Thursday, September 1, 2011

A New Year

Well, school has started again.  I think most people measure the years from January to December but as a teacher, I measure mine from August to May.  The summer is just recooperation time, time for me to catch up on the personal things I don't do while school is in.  Of course, this past summer was time for me to grieve and try to get a handle on my emotions before I once again stepped into a classroom.  Teaching is often a frustrating and emotionally draining job but I look forward to a new set of people every year.  Its exciting to do something different every day and having a constant rotation of kids is refreshing.  This year I'm struggling to make a decision on putting pictures of Alice and Drake in my classroom.  I told my students that I had twins and that they didn't live on the first day of school.  I think it would be comforting to have them be a part of my element, where I am most comfortable.  When I look at the pictures of them in my house, I get this overwhelming feeling of love but also a strong feeling of pain.  I'm not sure if I want that at school.  I think of them some days while I'm working and I usually get a small wash of emotion but it isn't enough to bring the feelings to the surface.  I wonder if I had a visual if that bit of sadness would take over.  I can't imagine having to explain to a bunch of teenagers why I had to run from the room sobbing. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wow, its been a while and I'm not sorry

Immediately after Alice and Drake died I felt the need to get my emotions out.  I started a journal and also started reading blogs.  After spending several hours a day reading blogs I decided to start my own.  At the time, I immersed myself in my grief and the grief of others.  I was obsessed with reading about other people who had lost babies.  My babies were on my mind constantly, burned into my brain like an image too long on a plasma television.  Zoloft stole my emotions but not my obsession.  Then one day I realized the sick masochist I had become.  I submitted myself to heart wrenching pain everyday, I actually chose it!  I wanted to feel pain, I wanted to cry, I wanted to feel like my world had fallen apart.  I was dwelling on the death of my children, drowning  myself in grief and reinforcing it by surrounding myself in the grief of others.  I realized I was out of control so I stopped.  Just like that, I quit reading my usual blogs, I quit writing on my own blog.  I am a mother to twins who are dead but that is not all that I am.  Actually, I'm much more and if I allow myself to be defined by my children's death, I will never be content.  I will never be happy.  That pit of despair is dark and deep, I looked into it, I actually threw down a rope and decided to check it out, but its not for me.  So, its been almost 31/2 months since my babies died and I feel better.  I don't even feel guilty about not writing for so long, I needed a break.  I'm back now, ready to continue with my life and my blog.  My heartstrings are still tender and I think of Alice and Drake every day and sometimes I cry.  But I laugh alot, like I used to, and I don't feel guilty about that either.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have been devoid of all emotion for two and a half weeks now.  I made the trek back up to the third floor of the medical building and saw my doctor again.  I walked into the same waiting area and saw the same secretary behind the same counter.  But this time was different, she didn't smile and ask me how the twins were.  This time, I didn't even have to wait, they ushered me straight to the back.  I guess they thought it was cruel to make me sit in a waiting room with the moms to be.  Or maybe they were scared of what I might say to them.  "Good luck, I hope your baby doesn't die like mine did."  So my husband and I sat and waited for the doctor while next door someone was listening to their baby's heart with the doppler.  I heard my children's hearts beating every two hours for 3 weeks while I was in the hospital, I wish now that I would have recorded the sound.  Its the only sound I ever heard them make.  After a while the doctor came in, did my exam, and asked how I was.  I wanted to lie.  I wanted to say I was okay, grab my purse and run out.  But my husband was there specifically so I couldn't.  Instead, I looked at him and told her I was depressed.  She asked if I had thought about hurting my self and I guess she knew the answer as soon as the tears started streaming down my face.  And then she gave me a prescription for Zoloft and referred me to a therapist.  So, here I am two and a half weeks later, emotionless.  The medicine snaked through my brain, wrapped its silvery threads around my limbic system and constricted, choking off my emotions.  No tears, no sadness, no thoughts of hurting myself, nothing.  Before, thoughts of Alice and Drake equaled an unbearable rush of uncontrollable grief.  As though I was programmed to feel pain everytime I thought of them.  Now, I am reprogrammed.  When I think of them, my brain shuts off, I lose focus, I feel nothing.  It is strange being devoid of emotion, I don't feel human but I can function.  I can go to the grocery store, I can look at babies and pregnant women and feel nothing.  No sadness, no jelousy, no thoughts of what should have been.  I am emotionless and it feels...   

