“I had triplets too.”
When she told me this, the only thing I heard was “HAD.” I knew she had a story and I knew I was going to listen. I knew my 60 minutes of child-free relaxation in a quiet room wasn’t about me anymore because I had to hear her story. I knew these moments would change me and this woman, though I may never see her again, her story would be one I remembered.
It had been one of those really rough mom draining weeks. I was tired and overwhelmed with being a mom, wondering if I was even doing a good job—whatever that actually looks like. My mom so generously offered me a massage appointment that she had on the calendar later in the week and I was floored. I hadn’t had a massage in years. I was so excited about this: an entire hour to myself; no kids, no talking, no responsibilities, no nothing. Just me. Dimmed lights. Nice smells, and my massage lady.
I was taken back to my room where I changed and laid on the table as I waited for my masseuse.
She walked in and I smiled at her. “Hi, my name is Desiree.”
“Nice to meet you.”
She asked me a few questions: “What brings you in? What areas in your body feel the most tense.”
“Well. I am a mom to 18-month-old triplets and things have just been challenging.” I paused.
Usually when I tell people I have triplets the response is overwhelming, but this time I knew right away it was different. She paused, it was silent for a moment and then she smiled back at me.
“I had triplets.”
I locked eyes with hers and I could feel my eyes beginning to well up. I knew already her story was one with an outcome terribly heartbreaking. I didn’t know whether to ask more questions or let her lead the conversation. It was in that moment I knew the massage I was waiting for was no longer going to be a quiet, peaceful, or even a fall asleep kind of massage. What I also realized was that this moment just wasn’t about me anymore. For whatever reason, she needed to share her story and I needed to hear it.
She then shared her gut-wrenching story with me.
She was on bed rest very early in her pregnancy and at 29 weeks she went to the hospital because she knew something was wrong. She was admitted right away and had an emergency c-section. She was knocked out for the entire delivery and didn’t even get to meet her babies for days. Her pregnancy was causing liver and kidney failure. She was on the brink of death and her entire body was shutting down. The doctor told her if she would have waited 6 more hours she would have died.
Her triplets were all under 3 pounds and in the NICU. Like myself, she had two boys and a girl. After her babies were born she remained in the ICU, while her triplets also remained in the NICU, but at a completely different hospital. After a few weeks in the ICU, she was finally released. She had only 10 days left to spare with her son before he became an angel in Heaven.
My heart was so heavy, shattered. I cannot even imagine. I could feel my emotions burning inside. As I laid with my head buried in the massage table, tears began to quietly roll down my cheeks. There truly is a remarkable strength and bravery from someone who has had to bury their child. The kind of grief and loss this woman faced is hard for me to even comprehend, but she shared her story with so much love.
“What was his name?” I asked.
“Sawyer.” She said.
I paused, holding back my tears.
“I have a Sawyer too.”
Before I knew it my hour was up and our conversation was over. I thanked this woman for sharing her story with me. I was deeply moved by her honesty and willingness to share something so painful.
We all have a story and we all want to be heard. And honestly, you just never know what someone is going through or experiencing. Sharing in a moment like this (with a complete stranger) blessed my heart so deeply and it was a divine moment for me, one that I will never forget.
*This post originally appeared at ourjourneytoparenthoodblog.com