Happy birthday my darlings.

Just as quickly as you two came to this Earth, you had to leave.

I believe you girls were always, and still are, with me. Just in a different form.

My grief has taken me to places I’ve never wandered, while at the same time opened up old wounds.

I can’t begin to describe the heaviness pressing down on the entirety of my being.

The girls first birthday in heaven was something that I highly anticipated and dreaded. I knew the heaviness of sadness was upon me, there was no escaping. No jokes or silliness that could distract me.

I still wanted to celebrate because if I didn’t I knew I would instantly regret it.

I succumbed to the heavy.

Pulled in and out of it throughout the day and the days leading up to it. Almost losing my shit when less than kind words were spoken to me.

I let the hurt just hurt. I honestly don’t think anyone would react any different.

This is the first time I have ever felt this way.

Even when the nurses and techs started taking all the intubation tubes and IVs out of my girls precious bodies, and they faded out of this world and into the next in my arms. The gravity of the situation didn’t sink in.

I was too overwhelmed by, well, everything.

Too distracted by everyone else’s pain.

Not equipped with any coping skills whatsoever to deal with childhood trauma let alone the death of my girls.

There will always be a few regrets and should-a, would-a, could-as.

But the girls choosing me to be their mom is the greatest gift I could ever receive. That thought alone is hope.

So I’ll fade in and out of the heaviness, and at the end of the day I’ll dust myself off and remember the moments that gave me joy.

The image in my mind of them swimming freely in my womb, like astronauts floating in space. Knowing no pain, and never alone because they had each other, and me.

And if they are anything like their big sister, they would be touching everything they could. Embracing one another, and yet fighting like all siblings do.

The isolation this pandemic has thrust upon everyone couldn’t have come at a worse time for me emotionally.

It feels really lonely carrying this sadness around. Realistically I’d feel this way whether the stay at home orders were in place or not.

One day at a time again.

Join me on my path back to hope~

now & infinity

This week is more challenging than I ever could have fathomed with my hamster brain.

I knew the day was coming, and the fact that its almost here is surreal.

The twins first birthday in heaven is this Saturday.

The trials.

The emotions I never allowed myself to feel in the past.

The onslot of love that has filled and over flowed my cup could squeeze into a lifetime, not a year.

I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to keep moving forward, to get help. With my therapy sessions, workouts, talking with loved ones, keeping an open heart and mind, giving myself grace, and so forth.

Everyone wants me to keep the faith, stay strong, and to just be ok.

It’s one thing to agree with all those things, and its quite another to rise to the challenge and undertake it.

I’ve accomplished so much in the past year that no one will truly know except the God’s themselves. And it’s all thanks to my girls.

It breaks me to realize that I needed to be their mama in order to grow and be better. That guilt is heavy on my heart.

The sadness that naturally comes with this birthday has hit me hard too, I can’t even describe it.

Having little to zero alone time to process or to not think at all has made me irritable at times and mostly frustrated.

This week just sucks.

And I try to think back to the events of last year, exactly what we were going through, all of the uncertainty.

We were deciding whether or not to give birth at our local hospital, which was heavily pushed on us by the locals. Or at UCLA, where all the specialists were at and doctors I trusted, who put our girls interests first, but was at least four hours away.

At the end of the day I would have traveled to the end of the galaxy and back for them.

We told everyone that our goal was to hold them in our arms and provide comfort care, which was so very true. But secretly, in my heart of hearts, I hoped the girls would have a strong enough heart and lungs to at the very least survive off a ventilator. Maybe for awhile, to get strong.

It’s not over until it’s over I thought, not on my watch.

But they had too many cards stacked against them. Defective organs not allowing for proper oxygen and blood flow. And anatomy not suited for organs and tissues to work for two girls; vessels not meant for this world.

And now it’s time to celebrate them on their first birthday, during a global pandemic none the less.

I decided last minute to make some favors for the grandparents and their close aunts and uncles. I created a pinterest style table with decorations, and I’ll get a cake. No need to visit a cemetery because our girls are always here with us in their beautiful urn. I’d like to plant a small tree in their memory as well.

Our family can’t come together in celebration right now, but my wish is that they aren’t forgotten.

My husband and I planned their conception, continued with the pregnancy despite their odds, and we still love and want them now and infinity.

Join me on my path back to hope~

knack for craft

One of my super powers is anticipating the needs of others, and I’ve discovered several others on my journey back to hope.

I can hyper focus on meaningless superficial shit (as she says it in a sarcastic voice).

A menagerie of heartless filtered materialism, stacked neatly in my frontal lobe ready to consume.

