I didn't hold my babies the night they were born.
I didn't get to stare at their sweet little faces.
I don't remember the first time I held them, or even who I held first.
Four months after their birth, I'm working on fitting these facts into the fabric of our history together, my babies and I.
When we got to the hospital, I was covered in blood from the placental abruption I didn't know I had.
When the nurse put the fetal monitor on, I waited for her to tell me both babies were dead.
When they took my babies away to the NICU, I was certain they would be down in my room, sleeping next to me by morning.
I have accepted that the birth wasn't what I had expected. I am thankful that we all just made it out alive. But things aren't so simple as to start and stop there.
I wish the doctor had told me to go to the hospital immediately when I called half an hour before my water broke, complaining of severe pain.
I wish the doctor had told me to call 9-1-1 when I called her with my broken water and told her I was surrounded by blood.
I wish my babies could have been placed into my long awaiting arms when they were pulled from my body.
When I think of what the birth was like for the babies, my heart breaks. I imagine their warm and safe environment fading around them. I worry they felt fear. I think of how scared and cold and alone they must have felt being suddenly pulled into the world, stuck with needles, connected to machines, and surrounded by bright lights and loud noises. It is not what I would have chosen for my children.
There are people whose babies die. People whose babies live but are not "okay." Mothers who do not survive.
My babies are healthy. I am healthy. We've connected.
Not a day goes by that I don't look at them with awe, fascination, and something so beyond love that it breaks my heart. I am amazed by the sheer stupid luck of it all, and don't know whether to feel guilty or grateful.
And I wait for this to all fall together, into a cohesive something that I know what to do with.