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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Today, I Grieve

Today, for the very first time, I grieved for the loss of my son's twin. Didn't know he even had a twin? That's by design. I never talk about it. Precious few people even in my personal life know he did. Yep. He did. And I imagined, but never knew, that it was a girl - his little sister that he would wrap up tightly in his arms in the womb.

We went through IVF to get pregnant, as some of you may know, so to find we were going to have a baby at all was the greatest joy in our lives up to that point. When we found out there were TWO, we were over the moon! We had dreamed of having twins, because we knew it was likely our one shot to have kids at all. Then our dream was a reality. We immediately had the same lovely image of twin babes inside of me, occupying space together, getting to know each other intimately, forging an unbreakable and lifetime bond - one boy and one girl, one was more protective, one more antagonistic, both the closest of friends.

Then, one day, "she" was no longer. My husband grieved immediately. He cried all the way home. He mourned for some time. I never did. I never shed a tear, I never seemed affected at all...even to myself. I kept my sights focused on the one babe I still had and after he was born my attention was on the present.

Today, I saw this video

and all of a sudden the grief was upon me. I said to my son, "That could've been you" and it hit me. My heart sank and an almost overwhelming sadness came upon me. I felt (still feel, as I write this) an emptiness in my chest and I could burst into heaving sobs at any moment. It's a feeling I've never felt and know now why I stuffed it so many years ago - it hurts indescribably.

If she had been a girl as we imagined her, she would've been named Ellison, "Ellie" for short. She would've shared a wardrobe with her brother. She would've snuggled with him in our big bed. She would've held hands with him while they breastfed together. They would've laughed, cried, fought, and played together. There's so much...and I can't write it all down right now, because right now I'm grieving and am struggling to find a way to express all of the feelings.

All I know is that today, I grieve.


  1. it's easy for me to see how you would be grieving this loss. even though it is not that uncommon for a twin or multiple pregnancy to go that way, it is hard to get the mind around it when it happens to you. i can see also how the grief was deferred until your son was a bit older---it's natural to concentrate on the baby you have. i hope that days to come bring you a peaceful heart again soon.

  2. It's a beautiful gift we give ourselves when we are brave enough to feel big, big grief. Much love, my sister mama. Remembering Ellison with you, that's a gorgeous name.

  3. I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. We lost our daughter's twin. My husband and I found out we were expecting twins a 6 weeks and were monitored every two weeks, getting to see them both grow and seeing their little hearts beating, until our 12 week scan where they told us one of the twins hadn't grown and there was no heart beat. The doctor told us it happened often and most women don't even know. So with his words, I rationalised it, cried outside the hospital and that was it. The grief came back with a vengeance a few weeks before my due date where suddenly I began thinking about all the things I should have been looking forward to: two babies, double buggy and how I would look trying to breast feed them both at the same time. I was inconsolable for about a week, thinking about who the baby would have looked like (me or my husband), whether it would have been a boy or a girl, what they would have grown up to be. I felt ashamed that I hadn't grieved properly earlier, like I had been disrespectful to his memory. My husband and I bought a beautiful sunset painting and put the scans picture along with letters my husband and I had written to our lost baby behind the frame. It hangs in our bedroom next to a family picture of my husband, me and my daughter. They were fraternal twins so I never look at my daughter and think 'there should be two of you'. Whenever I look at the sunset painting I get a male presence from it. I believe our lost baby would have been a boy. Strangely, when my son was born a small part of me healed, as though somehow he had come back to me. I still well up when I look at that sunset picture.
    I agree with above, Ellison is a lovely name. You carry her with you as I carry my lost baby within me. xx

    1. It's nice to know we're not alone, MetalMama. Thank you for sharing. <3