Thursday, June 28, 2007


I am starting to come around to the idea that this is a free form of therapy for me. And it is a way to make something of this experience and all the resulting pain. Sure, I could go to a support group but they meet during the precious short hours that we are all together as a family. I could try to see a therapist, but when? I have the girl all the time and cost is a factor. My luxury is staying home with her, since we're skimming savings every month to do it.

So this will have to do, a place where I can let it all hang out.

My sweet girl is sitting beside me as I type this, trying to sit up.

My Eva... well, she's in a malachite box on a shelf over my headboard.

I was thinking of the night of their birth, how my favorite nurse, G, asked one of the NICU nurses to take pictures of the babies so I could see them. The resulting polaroids were wholly unsatisfying, but the thought was wonderful.

I remember the NICU, the long corridor between where each of the girls were. It killed me that they couldn't even be next to each other. The NICU was such a cold place. My hands were so dry from all the washing that they burned when I used the anti-bacterial foam.

I remember the few times I got to hold Eva, how heavy she felt, how completely she sank into my arms. I knew she needed me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Changes a' Comin'

I've noticed in the past few days that the girl's eyes are changing color. They are starting to look a little more yellow, which is to be expected, considering her parents and brother all have some variation on brown eyes.

In other news, she has a double ear infection.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Daughter's Worth

I think that I provided my mother with some consolation. Living with the daily challenge that my autistic brother posed made me special to my mother. I was the good kid, I always knew, with all the benefits and pain that that entailed. She recently told me that she saw me as more of a peer, a co-mother than a daughter.

My living girl is my consolation in Eva's loss, but as I've written, she is also a daily reminder of just how precious Eva is to us. Eva and her twin would have been more than their sum, I can't help but feel. Yet, I would hate to imply that my survivor is diminished in her twin's absence -- that her potential is impacted. Quite the contrary, she is what's left of what I think of as a vast treasure and I clutch her more tightly because of it. But surely, her trajectory has changed. I know mine has. What will become of this good kid's good kid?

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Twin's Loss

The girls are two months old today, in gestational terms, anyway.
As time passes, I am filled with joy and sadness in equal measure, for the person my living daughter is becoming and for the person Eva would have been. The more I grow to love my survivor, the deeper my pain for Eva burrows into me. The ones who are here make clear what we're missing.

But what I truly dread for our future is our daughter's realization of what she has lost. Some day, we'll start the conversation with her about her identical twin. I try to imagine what it would be like to know that someone with exactly my DNA and exactly my start in life will never be known to me again. It's inconceivable. I just hope her loss doesn't define her and our hope our loss doesn't define us.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Standing on Ceremony

I have found that while I naturally resist ceremoniousness, I have developed a newfound respect for ceremonies. They, when embarked upon judiciously, turn the book of one's life from a paperback to a hardcover.

It seems silly now, but before we were married, the man and I dreaded the idea of a wedding. Part of it was the ridiculous wedding-industrial complex that we wished to avoid, but part of it was a real fear of bringing our very different families together. But what became apparent to me almost as soon as the day was done was that the experience of the wedding created a bond between us all. It enabled our relatives (especially the more socially conservative ones) to recognize us as a family unit. Never mind the fact that this man had been in my life for more than seven years by that point. That day made "US" real and definite to our loved ones and remains a threshold, a part of our shared history.

With Eva's service, we were able to put another distinct marker in our lives and the back cover on hers. The ceremony enabled us to honor her life and recognize and mourn its untimely end. It served many purposes, actually. For those in attendance, it provided a window into our lives and perhaps made Eva's story more real and definite to those who never had a chance to meet her. It has not given me total peace, but I think the best I can hope for is a tentative one.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

When we planned our family, we decided we wanted 2 kids, about 3 years apart. Though I am not sure we ever discussed it, I think we both wanted to have 1 of each -- a boy and a girl.

We have what we wanted. We just never knew how painful it would be to get here. It feels like a Greek myth wherein the dumb mortals are taught a wretched, powerful lesson by the gods.

I don't know whether I should feel humbled or just beaten down.

The Itch I Can't Scratch (to Satisfaction)

I have a problem that I am hoping will subside. I want to bake. Sure, I want to eat what I bake, but I have been really enjoying the baking process and seeing the results of my efforts, Making a great cake and seeing others enjoy it is really cool, particularly because I think I've made some tasty stuff lately. Oh, and I like to eat treats, too! But, it's impossible to manage one's weight with too many decadent foods around. Even the man, who runs a whole lotta miles every week can't seem to run enough to run off all the sugary calories we eat.

So, I promised the man that I would do no baking until this weekend, for B's baby shower. It's going to be a tough few days. And how will I limit myself to just one or two things?? Perhaps, however, I should turn my energies to all the funky grains I came home with yesterday.

Wheatberry, here I come.