Lately, it seems like I'm being bombarded with twins. There was a set of baby boy/girl twins at the doctor's office the other day, and I know several people who are currently pregnant with twins or just recently gave birth to them within the past year. Each time someone makes an announcement on Facebook, I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. If it sounds like I'm a bit jealous, that's because I am!! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for these families but at the same time I feel cheated, not only for Shane and I but more importantly for Mason.
Shane and I were mentally, emotionally and physically preparing to raise twins. I bought two car seats and a double stroller about a month before I wound up in the hospital on bed rest. We ordered two cribs and had two bedding sets and a ton of gender neutral clothes so we'd have plenty for two babies. We painted the nursery and had it just about all set up minus the cribs (which hadn't arrived yet) shortly before Maddie took a turn for the worse. I never imagined in my wildest dreams, or should I say nightmares, that we would leave the hospital with only one of our precious babies.
The day after Maddie died, Shane and I took the bedding set we had picked out for her back to Burlington. I kept the matching receiving blankets because I just couldn't bear to return them. We kept several of the girly outfits and onesies we had gotten for her too. Returning the extra car seat and double stroller was the worst. I had gotten it from Target and it was past the 90 day return period so the store manager wouldn't do a return. We tried to explain to her why we were returning it, but she didn't seem to care. Thankfully, the woman who was actually working the customer service desk dialed corporate for us and asked Shane to explain the situation to them. They told him to just leave the stroller and extra car seat at the store and they would send us a gift card for the amount.
I remember several sets of twins who came and went from the NICU after we lost Maddie. Most of them were only there for a few days or maybe a week or two. More often than not, they were able to sleep in the same isolette too. It was pure torture when I went to visit Mason and I had to sit there and watch those other parents getting to hold, feed and bathe both of their babies. They were blissfully ignorant of the pain and anguish our family was enduring.
Maybe it was seeing that set of twins at the doc's office the other day, or being blindsided when I discovered yesterday via Facebook that yet another friend is expecting twins, or the fact that Maddie and Mason's birthday is less than 2 weeks away, but I'm really struggling right now. I want to know why? What did we do to deserve to only get 3 short months with our sweet baby girl? What makes all those other families so special that they get to raise both of their babies? Why do their children get to grow up with their twin while Mason was robbed of his?
I know I'm not supposed to question it but it's impossible not to. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Maddie and wish I could go back in time and change things. I would give anything to be able to carry them to term, or even for 10 more weeks, so they would have had a better chance at survival and a normal life. I was willing to stay upside down in that hospital bed for the remainder of my pregnancy and would have gladly done so. I never complained about it for a second. In fact, one of my doc's was so amazed by it that he called me Sunshine. I just wanted to do whatever was necessary for my precious cargo.
I hate that Maddie won't be here to celebrate their 8th birthday with Mason in a little under two weeks. I hate that despite us talking about her and trying to keep her memory alive, it seems like he's forgotten her. I hate that many of our friends and family seem to have forgotten her as well. I hate that I feel like my memories of her are slipping away too. I just want my sweet baby girl back; for her to be here with us and for us to have the happily ever after ending like those other families from the NICU.