Today was the day that I thought I was doing well. I decided that 5 months later, I am stronger, I have come a long way, I still have many sad moments when I think of our summer, but they are moments and not full days....so I reach for the large bereavement package that was mailed to me months ago from the Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation that has been sitting on top of my dresser. I read the first line "the loss of a twin..." I stop, take a deep breath in while wearing a mask on my face to prevent Alyssa from getting my cold as I hold her in my arms. That is as far as I could read...thank goodness Alyssa was ready for her nap, as I worried about my tears infecting her with my cold germs...I layed her down in her bassinet, and courageously picked up the pamphlet again along with a roll of toilet tissue and started all over.
"You were pregnant with twins, but now you have one baby to hold and to take home. These experiences are difficult to share...." "The following are possible reactions you may experience"
As I read through all the reactions, I couldn't stop crying, I'm still crying as I type this entry. None of these reactions are something I am seeing for the first time, we went through all of them in my bereavement sessions, which finished and I felt good. But now as I look over them, I feel that I am right back where I started, like I really haven't worked through as much as I thought.
Shock and Denial: This was the first reaction felt obviously, this is how we were able to get through those first weeks, by feeling numb. I don't have this feeling anymore.
Anger: I thought I got over this, but as I read, I realized I wasn't. I am still angry at the Dr. who was so cold to us. I am angry because I feel like he wasn't completely honest with us. I guess he is really the only person I am angry with.
Guilt: Will I ever stop feeling guilty, or experiencing the "what if's?" or "why's?". I thought I was at a good place, or was getting there. I realize that there are some things that we cannot control, I do, but I constantly wonder if Jessica had more strength then we gave her credit for...Could she have overcome everything against her? Probably not, but that is a what if that I can't seem to get out of my head. I had a visit with my friend a couple weeks ago. She had identical twin girls in March and it never bothered me going to visit her. I don't know why really, because seeing other twins always upsets me...other twins who I don't know I guess. But this time it was different. Seeing her girls older and bigger and more interactive crawling around everywhere was hard. I will be ok, and will see them again of course, but it's harder now for some reason, then it was initially. I often wonder if we had just given her more time...maybe she would be crawling around and interacting with Alyssa like these girls were.
Acceptance: "As the intensity of the shock, denial, anger and guilt subsides, you will begin to accpt the reality of your twin babies' death. this is a painful step, but it is the beginning of healing." This is where I want to be, and in some ways I may be...but as I read through the pamphlet the sadness overwhelms me, and my nose fills up as the tears come pouring down.
The final reaction I read was Sadness: It says that it never truly ends, but becomes more bearable with time. I think I am feeling the "intense sadness" they talk about that can come up unexpectantly and bring tears anytime for many years. Maybe because we are so close to the holidays...My favorite holiday of Christmas which we never were able to share with Jessica.
So that is as far as I read. You'd think because I couldn't read any further, that I would stop. But no, the warrior in me decided to go to Jessica's memory box and look through her belongings, if only for a second. That second was brief, I am not ready to look there right now, I am not ready to look at pictures of my dead baby, no matter how nicely they bathed and dressed her for us to hold her one last time. It's just way to hard. So why could I look through these pictures months ago, and watch her video everyday, and now I can't look at pictures of her living or dead? I'm not nearly as strong as I thought I was...as I sit here pouring out my heart to friends, family and strangers who often read my blog, read all the gut baring thoughts I have that show how weak I am, how I havent' "moved on"... Is this blog really a form of therapy for me? Sometimes I think yes, and then sometimes I feel like a fool after I hit the publish post button baring my heart and soul out to people who rarely reply to anything I say.