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Archive for the ‘loss’ Category

Morbid Anniversary

It’s odd, because I never think of this. But if my first pregnancy hadn’t ended in miscarriage, I’d have had a two year old right now, rather than three 19 month olds right now. I wouldn’t give my babies up for anything, that’s for sure… but I could have lived without that loss, too.

Ya know?

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Unimaginable

My nanny, M, is the best nanny I could ask for. I’m sure there are nannies out there with more years of experience or more twin/triplet experience or whatnot, but there isn’t anyone else in the world who would love my children as much as she does. Every night when she leaves, she looks sorry to go. Every morning when she arrives, she says, “Good morning, Sammy, I missed you! Good morning, Ellie, I missed you! Good morning Abby, I missed you, too!”

On Monday mornings she comes into their room and eagerly picks them up and asks, “So what did I miss? What are they doing that’s new?”

She never asks me for anything, ever, but she was so excited when I bought her some children’s books in French (her native language) and eagerly said that yes, she would love to have more if I ordered more. She loves to read to the babies, she holds them all day long – never putting them down except to play. She enjoys their milestones as much as we do.

People are surprised that I hired someone who didn’t have previous twin/triplet experience, but I realized when I hired her that I didn’t have any triplet experience before I had my triplets, but I figured it out, right? She clearly loved babies and children and that’s what mattered to me. I’m glad THAT was my priority when I hired her, because she has turned out to be perfect.

M is from Senegal, but was born and raised in Paris. Her father and one brother is still in Paris. Another brother is in Italy and yet another brother is in Spain. Until recently, she was living nearby sharing an apartment with her sister. But about three weeks ago, her sister got married and moved to Canada to be with her new husband, leaving M alone here. On Tuesday, I suggested to M that if she’d like to, she could have the week of Passover off and she said that she didn’t want to take the time off because she would be bored by herself. I asked if she had any friends in the area and she said not many. “My sister is my best friend and she moved away.”

So I suggested that she go see her sister that week. M said she would think about it, and would get back to me. No problem, I said. Seth and I both have that week off and though Seth will be out of town for part of the week, I can handle it – she should go see her sister if she can. M was still hesitant but she said she would speak with her sister and let me know. Apparently she spoke with her sister on Wednesday and they thought maybe her sister would come down here to visit M that week, but they would talk about it more on Friday (today).

M never got to have that talk with her sister today because her sister was in a fatal car accident yesterday. She died last night and M got the news of her death this morning. I was already on my way home when I heard the news, so I got home as quickly as I could (no sense having another accident). M is absolutely shattered, as you can imagine. They are moving her sister to Senegal tomorrow, and I told her we’d help her go, but she says she doesn’t want to go. “I don’t want to see that. She was my only friend. I can’t see that.” She says she’ll be back on Monday. “The babies are the only thing that will make me feel better. I want to be here with them.” She went home today to go pray for her sister. I hope that she’ll change her mind about going to Senegal to be with her family – she has no one here at all and her sister was her whole world.

I don’t even know her sister’s name, which seems odd to me, but I realize I haven’t known M that long – only about two and a half months – yet I love her so much because she loves my babies like her own (but not in a creepy way). And now she’s hurting more than I can possibly imagine and I can’t do anything for her other than pray, I suppose. M’s sister’s husband is still in a coma. I’m honestly not certain whether it would be more tragic for him to wake up and find his wife gone, or for him to never wake up, so I will simply pray for the RIGHT outcome for him, whatever that may be.

I have the best nanny in the world, and now she is suffering unimaginable pain. I wish there were something I could do for her.

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Unimaginable

My nanny, M, is the best nanny I could ask for. I'm sure there are nannies out there with more years of experience or more twin/triplet experience or whatnot, but there isn't anyone else in the world who would love my children as much as she does. Every night when she leaves, she looks sorry to go. Every morning when she arrives, she says, "Good morning, Sammy, I missed you! Good morning, Ellie, I missed you! Good morning Abby, I missed you, too!"

On Monday mornings she comes into their room and eagerly picks them up and asks, "So what did I miss? What are they doing that's new?"

She never asks me for anything, ever, but she was so excited when I bought her some children's books in French (her native language) and eagerly said that yes, she would love to have more if I ordered more. She loves to read to the babies, she holds them all day long – never putting them down except to play. She enjoys their milestones as much as we do.

People are surprised that I hired someone who didn't have previous twin/triplet experience, but I realized when I hired her that I didn't have any triplet experience before I had my triplets, but I figured it out, right? She clearly loved babies and children and that's what mattered to me. I'm glad THAT was my priority when I hired her, because she has turned out to be perfect.

