10 Things I Learned About Life When My Twins DiedAela Mass
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost three months since my twins died. I miss them desperately at times. I miss being their safe haven for growth. I miss feeling them move. I miss singing to them every morning. I miss being excited to meet them in X-amount of time. The loss was sudden and completely unexpected.
When my water broke at 17 weeks, everyone was shocked. My pregnancy had been picture perfect. And when my twins died hours later, I was devastated.
When you experience a tragedy like this, it’s hard not to question everything. It’s hard not to remain in a darkness that pulls you toward feelings of bitterness, anger, helplessness, and self-loathing. It’s hard to see the good in anything.
But you must.
This post was an exercise for me to focus on something other than the utter horror behind losing my twins. What I found was that I have learned some pretty positive life lessons since my twins died.
1. I Have No Control
For most of my life, I’ve been a control freak. Okay, so maybe that term is a wee bit harsh. But the point is: I like things done when and most often how I like things done. I’ve gotten better at letting the little things not turn into major crises. I mean, really, the world isn’t going to end if I don’t make my bed one morning. But when I lost my twins after an otherwise picture-perfect pregnancy, I realized just how little control I have over anything.
2. Heartbreak Prepares You for Life
I’m certainly not comparing the loss of my twins to any other type of heartbreak. After all, there is no heartbreak in the world like that of losing your babies. But there was a time, six years ago, when I suffered such a devastating broken heart from a breakup that I honestly never believed I’d survive. Well, as you know, I did survive it. When my water broke at 17 weeks and I lost my twins, I thought, “I am not going to survive this.” To my surprise, I recalled my past heartbreak, and I gained strength knowing that I survived once before when I didn’t think I would. I knew I’d somehow get through this loss too.
3. Tragedy Brings People Together
This is something we’ve all heard about throughout our lives. But I experienced this firsthand. Tragedy really does bring people together. I was given so much support and encouragement from total strangers and those close to me. I’d never have gotten through this without any of them.
4. Health is a Gift
Oh, how we so often take our health for granted! I’ve been a healthy person my whole life. I rarely get colds. I’ve had no major medical issues. I even had a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Until I didn’t. You really never fully understand how precious your health is and how quickly things can change, until you’re in the middle of receiving shocking news. I’ve since not taken a single moment of my health for granted.
5. Medical Professionals are Heroes
I could have died. If I had been in another country or even in another part of this country it’s likely I wouldn’t have received the medical care and treatment I needed. I was thoroughly monitored every step of the way from the moment I entered the hospital. I was treated with advances in medicine that don’t even exist in other parts of the world, and I was kept alive because of it. Additionally, I was treated with tenderness, kindness, and compassion from my medical team that kept my anxiety and stress from causing further harm.
6. Trust God
I will never have the answers as to why my water broke during my second trimester and why my twins never made it into this world. Without trusting God, or without believing in a higher purpose, how do you not just fall into complete despair? I have to believe and I do believe that there is another plan for me.
7. Be Flexible with Life Goals and Plans
I’ll be 35 at the end of this month. 35. I remember posting an article on Facebook three years ago about women who become mothers for the first time at 35. I thought, for sure, that’d be me. And it still might. But, who knows? I could very well be 36, or 37, or (GASP!) 38 before I actually become a mom. I have no choice but to surrender to this.
8. Patience Really is a Virtue
Remember that thing I said about wanting what I want when I want it? Yeah, well, things haven’t been working out that way for me during this fertility journey. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. Perhaps I need to learn this patience thing before my child arrives.
9. People are Innately Kind
Sure, there’s a lot of violence and anger and hatred in this world. But I know that the amount of goodness in this world and within people far outweighs the negative. Not only did I hear so much love and encouragement from others, I didn’t hear any judgement from strangers. I wasn’t once told “that’s what you get for making a baby through science.” I wasn’t told, “that’s what you get for being gay.” I received nothing but love and support and gifts and flowers and cards and phone calls after my twins died.
10. Hope Heals
Even with the love and support of others, even with the bereavement classes, even with the kindness of strangers, I could never get through the loss of my twins without hope. Hope that I will someday have a healthy and successful pregnancy. Hope that I will someday carry a child to term. Hope that someday I will become a mother. Hope that someday my dream of having a family will become true. Without hope, I couldn’t do any of it.