clever girl

Whelp, didn’t think I’d go off the deep end tonight, but here I am.

Through the smiles and laid back facade, I am still pretty messed up.

If you ask me how I’m doing my answer is almost always “good.” Because I usually am, and it sounds better than “fine.” And most people don’t really want to know how your doing.

They want to get on with their lives and be blissfully thinking that I’m alright, because it makes them feel better.

So once again, everyone just wants me to be ok. But news flash: I am not. And I’m coming to terms with this revelation. Do you ever get those questions where there’s a fixed answer, like “your okay. Right????”

That doesn’t mean I’m sitting around moping and feeling sorry for myself. Far from it. I find it very difficult to sit for too long doing nothing. It means I’m finding it hard to function some days, and I’m constantly reminded of what happened.

So an off hand comment made to sound funny or clever, is actually really hurtful. The pain in my heart is still there and is very fresh, and deep.

In fact, I feel more heartache now than I did when the girls died. I’ve been told this is pretty common with people who experience trauma. The severity of the trauma is not realized until weeks or months after the fact.

I am the poster child for this phenomenon. In the moment I’m in survival mode. As time passes and all is said and done, I am left with the consequences of my decisions.

Trapped inside my head. With the guilt. The pain. The memories. And the memories I can never make with my girls.

Its all there, constantly cycling through my brain. Some days I can quiet the noise, but tonight I could not. A cocktail of a defiant toddler, loneliness, canceled plans, hormones, and an insensitive comment did the trick.

At the end of the day its my burden to carry, and I will carry it like a champ. Like I do everything else.

But it would be nice to have some one to lean on every once in a while, to lighten the load.

Join me on my path back to hope~

shark week

So…where do I begin…possibly from the start?

This week was quite the emotional roller coaster. Starting last Sunday (because my weeks begin on Sunday, thanks every retail job I’ve ever had for instilling this in me), when I couldn’t shake an intense feeling of anger.

I used to be quite a little angry gal in my teenage years going into my mid twenties. Long story short, I held almost all of my emotions inside instead of expressing them in fear of upsetting people. I don’t do this now; the trick is trying to get me to shut up.

So I know my fair share of frustration and anger, and this wasn’t one of those times. This was different.

It persisted for days, then turned into an anxiety ridden breakdown in front of one of my trainers.

I’ve been giving myself a lot of grace and time so I can heal both emotionally and physically. So I’m not too hard on myself about the breakdown.

But something was definitely up.

Turns out I started my period. And not just any period. The first period after my pregnancy. I thought it started a few weeks back, but must have been residual lochia.

I should have known it was that time of the month when a friggin’ chocolate chip cookie made me feel better.

In hindsight, all of these emotions make sense. But at the time, I felt so irritated and overwhelmed.

The thought of my body starting its menstrual cycle again makes me incredibly sad. And not because of how inconvenient and uncomfortable they are.

But because it signifies the end of my pregnancy with my girls. It is done. My body has moved on.

My husband is gone this week, so I don’t have him to lean on. Its kinda lonely. He’s visiting his grandfather in Mexico because he’s not doing so well. So its important for him to be there.

The anger has mostly faded away, to be replaced by sadness and exhaustion. Seeing anything baby related, especially with those who are expecting, just makes me incredibly sad. I’m happy for them of course, but it definitely stings.

Hopefully next week will be better than this shark week.

Please join me on my path back to hope~

take a seat

I had my first ever workout in a professional setting and it felt amazing.

Was I nervous? Yup. It was my first time in a gym since, well, taking weights in high school 15ish years ago.

Of course it was hard. I’ll be feeling it for the next few days and then some since I’ll be working out three days a week. What’s tough is trying to concentrate on holding the correct muscles while following through with the exercise. But I love the challenge and I like to sweat.

Not to mention getting my strength back makes me feel alive again. My goals are to lose the pregnancy weight, get strong, and be more flexibility.

The gym to me is kind of like a sacred space. A place where I look tired, sweaty, overweight, and face all beat red, and not be judged about it. Because most everyone there is trying to do the same thing: make a healthier version of themselves.

