"I am not afraid, I was born to do this..." - St. Joan Of Arc
I am not really ashamed of my reaction when I found out I was expecting twins, but I can't say that I'm totally fond of the memory. I joke about it a lot, but it makes me sad just the same. Just to review, I did not say "oh yay." If the word "yay" started with the letter F, and ended with an uck sound that would be more accurate. Oh, and I didn't say it just once. I said it millions of times over a 7 month period. At our eight week viability ultrasound (you "get" to have this type of treatment when you've been through the level of loss that we've been through. Even though SIDS, a miscarriage, and Trisomy 18 are unrelated, we were offered any and all tests available. It was not an honor, but was a welcomed privilege) we were quite surprised, as we were not expecting this type of news. I was frankly scared and not quite sure I was going to be able to do it. I don't know what I thought not doing it would look like, but I was sure I'd find out. (This is why parents of multiples have a hard time hearing, "I don't know how you do it," because we aren't quite sure what the alternative would be.)
I do sometimes wish, though, that I could go back and erase that reaction. Have a heart to heart with my 25 month ago self, and say, "it's going to be okay, you were BORN TO DO THIS." Now, I know that I was born to do this. My life just fits me, just like a really nice pair of pajama jeans. However, I don't like the fact that I'm really going to have put lipstick on the pig when I tell my kids about getting the news that they were coming. It reminds me of how I think back on the days before Brady died (or rather, the days of Brady's life). Never knowing that I was going to lose her, I wish I'd loved life with her differently while she was here. You know what though, through all of this uncertainty, fear, challenge, pain, and grief, I keep finding myself, and liking myself a whole lot more.
The truth is this: Life is the most amazing, miraculous, ridiculously joy filled thing, and simultaneously so painful and hard sometimes. Many times, those moments of ridiculous joy can come in rapid succession with the painful hard moments or sometimes they even exist in the exact same place. It's all part of the mystery, but whether you are in the midst of the joy, or the depths of your pain, remember this: Do not be afraid, you were born to do just this, and you will do it, and come out on the other side more YOU than you have ever been. (Even if you don't know it yet.)