I am the mother of three children, two live with me and one lives in Heaven. I was blessed with twins on August 11, 1994, a boy and a girl. I thought this was it, I now had the perfect family, what more could one ask for. I had two healthy babies, my daughter, Brianna was born first at 6 lbs. 8 oz. and Nathan was born 14 minutes later at 7 lbs. 6 oz. They were just perfect as soon as I laid my eyes on them. My son has these precious blue eyes and as I held him he just stared at me. My daughter was the exact opposite, she had those precious blue eyes but all she did was scream. Right them I knew they would have different personalities, my son would be laid back and easygoing and my daughter would be outgoing, and have some attitude. As they grew, I realized how right I was.
Two days later I got to bring them home with me. Here I am this woman who is 20 and I have two babies that I am responsible for. I had no clue what a challenge I was in for. They were fairly good babies but with those different personalities it made it challenging. Going places was hard, dressing up two little ones, loading up two car seats and getting them in and out of the car took a lot of energy. I tried not to go anywhere by myself, it was just too much work.
Luckily at around 3 months they started sleeping through the night. Things seemed to be a tad easier when I had a good night’s sleep. It was demanding at times, two babies wanting to eat at the same time or them both wanting a bottle at the same time. It was rough those first few months. It took awhile to try to get into the swing of things.
At around 9 months we knew there was something wrong with my daughter. She wasn’t doing all the things her brother was doing. He could crawl and sit up and she wasn’t keeping up with him. Verbally she excelled but physically she fell behind. We took to her see the doctor to referred us to a orthopedic doctor. Many appointments and specialists later we found out she had a cyst on the right side of her brain and mild cerebral palsy that affected the left side of her body. She went through some pretty intense physical therapy and eventually she started walking at 16 months.
Finally she could keep up with her brother and they played together quite well. They could entertain each other, there was always somebody to play with. Their bond grew over the years. When they were apart they other twin would have a hard time.
Once they started school, I knew they would need to be in different classes. I wanted them to be able to make their own friends and not lean on each other. They were still very close while at home and it didn’t surprise me to see my son playing Barbies and my daughter playing Hot Wheels. They just played very well together, they were best buds.
There are quite a few kids in our neighborhood and they both made friends. There was a little boy who was friends with both kids. If my son was grounded he and my daughter would play. They were pretty much known as the three musketeers in the neighborhood. When there was one the others wouldn’t be far behind. They all three played together almost every single day in the summer of 2003.
On July 16, 2003 all three kids were outside playing. They checked in a few times to ask for drinks and snacks, which was normal of them. A couple times my daughter came in because “the boys” were picking on her. They were due to be in the house at 4:30 so they could get cleaned up for dinnertime. At 4:35 there was a knock on my door, it was my daughter and three teenagers. That was the knock that would change my life forever. They told me they couldn’t find my son, I was like what do you mean you can’t find him. She says he is in the water and they can’t find him. I broke down right then and there. I grabbed our 2 year-old, Ryleigh and took off running to where I saw sirens flashing. I had no clue there was water even near our home.
This guy stops me and asks what is my son’s name and what is he wearing. Of course my mind went blank and I had no clue what I sent him outside in. So he told me they just pulled two boys out of the water and they was taking them to the hospital, and we needed to find our own ride there.
So I ran home and called my mom to let her know what happened. She had no clue what I was saying but knew it was serious and took off to our house. She ended up finding us at the emergency room. I started loading the girls into the car and my husband pulls up. I start yelling we got to get to the ER now, Nathan drowned. I just cried all the way there and not knowing what to expect.
They took us in a private room with Brandon’s parents. The paramedics had told us what happened and that both boys were unconscious. A social worker came in and got me and took me back to see Nathan. She said they was working on him and what all I would see. So I walk in and see my son, they had just stopped working on him. A nurse came up to me and said he didn’t make it. My world crashed in right then and there. I couldn’t believe it, my son couldn’t really be gone. I knew they had to be able to save him, they just had to
So they went and got my husband and I had to break the news to him. It was the worst thing I had ever went through.
We lost my son and his best friend that day. Two precious little boys…my son was 8 and Brandon just turned 8. Afterwards we found out my daughter was in the pond as well and managed to pull herself out to run and get help when the boys got stuck. It was a retention pond and the mud at the bottom was very thick. I am very thankful my daughter managed to get out but I still lost my son. Our lives have been changed forever, things will never be the same.
I feel like our family is no longer complete. Nathan was a big part of our lives. Our only son slipped through our fingers in just a matter of minutes. He left along with a huge part of my heart.
1. Your name and some details about your twin or higher multiple baby⁄s or child(ren) who died, and other children (if any, living or previous losses)…(as in my story)
2. When I remember my baby⁄child, I… I think of that sweet smile of his, and those big brown eyes. He just had this little grin that could melt the heart of anybody.
3. The worst part is…Knowing he only got 8 short years here. He had so many plans for the future that he will no longer get to fulfill. And just seeing his twin sister and knowing he should be doing many of the same things.
4. I have coped with anger by…That is a tough one because I am still working on this. I tend to hold things inside until I just can’t take it anymore then I just break down and have a good cry.
5. I still have problems with…thoughts of him being mad at me. I feel like I let my little guy down by not being there for him that day. I have so much guilt and I don’t think I can ever let it go. I just need to know that he forgives me and loves me still.
6. I have learned that…life can be so very short. You think nothing will ever happen to your own children. Yeah I saw stuff like this on the news but thought that can never happen to our family. Well it did and now I realize not to take anything for granted. I have to enjoy every single minute I can with my children and not take anything they do for granted.
7. I no longer think that…
8. I remember when…Nathan used to always come by the house in the summer to get drinks and treats for his buddies. I sure do miss all those footsteps coming up the steps and muddy handprints on the door. Hearing the knocks of his friends, and seeing those faces of his friends.
9. My partner (if any) and I feel close when…We get to spend time alone with no kids around. This doesn’t happen often but I feel like we need this to keep our relationship healthy.
10. The best times to remember my baby⁄child are…Just by sitting around and talking about all the good times we had with him. Or just looking at pictures and think about all the things we used to do. It’s hard but I feel it is something I just need to do.
11. The worst times to remember my baby⁄child are…When we go to the cemetery, that is the hardest. Taking him gifts when I should be able to personally give them to him. Sitting HotWheels on his headstone and knowing how much he would have loved to play with them. I get so angry because this isn’t the way life should be, I shouldn’t have to go to the cemetery to visit with one of my children.
12. Sometimes I wish…I had never let Nathan go outside that day. If I would have kept him inside, this would of never happened. I could still have my child to hold, talk to, and just be his mom.
13. When I could handle it again, I did…Give away some of Nathan’s clothes to a little boy who really needed them. Plus I went through some of Nathan’s clothes to have a couple quilts made for me and his sister.
14. If I could choose whether or not to have twins again (or triplets or more etc. again)…I wouldn’t, I am done having children. I have a 2 year-old daughter and had my tubes tied after her. I truly felt like our family was complete with three children. Many times I feel like we are no longer complete but another child could ever replace Nathan.