M is from Senegal, but was born and raised in Paris. Her father and one brother is still in Paris. Another brother is in Italy and yet another brother is in Spain. Until recently, she was living nearby sharing an apartment with her sister. But about three weeks ago, her sister got married and moved to Canada to be with her new husband, leaving M alone here. On Tuesday, I suggested to M that if she'd like to, she could have the week of Passover off and she said that she didn't want to take the time off because she would be bored by herself. I asked if she had any friends in the area and she said not many. "My sister is my best friend and she moved away."

So I suggested that she go see her sister that week. M said she would think about it, and would get back to me. No problem, I said. Seth and I both have that week off and though Seth will be out of town for part of the week, I can handle it – she should go see her sister if she can. M was still hesitant but she said she would speak with her sister and let me know. Apparently she spoke with her sister on Wednesday and they thought maybe her sister would come down here to visit M that week, but they would talk about it more on Friday (today).

M never got to have that talk with her sister today because her sister was in a fatal car accident yesterday. She died last night and M got the news of her death this morning. I was already on my way home when I heard the news, so I got home as quickly as I could (no sense having another accident). M is absolutely shattered, as you can imagine. They are moving her sister to Senegal tomorrow, and I told her we'd help her go, but she says she doesn't want to go. "I don't want to see that. She was my only friend. I can't see that." She says she'll be back on Monday. "The babies are the only thing that will make me feel better. I want to be here with them." She went home today to go pray for her sister. I hope that she'll change her mind about going to Senegal to be with her family – she has no one here at all and her sister was her whole world.

I don't even know her sister's name, which seems odd to me, but I realize I haven't known M that long – only about two and a half months – yet I love her so much because she loves my babies like her own (but not in a creepy way). And now she's hurting more than I can possibly imagine and I can't do anything for her other than pray, I suppose. M's sister's husband is still in a coma. I'm honestly not certain whether it would be more tragic for him to wake up and find his wife gone, or for him to never wake up, so I will simply pray for the RIGHT outcome for him, whatever that may be.

I have the best nanny in the world, and now she is suffering unimaginable pain. I wish there were something I could do for her.

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Many times when I start a post, I regret that I am not more eloquent. I wish that I had better words to express the thoughts in my head for a lot of selfish reasons…but mostly so that people will enjoy reading my blog. But today, I regret my total lack of eloquence for a far more desperate reason. You see, I read a lot of blogs, and I don’t always comment on them, and not everyone knows that I’m around, and I always think “I’ll get around to commenting someday.” And sometimes, “someday” is too late.

I’ve been reading Keira’s blog on and off for a few months now, but I’m pretty sure I never commented before this week. And now… it’s not too late, but mere words are just so inadequate to express my anguish over her loss of her little warrior princess, Sweet Zoe Rose.

If I were eloquent, I would say something meaningful and comforting and full of hope and life. But I am empty and sad and full of despair. I feel torn apart for this woman, for this family, who I have never met, who doesn’t know me, who probably doesn’t know I exist, and I feel like I am breaking into pieces. It’s not right of me, it’s not my loss and it’s selfish of me to be feeling like this, but all I can imagine is the pain I’d be feeling if I lost one of mine… this was one of my deepest, most biting fears when I found out I was pregnant with triplets. And while I know that loss can strike any parent… for some reason, the fear gripped me harder in the face of triplets than in the face of a singleton.

What I do know is that last night, I hugged each of my four children a little tighter before bed, and wiped an extra tear away before anyone could see. And I so fervently wish that I had the eloquence to adequately express to Keira how much I care for her, despite the fact that she has absolutely no idea who I am.

Read Full Post »

Many times when I start a post, I regret that I am not more eloquent. I wish that I had better words to express the thoughts in my head for a lot of selfish reasons…but mostly so that people will enjoy reading my blog. But today, I regret my total lack of eloquence for a far more desperate reason. You see, I read a lot of blogs, and I don't always comment on them, and not everyone knows that I'm around, and I always think "I'll get around to commenting someday." And sometimes, "someday" is too late.

I've been reading Keira's blog on and off for a few months now, but I'm pretty sure I never commented before this week. And now… it's not too late, but mere words are just so inadequate to express my anguish over her loss of her little warrior princess, Sweet Zoe Rose.

