Please, mama, do not ignore this stage. Cry, scream, doubt, everything. FEEL it. This is the only way we'll get through this period of time.
I hear your heart breaking as the doctor tells you over the phone, "I'm sorry, but the pregnancy isn't viable." I hear the silence inside you while your brain is trying to comprehend these words, begging yourself to wake up from what is obviously a nightmare.
In a single sentence, your life has changed from what it was supposed to be…to this.
All you want to do is run to a friend or family member, but the door has become a blockade to a life outside that is no longer one of physical contact and hugs that you so desperately need right now.
You can't go to the hospital because it's currently experiencing an outbreak and your immune system would be compromised. So, you do this by yourself, at home.
I'm here to tell you I will hold your hand through this. I am with you, because I am you. My body went from holding three hearts down to one—just mine—and it felt like it was barely beating.
I instantly regretted each moment we told our nearest and dearest that my husband and I were expecting. We had to return to each one and give them the update.
I regretted buying the adorable matching snowsuits I purchased after an appointment with my OB-GYN that confirmed there were two heartbeats.
I regretted my initial feelings of fear and overwhelm while wondering, What the heck are we going to do with twins?!
Did I will this to happen? Was I not woman enough to handle twins? Why would I be given the gift of not one, but two babies, only to have both taken from me just days before that terrible first trimester ended?
Please, mama, do not ignore this stage. Cry, scream, doubt, everything. Just FEEL it. This is the only way we'll get through this period of time. It will be brief in the grand scheme of things, but it feels eternal while I live it.
I'm here to tell you that you are stronger than you think you are. You will survive, and you will come out of this.
We are the one in four and if you add up all of those ones, you will find a group of women from all walks of life, from all over the world who will form the biggest group hug around you. Right now, you are the center of this, and one day you will join the outside circle and wrap another in your love and understanding. Surviving this can come from leaning on the women who have lived this before you and gathering the strength to help the women who are destined to follow after you. It's unfortunate but seems inevitable nonetheless.
It will get easier. Those maternity clothing ads that keep popping up while you scroll through a seemingly endless amount of pregnancy announcements or bump pictures on social media will stop. Pregnant women will warm your heart, rather than crush it. The joy will return, but it will be different and that's okay too. If you have other children, the pain of imagining them as a big brother or sister will fade and you will have a stronger bond with them. Your appreciation for your body will increase.
Your rainbow will appear after this storm.
It may be in the form of another baby or a new hobby you discovered while healing your heart. It could be a newfound love for yourself and your strength or a closer bond with someone else, formed because of this. The options are endless.
Experiencing this while our life is "normal" is hard enough. Experiencing this during the COVID-19 pandemic is extreme. Never again will I take for granted the things we deem so common in our day-to-day life like in-person doctor appointments rather than over the phone, a coffee with a friend, a browse through a retail store to get my mind off of things, a hug from someone outside my own home, a smile from a friendly face.
These are the incredibly simple things I long for while I am forced to experience this during a time of isolation and social distancing.
It's okay though. I can feel myself reaching the other side of this. Each day I get a bit stronger and the pain dulls a bit more. I am proud of myself; I have been forced to completely submerge myself in this experience, no distractions from the outside world. I am healing on my own, in my own terms and I can take as long as I need without judgment.
We have the time to show ourselves compassion.
We have the time to work on piecing ourselves back together.
Whether this ends tomorrow or months down the line, it will end. Just take your time.
We've got this.