Life is full of questions. I am okay with them. I ask a lot of questions.
However, there have been a few questions that people have asked of me over the last 9 months that always catches me off guard.
"Is she your only one?"
How do I answer?
I have three children! I have given birth to three beautiful girls! So, what do I say?
Most of the time I give a curt, quick nod and try to walk away. Quickly. It is my only response without having to say anything, because to have to deny them as mine would hurt too much. I give a quick nod, a slight, barely noticeable movement. I give that nod when I can't stand the pity or when I don't have the strength to explain.
Sometimes, and more often than not, I tell whoever asked, that I have three girls. Her and two in heaven. That is a quick way to get rid of people. They don't know what to say, so they will say anything to get themselves away from this very uncomfortable, pain-filled moment.
It's like I'm contagious. They then treat me as if just simply being around me, will cause them too, to bury a child of theirs.
Some people have even had the nerve to tell me that I shouldn't include Emmerson and Vivienne when I think of my children.
Ouch! Really?! Just because they never got the chance to meet them, and their lives have not changed because of them, my life should not be different as well?
They were my babies! They still are my babies! I loved them while they were here with me, with a fierceness that any mother loves her children. I would have done anything for them.
I did do everything in my power to try to save them. I would have, if given the opportunity, laid down my own life so that they could have lived.
In death, I continue to love them with that same protective fierceness. They are my babies.
Here is something else people find necessary to tell me: You just need to have another one. Have another baby.
What!? Because another baby will replace the two I lost? Emmerson and Vivienne were people. They were special and unique in the fact that they were identical twins. They were special and unique in the fact that they were wanted and loved by so many in their short lives. They were special and unique in the fact that they each had souls and were loved by the One who created them.
The people that tell me to have another, they hurt me but I know that they mean well.
But it still, all the same, hurts me. They don't realize that another baby will not fix me. It will not make me better. It won't heal the hurt.
Another baby will not EVER be Emmerson and Vivienne.
And to be honest, I don't want another baby to do that. This hurt hurts only because I. Love. THEM. So. Much.
Another baby will not replace that love. That love is theirs and only theirs.
Another baby will be unique and special and loved in their own, designed, deserved way. But that baby will not be my Emmy and Vivi. They won't take their place.
A short while ago, my husband and I talked about more children. It is such a painful discussion for us to have. It hurts us both so deeply so we don't venture there very often. I am fearful of having another. He knows this. So he said, "I don't feel like our family is complete, so I would like to have more children . . . one day." There was silence and then very softly, with tears in his eyes, he says, "Our family never will be complete no matter how many children we have. They are not here. They are never coming back. There will always be two people in our family missing."
Such a bitter reality to realize.
I am terrified and ever so fearful of having another baby. Why? Not because I think they, too, will die before me. Even though I know that is a very real possibility.
It scares me for reasons I can't explain. I am scared of the memories that will flood me with another pregnancy. I am fearful of having to wear the same maternity clothes I did with Emmerson and Vivienne. I am fearful of being in that Ultrasound Room again. I am fearful that I won't let myself love that baby like I should because what if? I am fearful of the anxiety that may accompany me with that pregnancy. I am fearful that Emmerson and Vivienne will feel as though I have betrayed them.
But another baby will not be Emmerson and Vivienne. Another baby will not fix anything.
The hurt will be here, in my heart, for always.
Regardless if I have another child or if I let others know how many children I really have, the truth is always there. I have three children. I have been blessed to love three beautiful girls. And because I have loved, I hurt because there are two beautiful souls that I no longer get to hold.
I have three beautiful children. I count them, all, because more than me having three children, three little girls have possession of my heart.
I count them. I include Emmerson and Vivienne because to me, they count.
I count them because they matter.