All I Wanted

{I have never put this, but I know so many of you have a fresh loss or are triggered by mine. Please know at the end this may be hard to read and it’s ok if you don’t.}

After I lost the boys, I got the usual reactions we all hear about with a woman who has lost a baby.

“You are so lucky you have a little girl!”

“At least you can have more!”

“My daughter died at 26, how do you think I feel?”

“At least they didn’t suffer.”

“Maybe you’ll have twins next time!”

Honestly, most of the time I didn’t even know how to respond. Because all, except for the daughter dying at 26, were meant kindly and in a very ignorant way. They simply didn’t view the loss like I did, and wanted to “cheer” me up. After all, it was just babies. Easy to come by, I’ll have more.

Only – I may not have any more. I will more than likely never again have twins, and it doesn’t change the fact because they died that I do have twins already. I love Bella but having a little girl doesn’t make me ok with losing my sons. Suffering? I can’t even go there. No one wants their babies to suffer, but to suggest they’re better off dead is not helpful. Like because I’m grieving for them, I wanted them to hurt so I could have them still. Or…?

As for the daughter, this was told to me by a nurse 6 weeks after I lost them and went in for my first PP appt. She wanted to know why I couldn’t stop crying, and as I choked out the story she shook her head and said her daughter was in a car accident 2 years ago at 26. She lost everything, and I should be thankful it didn’t end up like her story. O_o

I wanted to tell her, “At least you GOT 26 years with her. You have memories. You know the color of her eyes, her favorite songs, heard her voice. You had her childhood.”

But of course, it’s all relative. Loss is all relative to the person suffering.

I had friends and family who listened. Who didn’t. Who judged. Who went away. Who made it all about them. Their pain from my loss, what they went through because I shared my story. I dealt with people who couldn’t handle it, others who waited until I was ready to unload.

I know the uncertainty of grief. I still feel it even after all of this. When the man on the plane tells me his wife died earlier this year, I freeze up. Does he want to talk about it? Be asked about her? Just want to share? Or not? I don’t know.

I do it myself. When someone comments on the “sweet tattoos” on my wrists, I immediately size them up. Are they willing to hear about it? Do I have time? Sometimes I smile and move on, other times I mention it. Mentioning to a random person brings their own uncertainty.

Grief is a big, huge, complicated mess of eggshells we all dance on. Trying to figure out what makes the other crack and avoiding it at all costs. We have all been raised to be SO terrified of death and pain that we can’t fathom what losing a baby feels like, how you can be normal ever again, or the constant, “Please don’t let it happen to me” thoughts.

I get suicide bombers now. I mean, I don’t get their motives or wanting to kill people, but I get the no fear of death thing. They were raised to think of it differently, and it shows in their society. It’s been twisted to something perverse, but taken down the right path, that could be such a beautiful and freeing thing. I hope to make a difference in that.

To show that you can lose, you can go through trauma and heartache and have your entire life ripped from your arms. You can give birth over a toilet in a hospital gown and catch your babies in your hands, scream out loud, be scolded for asking no one to touch them, to wait 2 1/2 hours for your little boy to die while he gasps for breath, to hold the other who is gone, to watch your husband bawl by your side, your mom try to make it better, to watch them be taken away, to bleed yourself unconscious while trying to push the placenta out, to be pushed through the hospital in a wheelchair while none of the nurses speak to you, to go home and have your milk come in, to go to a funeral home and pick out an urn, to listen to person after person tell you your babies weren’t babies at all, to have your life change in ways you can’t even image.

And be ok. You can be ok. Never the same. But still you. Still laugh. Still want to live. Still love and yearn to try again. It sucks. It’s awful. But if you lose a baby – you can be ok again. I promise.

