21. To many people this is a symbol of legalized adulthood. To others it is the luck of a winner. For us, it is just a date. But it is more than that. It is the date that our twins were supposed to be born, and another reminder that they are not here.
The thing is, we realize that if Sarah and Benjamin had survived (ugh, what an awful phrase), that they most likely would have arrived by now. So today truly is just a date. But it is more than that. This due date, like all four pregnancies before, symbolized a hope, a dream, a family. For this date to come around, like each one before it, without having our children with us, and without us knowing when—or if—we’ll ever have living children with us, makes it a heavy day to say the least.
As much as Double A and I are trying not to focus on this day, it looms in the background, just like the song you can never get out of your head. In fact, this “song” has been in our heads now for the past 5-1/2 years. Sometimes it’s so loud that we can’t hear anything else. And other times, it is a faint murmur of an old eery tune you just can’t shake.
The fact that February 21 is here also means that it is over. Not that there was really any doubt, but since we found out we were pregnant on June 12, it had been on this date in the future that we thought—or hoped—that we’d finally meet and get to take home our babies. Healthy. Living. Babies. And when those babies went from three to two, there was sadness, but still hope. And then we lost the twins, and everything changed. Again. But the date was still out there. The “should be” of the future that never seems to come to pass.
Today, and with each due date that has preceded it, there was always the thought or hope that we’d be pregnant again, or since we started the adoption process, that we’d have a baby by the time the date came around. While it wouldn’t make it any easier or replace the babies we lost, it would at least seem like progress. With progress there is hope. Instead, reality is a hard slap in the face. Truth be told, their date—birth and death—is October 9. So today is just a date. But it is more than that.
And the thing is, I haven’t written here lately because it was starting to feel as though this was the place that our family and friends were turning to find out what we were up to, and how we are doing. It started to feel inauthentic. This space is supposed to be about shared experiences. Yet, it felt like it was becoming a place for me to whine and grieve (which I deserve to do), but I wasn’t sure that it was helping others, let alone me. When I talked to Double A about this, he made a good point. He told me that it’s a good thing that people can come to this space to see how we’re doing and what’s going on. That this is a neutral place where those who may not have the words or know what this feels like can come to try to understand. This made me realize something I already knew. Loss isn’t just about the mothers and fathers. It’s about our families and friends, and all of the people who know and love us.
And then I read a post yesterday by Jay over at The 2 Week Wait which reminded me of why I’m here…at least here at Will CarryOn. I’ve said before that Will CarryOn is not just about Double A and me. That it is about the greater us. For all of the babyloss families out there trying to navigate this new, or maybe not-so-new, world.
We are part of a community, whether we want to be or not. And a community supports one another. I don’t know why Double A and I have gone through as much pain, hurt and suffering as we have. I’ll never again believe that everything happens for a reason. And I don’t know what the future holds for us. Through much soul-searching, many tears and even more therapy, I’m realizing as much as I want to, I can’t change what has happened to us and our family. What I can do is find the strength and courage to try to use our experiences to make a difference for someone else. Sadly, there will always be dates, but I know, it is more than that.