I don't like to call myself stupid, but that is the phrase I'm parodying, so there it is.
There are two very real reasons I'm rarely writing, but then again, I think it goes deeper.
Blogs are fueled by emotion. The best infertility blogs blend either humor and pathos or just pathos and sheer volume of words/posts. My blog has always been a place were I wrote somewhat carefully thought out, carefully felt out, posts that cleared the decks for me, and opened a connection to you all. Back in 2008, Blogher was near my town,and I went to have dinner with the awesome Cecily and we talked about my blog, and hers and she said something like "I just can't read IF blogs, it's just so painful." I think Tori was 2 at the time. I get it now. I really get it. .
So I've been thinking about why I don't write more. I truly wanted to keep this as a journal of our first year, I wanted the boys to be able to read through this blog and feel as if they can see their little lives unfolding, and in turn, know me.
But it hasn't worked out that way. When they were in the NICU I was pumping every two hours and running back and forth from the hospital. When they came home I was wrestling with breastfeeding and integrating the new reality of being a mother. And then sometimes, my arms and hands hurt so much I couldn't type. That may derail me tonight.
No matter what the constraints are, another fierce reality is that I am struggling with IF and Preemie PTSD. One aspect of PTSD is shutting down, becoming numb. I am either numb, or a wobbly weepy mess when I think about what could have happened, even though it didn't. If they had been born the day of my baby shower, they wouldn't have lived. As it was, their lungs at nearly 29 weeks were very immature. We could have lost them. Juice could have not recovered from his neumothroax. He could have died. He could have died. He could have died. It doesn't matter that he didn't, it matters that he could have. There are moments when I am so shaken at the thought of his dying that I snatch him up and kiss him and hold him and thank him for being so strong. And there are moments when my mind goes to the bad place ,and I imagine trying to make it thru if he had died. So I stay numb. And I don't write, and I don't feel.
The other piece that haunts me is that we could have never gotten to the point of having children at all. When I read about failed adoptions, embryo adoptions not working, miscarriages, all of it. It all makes my heart catch in my throat and for a moment I am that person. I am the person who pushed all the boundaries, took all the chances and came away with no child. Of course I didn't, but right now, I feel quite raw.
Of course,this all makes sense in the context of it being around the time I got my positive and my first ultrasound confirming that we had two babies on the way. Nothing quite like an anniversary to get the feelings stirred up!
The aspect of IF that I have dealt with, and does seem to have stuck, is the loss of my genetic connection. I am aware of their origins, but I don't feel threatened or displaced like I feared I would. I wonder what the donors would see, who they would see, if they could see the boys. A mother's smile? Grandfathers ears? Their own features? For me,they are new beings, fresh and new. Someday when they are older, if they choose to contact their donors, we may have the answers to some of these questions, but until then, they are just my beautiful boys.
What is still so raw, and so drenched in horror is the very real bullets we dodged of never having children at all, giving birth before they could exist on the outside, and illnesses. Two of the three are dodged, but the last one isn't.
Eileen is sitting a vigil at her daughters side while she fights a serious kidney infection. I read that and I feel so sad and scared for her, and then my own terror at the thought of one of the boys, or both of the boys getting sick, and frankly dying, shoots to the surface.
In terms of dealing with the PTSD around their prematurity, I'm planning to read Alexa's book, and let her give words to some of my experience. I just don't have them yet.
But I am here. I am loved, and loving my boys. They are darling. They smile at me. ME! They snuggle into my body, and are a miracle each and every day. In the moments when I'm overwhelmed and exhausted and feeling like I bit off way more than I can chew by choosing to have twins, I realize I could have no babies, or worse, could have lost one or both of them, and I am restored.