Day 30 of MY MUCHNESS CHALLENGE!!!
Who is “Finding My Muchness?”
Hi. My name is Tova Gold and I am looking for my Muchness. Have you seen it? I am an artist, entrepreneur, wife and mother.
My children are the essence of my Muchness. Two of my girls are here with me on earth and the other two, identical twin angels, forever nicknamed Sunshine & Daisy inspire me from the world to come.
Here’s my story:
When my oldest daughter, Molly, turned one, my husband and I decided to try for another baby. We’d always wanted two, close in age, so the timing seemed right. We got pregnant the day we started trying and six weeks later were thrilled to learn that I was carrying identical twins. Identicals is a fluke, not genetic, hereditary, just entirely random. We were stunned.
At 14 weeks we learned they were girls. I had visions of glittery pony holders piling up 500 deep on the bathroom sink, and princess parties for my three girls, who I knew would be so close to each other.
At 16 weeks we learned they were showing early warning signs for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. (TTTS) This is a disease of the shared placenta in otherwise healthy identical twin babies. Essentially, the two babies share a blood flow through the placenta, and in rare cases the placenta doesn’t do its job correctly, feeding too much blood and nutrients to one baby, and not enough to the other.
For the next two months we got weekly or twice weekly ultrasounds at the top TTTS specialists in NYC.
Things were looking good and we were feeling optimistic as we came to the end of our second trimester, 24 weeks.
But at 23 weeks and 5 days our world crumbled around us when we learned one of our girls, Daisy, had suddenly passed. Because her blood flow was connected to her sister, we lost Sunshine two days later.
Losing a child is the most devastating thing a person can endure. Losing two in that way was almost unbearable. It brought me to the darkest days, weeks and months I’ve ever known. The spirit and energy of the person I’d always known myself to be, were gone.
They say after the loss of a baby you are never the same, and it’s true. There is a hole that gets ripped through your heart that will fade over time, but will never heal. You just learn to live with this pain. It becomes your “new normal.” As you live through the grieving process you know the experience is shaping the person you are going to become. For me, the fear was that I’d always be a woman enveloped by anger and pain and resentment.
Within three months of losing Sunshine and Daisy, I was pregnant again. Despite the fact that it was a healthy, singleton, routine pregnancy, I was paranoid and terrified of all that could go wrong. Even more so, I was still deep in the grieving process. I struggled to remain in good spirits, as I didn’t want the baby now growing inside me to “absorb” the bad energy I was carrying around with me.
To counteract the negative feelings, I instinctively started wearing sequins. I know it sounds silly, but little bits, here and there, really made a difference in my day to day moods. I found it was a lot harder to focus on being depressed when I was physically forcing myself to sparkle!
On the babyloss forums where I’d connected with other amazing mothers that had experienced losses, I started talking about my new sparkle obsession. At first I assumed these women thought I was nuts, but eventually I started receiving notes from them “I saw some sequins today, I thought of you and smiled!” or “I had an event to go to, I wore a sparkly headband and it made me feel extra happy!”
It felt great to know that I’d, in some small way, brought a smile to someone’s day, someone who needed it, with just a little bit of sparkle.
Then- a few months after my youngest daughter was born, beautiful and healthy, I read the line on my friends facebook wall and it all came together “I used to be much muchier, but then I lost my muchness.” That was me! Thats what I’d been doing! I’d lost my Muchness, but, with my sparkle and shine obsession, I’d been tapping into my Muchness and, in small bits, sharing it with others, and most importantly, helping myself heal.
I started a photo series on my facebook page “30 Days of Muchness” and I’d photograph whatever pretty, sparkly, happy thing I was wearing or doing that day. The response overwhelmed me with positivity and happiness. One friend told me although she wasn’t sure what it meant, she knew it made her smile. Other babyloss moms said it made their day to see what “Muchness” I’d come up with. It brought me so much joy to know that my silly sparkles were bringing joy to someone else.
So after the thirty days were up, I launched a website to share the Muchness on a larger scale. At first, it was just me, writing about the things that brought a little bit of light to my days. Pretty soon, people were requesting to take the Muchness Challenge Themselves!! I updated the site so they could experience the joys of finding their Muchness, and it was incredible! However, it soon became clear that Muchness NEEDS to be shared! More than just a couple of people at a time! Anyone who want to tap into their Muchness should be able to be part of the Muchness community!! So, after a traumatic server crash at the old site, I launched this new site for ALL THINGS MUCHNESS!! Anyone can now take the Muchness Challenge! Join the Muchy discussions and Share Muchness pics of the day, Any day! There is so much to do, and more to come. For anyone having a dark day, I hope something here brings you a little bit of joy and inspiration!
• Tova’s Original 30 DAYS OF MUCHNESS Photo album here.
• You can read the blog I kept throughout my twin pregnancy here. But be warned. It’s a real tear jerker.
Without Sunshine & Daisy I would likely never have been able to tap into a Muchness that was lying dormant inside of me. This blog is my way to honor them, thank them, and remember them. Sharing it with anyone who needs a little pick-me-up is my Thank You to all the babyloss moms I met online that helped (and continue to help) me through the most difficult experience of my life.
• If you are a TTTS parent that has suffered a loss from this tragic syndrome, please join the private TTTS Grief Support Group I founded. It is an active group of amazingly strong and supportive moms, and some dads, that have lost one or more of their babies to TTTS. Click here to send a request to join.