Thursday, July 28, 2011

The best birthday gift you could give...

1 Year
365 days.
One year ago, Scott and I were in a hospital room....terrified...stunned..naive...and now, parents.

Our story is not completely unique. Search the internet and you find forums and letters from other parents who have lost multiples asking how to deal with birthdays. It does bring comfort to see other people have struggled with some of the emotions we are still trying to figure out.

Guilt. I think every new parent struggles with guilt. There are those moments when I’m hugging Slugger and my heart is filled with such love and such joy and I remember how long we waited and how much we hungered to start a family. And then my heart aches that my twins will feel like they’re not utterly and completely missed. I can’t explain how hard it is when you feel guilt over being happy and feel guilt for being sad. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m failing one or more of my daughters no matter how I feel.

As much as we’ve been yearning for this day, we have been dreading it even more. It’s a reminder that it would have been Allie’s and Rory’s 1st birthday. And this is one of the many huge milestones and events in their lives that we will not be able to share with them. We have so much to be thankful for. It has been a wonderful year full of blessings. But this first birthday will be a hard one. We had decided long ago to celebrate Slugger’s first birthday closer to her due date…so she’ll be more like a real 1 year old…with cake and all. We don’t know how we’ll feel on the girls’ actual birthday so we’re playing it by ear. And we’re giving ourselves space and grace to play it that way. We’re allowing ourselves the opportunity to grieve if that is where our hearts are…or to enjoy it for the beautiful summer day it is.

We’re going to honor the fact that today is Allie’s and Rory’s birthday. We won’t ever get to celebrate a birthday with them. We can’t scoop them up in our arms and kiss their cheeks. No cake smash photo sessions. No matching paper hats. We’re going to write cards to them to tell them how much their parents and their sister love and miss them. And we took time off (or tried to) to spend time with Slugger and each other.

And let’s not forget Slugger!!! We’ll be celebrating Slugger’s birthday in the fall, just for this year. So, please, no gifts for our little Slugster. She’s super blessed with more than she can play with. Seriously, she loves other babies so bring over some friends for her and maybe some of those toys can get some action. If you really want to give us a gift, do something kind today in honor of our two oldest girls. Out of something so painful, it would be amazing to see good things grow. Hold open a door for a stranger. Smile at that obnoxious coworker. Talk to that woman on the corner you’ve passed on the way to work every day for months. And if you find the opportunity to make a positive change…no matter, how small, do it!!! How awesome would that be to know that our girls helped inspire a little act of kindness. It would really be a ray of light in our world. So shine on!!!

Happy birthday to all my precious girls! To my angels, Allie, and, Rory, we were so blessed to have you even for just a short time. And to our Slugger, you are such an amazing child and you have filled our home with mess and laughter (both of which I couldn’t live without now). I love you!!!

1 comment:

  1. Our gift to the girls is a donation to the March of Dimes Hawai‘i Chapter. I was hoping it would give us a chance to do an "in memory of" thing on the donation page, but it didn't, so . . . anyway, that was for Rory and Allie. We're so blessed to have met Allie and seen her fighting spirit. ~Todd & Crissy