Every night for a month I sat in my bed with a bag of peanut butter M&Ms and ate them one after another, rapidly and mindlessly as we prepared for the night ahead of us. The boys swaddled side by side in the pack n play by our bed, we listened to them grunt most of the night. Sound sleepers they were not. A week after we came home, we headed to the ER with high levels of jaundice in our babies. One’s body temperature so low we spent the next 2 days in an incubator while my other week-old baby was home with Daddy. A month later, our baby boys were carried away from us in the nurse’s arms for surgery to remove 3 hernias between them both. Home that evening, hernia free. All this in the first month. And we still managed to find time to fall in love with these little guys.
Physically, the best thing I can report post-delivery is that I didn’t have hemorrhoids. Post-pregnancy hormones were very hospitable, though, and welcomed huge cystic acne to my neck. One after the other they would surface. I had no idea if they would ever go away. Pre-twins I loved coffee. Post-twins I was more dependent on coffee than I ever dreamt I could be. Someone out there created the Keurig just for me.
A year ago on Valentine’s Day of 2013 I laid on an operating table praying for the Lord’s mercy as I began to push. (All twin deliveries take place in an OR.) I remember the nurses counting down for me as I pushed. Within minutes, Chris and I welcomed Baby A (Cohen). 14 minutes later we welcomed Baby B (Preston). Surprised by their weights, totaling 13 lbs exactly, I finally realized why my back had hurt so bad.
Here we are a year later. And as I have turned this past year around in my head to choose what was most important to remember, I landed on many great memories. But I have decided these are the things I never want to forget.
When I found out I was pregnant I was at my parent’s house while Chris was in Israel. I told him over FaceTime. 🙂
When we went to our first sonogram, there was one heartbeat. The heartbeat we saw was faint so we returned in 2 weeks for a follow up to make sure all was well.
When we returned two weeks later, that heart beat was fine and so was the other one. The ultrasound tech dropped her jaw as she told us she saw two babies. She was in shock. Chris was laughing. I was relieved. Two babies sounded pretty awesome to me.
When we found out we were having two BOYS.
When we heard, after 24 weeks of the unknown, that the membrane was there we praised the Lord for revealing the miracle that was the dividing membrane.
When we heard on February 14, 2013 that I would be delivering that day due to high blood pressure, I burst into tears – for fear of the unknown, over sadness for not hugging Olive extra hard as the last day as my only child. For not being able to go to In and Out burger for lunch like I thought we would. Some brothy soup later, I was fully on board as we checked into our room at 1pm.
When my epidural was situated, water broken, pitocin dripping, prayers prayed over me by friends, hugs from my parents and kisses to my baby girl, at 9pm that evening we rolled into the operating room.
When we heard our baby boy, Cohen, cry for the first time.
When we heard our baby boy, Preston, cry for the first time.
When we heard their weights yelled out. 7 lbs 1 ounce. 5 lbs 15 ounces.
When we rolled out of the operating room at 9:55pm.
When we wondered every evening when someone would wake up crying.
These days, when we see the boys follow their big sister to her room to play.
When I get to smell their skin, and drool and slobber while I nurse them.
When I get to look at the man I married 5 years ago every day, knowing fully well that there is no separation in this effort of raising 3 kids 3 and under. I have never for a moment felt alone or unsupported. Chris and I have survived this year by surviving it together.
When I have been at what felt like the end of my rope, (which was usually closely connected to being sleep deprived and hungry) I had to remind myself of something…
These are the Lord’s kids. All 3 of them. Chris and I are the honored ones who He chose to bring them into this world and raise them. But these are His kids. He has a plan for their lives that is unfolding daily. Chris and I have the best front row seats to see it play out.
Being sleep deprived is the worst. Many friends with firstborn babies will tell me how tired they are because of their newborn… to quickly follow up with “but I know i’m not as tired as you are…” and the truth is sleepless nights are sleepless nights no matter how many kids you have (or don’t have) and God knows, we all need sleep.
Someone told us before the boys were born that the first month was the hardest with twins. I have to disagree. We’re still figuring it all out and they’ve been around for 12 months. There’s a direct correlation that occurs with babies: up all night – sleep all day evolves to sleep all night – up all day. Either way has its challenges.
In the spirit of advice, my only advice for surviving twins is:
- get a double snap n go
- and every time they take a nap, lay your body down.
The past year has been the hardest work out of my entire life. Physically, mentally, and spiritually I have been pushed the hardest I’ve ever been pushed. But I have often felt like the Br’er Rabbit (who acted like being thrown in the Briar Patch would be the worst, tho it’s where he wanted to be). Where most people wouldn’t want to be thrown – is exactly where I’ve wanted to be. In the Briar Patch with these little people. I wouldn’t trade the joy of it, the work of it, the challenge of it, the laughs from it, for anything.
I have to give a few shout outs to end this.
Thank you to my mom (in law) for supporting us so well. For laughing and crying with us, for celebrating, for providing Olive with awesome memories in the midst of this year…. and for outfitting our kids in the best clothes they will ever have.
Thank you to my mom and dad for helping us so much. Thank you, Mom, for trusting your intuition and getting here the day before the boys were born. For cooking us a hundred meals. Thank you, Dad, for seeing a need and meeting it. The boys are sleeping on the finest mattresses, swinging in the finest swing, busy in the finest saucer – and even the doggone neighborhood birds are fed.
Thank you to my closest friends and family for helping us survive. For the meals, the treats left on our doorstep, the hand-me-downs, the “likes” on our pictures, for staying with crying babies so Chris and I could get away, for traveling to Texas to see us, the endless texts for support, for all the grace…and most importantly the prayers.
I have to thank my husband for fully supporting me this year. I had goals of nursing my sons for a year straight like I did our daughter, and he helped me to that end. Chris, you have been a constant source of encouragement to me and this family.
To separate the gift of these boys from our sweet Lord in heaven is impossible. Completely unexpected to us, completely known to Him, we believe that these boys (and Olive) were knit in my womb for His glory. We could have never been prepared for this year without the work of the Lord in our lives. Thank you, Jesus.
I consider the end of this year to be like the end of an era. Phew, we worked our butts off. But it was worth it. And I have to add, the cystic acne are gone. The boys are sleeping through the night. If you are in the thick of your newborn, post-pregnancy-hormone life, I just have to say – hold on. It’ll be over soon.
The best thing about year one ending is the beginning of year two.
So, what else can I say. Let’s do this!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COEY AND PEANUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!