“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

I first met Alexa because of a post I had written called, So Many Angels…  I have many friends who have lost a child and I immediately connected with my new friend.  No Holding Back is filled with sharing personal stories and lovely encouragement and advice.  It also is a place for moms who’s babies suffered from TTTS to come and hold on to each other for support.   You can enjoy Alexis here today sharing an amazing perspective on her loss.

“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

Life is filled with moments that change us and define us. How we deal with those moments is what sets some people apart. I have been blessed to have come in contact with some amazing women who have taken horrendous moments and changed them into something good for others.

I want to do the same.

Most recently the most defining moment in my life occurred with the loss of one of my identical twin daughters, Kathryn.  September 28, 2011 will forever be replayed in my mind. On that day, I was told that the twin girls I was 20 weeks pregnant with were dying from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and there was nothing that could be done to save them.

In my mind, at that moment I hear the record scratch to a stop. Time stood still.

I made the decision not to give up on them.

I felt somewhat numb through the next 10 weeks of treatments and hospitalizations. I knew that there was such a small chance that either baby would survive, but I had to hope. And I prayed. I prayed a lot. By the grace of God both babies were born alive, although Kathryn would only grace us with her presence for two days before returning home on December 12, 2011.

Stunned by this loss, for a time I turned inward. But I did not want to stay in darkness. Although we feel isolated when we suffer a loss, we are very far from alone.  I was so blessed to have an amazing support network of family and friends who embraced me, loved me, and carried me through the roughest moments.

Slowly but surely I began to crawl out of the funk, aided by my children and this wonderful support system.  I turned to support groups and have met some amazing people who have sadly shared my loss, but could hold my hand through the initial stages and hold me up when I was unsteady.  I began to write.  Finding my voice allowed me to open up and express the pain which furthered me in my grieving process.

I decided not to let my grief define my life.

As the mother of three children 5 and under, I cannot afford to lose time in grief and sadness.  I will still allow myself to remember and feel those natural feelings of sadness, but my surviving twin’s life should not be defined by the loss of her identical twin sister. My other two children should not have to lose their childhood with a loving and happy mother. I know that Kathryn would not want this.

I began to interact with other mothers who had gone through a loss and I realized that many people are hurting. Small acts of kindness can make such a difference in their lives. Just as others did for me, now I try to lessen the pain of other hurting mothers and to let them know there will be a day they can smile again. Healing takes time, but you have to be open to letting yourself heal.

For me, this is the best way to honor my Kathryn. I want her to be proud of the life we are able to live. In her name I promise to live life to the fullest, to do what I can to help others, and to never forget the beautiful blessings I hold in my hands.

 

~Alexa B. is the mother of four beautiful children, three on earth and one in Heaven.  She blogs at “No Holding Back – Life After the Loss of a Twin Daughter to TTTS Plus 3 Kids!” primarily focused on finding joy after grief of the loss of one of her twins, but also about raising three small children as a Stay at Home Mom.  A major focus is on bringing more awareness to TTTS, and providing hope to other grieving mothers.  She can also be followed on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NoHoldingBack1212) and Twitter (@katbiggie)

Blog address: http://www.noholdingback1212.com)

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh, Alexa, you know I just adore you. I hate that you had to suffer through the loss of your Kathryn but these words you write will most definitely be a comfort to those that are walking the same path. I didn’t lose Rocco to TTTS but I think some of what you said here applies to me as well. What got me out of my own darkness was the same thing you wrote: I didn’t want my other kids to lose the childhood they deserved with a happy mommy. I did not want that loss to define our family. We talk about Rocco often and think of the “what ifs” a lot but I am no longer living in the darkness of the grief and pain. Great post, Alexa!

    • says

      Thank you so much AnnMarie and you know I adore you too! I think it doesn’t matter how we lose a child, or even at what age, the affect of the loss is so profound. I’ve seen some women lose a baby at 12 weeks that were more grief stricken than mothers who lost their children at 20 years old… one of the things I have noticed is that it does seem to be a tiny bit easier if you have other children, because at least you are not left with nothing. We talk about Kathryn often too and I know that has helped me and the kids heal. Thank you again!

  2. says

    I am chocking back tears as I read this. You are so brave and what you say about not letting grief define your life? That’s the ah-ha for me, because so many of us who have gone through things not half as tragic as losing a child – still let grief or that “tragedy” define us. You are a beautiful soul with an inspiring story!

    • says

      Thank you so very much. I spend a lot of time around other women who have suffered great tragedies and I see some of them completely lose themselves in their grief and their anger. And then I see others take that pain and do such incredible things. Like the woman who started the Molly Bears company, and my friend Megan who started Teeny Tears, and my friend Tova who began the Muchness Campaign. I draw my light and inspiration from them!

  3. says

    I can not imagine all that you have gone through. Your post made tears come to my eyes — you have incredible strength and it shows in this post.

  4. says

    I read your blog some time ago. It made me tear up then and it’s doing so again. I cannot imagine the pain you went, and still is going through.
    I do hope you find happiness and enough strength to cope with this.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. I am blessed with so many good things in my life, not that it makes the loss less, but I am doing ok. Some days are worse than others, but for the most part, I am healing.

  5. says

    Alexa is the epitome of strength. When I first read her post my heart went out to her and her family. In her posting about her trials and triumphs I quickly realized how blessed and strong she is to even post about her personal tragedy. Their is great strength there. So happy to be a part of that strength just by reading. #sitssharefest

    • says

      That is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about me! Thank you so very much! Writing and sharing, and participating in communities like this lovely one that Chris has set up have helped me so much along the way!

  6. says

    {Melinda} I am so sorry for what you went through, Alexa. I so admire your attitude and courage as you continue to parent your children. My son has cystic fibrosis and early on we decided not to allow it to define him or to make it a cloud that hung over our family. It is not the same as what you’ve been through, but I could relate on some level.

    God bless you as you hug and love on those little ones in your care!

    • says

      Melinda that has to be so very difficult living with that from day to day! It appears as if they have come a long way with CF but I can only imagine how scary that is. That is wonderful that you have not let it get you! Thank you so much for your sweet comments, and I’m so sorry it took me a bit to get back! I’ve been moving to a new website!

    • says

      Thank you so very much! That is a very kind thing to say! It’s nice to know as bloggers and writers that it makes a difference to someone!

  7. says

    I’m catching up on posts I missed last week and I’m really grateful to read your story, Alexa. You are a brave and powerful woman. I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through and how you’ve managed to rebuild your world with so much love and light. Thank you for sharing your story. Bless you and your loved ones.

    • says

      First off, congratulations on your one year anniversary! Mine is coming up soon, which is happy and so very sad to me! Thank you for your very sweet words and your virtual hug! 🙂

  8. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Alexa. I love that you are able to move forward and I love what you said about not letting your grief define your life. Blessings to you. Stopping in (late) from SITS.

    • says

      Thank you Britton! So sorry it took me some time to get back to you! I appreciate your lovely comments! We SC gals gotta stick together! 🙂

  9. says

    I remember when I first read your story, I was so moved by how strong you were. Knowing you better now, I have so much respect for what you have endured and the way you’ve cared for your family in the midst of it. xoxo

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