I haven’t felt like writing. The weeks leading up to the twins’birthday are here.
I typed “Daphne’s birthday” above, then deleted it, feeling guilty, then wondered if stillborn babies technically have birthdays, being that they were not born alive. Leah doesn’t have a birth certificate, she only has a death one. Birthday? No birthday? March 2 is the day Leah died, and the day Daphne was born. The day they were both removed from my body. One alive, one not alive. Happy birthday.
I don’t like the month of February, not one bit. This year has been particularly difficult with Daphne having had such a hard winter. I’ve been sporting a perpetual dark cloud of fear and gloom over my head. This February, I am more likely to notice the dead squirrel on the side of the road than the crocuses starting to sprout their little purple heads.
So unfair, to be assaulted by memories even when I am trying to take care of myself. I went to get a manicure the other day. There was a couple with a little girl, maybe 3 years old, all three of them getting treatments. The mom was very much pregnant, getting pampered before the birth. “Any day now,” she said proudly to the bevvy of Korean women fawning over her and her family. The woman doing my nails smiled, looking for my endorsement: “the little girl is so cute, so well behaved.” The deja vu almost knocked me off the chair. I was in that very salon the day before I went into the hospital for monitoring. I got a pedicure with clear polish, and let Lucy get her very first manicure. She got a little flower painted on each thumb. The women fawned over her, so well behaved, so lucky to be getting two sisters. I was feeling bad that I was going to be in the hospital for at least a month before bringing her twin sisters home, wanted to do something special together. Wishful thinking.
I don’t know why the memories of those days, when I could hope that both girls would be okay, are shredding me this February. Those were days of innocence. The person I was then, three years ago, wondered how she would be able to tell the twins apart, and worried about being bored in the hospital for four to six weeks. That person hoped the twins wouldn’t have to stay in the NICU more than a couple of weeks. I am angry at that person and her silly concerns, I want to shake her. Doesn’t she know that she was worried about all the wrong things?
These weeks will pass, with no fast-forward button. I get through the days looking forward to the moment when I can get into bed quietly. I know not every February will be like this. This one is, for many reasons. Daphne’s health. Her CPSE evaluation. The effect of it all on our household. The feeling that life could have been very different, I can’t shake it. I sense the expectation in others that enough time has passed, I should be “over it,” grateful for what I have. I am grateful, but not over it.
There is no way to get to the other side of February without feeling all the feelings, without running into the ocean with all my cuts and bruises. I plan to get there, eventually, somewhere more gentle and warm.