One Year

March 10, 2016

Tonight is a bittersweet one. I sit here with tears in my eyes, on the eve of my fraternal twins’ first birthday, unable to believe that we have made it through this challenging, exhausting, beautiful, amazing year.

One year ago tonight, I was terrified. Excited, yes, but also tremendously terrified. I had no idea how we would manage with twins and a preschooler. I was so eager to meet my precious two, but I was also scared of how adding them to our family would affect their big sister. I feared she would feel displaced and cast aside, and the thought of that literally broke my whole heart.

On this night one year ago, husband, daughter and I went for our last dinner together as a family of three. I will never forget it. As we ate our meal at our daughter’s favorite restaurant, we tried to explain that the next afternoon she would get to meet her two new baby sisters. She was so excited she could hardly stand it. She was ready right then and there. But me? I just wanted to freeze time. I wanted to soak in every last second of our time together as a threesome. Me, her, and my husband. I knew it would never be this way – just us – again.

The next morning we loaded the car, said goodbye to our sweetheart, and drove to the hospital to meet our babies. I wasn’t even that nervous, which is strange for me. I was prepped for surgery, and within an hour, walked myself into the operating room. The c-section happened fast. At 10:36 twin A, my feisty yet snuggly cuddle bear, was born. At 10:39, twin B, my sweet yet super sassy-pants arrived. They were placed immediately on my chest, and my heart was full. I thought about my baby – no longer our only, or even remotely a baby – at home, and these two angels huddled together tightly on my chest. Though I had been a ball of anxiety since the day we found out we were pregnant with twins, in this moment, it finally felt right. I knew without a doubt that our family was as it was meant to be; it was complete.

Baby Naming Ceremony

In the year that has passed, so much has happened – more than I could possibly ever articulate. But here’s what I can say:

– Our oldest has embraced her role as big sister, and tells us on a daily basis how much she loves her sisters (even though she often runs them over with toys or squeezes them so hard they cry … oh, siblings!)

– Our twins have exceptionally different personalities: Baby A is feisty, aggressive, and loud, yet also the sweetest, cuddliest baby I’ve ever encountered; several times a day she crawls into our laps just to snuggle, and does the same with all her stuffed animals. Baby B is shy, sensitive, and wary, yet also a sassy stinker who gets into everything she’s not supposed to; and worse yet, she knows how to “cute” her way out of her parents getting upset with her!

– At one year, the babies crawl, Baby B is close to walking and can climb stairs, both say “mama” and “dada”, Baby A also says “boo” for “book” and “mmm” for “moo”. Both can wave hello and goodbye, sign for “milk”, blow kisses, eat all sorts of foods, dance to music, clap, recognize and show love to all the main players in their lives, play (and get into trouble) together, make muscles and show you how big they are (sooo big!)

– Things I have learned: kids are resilient; schedules are important, but so is flexibility; it’s important to make family memories; the babies will not break (even when older sister is running them over with toys and squeezing them!); being a mom to multiples is absolutely incredible, but can also be a lonely experience sometimes; I literally could not have gotten through this year (or life!) without my helpers; it’s okay to ask for, and accept, help; let the judgements and silly or snide remarks go, it’s not worth it; when you go anywhere with three kids in a massive triple stroller, you will look (and feel) like a circus act…it’s okay; carve out time for oneself, even if it feels selfish and wrong – a mother who does not feel strong, happy, or healthy cannot help her family feel strong, happy or healthy; even when parenting twins and a preschooler, nourishing your marriage is also crucial; I am way more capable than I ever gave myself credit for…WE ARE ALL way more capable than any of us gives ourselves credit for.

And that’s really it. Tomorrow we will celebrate one year – the twins’ first birthday, our preschooler’s first year as a big sister, and my husband’s and my (mostly) successful reign as parents to infant twins. So tonight I will go to bed with a full heart, knowing we’ve all endured, survived, and perhaps even thrived. And to that, let me just say “cheers”.

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