Do you ever feel the need to get away from it all? Sometimes I just need to escape, even if it’s only to soak in the bath for half an hour, it can simply be enough to recharge me. Last weekend we were fortunate to spend a couple of nights down the coast. Walking along the beach feeling the sand between my toes, tasting the saltiness of the sea air and listening to the relentless roar of the ocean was just what I needed.
Last week marked the third birthday/anniversary of our twins birth and passing. Past experience has taught me the lead up is often harder than the day itself and this year I was determined to tackle it head on. I summoned up the courage to visit the cemetary by myself the week before, something I hadn’t been able to do for the past couple of years. The night before I distracted myself as I attempted to push aside the dark thoughts which were beginning to gather. I awoke that morning and immediately looked at the time, 5.10am. It was shortly after at 5.20am three years ago, that I woke up in hospital immediately knowing that something wasn’t quite right. I tried to keep my mind busy, getting organised for our day and playing with the boys, before dropping Big Boy off at kindy, all the while watching the clock. At 7.05am, I could picture my Dr confirming I was in labour, 8.59am and I remembered lying in a delivery suite waiting for the next contraction to arrive. I met a lovely friend for breakfast, and whilst waiting to order, I couldn’t help but count down to 9.17, the moment our daughter entered the world. Sitting down with a coffee 15 minutes later, I reflected on the moment she took her final breath. My friend and I wandered through Aldi, funnily enough buying baby supplies as 10.59 came around, the moment our son entered the world sleeping. This is when I stopped looking at the clock. Yes I thought about what followed that day, the phone calls my husband had to make, my Mum and Sister arriving to be with us after a frantic drive and long flight from Melbourne. What I felt was an odd combination of calmness and relief, I had made it.
Looking at the ocean and watching the waves continue to roll in again and again gave me the clarity that I needed. It felt like this was a fresh start for us, a new beginning. We have made it through another year, and while the pain never goes away I know that I am becoming stronger and better at coping with it all.
I admit it still pains me when I see parents with their twins, especially a little boy and girl as it reminds me of what could have been. What has changed though is the feelings of devastation and envy are no longer there. There is of course a small pang of sadness, but I can cope with that.
Over the past weekend I realised how far both myself and our little family have come. We’ve survived the pain of our deep longing to be parents while we battled through infertility, the joy of falling pregnant, grief that trapped us in such a dark place, I never thought I would escape, and also the mix of happiness, apprehension and anxiety associated with two more high risk pregnancies and premature births.
Sitting at the beach with my beautiful baby boy playing beside me, watching his big brother stumble through the sand chasing seagulls, I am struck with the thought that we have survived, and will continue to survive. This realisation has given me the boost that I needed. It’s my “aha” moment.
I can see things more clearly now. I can now acknowledge that with the support of my wonderful husband I have become a stronger person. I have returned home with a renewed sense of focus and self belief, which can only make me a better Mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Friend.
What do you do when you need to recharge? Have you had a moment of clarity before?
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