What a Nightmare.

January 23, 2013

I’ve heard those words over and over again since May. From friends, family, doctors, people who asked about my tattoos.

And it stings.

And it’s true.

And those words I fight against so hard come falling out of my mouth at times when I don’t know what else to say.

“It’s only one baby, thank goodness. Such a nightmare that was.”

But it wasn’t. I feel guilty for even letting someone say it without correcting them. I feel terrible for saying it myself.

I’m torn as to what to really say. Because most of it? Most of that week was horrible. The moments of fear and being treated poorly have lingered with me, haunted my dreams, for almost 9 months now.

Letting the words “nightmare” be said – it’s like their little lives on earth are broken down into just a mess. To me anyway. I feel the same way as if Bella were taken and everyone told me that her past 3 years were a nightmare because she’s gone now, or because of the way it happened. No one would say that, but there are very little other words to explain what we went through for people. To sum it up quickly, it’s easier to all agree it was a disaster and thank goodness it’s over.

Thank goodness.

My heart aches with this thought. I picture them cradled in my arms and I can’t even think, “Thank goodness.” I just think, “I’m so glad they were mine on earth for a little while.”

It isn’t meant unkindly. At all. If anything, the words from others come with a sort of understanding, a justification that what I endured really was horrible. It’s meant that way and taken that way, in a small part it helps me to heal when someone acknowledges again that yes, it was awful and yes, we are so sorry.

And then I want to tell them how incredible it was too. How not many of us get a pregnancy with two. How special those nearly 20 weeks were with them, how the moments I had them were filled with peace and awe at what God had created and was taking home. How they changed my entire life, my perspective on being a mother, wife, person, child of Jesus. How they rocked my world to the core and how I’ll never, ever forget them. How they made heaven a place I will look forward to when the time comes instead of somewhere I’m afraid to go.

Grief and loss are hard to put into words. Hard to fit that into a few seconds space while people are passing by or busy. It’s hard to have someone comprehend what really happened if they only just understand it was a nightmare. That’s what our society treats it as, and it’s so hard for any of us to see it another way.

So yes. Parts of it were nightmarish. Horrible. Memories that hit me so hard it still causes me to catch my breath in pain. And yet overall, it was such a beautiful time in my life. Such a blessing to have that memory. Their perfection, God’s plan through it all, trumps the nightmare.


  • jill

    September 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Thankyou for sharing your story. I had my twin girls in June, they were born at 24 weeks. I am fortunate that our doctors and nurses were amazing. I do know how you feel though, a day filled with such heartache and tears is also filled with such beauty. The twins were our first born, and it was the hardest and most tragic day of our lives but we are so grateful for the time we had with them. They were so beautiful, so perfect…just born too soon. We experienced so much love that day, and all I can do is be grateful I get to be there mother even if it was only for a few moments on earth. Thank you again for sharing and giving me comfort that we are not alone. I pray that we all find peace until they are in our arms again.

  • Vina

    March 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I love your blog. I cannot stress that enough. I feel your pain, and i feel everything you write about. I just lost boy/girl fraternal twins at 23 almost 24 weeks on October 29th 2012. Im trying so hard to hang on, take care of my 3 year old and go to college in the same time, but its so difficult. Reading your blogs has helped me in so many ways. I want to thank you for writing this, because, i too love to write, but i can’t. The pain is so excruciating when my pencil hits my notebook. But i thank you, because your words just exactly describes the very pain i have in my heart. Thank you so much.

  • Kristin

    January 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Hi there, I’ve been following your blogs for a good 10 months now – love each post. I recently went through some really tough stuff, and found the book “1,000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp a blessing to read. It has really helped me get a new perspective,and such peace with my life, and think that you may enjoy it. It is one of my favorites. I’ve read it 5 times, and each I see something new, grow a little bit more, and think of God in a different way. =)

    (Great book for anyone who wants a great read, and to take away substantial information.)

  • Kelly

    January 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I understand. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been through it, but even though losing my daughter was terrible, I’m still glad that she existed, grateful that I got to love her at all.

