Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Small Special Things

Everyday I do certain things to incorporate Aubrey and Ellie's memory into my daily life. These small things give me a lot of comfort and allow me an opportunity to think about them without bursting into tears. I will admit, I often still cry when I think of them, but as each day passes I cry less and less, and that is a huge step for me.

I love tea, especially green tea. Drinking tea gives me a mini break throughout my day. I sit and relax and enjoy a few moments to think or be comforted while I savor my tea. After Aubrey and Ellie died any quiet moments I had in my day were spent thinking about them. Every cup of tea was my special time to remember them. So I bought two beautiful tea cups, one for each daughter, with their initial on it in Old English writing. Each day I use one to have my morning cup of tea and the other to have my afternoon or evening cup of tea. I make sure to alternate cups each morning so that I use each cup equally. If I reach for Aubrey's cup one morning and then use Ellie's cup later I make sure to reach for Ellie's cup the next morning and use Aubrey's later in the day. I don't want one to get more of my attention than the other. I love them both the same. Drinking tea with them also assures that I take time daily to remember them equally. I worry about the possibility of forgetting one of them or dwelling on one more than the other. I don't want either of them to ever feel that I miss one more than the other. I miss them the same. I wanted each of them as much as I wanted the other. I grieve deeply and equally for each one of them.

I also promised my girls that for the entire year after their death I would keep a bouquet of fresh flowers in the house at all times. So far I have managed to keep my promise. Once a week or so I go to the market and pick out two different kinds of flowers, one for Aubrey and the other for Ellie. I try to pick flowers that remind me of them, that represent the little bit of personality I saw in them in the short time I knew them. I may have only known them for a short time, but I did know them. Mothers know their children. I knew my girls. After I pick their flowers I arrange them in a vase and put it up on our mantel so that I can look at them often. The flowers remind me that their memory is alive even if they are not. And the flowers are beautiful like my girls. Mostly I just like keeping my promise to them.

My parents had a ring made for me to wear in memory of my girls. It is beautiful. Their birthstone is in the middle with two little diamonds, one on each side, to represent each of them. Also my parents are making little plaques to go on the cradle my dad made for me and my sisters before we were even born. It is a tradition in our family to make a plaque for every child and grandchild that is born and put it on the cradle. My sisters and I each have one with our name and birth date on it. When my son was born he got one. So did my sisters' two girls. And my girls will each have one too, but theirs will be different because it will also include their death date. The important thing is that my girls are being acknowledged. That is all I want, for them to be counted.

In the future I would like to do even more things in their honor. I would like to plant a tree that blooms in June to honor their birth. I would like to get a tattoo somewhere to remind me of how they changed my life and how I am permanently impacted by them. I would like something other than a huge scar on my belly to remind me of them. I would like to make a quilt out of all their bedding in the NICU. I want to touch something that once touched them and hold something that held them. My dad is making me a wooden chest to store all their memory items in. Their pictures and scrap book, their hand and foot prints, Aubrey's hair and the plaster casts of Ellie's hands and feet, and the quilt when I make it. Every memory item I have will be stored in their special chest made for them my their grandfather. We are going to put a plaque on it also so every one knows what is inside. And I will keep it for the rest of my life.

Mostly I just never want to stop telling their story. I want the world to know them so everyone can see that all life matters and God intends all life for a purpose. My girls mattered. They mattered to me, they mattered to my husband, and most importantly, they mattered to God. Their bodies may not be able to live on, but their memories can, and it is up to me to make sure they do.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Empty Belly Pain

I was running this morning with a good girlfriend of mine to get ready for a half marathon I will attempt in November. We ran four miles, just four, and it seriously a challenge. The experience made me question if my half marathon goal is too lofty. I am still recovering from my c-section and I can also feel the toll that grieving has taken on my body. I am tired physically as well as emotionally and mentally. I feel as though something is weighing me down all the time. I guess that is because something is. Grief is a heaven burden. Heavy in so many ways.

As I ran I could feel a dull ache in my lower belly. I feel it every time I run and even for a few hours after. Truthfully I feel it even if I don't run. It is always there as a constant reminder that Aubrey and Ellie are gone. My belly is empty. My babies are not there anymore. And the ache I feel in my belly is the same ache I feel in my heart. For the rest of my life I will have a scar on my belly and on my heart to remind me that Aubrey and Ellie are not here with me. I think the scar on my heart still bleeds. It probably always will.

