Today is a good day. The sun is shining, the babies are sleeping, the house is somewhat clean. Sure, it's not even 10:00 a.m., but so far so good. Right now, I feel at peace.
Yesterday was a different kind of day. It was Ellis and Julian's first birthday. We had a party with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. My friend and gestational carrier brought her family and we celebrated these wonderful miracles that she helped bring into the world.
At the end of the day I watched some TV and then went to bed. I cried myself to sleep for the third night in a row. Chris asked me last night what was wrong and, honestly, I'm not sure. It's a lot of things. It's always a lot of things. I miss Mila. I wish we had been able to give her a first birthday party like Ellis and Julian's. I feel guilty for wishing she were here when we have been blessed with these amazing baby boys. I feel sad that I didn't carry Ellis and Julian and courageously deliver them like I did Charlie, Sofie, and Mila. I feel relived that the first year with my second set of twins is finally over. I feel sad that we are never going to have a baby in the house. I feel bad that I didn't feel as happy this last year as I was when Charlie and Sofie were babies. Losing a baby and the ability to conceive does this to you. I feel all of these things, and then I feel ok for a while, and then it happens all over again.
I'm not going to lie, it's been a very difficult year. My rainbow babies (the living babies that follow a loss much like a rainbow that follows a storm) remind me all the time of Mila, of her life and her death. When I feel challenged as a mother, I blame our struggles with infertility and loss and I feel so sorry for myself. Instead of focusing on the new life we have been given, I focus on the storm. Losing Mila and almost dying myself felt like a hurricane that leveled everything for me. Everything. Our new life is wonderful, but I am still rebuilding.
As I adjust to the life I've been given (as opposed to the life I sometimes think I should have), certain things have to go so I can make room for what really matters. Put simply, I'm trying to take care of myself and my spirit rather than spending so much time living up to other people's expectations, standards, and rules. My mantra lately has been "No judgement and no rules!" Sure, balance and boundaries are important, but so is flexibility and understanding. For a while there I wasn't making room for love and understanding. I dismissed all that I've been through. I ignored my intuition and gut-instincts. I tried to compare myself and my experiences to others and let other people guide my thoughts and decisions. The more I did this, the worse I felt. I like to blend in and follow the pack, but now I realize that I must pave my own road.
Obviously, I can't write an entire blog entry in one morning. It's afternoon now and it's still a good day. A new and lovely friend came for a visit. I shared some of these thoughts with her and I feel good that I am starting to express myself without fear. Julian took his typical 30 minute nap and will keep me company for the rest of the day, crawling around the house and then banging his head on my leg until I pick him up. Ellis will nap for a while longer and then wake up happy, ready to play. We will go for a walk and meet Charlie and Sofie at the bus stop. I am grateful for this life.
I love the idea of living in today. Today I am free and I am loved. I am nourished physically and spiritually, not because I am following rules or doing what others say I should do, but because I choose to take care of my body and my soul.
Thanks for reading.