And because this is a weight not meant to be carried alone. A weight made infinitely lighter by the people who knew and who surrounded us all with love, and who held us up. To those people who shared similar (surprising) experiences with us, who sent texts and emails and messages from all over the country, who brought us dinner and took our baby girl away during the scary parts, we love you.
Luckily, it was early. But the month leading up to the loss was a rollercoaster. We discovered that there were twins. But maybe not. Don’t count on it, one might go away. Andy left for Boston for the week, and I wandered around in a stupor.
We’d spent weeks wondering about what a life with twins would look like. Andy was positively giddy at the prospect because he is a Tigger (which, frankly, is a much better way to go through life). And I was desperately sad at the prospect. It’s not a life I want for myself, or Alice, or our family. I could not see through the struggle of newborn twins to anything good.
And then, for a brief time, there was only one.
And then there were THREE. Triplets. Non-viable.
Three distinct, but empty, sacks on the ultrasound picture. A wave of utter shock. THREE. A nurse with a terrible poker face about to deliver the very bad news. A flood of utter sadness, and utter relief. And then a series of choices, that weren’t really choices. Wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally within the next one to two months. An impossible time frame in which I would most assuredly lose my mind with anticipation. A medically induced miscarriage that we could pursue immediately with a course of drugs in an attempt to avoid the surgical option, a D&C. And a few weeks of ruined plans.
It was a strange mix of grief and relief that I’ve never experienced. Losing a pregnancy is sad. Losing triplets is NOT sad. But...losing three babies is sad. I decided to stop trying to sort out the emotions and just let them happen. Despite being reassured that the possible pain would not be anything like labor, I was terrified. The first two doses of the medicine, taken 24 hours apart did nothing. We were asked to wait a week before taking the third dose (a time that felt like an eternity). Andy left for Boston for the week again.
And then something strange happened in The Waiting. While the actual fetuses were gone, their presence was still with me. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. My three tiny blueberries. With the assured knowledge that I would never have to birth and raise triplets, I was given a week just to love them without worry and fear of the future. And when the third dose of the medicine finally worked, and pain worse than labor brought me to my knees (because labor comes in waves and this just came), I sobbed with the physical agony and I sobbed with the grief. And while Andy rubbed my back and I hung on for dear life waiting for the painkillers to kick in, I wished my little ones a safe journey on their way back to the stars. Safari njema safari salama.
Then I soak up the sweetness of a sleeping Alice, a dancing Alice, a laughing Alice, and know that whatever happens in the long term, we already have the light of the universe.