Not a second goes by that I don't wish to have my babies with me. I sit with one hand over my face and one hand on my belly and cry for them. My sadness comes from a place so deep within me that I didn't even know it existed. My pain runs as deep as my love. It is so unfair that the more you love some one the more it hurts to lose them. And I loved and lost two some ones within six days of eachother.

Maybe that is why my grief is so crushing? Or maybe grief is just crushing no matter what causes it? Regardless, my grief is crushing me. I don't know how much more I can take. Seriously, I need some relief. I need a chance to catch my breath. I need my babies back.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I don't want to be tough

My son is just a little boy and he gets his fair share of scrapes and bumps. Sometimes he hurts himself and goes on like it never happened and other times he cries like his arm has fallen off. When he gets worked up over nothing my husband and I tell him to "be tough" and that there is no reason to cry. Today, after a minor injury of unknown origin, I encouraged him to be tough and he said in response, "I don't want to be tough mom," as he fended off tears.

I know exactly how he felt. Every day I tell God that I don't want to be tough anymore. I just want to cry for a while. Daily life requires that I toughen up. It takes a certain level of composure to function and go about normal daily activities. And I hate it. It is exhausting to press down all my sadness so that I can run to the grocery store or sit through church without bursting into tears. Because inside I am still so broken. I am not tough at all. I can keep it together for a while, but it is only a matter of time until I find myself curled up in a ball on my bed crying out every last tear in my body.

I cry when I wake up, I cry in the shower, I cry in the car, I cry when I write, and I cry when I think about Aubrey and Ellie which is as often as I breathe. I can't do a single chore or run a single errand without tears streaming down my face. Yet some how I manage to wipe the tears away and put a smile on before I face the world. Sunglasses are a godsend. The people that see me have no idea what kind of heartache lives inside of me. They would never suspect that less than three months ago I lost both of my baby girls. And I resent it.

I want the world to know what happened to my girls and how much it has devastated me to lose them. I want everyone to be aware of my pain. But that is not how life works. The world does not stop for me, although at times I feel that it should. In the midst of my pain I have to find the strength to be tough, even if I don't want to be.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What for?

I have been struggling lately with the question of what for? What for? is a very different question than why?. Why? is looking for answers to the past, what for is looking for answers to the future.

I get why? I have been a Christian for a long time. This is an imperfect world corrupt in every way with sin. Nothing is untouched by the the consequences of the original sin. Therefore, in this life we will have suffering. There is pain and loss. There is death. And no one is exempt from experiencing it. Not me and not my sweet girls. The rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous. I get it. And I accept it. At least intellectually anyway. God also promises to comfort us, to carry us, and to work all things for our good if we love Him. I get that too. My understanding is clear as day.

Yet my understanding of Aubrey and Ellie's deaths does nothing to ease my pain. It is still there, like a clenched fist around my heart. I hurt every moment of every day. And I can't help but ask God what for? It is impossible for me to believe that any blessing will come from this that is greater than the blessing of my baby girls. I also can't imagine that God is trying to teach me something through this that could not have been taught to me through other means.

Did my girls truly have to be sacrificed for my own spiritual benefit or for the spiritual benefit of others? Were my girls' lives less important? Were they some how more expendable? Will the supposed good that comes from this be worth the pain? These are all very tough questions I wrestle with day and night. And if I am being honest they come from the angry and frustrated part of my heart. This whole tragic event just seems so unnecessary. Why does my heart have to be broken and my life changed forever? Why did my babies not get a chance to live their lives? What did all of this happen for? I have to know what for or I will go crazy.

So I have decided to stop asking what for in pathetic desperation like the answer might not even exist. I am not shouting to the universe, I am calling out to an Almighty God. I may never understand my daughters' deaths, but I can know what good will come out of it in time. I know there is a what for? because God promises to make one. That does not mean He made this happen, but He promises to use it for his glory.

