In Which I Apologize To That Nice Couple In The Grocery Store

It all started because I didn’t want to freak them out.  Which was a good intention, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

My littlest is a year and a half old. There should be three of them. They should all be a year and a half old. Most of the time, I look on the bright side.  At least we have Itty Bit! What a joy she is! What a darling, yay!

But the cold truth sneaks up on me from time to time.  Holidays that should be spent with the triplets, but not. Milestones that should be hit by three little girls, not just one.  My doctors have upped my antidepressants. I struggle to get out of bed sometimes, but I do.  I sleep with a tiny, tiny blanket under my pillow.  That blanket doesn’t belong to anybody anymore.

This couple today, they were so nice.  He was talking to Itty Bit and she was talking back. And I find myself blurting out, “She’s a triplet.”  Which is what I’ve been thinking about lately.  It’s on my mind all of the time.  I can’t sleep at night.  It’s become all-consuming.

And this nice, wonderful couple says, “Oh? Are they identical?”

And I don’t know what to say, because they’re so wonderful.  When I say, “Oh, we lost two of them,” well. That really tends to wreck somebody’s day.  People don’t know what to say and they don’t know how to speak to me after that. It’s incredibly uncomfortable. They’re all, “I’m sorry,” and I say, “It’s okay,” and you know what? It isn’t okay. But I can’t say what I’m really feeling, either, which is usually something along the lines of, “I wonder what they look like inside of the casket. I have nightmares. I know their souls are somewhere better but they really should be here with me, you know?”

So I said, “Yes. They’re identical.”  A little white lie, which doesn’t hurt anybody, and keeps me from falling apart. Because I’m falling apart this week, my darling friends. It’s almost more than I can bear.

But this couple, they’re so wonderful. They’re telling me about their little girl, and her birthday, and asking what it’s like with three, and how do we tell them apart, and although my mind is saying, “Whoa, this isn’t true!” it seemed so much easier to keep talking. And it was a joy. I talk about the girls as if they’re alive, and we have three little ones, and I tell them what I always thought we’d do to tell them apart, and how we always figured we’d take care of them, and I mention the dreams that I have for them as if they were real, but they’re not.

And this couple, I like them. A lot. She reads horror.  I’d totally want to hang around with them. I give them my card and send them to the magazine.  And by this time I’m feeling horribly guilty.

I’m not a liar. I’m almost painfully honest.  My intentions were good, but it was a weak moment and I didn’t do the right thing. I should have told the truth right away, as painful or awkward or uncomfortable as it was.

I saw them later in the store, and wanted to run up and say, “Hey, you know what? I wasn’t being truthful.”  I very nearly did that, but I thought the only thing crazier than a nutty lady who talks about her kids is a nutty lady who talks about her dead kids like they’re still living.  And nobody wants that much honesty, really.

But it wasn’t true, and even if it was a lie told with good intentions, and a sad amount of desperation to simply forget what is real for a second, a lie is a lie is a lie.  Sheesh, I’m a Sunday School teacher, for crying out loud! I know better.

So I’m very sorry, wonderful couple at the grocery store who will probably never read this.  I’m neither bonkers nor a liar (usually) and I’m sorry that I was untruthful with you. But thank you for being so kind and asking about my daughters.  I grieve them every single day, and I thought it would get better much faster than this.  But thank you for letting me think about them as darling little toddlers. Although I went about this the wrong way, you brought me much joy for that time. Thank you, and please forgive me.

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One Year Later

It’s been a year today since our little girls were born.  Today we celebrated Lilia’s birthday (yay!) and I also fiercely missed Seija and Daisy.  But it was a wonderful day filled with happiness.  Yesterday I picked up the girls’ headstone, and isn’t it beautiful?  I think it’s sweet and cheery.  It’s sitting in the back of my vehicle, ready to be put in. We’ll do that later this week.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

Lightning Strikes In Las Vegas

Beautiful photo by Steve Marcus of Reuters

We had the most amazing storm last night.  It was about 3 AM and I was up with the little Cyborg Ninja.  I heard the storm coming closer, and it made me happy.  The lightning was stunningly bright and flashed so often that I didn’t need to turn on any lights.  Wind.  Rain.  Thunder so loud that I thought I’d have little kidlets running into my arms any minute.

