It’s been just over a week now since we lost our sons, Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar. Two weeks since Rudyard’s water broke. It still feels so surreal and unnatural. I keep assuming I’ll wake up and tell Jeremy what an awful dream I had. The pain is intense and overwhelming at times and at other times just confusing. How did this happen? How did we get here? Everything was going so well! We were told over and over again how lucky we were to have a tri-tri (tri chorionic, tri placentas) triplet pregnancy. Plus the fact that it was spontaneous was supposed to be in our favor. When did the tables turn? Apparently when no one was looking. Except that we were looking, all the time, including anatomy scans the Friday before my water broke. Everything and everyone looked great and right on schedule.

During the pregnancy I felt nervous, but confident that everything would go well. There were no indications otherwise. It’s just so hard to accept that they’re gone. I really believed that this was supposed to be the next phase of my life; the most important thing I’d ever do. It felt purposeful and special and “meant-to-be.” I pictured myself with my boys everyday and was more and more excited and less and less freaked out as the days went by. Cribs were ordered and mattresses sent. We got rid of the couch in the office to make room for the crib. I would look at the empty space and beam and say to Jer “Can you believe we’re actually going to have a crib there and babies?! I can’t believe it! I’m so excited!” And he would just smile and shake his head and say “I know man. It’s crazy.”

The cribs were in Los Angeles ready for delivery the Monday after we got home from the hospital. I had my dad call them to cancel it and they were re-routed back across the country. I couldn’t handle the idea of them attempting delivery and having to refuse it. The mattresses were already in our storage unit. I had my dad call to make arrangements for that as well. They were picked up on Saturday. The triplet stroller is all that’s left of the big items. The woman we bought it from has graciously offered to take it back and sell it again. She has also lost babies and her compassion and willingness to do that was so surprising and kind. A friend of ours has offered to take it to her too, which helps tremendously. I hate getting rid of it- I had such plans and it seemed like providence when we found it. But I also know I would lose it if I saw it and we don’t need it anymore.

Right now what’s hardest is the physical distance from my boys. I carried them for 22 weeks, they were a part of me. I felt so connected to them, talking to them every day, reading to them, singing to them. I would rub my stomach and tell them I loved them. Feel them kick every day. Now my stomach is gone, all that’s left are a few stretch marks that had just started the week they died. My breasts were full of milk, which was hard emotionally, seeming even cruel at first, and hurt physically. Now they’re pretty much back to normal which is even harder in some ways. There’s very little evidence that I was even pregnant at this point; that they were even here.

Going anywhere this week has also seemed surreal and has left me a bit out of sorts. Thursday we went to the mortuary to see the chapel site for the memorial we’re planning for the boys. We also had to pick out their urns. I was anxious to get there because I thought they’d still be there. Not that I’d get to see them, but I thought they were there and I was desperate to just be in the same building with them again. When Ken told us they weren’t there but were at the crematorium I felt like my legs were going to give out. I didn’t say much as he and Jeremy talked through the details of the service. I just wanted to be in the same building with them again. We did find 3 of the tiniest urns that seemed perfect for them. They all are similar in style yet have different coloring, just like our boys.

We went to Chili’s Saturday afternoon to finally get out of the house and use a gift card a friend gave us. All I could think about was the last time we were there and the waitress asked about my pregnancy and we told her it was triplets. She got so excited and said we’d have to bring them back once they were born and show them off- that she loved kids. I was hoping that we wouldn’t see her (we didn’t) and again just thinking, how did we get here?

Sunday we went to church and that was very hard. I’m glad we went though, thanks in large part to our friends Jennifer and Nathan who wanted to come with us. If they hadn’t asked about coming we probably wouldn’t have gone but Jer and I were both thankful afterwards that we did.

Singing was hard. I can get emotional singing in church when I’m happy, so singing when I’m so sad (or even attempting to sing, or just listening to the lyrics) is a direct route to lots of tears. But I made it through and even felt better and able to sing by the end of the service time. One of the speakers spent a lot of time relaying the message that we are not alone. God is with us, always. It’s a truth I know but I appreciated the reinforcement. I felt like he was talking directly to me, even though if I had to list my relationship status with God on Facebook at the moment “it’s complicated” would be most appropriate.

We saw several friends at church who offered their heart-felt sympathies and tears. That was also hard but appreciated. We went to lunch afterwards with a group of friends to the Elephant Bar. Again, memories of my pregnancy came to mind. Jer and I had been there not too long ago, laughing because I ordered way more than I usually would and our bill reflected it. We were having a really good time with my pregnancy; even something as silly as that seemed exciting and fun.

I didn’t talk much at lunch. I was kind of at my emotional limit by that point- small talked out. Friends were talking about their new car and Jer mentioned that I would be needing a new car any day now. My heart ached because we were going to get a new car- a minivan. We had test driven and planned and even hauled the three car seats to the dealership and strapped them all in to make sure they’d fit where we wanted them to. I was trading in my beetle for a minivan and I was actually excited about it! In fact we had planned on getting it the weekend the boys died. I don’t want a new car now. I want the life I was planning. I want my boys back.

Last night we went to our first baby loss support group at Memorial Hospital led by Sharon, the chaplain that helped us say good-bye to our boys. Four other losses were represented there, by their mothers and fathers. We went around the table and shared our stories of loss- what happened, how we’re dealing with it. Jer and I went last because we were new. I wasn’t sure if it would really help or not. As people shared their stories I was less and less sure because before Jer and I got the chance to speak we had been listening to people’s stories of loss for two hours. I told Jer before we got there I was hoping the whole thing would last an hour, hour and a half tops. I just didn’t think I had more than that in me. It’s difficult to listen to people’s pain and heartache for that long, even though of course you can relate. In the end, Jer and I went through our experience with the triplets- finding out, fear turned to excitement, the horribleness of delivering early, the love of holding them and caring for them in their last day, how unfair it feels to go through all of that and go home without them.

Surprisingly, it was helpful. For both of us. It was really hard to get through it but it felt good saying their names again and reminding people, reminding ourselves, that yes, they were here, Rudyard and Desmond and Oscar. They were our entire focus for 5 months now and that doesn’t go away with their deaths. We still think about them every minute of every day. As the weeks and months go by it might be less than every minute, but there will never be a day that goes by where we don’t think about them, our beautiful boys. We are parents without our children, but we are so proud of them and we love them more than anything in this world or the next.