  • grace at {gabbing with grace}

    January 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I feel this way about a few things too. It’s very hard to articulate to people because it’s confusing, even to me, but sometimes I thank God for the tragedies I’ve been through that help me see the world more clearly, that give me compassion on others I may never have. In particular, I’ve sometimes thought that way about being abused as a little one. I would never ask for that of course, but now in hindsight it’s amazing to me how often God uses that story and ministers to others AND me when I speak of His grace & His healing. So, in some small way, I understand what you are trying to articulate here.

  • Ali

    January 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for sharing. Your honesty is touching, and I know comforts many others.

  • Abigail

    January 25, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Your boys were so beautiful and touched so many, even with their extremely short lives. The fact that they were taken too soon is a nightmare but their lives were nothing but a blessing.

  • Aly

    January 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I recently had a healthy little girl after a stillbirth at 38 weeks. During pre-op (I had a c section at 37 weeks), the nurses asked me questions about Kiernan and always referred to him as “my demise”….or when he “expired”. He wasn’t a dang gallon of milk! He was my baby and I’ll love him forever, just as I will with our little girl Elleigh. That being said, a blogger friend recently wrote me an email about treating myself with grace during this new transition…that even though I’m tired and crying and overwhelmed, it doesn’t mean that I’m ungrateful for Elleigh, or my time with Kiernan. So…simple advice…allow yourself grace..for whenever and whatever you need it for! Xoxo

    1. Kelly

      January 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Sorry to hear about your little girl. I always hope that nurses & those who work in these situations would be better educated, so it makes me sad when they’re not. At the most horrible time in a mother’s life, there are things that can be done to make it a little bit easier, and things that can be said that can stick with us forever. Sending you good thoughts for strength.

  • LBH

    January 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    What happened with your boys happened to a dear friend of mine–her daughter was born at around 24 weeks- (while I was pregnant..mine was born healthy at 40 weeks and is now 2), I think sometimes much of what people can say is coming from a sense of “oh god that could happen to me” fear and wanting to say something other than just “I’m so sorry.” I know that I struggled with how to be a supportive friend to her when she–understandably so– didn’t want to see me and my huge tummy–it ached for both of us, truly. But I think that I realized later that anything I said was colored by a sense of relief that it didn’t happen to me and wracking guilt that I felt that way–I know she must have sensed it too. I’m babbling, but I just wanted to say that I really love how your thinking about the boys has elements of gratitude and what you said about how it made heaven a place you can look forward to–that’s just beautiful. I’ve shared your blog with my friend. I don’t think she’s at a place yet where she can read it, but I hope she does someday.

  • Theresa

    January 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I heard those exact words today several times from people running some tests on me to see if I have any clotting issues (which may be what contributed to my loss). I myself don’t know sometimes what to say. My daughter was a beautiful precious soul taken from me at 24 wks pregnant. The day I found out she was gone and the labor and delivery of her, where I was emotionally for awhile, that was the nightmare for me. Before that it was all love. Now, almost 5 months past, it is all love. My loss, any one’s loss, is a tragedy, the loss is the tragedy, not the beautiful souls gone from this earth. ♥

    1. ChristieH

      January 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Love this: “My loss, any one’s loss, is a tragedy, the loss is the tragedy, not the beautiful souls gone from this earth. ♥”

      There’s really no better way to explain it.

      1. Theresa

        January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        Thanks ChristieH! ♥

  • Arnebya

    January 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    It makes sense. Nightmarish but not a nightmare. Happy yet gut wrenchingly sad. Many words can go hand in hand. I think what’s paramount is that you are easy on yourself and maybe even with others. Some people’s ignorance to how words they mean one way is just that: ignorance. We can’t always tell that we’re saying something stupidly (well, sometimes we can, but we ignore people who still say it the way they want to say it, not caring how it’ll be taken.) You know what you mean when you use certain words and other people who mean no malice simply don’t always know that the words they’re choosing have a different meaning/effect on you. I wish your boys were here in your arms rather than in your heart but I’m also really, really happy that you’re growing another.

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