I’ve never felt worthy of that consumerism. Instead feeling content with thrift and used items, or heck making the thing myself.

That’s one of the side effects growing up with a single mother with little money, and the knack for craft.

But the opposite is quite true. That consumerism isn’t worthy of me.

I know how to live with little, for long stretches of time. But now I’m learning to accept that I can have brand new, unused things. Athough I’m still uncomfortable with it.

The hard worker, instilled in me by my mother, needs to work herself to the bone in order to deserve something.

This type of thinking, of unworthiness, is difficult to break. But my girls have shown me new paths of thought that I can take.

The mind is capable of so much growth and rewiring. The fact that I discovered these new paths is proof that my mind can change.

I am worthy. And I don’t need anyone else’s approval for it.

I’ll reluctantly admit that I have been on my phone way too much during quarantine.

Some time is spent for good like writing and editing pictures. Some for distraction, and other times for that mindless consumerism.

And not just for whipping out my card and making a purchase.

But buying into the bullshit people portray.

Editing their lives with filters and fake smiles.

Spontinaety is replaced with perfectly stylized still lives at the ready for the next clone to copy and regurgitate.

Everything must be recorded or it “didn’t happen.”

I get caught up in it, sure. A sense of belonging, especially right now when collectively we are all lonely, is desperately what some people need.

But I’ve never been a follower.

And I want to reach out to people, specifically with this blog. But I’ll chart my own course in order to do it even if it takes a little longer.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

All I know is that I need to keep writing to release the endless amount of thoughts and ideas from my skull.

Usually when I begin the journey, and its important, the destination becomes more and more clear with each step.

I am definitely in a funk though. I’m just very sad.

The isolation is part of it. My daughter constantly testing me is another.

But a gargantuan weight of pure sadness is the one year anniversary of my girls birth and passing is this Saturday.

My mom is the only person who has asked me if we are doing anything. I’ve decided to get a cake, and I set up a little pinterest style “party” table to satisfy my creative itch.

It feels like a million years have gone by, not one, and I have all the grey hair and dark circles to prove it.

Hello darkness my old friend, I guess you will be here for awhile.

Join me on my path back to hope~

twist and escalate

I have finally accepted that I can do everything, and nothing at all.

During lockdown, when lockdown is slowly diminished, for the rest of my life, when I’m uploaded to the matrix, and so forth.

I’ve accepted (most) of my limitations. I’m a Taurus after all; my determination is ever flowing.

And my ego, that I didn’t realize I possessed, has taken me to places in my early years that I don’t care to revisit. I tell myself I can do all of these things, I have no excuse, just do it.

This road I’m on of self reflection since I birthed my girls has continued to twist and escalate through the stay at home orders.

So with that stream of consciousness in mind, I’ve decided to be a little more selfish.

This act in of itself protects my family, and of course myself.

Since lockdown first started for me six weeks ago, my first thoughts were, “How can I help?”

This has always been my first reaction in any situation. Pondering how to ease the tension. Make life easier for others, not taking into account my own needs.

I could get yet another job, help out my family financially (thankfully we are doing ok).

I could use my time to do a “side hustle” (don’t even get me started on that).

I could sew a thousand masks and donate them; be some kind of hero and satisfy my ego.

I could volunteer somewhere. I’m able bodied and have time to spare.

Don’t get me wrong. The courageous people out there working all these jobs while fighting off the virus, just to go home and do more work and teach their children are badasses.

But I have the choice for once to stay home. A luxury most don’t have.

Just to leave it at that isn’t fair though.

I have a daughter to take care of and no childcare if I was hired for a third job, or volunteered somewhere.

My mother has major preexisting conditions, and I wouldn’t dare ask her to watch her granddaughter. As much as that sentence breaks my heart.

Relying on her other grandparents wouldn’t be right either if I can help it.

And I have seen death.

I held my girls in my arms while they struggled to breath on their own. Their bodies not fully equipped with mature or even anatomically correct lungs and a shared heart.

More death in my family would be unbearable.

The goal is to minimize contact with as many people as possible. Yes the virus can live on surfaces and can become airborne.

But I’m not going to venture out into the world because I have a minor case of cabin fever or a hero’s complex. Inadvertently becoming a carrier, passing on the virus with a nudge or breath.

So I’m giving a big middle finger to my ego. The hero I need to be is for my family.

If I had to be out in the public because of a needed skill or to put food on the table, that’s a different story as well.

Therefore I’m doing everything I can and nothing at all, when the occasion calls for it.