Don’t be afraid of us. Of our pain or what we went through. They were our children and we are trying to find a new normal, as much as I hated that term. All I wanted to hear was that someone remembered, cared, understood in a small way. Was going to make it all about me for a while, so I could be selfish and an attention whore until my pain lessened and I could breathe without wondering why I was still alive. I had that from so many, I am so thankful for it. Maybe you can be that for someone else hurting.

 

Comments

  1. Diana. You are brave and He is mighty within you. Thanks for writing.

  2. My heart breaks for you. The loss that you, your husband and your little girl has gone through is staggering. Well meaning people can often say the most horrible things . . . I suspect it helps them deal with their own pain, not realizing that is actually works to minimize what you have gone through.

    Your boys were real . . . they were loved . . . and the pain you feel is because of that.
    Jenn

  3. Wow. This is so powerful. Thank you for writing it. I’m glad you are learning to be ok again, while still being able to acknowledge your loss and what it means to you.

  4. Posts like this one always leave me searching for the right words.

    And honestly, I continue to search. I comment just so you know I’m here listening.

  5. I agree Amber- I have a hard time finding the words if anything. Love u Diana and I think about the boys all the time <3 talk soon

  6. The reason you write and we don’t is that you HAVE the words to make the experience come to life, it’s your gift, and it does help – it helps you and it helps others. Those of us who have walked through this fire and come out the other side, scorched but still here, will never be the same but that doesn’t mean we won’t BE. We are all still dealing with the fallout, some of us many many years later. Some might wonder why it would be helpful to read your words and relive the pain of what we went through, but somehow it spreads a balm over the memories. Knowing that one more person has endured, is enduring, brings a certain reality to life going forward. Bless you and your family, and bless you for writing the hard stuff

  7. Oh Diana. I lack the words here. Just know that you’re so often in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Thank you. As a mom who has recently suffered a loss, I needed to hear that I will be okay again. Sharing your story has helped so much. Your words are powerful and your strength is admirable. Thank you.

  9. Those babies are on my mind everyday. While I pray I never experience that sort of loss myself, I absolutely grieved amd still am grieving the lives of Preston and Julian and I’m rooting for you, Sam and Bella all the way! Like I’ve said before. Those boys directly affected my family by making me a better, more patient mother to my babies. Everything else anyone will ever tell you that is negative regarding them amd their personhood is nothing mext to the fact that they changed a life for the better. And I’m just one person. There were so many women like me holding your hand in spirit and crying with you. Preston and Julian are tiny heros, and you gave them a voice to speak to thousands of strangers.

    Love ya lady!

  10. I wish I had something meaningful, something poignant to say. I don’t. But I’m here, I’m listening, I’m thinking of you more often than you will likely ever realize.

  11. Crying. I don’t know what to say. But saying something is better than nothing, I think. Love to you.

  12. From someone who understands, the best words I had ever heard were “I’m sorry, that just sucks.” It was honest, truthful and without fluff. I’m sorry and it just sucks. xxooxxoo

  13. This resonates with me so very much. Not because I’ve lost a baby but because I was the so-called “best friend” of someone who did. I couldn’t handle it… I didn’t know how… I was 21 years old, in college, and selfishly consumed. I made a huge mistake by distancing myself from my dearest friend in her time of need. I lost that friendship and I am devastated over it because I can’t have that time back. I don’t get a “do-over” with her. The damage is done and after hearing your story and reading about your grieving process I have so much understanding and insight into what she must have gone through. I am so sorry for not being there for her. It haunts me…

    To anyone out there that is the support person of someone who has lost, even if you don’t know what to say please just don’t turn your back. Don’t make the same mistake I did and let them suffer alone. Like Diana says, don’t be afraid of the pain. You don’t have to understand what they are going through you just have to walk beside them on their journey.

    Thank you for sharing, Diana. Your strength is amazing.

  14. You have a powerful gift of writing what is on your heart, Diana. You did a beautiful job telling all of us yours, Sam’s, Bella’s and the boys story. You’ve touched many lives.

