Focusing on the vast number of tiny white heads appearing on my forehead seems manageable when nothing else is. Solving the problem of pants, maternity pants no longer stay up and pre-pregnancy pants are a looong time from fitting, does not.
So, the pimples. I have never had acne, even in my teen years, pimples came along and went --singles sometimes doubles but nothing of note. During the month I spent in the hospital fighting for both my babies and then just my son--days and days without showering or even touching water--my complexion stayed immaculate. The multiple cerclages, mass doses of antibiotics, unimaginable stress and the magnesium sulfate coursing through my veins (making me unable to even raise my arms for days) had no impact on my skin. About a week after loosing G and three weeks after loosing S, through the haze of my unbearable grief, I started noticing a patch of white heads. At this point my milk had come in so showering was almost impossible, the challenge of keeping my breasts out of the water and the constant physical and emotional pain combined with the sadness that is showering alone after five months of having the constant company of my babies with me at all times exhausted all my energy. I did not focus on this change in my skin. As the fog has receded the awful loneliness persists but life starts creeping in, when will I return to work? How will I talk to *anyone* who hasn't been with me through this whole journey? How will I have patience and compassion for anyone other than my wife -- i.e. anyone who hasn't lost our two precious babies? The pimples are a safe subject of contemplation. Are they from hormone changes? The shift in my oil production as I move from showering every few days/once a week to every day? How long will they last? Am I creating scars by picking at them?
Pants are particularly difficult because to deal with them is to deal with my stomach, the part of my body that was full of perfect, healthy, active babies. The part of my body that did not keep my babies safe. The part of my body that signals to the world--I'm pregnant. Shirts are no picnic but a big shirt stays on my body, unlike big pants. Being pregnant with twins I had read that healthy weight gain was one of the most important, controllable factors to having healthy babies in our arms. We focused on healthy snacks, on trying to gain between 1 and 1.5 lbs per week as recommended. My wife crated a "snack pack" kit that contained a wide variety of snacks that I could choose from each day before heading off to work. The leftover snacks are still waiting. As recommended I gained a little over 20 lbs. My closet is full of borrowed and purchased maternity clothes while all of my pre-pregnancy clothes wrinkle in their giant tupperware bins. We went to a discount clothing store yesterday. The night before when my wife heard me say that I am struggling because I don't believe that I deserve to wear clothes that fit after my body failed our babies she determined that we had to change something. We did get two fairly awkward but wearable pairs and several work appropriate shirts that semi-disguise my smaller but still seemingly pregnant belly. But clothes are not designed to not look like maternity clothes and yet fit a maternity shaped body. How long will I look pregnant? When will I stop desperately wishing that I could still feel our babies moving inside me? Will I ever stop feeling guilty that I let an infection enter the one space in the universe where they should have been safest? Will I feel connected to my body again? Will there ever be pants that fit me?