Instead of questions I now have requests of God, passionate and pleading requests. I desperately want to see how the death of my girls will serve a purpose. And I want to see it this side of heaven. I need to see how it is being used for good or my pain will never lessen. I need to see God's supernatural power make the death of my daughters count. I need the peace of knowing their short lives were not meaningless. I need to know that my pain is not meaningless.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Looking back

When I was pregnant with Aubrey and Ellie I would put on worship songs and hold my son above my pregnant belly and dance around the room with him to the music. He would put his head on my shoulder and I would whirl around holding all my babies at once, one in my arms, two in my belly. I often reflect on this precious memory. It comforts me in a very sad way. I close my eyes and see myself dancing with all my children so contently, unaware that soon I would lose the two in my belly. It was one of those rare experiences in life when time seemed to stop and the blessing of that moment washed over me like warm rain. It became an imprint on my heart.

Looking back I see how God helped create that memory as a gift to me. He must have known how much I would need it in the days to come. I didn't know at the time that holding all my babies at once would be a memory of the past and not a normal part of my future. I thought I had the rest of my life to hold them.

It is sad that my arms are empty now but I am thankful that I got to hold them at all, even if it was while they were still inside my belly. Once they were born my dreams of holding them were stolen from me. I was not allowed to hold Aubrey or Ellie because they were too small and sick to be handled. I could only look at them through the glass and touch their tiny hands. I would have given anything to hold them for just a minute. When I finally did get to hold them the first time was the last time. I held them in their final moments of life. Each one died in my arms.

I regret never holding them both at the same time. I don't even know if I would have been allowed to, but I regret never even asking to. I wanted so badly to have a picture of me with a baby in each arm. I also wanted my son to get to hold them. It makes me sad that my son never got to hold his sisters. We lost so much when we lost Aubrey and Ellie.

I also regret that they were not able to touch each other after they were born. I always wondered if they knew they were not together anymore and if they missed each other. The evening Ellie died Aubrey took a turn for the worst and I have always wondered if she knew her sister died and she missed her. Maybe she didn't want to live without her? I can't blame her. I didn't want to live without her either.

I didn't want to live without either one of them and certainly not without both of them. Knowing they are together gives me peace though. That is why we buried them in the same casket. I cannot imagine them without each other. If they couldn't be with us, at least they could be with one another. I know God is holding them both right now since I can't. They are not alone.

To be honest though I would prefer to hold them myself. I would give anything to be holding them now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yearning and Longing

Before now I never felt true longing. I had never lost anything so important to me that I yearned to have it again with all my heart and soul. Yearning feels like hopeful sadness, longing like promising suffering. There will be an end to my heartache. My only comfort is that I will see them again. And that is what I long for, what I yearn for with every part of myself. I want to see my girls again.

I yearn for heaven in a whole new way. I realize I did not have the longing for heaven I thought I had. I never felt as excited about heaven as I do now. I have never yearned to be there like I do when I cry for my girls.

I used to pray for a long life. I was afraid to die, especially to die young before I could do the things on earth I hope to do. But now I am much more accepting of my own imminent death. I may live long, I may not, but either way I welcome the opportunity to go to heaven when it comes. I have two very special little girls waiting for me there.

I don't hope to die soon, not at all. I hope to live and be around for my son and husband and fulfill God's calling on my life as best I can, but when my time comes I will not be sad or scared. I will be ready. I will welcome the end of my life on earth because it will be the beginning of a new existence with my daughters. To be honest I am anxious for that day. All the hours and days of yearning for my girls, of longing to hold them just once more, will finally come to an end. The pain that I feel day in and day out as I struggle to live a life without them will finally end. My broken heart will be healed. My arms will be full. I will finally get to hold my girls for as long as I want and we will never be apart again.

In heaven I will hold my girls while God holds me and for the first time since Aubrey and Ellie's deaths I won't hurt anymore. I can't wait to go to heaven.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not my life

Since the day Aubrey and Ellie were born I have felt forced into a bad dream against my will. This can't possibly be my life. Grief is like a slave master. I am merely at its beck and call, subject to its whims, not sure when it will be merciful or merciless. It is a daily drudgery that I can't get away from no matter how hard I try. I am defenseless against it. And I resent it. I am so angry I could scream.

I DON'T WANT THIS LIFE! I WANT MY GIRLS BACK!

The bright and welcomed future of my girls was stolen from me and replaced with the dark, sorrowful nightmare of their death. This is not how things were supposed to be. I have been in silent protest all the while, emotionally picketing this new reality, the one I don't want, the one forced on me without my consent. I NEVER AGREED TO THIS! Everything should be so different than it is. But it isn't. And it makes me so angry.

