Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The End

So today I revisited a very painful place for me. A place I have avoided for over three and a half years. A place I really couldn't avoid any longer. My OB/GYN office.  
The last time I was in that office was for my post-partum checkup. It was October 3,2007. Yes. I remember the date. You would be surprised to know just how many dates a woman remembers when she loses a child,or in my case....two children. 
Now-as most of you know (well, all of my female followers anyway) we are supposed to be diligent and visit our friendly "special doctor" once a year for a comprehensive checkup of all things female. The theory is , and it's more of a medical fact really, that if we follow through with our obligation to visit once a year we will be rewarded with the best shot at preventing many things and catching others early enough to not only treat them but survive them. So,like a good girl, I visited. Faithfully. And I was rewarded. Repeatedly. 
I was rewarded with six incredibly beautiful and amazing babies, two of whom were delivered by this particular "special doctor". I was rewarded (in theory) with catching the cervical cancer cells early enough (4 times) to have them removed and the 5th time to have it removed for good (although much more invasively).I was rewarded with overall great health in all things female for years and years. 
And then it happened. 
I visited my wonderful "special doctor" and was told I was pregnant. Three weeks later I was told I was having identical twins. Six weeks later I was told they were girls. Eight weeks after that I was told they had died. In that office. In that room. By that doctor. 
The six or so weeks after "that day" are clear as day and yet foggy as pea soup. (My BLM's will know exactly what I mean by that.) When I went back to that office,that room,that doctor it was for my six week post-partum visit. To make sure I was ok and healing well. I was neither. Medically yes. my core I was not. I was not ok. I was not healing. I was broken in a way that a person who has lost a child can never fully explain and a person who hasn't can never fully comprehend. I cried,sobbed really,from the moment I walked into the reception area. The tears racked my body and shook me to the very center of my being. The nurses were amazing and my doctor....that doctor.....phenomenal. Nonetheless I walked out wondering if I would ever be able to visit that that office.....without reliving the moment that forever had changed the fiber of my existence. 
Today I got my answer. It's been three years and six and a half months since the last time I walked into that office. So it was time. Yes,I could have changed doctors in order to maintain my obligation of regular yearly exams. But as ALL women know.....when you find "THE" special doctor who is right for just don't leave him/her. It becomes like a solid remain loyal and faithful no matter what. For "the right" doctor we women will wait hours for him/her to return from a last minute delivery rather than risk seeing someone else in the practice. We schedule MONTHS in advance in order to remain faithful when "the other" doctor could squeeze us in tomorrow. So I returned. To that office. To that doctor. Thankfully......not to that room. 
The office staff remembered me. They all greeted me with smiles and warmth and while I know it was all genuine I couldn't help wondering if they were thinking "please don't let her cry" or "ooooohhhh......that's the woman whose twins died....". Why wouldn't they? I was. 
My doctor was - as he has always been-wonderful. He treated me with warmth and compassion. We discussed the kids, life, any questions or issues I might have and, of course, we discussed the twins. While I didn't cry.....I did tear up just once, for a moment. My doctor discussed the course he wants to take with me and hugged me goodbye. I made my next appointment and left that office. Again. But this time.....I was ok. I thought. 
When I got in my car.......I broke. The tears came and kept coming. It was like a summer storm. One minute I was all sunshine and blue skies and the next......BAM! The sky opened up and down it poured. But I wasn't crying because of where I was or where I had been. This time I wasn't crying because this is where my heart was broken beyond repair. This time...I wasn't crying over what I had lost. This time I was crying over what I will never have. 
When Chloe and Zoe died I made a decision. They would be my last children. They would be the last babies I carried inside of me. Ever. Granted,it was an emotional choice. Made out of the devastation of a shattered woman. Made out of fear of my inability to ever endure another pregnancy "in case" something were to ever happen again. And so I chose. The moment my daughters were delivered my chances of ovulating and becoming pregnant again were surgically ended. Against the advice of my doctors, my mother and most of my friends.....I had my tubes tied. Chloe and Zoe were my last children. Even though I still ache to be pregnant again and would love to have another baby (or six) I know deep down it was the right choice for me then and is till the right choice for me now. 
