Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of cabbages and kings...

I woke up this morning to find a big shaggy dog lazily sleeping where my husband is usually found. When he felt me stir, he opened his eyes behind his fluffy mane and stuck his warm tongue out in a yawn. I smiled and rubbed my eyes noticing how tender and raw the delicate tissue felt.

Yes...of course they felt raw...I'd spent most of yesterday sobbing.

I could hear my husband playing his guitar upstairs...moments of solace before he had to leave for work. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and Ferdinand hopped easily onto the floor. He's getting quite large...he no longer needs a pile of laundry to get up on our bed, and it seems that he enjoyed the warm spot my husband left beside me quite a lot.

I let my sweet giant baby outside, and slowly climbed the stairs...I am NOT a morning person by nature...and my puffy eyes were making me want to crawl back into bed because they felt so tired.

I entered our cozy little living room, and smiled at my husband. He was playing the song he'd created for our babies. It's a jazzy, lively melody. No words, but a lot of feeling. He had come home last night to a wife with tear stained cheeks, and a tremble left over from heart wrenching sobs.


Well...aside from the fact that I cry pretty easily now a days...aside from the reality that my arms still ache for babies they will never hold...aside from physiological symptoms of depression and anxiety that are at times completely debilitating....I've been doing really well. But not yesterday. Yesterday, I was given a writing assignment from a regular employer who likes my writing style. She wanted me to interview a few ladies for a human interest piece. No big deal, right?

But it was. I read the assignment, and quickly called the first number. A cheerful sounding woman answered the phone, and I asked her if I might talk to her about her company. She asked me if I could call back in 10 minutes. I was actually relieved, because I had suddenly realized that I had NO IDEA what her company was all about! I usually do a little research before I delve into an interview like that! I agreed to call back, and quickly linked to her site. I read her story. I clicked on a video that explained her entrance into the line she had created. There was her baby. Her premature, 25 week old, 1 pound infant. Only 2 weeks older than the sweet, tender, lifeless baby I held in my arms for 15 hours on Earth day of this year. One of my twins...the only twin I ever saw.

Her baby was a mirror of my son...transparent skin, fused eyes, precious tiny feet and hands. But alive. fighting for life.

Her pain and fear were so acutely real to me. Her daughter had lived, while my twins had died...but for me, it was unbearably similar. and heartbreaking.

I sat here, choking on my own breath. I knew I HAD to call her back. I couldn't NOT call her. So I dialed the number and tried to sound normal...but I knew my voice was cracking, and I explained that I was having a hard time composing myself because I had lost my twins in the Spring, and that her daughter had only been two weeks older...

She was so understanding...crying with me... Just as I could feel HER pain...she was feeling MINE. We talked for a long while, and I wrote her story down while wiping away the tears that were flooding my face. I felt so much joy for her that her daughter had made it. I wished my twins had made it too.

I wrote the article behind a waterfall of salt water tears... and sent it out this morning.

Sometimes I wish life was more like a fairy tale. Where cabbages and kings dance with fairies and shooting stars. Where babies never die, and happy endings are the norm instead of the exception. Perhaps there is a happy ending for that I am blind to at the moment. I am so aware of all the mammoth blessings that embrace my life. I sometimes feel like a spoiled child crying because she didn't get another chocolate chip cookie. But sometimes...I feel like I was GIVEN two cookies I didn't even know were left, and was so delighted that they were MINE....but then...a big cookie monster rushed up to me and ripped them out of my eager hands and devoured them in front of me, rushing off to steal more cookies from other happy people who would be left with only crumbs. Leaving me without my cookies...knowing how sweet they would have been...and knowing that I would always want those cookies back, and that I could not protect anyone else from losing their cookies.

Infantile talk....transferring babies into cookies....but, isn't that the fairytale image? The little ginger bread boy that jumps out of the oven never to be seen again?

How I want a happy ending. But, the story has been told. There will be more stories in my life, and I'm sure many of them will be happy.

But I can never change the way THIS story has left me broken.

I understand SO much I never wanted to understand.

and so much that I could never turn away from.

I wrote the article; and I KNOW that I was meant to, because I understood how important it was that it be told with feeling...with empathy...with love.

Abigail....I am glad you made it. Thank you for being. You are a miracle.


  1. What a generous moment to share, poor fellow sad mumma. I find it interesting that you said, "I sometimes feel like a spoiled child crying because she didn't get another chocolate chip cookie" because I've felt like a spoiled child having a tantrum at times. Was I greedy to want more children, to be open to more, when we have four healthy children already? So many people say, "You have four already. Focus on them." But having four doesn't mean I don't mourn terribly for our dead child - that would be like telling mums who lose their first not to cry for them any longer once they do have a second or third child. We'll always miss and long for our lost babies, I'm sure. I've also rejoiced with friends for their healthy babies born since George died - feared for them as their pregnancies went overdue - and then cried with relief and happiness for them - and sadness for my own loss. I emailed my friends to say not to worry about hurting me if they were happy because I'm happy for them, too. Sad for me, but happy for them and asking our George to watch over their babies from where he is in heaven. Wish we were close enough to share our stories and tears over tea - as our other children and our shaggy pups tired each other out. xoxoxo

  2. This post is tragic and beautiful at once. I am proud of you, for being able to get through the conversation and for writing what I am sure was a beautiful article. I can relate to so much you wrote here... about aching arms, about wishing for a different story. How I wish we were in those fairytales.

  3. LOve to you Sara. You are strong even when you feel weak, you amaze me daily!

  4. I know I already commented here but I came back because I was thinking of you today. I hope this note finds you well friend.


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