I bought a few new tops and some leggings to work out in, otherwise I just wear old clothes that are a bit too tight. I’m not getting anything else until I lose some weight. Plus I’m not trying to impress anyone.

Towards the end of our workout a little old lady showed up at my groups session and asked me a question I was dreading. I didn’t show that her inquiry bothered me. It took me by surprise, plus I don’t like giving people power over my emotions and showing that they upset me. She was just trying to make conversation right? So I played it off. I admit I did shed a few tears in my car.

But in all seriousness, if you don’t know 100% that a woman is pregnant, just don’t ask.

I’m completely aware that my body looks weird and I still have a pregnancy pooch. I look at myself everyday and I don’t need to be reminded by complete strangers.

In my heart I know that I sacrificed my body for two girls who I knew wouldn’t live for very long, or at all after birth, and I’m ok with that. I don’t feel it necessary to explain that to every person who wants to make a comment about the way I look.

But guess what? I created life with this body. And that’s pretty cool.

The lesson I’ve learned is to be kind to one another. Everyone has hidden struggles. Just because they look ok, doesn’t mean they are.

So for those who can’t be kind, then just be silent, and take a seat.

As for the rest, please join me on my path back to hope~

staircase to somewhere

I have realized that there isn’t a right or wrong, or even a “normal” way, to accepting grief. Everyone handles it differently, and at their own pace.

Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, at the most inconvenient time. Some days I feel nothing, other days I feel it all. Still other days there’s guilt in the back of my mind for letting myself experience joy.

I carry mine throughout the entirety of every atom of my being.

A colossal feeling. Weighing down my mind, my body, my heart.

I didn’t understand what this feeling was at first. If it was anything at all. Until I described it to my therapist, and she knew right away. Its grief.

Since we finally got our girls ashes back I’ve been planning and getting things together for their memorial, which was this past Monday. I like to make things, so I did all of the decor and favors, and found pretty templates for the invitations and their obituary.

Writing their obituary was tough; I never thought I would be doing this for my babies. The worst kind of hell is outliving your children.

I wanted to get the wording just right, or at least close enough. But honestly its nice that all of the planning and the service is over. Its draining for me to be around a lot of people, especially during such an emotional event. I do appreciate every single person that came. From family and friends to complete strangers who wanted to pay their respects to two souls that most haven’t even met.

The days leading up to the memorial is when I really felt the weight of all of the stress and grief I’ve been carrying.

Now the weight seems to be lifting bit by bit with the passing of time. I’m not sure how to feel about it, but it sure as hell makes me feel incredibly guilty. Because I’m not “over” them. I never will be.

I’m grateful for the time I had with Willow and Evangelene. But I’m selfish, because I want more.

So, I walk around carrying this weight, taking it day by day. Trying to do better, and be better.

That’s just who I am.

Climbing a seemingly endless staircase, trying to do better, and be better with each grasp and step. Because eventually it will lead to somewhere.

Join me on my path back to hope~

towards the light

I have never felt a more constant state of exhaustion before.

Even when my oldest daughter was a newborn and I was running on pure adrenaline, because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I’m not even working, and yet I’m tired. Even when I worked full time, took an 8 week online class, and maintained my household and family. I felt more sane then, than I do now.

Something is definitely off in my head. And now its just annoying.

I’m used to juggling many activities and jobs.

And there’s really no one to talk to about it. Because everyone wants me to be ok. Or no one knows what to say and its just awkward.

Firstly, there’s not a lot of people out in the world that can relate to what me and my husband went through. Conjoined twins are a rarity in itself, and the fact that we continued on with the pregnancy knowing the odds is even rarer.

Luckily we found a community of parents on Facebook who have already given birth to conjoined twins, or are about to. They don’t know this, but to me those parents and families are remarkable and incredibly special. And I can say wholeheartedly that I know exactly what they are going through. Their fears. Doubts. Hopes. Their heartache. All of it. I cringe every time theirs a new member. And yet we all feel blessed to have our twins and would never change it.

And I really do know why I’m exhausted; its not some huge revelation. I went through some serious trauma, and my therapist reminded me that it happened only two months ago.

