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George & Lucinda


George and Lucinda, we have so
much pride in the fact that you
were born healthy,
and we have so much sadness that
your strength was not rewarded
with long happy lives.

We had many dreams
and plans for you.
We will hold onto these dreams
as sad and cherished memories.

Knowing that you will never
walk with your mother with each
of you holding one hand.
That you will never misplace
your father’s tools,
or experience the wonder and
smell of thermal walks;
steamy lakes and mud pools.

We will never see the pair of you
scampering up the garden,
past the Norfolk pine,
fighting and playing.

You won’t build sand castles with
your mother, or dam tidal
streams with your father.

We wanted to show and
share with you
so much of our lives
and the world we enjoy.

We wanted you to enrich our
understanding of life through your
interpretations, experiences
and learning.

There was going to be much
laughter and many tears.

Your mother can play card games
and build jigsaws for hours, she
loves music and reading stories.

Your father would teach you
to ski and water ski,
he would laugh with you when you
succeeded and when you fell.

And we would always be here for
you when you failed.

With cats and the dog and other
pets, our house was to be full of
mess and noise and life.

Toys strewn about, upholstery
stained; active happy life.

You are our first children.
Your beautiful faces and perfect
little bodies look like you would
be everything we wanted in a
son and daughter.

We will never be parted from the
cherished memories
and dreams we have of you.

Your father has built you a little
casket and painted it the colour
of your bedroom,
he’s lined it with the material
we planned to use for
one of your cots,
and wrapped you
in the embroidered linen we
brought three years ago,
as part of our long planning
towards building our family.

You will always be
our children of promise,
our dream children.

We will never be ready to stop
looking at your beautiful faces,
and say good-bye.

In memory of George and Lucinda, first children of Bruce and Karen. Our twins were born prematurely at 22 weeks and 5 days on November 22, 1996. Lucinda weighed 510 gm. and lived for a few minutes, George also weighed 510 gm., he died in the process of being born. This poem is adapted from the closing reading at their funeral.

George and Lucinda were conceived on my first cycle on fertility drugs (Metrodin); since their births and deaths I have had four failed treatment cycles and am now moving onto IVF. I am interested in “meeting” other parents in similar circumstances, e.g. feeling the need to hurry into fertility treatment again quickly because of age (38); living in that special limbo of not having your children to care for, but not being able to commit to going back into work full-time (demands of fertility treatment and knowledge that if I get pregnant I will want to take it very quietly).

I am also interested to talk with people who have received treatment for preterm labour. I was refused tocolytic therapy because the hospital had a policy of not administering tocolysis at pre-viable gestations (this is now being reviewed). Given that our hospital has an 80% survival rate for 24-weekers, I really believe (possibly unreasonably) that, given my early admittance (only 1/2 cm. dilated although nearly fully effaced), my pregnancy could have been extended for at least a couple of weeks.

We are considering action against our hospital (not a very “New Zealand” thing to do). I am also keen to discuss the pro’s and con’s of legal action with others. I believe it is the right thing to do, for future patients, and presently I find it therapeutic; it makes me feel less like a victim and feel more in control. Also, it provides an opportunity to continue “parenting” our children.

Some Personal Thoughts On Losing Twins After Infertility Treatment – 8 Months On

I’m glad I let myself bond so trustingly with each of you. Lucinda was very lively.
George was gentle, and very shy of the radiologist!
George looked just like his father, and great uncle, and great-grandfather. Lucinda looked just like me.
I’m glad we prepared for you early; I’ve many mementos of our plans for you both.
I grieve the loss of our two children.
I grieve the loss of my role as a mother.
I grieve the loss of my role as the mother of twins.
I grieve the loss of the happiness I used to have.
I fear that I will never get pregnant again.
I wonder if I would be able to bond with another baby.
I worry that no future children can ever be expected to live up to the “dream” status of George and Lucinda.
I wish we’d tried to have children earlier.
I wonder how I can have faith in “it will be OK” ever again.
I wonder if I can have faith in hospitals ever again.
I wonder if you could have been saved.
I wonder if I will ever be mother to a living child.
I wonder if I will ever be the mother of live twins.
I wonder if I will ever have another son and daughter.
I wonder at how only 22-1/2 weeks of my life can mean so much.
I remember the hours and days after your births as strangely happy; we were so pleased with you both!
I wonder if I hadn’t been so impatient to meet you; if you would have waited, and lived.
I’m glad that once I was pregnant and I had two beautiful babies.

Karen

…Karen had a number of complications in trying again, but now is also the mother of a very lively 2-year-old daughter, born near term after her “last chance” IVF.