The month of July will forever be a difficult, emotional time for me. The month of August and the celebration of the girls’ birthday will always be tinged with the sadness, regret, and guilt of loss. The loss of one of our quadruplets is not something that I frequently discuss. Many people have no idea that we actually had four babies instead of three. I have been struggling though this month, and cannot stop thinking about our little angel, so I’m hoping that talking about Calliope will help. The loss of child is unimaginable and the most horrible thing a parent can experience. Words cannot even describe what you feel. It forever changes you.
In our case, I think it was especially difficult for people to understand for a few reasons. One, we lost our little butterfly sometime between 22 and 23 weeks of pregnancy. Because they never felt her move or saw her, she did not truly exist to them. But she was very real to me. I felt her move, I watched and listened to her heartbeat and saw her move during my ultrasounds. She existed. Two, we had multiples. Many people felt that it was appropriate to console me with the fact that I “still had three babies”; like I shouldn’t mourn the loss of one, because, hey, bonus babies. I felt that mindset minimized my loss. I still lost a child. It was fairly late in the pregnancy for something like that to happen. The week before, everything looked wonderful when I had an ultrasound. Everyone looked strong and healthy; we got a great report. The fact that I had multiples does not cancel out the fact that one of our babies died. The day they could not find her heartbeat was the worst day of my life. The moment when I knew something was wrong and they told me will forever be burned in my mind. Three, as is the case with all loss, everyone responds differently. There is no way for others to understand exactly what you are going through. Even if they have been through the loss of a child, each of our losses was different and we felt differently about them. No one grieves the same and no one will ever feel exactly the same way that you did. At the time, I was amazed by some of the ignorant, rude things that were said to me. People did not mean to be hurtful, but they were. I remember hanging up the phone and crying hysterically a few times because of the things people said to me. It was also very difficult because I still had to carry Calliope until the others were born. It was too risky for the other babies to do anything else. I bounced back and forth from panic that my she was still inside of me and wanting to scream at someone to get her out and a fierce desire to keep carrying her forever. I worried constantly about the other three and I was very anxious and afraid to hear the worst at every ultrasound. The relief I felt when the tech would find each heartbeat was immense. I think another thing that many failed to realize was that when our girls were born, we had to deal with the loss of Calliope all over again. Their birthday will always be a mixed bag of emotions for this reason. I have been struggling through this month, dreading the anniversary of the worst day of my life. I miss our beautiful little girl so much. She is always in my mind and heart. I will never understand why she was taken from us. I will never stop wishing that I could hold her and watch her grow and play with her sisters. I will certainly never stop loving her.
Calliope was baby #3 (or baby C). She was Oriana’s identical twin. I cannot help but feel like Oriana is missing a piece of her since Callie is not here with us. I think that Callie watches over all of her sisters, but I think she especially watches over her twin and that she is the reason that Oriana was able to experience mostly smooth sailing through her hospital stay. It breaks my heart to know that I will never see them play together. I was very much looking forward to seeing how my identical twins would interact. Sometimes, it is especially hard, because I look at Oriana and I see how beautiful Calliope would have been too. The loss never goes away. Some days are better than others. Some days it feels like it happened yesterday. We will always honor Callie’s memory and we will teach her sisters about her. They will always know that they are quadruplets and I hope they come to love Calliope too.