Tuesday, April 3, 2012

nine months

I always know when it's time to write again. My heart feels tight and heavy. The tears feel like they're right behind my eyeballs, waiting to gush out at any moment. I wasn't sure what to name this post. I chose nine months because our baby girl would be nine months old now. I saw a baby close to her age at the park yesterday and had to leave. I couldn't help but imagine Mila was alive today, swinging in the baby swing, wearing one of Sofie's hoodies or cardigans. A wave of grief, anger, pity, and sorrow swept over me so fast. I had been having a pretty good day, and then I wasn't.

Sofie's first spring, 2008

I thought of naming this post 7 babies. Sofie has asked me many times, "Mommy, how many babies do you have?" It makes me wonder if she knows what I know, that I have a total of seven babies. I have two beautiful, living children, and five, yes, five babies waiting for me to hold them again some day. We started trying to get pregnant when we were 27. My body was doing nothing. It was like I was in menopause already. It took huge doses of fertility drugs to finally get me to ovulate and when I did, we had four embryos, quadruplets! After reducing the pregnancy to twins (and saying goodbye to two otherwise healthy fetuses), we thought we would soon have the family we dreamed of. Then, at 18 weeks, on March 30, 2006, we lost the remaining twins. We had four babies, then we had none. March was incredibly difficult this year as I felt very aware of how much we have lost. We have Charlie and Sofie, our greatest treasures, sandwiched between two horrific losses. It just feels so sad. Poor us. Someday we will tell Charlie and Sofie about their brother and sister, and the two babies we never knew. For now, whenever Sofie asks, I say that my babies are Charlie, Sofie, and Mila. "Who else?" She asks. I say, "I don't know, who else?" "Molly and Wesley!" She cries out. Oh yes, our dogs Molly and Wesley. I guess they are my babies too.

I've been reading so much about loss, stillbirth, and living through similar tragedies. One book I am reading says that we no longer ask, "Why did this happen?", but begin to ask, "What do I do, now that this has happened?" I am still just so devastated. Now that Mila has died, and we didn't get to bring her home and pour our love and our life onto her, what do we do? Although I wish I could some days, I can't go back to a time when it was just Charlie and Sofie and I didn't want another baby. I have faint memories of those days.


I felt so grateful and so satisfied with my life, but now there is a huge hole. I feel like I have wanted Mila forever. Something is missing now and nothing feels, tastes, smells, looks, or sounds as good as it used to before our tragedy. I wonder if I will be able to go on living this way. Can I live the rest of my life without ever feeling some resolution or peace after our perfect baby was taken so suddenly? I don't want to. I don't see it getting better or easier. What a shame.

After a wonderfully mild winter, we are having an early spring. We have had glorious days in Minnesota where the temperatures are around 70 or 80 degrees in March! I love this time of year. It symbolizes a time of rebirth, and reminds me of the times I was pregnant with Charlie and Sofie, and with Mila. I also could have called this post then and now. Last year at this time I had a big, beautiful belly. I felt gorgeous, not quite so big that I felt gross and awkward, but glowing with life and with love. We were preparing our home and our lives for Mila's arrival and I was looking forward to summer with a new baby. These are some of the happiest times of my life so far. I wonder if I'll ever feel that kind of humble, amazing joy again. Family, friends, and neighbors showered me with well wishes, love, and support. It seemed as if the whole world was waiting for our sweet girl to arrive. Sure, this spring I feel more comfortable, more flexible and physically active, but I would give anything to relive that time with Mila, when she was alive and here with me.



Life is moving forward, and I believe that Mila is here with us for all of it. I don't feel like I need to write to her or visit her because she is here, in my heart and in my soul always. Charlie and Sofie will be entering full day kindergarten in the fall and we are going to continue healing and watching for miracles. Sometimes I think that if I can't have Mila, then I don't want anything or anyone. I feel like a two year old having a temper tantrum. The truth is, however, that we're not done. We pray that God's plan for us includes another baby, somehow. Until then, I will be with Mila and she will be with me. I will pray for peace and accept the love that continues to flow in. There. Now I feel better.