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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brotherly Love- Julius and Jordan

Monoamniotic Twins

The first time Nikki came over to my house, she glanced around at my unsold paintings which hang on the walls of my own house, like most people do when they come over for the first time. But then when she saw the painting of conjoined twins, she stopped and stared longer than most people do.... and not in a confused, head cocked, scrunched up nose way that says, "why would she want to paint conjoined twins??". I could tell that it intrigued her more than it does most people. But I didn't discuss it with her for a while. Then, about a month later, she emailed me inquiring about doing a "family portrait"... which left a bitter taste in my mouth- until she explained that it would be a different kind of family portrait. The painting of the conjoined twins had struck a chord with her because she had once carried two boys, named Julius and Jordan, that had a lot in common with conjoined twins- they were monoamniotic twins- twins that start out the same way as conjoined twins do, and reside in the same amniotic sack throughout the pregnancy (normally twins are in separate sacks), so they are literally as close as any two people can possibly be, without being conjoined. Sadly, the boys died very shortly before they were due to be born, because they're umbilical cords became tangled and constricted. Nikki wanted a painting that could memorialize their special and unique life that didn't make it past the womb.

I enjoyed putting the painting together, because I did the majority of it in the weeks before Christmas while the kids were out of school, and it was very educational for them. I had checked out a stack of books from the library about fetal developement so I could use them as visual referrences. The kids also loved looking through the amazing pictures of babies prebirth, and they asked tons of questions, and learned a lot about reproduction and how people start. Telling them about it in simple terms, and seeing the look on their faces, made me realize again how awesome and amazing the process really is. Then they wanted to go look at their own baby pictures again and think and talk about how they had just come out of my "tummy" and how wierd but cool that is, and how they wished they could remember it all.

They also learned about Julius and Jordan and their story, about how their mother loved them so much even though they weren't even born yet, and how devestated she was when they died- which I could tell disturbed them some. I told them I wanted to create something beautiful for her to remember them by. When it was done, Rocket told me he thought it was beautiful and thought Nikki would like it. Roxanne said she was just angry because she wished she could paint like that, which I took as a compliment too. I hope Nikki liked it- she said she did, but most people dont say when they dont. And I hope that I never stop being thankful the beauty of my own kids, and the amazing fact that they actually came into existance. And I really hope that they can never stop being thankful and amazed by awesome and beautiful things like that too.


Donna Mc said...

Awwe - what a sweet tribute for the mom. I know she'll treasure it.
I have a nephew who would have been 1 yr younger than Cole, but went to Heaven just 2 months before his expected birthday. After that sad experience, it fully opened our eyes to the miracle that each 'normal' birth really is. We are amazingly made! Good for you sharing your talent with the mom, and sharing the miracle with your kids.

The Shoup Family said...

That's awesome.

Stacy said...

**sigh** What a beautiful illustration you painted for their painful story.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!