All Grown Up

July 9, 2012

We bought a minivan 13 weeks into my twin pregnancy.

I remember telling Sam in the dealership, tired and hungry at 9pm, that we should wait. Our ultrasound appointment was in 2 days and anything could have happened. He said we should go ahead, we needed a new car anyway and he was sure it would all be ok.

So we did. That appointment was perfect, the boys were right on track. We left giddy and excited.

For the next 5 weeks, I climbed in and out of that minivan and would think, “Wow, it’s like I’m really all grown up now.” And giggle. 29 years old. A toddler. Twins on the way. Moves and life changes and working from home – and a minivan made me feel like an adult. I always wondered when that feeling would set it. Many times I’d look in the rearview mirror and see Bella and think, “Wow, I’m a mom.” Or catch a glimpse of myself as someone who wasn’t in 7th grade anymore. Or buying from the women’s department instead of the teen girls (who have much cuter stuff) and wondering when I’d made the switch.

Who knew it would take a minivan?

Only it didn’t. That wasn’t really it. It took losing my sons 6 weeks later. And coming home to my little girl who needed her mother.

I have a feeling of – old beyond my years now that I never did before. And not in some “holier than thou” kind of way. Like in a sad, tired kind of way. I’ve had two babies die in my arms, kissed my sons goodbye, picked up their ashes at a funeral home, had a memorial service for them. I feel a sadness every day of how my life took the turn I have always and forever feared it might. I know that every time I see twin boys my heart will ache so badly for mine. I have a daughter whose life is affected by my choices, who I wake up every day and vow to be a better person for.

I have joined a rank of women no one really wants to be in – those touched forever by the loss of their children. I have experienced feelings and emotions so deep, so raw, that I can’t ever be the same person I was before. I look at life differently and in a way that makes me afraid to breath at times for all it’s frailness. How quickly it can be snatched away. I know. I know how quickly. I’ve experienced deep sorrow, deep love, deep happiness, and deep faith.

This is what it took. It’s kinda bittersweet. I won’t ever be that innocent or carefree again. I see myself in a different role than ever before.

I feel all grown up now.

25 Comments

  • Amber Deets

    August 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Wow, this hits the nail on the head for me. We were gifted a minivan early in our twin pregnancy. Immediately after returning from the NICU with one son I pleaded with my husband to get rid of it. It had too many painful what ifs, I couldn’t handle it.

  • Jessica

    July 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I know that feeling so well and buying that van for all the room that you don’t actually need anymore? Awful, heartbreaking. I don’t know about you but I look at pictures of the “me” before we lost our daughter and I don’t recognize her. There is a light I used to have that I just can’t get back. It does get easier over time but I will never be that old me again but in many ways I’m okay with that, if I was the old me it would be as if she were never here and she was for a few amazing days.

  • Mare Ball

    July 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I can only say my heart aches for you, and that I’m praying for healing and peace.

  • Christine

    July 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    There are times that we all wish we were still in Neverland. Growing up is tough.

    Hugs for you. <3

  • molly

    July 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Well, it certainly isn’t a way anyone would want to feel grown up. But you’re doing it with such grace. I’m proud to know you.

  • Rebecca Eisenmann

    July 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    II found your blog the day your boys died. I decided to follow it and since have cried and broken inside a little with each of your posts on them. But I keep reading, because the beautiful thing about you is that you’re living a life with purpose and intention, not just coping with grief. I hope you know that, and remember shit happens because it’s transforming you into the person you’ve gotta be. Even though it sucks the whole way. Growing up sucks. Definitely. And then it gets better. (And then it sucks again). And then it’ll get way better again, promise. And suck again, promise too.

    Guess what I mean is “This too shall pass”. (And in the meanwhile, we’re ‘listening’ to you).
    Big virtual hug.

  • Janet Carter

    July 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

    The good news is that the bitter will grow less so, in time, and the sweet will begin to taste sweeter. In time. When my dad died, the minister who preached the funeral said that, in time, our grief will be replaced with thanksgiving. He was right. You will always wish it to have turned out differently, but in time, you will always have this ironic thanksgiving for your boys, who are waiting to meet you one day. In time.

  • Kendra

    July 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

    It’s a hard way to feel grown up, indeed. And here I thought it was being in bed by 9pm and yelling at cars speeding down our street to, “SLOW DOWN!” (I hope you smiled a little :-/) I can only imagine what you have been through and continue to go through with all of this. I’m not an expert on much of anything and I’m sure I will not say the right thing here but, I do have a feeling that although the innocence you mentioned may be lost, being carefree may someday find its way back to you. At least it is something to hope for… Being carefree doesn’t mean you are careless or that you have forgotten this tragedy it just means that someday you will have a moment where you are grinning from ear to ear and enjoying your life. It may be a while down the road but I hope that you get to be carefree again. You derserve it and your boys would want that for you.

  • Ashley

    July 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

    You took my feelings right out of my heart. Continuing to pray for you and your sweet family.

  • Kristin

    July 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Just sending a hug~ Love your new look here, as well! Praying all of the time for you, Bella and Sam. You’re amazing Diana 🙂

  • Kiki

    July 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

    You write so beautifully. This, the experiences that make us feel older, is what made me look at the women who are older in a different light. If I had experienced so much in my short life, I knew that they have even more. And, I can learn something from them. I cherish my friendships with these older ladies because their experiences offer me a whole different perspective. Just think of all the ways you will be able to assist others because of your experiences. I can already see it by the comments from your readers. Your light is bright! Keep shining!