  15. My friend lost her son at 20 weeks in June, and I didn’t have words. I still don’t. I texted A LOT, like an obscene amount, telling her I loved her, I was so sorry, She’s so strong, over and over and over again. I’m thinking of you, I’m thinking of Walter (her baby), I love you, I’m sorry, you’re so strong…..that was my mantra. I didn’t call because I didn’t want her to hear me cry, it seemed selfish to burden her with MY grief over her devastating loss, so, I texted.

    Thank you for sharing your story about your beautiful boys, and how you are doing now. You are so strong, I think about your sons all the time, and I am so sorry for your loss, truly.

  16. I’ve gone through a miscarriage during my first pregnancy and I still don’t know what to say to someone else in the same position. Each person is so different and so are their needs. I feel like I’m lacking but all I ever feel comfortable saying is offering my condolences and a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.

    I don’t want to say I’ve enjoyed your story but I certainly appreciate your honestly and openess.

  17. I just want to give you a hug.

  18. It is not easy to know what to say in the face of someone else’s loss and grief, even when you have experienced a similar loss. Words are inadequate. Everyone’s experience is different.

    Thank you for continuing to share your life, your heart, and your grief with us. I am sorry for your loss – words are so inadequate.

  19. My heart just breaks for you…they were real babies from the moment you saw those lines on the test. You will see those sweet boys again someday, but that does not take away from the pain now. I’m so sorry. I wish people would or could think more before they speak. (((hugs)))

  20. Thank you for writing this. It’s so true, I wish I had the talent of expressing myself that you do, but I guess you do it for me sometimes. ((hugs))

    PS Something I’ve never heard women who have suffered loss talk about is the milk coming in, that was SO hard on me, but no one talks about it. If I bring it up people change the subject, it drives me crazy. I guess what I’m saying is thanks for saying that part, it is part many people don’t realize we have to go through loosing a baby.

  21. Michele Albert says:

    Diana,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have never been able to get pregnant, we spent 7 years and untold amounts of money to make it happen but we were not successful. I can not imagine the grief you and your family have experienced. I know how hard it was for me to go month after month, year after year, not having a child, watching everyone around me getting pregnant. It took me a long time to come to grips with the idea that my life would be different than I planned, no less meaningful, no less successful, just different.

    Take your time, grieve for your children, be grateful that you were able to know them for the short time you had. I truly wish that you are able to have more children if this is what you want.

    Thank you for sharing such intense emotions, you are an amazingly brave, beautiful soul. Please know that even though we have never met, I feel your pain.

    Michele

  22. As always, you have the words when so many others can’t or don’t. You & your whole family are in my thoughts & I’m sending hugs & love to you always.

  23. This is so amazing and so true in so many ways. I lost my little girl 8 months ago. I heard many of those same things – How there must have been something wrong with her, and it was God’s way of protecting me from losing her later. And that was from my neighbor who had just been certified as a grief counselor!

    The comment of the nurse made me want to punch someone though. You can’t compare losses, every loss is terrible because it’s their loss. But I’d like to think losses can help us feel more compassionate to those who have also lost. In my first PP appointment, my nurse had also lost a daughter, at 2 years old to meningitis, and she cried with me. I’ve changed doctors, but I often think about her, and how much that kindness and that sharing of my pain meant to me at that time, when I was so vulnerable and sad to be back in the doctor’s office.

    This is really beautiful. I am going to share with friends. XO

  24. Very, VERY powerful. I feel it too. I know what you mean 100%. you are the mother of twins. And you will hold them again one day.

  25. I think the egg shells that people walked on with me after my first miscarriage were the reason I never told about the second miscarriage until after Eddie was well on his way.

    We all deal in different ways with loss. We’ve dealt with the untimely death of Cort’s dad, with elderly grandparents dying, and with miscarriages. we didn’t deal with any of them the same way and we certainly didn’t deal with them the way everyone else does. It’s so personal.

    You captured it perfectly here…as always.

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