Friday, July 11, 2014

Invisible Mama

This is what it's like to be a first-time mother of stillborn twin girls–

You carry your motherhood invisibly. It is the secret you wish everybody knew, but don't have the strength to tell. Strangers on the street won't recognize your identity. People you meet will never know you are a mother unless you tell them.

At night you will cuddle the two little bears that are the only objects you have that your daughters ever touched– you will clutch them close to your breasts and ache for the feel of warm soft baby skin nestling there.

You will think constantly about their birth. It is the only gift you were able to give them.

You will weep for every minute you didn't hold them during those short hours with them. You will remember your fear of how fragile they were, the fear of hurting them– and you will yearn for the chance to hold them again anyway, to touch them again, to be with them again. To marvel at their tiny perfection.

Being a mama but not being able to mother your babies is a kind of daily dying– you will wake up every morning with a longing that will go unfulfilled.

You will feel dismay at how quickly your body seems to forget, and you will stroke the soft place in your tummy where your skin stretched to hold your little girls close, remembering the feeling of being so taut and bursting with life. You will never be able to hear the phrase "get your body back after pregnancy" without cringing inside: you long for more scars to carry– more lasting signs of the lives that grew within you.

You will notice when people speak of your babies by their names, and you are grateful. Your girls are not your "Loss". They are your daughters.

The idea of somehow returning to "normal" will be utterly foreign– there is no return, no going back.
The sharpness will soften with time, perhaps, but you know the pain will never disappear this side of Heaven.

The love you have for your girls only grows stronger.

The rest of forever has been changed by the two little girls you carried in your body– and you will carry them the rest of forever in your heart.

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