If I were eloquent, I would say something meaningful and comforting and full of hope and life. But I am empty and sad and full of despair. I feel torn apart for this woman, for this family, who I have never met, who doesn't know me, who probably doesn't know I exist, and I feel like I am breaking into pieces. It's not right of me, it's not my loss and it's selfish of me to be feeling like this, but all I can imagine is the pain I'd be feeling if I lost one of mine… this was one of my deepest, most biting fears when I found out I was pregnant with triplets. And while I know that loss can strike any parent… for some reason, the fear gripped me harder in the face of triplets than in the face of a singleton.

What I do know is that last night, I hugged each of my four children a little tighter before bed, and wiped an extra tear away before anyone could see. And I so fervently wish that I had the eloquence to adequately express to Keira how much I care for her, despite the fact that she has absolutely no idea who I am.

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Perspective

I still owe the tale of how I came to have a c-section at 33 weeks, and how all that went and all, and I’m still a bit upset about how it all came to be, and the fact that it happened when it happened, but here’s a bit of perspective about it…

The night before I delivered my three healthy babies, my doctor’s other hospitalized triplet patient went into labor at 24 1/2 weeks. She had been hospitalized after an emergency cerclage earlier in the week and it didn’t do enough. One of my worst nightmares throughout my pregnancy… a nightmare that almost came true for me several times. Worse, one of her triplets became septic and didn’t survive. The other two, so far as I know, are still in the NICU, but doing well, considering.

Maybe 12-13 days after they were born, I was in the NICU fairly late at night and I ran into the other triplet mama in the elevator on my way home. I know it was her because my husband had described her to me, having seen her around the NICU, but also because she had those three NICU bracelets on her wrist. Those three bracelets just like me. The three bracelets that meant everyone in the hospital seemed to know who we were just with a glance at our wrists. “Oh you’re the triplet mother!” “Oh, you must be Mrs. C!” “Hey, you don’t know me, but I peeked in on your triplets this morning and they’re adorable!” She had her three bracelets on, but more importantly, she had her eyes glued to the three bracelets on my wrist. She didn’t say a single word to me, not one, but she never took her eyes off my wrist. I wanted to pull my sleeve down over the bracelets, but I knew that would just draw even more attention to the awkwardness of the situation. I couldn’t say anything to her, because anything I said would have been wrong. I shouldn’t know her situation. I shouldn’t have known that she lost one, but NICU nurses talk, you know? I shouldn’t have known anything about her, but I did. I couldn’t tell her I was sorry for her loss, because we both knew that upstairs I had three healthy babies.

And so, we said nothing to each other, and I still regret that. All I could wonder was whether I would have taken off that third bracelet or not. I doubt that I would have had the courage to do so. I heard a week or so later that she had taken the third one off, and though I don’t know what to make of that, I hope it means that some small piece of her had started down the next step of the grief process towards healing.

My doctor was absolutely devastated. He never loses triplets. It just doesn’t happen in his practice. The earliest he’s had triplets deliver before was 26 weeks and that was with a totally non-compliant 18 year old patient. You could see the pain of the loss in his eyes, his body language, hear it in his tone… I cried for her, but I also cried for him, because it was so obvious how attached to his patients he becomes. He told me three days after I delivered exactly how worried he’d been about me at different points in my pregnancy… points that I’d already forgotten about. I’d forgotten about that weekend when he thought he might be delivering me at 27 weeks. I’d blocked out of my head exactly how scary things got when my cervix went down to under 1.5cm and the contractions wouldn’t stop. I hadn’t REALIZED how worried he had become when my blood pressure started to creep up. I never knew that he’d wondered whether he’d be delivering me soon when I saw him at 30 weeks. I never knew how concerned he’d been as my terbutaline dose crept up and up and up. He had provided excellent medical care, impressed upon me the need to follow all doctor’s orders. But he had NEVER allowed me to see his worry until after-the-fact. So I know that the sadness he felt over the loss of that triplet was real. I know he visited my triplets and her remaining two triplets in the NICU, which is apparently ridiculously uncommon in the NICU… OBs/Perinatologists apparently never make an appearance in the NICU.

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets, I wasn’t thrilled; I was terrified, I was angry, I was sad, I was self-pitying, I was worried. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I loved them fiercely, even as they were forming, and that nothing would convince me that I didn’t want them. But I wasn’t graceful. I blogged about it, knowing I would get a lot of crap for it, and I did get some pretty irate emails, but I’m not sorry that I wrote the truth. I tried to write the truth throughout my pregnancy experience. It wasn’t always a very pleasant pregnancy, though the truth is, now I miss being pregnant so much I can taste it, oddly enough. One of the best by-products of my honesty was the number of people who contacted me when they found themselves pregnant with triplets. They either left comments or emailed me privately to either commiserate or ask advice or just to connect with someone else who was living through the same thing. I feel a very, very special connection to each one of you who looked to me for advice or support, though I felt (and feel) unworthy of giving any such advice when I received such amazing advice from incredible triplet veterans like Jody and Jessica among others.

