This conversation goes down, ohhh, about once every few days give or take. I don’t know what it is about it that brings out the awkwardness in me…maybe I just don’t know exactly what to say…and maybe because I know what question almost always follows…
“are they natural?”
Every mama has a journey….from that first fleeting thought of having a little mini me to breathing in that sweet baby smell (oh that baby smell). We waited 5 years before taking the plunge - 5 years of spending every moment together, traveling, living overseas for a bit, doing crazy things like running a marathon and doting on our little fur baby, Olive. So by the time we jumped in, ready to make our two into three….we were more than ready. But things don’t always go as you plan them, and it turns out God had a different journey for us.
When months turned into a year of wanting a baby, the pain of disappointment ran as deep as the ocean. As any mama who has struggled with infertility knows, so many emotions take their toll - fear, uncertainty, confusion, blame - Jon and I were in the middle of a move during this time, so I had quit my job, and we were living with my mom. The uncertainties were almost more than my heart could take. We were very open to adoption, and in fact, had always talked about the idea of adopting regardless of whether we were able to have biological children. But after a couple of personal medical procedures that didn’t work the magic I had hoped they would, our doctor recommended that if we were going to pursue fertility treatments we should go ahead and do it. And our first go at it was a roaring success…we were so graciously given not just one baby, but two!
There are no words to explain how thrilled we were to have twins on the way. Twins actually run in my family, so I had always known there was a chance of having them, but after the days of longing for even just one baby - having twins took things to a whole new level! L & V were born at 33 weeks and 3 days after 3 weeks of bedrest and 10 days in the hospital. They were healthy, even at only 4 lbs and 3 lbs and spent only 3 weeks in the NICU. We were over the moon.
And that's the first half of our story, tied up with a neat little bow (and bowtie;). Of course we couldn't possibly have stopped there. When the twins were about 18 months old, we started thinking about having juuuuust one more. With a strong desire to experience a single pregnancy, single birth and getting to come home with a healthy baby just days after, we decided to go for it. Dreamy visions of chasing after our toddlers with a baby in my sling - not skipping a beat - had taken up permanent residence in my mind. But once again, reality took on a different shape than my vision. After two tries this time and our doctor telling us there was "no way" we’d have another set of twins, we heard those two heartbeats once again. Two girls this time…and we were in shock. Admittedly, it took a little longer to get used to the idea of twins this time around, but with 2 precious girls on the way we got on board pretty quickly! We perfected a big kid room for L & V and spiffied up the nursery for our girls. We pulled all the baby things out of the attic, dusted them off, and once again - at 33 weeks and 3 days our E & V joined us. I was playing with the twins at the park on April 11th and by the evening of the 12th had two beautiful, tiny faces staring back at me. This time we endured only 14 days in the NICU and soon had our family of 6 under one roof.
I’m sharing this with Mother’s Day just days away, remembering both the longing for our babes as well as the magic of hearing their first cries so vividly. I know there are mamas out there whose babies are waiting in heaven, mamas who are still anticipating that first positive test, mamas who are struggling by themselves to be everything for their littles, mamas who spend every day fighting the good fight of motherhood….God bless all of us because no matter what, our hearts are devoted to the most all consuming love a person can know. We are all in this club - one that fills us with so much joy we could burst. Those little looks. smiles. hugs. tiny voices saying "mama" over and over and over. And over:) Here is to us all. Building each other up, cheering each other on, serving as a sounding board in the uncertain times and generally being each other's biggest fans. We got this.