Ive been thinking a lot about fear. Fear. My pregnancy with the twins was ruled by fear. Yes, I was excited, but it was always tempered by fear. Because of the high risk. Because of TTTS. Because of the weekly ultrasounds and the constant concern that the babies conditions in my womb had worsened. Because I had no way to know, from minute to minute, if the babies growing inside my body were OK. Because I knew what TTTS could do to my babies. How many ways it could damage so many parts of them, forever. How it could steal their lives.
I take it back. I was not excited. I was terrified.
And then my worst fear became a reality. And that became the world I had to navigate.
After the girls died I went through many stages of grief. I had to relearn to live in the world that my world had become. I was no longer just the standard daughter, sister, wife, mother like everyone else. More than any of those things, I was the mother of two dead babies. Two. Dead. Babies. The words would ring in my ears as I walked in the street. “I have Two Dead Babies. Wow. That’s pretty unusual” I’d think to myself while tears rolled down my cheeks as I walked to the bus station. “I mean, I know having identical twins is unique, but having dead identical twins… wow. Now that’s special. Not too many people get to say that about themselves.”
Now, maybe that sounds kind of twisted, to have thoughts like that. But the brain and heart do some funny things when your worst fears have come true. You realize, over time, that well, basically, you’re still here. You have lived through your worst fear- possibly the worst fear a person can have, and you are on the other side. You’ve witnessed yourself at the weakest, most vulnerable place you can imagine, heard yourself cry harder than you knew you could, feel lower and darker and sadder and more broken than you knew was possible. And you are still here. Feet hitting the ground, day after day. You learn that you are stronger than you thought you were. And if that…. that monster of pain did not kill you, if living through that biggest fear did not overtake you, well, there’s likely not much that can.
At some point in the grieving process, I stopped allowing other fears to guide me. I don’t know that I even realized I had been letting it guide me, until I realized it wasn’t any longer. Even the early days of The Muchness was about that. I’d been afraid before to express myself through my appearance. I’d always loved flashy colorful clothes but once I left college they just didn’t seem ‘appropriate’ (oh, how I HATED that word as a teenager… and again, now) and I was worried how others would judge me. I was afraid to speak up for fear that I’d say something stupid. Or someone would tell me to stop talking. Not anymore. I found I was speaking up when I had a question, without worrying I’d sound dumb, I wore what I liked and made the decision to feel confident in it. Because what was there to fear? Nothing. I am the mother of two dead babies and I am strong. You can’t scare me with your silly little judgements.
I haven’t posted here much in the last week or so. I give myself a big fat F on the declutter challenge and I feel like crap about it. I DID declutter, and continue to, but I just didn’t have the time to sit and post and write and do all the things I wanted to do. Plus, I lost my camera battery and didn’t take enough great pictures. And I found, I was afraid. Afraid to come here and mention it. Afraid I’d disappointed people (besides myself)… afraid of what I am building on this site and hopefully in my life to give back in a meaningful way that is true from my heart. And it’s been eating away at me. And it’s self perpetuating, yet I couldn’t even keep up with the challenge I created. So I am coming here to post and spill my guts and break this cycle of fear that has blossomed inside me since the new year. It is NOT what I had in mind when I said I was going to make this year amazing.
So- I will not let fear rule me. I will be guided instead by optimism, strength, and the knowledge that when I follow my heart, I make the right choices and good things happen. I am a daughter and sister and wife and mother and I am also the proud mother of two dead babies. Fear has lost it’s privileges in my world.
I like this quote. It doesn’t really take into account fears like babyloss…. though, imagining how much pleasure I would have felt watching my twins grow up healthy, having conquered TTTS, I guess it does. That was just a fear to whose contribution I simply had no choice.