I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m not sure what I want to say about it, but I feel like I have some kinks to work out in my head.
The question that’s been on my mind: Was the loss of Baby B not a real loss?
It doesn’t seem to count as a loss in the medical community. When I first met with the maternal fetal medicine doctor, he told me that I technically don’t have enough losses for him to officially say I have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. “You need three early losses to qualify,” he said. I didn’t say anything at the time because I suck at saying things in the moment, but now I wish I would have asked him, “What about this baby’s twin? Why doesn’t that count as a loss to you? Is it because I had no bleeding? No D & C? Is it because half of the pregnancy continued to grow?”
It doesn’t seem to count in the general population either (present company excluded, of course). I’ve mentioned to several friends recently that this pregnancy started out as twins, but one didn’t make it. And you know what? Not one person said they were sorry to hear that. There was no acknowledgement whatsoever. Doesn’t that seem kind of…odd? On the one hand, I completely get it. I have a healthy pregnancy, which is freaking amazing, and I’m sure these friends just wanted to focus on that. I understand, I really do. Their responses, or lack thereof, made me feel weird, though.
And sometimes, the loss doesn’t even seem to count in my own head. For instance, I haven’t named Baby B yet. I named Anna and Gabriel right away, but Baby B remains without a moniker. I suspect this is in part because Baby B is inextricably connected to Baby A, and it doesn’t feel quite right to name B before the birth of A.
But still, I wonder about my lack of interest in choosing a name.
I’ve also spent far less time thinking about this loss than my last two losses. Practically speaking, I think it needs to be that way, at least for now. I have a little girl growing inside of me that requires my love, care and hope, and it doesn’t feel right to focus my energy on the pregnancy’s darker beginnings.
But still, I wonder, am I a bad mother for not grieving for Baby B more?
I feel confused about all of this. Because when it comes down to it, Baby B was alive. He or she had a beating heart. He or she was loved. And most importantly, I truly believe he or she helped her sister to grow and thrive.
And that, in my heart at least, counts for a lot.