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)