And I thank and appreciate a thousand times over all the hard workers out there, both in and outside of their homes.

Hope is not cancelled~

these are the days

Circumstances came to a head last weekend. We snapped at each other, like all couples do.

Some problems run deep and need time to work through. Especially when those problems are wounds that have never healed, or are just starting to scab over, stemming from childhood traumas.

I am not the same person I was before my twins were born. My growth and maturity started developing years before though, even before my first daughter was born almost five years ago.

Anger was my go-to emotion in my early twenties when I felt threatened. Such an easy emotion to jump to, instead of opening my heart and mind as to why I felt threatened in the first place.

How could I not get angry though when most people ignored me, bullied me, or didn’t take me seriously?

With time I developed self confidence; shielding myself from the neigh sayers. Pleasing everyone is also incredibly exhausting, and I don’t know how I did it for so long.

My husband was the first person who didn’t judge me or make everything into an unspoken competition. I’m grateful he stuck around through all my shenanigan, and I’ve done the same.

Ultimately all three of my girls were the catalysts for change within my heart. Breaking down the walls and really healing the meat within.

Progress is slow or nonexistent during this pandemic though. So I’m giving myself slack, as well as every other human on the planet.

This Great Pause is something we have never experienced in our own lifetimes let alone in modern human history.

Everyone has been affected by the virus and I’m trying not to judge those who react differently than me.

With so many of our routines taken away from us, we are all looking for ways to find some form of control.

Either by over buying at the store, obsessing over projects at home, vegging out and doing nothing at all, violating stay at home requests, and now protesting after almost six weeks of lockdowns.

There’s days where I’m a combination of some of these. Other days I’m really productive.

Then there are times I cave into myself. An all encompassing feeling of despair; my mind focusing only on that feeling, dragging the rest of my being down with it.

Maybe it’s my lack of attention span, or a coping mechanism that I subconsciously learned long ago, but the feeling doesn’t hold me hostage for too long.

But it’s always there, lingering in the shadows.

The way I’m getting through this pandemic is focusing on my family, mostly my daughter.

Signs are pointing towards another growth spurt; she’s getting her six year molars at four and a half for Pete’s sake. And she just lost her first tooth!

Her “schooling” consists of the creatures we find dead or alive on our nature walks, crafting, “helping” me bake/cook by playing with flour, re-potting plants, and lots of snuggles.

We are both learning how to be around one another 24/7. It gets easier with time, and she’s actually incredibly sweet and compassionate when she’s not talking my ear off or being defiant.

For now I’m taking each day as they come, and making the best of it despite how I feel.

Cutting people some slack and keeping an open mind, especially with the two knuckleheads I’m quarantined with.

Join me on my path back to hope》》》》》》》》》》》》


Whelp. The time has officially come.

I new a mental breakdown was eminent, but on Easter?

Wednesday is my therapy and virtual workout so of course I feel mostly normal on those days. Plus I had other tasks to keep my kind occupied.

Thursday was blahbidy, but I try to not let it affect my daughter.

Friday I felt abnormally good. A big part of that is that I was incredibly rested. Sleep has always escaped me, for various reasons, but recently it’s a cocktail of impending doom and a dash of self sabotage.

Saturday was blahbidy again. I try not to focus on it, instead keeping my mind occupied with tasks and my daughter’s and husbands needs.

And Sunday morning…zero sleep was to be had last night. I’m upset for reasons I can’t really talk about. I felt panicky right before I stepped into the shower, then allowed myself to just let it all out.

I suppose I’m a master at hiding true feelings.

I was really crying and heaving, which I don’t usually do, when my daughter came in to my surprise. I immediately tried to stop because she’s sensitive to other people’s emotions.

So I cut myself off, cleared my throat, and told her I was ok. That’s what she needs to hear right now.

I’m writing this right after it happened. My question is where do I go from here?

I’ve been trying to answer that question since my girls were born. I was finding the answers. But the answers are glazed over since this pandemic hit.

I write because I don’t know how to talk to people about what’s in my head. What I see and how I perceive the world.

Mostly for fear of judgment, and when you have been a listener your whole life you know when people aren’t listening.

I protect myself from people’s reactions, while protecting those who I know will listen with small doses of what is really going on in my head.

Unfortunately, I admit I’m protecting my therapist as well. Which is so ass backwards.

I don’t tell her all the embarrassing things, maybe I’m trying to forget them. To move forward on my own.

I guess it comes down to habits. When I’ve closed myself off for my whole life, letting people in, and I mean REALLY into my heart, is a challenge I didn’t foresee.