What’s new is not knowing how to escape it.

For once in my life the foreseeable future is incredibly foggy. I don’t know how I’m going to overcome this, if ever, or how to live with it and function normally. Before all of this I would just set goals and look forward to accomplishing them. Taking joy in the little things. Day dream about the future.

Now there’s this dark cloud hanging over my head.

The goals that I set for myself before I knew I was having conjoined twins don’t feel like they apply anymore. I am a different person, with new found priorities and needs. I’ve had to question what’s really, truly, important in my life, and weed out all of the bullshit. Because I don’t have the mentality or the energy for shenanigans anymore.

There’s lies my dilemma: accepting my dark cloud, and using it to propel myself forward towards the horizon that is the new me. Like a seed sprouting its way from the darkness towards the light creeping through the panels of the floor boards.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. If you need me, leave a message after the beep.

Hope is this way~

put on a happy face

Sometimes I don’t even know which emotions are real anymore. I have to be a mom to my daughter, so I put on a happy face. I have to be a wife to my husband, so I put on an encouraging smile.

The fact that they are in my life in of itself makes me incredibly happy of course. But there are moments deep down I know I should be feeling a certain way, but I act the complete opposite. Honestly this is probably true of any parent or guardian. Or just being human in general. Sometimes the emotional needs of our children, families, and friends trumps our own.

Its not because I want to be a martyr; unfortunately life doesn’t just start and stop when its convenient for me. I have to carry on with all of the little routines and get through the day because guess what? There is a tomorrow, and its coming.

All of this fake smiling is essentially repressing my real emotions, and that’s not good for anyone. Bottling up my emotions leads to one thing: total meltdown. I know I’m internalizing them. Again. I am now self aware, and its a new skill for me to realize I’m suppressing something, and then stopping myself from doing it.

And the worst part? My family feeds off of my energy. If I’m upset, they inadvertently get upset too.

But when I look at pictures, a rush of emotions washes over me, and I’m reminded of how sad I really feel. Those are the only pictures I will ever have of them. They will never change. Or get older.

I tried everything I could to keep my girls, but at the end of the day, everything was out of my hands.

I’ve never been to a therapist before, but I’m seeing one this week. I’m definitely open to talking to a professional. And it can’t hurt to give it the old college try.

Essentially the name of the game is self expression. It feels damn good when I release what I actually mean.

And not in a rude or hurtful way, just concise and straight forward.

To say what I actually mean, instead of tip toeing around people. Catering to their emotional needs first and not my own. Reading their body language and facial expressions, and acting accordingly. I am a master at that.

I will save this mastery for the ones that I love though. For the moments when its not about me, but about them.

I’ve come to the realization that if I need to grieve, I can do it on my own time. Late at night, after I drop my daughter off at preschool, in the shower. And I’m ok with that. So if you see me and I look put together and sane, chances are I am not. Dark circles, stress acne, slouched shoulders, blank gaze, half-hearted smile.

Join me on my path back to hope~

california weather

My husband and I took a quick trip to Riverside to finally pick up our girls ashes. The city is just east of Los Angeles, so about a 3 hour drive for us. We needed to pick them up that day because the mortuary had very limited hours.

I understand there’s lot of paperwork involved, and we actually needed two permits for them, but I’ve had enough after waiting 5+ weeks. I needed my girls back.

Seeing them in a small white plastic urn no bigger than the length of my hand was overwhelming. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the urn is so tiny. We’ve been doing some online shopping to get the girls a proper urn as their final resting place, but its been difficult finding one for twins.

I knew it was going to be hot that day, but boy was it HOT. Temperatures reached 100 degrees. Lets just say it finally feels like summer. Taking in the hot air in my lungs and smelling the trees brought back something familiar. It felt like my childhood. I loved playing outside as a kid. Riding bikes, rollerblading, playing Harriet the Spy in my tree house, exploring the ditch, playgrounds, you name it. That feeling and those memories came rushing back to me with that smell. I didn’t expect it, but I welcomed it.