A week or so ago, I heard from one of my friends who was pregnant with triplets. A woman I had never met, who is far across the country from me, but a woman whom I respect and admire more than she knows. The last I had heard from her, her water had broken around 17 or 18 weeks into her pregnancy, and she was on strict-flat-on-her-back bed rest in hopes of holding on to those babies until viability at least. A terrible, horrible position to be in, for sure. But then I delivered my triplets and I’d been out of the loop for a bit, until she emailed me to let me know that she delivered the first of her three triplets at 19 weeks, on the day I was admitted to the hospital. He lived for about an hour and she got to hold him and love him and say hello and good bye to him. She miraculously held on to his sister and brother for another two weeks before delivering them at 21 weeks. They, too, lived about an hour, before she lost them. I cannot begin to describe how devastated I was when I read her email and watched the beautiful memorial video she sent me. I would share it, but I haven’t asked permission to do so, and it’s not my story to tell, except as it pertains to this post.

I’ve never met my friend. She was, as Julie would say, a “friend inside the computer”, but that makes her no less my friend, and makes me no less attached to her story. That is one of the beauties of the blogosphere. We are all spread across the world, we’d probably never meet under normal circumstances, and if we did, who knows if we’d ever realize we had enough in common to be friends. But here inside the computer, look how much we find in common with one another! Look how attached to each other’s stories we become! This is a strange little universe we float around in, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I found love and support and humour and grace in the blogosphere when I thought I couldn’t have any of those things in this ridiculous journey, and I continue to find all of that and tremendous friendship. I grieve for my friends’ losses whether I’ve met them or not, and I take all of your stories very personally, even if I haven’t had a lot of time recently to peek in and comment. I will resurface at some point, and I vow to leave at least three comments per week from here on out, because isolation is not any fun and I miss all of you and I would hate to think that any of you think I don’t care anymore.

But mostly, to my friend who lost her triplets so tragically last month, know that my heart breaks for you and that it is not lost on me that no matter how much I would have liked SOME things to have gone differently, God gave me three precious gifts five weeks ago today. I will never lose sight of the fact that they could just as easily have been taken from me. I am so, so sorry for your loss and for the many losses I’ve seen in my time in the blogosphere. I rejoice with my friends when miracles happen, but my grief sinks just as low when tragedy strikes. I love all of you so much. Thank you for your support.

Read Full Post »

Perspective

I still owe the tale of how I came to have a c-section at 33 weeks, and how all that went and all, and I'm still a bit upset about how it all came to be, and the fact that it happened when it happened, but here's a bit of perspective about it…

The night before I delivered my three healthy babies, my doctor's other hospitalized triplet patient went into labor at 24 1/2 weeks. She had been hospitalized after an emergency cerclage earlier in the week and it didn't do enough. One of my worst nightmares throughout my pregnancy… a nightmare that almost came true for me several times. Worse, one of her triplets became septic and didn't survive. The other two, so far as I know, are still in the NICU, but doing well, considering.

Maybe 12-13 days after they were born, I was in the NICU fairly late at night and I ran into the other triplet mama in the elevator on my way home. I know it was her because my husband had described her to me, having seen her around the NICU, but also because she had those three NICU bracelets on her wrist. Those three bracelets just like me. The three bracelets that meant everyone in the hospital seemed to know who we were just with a glance at our wrists. "Oh you're the triplet mother!" "Oh, you must be Mrs. C!" "Hey, you don't know me, but I peeked in on your triplets this morning and they're adorable!" She had her three bracelets on, but more importantly, she had her eyes glued to the three bracelets on my wrist. She didn't say a single word to me, not one, but she never took her eyes off my wrist. I wanted to pull my sleeve down over the bracelets, but I knew that would just draw even more attention to the awkwardness of the situation. I couldn't say anything to her, because anything I said would have been wrong. I shouldn't know her situation. I shouldn't have known that she lost one, but NICU nurses talk, you know? I shouldn't have known anything about her, but I did. I couldn't tell her I was sorry for her loss, because we both knew that upstairs I had three healthy babies.

And so, we said nothing to each other, and I still regret that. All I could wonder was whether I would have taken off that third bracelet or not. I doubt that I would have had the courage to do so. I heard a week or so later that she had taken the third one off, and though I don't know what to make of that, I hope it means that some small piece of her had started down the next step of the grief process towards healing.

