offered significant ongoing support to heal their broken hearts. This includes support for all parents who experience miscarriage, genetic interruption, multiple loss, stillbirth, neo-natal & infant death throughout Australia.”

How can you help this amazing organisation continue with their fabulous work?

Firstly, please help raise awareness by ‘liking’ their facebook page, and sharing it amongst your friends. You just never know who is out there, suffering in silence like I was.

You can donate a bear or a care package, with the option of doing so in honor of your own or a loved ones angel baby.

For all my Sydney followers, Bears of Hope are holding their annual Benefit Ball on the 28th of July. This is a fabulous night, where not only are you contributing to an incredible cause, but you will also have a blast! Ticket includes canapes and drinks on arrival, beer, red, white & sparkling wine, and soft drink, 3 course alternate serve meal, dancing, candle lighting, prizes & auctions. As an extra incentive, Bears of Hope are offering an amazing prize, drawn at random, from all persons purchasing tickets by the 31st of March ~

One Lucky attendee will win the Cinderella Treatment for the night. Prize includes:

  • 1 Night acccommodation at Novotel Sydney Olympic Park,
  • Have your hair done in the privacy of your room by Treuly Inspired Hair & Makeup
  • $200 StyleTread Gift Voucher to purchase your very own Cinderella shoes for the Ball.

Tickets are selling fast, so book your tickets here to go into the draw for the Cinderella Treatment

It’s such an honor for me to be able to share my experience and how Bears of Hope have helped me, and to hopefully raise awareness about all the work they do. I encourage all my fellow bloggers to please share this on your blog/facebook page. You really never know what pain people may be harboring around the loss of a pregnancy, and like in my experience, not know where to turn for help. Thank you  xx

One Pink Line.

I have an issue. It started just over 4 years ago. After I lost my twins. I became addicted to home pregnancy tests. From that day on, I became obsessed with carrying life. I’m ashamed to say, it didn’t matter what circumstance I was in, I just wanted to see two pink lines. I did use birth control, but nothing is 100%, and as it approached ‘that time of the month’, there was alway a part of me that wondered, (hoped?) if I was pregnant. So I would pee on a stick. And see one pink line. And would feel disappointed, despite knowing that I was nowhere near a situation that bringing a child into would enhance. But damn. I wanted to feel that life again.

So, three years later, with my boyfriend of three months (who turned out to be my soulmate, thankfully!) imagine my shock, when I finally saw those two pink lines! (I think this was the 3rd test into our relationship. I told you, I have a problem!) 32 weeks later (!) I gave birth to our darling premature daughter. She is now a healthy 16 month old, and I am married to her fabulous father. I am also nearly blind. The combination of my pregnancy and my diabetes have caused a condition in my eyes, which, according to my specialist, if I hadn’t have given birth 8 weeks early, I would have gone blind. I am still undergoing treatment, in the hope that I will regain enough sight to be able to drive again.

Here’s the thing. I have started peeing on sticks again. Despite being blessed with my beautiful daughter, I want to have another baby. I have always wanted a big family. My husband is one of seven. I want to feel life in me again.

I had an ‘anterior’ placenta last pregnancy, which meant I didn’t feel movement until late in my pregnancy (about 28 weeks) My waters broke at 31.5 weeks. A week before my baby shower. My daughter was born at 32 weeks, by emergency cesarean, after her heart rate dropped, and didn’t come back up. I wish I could say it was the best day of my life, but in reality, it was the most terrifying. I thought my baby was going to die. My daughter is now 16 months old, and is doing fabulously. And I am peeing on sticks.

I want another baby. But it’s not that easy. I can’t just say ‘I want another baby’ and start trying. I am high risk. I have type one diabetes. High risk. I have a history of miscarriage. High risk. I have a history of twins. High risk. I have a history of prematurity. High risk. I could go blind, if I fall pregnant again. HIGH RISK.

There is really nothing in my favor. And I know, I KNOW, I should just be grateful for what I have. I am so blessed to have my daughter, to have a child. I know so many people who haven’t even had that opportunity. I know I am blessed.

