Mrs. Blackwell and I got the news Thursday that one of our unborn identical twin boys died.
There is no cushioning this blow. There is no delicate way to say it. After 26 weeks of pregnancy and swelling hopes and happiness, one of them was dead. Period.
The week before when we went to the doctor, both of our little guys were doing just fine. That check up was the same as the one the week before that, and the week before that, and the week before that.
Each and every weekly visit to the experts yielded the same result: two little boys who were growing at the same rate and had healthy vital signs.
And then, poof. Half of a beautiful dream was gone. There was no one to blame, no fault to assign. As the doctor repeatedly told my wife, "This was a baby problem, not a mommy problem."
|Still smiling. I swear.|
It's strange where the mind wanders upon receiving devastating news. It's almost as if you begin to concentrate on the peripheral, on the small things, to protect yourself from this terrible new reality.
Upon hearing that one of our unborn twin boys died, my thoughts first went toward how we would tell our friends and loved ones about this. How would we let all the people who have shared in this joy and excitement know that, at least part of it, was gone?
Through the cloud of overwhelming grief that all but drowns, my thoughts quickly ran back to my wife and our other unborn boy. How were they? What's the prognosis for the future? Thankfully, they're both great. Everybody is doing well and the future looks good.
With that news in tow, the reality of telling people remained.
So, we told those folks we could directly. But you reach a point where delivering bad news essentially becomes reliving the grief over and over again and not the healthiest of exercises.
A post on Facebook felt about as bad as it sounds. And a mass email felt about as good as writing this feels, which is to say, awkward and humbling but ultimately necessary.
As they've received the news people have been, as they always are, great. Sympathetic, friendly and with a surprising number of similarly sad stories.
Through the years I've watched my family members and my friends have kids and I listened to them talk about how it changes your life, about how you learn more about yourself than you imagined. And now, I've learned how right they are.
I didn't know what it was to love someone for no other reason than because he is yours. I get that now. We don't get to make new memories with our little guy now and for that I grieve. But, for a brief time, he was ours, he was beautiful and he gave me more than he'll ever know.
And I can't wait to meet his brother.