Well, as of midnight tonight, the one year heart ache markers begin. As of just after midnight tonight our worlds turned upside down. What I would give to have been able to "fix" the events of that very early morning. The morning my water broke with Zac...and there was nothing I could do. The confusion, heart break, fear, agony for my Zac and my Evan began. Hearing from a NICU resident "if you go in to labor we won't intercede and your babies will most likely die". Thank heavens for the few compassionate souls there that night/morning. The ones who gave me some hope. The ones who tried to calm my fears.
The wonderful antepartum nurses who cared for me those 5 weeks, my wonderful OB/G/peri, my wonderful family and those precious friends who came to visit and keep my spirits up.
I knew these "markers" were going to hurt. I just didn't realize how much they were going to affect me. For the past week I've been riden with "guilt", shame, sorrow, pain, sadness, grief. Reliving the events of this night, being in this house, being in my bathroom...it hurts. I have spent every day in tears...tucked away where no one can see me. I know people think that I should just be thankful for Evan...and please...don't start with those comments. Because you have no idea HOW thankful I am for my sweet baby boy. He is my reminder of miracles. He is my hope. No matter how thankful, blessed, greatful, honored I am to be Evan's mommy...I am STILL the mother who had to make the choice to let her other sweet baby son go. I had to say "OK". Do you know what that feels like? To say "ok...I will make the best of the final moments with my first born son". Do you know what it feels like to hold your son while his heart slows, his breaths slow, his body goes limp? Do you know what it's like to see your son look at you one last time as he recognizes your voice? And to wonder "what if?" What if we had just kept hoping? What if we hadn't had that decision to make. And the "why's" come pouring in. Why did this happen? Why did we have to go through this? Why does my son never get the opportunity to grow up with his twin brother?
Instead of just telling me to be greatful for Evan...yes...tell me that...but also acknowledge that the grief of losing Zac will remain. Remember that I had...HAVE two sons. Remember that this mother didn't get the story book ending of bringing BOTH her sons home.
I remember saying way back early in my pregnancy "after losing Ethan and Jack, surely nothing will go wrong with this pregnancy. After everything God has brought us through, surely we will not be tested again. After the pain of loss, and the years of unexplained infertility...surely we will be given our miracle of both our sons."
No, I'm not blaming God. What is the point. I will never understand, yet there will never be answers here on earth. Some people get the whole deal...the full miracle and gift of bringing all their children home...but some of us...well, some just don't.
I don't mean to sound bitter. I don't mean to sound like there is this preconceived notion that I am assuming what people think I should be feeling. And really, no one can. No one can judge me. No one can tell me how to feel. No one can say they fully understand.
Yet...I've never felt more alone and forgotten than I have these past days. Maybe to others the memories aren't as vivid...but to me...I am reminded every day.
I know that as the years carry on the pain will become less intense...but since this is my first year, and the REALLY painful markers are yet to come...please let me vocalize how I feel without judgement.
I had a good cry with my mom today. I finally vocalized why I've been feeling so sick this week. My mom had to watch Evan a couple of days because I was so physically sick from everything I was feeling. And I just had no strength. It made me feel like a shoddy mommy, but I needed to feel what I was feeling so that I no longer held it in.
Anyhow...thank heavens for MY mommy!!! Thank heavens for someone I could be open with how I was feeling, and that I could cry and know that my mom gets it. And thank heavens for my mom who told me that even through this sadness...we look at Evan with such great amazement.
Again...here is where that see-saw of emotion comes in to play. My grief and agony for Zac as of the 30th was also my grief and agony for Evan. My little boy who knew nothing of what was going on inside. He was okay. He was safe. There were no complications on his end. Yet...there could have been. The gratitude I have for my Zac is beyond words. He hung on, he fought for us...he saved his brother. Both my sons are amazing to me. Both fought a strong fight. Both won in different ways. I miss and love my Zac, but I AM greatful and love my Evan. My sadness and grief will remain, and my love and joy will continue to grow.
My heart goes out to you moms who know all to well the agony of walking in your home without your child. Yes...I eventually got to walk in my home with Evan in my arms...yet without Zac. Yet...in this circumstance...I see where others would think "at least you got to bring home one of your sons" and in that circumstance...I do feel for those of you...I do have compassion...I do ache with you. I don't know what I would have done if I had to have had to walk in my home once again empty armed.
In these moments of hard memories, there are memories of hope, prayer, praise, miracles. I had 5 additional weeks of the honor of carrying Zac and Evan together. I had 5 precious weeks of getting to see both my boys growing and moving, I got to listen to Zac's hiccups numerous times during daily NST tests. I got to see, touch, kiss, breath in my Zac those three precous days of his all too soon life. I watched both my boys...and as Zac began to slip away...Evan got stronger. I HAVE to believe that Zac was passing on what was left of his strength.
My greatest sorrow is that I never got to hold both my sons together, of have them side by side before we had to say good bye to Zac. I wish I had pictures of them next to each other. In those moments I wish I would have been more clear and realized how badly the loss of that opportunity would hurt down the road.
BUT, I can't change the past. The what if's will only eat me alive.
The memories will hurt over these next weeks. But I need to focus on the life of Evan...this amazing little guy who melts my heart every day. I've been so wrapped up in fears of the thought of ever losing him...and I think those fears became even worse this past week. I know I can't live in those fears. I know I have to trust that he will be okay.
The enemy has just been beating and beating on me this past while with memories, fears, feelings of failure, feelings of sadness...now feelings of inadequacy...
I ask that in these next weeks you would really lift me in prayer so that the enemy will be defeated, and I will be able to make it through the pain of these markers. I ask that my friends re-appear...even if just in prayer.
And as I walk these days of confused emotions...I pray for those special women who have become dear to my heart through the pain of also being a part of this ever unwanted "club" of loss. I pray for those who ache daily and who miss their precious little angels as well.
I will focus on the good of these days even in the days of tears. I will be thankful for what I HAVE been given, and greatful for the moments I had.
I will watch my son grow...and pray that I will be the strength he needs, the love he deserves, the courage to face each tomorrow. I pray that he will never back down. That he will fight for his dreams. That he will know what a blessing he is. I pray that in my moments of anger towards God that I do not stop teaching my son of His love for him. That we can be human and hurt and be angry...but we can not give up. We have to keep trusting and believing. We have to.
Anyhow, thanks for reading, thanks for encouraging, and thanks for praying.