October 28-November 5, 1978. She was my baby sister. She was born very premature and weighed 3 lbs. Her lungs were not mature, and after 8 days on machines my mom and stepmonster let her go. I know I didn't understand a lot of what happened since I was only 9 years old, but I really had a hard time forgiving them for that, sometimes wonder if I ever really have. She was my last chance to not be an only child, and there was nothing I wanted more.
I always knew that I would never have an only child. I could not put that burden and that loneliness on another. I know it wasn't intentional, as my parents wanted "at least 4", but now I am beginning to fear that history may repeat itself. My mom had an incompetent cervix, which she says was the result of a bad IUD, and lost at least 3 babies that I know about. Jennifer and I were the only ones to make it to this world. I, on the other hand, can apparently only get pregnant through extremely expensive medical intervention. So far so good, and knock on wood, our little one, our only child, will make it here safe and sound. Me, the lonely only child, loved the idea that there were going to be two babies born at once, loved the idea that they would have a bond that no other could ever break and that neither would ever feel alone. I didn't actually think a lot about the chances of twins when we put back two embryos. Two just seemed like more insurance to get one. But that all changed when I learned there were two.
It seems so obvious that Jennifer would enter my thoughts on the eve of the day that Baby B no longer had a heartbeat, but somehow I feel like she's been watching over this entire IVF process. I think I mentioned several entries back that I had a dream about her between our retrieval and transfer. In my dream she was sending me text messages from the ARTS lab, letting me know that she was there, watching over and taking care of our embryos. As absurd as it sounds, it made me feel better. I had really hoped that we would be able to donate our snowbaby to another couple in need, but it looks like we may be that couple. Jenny Girl, I'm going to need you to watch that little one for a couple of years.
Saying goodbye to our twin breaks my heart, but I know that over time it will be easier. I know from the experience with Jennifer that the grief never really goes away. It becomes a manageable part of me that makes me stronger and appreciative of all that I do have. I am grateful that it happened early and will not cause any trouble for our healthy baby. I am extremely grateful that I am not facing burying my child. There is nothing that haunts me more than the vision of a tiny, white casket that one man carried my sister in to the cemetery. It is something that should never happen, but over the last year and half on the Bump I have learned that it happens, unfortunately, all of the time.
I think I am finally able to forgive my mom for letting her go. It wasn't her fault. Bad things happen to good people. I wasn't supposed to be an only child: it just worked out that way. I will still do everything in my power to make sure that this little one has a sibling. Hopefully our snowbaby will survive the thaw and join our family in a couple of years. A second IVF seems quite out of our reach, and my eggs could take a turn for the worse in the next year. All I can concern myself with right now is the one perfect baby that is thriving inside me and expected to be here January 23. This needs to be my focus.
We'll miss you, Baby B, and you will never be forgotten.