Warning: This is a touchy, emotional, unapologetic post about pregnancy loss–even though I’m still pregnant. If you can’t read about how sad I’m still feeling without wanting to smack me and tell me how grateful I should be, please don’t continue past the line. I am mostly writing this for my own sake–just to get it out–but I’m also writing for the girl in the future who finds out that she’s lost half of an early twin pregnancy and reaches out to Google.
Last night, something knocked the wind out of me. I sat there on the couch next to Catch and I tried to work through it in my head, but it was just one of those things that comes along when you least expect it. I went from being absolutely fine to suddenly feeling like gravity had reversed.
I told Catch I needed to talk and within seconds, I was sobbing. I haven’t cried like that since the day we found out we’d lost one of our twins. Last night—more than ever before—I just wanted my baby back. I couldn’t stop myself. Somewhere in our house is a second pair of baby-sized red converse—an ultrasound photo of two beating hearts—a book about twin pregnancy—and in that moment, I just wanted it all back. I wanted everything to be as it was 6 weeks ago. I wanted to be panicked about how we’ll pay for daycare. I wanted our (deleted) “Twins!” board on Pinterest. I wanted the universe to change its mind and admit that it made a mistake.
A year ago, I thought losing weight was hard. I thought going through fertility treatments was hard. I thought watching other people announce their pregnancy was hard. Today, I can tell you that none of that holds a candle to this place I am in right now. For me, this is hard—this cocktail of loss and gain and hormones and fear and hope and exhaustion. Now, we have so much more to lose.
My mother says our loss was for the best. She is relieved. Friends say, “But you still have one!” or “It was so early—it happens all the time!” But none of them see what I see in ultrasounds. None of them understand the void. None of them remember what it sounded like when that void had a heartbeat. I see a baby where they see a black hole.
This is what we see on the screen every time we see our remaining healthy baby. (Pardon the link, but I really didn’t want this photo showing up in your feeds.) This is what a “vanishing” twin ultrasound looks like at 11 weeks after a loss around 7 weeks. It doesn’t exactly vanish, does it? You can’t actually see what remains of the embryo in this photo, but I could see it clear as day when the ultrasound tech measured it at our NT scan last week. It’s like a kick to the stomach every single time.
There’s a part of me that feels like after everything, I owe it to everyone—all of you included—to be blissful and glowing, but it’s just not happening. It’s not for a lack of effort. I want nothing more than to be able to put everything behind me. To move forward without this overwhelming fear that we will lose our other baby as well. I would love to be able to stop checking the toilet paper for blood. I would love to stop obsessing over symptoms and worrying about what’s happening now that I’m off all of the meds. I would love to be able to take a perfect ultrasound of a perfectly developing fetus at face value. I have dreamed of pregnancy my entire life, and this is not what I want from these 40 weeks.
I will tell all of you what I told Catch last night. I’m trying. I really am. Most of the time, I feel like happier times are right around the corner. I just don’t know which corner. Perhaps it’s the one when it becomes apparent that there’s something more than flab in my mid-section. Perhaps I’ll find it when I start feeling our baby move. Maybe it won’t be until I’m holding her in my arms. Regardless, I know I’ll get there and I promise to keep trying until I do.