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Dear Wendy

struggling with adoption and losing a child

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  • #874933 Reply

    I’ll start this with a little backstory. Almost 11 years ago I gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Hayley. I was only 19 and I actually met and started dating my current husband while I was pregnant with her. Her real father didn’t want to be in the picture so as far as I or anyone else was concerned my husband was her father. When she was 2 we found out she had cancer and we lost her right after her 3rd birthday. In that process we lost our house because we had both stopped working to be with her in the hospital in her last days. I don’t regret any of it. We ended up filing bankruptcy and went through some dark times but he was always there for me and we made it through. Losing her never gets any easier but we started to rebuild our life little by little. About 3 years ago we decided we wanted to try to have a baby but found out that I had a very low chance of conceiving due to some health problems. We struggled with that but after a while we just let it go. In March of 2019 I get a call from a woman that I had worked with in the past named Carol. She was an older woman and her daughter was always getting mixed up with the wrong people and already had 3 kids that Carol has custody of. She told me that she had just gave birth to twins and asked me if I’d be interested in adopting them because she knew we wanted kids and she couldn’t handle any more at her age. If someone in the family didn’t take them or arrange for someone to take them they were going into the custody of the state because the mother refused them. They were premature and had to stay in the hospital for a while but she asked us to come see them. We fell in love. Jackson got to come home with us in April and Layla got to come home in June. They are everything I ever could have hoped for. They are such good babies. Things were perfect. I hadn’t even been paying attention to the fact that my body was changing too. I assumed I was tired because of the twins but I was actually pregnant. I didn’t actually find out until October when I was already 20 weeks. I don’t want to get into the whole story but I ended up giving birth at 24 weeks to my little Lily. She lived for 3 days. I only knew about her for a month and instead of being happy and excited for her I was terrified at the thought of having a third baby. I blame myself for going into early labor because of the stress of the situation. The guilt I feel is so bad right now because I feel like I shouldn’t be happy with the twins which I know is messed up. How can I be so happy to have these two children when I have two that were my own flesh and blood that are gone now. I had made peace with losing Hayley but this is bringing it all back up again. I feel guilty if I’m happy with my babies and my life right now because I don’t deserve to be happy. At least that’s how I feel. I’ve never admitted this to a soul but I was actually relieved after it was all said and done. That’s the part that’s killing me. Don’t get me wrong. I Never wanted this to happen and I loved that little girl with all my heart just as I do my other children but I wasn’t prepared to have 3 babies. It just kills me inside to know that I prayed for that pregnancy for so long and when it happened I didn’t even stop and pay enough attention to what was happening to take care of myself and protect my child. I’m just not sure how to move on from here. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel or act. I’m honestly just numb.

    #874945 Reply

    That’s all just horrible and unfair and shouldn’t happen to anyone. You need help from a professional to process your guilt and grief and find a way forward. I ran into a former co-worker the other day who lost both her adult children in a space of 3 years, from drugs and mental health issues. She gets a lot of support from counseling and also online forums. She’s caring for her grandchildren and they need her. I don’t think you can do this on your own. What you went through is too much. You need help. And if I’m reading between the lines that there are substance abuse issues, you need to accept help for that too. I’m sorry for your losses. It’s unimaginable.

    #874946 Reply

    You’ve been through so much trauma, and your grief is understandably complicated, that you need to see someone who specializes in grief. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. You absolutely deserve to be happy and so do your twins & husband

    #874951 Reply

    My heart hurts for you. It’s ok that one of the emotions you experienced was relief that you wouldn’t have to take care of 3 newborns at once. Love is not zero sum, nor are grief and joy. Having love and joy for your two children does not diminish the love or grief you have for the two who passed. Maybe it will help with your guilt to think of your heart as a deep pool, filled with infinite amounts of love, joy, and sadness. Sometimes one of those layers will rise to the top, and that’s what you’ll feel, but it doesn’t mean the other layers are gone. They’re right there, helping that top layer float. Your grief is there, buoying up the joy you feel with your twins, helping it rise to the surface so you can feel it. When the time is right the sadness will surface again, but the joy will be underneath, patiently waiting its turn. None takes away from the other, they all come in turn, and it’s your job to let them come in turn and live in the moment of the one you’re experiencing.

    The others are right that you should seek professional counseling and a grief support group for parents who have lost children. You need support in healing from all you’ve been through.

    #874952 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. We’re happy to listen here, but the kind of support that is going to help you the best is meeting with a professional who is trained in helping people process and work through grief and loss. You have a lot of different things to process, in addition to the sudden demands of parenting young twins (!). It’s an enormous load. Please seek the help of a qualified therapist to guide you through this so you can be the best parent to those babies who are lucky to have you!

    #874953 Reply

    I’m sorry your feeling such guilt and pain for feeling happy. I wish for you that you can silence that part of yourself that tries to spoil your happiness. Your twins deserve a happy and healthy mother. Please find a way to see a therapist or get counseling. You need help, not just for yourself but for those two babies that you do have.

    Please also use birth control. I’m not sure of your prognosis, but it may be that you can *conceive* but have other issues that don’t provide an ideal environment for a fetus. Or maybe you now know you don’t want anymore children, and more permanent methods might be a good idea, even for your husband- snip, snip.

    Seeing a doctor and getting checked out for PPD and just a general check up might be a good idea, too. Take care of yourself so that you can be fully present for the living children in front of you.

    I wish you peace. Good luck.

    #875186 Reply

    I feel better just being able to admit how I’m feeling, even if it is to some strangers on the internet. I actually have an appointment with a therapist next week. I think that’s what had me thinking so much about how I really felt when I typed this. I’m also already on birth control now. I should have been after we adopted but I literally haven’t been on any type of birth control for over 11 years and nothing had ever happened so that was the last thing I was expecting.

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