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Flipside

Due to my upbringing I have often pondered heaven and hell.  During Halloween, where I am from, exists these strange things called tribulation houses.  Its a Southern Baptist's version of an appropriate haunted house.  Its a re-creation of specific parts of the book of Revelations from the Bible.  You pay five dollars and walk through rooms where people have just disappeared.  The vaccuum is running but no one is in the room. The news reporter on the radio is screaming about the traffic accidents, plane crashes, etc. happening all as a result of the disappearing people.  As you go through the house you learn that all of the Christ believers have disappeared and chaos has errupted on earth.  God has saved his people and the ones left must make a choice; suffer in this new chaotic world ruled by evil and still go to heaven when you die, or accept the new rules, find comfort on earth but be eternally damned to hell.  After making this connection, you are lead into a pitch black hallway that is a simulation of hell.  It's so hot it makes you sweat, breathing is difficult and the only sounds you hear are screams and moaning.  The narrator tells you of the eternal suffering and pain the people in hell experience and just when you think you can't stand the heat, they let you out into heaven.  The room is cool and white, candles and lights flicker next to beautiful people dressed as angels and there are places to sitdown and read the Bible.  As a child, I was so thankful to leave hell and go to heaven.  I could feel relief wash over me as soon as the cool air touched my skin and I would listen intently as the narrator told me of an eternity of love and celebration with all of the ones who went before me.

As an adult, and no longer Southern Baptist, I think back to those tribulation houses and one major flaw (besides the fearmongering) in its design stands out.  They take you through hell and then you get to experience heaven.  But in the reality of death, from a Christian stand point, its seems to me that it would be the opposite.  I imagine, when we all die, everyone would experience heaven first.  They would feel the cool air on their skin, the peace, joy, and eternal understanding that is promised.  They would celebrate with the ones they love who had gone before and they would know God.  Then, when they grasped the full understanding of what heaven is, the ones that didn't believe on earth would have it all taken away.  The peace, the joy, all of it will be stripped from them and they will be plunged into an eternal hell.  For how can they really understand hell if they had never experienced heaven?

The day my daughter was born, she lived for an hour and a half.  I didn't know I was in labor, I never felt a single contraction.  I was in the hospital on bed rest and I felt pressure.  I reached down and could feel the top of her head, so I called for the nurse.  Ten minutes later I vomited and she slid out.  I was so afraid they would drop her, but they didn't.  They wrapped her in a blanket and they laid her on my chest.  She was only 22 weeks and 1 day, she didn't have a chance.  But as she laid on my chest and I looked at her, touched her, and talked to my living daughter, I glimpsed heaven.  I felt that perfect peace and joy that defies all understanding.  For 90 minutes I felt that cool air on my face and I understood God.  Then, her heart stopped beating and she was stripped from my grasp, my peace, my joy was taken away and I thought to myself, surely, this is hell.    

Alice was born first and alive.  Drake died during delivery a week later and I never got to experience his life outside my body.  Do you remember your thoughts when you first saw or held your child (children)?  My mother always says that your first born is different than the others.  Alice was my first born and I do have different feelings about her than Drake.  I feel the same love for them of course, but I feel more of a connection to Alice.  If you have more than one, do you feel the same way?    

