January has been hard. We survived the holidays starting in October when we first found out we were having three a year ago. Somehow I thought when I got through all of those back to back family affairs that I’d be in the clear. I was wrong.
January 1st hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the first day I was in the ER and came to find I was dilating a year ago. It was the first night I was admitted to the hospital for observation and then sent home with full bed rest. It was when my parent’s and in-law’s lives were flipped upside-down living with us every other week to care for us. I’ve found it hard on several days to get out of bed. Somehow it feels like maybe if I lay there a little longer maybe I’ll have a memory of them that will bring a moment of peace to the day. Maybe I’ll remember how it felt to have them there with me every moment of the day. I hear the theme music to Downton Abbey and my head drifts back to the prior year for a moment. I watched a lot of that show while laying on my left side in bed trying to prop my laptop on a pile of pillows. The pillows. I had a LOT of pillows.
I’m struggling with how to remember them without being overrun with pain. I’m still very much afraid of losing all of my memories of them. Not of their story or what they mean to me – but of the very real details of what I lived with them for 22 weeks. How they felt when they moved. What they looked like in more than just a snapshot taken when they had already passed. Sadly in a mix of grief, horror, shock, pain and mass amounts of narcotics (I wasn’t allowed an epidural), much of it is a fog.
I’m struggling with what a birthday means when it was also the day of death for Alice. When the following day was the day of death for Elliot and Alexis. How do I celebrate their birth without reliving their death? How do I honor a life in a way that won’t rip us apart at the same time. How do I do enough without doing too much? How do I do much of anything in the frigid great north woods with snow and ice? How do I make it ok for Nora so she knows her siblings without making it too much? I don’t have the answers. Nate doesn’t have the answers.
I have had a tough year trying to keep my heart and emotions open to friends and family who care and want to know how I’m doing. I’ve also worn out my welcome with others who I’ve maybe shared too much with. I’ve taken steps back. I’ve met others who are walking through loss. I’ve shared details with strangers who understand in a way I never imagined. I’ve typed novels filled with tears to those who would listen when I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I’ve seen who’s willing to stand with me and who isn’t. It’s not easy to be my friend and I understand that and appreciate those who are here and still ask.
I’ve watched marker babies grow, smile, laugh, sit up, roll over and live moments that I dream of having with my babies. Some days I’m grateful to see them and know how my children could look and other days I’m angry.
I still have no answers about what their day will be but I’ve been inspired by a few other triplet loss mommies and I’m trying to find a way to give back in their memory this year and hopefully every year. I’m taking the first steps to put together at least three care packages to deliver to our local hospital where our babies were born. I want something special to share with another loss family. I want to make something that will bless their life and wrap another angel baby in love from a mommy who understands. I don’t know who made the beautiful things that my babies were wrapped in and that’s ok. Anyone who takes up that calling does it from a place of love like no other. I want to do that for someone else. It just feels right.
I’m not a seamstress by any means and making gowns overwhelms me. So for this year I’m making angel baby blankets. I’m in the groove of crochet which is totally new for me. I like to think that my aunt Linda, master crocheter, is blessing me with some of her talent from Heaven because I’m loving it. I have one blanket done. I started it in church this morning and finished it this afternoon. Being the first one made it must be from Alice – my baby A. I’m not sure what else I’ll include but at the moment this is a start.
If you’re interested in making angel baby blankets or any other items to bless our area please let me know. I’m thinking about contacting the organization that made our gowns to see if they need another resource person to gather finished projects even if I can’t sew them myself. I hope to contact the nurse manager at the local hospitals to see what their needs are. I’ve realized how blessed we are to have had the beautiful things we did for our babies. Others haven’t had these gifts and we got them without asking.
It’s not an answer but it’s a start. Every stitch was made with love and prayers. It’s hard to know that there is a baby who is likely safe in their mommy’s tummy right now who might use it. It quite literally breaks my heart in a way that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived this loss yourself.