I thought I was pretty open before. But I’m not. I hold back a lot. Part of it is trouble focusing.

When you’re used to being everyone else’s cheerleader, who will be mine?

Join me on my path back to hope~

a closer look

The cold hard truth is that I feel guilty.

Guilty to be in the safety and comfort of my brand new home while others are spending the last of their energies keeping their fellow man alive.

I’m not talking just about doctors and nurses, who are undeniably essential pandemic or not. Those people hold a personal special place in my heart.

Those are the people who helped me hold my girls in my arms.

There are thousands of other staff members that make hospitals run who are in contact with patients.

Cafeteria workers, housekeeping, janitors, security guards, front desk workers, management, chaplains, techs, students, and so many more, college degree or not.

The rare times I leave my house for food or going to the post office I see all the other institutions deemed essential. Postal workers are a vast encompassing group that keeps the world connected.

Agriculture is huge in our area. Our soil is rich with the fruits of back breaking labor. If you haven’t worked in the fields yourself, you probably know someone who has.

The coolers around town are still open to receive that produce and ship it out across the world. The cooler my stepdad works at has shipped strawberries locally and all the way to parts of Asia.

The fieldworkers are still picking. Coolers are still receiving. Trucks are still delivering. Grocery stores, food banks, and some restaurants are still open; being the last chain in command to feed its people.

I’ve realized the value of construction workers building homes right across the street from us. Since we moved in, at least ten other families have staked their claim to a home of their own.

Every job is important whether a degree or even a high school diploma is needed.

All of us make the world turn.

Parents who are newly at home or who have been holding down the fort since their family’s inception are the backbone of the human race.

We are a social species, no matter how introverted I am most of the time. The ability to be social starts with the family first, in how we are raised.

The problem is accepting that staying home is probably the most important thing I can do not just because of the pandemic, but for my family’s future.

When my daughter wants to constantly hang on me and talk my ear off, I remind myself that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Whatever shenanigans she gets into is her way of learning and expressing what she sees through engaging with me, her momma.

Raising her is my job. She is my focus and my back breaking labor, literally and figuratively.

She is my world. And I’m okay with staying at home for however long she needs me.

The fantastic part is that I don’t need anyone’s approval for my life anymore.

I’ve worked full-time jobs, part-time jobs, two to three jobs at once while going to school, and worked while going to school and raising my daughter. The best I’ve ever had and the most rewarding is raising my girl.

I remind myself that she is my full time job, and that’s ok.

The guilt of staying home and not working the front lines is slowly dissipating as the days turn into weeks.

And the looming realization that my twin’s birthday is just a few weeks away is unreal.

Its already been a year. Just as I felt trapped and fearful then, the same holds true again.

But my girls give me hope~

numbing bliss

This time last year…..where do I begin.

I was planning both a birth of two souls and a funeral.

I knew nothing of what really was lying ahead of me. Heck I don’t think anyone understood the impact the girls would make on all of our lives.

The pain and heartache that could not be fathomed, only experienced.

I knew nothing of processing my emotions in any shape or form let alone in a healthy manner. My pregnancy was just another event in my life I was supposed to take in stride and handle.

And I did.

I kept my chin up. I pushed through the physical and emotional pain. Downplaying how I really felt (that’s kinda my thing anyways).

My focus was channeled in doing every possible thing I could to increase their chances of survival at birth.

We went to every doctors appointment at UCLA, even if it meant making a last minute MRI that afternoon. Driving eight hours in one day.

The odds were slim at best, let alone their quality of life after that was a huge unknown.

All I knew is that I felt two girls inside of me kicking up a storm, thriving in their own way. Who was I to stop them? To cut their shorts lives even shorter?

Writing about my experiences in my first blog 2souls1heart.net in hindsight was one of the best things I could have done for them and for myself. They are immortalized in that website.

And once my memories fade, I have a virtual place to visit and help me remember.

The blog also satisfied a creative itch I can never seem to fully scratch. Giving me the ability to create beautiful images of baby items I would never be able to use.

Again, looking back, this was a coping mechanism.

A way for my brain to make sense out of an impossible situation.

I really don’t know what our options would have been if I was pregnant right now during this pandemic.

The idea of giving birth alone is incredibly frightening, and not how a human being should come into this world.

My heart goes out to all the pregnant people out there. Especially the high risk pregnancies where there is so much more uncertainty.

The time I had with my girls will never be enough, but I’m now grateful to at least have had that. Surrounded by family and friends who could make it to their birth, crammed in the NICU. And afterwards in our recovery room where every moment was spent holding them, making handprints and footprints, and taking pictures that I will never have enough of.