I woke up this morning and laid in bed for a few minutes. I listened to the silence. I should hear two crying babies. But I don't. I should be overwhelmed and exhausted adjusting to the demands of two new infants. But I'm not. Instead I am resentfully adjusting to the agonizing silence of an empty nursery. The silence is a relentless reminder of what is gone. I am exhausted from wrestling with my Aubrey and Ellie-less life. It truly is a daily internal battle for me.

I know they are gone but I just can't believe it. I can't believe that this sickening ache in my heart is real and not just a bad dream I am going to wake up from any moment. WHERE ARE MY BABIES? I WANT MY BABIES!

When Aubrey and Ellie were alive I would have visions of running into the NICU and snatching them out of their incubators and taking them somewhere else. I don't even know where, just somewhere with me, where no one could tell me I was not allowed to hold them, so that we could be together and not separated by glass, machines and tubes. Even now I occasionally imagine digging them up from their grave and holding them one more time. I imagine that I find them in there alive and healthy, holding hands with each other waiting for me to take them home. I just so desperately want this whole sad story to be untrue. But it isn't. My babies are dead. Both of them. It just shouldn't be this way. This should not be my life.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't breath

I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like the pain is sitting on my chest with its hand around my throat. This is not the first time however. I have felt this way before.

When the doctor told me that the only way to give the girls a chance to survive was to take them by emergency c-section at only 24 weeks I felt the air get sucked out of my lungs. I started to cry and said to the doctor, "This isn't good is it?" And he got choked up and said, "No honey, it isn't. I am so sorry." I knew then that my girls needed a miracle. I don't think I got my breath back for days.

When we were told of the girls' brain damage I couldn't breathe either. I just sat in my bed while Kirk held me crying "oh no, please no."

When Ellie was dying I held my breath the whole time I held her. I watched her gasp for air as she slowly left us. My heart broke for her as she tried to breathe but couldn't. I knew how she felt. The moment she passed away the pain of her loss was so intense it forced me to take a breath. I had to breathe again to cry for her.

When Aubrey was dying I felt so sick and frozen that it felt like I couldn't breathe or blink or even think. I was already anticipating the pain of her loss, wondering if I would even survive losing another baby, if the gut wrenching agony of grief might be too much for me a second time. I couldn't stop staring at her, wishing for time to stop so that she would not leave us. When she finally passed away I took a deep breath and let the numbness wash over me. It was simply too much to bare. I could not believe it was all over. Both my babies were gone.

As the numbness wore off the sorrow was overwhelming. All I could do was cry. I cried into the night and again the next morning. Sleep was my only break from my tears. During the funeral I quite honestly forgot to breathe. It was the worst day of my life. My heart ached so intensely that I felt nauseous and angry and empty all at the same time. All I could do was stare at their casket. I cried some, but mostly I just stared. I could feel the same heaviness on my chest then as I feel now. It comes and goes, leaving for days and then appearing again. Today I am practically drowning in grief.

Yet I feel God with me, holding my head above water so to speak, so that I am not completely overcome by the ocean of pain I am stranded in. I know God will sustain me and keep me from sinking while we weather this storm together. That does not make today any less painful, but it does give me hope that I will survive this, even on the worst of days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The really hard days

Today has been a really hard day. Tomorrow I would have been 37 weeks along with the girls which is considered full term for twins. At this point I could expect them any day if I were still pregnant. It has felt particularly hard today accepting that I am not.

As their due date gets closer it gets harder for me to cope. I wanted them so badly. I was ready for more babies. And not just any babies, I was ready for them. I find myself disconnecting to avoid crying today. I did the same thing when the doctors told me about Aubrey and Ellie's brain damage. I could hear the doctors talking, but my mind would go somewhere else. Sometimes it is all too much for me.