But today that choice seems to have been finalized beyond any and all reparatory possiblities. Next week I will go back to that office...and that doctor....and I will begin the process of surgical endometrial ablation. In common everyday womb will be destroyed. I will never carry another child. Ever. So I sobbed. 
I sobbed for the finality of it all. I sobbed because knowing I won't ever have another baby and knowing I can't are two different things. And they are worlds apart. I sobbed because even though I know I am abundantly blessed and am content with the six blessings I have here on Earth......I know I will ONLY have six blessings here on Earth. I sobbed for the sense of loss I feel for myself knowing I can never have another child. And more than that-I the center of my being.......for the sense of loss I felt for some of the most incredible women I have ever met. 
So many of my BLM sisters are moving mountains in an unrelenting effort to become pregnant and have their blessings here on Earth. Several of them, too many really, have endured more loss in their journey than most could fathom ever surviving. They are taking every step available to carry a child within their wombs. And I am destroying mine. There just seems to be something unfair about that. And so.....outside of that office.....after seeing that doctor.....I sobbed. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's a relative term. But what exactly is it relative to? And what does it mean? Exactly?
Better than what? And who says what is better and what isn't? How do we decide what's better and what's worse?
Better is something my children deserve. It's something that I long ago aspired to be. Better is how I wish I felt. How I want to look. What I want for those I love. Better.
Better is also how iced tea tastes when it's sweetened like real southern tea. It's how cheesecake melts in your mouth when it reaches room temperature. Better is they way you think a meal smells when you've prepared it yourself from start to finish. Better.
With all of these things being better than something how are we to ascertain just what better is? And what is it better than? How do we know how to make things better? What needs to be better? And what will never be better?
What started this whole tumultuous inner debate about "better" was an opportunity that presented itself to me about 30 minutes ago. WalMart. Figures doesn't it? There I stood at the checkout waiting (forever) for my cashier to track down the CSM to open her drawer and help her correct her mistake. It isn't completely relative to the story but my order was $21.46. I handed her a 100 dollar bill. She handed me $124.54 change. So,we were waiting for her drawer to be opened so she could put the 100 dollar bill in it, correct my change and keep her job for another day. In the meantime a young lady had stepped in line behind me and placed her five or six jars of baby food on the belt and waited. She babbled and smiled with the baby boy in her cart and he returned the affection. Through the course of the obligatory small talk while waiting for someone in charge to materialize in front of me I discovered that this was in fact the young lady's nephew, he was nearly a year old and his mother had forgotten to leave baby food for the morning as he was staying overnight. I also made several observations.
The young lady seemed clean enough and neatly (although nothing fancy) dressed. Her hair was obviously combed and she had certainly taken the time to apply her makeup, include her jewelry (including her nose stud) and had just recently had her nails done. She carried a small clutch that looked like a knockoff of one of the expensive brand name designers and she had a Blackberry with her as well. The little boy was filthy. Head to toe. His face was caked with dried snot, remnants of whatever he had eaten earlier in the day and what looked like juice stains around his mouth. His eyes screamed exhaustion. His clothes were dirty and his socks (no shoes) looked like they could have walked away of their own accord. And he smelled. Not of one specific indentifiable odor but of a melody of several which were all in competition for top billing.
When the cashier finally rectified the change error I stood to the side to put my change away and allow her to proceed ringing those behind me without further delay. Just as I was prepared to walk away I heard the cashier announce the total for the baby food and the young lady sighed a little and said "Oh,no. We'll have to put some of that back. I don't have enough." Her order was $3.09.
I ignored the previous observations and without any real hesitation said "No!! is $4.00. You buy that precious little boy his food and use the change to get him a juice or something." She of course thanked me profusely and asked me several times if I was sure. I nodded,said of course and you're welcome and walked toward the exit and to my car.
