“An apology: it is all true.” Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Tonight, my daughter had more severe night terrors than usual. I talked with her for a solid 45 minutes, and it was worth it because finally she shared with me her greatest fear: spiders. And she shared with me her tokens that she hoped would keep spiders away: a virtual sibling family of three sisters and one brother.
My daughter only has one brother. Yet somehow she knows there were three other siblings she is owed.
How on earth does she know that? She’s right, of course. But I have only publicly owned up to two losses. And tbat’s not the truth.
When I was first pronounced pregnant with twins, I wasn’t honest with you. The truth is my RE saw three sacs during the ultrasound. But during subsequent ultrasounds, he never saw a heartbeat in that third sac, whereas he saw heartbeats in the other two sacs. It was a perilous, terrifying time for me.
One of the main ways I released anxiety during that awful, fearful first trimester was to walk the famous beautiful hills of San Franciso. I was within blocks of the famous vistas you see in countless movies and TV shows. Those views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Transamerica pyramid were soothing. So imagine my shock and shame and fear when I suddenly felt a slickness and heaviness in my underwear as I gazed out onto my beautiful city. I hurried home.
What I found I will not describe, but I was certain that the third sac was empty for good. And somehow, I knew the twins were fine: I still felt the extreme nausea that had permeated my early pregnancy. I didn’t call my ObGyn or my husband or my parents. In fact, I have only told one person this story: someone who needed to hear it.
And I have rarely thought about this sorry, until today, when I was confronted by my daughter’s token family. And astonished at its size and accuracy.
All three of the babies I have lost? You have never been forgotten. You will never be forgotten. Somehow, my daughter guessed your number accurately, though I have never discussed you with her. You are felt by all of us. We love you. And we always will.