My mind is empty except for thoughts of my baby girls. I am not hungry, I have not showered yet, and I have not smiled once. This morning I wanted to stay in bed and cry all day, but I had to get up. I wish I could have just one day to stay in bed and really cry. When the girls died I could not cry as hard as I wanted to because my belly hurt too much from the c-section. Every time I got too worked up I would have to hold back because of the pain. I resent my c-section for inhibiting my crying. I know that at some point I am going to have to let it all out. Especially now that I feel better and my incision can't hold me back anymore. I am waiting for the day when the flood gates open. I just hope Kirk is home so that he can be with our son while I break down. I don't want our son to see me like that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Day at a Time

I have never liked the phrase take one day at a time. Just hearing it makes me feel weary and overwhelmed. And it isn't like I have other options. The days come and go and I make it through each one, but not by choice. Time has a way of going on at its own pace whether I want it to or not. I am forced along minute by minute. I would much rather take one hundred days at a time, or even ten days at a time, anything to make these sad days go by faster.

Experiencing this one day at a time is agonizing. I desperately hope for that one morning when I will wake up and no longer hurt so badly. When Missing Aubrey and Ellie will feel more like a splinter in my heart than a dagger and I will experience some long awaited relief. And I know that day will come because it has to. I could not survive a lifetime feeling this devastated. My body might live, but emotionally I would die, and I don't want to live dead inside.

I don't want to be a shell of myself. My husband deserves a wife and my son deserves a mother that is alive, that has something more to offer than simply going through the motions of life. And I want to be happy again. I want that for myself. I want to laugh and make memories with my family and bring honor to my girls by continuing to live the best life I can as a whole person.

There is no question that I am forever changed by this. Losing my girls broke my heart in a way that can never be completely healed. I do not expect everything to eventually go back to normal, whatever normal is...I will always be sad because they are not in my life. I will always wonder about them, wonder what life would have been like with them, and I will miss them every day that I am alive...but my hope is that the pain becomes more manageable and less intense than it is now.

What is scary though is that the lessening of the pain feels like forgetting. Sometimes I am afraid to let go of the hurt because I feel like it makes me forget my girls. The pain is a reminder. And right now I don't know how to remember them without feeling sad and heartbroken. Their memory and my pain seem interconnected. Letting go of the pain means letting go of them. And I can't do that. Not ever. I will never forget them. I realize that I don't have to forget them to feel better, but emotionally I don't know how to do it. It is too confusing to sort out right now. I hope with time I will learn how to remember them without feeling so sad, but right now I guess I need the sadness because I need their memory. Their memory is all I have left of them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Living and Dying

Some mornings I wake up and I wish I could put on a t-shirt that says MY BABIES JUST DIED on it so that everyone I come in contact with would know what I am going through. I hate going through the day like everything is fine. I hate saying good when asked how I am doing today by the check out lady at the grocery store or the receptionist at the doctor's office.

I want to blurt out the whole sad story, but I don't. I just want people to know how badly I hurt and that everything is not fine with me. Not because I want sympathy, but because it is the truth.

I am not fine right now, I'm just not. And I don't know when I will be.

In the meantime I want to be real. Faking fine is hard work. It is like living underwater. I feel like I am moving in slow motion while everything passes me by. I see everyone moving past but I can't seem to catch up. I see peoples' mouths moving, but all I hear is muffled garble. It is my own personal twilight zone. It's lonely, awkward and mostly it's uncomfortable.

Losing my girls has made me so sad. But more than anything it has been the most lonely time of my life. I don't know how to feel or act most of the time. I only feel comfortable alone because I know no one is judging me. It is embarrassing to burst into tears in the baby clothes section of a department store or to get up and leave church suddenly because a woman with twin baby daughters just walked in. I wonder if people can tell that when I hold my sister's baby girl I wish she was mine because I miss my girls so badly?

Living with grief is a constant internal battle. What thoughts are healthy? What thoughts are crazy? How should I be acting? What should I say?

The hardest is when people ask me if my son is my only child. I promised myself I would never say yes to that question. I literally feel sick to my stomach when people ask me that. And to people's shock and horror I say no. I say that I have two daughters in heaven as well. I don't go into the whole story, and I say it with a smile, but I do say it. And I don't feel bad about it either. If they didn't really want to know they shouldn't have asked. My girls are my children regardless of how long they lived. They deserve to be recognized and not kept hidden like an embarrassing secret. They are as much a part of my life as my living child and I will not pretend them away. I don't even know why I feel the need to justify it so adamantly. I guess I feel compelled to speak for my girls since they cannot speak for themselves.