A lot of things feel new since the passing of our girls. Or I’ve just been paying more attention to the subtleties around me, letting myself day dream and reminisce. Appreciating the things that are easily missed looking out the car window or taking a walk. I guess a traumatic event and major surgery will do that to you. I’ve committed myself to take more pictures of these subtleties that inspire me to write and create.

Usually those moments are brief, because something will trigger me back to reality. But I hang on to those moments none the less.

I’m glad summer is finally here. I’m really looking forward to the sunshine and being outdoors again. Although we can always be outdoors, this is California after all. But now its hot enough to swim in the ocean, which is always freezing.

Recovering from my c-section has made me feel trapped. Lets just say I don’t sit still very well. Even the last few months of my pregnancy had proven difficult because of the extra weight pressing on my back. So I didn’t get out very much. Furthermore, when we returned home after surgery, the weather was incredibly gloomy and rainy. As if the skies were weeping with me. And I was stuck on the couch, again.

So I am going to soak up some sun this summer. The outdoors really raises my spirits, and I need all I can get at this point. Even if its just lounging in a lawn chair in my over grown back yard, I’ll take it. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

Join me on my path back to hope~


Journeying back to hope…what the heck does that even mean?

For me its pretty profound.

It means going back to a mindset that used to focus on a tiny pin point of light, when surrounded by utter darkness. Finding the positive when surrounded by negativity, no matter how dire or difficult the situation. And not getting upset over the little things, just moving on and laughing at how ridiculous life gets sometimes.

It also means being able to express myself, which encompasses all emotions not just the “acceptable” ones. There is a time and place for everything of course. I’m talking about not being able to express my emotions of anger, fear, and sadness with family and friends without judgement. You know what? I feel so much better after getting those feelings out. And as it turns out my assumptions of being judged are false.

Even though I’ve said stupid things to people, I’ve judged people wrongly, I’ve overreacted, didn’t react at all, or avoided the right people, its because I wasn’t ok with myself. But I still kept moving forward and tried to improve the things I didn’t like, while keeping a weathered eye on the embarrassing moments.

The person I was before my girls died had a mindscape that was naive. I didn’t know or could even fathom true pain, so looking on the bright side of things was in a way “easy.” Now begins the hard work of dealing with my emotions head on and not just locking them away in the recesses of my brain. Because knowing they wouldn’t live long after birth, and actually experiencing it, are two different things.

I didn’t know I could, or would ever, feel these emotions. Going through this process has affected my brain in ways I can’t fully explain. I’ve lost a lot of my focusing power and spatial recognition. Even writing these posts have proved to be a challenge. I have to remind myself that the brain is just another organ like any other in our bodies. When it goes through trauma, it also needs time to heal.

So the gist of my world right now is focusing on mental health: “journeying back to hope” as it were. That means taking care of not only my family, but also myself in the process (which has become a balancing act). I can’t go back to who I was, but there are gems from that woman’s hopeful spirit that I need to get back.

Join me on my path back to her~

broken mirror

The question I keep asking myself is:

how can I start a blog about positivity and healing when I feel scatter brained and nonsensical most of the time?

Well, its incredibly liberating to express my thoughts and fears. It forces me to reflect on where I have taken my life so far, and more pressingly my recent trauma.

I’m also trying to be more honest with myself and not internalize my emotions, which has been my go-to defense for 30+ years.

And I think it will be refreshing for some people to read about my vulnerability, flaws, and darkest moments, when sometimes we expect others, and ourselves, to be perfect.

So. Here we go.

What happened to me just five short weeks ago really broke me. No one expects me to be “over it” or “moved on,” not that I ever will be. But I’m struggling to gather and put back together all of the pieces of who I was and who I am now. Because those are two very different people.

This blog essentially is inspired by my first blog, which details the traumatic events of my second pregnancy. Its called

Having to go through any type of traumatic event changes you. Your life is literally marked by that moment, and nothing seems to matter before or is the same after.

My life is now marked by my conjoined twin girls being born, and dying, on the same day.

So what do I do now? That’s a very big, multifaceted question. I can’t change what happened nor would I want to. I am incredibly grateful for my girls. But I do need to learn how to live with my new reality, not only for my family, but also for myself.

Join me on my path back to hope~