My doctor was absolutely devastated. He never loses triplets. It just doesn't happen in his practice. The earliest he's had triplets deliver before was 26 weeks and that was with a totally non-compliant 18 year old patient. You could see the pain of the loss in his eyes, his body language, hear it in his tone… I cried for her, but I also cried for him, because it was so obvious how attached to his patients he becomes. He told me three days after I delivered exactly how worried he'd been about me at different points in my pregnancy… points that I'd already forgotten about. I'd forgotten about that weekend when he thought he might be delivering me at 27 weeks. I'd blocked out of my head exactly how scary things got when my cervix went down to under 1.5cm and the contractions wouldn't stop. I hadn't REALIZED how worried he had become when my blood pressure started to creep up. I never knew that he'd wondered whether he'd be delivering me soon when I saw him at 30 weeks. I never knew how concerned he'd been as my terbutaline dose crept up and up and up. He had provided excellent medical care, impressed upon me the need to follow all doctor's orders. But he had NEVER allowed me to see his worry until after-the-fact. So I know that the sadness he felt over the loss of that triplet was real. I know he visited my triplets and her remaining two triplets in the NICU, which is apparently ridiculously uncommon in the NICU… OBs/Perinatologists apparently never make an appearance in the NICU.

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets, I wasn't thrilled; I was terrified, I was angry, I was sad, I was self-pitying, I was worried. It didn't take me long to figure out that I loved them fiercely, even as they were forming, and that nothing would convince me that I didn't want them. But I wasn't graceful. I blogged about it, knowing I would get a lot of crap for it, and I did get some pretty irate emails, but I'm not sorry that I wrote the truth. I tried to write the truth throughout my pregnancy experience. It wasn't always a very pleasant pregnancy, though the truth is, now I miss being pregnant so much I can taste it, oddly enough. One of the best by-products of my honesty was the number of people who contacted me when they found themselves pregnant with triplets. They either left comments or emailed me privately to either commiserate or ask advice or just to connect with someone else who was living through the same thing. I feel a very, very special connection to each one of you who looked to me for advice or support, though I felt (and feel) unworthy of giving any such advice when I received such amazing advice from incredible triplet veterans like Jody and Jessica among others.

A week or so ago, I heard from one of my friends who was pregnant with triplets. A woman I had never met, who is far across the country from me, but a woman whom I respect and admire more than she knows. The last I had heard from her, her water had broken around 17 or 18 weeks into her pregnancy, and she was on strict-flat-on-her-back bed rest in hopes of holding on to those babies until viability at least. A terrible, horrible position to be in, for sure. But then I delivered my triplets and I'd been out of the loop for a bit, until she emailed me to let me know that she delivered the first of her three triplets at 19 weeks, on the day I was admitted to the hospital. He lived for about an hour and she got to hold him and love him and say hello and good bye to him. She miraculously held on to his sister and brother for another two weeks before delivering them at 21 weeks. They, too, lived about an hour, before she lost them. I cannot begin to describe how devastated I was when I read her email and watched the beautiful memorial video she sent me. I would share it, but I haven't asked permission to do so, and it's not my story to tell, except as it pertains to this post.

I've never met my friend. She was, as Julie would say, a "friend inside the computer", but that makes her no less my friend, and makes me no less attached to her story. That is one of the beauties of the blogosphere. We are all spread across the world, we'd probably never meet under normal circumstances, and if we did, who knows if we'd ever realize we had enough in common to be friends. But here inside the computer, look how much we find in common with one another! Look how attached to each other's stories we become! This is a strange little universe we float around in, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I found love and support and humour and grace in the blogosphere when I thought I couldn't have any of those things in this ridiculous journey, and I continue to find all of that and tremendous friendship. I grieve for my friends' losses whether I've met them or not, and I take all of your stories very personally, even if I haven't had a lot of time recently to peek in and comment. I will resurface at some point, and I vow to leave at least three comments per week from here on out, because isolation is not any fun and I miss all of you and I would hate to think that any of you think I don't care anymore.

But mostly, to my friend who lost her triplets so tragically last month, know that my heart breaks for you and that it is not lost on me that no matter how much I would have liked SOME things to have gone differently, God gave me three precious gifts five weeks ago today. I will never lose sight of the fact that they could just as easily have been taken from me. I am so, so sorry for your loss and for the many losses I've seen in my time in the blogosphere. I rejoice with my friends when miracles happen, but my grief sinks just as low when tragedy strikes. I love all of you so much. Thank you for your support.

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