It is sad that we live in a society that feels uncomfortable acknowledging children that died. Length of life does not equate to value. Children are meaningful simply because they existed. My girls were loved and wanted and important to me from the moment I found out about them. I love them and that love has not changed because their lives were so short. I wish people could get that. I am not ashamed of my girls. They are a part of me and I will not keep their existence to myself. Holding it in only feeds my loneliness anyway.

Grief makes me feel lonely, even in a room full of people. The more people I am surrounded by the more lonely I feel. The truth is I am not alone at all, just lonely. My friends and family have reached out in countless ways and made their support known to me. I am surrounded by people that love me. But their love does not lessen the pain, it just sustains me through it. And I don't blame them for not understanding. It is impossible to relate to this if you have not experienced it. So as a result, weathering this storm is a lonely journey. Even my husband, who is the only person on earth who has walked in my shoes, has his own unique way of grieving, a path he has to walk alone as well. We walk alone together through the most painful experience of our lives. Some things you just have to do on your own I guess. I accept it but I hate it.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about Aubrey and Ellie's death in general, I accept it, but I hate it. And I really do hate it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When happiness sneaks in

Not every minute of the day is miserable. Some days are harder than others, but I do experience moments of great comfort. I'll admit that some of my smiling and laughing is fake, I do it so that others don't feel uncomfortable around me. But some of is isn't. It is real and it feels good.

The happy moments often catch me off guard and disappear as quickly as they came. They are often fleeting, followed by feelings of guilt, sadness or confusion as I wonder how I could possibly be happy at a time like this. But nonetheless I can still see blessings through all the tears. I know it is God's grace comforting me, giving me a break from the relentless grief that seems so all-consuming, showing me glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Without these moments I think I would crumble under the weight of my pain. The happy moments make the hard moments hurt more, but the reprieve is worth it. It allows me to take a breath and gives me just enough time to recoup some strength to grieve more fully, to face my pain, to cry harder, to push on.

My son brings joy to my life every single day. At times I look at him and feel simultaneous joy and grief, thankfulness and disappointment, peace and anger. He is such a blessing, so full of life and innocence. He is the reason I get up in the morning. He gets me out of bed and forces me to start the day when all I really want to do is curl up and cry all day long. He gives me hugs and kisses when he knows I am sad. He is the two year old embodiment of God's grace in my life and I am more thankful to have him today than I ever have been. But he is also a living example and daily reminder of what I am missing. Every hug from him reminds me of the two hugs I am missing from Aubrey and Ellie. Every time I tuck him in bed I feel the sting of knowing I will never tuck my girls in. I know how much a child can bless life and it makes me more aware of just how much we lost. Yet I still feel moments of joy. Amidst the loss I recognize what was not lost. I see that God is so good. That is amazing to me.

A different kind of loss

The death of babies is different from other kinds of death I think. It is a unique loss because it is out of order and backwards. My girls' lives were over before they really even began. They had passed away months before they were ever supposed to be born. And there is something really messed up about that.

Although it was agonizing to watch life leave their little bodies, to watch their chests stop rising and falling as they were whisked away to heaven, it hurts more to know that they each were a life never to be lived. We didn't just lose their bodies and the physical presence of them in our lives, we also lost their futures, our futures. We lost the experience of being impacted and changed by them and the privilege of watching them grow and become who they were meant to be. All their potential and all that they had to contribute to the world died with their bodies. I will never know who they were meant to be. And that is really sad to me.

When Aubrey and Ellie died so did all my hopes and dreams of them. They were already intertwined in my life and heart in every way. Kirk and I picked out names for them. We purchased a double stroller and two infant car seats in anticipation of their arrival. I had two cribs in their nursery. I imagined the holidays this year with them in my arms. I could feel them moving in my belly constantly and I talked to them daily. We even bought a house so that we would have enough room for them because our old apartment was too small for two new babies to come home to. Every decision we made factored in our soon to be arriving little girls.

When they died so did something inside of me. It felt like time stopped. I just can't bring myself to accept life without them. Unfortunately I don't have a choice in the matter. On the inside I often feel like a two year old throwing a tantrum because I can't have my way. I JUST WANT MY BABIES BACK!!!! Yet I remain calm on the outside, occasionally letting a tear or two roll down my face. Some days I feel on the verge of an explosion. Other days I feel on the verge of a breakdown. It is a crazy roller coaster that leaves me exhausted and hurting. WHY MY GIRLS? WHY LIKE THIS?

