Hey There Lonely Girl

Since it’s anniversary week (even though I have postponed anniversary week due to scanner troubles), I feel compelled to bring up another anniversary. One that I didn’t think would still be on my jock now. Today’s the day that I lost Strudel’s twin two years ago.

Miscarriages are tricky things. I had been feeling like ass for days leading up to the thirteenth. I was feverish and felt bloated, more so than normal early-pregnancy bloat even. When I lost her twin, I felt better instantly. Eventually I slept, and other than insane amounts of bleeding, I was so much better. Companion said I looked noticeably smaller the next day.


Frida Kahlo, Henry Ford Hospital (1932)

I was very sad about the baby’s death and simultaneously felt guilt about the relief of feeling better physically. You start to move on and accept it as a loss and as a could-have-been. You think about maybe trying to have another baby in the future. I started exercising again and trying to take care of myself, and even to look forward to the relative ease of just having one child.

Then I found out that Strudel was still tenaciously hanging onto the sides. I always imagine her, arms and legs spread wide, fingers dug in, like a cartoon cat who doesn’t want to take a bath. I imagine her going NOOOO like she always does now, even to things she wants.

An Aside:

Me: Here, want some peach slices?
Strudel: NOOOOOOO *glomp*

So I found out I was still pregnant, and actually my first thought was that I was pregnant again. Actually, my first thought was OH SHIT. I cannot DEAL with this right now. And I felt guilty about that because this was a new baby and it didn’t have anything to do with the other one. I was not excited about this new baby, which was actually the old baby.

After the ultrasound, and after we figured out exactly what had happened, I felt better. I cautiously allowed myself to become excited again. But it didn’t stop being tricky. Sometimes I am relieved that I have only one insane child to deal with, and then I feel bad about that. Sometimes I feel very sad that Strudel will only be a single, when she had a chance to have a partner-in-crime. Would it have been another girl, or would there have been a boy Strudel and a girl Strudel? I’ll never know.

And I get furious when people say things like, “It was obviously defective, so it’s good you didn’t bring it to term,” and “You’re pretty lucky, you could be chasing after twins right now” and “At least you got one out of it.” I think the best thing to say is, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” and go from there.

Will Strudel ever feel like someone is missing? Will she feel lonely? The questions and the guilt and relief continue to plague me. It’s tricky.

40 thoughts on “Hey There Lonely Girl

  1. Wow SJ, I never knew this. I guess I didn’t read back far enough when I came to your site. That’s a horrible thing to have to go through, I can only imagine how you were feeling during all that time. Strudel is gorgeous and amazing and you and Companion are great parents and you have to be proud of that. Franny and Strudel are your life. I’m not going to tell you how you should feel, you’ve been there and done that and will continue to do so. I don’t think that Strudel will be lonely, she has silly quirky parents to play with! =:o) Chin up chicken butt!!

  2. oh man, that’s rough stuff. and you have every right/reason/whatever to feel conflicted and ambivalent. i have no clue how i’d feel.

    but hey, strudel is clearly a great kid, and i’m sure when the time comes for her to know about all this she’ll take it in stride.

  3. “Sometimes I feel very sad that Strudel will only be a single, which she had a chance to have a partner-in-crime.”

    –imagine’s Strudel X2 with tiny robber masks and bags full of ca$h–

  4. Oh, SJ.

    I am so sorry and can’t imagine what that must be like.

    I terminated my first pregnancy, and, though I in no way regret the choice, I do wonder every day what life might be like if. That’s not the same, for sure, but maybe not entirely different.

    Anyway, I’m sorry. I’m also so glad you have your two beautiful, clever daughters and your wonderful Companion.

    Now I want to go wake my daughter up to snuggle.

  5. I was a twin. You have my condolences, and all that fluffy stuff.

    Sorry if this sounds rude or something, but it felt like I had to say something.

  6. Aw SJ. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story.

    On a side note, “glomp” perfectly captures the sound of canned peaches being eaten. Bravo!

  7. I’m willing to bet those were fresh peach slices.

    It’s hard to belive it’s been two years, and I’m glad you wrote this entry. *long distance hugs*

  8. I’m sorry for your loss. My situation was a bit different, but I had some of those same feelings when I found out that one of the two embryos I’d had inserted in me had become twins (so, three were in there) and then that the twins stopped developing. I was glad not to be having three, but sad for the loss, but thrilled to have at least one… Knowing I might never have another makes me sad that my gal was a singleton. But I love her so much, I can’t really imagine what it would have been like to have had two.

  9. I think it’s important that you included this information in your post.

    And I get furious when people say things like, “It was obviously defective, so it’s good you didn’t bring it to term,” and “You’re pretty lucky, you could be chasing after twins right now” and “At least you got one out of it.” I think the best thing to say is, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” and go from there.

    I think a lot of people just don’t know what to say, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m probably one of the assholes who’s probably said something like this to someone at one point or another.

  10. Thanks everyone. I am writng about this now because I have distance from it, but I still think about it. I am okay. I just have those questions….

    And, everything that Strudel eats goes GLOMP!

  11. I agree it’s still one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read. With all the TV emphasis on chimerism these days (CSI, House and that “Outsiders” series), have you ever considered that Strudel might be chimera herself? Or is that too far a grab at some kind positive consolation for your loss?

  12. I’d read through some of your archives, but somehow missed this whole thing. I’ve always been a big Strudel fan, and knowing that she hung on so tenaciously makes me like her even more. You’re a strong woman, SJ. Thanks for letting us into your life.

  13. I’m sorry this happened to you, too.

    FWIW, one of MG’s older cousins, now 9, has a similar story: she was a twin, and her twin miscarried. I didn’t even know she knew about it until she slept over at our house last year and in the morning we were talking about family resemblances and food preferences and she said, very matter-of-factly, “I wonder if my twin would have liked the same food as me?” RW and I were so taken aback we said nothing to take her up on the subject; I wish we’d been able to pull it together to say something. But I was struck later by how much she seemed to have just integrated that knowledge into her life.

  14. You know, one time someone posted something on her blog and I was all, like, “You little slut,” in her comments section and when I woke up the next morning I found she’d deleted the entire blog post so I called her up and I was all, “Hey, what’s up with that?” and she was all, “Please don’t call me a slut,” and I was like, “You’re kidding, right? I call you names all the time in person,” and she just said “slut” was different and that it was a trigger and she couldn’t deal. So I said I was sorry and that was that.

    So I’m sorry that happened to you. And you know the first thing I wanted to say was something like, “That’s what you get for standing in front of the microwave!” or something– because, honestly, what’s funnier than a dead baby? –but you were pretty clear about your groundrules and I’ll abide because I hate it when I say stuff that upsets people who are otherwise extremely difficult to upset.

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