I want to change the conversation by actually starting the conversation, by raising awareness for those around me – friends, family, and acquaintances.
Fifty little toes I’ll never get to wiggle, ten beautiful eyes I’ll never see light up, and five curious minds I’ll never watch grow. Cries I’ll never hear, fears I’ll never comfort, and wounds I’ll never heal. Hair I’ll never comb through my fingers, and ears that will never hear my lullabies.
Five of you. Five of you I’ll never know, yet I knew your entire existence: My first. Solar Eclipse. Ectopic. Heartbeat. Oops.
Five of you who taught me how to grieve, how to cope, how to be brave and how to be strong. Five of you who taught me that no matter what, I will be okay.
Five of you who brought me to this very point in time. This very moment where two of your siblings’ hearts beat inside of me.
I am reminded of you every day.
Oh, First One, you made the unthinkable a reality. You opened a world of empathy and introduced me to a whole new club of women. Sisters. Couples. People who have experienced the loss of a child, a miscarriage, a chemical pregnancy. You gave me a scare, a big one, one from which I didn’t know I’d be able to recover. You will always be our first loss, but you will always be remembered as the one who started turning us into the strongest versions of ourselves.
Solar Eclipse, how could this be? How can this happen twice? What is going wrong? You made it a week or two farther than our First One, but you couldn’t hold on. I’m sorry if it was in your chromosomes. I’m sorry if it was my hormones, or if my blood was clotting, or if my uterine lining wasn’t ideal, or if I had an inhospitable uterus. I would have moved mountains if it could have meant saving you. I couldn’t do it though. I couldn’t save you, and I’m sorry. I got my ears pierced for you. I’ve never taken the earrings out that were pierced into my earlobes that day, except for when I’ve had surgeries for our other losses, and Dad has held them each and every time. They will stay there for as long as possible. I can keep them safe. I can turn them, squeeze them, and feel them. They are my tangible reminder of you.
Ectopic. The day you were brought into this world, I was supposed to get a massage, but I had the most excruciating pain in my abdomen. The thought went through my head, “We are going to have an ultrasound, and I’m going to have a belly full of blood.” And that’s exactly what happened. Dad and I rushed to the hospital and had you removed. This was the hardest day of my life. I knew, in the very moment it happened, that you were taken from me. I knew you were going to be tastefully discarded by the hospital’s routine and standards. You were perfect. You were normal. You were fine. You were just in the wrong place. Losing you hurt so, so badly. You were, and still are, the hardest to grieve.
Heartbeat, we heard and recorded your heartbeat. We watched your heartbeat. Through our cautious optimism, we had so much hope. You were our fighter. You held on as long as you could. You tried to live. I watched you try week after week. But we just couldn’t do it together. The next appointment, I was alone. I thought I’d hear your heartbeat again, so I didn’t ask Dad to come, but instead, I heard silence. You had died within five days of seeing you last. I had just seen you alive. I felt so emotionally empty in that moment that I also wanted to feel physically empty. I wish I could have held onto you longer. I wish that so badly. You will always be our heartbeat baby, and you will always be in my heart.
Oops, if anything was supposed to happen, it was you. Dad and I had sex one time, outside of any conscious fertile window, four weeks after my D&C from Heartbeat. How in the world did sperm meet egg? You were in the right place at the right time, and you implanted. You made it seven weeks before we lost you. Before losing you, we thought you were the one. The one we’d waited for. The Oops that was meant to be. The Oops who was a stubborn, ostentatious fighter. But we lost you, too. Yet, you were the one who finally steered us in a new direction. You were our motivation to seek new options. You led us to IVF, which led us to an outstanding OB/GYN who will hopefully deliver your twin siblings in three months. You are the one who sent us on our journey towards healing. You were meant to be. You were meant to help us, guide us, and heal us. Your life mattered.
Five of you. Five of you who hold such firm grips on my heart. Who have molded, shaped, and twisted my life in ways I never thought possible. I have held onto you, and I will continue to hold onto you. You will always be in my heart, and memories of you will live on through our family and your siblings.
But I can no longer hold onto all of the grief that I have for you. I can no longer be burdened by all the emotional pain. I can no longer feel reservation in my love for your unborn siblings because I worry I’ll lose my grief for you. You have shaped me, but it is time for me to move on and feel happiness. It is time for me to feel joy. I must let go of my grief for you.
I love you. All of you. So much. I love you with a heart bigger than the one in my chest. I will love you for my entire life, and I will honor you, and what you have done for me, for as long as I live.
But I have to say goodbye. Goodbye, my loves. You will forever be in my dreams. I love you.