  • Kristin

    July 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    As it has so many others, your experience has impacted me in a way that it only can to someone on the outside. Although I don’t know you, I hoped and prayed for your babies when I first read about your hospitalization. I wept when I learned of the delivery and passing of your boys. I cannot even fathom what you are experiencing each and every day. My heart goes out to you. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story so that each person who reads it can be reminded to cherish every. single. moment. The way that you write about this journey reminds me of my friends who have been through similar situations. One friend in particular has told me how people say “I couldn’t do it. How have you done it?” Her response has been, “No one thinks they can do it. But you just do. You have to deal. What other options are there? You choose to live. Or you choose to be consumed.” You have not only chosen to live, you have done it with grace. You are a stunning, magnificent example of God’s grace. I don’t know that any of these words truly explain how you have impacted so many others, including myself. You. Are. Amazing.

  • Ashley

    July 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I understand where you are coming from. I look at my wedding pictures and think my husband and I had no idea what was in store. We’ve been married 7 years and by the age of 31 have each lost a parent, and together lost one early pregnancy, and one infant son. Old beyond my years, tired and weary… that about sums it up. Again, thanks for sharing your heart. You’re not alone.

  • Becky G

    July 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I just recently went through a miscarriage. I often think about many situations in life, “I wonder what that would feel like?” and “How do they deal with that?” Now I add to my list: I know how it feels to have trouble conceiving. I know how it feels to lose a pregnancy. I pray for you. I discovered your blog right around the time of my miscarriage. Your words help me cope.

  • Momma Maven

    July 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Aww hun… I totally know exactly what you’re saying, just in a different way. I haven’t watched my own children die in my arms but I sit here daily watching my Dad die right in front of me, I’ve had to think about eulogies, and coffin styles, and well I can’t even go into more detail because I literally get sick to my stomach. I feel like at 26 I have experienced more anguish and sorrow and reality than the average 60 year old. I see so many old buddies living the dream on Facebook, bar escapades, trips to Vegas to reinact The Hangover as closely as they can… their life revolves around fun and carelessness… I used to be that person and I’m anything but these days. And the thought of that makes me angry at times and jealous and nostalgic. There are just some things that I wish we could skip on this earth, having to bury someone you love, to suffer, and to experience the basic point of life- that eventually it comes to an end is one of the hardest things we go through on this planet. There are so many days that I wish I could lock myself away, transport myself back to a “better” time when I wasn’t so old in my young skin. I completely understand what you’re saying… know that you’re not alone :::hugs:::

  • Jessica @ The Happy Monster

    July 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like an adult. But this blog touched me Diana. I still hate that you and Sam and Bella had to deal with this and it’s heartbreaking. Hugs. I’m always here if you need me.

  • MommaBird

    July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    My heart goes out to you.

    I didn’t realize you were 29, and I’ll be turning that age in a few months. I can’t believe all that you have gone through and you haven’t even turned 30 yet.

  • Lenette

    July 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I have never seen anyone put this feeling into words so appropriately. I have been thinking about ths same type of thing a lot lately. I have not lost a child, but I believe that as we become adults and begin to lose people we are close to and love tremendously, that we do lose that care-freeness. It has made me so sad. I lost someone close to me and I am so different now. Everything I see and do is different. I keep waiting for the feeling to go away. I keep waiting to feel like I did before. I’m trying to deal with it through prayer and staying occupied. I’m praying for you as well. Much love 🙂

  • Katie

    July 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I have known my husband since elementary school and I find myself giggling about how we got married. How we have kids. And a house. It’s like we’re playing house. But we have already had so much loss. We have two kids, but we are in our mid-30’s. Sometimes I can’t believe we are not still 16 and just laying in someone’s driveway counting the stars. That we are a whole life older. That we are together. That God knew from the start we would be together and need each other and love each other.

    Sigh.

    Well. I see I have rambled.

    Loss has a way of aging us. But love has a way of keeping us young.

  • Alicia

    July 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I have not been through your situation… my heart ached for you and your loss. It beat harder when you kept faith… knowing how hard it is in the face of loss. I am a mother of a 2 yr old boy… expecting again after recurrent miscarriages. I never held my babies… I can’t imagine. The confusing mixture of comfot and pain that must bring. I have learned to live without answers though… I have lost my innocence at a young age considering . We have been pregnant 9 time counting now, with one live birth so far. There are many times I have loathed the heaviness in my heart, moreso the fears it conjures. Knowing you survived that pain is bittersweet at best. When you put it into the context of experiencing life, it caught my attention. I just wanted you to know that your writing inspires thought and reverence. And peace in my heart. Thank you for writing. Sincerely , Alicia

  • Ranch Mama

    July 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Bella is so very lucky to have such a wonderful and strong Mom. I know you don’t always feel that way. But your are.

    1. Kristin

      July 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

      agreed!!

  • Danielle

    July 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    This is such a beautiful post. I have been reading your story since your horrible loss and pray that each day brings you an inch closer to feeling ….well…normal…whatever that new normal will be for you.

  • Stacey

    July 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Feeling all grown up isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I often think the same things. And I too feel like I’ve lost the innocence in life. It’s something I know I’ll never get back and that makes me so sad.

  • Natasha

    July 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    This.. made me think so much. I have never experienced such a loss like you have.. but lately I’ve been thinking of how I’m living my life. I want to be so much better for my boyfriend, and daughter and it’s people like you that make me believe I need to change. Thank you.

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