Children are supposed to outlive their parents. It is unnatural for parents to bury their children, to pick their plot in a cemetery, to design their headstone, to plan their funeral, to visit their grave site. I never expected to do any of these things in my lifetime. Every aspect of their death has thrown me for a loop. And I have yet to find my footing. I just hurt inside all the time. I miss my girls. I really miss my girls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Angry

I'm pissed.

I'm so relentlessly angry.

I can barely breathe I'm so enraged.

I feel anger toward myself, my body, the doctors, and the natural laws that govern the universe. I'm angry the world is a messed up place where bad thing happen randomly and innocent babies who never even asked to be born get sick and die.

I'm mad at all the stupid people who say stupid things because they are ignorant, uncomfortable, and thinking more of themselves and their own pain than mine. I'm mad at Christians who don't even know what the Bible says and project their piecemeal understanding onto me.  I don't need to be sprinkled with Christian fairy dust and told how God is working all things for good and that everything happens for a reason. I want to punch the human who created that saying. What in the world kind of reason could two babies need to die for? If there is a reason it is simply not good enough. Unless it puts my babies back in my arms I couldn't care less anyway.

I'm angry my babies did not pull through and we did not get the happy ending we hoped for. I'm jealous of all the families whose babies beat the odds. And I can't stand listening to them say that God answers prayer and miracles are real.

I'm angry that the miracle I prayed for, begged for, never came. I prayed too. And by babies died anyway. I feel betrayed and alone.

It is difficult to admit that because I know who my Jesus is. My savior is loving, kind, and good. I do not serve a God who delights in the deaths of babies nor in suffering. I do not believe God took our girls from us, that he sees them as expendable to teach us a lesson or bring about some good. He is not punishing us. I know he grieves with us and this was never his plan. But I'm angry anyway because it just hurts so much.

I wish somehow I could be exempt from this, that I could wake up from this bad dream and find my babies in their crib and the pain would instantly vanish. I wish my girls could have been spared their suffering. What happened to them really was so unfair. They truly are innocent in all of this. I thought I was protecting my girls, keeping them safe in my belly, only to discover that I was helpless to save them when they needed me most. I depended on my body and it failed me in the worst way. I am plagued with the what ifs...what if I would have gone in a day sooner? Would they have been able to stop the labor? What if I did something that caused them to be born so early? Is it my fault? I can't help but feel like ultimately the responsibility was mine to keep them safe and I'm angry at my body.

 There are no answers. At the end of the day my babies are gone and they are never coming back. Answers will not bring them back. A friend commented that answers would just beg more questions. And he is right, seeking answers is a vicious cycle that brings no resolution, just frustration and confusion. With or without answers the pain is permanent, the loss is forever, my girls are gone.

Although I know it was not God's will that my girls died, that He did not make it happen, I do know that He could have intervened at any moment and saved them. And I don't like that He didn't.
I will always wonder why God could have saved them but didn't.

So this is where my faith is tested.

I think faith is more than believing what you cannot see, it is also believing when what you can see is heartbreaking and enraging to look at it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Babies

Aubrey Elizabeth Crawford
June 24th, 2008 -July 7th, 2008
Ellie Alexandra Crawford
June 24th, 2008-July 1st, 2008

What am I suppose to do now?

The deaths of my daughters has been the single most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

I cannot describe the depth of my hurt. It literally has left me hollow inside. And as I struggle to move on day after day, I can't help but feel completely lost. I don't know how to cope as the world and everything in it keeps moving forward. From the outside I may appear to be functioning, but inside I am hurting so intensely that I can't seem to put one foot in front of the other. I feel paralyzed in my pain and confused.

What am I supposed to do now?

Life for me has changed so profoundly and suddenly I feel completely blindsided. I am still disoriented from the trauma of Aubrey and Ellie's deaths. I am directionless.

Where do I go from here?

How do I move on? I mean really move on, as a whole person, not just parts of me a fraction at a time.

Does the pain really ever go away?

Will I ever be able to remember my girls and see their little faces in my mind without tears streaming down my face?

I honestly don't know. But what I do know is that the only thing that has brought me any comfort or helped me to gain any clarity in the midst of this is to write.

So here I go...
 
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