The Right Answer

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”  -Rumi

When we attended the Butterfly Release last week, Theo turned to me and asked “How old would our babies be?”

It was such a simple question, but one that I have never answered before.  I found that I did not really have an answer.  Do I go by the day that they were born?  But at 21 weeks and 16 weeks gestation, survival was not even a question.  I know women who have had babies that lived a few hours, a few days, a few weeks… it seems like a more definite answer because their children were born alive.  Took a breath.

Do I go by their due dates, if they had not been lost and been carried to turn?  But in time, those dates will be remembered only by me.  The days they were born will hardly be remembered, so to “count” their age from what “would have been” would be meaningful only to us.  Due January 14th, 2016 and July 28, 2016.

Both felt uncomfortable.  How old would they be?  How old should they be?  It became as complex an answer as “How many children do you have?”  Ultimately, I knew that the answer had to be what feels right for us.

I gave Ger a quick and helpless glance and he must have understood, because he said “From the days they were born.”  From the days they were born, Nelle would be 21 months old now.  Iris would be 10 and a half months.  But they never could have existed together: if Nelle had been born, there would be no Iris.  Iris could not have existed if we had not lost Nelle.  Their designated times in my womb would have overlapped.  Every so often, I think of them as twins: two intertwined souls, same size, same outcome, same impact, same love.