1. Your name and some details about your twin or higher multiple baby/s who died, and other children (if any, living or previous losses)… My name is Kelley. My husband is Mark. We have a three-year-old son, Tyler and a surviving twin Evan. Our son Adam (Evan’s twin) died of complications due to Hypoplastic Left heart Syndrome three days following his precipitous birth at home!
2. When I remember my baby/s… I remember the awful sound Adam made as we held him in our arms before he died. He sounded like he was gasping for breath – he wasn’t really, but it sounded horrible. He looked so tiny and helpless when he was connected to all the tubes and wires in the NICU. I remember the flight team from Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital coming to take the boys to Pitts. That was very hard to say goodbye to my babies – not knowing what we had in store for us – or them. They looked all sandwiched together in the incubator – so tiny, fighting so hard for their very existence.
3. The worst part is… wondering what he would be doing know. And all the comments people made shortly after Adam died – like “at least you still have Evan”, and seeing Evan, but knowing there should have been two boys learning how to walk, talk and give kisses to their Mommy.
4. I have coped with anger by… praying, talking to friends – although they really don’t understand, but they are good listeners, quilting, becoming a better teacher and becoming more active in my church.
5. I still have problems with… answering that famous question “How many children do you have?” And wondering – how will I tell Evan about his twin, what will I tell him, when…
6. I have learned that… life is so important and so very fragile. Make the most of every day. I hug and kiss my boys every day and tell them how much I love them.
7. I no longer think… that nothing will ever go “wrong” in my life, or that I somehow caused Adam’s heart condition.
8. I remember when… we first learned there were two babies! What a shock! We were blissfully unaware of the reality of Adam’s heart condition until a month before their birth at 35 weeks. I remember Evan being under my ribs on a trip to Pitts for a sonogram. I think he kicked me the entire trip. OUCH!!! I remember being completely overwhelmed, in shock and denial for a good week after we discovered the happy twosome.
9. My partner (if any) and I feel close when… we snuggle with Tyler and Evan, take long rides in the country and think back on how blessed we were to know Adam, even if it was for such a short time. And how blessed we are to have two healthy, beautiful boys in our lives.
10. The best times to remember my baby/s are when… we visit his grave and watch his pinwheel start spinning -even when there is no visible wind. It makes me smile to think Adam is saying, It’s o.k. Mom, I am sitting with Jesus, playing with Robby (the stillborn son of a friend of mine. Robby died on the day of Adam’s service). When Evan was very little he would look over my head and smile the sweetest smile. I think he was smiling at Adam who was watching over us, helping his Mommy and Daddy from Heaven. I have often “felt” him telling me that he really is o.k. and not to worry about him.
11. The worst times to remember my baby/s… are the dates we first learned there was a problem with Adam, the day of his birth, his death, his memorial service, his graveside service (all were on separate days, stretched apart).
12. Sometimes I wish… I had not made the “hasty” decision to have my tubes tied after Adam died. At that time, my husband and I truly did not want to take the chance of having to bury another baby, so it seemed logical to eliminate that choice. Mark is still firm in his resolve not to have more kids, but I would love to be pregnant one more time.
13. When I could handle it again… I went to a funeral for the infant son of my pastor. It was a beautiful service, but I cried throughout the entire thing.
14. If I could choose whether or not to have twins again (or triplets or more etc.) again… I would in a minute!