Sometimes it comes out of left field. Most of the time it comes out of left field. Sure, I know what some of my triggers are and I can navigate them because they are expected. New babies. Pregnant coworkers. Uber-fertile friends. I know that I can expect something to be painful and therefore I can at least contain my emotions.
And then something smacks you in the face. Sometimes it’s not even anything big. Today it was a lesbian mom’s board I post to. There’s a newly pregnant couple, pregnant after their 15th cycle and it was an IUI cycle with injectibles. The pregnancy announcement made me very happy for them, and they are one of a handful of newly pregnant couples on the board. But today. Today they revealed it’s triplets. Three little heartbeats at their first ultrasound.
And I just hung my head and cried. Three. Of course. Three heartbeats that I never got to hear. Three faces I’ll never get to see. Three that turned to two that turned to heartbreak.
As I sit and write this I’m very consciously aware of my right foot, the one with the tattoo for those three I had to say goodbye to. I know they are with me. And I only wish they could have stayed. I’d have been 27 weeks tomorrow.
It’s not the first thing on my mind every day, but I do think about them at least once a day, and every once in awhile something happens that takes my breath away and forces me to remember myself as someone who has lost.
I feel sometimes like an imposter, having two children to hold and snuggle and love. Everyone likes to say “be grateful for the ones you have.” And I am. More than grateful. Blessed. Joyful. They aren’t mutually exclusive. I can be grateful and sad. I can be blessed and heartbroken. I can be joyful and in pain. I can still wonder what it would be like to be big and pregnant enjoying the holidays watching my children get excited to welcome siblings into their lives.
I know after the first of the year my sister-in-law will likely be announcing that she’s pregnant. Grandma and Grandpa’s birthdays will come, and they always have special meaning to me in relation to the kids, and then my nephew’s birthday – my due date.
So it’s Christmas. And it’s hard. And I hope that Christmas Eve is a clear night so that I can look up at the sky and see them.