Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Oh that word that still at times can make me wince...
I remember when I first became pregnant and it was terrifying and exhilarating all in the same moment. What would we do... He'd just lost his job, we weren't planning for this... but we'd make it work... Twins? Really?
When the news spread that not only was I pregnant, but with 'twins', the number of babies I was carrying wasn't the only thing that doubled, so did the excitement. And while it felt good to get all that attention, I also- from that moment- decided that I didn't want those babies I was carrying to be identified by that word 'twin' and so if you knew me then, and you know me now you never heard me refer to that first pregnancy as a 'twin' pregnancy but when I carried my "babies"- and later- my "boys".
It took a while for the idea to settle- it was not what I had wanted. I had always imagined myself as a mother with one in her arms, looking into one set of eyes, having one steal my heart... How can you share that love? Split it? I suddenly began to add another to my dreams... and while I didn't know if they were boys, girls, perhaps one of each I did know that I would refer to them as 'the babies', celebrate their differences, raise them as individuals and not split my love but double it.
And so when the babies were born, the boys were born, I remember feeling guilty... I had always dreamed of one... imagined one... were my dreams what was meant to be? Did I somehow 'will' this... by avoiding that word? By taking so long to shape my dreams- add that extra baby?
No. Of course not. Absolutely not. I know that now, but the thought crossed my mind more than once and I do remember moments when I would have it out with God wondering, "Did you think I couldn't handle it? Because I could have! I would have! YOU were wrong!"
And though I didn't have 'twins' (I had babies), that dreaded word that I had avoided even in my 'perfect pregnancy' found me... driving behind a TWIN camry... shopping and seeing TWIN packs of items... The word was everywhere and so were they. When you lose a child, suddenly babies are EVERYWHERE. When you lose a child, suddenly pregnant people are EVERYWHERE. And when you lose a twin... suddenly they're EVERYWHERE too. And so was that damn word.
A word I never used, but I grieved it still. I grieved the very idea of it. An idea that I had to try out... imagine... believe... and now that idea was gone- and not just for me, but for him- that little boy whose eyes looked into mine for the first time. Eyes that found mine as I told him that that little boy he'd spent so long with was gone. His brother. The little boy who he'd played with and kicked- gone. That relationship that I had dreamed of... that could have been... gone.
And that is the danger of it. The unknown- for our dreams can play games with us~ make us think that what we don't have is always 'better'. I imagined what they would have been~ best friends~ but how could I know that? It was after all just my dream.
I was grieving that "Twin" when he contacted me. Told me. He had a twin. And he told me as gently as he could that that dream I had, wasn't his experience. They were brothers sure, but who's to say that that relationship was any deeper than it was with his other siblings. It wasn't.
I often think of those dreams we have. The ones for those babies we lost too soon. For mine are 7 and 2 now and try as I may, I cannot see them clearly. I do not know their laughter and while I feel them dance around me, I cannot make out their eyes. How can I possibly know what it would have been like... I can't.
But I can dream. And I allow myself that. But I have changed it somewhat~ changed it for my babies. Joe and Andrew would have loved each other. They would have played together and been best friends- the same way that Joe is best friends with his sister and his brothers... not because they were twins but because they were family. For to me, family is what we lost~ a piece of who we were- not a piece of who he was.
** And these thoughts came to me because of a recent video going around with two twins babbling... their own secret language. And if you are me~ the mom of a "twinless twin", or just someone grieving babies and this video hurt to see (as I know from hearing from many of you that it did), I want you to know that my twin had that too... a secret language with his younger (by 15 months) sister~ not because he was a 'twin' but because they were babies and close in age and that is what babies do. Be gentle on yourselves. A cute video yes, but a cosmic twin language it is not. Don't let that dream- that word- that idea- rule you (easier said than done).
Wishing you peace tonight.