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Categories Emotion, Grief, Joy, Medical, Parenting, PregnancyTags , , ,

I am 36 weeks pregnant. I have had a very healthy pregnancy, despite the concerns over us having twins. I see my OB and a high-risk doctor, and I have fantastic care with both offices. I have beaten the odds. My babies are doing great. I should be happy 100% of the time. I should be. When I think about my babies, I am. When I think about the struggles that so many others are going through, I just can’t be 100% happy.

Last Monday, we went in for our 35 week scan. The nurses looked at us in amazement as they looked at the ultrasounds. Heartbeats are perfect. Amniotic fluid is perfect. Both babies are practicing breathing. Then they hook me up to the monitors for 20 minutes to check their heartbeats further (to make sure they are raising and lowering as the babies move). The babies pass the NST (non-stress test) within minutes, although they keep me hooked up for the full 20 minutes anyway. The nurses can’t believe how successful a pregnancy I am having. Seriously, they stare at us because here we are at the HIGH RISK DOCTOR and we are showing signs that we are passing with flying colors. Last week, our doctor used the terms “gorgeous babies” and “hitting it out of the ballpark.” We are thrilled. They are sad that I am not delivering at their hospital, because they all want to come visit us. They are happy with our fairy-tale pregnancy, as I’m sure they don’t see many being a high-risk office.

I know that others are hurting, and it pulls me out of this dream land that I’m in. I really struggle with this mix of happiness and devastation.

My grandfather passed away last summer, and his twin brother passed away 6 months later, in February. To say that I was sad is an understatement. I had to learn how to function again without my grandfather. At least I had his twin brother as my surrogate. Losing him hurt in an entirely new way. The very next month, however, I got pregnant with our twins. Our family was in the depths of grief, yet my pregnancy and the idea of new life gave a bit of light, hope, help to recover out of the dark times.

positiveIt seems like life has a funny way of doing this. We are faced with horrific situations. Then something wonderful happens. Maybe not to us, but maybe to someone around us. It provides just a bit of light. It allows us to feel like maybe there is something positive that can happen in our lives too.

Maybe we are in such a dark place that we just can’t see it. We don’t want to see it. We aren’t ready to see it. That’s okay too. We will see the light when we are ready to. Until then, it’s okay.

Does that mean that those of us that have been privy to the light shouldn’t revel in it? I don’t know. I struggle with this daily. I want to be thrilled. And when I think of my babies, I really am thrilled. I can’t think of anything happier. But I do think of the sadness that others are feeling, and I do forget about my babies and my happiness. I do grieve. I do cry. I do want to be in that dark place too. But right now, I can’t. Right now, I have to be a mother and give these babies the best chance they can get. And that is by providing them a happy, light-filled surrounding for them to be born into.

Did I pay attention to the election this year? No, because I didn’t want to be brought down by the negative campaigns.

Do I watch the news about the devastation from the typhoon? No, as I can’t bear to hear about the loss of life as I am about to bring in two lives myself.

Can I bear to even watch Grey’s Anatomy? Barely, as I just can’t allow myself to witness that tear-jerker (even though I know they are only actors on a fictional TV show).

It doesn’t mean I don’t know they are happening. I know they are. I’m not completely shut off from the world. I know there is suffering. I know that so many friends and loved ones are suffering. So what do I do? Do I let myself be sad right now? Do I let myself be happy? Can I be both? I try to do both, and I struggle. I really do struggle. I wish I could just be 100% happy right now. I want to be for my two babies.

Life has both awful and glorious moments. If it were all terrible, we wouldn’t have a reason to face another day. If it were all incredible, we wouldn’t understand how magnificent those special moments are. Right now, my “job” is to provide a light-filled moment. I hide my achy back and sore hips. I take a shower every morning, straighten my hair, and sometimes even put on some makeup. I put on a big smile and am grateful for the gift of these babies that I have been given. I will provide the brightness for those around me, if they want it. It doesn’t mean that I am not struggling inside. I doesn’t mean that I am not hurting for them. I just know that I have allowed myself into that dark spot other times in my life. Now is my turn to help give relief to those that need it.

*You can read more about Dory on her family blog, “Doyle Dispatch.” To read more posts about Dory’s pregnancy and nursery decorating on her blog, you can see the list here.*

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Dory is a teacher-turned-SAHM to her fraternal twins Audrey and David. She also writes for her blog Doyle Dispatch, is an editor with The Wise Baby, and is a Young Living Essential Oil distributor and educator with her Healthier Oil the Thyme team.

7 thoughts on “Sad/Happy”

  1. Dory, this post is breathtakingly beautiful and it speaks to the depths of me. Especially as someone who fights the demons of depression, I choose to be positive without denying darkness and sadness, and it is a long hard tiring battle. Like you, I do it for my kids. I want to be real with them, but I want to show them that happiness can be real. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

  2. Wonderful. So true. Light and dark co exist, side by side…but, we do not have to let it blot out what light we have! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Beautiful. We all walk through light and shadows. What an amazing gift to your children that you are offering them a light-filled beginning – and that you are letting yourself, in your wonderfully vulnerable and sensitive state, both acknowledge and choose to protect yourself and those nestled within. Sounds like some good mothering to me :o)

  4. I’m sorry, I know that others see this as positive, but I don’t. Hiding yourself from all is negative doesn’t help anybody. Your job is not to be happy for your babies, it’s to stay healthy and take care of them. The first few years with twins is a rocky emotional time, and it’s ok to give in and feel depressed sometime. The trick is to also keep the happy around – to lock yourself in a room with a breastpump and a bag of jellybeans and cry for 20 minutes, then go back to taking care of those kids. (ok, so maybe nobody else used pumping time for this purpose…)
    What I’m saying is that you can give yourself permission to be unhappy, to cry for an hour of bad tv, but then you wipe the tears and get back to life.

    1. I don’t think Dory is arguing being mindlessly positive. She says, “We will see the light when we are ready to. Until then, it’s okay.” I think she does a good job of describing a pendulum between joy and grief and that she is choosing joy right now.

      I agree that there are moments of twin mommyhood that are hard and when moms feel sad. I worry as much about the moms who don’t admit any challenges or misgivings as those who insist that everything’s awful. Those, like Dory, who see both, whether or not they show that to the everyday stranger, are the most real.

      Perhaps you read her words differently than I did. I don’t think she’s choosing to be unquestioningly happy. I think she’s acknowledging the difficulties of life and telling us how she chooses to weather them.

    2. Amy,
      I am sorry. It sounds like you have had a tough time of it. I do understand and agree with Dory that we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control our response to it, or at least frame it in a different way. Positive energy does make a difference and can actually set up more positive things happening. There is already so much around us that is sad and hurting, I really appreciate as much positive energy as I can find. This is an important place for support and I hope that we can all find the peace and love that we seek.

  5. Dory,
    This is so beautifully written. You are so young, and yet you “get it”. We don’t always have a choice about what happens to us, but often we can “choose” how we react (not always, but many times). You are already an amazing mom to these two babies. I can’t wait to see them and get to know them. They are the luckiest babies in the world to have you and Tim as their parents. Keep them in the light. It has made a huge difference already in their development. Your positive attitude is awesome and contagious.
    I love you so much,
    MomMY (Grandma Elly)

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