Incredibly grateful to all the nurses, technicians, and doctors who gave their time and skills despite knowing the odds.

Who gave their all simply because that’s what we asked.

This time last year…..I was in numbing bliss.

And it seems we are collectively in this state of bliss.

With some not taking the virus seriously, while others not being able to grasp what really lies ahead, and the consequences of it all.

Join me on my path back to hope~

my part

Weekly therapy sessions since July of last year have created insightful new channels of thought in my brain.

These channels inadvertently push me to question my train of thought and behavior even more so than I already did before.

Being this isolated from quite literally everyone and everything creates a perfect storm to where all of us are forced, at one point or another, to focus inward.

Forced to deal with emotions and anxiety I’ve shrugged off my shoulders, because I could distract myself with work, shopping, or visiting family.

But to say I can now deal with bottled up emotions and fears because I have fewer distractions and more time on my hands is not fair and incredibly unrealistic.

If anything my worries have multiplied. I have family, including my husband, mother, stepdad, and dad who still are working.

I have a family and household to run just like everyone else out there. A toddler who I try to keep busy. Telling her we can’t go to the playground that’s only three houses down because “it’s closed.”

There’s still a looming pandemic hovering over the entire planet. A simultaneous human collective of worry and uncertainty probably only felt in times of war.

The empathic part of me picks up on this collective.

My imagination can fast forward and predict what’s going to happen next.

I fear for those who have little, and some how through this have even less. For those who don’t have a plan B, because plan A just has to work. And for those who are putting their own lives on the line to help others stay alive.

It took my husband and I many many years to be in the position we are in right now. Thus far we will have only minor setbacks, and I’m beyond grateful to say nothing more.

The fear of getting sick, my loved ones getting sick and possibly dying, is going to be in the back of my brain for awhile.

So when my therapist inquires how I’m doing during our weekly phone sessions I honestly don’t know what to say.

I pretend I’m handling everything well because that’s how I get through life. Our minds are powerful and will believe what we tell it; perception is reality.

Eventually, I will believe that I’m okay. Because I also know that things could be much worse.

So I’m keeping myself busy. Distracting myself from what’s happening around the world by creating a sense of accomplishment of making our house into a home.

I may not be saving the world, but I can do my part in not spreading this virus to the most vulnerable by staying home and taking care of my family.

Join me on my path back to hope~

homeward bound

My daughter doesn’t have a clue to what’s going on in the world. Which is a great blessing and on the rare occasion a hindrance.

As long as she has her mommy, that’s all she needs to feel safe.

Since birth she’s been a skin-to-skin baby and to this day rubs my arms for comfort. I really wouldn’t have it any other way, because I know at some point she will grow out of it and seek independence.

And now that my husband is home for a week she’s even more content staying home with the two of us.

Me on the other hand, well I’m a different story.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no better place to spend my days. I believe home is something we all are searching for.

Whether its a physical brick and mortar space or a void desperately needing to be filled in our hearts. The special people who enter in and out of our lives help to build and fill those spaces.

A forced entrapment inside my sacred space because of the virus is playing with my psyche. I think about all the where-abouts I would normally travel, some trivial and some incredibly important.

This type of mindfulness is essential in its own right. And I ask myself, Did I really need to keep myself that busy? Was it truly important to go to all of those places?

I’ve narrowed down the activities I miss the most: my in-person therapy, going to the gym, work, preschool, physical interaction with loved ones, wandering aimlessly among other people without a care, etc.

I’m going through withdrawals, but it seems I can live without most of the garbage I was partaking in.

If I’m truly honest though what’s devastating is that I was finally getting into a routine with my new job, therapy, workouts, and family time after a complicated pregnancy.

I was longing for a routine since the girls were born and passed.

But grief has a mind of it’s own.

It’s always at the forefront of my brain, reminding me of what happened and what never could be.

Weighing me down so much that it was more difficult than I could ever imagine to go back to work. Causing me to quit several jobs.

My home was my safe haven away from people. But staying there isn’t always good for me, I enjoy small bursts of human interaction and driving to my destination with music blaring.

And yet more forces out of my control have kept me homeward bound.

My husband’s dislocated knee in November took over three months to mostly heal and left little to zero options to leave without substantial pain.

And now this terrible virus.

But I will prevail.

I have to remind myself that I can adapt to change and create a hybrid temporary routine. All the while enjoying the surplus amount of time I generously received to help my family members in need (6 ft apart of course) and with my daughter and husband.

There are worse places I could be stuck at than the comfort of my own home.

Join me on my path back to hope~