As I pulled out of the parking lot I saw the young lady belting this little boy into his carseat. She was driving a very nice, very clean and very new looking Cadillac Escalade. She smiled at me and I smiled back and as I drove away all I could think to myself was "Why don't I feel BETTER about having done a nice deed for someone?"
And it got me thinking. About that word. About how we use it to classify so many things. About how we use it to measure our worth, our accomplishment,our goals and our success or failure.How many times to we think to ourselves " I could have done better" or " I should have done better"? How many times have those around us judged our lives by telling us that we could do better than what we have done?
Someone once told me that I could have done better. I could have been a better parent. I could have chosen a better spouse. I could have achieved better in my life. They told me that I could have succeeded more and had better than just being a mom. And that got me thinking about that word,too. Better.
Of course I could be a better parent......we all could in one aspect or another because frankly the only PERFECT parent would have to be God. I can aspire to be a better parent every moment of whatever life I have left and my better will never be half of His perfect. Of course I could have chosen a better spouse in some aspects as well. Because again,we are human and humans by nature are imperfect beings in thought and deed. Is my spouse perfect? No. But neither am I. Whether or not my spouse is right for me is a completely different subject and quite frankly has nothing to do with whether or not he is better or worse than......than what? As for achieving better or having better success.......I disagree. I think I have achieved better. And I know I have had a better success than even I could have imagined for myself. I have achieved something many people only dream of. I have reached the pinnacle of success in my opinion BECAUSE I am a mom.
I am BETTER because I am a mom. I am BETTER because I have six incredible children on this planet who love me even when I am not better. Even when I am worse. They make me better. And I have a hole in my heart for my two precious daughters whom I will never get the chance to hear laughing or telling me that they love me no matter what. And that part of me will never be better.
It's a relative term. But it brings up another question. Better. If we are constantly striving for better and forever being told that we could have it or should know it or ought to want it...........when are we content with what already is? When is better worse? When is what already is.........Enough?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's been awhile. I know. And there is much to post. But how? How do I vent the things that I truly want to say? There aren't words sufficient to express the things that weigh so heavily on my heart and mind. There aren't enough adjectives to accurately convey the emotions that fight for lead position in my daily life.
What I can say is this. I miss my daughters. Today. Yesterday. Tomorrow. Forever. I miss them. I ache for them. I wish, I dream, I wonder and most of all.......most painfully and sweetly......I remember.
I remember leaving the doctor's office that day thinking this had to be a mistake. I remember walking into the hospital five days later praying to God that it was. I remember crying from a place so deep inside of my soul that until that moment I never even knew it existed. I remember touching my daughters for the first time. I remember kissing them for the last time. And I remember. Coming home. Without them.
Now,three years, seven months, two weeks and three days later......I survive. I function. I live. I listen to people complain about the inconvenience of their children in their lives. I watch parents scream and yell at their children and in some cases become oblivious to their very presence. I read about the mothers and fathers who choose to abuse, rape, abandon and murder their own children. And I wonder. Why? Why were they given those angels when I was forced to say good bye to mine?
Yes,I am blessed. Incredibly and abundantly so. I have six living and amazingly stupendous children. I am blessed every moment of every day that they are present in my life. I have been gifted with the most wonderous experience of watching two of my children grow from infancy into adulthood. I am living in the midst of the joys (and headaches) of two teenaged girls and ALL that that entails. I have been given the most beautiful and precious (and precocious ) elementary aged children to ever walk the planet. (Biased,I know) To be able to count those blessings and enjoy every day that I awake still able to touch each of them is incredible. To still be able to ask "Why me?" in the face of all of that joy seems selfish and greedy. As if what I have been given isn't enough. In truth-it's just that what has been taken away is too much.
Maybe it's that I haven't yet learned to overlook all of the teenaged girls who become pregnant and think it's a fashion accessory or a ransom to hold over their "baby daddy's " head.. Maybe it's that I can't understand the women who give birth and think their job as a mother ends there. Maybe it's that I can't get past the females who get pregnant and immediately think "what can I get out of this"?
Or. Maybe. Just maybe. I miss my daughters.