Today is the Twin’s Birthday. Their very first birthday. I am an emotional mess. Their birth didn’t go the way I’d planned or imagined. My girls were taken from me in an emergency C-section and brought to the NICU while I spent the next 24 hours receiving IV’s of pain killers and Magnesium and God knows what else. I was unable to see them until the meds had run their course. Preeclampsia is a bitch. The day of their birth felt in many ways more traumatic than joyful. It wasn’t until a month later that I truly felt the pure, unbridled joy of their birth as I finally took them home.
I speak about all of this in a very matter of fact way because it’s the only way I can survive it. When I’m honest with myself I know that I haven’t really dealt with the pain of it. I’ve put it away on a shelf and soldiered on. I know it’s not healthy but this past year has been about survival. I hope that the year to come will be about recovery. Through it all there has been tremendous growth and earth shaking amounts of love.
I have so many people to thank for being by our side that very first day. My Doctor for making the right call quickly and without hesitation. She even managed to make me laugh through my frightened tears. The nurse in Assessment for hugging me and telling me the truth when the Doctor who saw me tried to sugar coat things. She calmed my nerves and told me that we were gonna do great. She was my first angel of the day. The second was the nurse who let me cling to her while they gave me the epidural. I was crying and scared and she held me like a child. I can’t remember her face or her name but her embrace was one of the most impactful I’ve ever received. The nurse who asked that I not punch her as I screamed in pain after the surgery was over and she pressed on my aching, wounded belly. Bless her for enduring the horrible words I spewed through the haze of medication and pain. The amazing teams of NICU nurses and pediatricians who’s arms held my babies before I did. Who fought for my children before I had the strength to do so. Who assured me that my Twins were healthy and amazing although very small.
Thank you to my work family who spent time worrying and praying that day and sent hundreds of messages with love and encouragement. To my in laws who dropped everything to be there. To our dear friend Ray who has loved my babies since they were just little beans in my belly. He waited with my family just to be there to support all of us. To my parents (all four of them) who waited for hours to see the girls and me. To my Dad who came in and squeezed my hand and told me that he was proud of me before they took me back. My Mom who braved the operating room and held my shaking hand. I had no idea what I was asking when I asked her to come with me. She watched Doctors cut her baby open as they brought mine into the world. She stayed brave for me though because that’s what Mommies do.
Lastly to my Husband. He was my rock through it all. He changed my bedpan and wiped me dry when I couldn’t get up to pee a thousand times anymore. He kept me laughing when I was shaking with fear. He wiped the tears from my face as they turned from tears of fear to joy when I heard The Conqueror scream to the world that she had arrived. Roared his laughter as The Hun marked me as hers by peeing on me. He stayed by as I screamed in pain after the surgery. He got up in the middle of the night to walk down to the NICU so I could FaceTime our babies and see them. I don’t know when he slept or even if he slept. He kept vigil over the three of us and kept our family in the loop.
To all you Mommy’s out there who have lived this nightmare or who are living it now, my heart is with you. Your battle scars will always be there. The hurt will not go away quickly. You will find joy though. You will appreciate the little moments more because of what you have been through. Hold on Momma. You are beautiful and strong and I love you.
Today on their birthday I’m taking every opportunity I can to hold my babies. I’m touching their hair and faces because a year ago today I couldn’t. I’m kissing their heads and little toes because today I can.