I can't believe it is almost April, spring is on the way, along with birthdays, lots of them! I will have a five year old in April, and a seven and eighteen year old in May. Hard to believe. The years do fly by, I know we hear that said often, but believe me, it's true!
Today I'm going to talk a little about my April birthday boy. My little miracle Elijah. Five years ago my family and I were preparing for a trip, I was pregnant with what I had learned was identical triplet boys. I had also just learned that these boys were in danger, they suffered from a condition in utero called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). What is TTTS? According to the TTTS Foundation home page TTTS is:
- a disease of the placenta (or afterbirth) that affects identical twin pregnancies.
- it affects identical twins (or higher multiple gestations) who share a common monochorionic placenta.
- The shared placenta contains abnormal blood vessels which connect the umbilical cord and circulations of the twins.
- The common placenta may also be shared unequally by the twins
- The events in pregnancy that lead to TTTS are all random.
So five years ago, around the end of March we were planning a trip to Florida, the closest doctor to us who does this surgery was in Tampa.
I honestly don't think I could have even imagined what was ahead of me, the horrible trip, the painful surgery, the extremely premature births of my boys, the loss of one at birth, and the other at a month old, the four month hospitalization of my survivor, and the days of not knowing if he was going to even make it home with us. And then bringing him home, very sick, and very tiny. The challenges he faces, and will face for the rest of his life. The broken dreams, the broken home, and the loss.
I know there are people who think I should be over it by now. I should move on, be thankful, not dwell on the past. Believe me, I am thankful, but I'm also angry at times! Angry when I see my little boy struggle, when he can't run and play and keep up with other five year olds. Angry at the doctor appointments and the struggles we face every day as a family. Angry when even a trip to the store with my boys turns into a ordeal. I'm angry every time I look at my boy and imagine what could have been, I imagine him healthy, with his healthy brothers on either side of him, like matching little bookends. I get angry when I think about what I lost, what he lost. Sorry if that bothers you. But, if you have never been there, then who are you to judge me?
I know plenty of people who have lost children. I also know that it doesn't matter when it happens, it doesn't matter if you have that child for a day, a month, or a year. When you lose that child you are losing a piece of yourself. You are losing every tomorrow that was supposed to have been. You are losing moments in life, pictures, laughter, even your future grandchildren. It's a huge loss. One that you can't imagine, unless you have actually been there. It is always with you, it never leaves. You learn how to go on, you smile, you laugh, you even learn how to be happy again. But, it never leaves you. So don't expect me to forget.
Sorry about the depressing blog everyone! Just had to get that off my chest I guess. So please remember, I may smile, I may joke with you, and have a good time. But, if I seem a little down, don't judge me to harshly. This is a very difficult time of year for me!