How many of you are now singing "The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things..."? It's OK, I did, too. :-)
Typically, when I speak of triggers, it's not a wonderful thing. Triggers are usually expected or even worse, unexpected things, that cause a sudden remembrance of Meghan's death or simply of the fact I once had a little girl earth side and now I don't. For example, the day she died is always a trigger. Her birthday, holidays, the first day of school, these are all triggers and they come every year. I expect them. I can plan for them.
There are also unexpected ones. These are usually more challenging because they blindside you. Seeing a little girl who resembles her or says or does something just like she used to. Seeing an adorable outfit in the girls section of the store and STILL, 8 years later, reflexively reaching for it thinking she would love it, only to realize of course, I can't buy it for her. Those are the kids of triggers that can take a happy and ordinary day and turn it upside down. At least for a short time. It drains the energy right out of me. I miss her.
Another trigger for me is twins. Meghan was a twin. I was SO PSYCHED to be blessed with twins. The challenge of growing them, birthing them and mothering them. Despite all the challenges, I looked forward to watching their twin-ship grow. I looked forward to the joys of double blessings. I had so many hopes and dreams for myself and my twins. And then, one was gone. I forever see one where two should be. It hurts. A lot.
I struggle with this at times. Am I no longer the mother of twins? Do I have any right to give advice as a mother of twins to expectant and new parents of twins? Despite the fact I am a childbirth educator who specializes in multiple birth, I am careful to focus specifically on birth to 3 with friends and clients/students, since that is the only practical experience I will ever have mothering twins.
To be honest, to even ponder what could have been beyond that moves me to tears, even now. I mourn the loss of what could have been almost as much as the death itself at times. I know only parents of twins can understand that sentiment, if they could even imagine losing one of their own, to have a glimpse into what I feel like sometimes. I am still angry I was robbed of my chance to be a twin mommy. To see them grow and learn together and individually. It's. So. Not. Fair.
Despite my love of teaching childbirth classes, especially to parents expecting twins, it's always a teensy trigger for me. I cope with it. They are none the wiser. I have several friends in my circles now that either have or are pregnant with twins. While I'm thrilled for them, seeing them and their posts is always difficult on some level. One I don't always acknowledge consciously, but it's there. I'm no longer part of the club. I want to be. I wish I was. I'm mad as hell about the fact I'm not. I'm probably a wee bit envious and hate to admit it. Maybe they can tell, maybe they can't. Of course if they are reading this, now they know. Still, it's not their fault I have issues and I'm really, really happy for them and want to do what I can to help them along their journey.
Today, I experienced yet another unexpected trigger. I was asked several months ago if I'd write an article on childproofing for a twin-centric magazine called Multiplicity. The offer was born out of my blog post about the day Meghan died, which found it's way to one of the editors, who of course, has twins. I was thrilled at the offer, what aspiring writer wouldn't be? Then, I doubted myself. Not only with regard to my ability to write an article that would be of interest, but to write one for the twin community. The one I am no longer a part of because of the very subject matter I was writing about. I didn't think about it again, I wrote the article and submitted it. It fell off my radar.
The article was published today. You can read it here on pg 24-25 of the Spring Issue of Multiplicity Magazine. The publisher sent a link to me this morning. I clicked on it. Two little blonde girls. Twins, of course, are on the cover. One wearing a very Meggie-esque pink flower headband. I felt a little jolt. I read the article. It was a bit surreal. My words. My bio. In a twin publication. I cried. Probably not for the reason you think.
I had once dreamed of writing not just an article in a twin magazine about pregnancy, birth or doula-ing for twins, but an entire book about being pregnant with and birthing twins. I had an outline. I had a proposal. I had done copious research. I had the professional credentials and the street cred, I had twins! I had a few chapters written and many others started. They are still on my computer to this day, although now out of date. I was researching agents. Then Meghan died. Literally the same week I was finally feeling like I had my head above water with this parenting twins thing, I was planning to pick up the phone and start trying to find someone to take me on as a writer. My book died, right along with Meghan. I couldn't bring myself to continue after that. My life changed so deeply, drastically and dramatically that the book was no longer anywhere near my conscious awareness. Even if it were, I didn't feel worthy.
Today, I realized that dream did manifest. Just in a different way. Being a momma of twins has helped me to help other moms of twins. Just not in the way I once imagined. I once imagined writing for a magazine. I can now say I've successfully done that. Maybe, I will realize the dream of writing that book, too. It won't be the one I originally thought I'd write, but I am confident it will be the one I am supposed to write. It is still all because of my beloved twins. I am still a mom to twins. It's just that one is on earth and the other is no longer of this earth. They are forever twins and that twin-ship cannot be broken. Just ask her brother. :-)
What I thought was just a trigger, was really something so much more. It is a treasure. It's not just about what was lost, but what was found and what has always been.
Thanks, Meggie and Ry. Mommy loves you. BIG kiss, hug and snuggles!