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Alice and The Dragon

The Body put on the metal armor intending to be the valiant knight.  It knew The Mother did not think it was time so it slipped out into the kingdom unaware.  "I will be the knight in shining armor" it thought as it hastened into the unknown, intending to make The Mother happy.  After days of travel it came across a castle that was locked on all sides.  The knight knocked on the door and to his surprise, it opened.  The knight went into the castle and came to a closed door that read " The princess lives here and when the time is right, her knight in shining armor will escort her out into the kingdom, but beware, she is An Alice."  "An Alice," the knight thought "what had The Mother said about that?" the knight couldn't remember.  So, it continued through the door and up the staircase.  The Princess was snug in her bed, her brown hair curled around her shoulders.  The knight was struck by her beauty and immediately realized this was the one The Mother was waiting for. But, she was so small, the knight knew it wasn't her time.  "I will be back to take you to The Mother when you are ready" the knight told the princess as it hurriedly backed out of the door. But in its haste, the knight forgot to latch it closed. 

     The knight set out again, but an hour later, it began to rain.  The knight hurried through the forest until it eventually found a cave.  Thankful for the good fortune, it went into the cave to rest and dry off.  But the rain continued until finally the knight decided to explore.  It followed the cave down into the darkness for almost a week.  The knight was convinced that it was empty and disappointed it wasn't going to get a chance to prove itself to The Mother when it heard a light noise, as though someone was kicking the cave wall.  The knight followed the sound until it got closer and closer and the caves got hotter and hotter.  The air was so hot that the walls began to tremble.  And that is when the knight saw it.  The most glorious beast ever created.  The Dragon.  Its red skin and blonde scales glistened in the heat of the cave.  The knight noticed that The Dragon's  legs were caught in a hole in the floor of the cave and the thumping sound was The Dragon trying to free itself.  " I have come for you Dragon!" the knight announced, its voice echoing inside the cavern.  "I have come to slay you for The Mother, I am the knight in shining armor!"  The Dragon, struggling to break free, yelled to the knight "It is not time, I am not ready, I must get free and stay until The Mother calls."  But the knight, intent on its decision fought the dragon, pierced his heart, and drug him from the trembling caves.
     Then the knight heard her voice "What have you done My Body?  Why have you betrayed me?  Do you not remember what I said?" The Mother asked. "She was An Alice and curiosity killed the cat.  The rain you felt was my sorrow for The Princess for now, she is lost to me.  You searched out My Dragon, the only one of his kind, you have slain him and drug him out from where he was safe.  Why did you not listen when he told you he was waiting for me?  Villain! Why such treachery?," The Mother wailed.  "Haven't I kept you safe and healthy all these years and this is how you repay me?" she asked.  But the knight had taken off its armor and The Body did not answer.

I have an incompetent cervix, that is what started my problems with Alice.  After I delivered her a week later I developed an infection with a high fever and was told I had to deliver Drake or risk becoming septic and ruining my chances of having other children.   It is sad that the mind and heart are often at such odds with the body.  After your loss, have you tried to find a balance between the three?  How do you do it?   

Monday, March 28, 2011

Infinite Space, Infinite Possibilities

The Second Law of Thermodynamics seems to support the idea that the universe is constantly expanding and moving toward chaos.  In that chaos exists infinite possibilities.  If our reality is the most ordered of these possibilities it makes sense that alternate, more disordered possibilities exist.  It makes sense that in the most disordered of these possibilities my children are alive.

I wake up in the early hours of the morning, the beginnings of the day peaking through the edges of my bedroom curtains, and I hear the soft cry of my Alice.  A cry letting her Mommy know she is hungry and wants to be held.  I get up and slide on my slippers and reach for my robe.  About that time a second cry pierces the quiet morning, Drake, always the second one to wake.  My husband rolls over and mutters that he loves me and I go into the nursery to greet my children. 

This all happens in my Wonderland, that infinite possibility that hasn't been proven but can't be disproven.  My Wonderland where Once Mothers and Once Children are just mothers and children.  Where Never to Be Mornings are everyday mornings and the probable disorder is a perfect chaos that has an infinite chance of being true.

The mornings are the most difficult for me.  My husband goes to work and the silence he leaves behind is all I can hear.  What times do you struggle the most?  How did you imagine it to be different?