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Happiness Ain’t What It Used To Be: How Pregnancy Loss Changes You

Pregnancy Loss Changes You
This post isn’t meant to be a Debbie Downer. In fact, I’m actually quite happy as I type this. But there’s some stuff I need to explain, some things I’m only really now being able to form the words to express — and even this is nothing more than my best attempt…

It’s been 11 months since I lost my twins, since that terrible night when my water broke at 17 weeks pregnant. Even now, I still can’t believe those words belong to me, that this is my story. And I guess that’s where I begin the point of this post: The loss of my twins is only part of my story.

The rest of my story? It’s pretty incredible.

Sure, the year has hit me with blow after blow. My twins died. We had to move from the home we were living in for circumstances beyond our control. My day-job transferred me to an office I couldn’t stand working in. I lived apart from my spouse for 6 months for business. I commuted 54 miles — each way — for work. This year alone, I’ve had 5 failed or canceled IVF attempts. It hasn’t been an easy year. That’s for sure.

But I promise, I’m not focusing on the negative, because it has also been a great year.

My wife has finally made her dream come true, and owns her very own CrossFit gym. This is an amazing feat that has been years in the making. And to add to the greatness of this accomplishment is the location of her gym: Martha’s Vineyard, my favorite place on the planet. This also means that — incredibly enough — we live here now. I landed a job on the island that is seemingly made for me, and after 6 months apart, my wife and I are finally living together again.

Life is so good. I can hardly believe it. And I can’t fully feel it.

I am grateful.

I am happy.

But those feelings are different since the loss of my twins, and I’ve only recently realized it.

I’m living on my dream island. Working an awesome job. Loving the sh*t out of my wife. Witnessing her excel like crazy with her business. I’m healthy. My wife’s healthy. My dog’s healthy and wagging her tail more than ever.

Life is so good. I can hardly believe it. And I can’t fully feel it.

None of this greatness would have happened if my twins had been born healthy and alive. I try to trust the path I’m put on, but how can I not question if my twins had to die to open up the doors that brought us here? We wouldn’t be here otherwise.

And that’s my point. All the happiness I’ve felt since their death — any happiness I’ve felt — is slighted.

Pregnancy loss changes you. It dulls you. It dulls your highs. It dulls your sadness. Because nothing compares to the loss of your baby, and no happiness compares to the life you expected with your babies.

Sure, it’s all good. So much is good. And, like I said, I am grateful and I am happy. It’s just that those things mean something else after you’ve lost a baby — and getting used to these newly defined feelings is a learning process.

Such is life.

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 Read more of Aela’s writing on Babble and at Two Moms Make a Right.

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