But no, they slept.  My husband woke up, however, and he came to sit by me.  We watched the gutters flood and water run across our lawn, but we’re lucky enough that it wasn’t anything serious.  I thought about how things are settling for us now, especially after everything has been so gut-wrenching lately.  He and I haven’t had the chance to sit together quietly for quite a while.  What I thought but didn’t say aloud was that we haven’t sat together with a child in our arms since he turned to me three months ago and said softly, “She’s beginning to cool.”

He went back to bed but I stayed up, holding our single remaining triplet even thought she was sleeping.  It just seemed so perfect.

I had so many things to say.  Some fun writing announcements, some cheering.  But I’ll save that for another time.  Right now I’ll just cherish the ones who are still alive.

Winkin, Blinken, and Nod: The Baby Update

I’m telling you what this post is about in clear, bold letters so you can choose whether or not you wish to read it.  There’s some difficult news, but as always, there’s a thread of hope in there as well.

Most of you know that I was surprised and delighted to find out that we were expecting a baby. YAY! Then we discovered we were having triplets.  YAY, but WHA-?!  We soon found out that one of the triplets had passed away, and we’re now expecting twins. Although deeply saddened by the loss of our child, we’re still excited for the twins, and hoped both would be healthy.

Some things are not meant to be.  At my last appointment, we discovered that while one of the babies seems healthy and shockingly active (hello, Olympics!) the other one spends her time curled into a tiny ball.  (We don’t actually know gender yet,  but in my heart, this dear one is a baby girl.) It turns out that this baby has quite a bit of fluid on the brain, as well as too much fluid in the spine. The doctor, an extremely kind man, told me that this baby most likely won’t survive until birth, and if she does, she’ll probably only live a few hours.

I didn’t know how to take this, quite honestly.  After losing the first child, it didn’t even cross my mind that we could lose a second.  While I was still processing the new information, he informed me that the death of the second baby could cause my body to go into preterm labor, and we could perhaps lose the third.

Carrying triplets and then watching them disappear one by one seems too cruel to be real.  It’s been an extremely difficult couple of weeks, but I’ve determined that there are still two babies at this point, and the game is still going on.  While there is sorrow, there is still hope, and I choose to cling to it.  After all, it’s what has gotten me this far in life, and I have never regretted preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

Why Am I Thinking Of The Rolling Stones?

At a time when my heart is breaking?

We were calling the triplets Winkin, Blinken, and Nod, but discovered today that Nod passed away about two weeks ago.  It’s funny how you can become so attached to somebody that you haven’t met, but that’s the way of it.  While I mourn for the child that we almost had, we’re still excited that we have what seem to be two very energetic twins, and that’s a blessing.

I do believe that things happen for a reason, even if it’s only to teach us strength and empathy.  I wish that this wasn’t a lesson that I needed to learn, but that’s where the Stones come in.  You can’t always get what you want.  I just need to focus on the rest of those uplifting lyrics, and remember how much I believe in hope.

Thank you for your kindness concerning all of this. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed for a few weeks and haven’t been able to respond as personally as I would like to, but please know that you’re very appreciated. 🙂

And Another Surprise

This one breaks my heart.  Apparently they picked up two heartbeats on the ultrasound, but never heard the third.  Whether or not the baby has passed on or was merely hiding…well, I don’t know.   I won’t know until the 19th.  It’s killing me a little.

It’s funny how we’ve known about the three babes for about 24 hours, but I’m already vehemently opposed to losing one.  They’re mine.  I want them.  They’re family.

But whatever happens happens.  Thanks for you love and support.  I know this seems like a terribly personal thing to write on a blog, but you’re family as well, and I want you to know.  Triplets aren’t something that you can easily hide, and I’d rather let everybody know what’s happening as it unfolds so I’m not making a zillion phone calls to fill everybody in.  I think I’d also die inside if somebody asked me three months down the line how the triplets are, and I have to explain that I’m only carrying twins.  But perhaps it won’t come to that.  I can only hope and pray. 

The next surprise had better be a darn good one, that’s all that I can say.