One year ago, my life was irrevocably changed. If you want to get technical about it, though, twenty-one months ago, my life was irrevocably changed. I spent my mornings sawing through Wheat Thins and dry toast just so I could get out of bed. I lost the ability to bend down, sleep, drive, and a mountain of other activities I’m reasonably certain I blocked out. I was pregnant with twins, and I was miserable.
When my thirtieth week rolled around, I began to devise strategies to coax the babies out into the bright light of the world. I reasoned with them, with God, and with the receptionist at my OB’s office, all to no avail. I needed those babies out. Every morning I’d wake up and wonder how I would get through it, then spend the rest of the day wondering how many more I would have to struggle through. I told my husband every few days, out of desperation, that I was going to the hospital and would refuse to leave until someone delivered the babies. But no one would give me a ride.
By that point in my bedrest – uh, pregnancy – my son was “visiting” with a family member every day because I couldn’t take care of him. People were doing for me all the things I had, up to that point, taken way for granted. I awaited every contraction, hoping against hope that one of them would herald the birth of my twins.
During my thirty-second week, I went into preterm labor. At the hospital, I failed at convincing the registration lady, the lady who wheeled me up to my floor, three nurses, four CNA’s, and a gaggle of wide-eyed residents, that the babies were ready to come out. After they were through rattling off crappy statistics and injecting me with steroids, they kicked me to the curb.
On my way to the elevator, one of the staff asked, “So, are you disappointed you’re not going home with your babies?”
A maniacal, “Wah ha ha!” was all I could manage. I patted my stomach and stormed away. When we got home, I wagged my finger in my husband’s face and said, “I’m keeping these babies in until 36 weeks, AND THAT’S IT! Not a day longer! You all can suck it!!”
The night before I went into labor, my son and I stayed over at my parents’ because my husband had worked overnight. I woke up congested, physically restless, and in a foul mood. The light, temperature, and even my clothes were bothering me. I had to get home. I spent the day as I had the previous few weeks, roving from the couch to the bed, feeling uncomfortable. Around 6:30pm, and at thirty-six weeks on the dot, I went into labor. What followed was a very long night in the hospital, punctuated by a 2:30am c-section.
And just like that, my life changed forever. The twins were born healthy and returned home with us a few days later, in the cold of winter, to our two-bedroom apartment (Note: two bedrooms, five people). Life became a blur of visitors, takeout containers, spitup (Lord, was there spitup), and a perpetually whirring washing machine.
But enough about yesterday…
Today, my house is chock full of personality, yelling, singing, flung food, and Sesame Street. The twins are filthy cute, and my son, well, he has his moments – moments when he’s rocking out to Laurie Berkner, moments when he’s sprawled out on the dining room table pitching a fit, moments when he’s running around stark naked, and moments when you think he’s leaning in to kiss his brother or sister, only to realize he’s just swiping one of their toys.
I’m convinced Maggie is destined to be a superhero. She runs, she climbs, she speaks (hi, yay, and kitty), she escapes every enclosure we own, and she keeps us awake all night. Further proof: All of her birthday cards arrived addressed to “Supergirl”. She’s given us a run for our money – that scrappy, five-pound, two-ounce little girl who hid from every ultrasound I had. Who knew she was just warming up?
And Michael, our big boy, is sweet and gentle. He’s a cuddler, which is great, because the other two are about as cuddly as freshly trapped lobsters. He’s warm and smooshy like a pillow, has huge, bright eyes, a smile that lights up a room, and have you seen those dimples? He’s a doll. A top-heavy doll, but a doll nonetheless.
And they’re turning one. And I’m so pleased. So, a very, very happy birthday to you, Michael and Maggie. I know I’ll miss being able to hold you both in the crooks of my arms, your toddler giggles, your improvised (wet, and somewhat inappropriate) kisses, and the way you reach up to touch my face when I rock you to sleep.
Until then, though, let’s just put the past year or so behind us, okay?