But still. Still I pee on a stick, every freaking month, and I cry when I see that one pink line. At the same time, I am terrified that I will fall pregnant again, terrified of the threat that I could lose a baby. Terrified that I may go blind, and not be able to look after the baby that I have. Yet still, I want to see those two pink lines so badly. I suddenly feel myself back where I was before, tears welling at every new pregnancy announcement, every ultrasound picture, every new life, that I am not carrying. I have carried three lives, yet only can see one. I am selfish. I know of people that have carried more than I, and still have no children on earth.

Yet still. I am selfish. I want another child. I want it more than anything. I would have to risk everything, really, to have it. Could I risk that? Should I risk that? xx

The Twins- Part Two ~ Healing

For a long time after I lost the twins, I kept it all inside. I felt like I didn’t have the right to be sad, to grieve them. I told myself that it was ‘just a miscarriage’, get over it. Yet every day, there was an aching sadness in me that I couldn’t shake. Every single day was filled with ‘what ifs’. What if they were still alive? My stomach would be as big as that lady I just walked past at the shops. What if they were still alive? I would be feeling them kick now. What if they were still alive? I would be stocking up on tiny singlets and jumpsuits. What if they were still alive? I would be going on maternity leave now. I would have two babies now. I would be a mum now. What if, what if, what if….But they weren’t still alive. I did not have two babies. I was not a mother. I was still alone, flailing around, trying to figure out what had happened, why it happened, and why it still hurt so damn much.
Nearly two years later, I somehow stumbled on a group called ‘Bears of Hope’. I looked at their web site, and discovered that maybe it was ok to still be feeling this way. It talked about the affect losing a baby, at any gestation, can have on a person, and how it can affect the rest of their lives. All of the sudden, it occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t alone. Maybe it was, dare I say it, normal to be feeling this way. I tentatively joined an online forum, and shared my story, for the first time ever, in it’s entirety. And my life changed for ever.

All of these beautiful women, beautiful mothers, wrote back to me. They told me how sorry they were about my twins. How I was a mother, even though I had no children here on earth. That I had become a mother the moment I found out I was pregnant and started having hopes and dreams for my baby. They validated all the hurt and grief I had been feeling for the past two years. and finally, after so long of bottling up all the emotion I had been suppressing, I allowed myself to grieve the two little lives I had never gotten the chance to know. And in turn, I began to heal.
The lovely mothers in Bears of Hope asked me what I had named the twins. Nobody had ever asked me that before, their names were something I had never shared. I had named them Ava and Ella. Ava was the name we had chosen for a girl, and since I had been told they were identical twins, my feeling was that they were two girls. Ava and Ella, my daughters.

As the second anniversary approached, I decided that I wanted to honor them, commemorate, not commiserate. I decided to get a tattoo, to once again make the twins a part of me, forever. I got a ‘twin’ symbol with angel wings.

 

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Of course, people asked me about it, and for the first time, I was able to talk about what happened. To say “this is in memory of my twins, who I lost”. They existed, outside of my own head and heart. I began to look for other ways to honor them. I got their names written in the sand. I wrote poetry for them. I acknowledged them. On the third anniversary, my beautiful partner took me away to the beach for the weekend, (at 30 weeks pregnant!) and we lit a candle for them, and found a beautiful secluded beach, where I wrote their names.

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A small, silly way that I acknowledge them, every day, is by only ever ‘signing off’ with two ‘kisses’, ‘xx’ , to symbolise my two angels.
I still cry for them, miss them, think about the ‘what ifs’. I will never stop loving them, missing them, wondering why.  But I allow myself to do that now. I allow myself to grieve for them. I know there are people who don’t understand. Who think I should just get over it, that it was a ‘miscarriage’, that I don’t have a right to grieve for them, as I didn’t even ‘know’ them. I admit, I still worry, writing these posts, that people will judge me, will think it’s ridiculous to feel such loss. But I am the only one who knows what they meant to me. I am the only one who felt that connection with them, who had hopes and dreams for them. I know the ache and the emptiness I felt when they were gone. So in the end, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. They are in my heart forever, and no one can take that away from me. xx