Happy Earth Day!
As if loving an entire planet isn’t enough, this day is extra special in my world. It’s one of those “life will now be divided into a before and after” kind of days.
Exactly two years ago, on a Tuesday, I went to a 1 p.m appointment with my perinatologist. It was my last one before my scheduled C-section on Thursday. I ate a big lunch (“big” being a relative term because there was not much room left for food) and told my husband not to worry about leaving work to attend. My mom picked me up and off we went. I was going to get my nails done that afternoon.
By 5:34 p.m., I had two babies.
My doctor didn’t like the lack of growth he saw from Baby A during my sonogram so downstairs I went in a flurry of calling my husband to get the hell to the hospital and my sister to stop by my house and bring up my bag (the fact that I didn’t bring my packed bag to a doctor’s appointment two days before giving birth is proof I really wanted to get my nails done).
All the while I was telling anyone who would listen that I had just eaten lunch (you aren’t supposed to eat for eight hours before a C-section). I wasn’t worried about any medical ramifications, I was just hoping someone would say, “Oh, okay, then we will wait.”
Though I was prepared to have my babies in 48 hours, I was not ready that Tuesday afternoon. It didn’t have anything to do with a “birth plan” gone awry. It was just all of a sudden it was REAL. I thought I had two more days of “before” and I wasn’t ready for “after” to begin.
This is not a unique story, especially for multiples. And gratefully this was not an emergency situation, more like a “well, why not?” decision by my doctors. At least that is how they played it and I thank them for that. I was technically full term at 37 weeks and even though the boys weighed below 5 lbs, they were thriving and required no NICU stay. Life was good.
And it continues to be. This last year has been radically different from the first, which was wrought with exhaustion, fear and doubt. And while all of those things are still in heavy rotation, there is a certain type of internal calm that has also crept in and allowed me to marvel at the blessings they provide us, the wonder in which they take in the world, and the bond that is growing between them.
Lest I make this all about me, let me tell you about these boys. They are obsessed with everything trucks, balls, trains, reading, balloons, Elmo and Legos. They are also currently enamored with yaks, because toddlers. And of course they can’t fall asleep without their stuffed piggy and moo moo (plot twist: moo moo is a moose, not a cow).
People assume that twins must be good at sharing because they have always had to take turns with toys (and mommy’s lap, daddy’s shoulder rides, etc.). But the truth is all of this just makes them excellent hoarders, hesitant to put anything down for fear his brother will come in and swoop it. They can often be found trying to climb their little slide with a cup of milk hanging from their mouth, a Thomas train in one hand and a picture of a yak in the other.
My children are tender and sensitive, and the first few months of their 2’s will be interesting. I’ll be gone for 10 days in May for an international work trip. And in July, we say goodbye to our amazing nanny who has been with the boys since I went back to work when they were four months old. The boys will start full-time day care. A new chapter will begin, new routines will be formed, and I will likely spend a week crying in the parking lot.
I’m excited and honored to co-lead my sons through these transitions, and if we’re lucky, many more. Just like two years ago, I don’t always feel ready for what’s to come, but I know that is part of the adventure.
Happy Birthday my precious boys. Thank you for giving me the best “after” I could ever imagine.
(Written while jamming to some Purple Rain.)