Hi everyone, I know this is a little out of the ordinary to post something like this here. This is not a poem and I did not write this. This was written by my daughter about 7 years ago and I tucked this away in my memory box. I just wanted to post it here so people had the chance to see this heartfelt write. If you do read this, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart...it will mean more than you could ever know...
This is going to be long and I feel very vulnerable putting this out there, but I need to talk about this, finally. In addition to many others, October is in fact Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. I am beyond blessed with two beautiful and healthy little girls and I could not ask for more. But there will always be a part of my heart that aches from the loss of the third little girl that I never got to see or hold: Cami's identical twin sister, Lilian, who passed away in utero right as I was going into my second trimester.
It's not something we talked about much then, and certainly not now, but she was... and then she wasn't. We found out that we were having identical twins very early on, due to the necessity of an earlier-than-usual ultrasound, and it was such crazy and exciting news. I remember us going to my mom's house from that ultrasound and passing the sonogram photo around to my parents and friends and everyone clapping and congratulating us. I decided on the names Lydia and Lilian right away, despite being many weeks away from determining gender.
I'll never be able to forget the moment, two weeks later, when the doctor began my thirteen week ultrasound and uttered those dreaded syllables no pregnant woman wants to hear: "uh-oh". None of us spoke as he stared and stared at the ultrasound, searching desperately for a heartbeat, before somberly announcing that there just wasn't one. "Baby B" has gone. Vanishing Twin Syndrome, he explained to us, happens frequently. Many women just don't know it has happened because they don't have an early ultrasound done as I had. One twin is strong, and the other is not. It just happens, and nothing can be done to prevent it. For two days I lay in bed and absorbed the news. I had to listen to several well-meaning but painful remarks from others: "well, at least it happened early, before you had a chance to bond with her", and "you wouldn't have wanted twins any way, think of how expensive that would have been". It's amazing, the ignorant and hurtful things people say, when they think they are being helpful.
After that, I followed my doctor's advice and just focused on the baby I DID have. We decided not to name her Lydia, which now felt strange and incomplete, but Cami, and moved forward. My pregnancy was never quite the same, and I worried constantly and needlessly about losing her as well. Years later, when pregnant with Chloe, I woke up in a panic one morning and drove to the HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center, where two wonderful counselors spent three hours helping me to work through the unexpected grief and guilt that overwhelmed me. The guilt of having a second daughter that WASN'T Cami's twin. For the first time, someone was telling me that it was okay to grieve for her, and okay to miss her. That mourning the loss of her wasn't diminishing the blessings of my other children. I was her mother, for the shortest of times, and I have every right to love and miss her.
Today, when I watch Cami run and play, my mind sometimes wanders to what it would have been like to have two of these tiny blonde, blue eyed angels running around. Knowing exactly what she would have looked like: I don't know if that makes it easier or harder. I imagine the day will come, many years from now, when I will tell Cami about her twin sister, and show her that first sonogram photo I still keep: the two of them side by side, two beautiful hearts beating together. Lilian was never born, but I believe with all my heart that I will see her again one day. My momma told me of a beautiful dream that she had, in which her Nana Mabel came to her carrying a tiny baby. That dream gives me comfort and hope for the day I'll see her face. I'm writing this today to acknowledge Lilian, because her short story deserves to be told. To a woman who loses a child during a pregnancy, there is no "well, at least it happened early" or "at least you didn't bond with them". That is just ridiculous. A mother is a mother from the moment she finds out that she is carrying a life. And to all the other moms out there who have experienced both loss and blessing, please know that it is okay to love both the babies who are with us today and the ones who are not. We are mother to both.
We love you little Lilian and miss you every day <3