Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Exhaling.

I'm sure most of you know Katy over at I Want a Dumpster Baby.  If you don't, you are missing out on an amazing woman and her life filled with recovery, gratitude, hope, and most recently babies and bewbies.  Seriously, if you are not familiar with her blog, you need to go there.  Wait...wait...wait...before you go, perhaps you could finish reading this first.  Thanks.

I love Katy dearly.  We are sisters of a sort, but have never met in person.  We are a huge part of each other's lives, but have never even talked on the phone.  We have been a lot of the same places and done a lot of the same things, but have never crossed paths.  How is that possible?  We are both drunks that don't drink and we are both moms.  If you want to catch up on the backstory with me, this blog post should help you out.  Go read it if you want.  I'll wait.

So why am I talking so much about babies and bewbies and Katy and not drinking, and what does that have to do with the title of this post?  Hang on, we're almost there.

When Katy told me she was pregnant after trying for a few years and then going through their ONE try at IVF, I was so excited.  Ecstatic and cautiously optimistic.  She told me early on and I know in that early on stage that things can go wrong and pregnancies can be lost.  I know that because I've been there.  I think this was the day I started holding my breath for Katy and those babies.  Two months went by and eventually Katy made the big announcement that not only did the IVF work, but she was pregnant with TWINS.  TWINS I tell you.  A boy and a girl.  If I wasn't holding my breath hard enough before, I sure as hell was now.  Why?  Because I've been there too.  Years and years ago, I was pregnant with twin girls.

I was 18, had just gotten dumped by the boyfriend, a senior in high school, and an alcoholic.  I quit using and drinking the minute I found out I was pregnant, but hid the pregnancy from everyone except for my best friend.  Five months later, I still hadn't told anyone and was dressing in the baggiest clothes I could find so no one would notice.  The best friend and I went away for the weekend to come up with a plan of how to tell everyone about the babies.  On our trip we ended up in old playgrounds with old playfriends who were still actively enjoying the playsubstances I had given up.

Just because I was clean and sober didn't mean I was immune to the things that can happen when you put yourself into situations where that stuff was still going on.  To make a long, painful story short, I was drugged, went into labor, got in a car accident on the way to the hospital, was injured, and had to deliver the babies.  I was 18, in a different state, only my best friend new where I was, and now I had just given birth to twin babies that only one other person knew about.  Due to the injuries I received in the car accident, the babies were injured too.  They were injured and too small to survive.  I held my twin baby girls in my arms until they passed away.  That was the longest and shortest half-hour of my life.

Fast forward to this past year.

As Katy's belly grew, the more relieved I was.  The photos of her and her rapidly expanding waistline spazzdancing in the elevators had an effect on me that I never saw coming.  Healing.  The pictures and daily posts about her life and Hall & Oates (what her babies are affectionately known as on the interwebs) were softening a part of my heart that as been cold and dead for a long time.  The cloud of doom surrounding my vision of someone pregnant with twins lifted.  I wasn't jealous.  I wasn't angry.  I was a little nostalgic.  A little sad.  Mostly, I was hopeful.  Hopeful that if anyone could do this successfully, it would be Katy.  I felt honored that I got to be part of the life that she was sharing with all of us.  I was OK.  And when she finally delivered the babies and everyone was given a clean bill of health, I finally EXHALED.