When you have a preemie, there are usually a couple days that float in your mind; the day your baby should have been born, and the day they actually were.
With mono mono twins, there’s even more days that always stay with me; their 40 week due date, their scheduled c section date, their birthday, and the day they came home. The girls were scheduled to be born January 24th, 2014, at 32 weeks and one day. Instead, they made their debut January 7th, at 29 and 5. Yet, for the last two years, when January 24th rolls around I always have to stop and give myself a small moment to grieve.
There’s a reason mono mono twins are delivered at 32 weeks; risk has substantially gone down and at that point, babies are mostly learning to feed and grow. And we were so close. So. Close.
There has always been a big part of me that wonders if we had made it, if our story would be different. Would Ella have CP and hydrocephalus? Would we have pranced home from the NICU even before my due date? Would I have three children running circles around me?
It’s a thought – sometimes fleeting, sometimes debilitating – that of course offers no answers, only uncertainty. Yet, days like today come and wind me slightly and I have to act like the calendar isn’t tormenting me. And you would think that I was too busy to notice, but you really could never be too busy to notice grief, can you? I’ve heard from others that as our preemies grow, these dates mean less, as they are replaced by happier dates, memories, and moments. I expect that’s true, but I also expect to flip the calendar one year, momentarily get sucked into the coulda, woulda, shoulda, before moving on. And maybe that’s ok, reflecting on how far we’ve come in such a short time. Or maybe, it’s ok to remind myself that I’m only human, and that certain days will be harder than others, but that we will come through the other side, because we always do.