There are certain questions in life you should just quite simply know the answer to – What’s your name? Favourite colour? Where do you live? Do you have children? Errr yeah hold up! That question, that one right there – killer. So, here’s the predicament:
Been pregnant? Check – one pregnancy, two babies. Delivered said babies? Check. Mummy, Daddy and twins living happily together in their family home? No, not quite. See now here’s the thing, when we fell pregnant we did what I should imagine most pregnant couples do – we planned the nursery, went to the scans bursting with pride and excitement, shared the happy news with friends and family, discussed baby names, checked in weekly on the ‘how big is your baby’ app etc etc etc. We were set up and ready to go, in fact we’d even picked the furniture for the nursery and the day we found out about the TTTS we were due to go and order it that afternoon…Hang on I need second to just take a deep breath and recompose… OK where were we? Oh yes so there we were pregnant with our identical twins planning the future then within the space of a week everything was gone. You’d think that was brutal enough right? Oh no, at 20 weeks pregnant we found ourselves on the delivery ward surrounded by new borns, midwives & men on the phone updating friends and family on their latest labour news. Sorry, I’m starting to sound bitter. We stood at reception and guess what? I couldn’t even answer the most straightforward question of them – Hello, what’s your name? Blank. Mark took over from that point and then we found ourselves in a private room with a midwife and a single purple butterfly on the door. A purple butterfly on a delivery ward discreetly says to other midwives ‘baby born sleeping’ or in our case ‘babies born sleeping’ – just writing that breaks my heart all over again. We were induced, contractions began and with Mark by my side & gas and air in hand we bought our twins into the world.
Everything physically about the pregnancy was gone, actually part of the placenta remained but that’s a story for a whole other time. However, the hormones, the ‘mum feeling’ and the huge gaping hole in mine and Marks hearts and lives were very much real. In a weird way we were a Mum and Dad but our babies wouldn’t be coming home with us instead we took home the blanket they were wrapped in, a memory box and each other.
So when people ask me – do you have children? In my heart I say yes absolutely but my mouth words ‘no’. Why? Because the thought of having to explain the story of our twins to a new person in our life is too much to even think about. But more importantly, aside from the stock phrase ‘oh I’m so sorry’ and that ‘oh you poor thing’ look – I detest that look by the way, if we ever meet don’t look at me with that look – what else are they meant to say?
So coming back to the original purpose of this post – firstly thank you for reading, just writing that down feels like a therapy session (but not the kind where you head to the bar straight after and order nothing but a bottle of wine and a single glass – again story for another time!) I also just wanted to put it out there that sometimes the simplest of questions are the most difficult to answer.