This was cross-posted on Dazed Dad last week as we remembered Micah and Judah’s deaths just four weeks earlier. I am continuing to process my grief and journey through our loss on that site, and have written a few posts recently that you might be interested in:
- The Little Blue Plus Sign: a post sharing some of what happened when Sarah and I found out we were pregnant
- An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A short review of one of the best memoirs that I’ve read dealing with infant loss
- The Grass Continued to Grow: what to do when you realize that the world continues to move on after your loss
- Community Support Prepares Us for Journey Alone: some thoughts on community support and grief
- Integrating the Grief: what integration looks like
Four Weeks Ago Today I Became a Dad
Four weeks ago at this very minute (6:49am), I became a dad. I saw Micah delivered first; I even saw his little tiny 19-week 3-day arms and legs moving a bit when he first came out. And then little Judah, tiny Judah 2 ounces lighter than his bigger, older brother. I didn’t remember it at the time, but I had my “Becoming a Dad” blog entry set to post that morning, and while it was never in the way I would have ever imagined, I was more a dad that morning than I had ever been.
I realize that most of the posts on this blog, since October 25, have dealt with our loss, our grief, and the way in which I have been trying to navigate this very new journey. I’m not apologizing for the “mood” of the posts, because they’ve been honest, but today, on this day that marks one month since I held my two sons, I want to say something else.
October 25 was a shitty day. There is no getting around that, and there never will be. But it was also an amazing day. Amazing because of the depth of emotion, amazing because of the sadness, but amazing because I got to spend a few hours holding my beautiful, 19-week 3-day babies. Obviously, as their death certificates spell out for us (like we didn’t know), they were premature. Way too premature to have any fighting chance at life.
But they were also beautiful babies with all the baby parts you’d expect. With their little tiny fingers, their toes (complete with toenails!) and yes, you could even see their tiny little penises, which we had been so excited to see just 3 days earlier on the ultrasound, verifying that yes indeed, we would be having twin boys.
Micah and Judah both lived for just over an hour, and as I held them each in the palm of my hand, I could feel their living bodies, I could feel a faint pulsing, a heart that was fighting to keep beating even though it knew something was terribly wrong.
We took photos (not enough – never trust a hospital to have a decent-enough camera). Our pastor baptized them. We kissed them and we talked to them. We laughed at how Micah looked so dark, almost black, because of the bruising he received being delivered, and Sarah (who somehow in a holy way invoked her dry humor) said, “So…Adam, you’re not really the father” and began to call Micah her “little black baby.” We held them, until they stopped breathing and the nurse wrote the time down on some sheet, and yet we continued to hold them, until their tiny little bodies stopped pulsing and began to get cold.
These are our first two children – these are my twin boys: Micah and Judah. Judah and Micah. And while I will continue to grieve their unfair and untimely deaths, and while I will continue to process through the tragic loss we experienced on October 25, I will also remember that they were beautiful. And that they were loved. And that they were and always will be our children. Four weeks ago today, I became a dad.