I can’t help but feel pretty nostalgic and look back on past years every time a birthday comes around. This year I keep going back to one year ago today. It is amazing how much can change in ONE year. At this time last year I never let myself get ahead of myself. I was so afraid of the other shoe dropping that I never pictured having actual babies in the future (even though I was pregnant with twins) – so I never really thought about what this year might look like… instead I was always just focused on getting through each day of pregnancy with our “little buddies.”
So to be here now – with two joyful and highly energetic 6-month old boys feels pretty surreal. I woke up completely exhausted this morning and also completely at peace and happy for the first birthday in quite a while. I walked into the boys’ nursery across the hall from our room to two screeching and smiling little guys doing dance parties in their cribs. There is no greater joy for me right now than to see their smiles. And when those smiles are aimed at me…?! Oh my word. I can’t even begin to explain it. Pure joy.
I never thought this would be my life. After all those years of dreaming and wishing about a family we might have – I started to question if this was really ever in our future. So to be here right now is truly the most beautiful blessing and James and I don’t take a single moment of it for granted. Truthfully.
The other day the boys were being particularly fussy at bedtime and were going from “circus act” in their cribs to “complete and total meltdown central” in their cribs. We pulled them out in hopes to re-set and try again. I laid them down on my nursing pillow on our bed and thought one more little feeding might calm them and help them go to sleep. As the three of us sat on our bed I couldn’t help but think back to all those years when I dreamed about what this life might look like. The boys are getting big so its getting harder to fit them both on the pillow to nurse, but we manage to squeeze them on there. This night they were particularly happy to be on the pillow together since they had both just been losing it in their cribs. They went to latch on to nurse but first both batted their eyes up at me – little smiles on their faces before starting to eat. They had their little hands everywhere – grabbing at my shirt or at each other… holding hands sometimes, but almost always ending up punching each other in the face. In order to try and stop them I put one of my hands in between them so they would grab onto me instead of poking each other in the eye, and this time in particular they both grabbed onto my hand a little tighter than normal. Then they both reached their outside hand across their little bodies and held my hand with both of their hands. They looked up at me, smiles in their eyes and nursed away. They continually adjusted their hands – holding each others and mine all at once… so happy to be where they were.
I looked down at our pile of hands and felt the back of my eyes burn as they welled with tears.
This is what I dreamt of without ever really knowing it.
Little hands holding onto mine. Little hands that just one year ago were blurs on an ultrasound screen. Little hands that clasp onto me, knowing that I am their safety, their comfort, and their source of nourishment.
Little eyes that smile at me… happy to be in my arms together.
I always dreamt of being a mom, but didn’t know what it would feel or look like. I hoped it would be beautiful. And it turns out – it is even more beautiful than I ever imagined.
So this year as I ring in my 35th year – I am humbled, exhausted, and happier than I’ve ever been. These two boys made me a mama and I am forever grateful. They’ve made me more conscious of how I act and react in every situation, and they’ve brought more smiles to my face than I ever remember smiling before. They make me want to be a better person every single day, and they make getting up in the morning (even on a scattered 3-4 hours of sleep) feel like the greatest gift in the world.
Here’s to 35. I can’t believe I’m halfway through my 30’s and on the closer end to 40 now! Ah! And yet somehow I feel like life is actually just beginning.
*(Photos below are before & afters from last birthday to this year’s birthday.)
I never could have imagined this is who they would look or be when we saw their teeny selves on that ultrasound!
Babies in my belly at just over 12 weeks last year, and babies at my side now!
Funny I thought I had a bump last year at this time!! haha! I have more of a tummy now postpartum than I did then! But I wear my weird belly button, stretch marks and extra skin like a badge of honor now!
I never thought we’d have baby stuff everywhere, but I’m happy for the clutter! 😉
**Thank you to all of you lovely people who have already reached out to wish me a happy birthday!! Sending my love to you all!!! We are enjoying a quiet day off here and then James and I are headed to a baseball game tonight for our rival teams – the Brewers at Wrigley Field!! (Go Brew Crew! ;))