A year ago today you were born. Lucas and Abigail. I wasn’t allowed to touch you. I was pumping and on the phone with loved ones, telling them we had both a boy and girl. You were such a surprise. We were finally able to hold you, to practice our kangaroo care, skin to skin with you. So small and hungry. We were afraid we’d hurt you. They told us not to rub or pat your back, that your skin was too sensitive. There was a point, Abigail, where I didn’t know what your face looked like. They had you hooked up to a machine with big tubes, and tape covering your face, a curly little hat, and a sleeping mask. I could only see your neck, really. And I remember the day you switched to nasal cannulas. I was so excited to see you, the daughter I never knew was coming. And sweet Lucas, when you were angry, you turned beet red, and it scared me. You cried like a lamb. And we wanted to soothe you but didn’t know how. So we sang. Your father sang Happy Birthday whenever they needed to take blood. It was the first song that came to mind. "No! Not that! They’ll learn to associate that song with pain!" Then we laughed trying to think of a good giving blood song. We’re still working on a tune for that.
I got kinda teary today. I’m not one of those mothers who gets upset at each new milestone, feeling bittersweet knowing you’re growing up. I don’t think I’m the kind of mom who’ll cry on your first day of kindergarten, either. But we’ve got time to prove that theory wrong. Today I got teary when I remembered. It comes in snapshots, really. Still frames that I somehow still have a hard time piecing together, even though I was there for all of it. It just happened so fast.
This morning, when I was alone with you both, and just talking to you without really paying attention to what the hell I was saying, I pulled one of these:
Us? Us, who?
You know who.
No, you aren’t supposed to come yet. Get back in there.
Get used to it. It’ll never be the way you planned, mama.
And then you two came, and today we’re celebrating those two minutes, the minutes you two were pulled from me, the moment you entered this world. It has been a year. You were born on a Thursday night. I know this because when the doc said I was going into labor, I joked, "No, it can’t be! I’ll miss Grey’s Anatomy!" I joked because that’s how I panic. He assured me it was a rerun. You two came so quickly after that.
Then the tears came today, right after the knock knock joke that wasn’t a joke. "I’m sorry I’m so emotional," I told you both as you climbed into my lap, hoping to eat the buttons off my sweater. "I’m just so thankful." And then I squeezed you both and kissed the top of your heads remembering you were once inside me, that I used to feel you kicking each other, used to watch you on a black and white ultrasound screen, a tiny blinking white dot of a heart, and now, now it’s, "Let them eat cake!" There’s a lot to celebrate. You are both exquisitely loved.