Honestly, there is a lot clouding my perspective right now. This pregnancy has been very difficult, far more difficult than with my first two. There’s the sickness that I can’t escape but for a couple hours at a time. There’s the exhaustion that I think I’m past, only to find myself in bed for most of the day on a Sunday (hello, today).
Then there’s the guilt. Guilt over what I don’t have to give to my two kids outside the womb: enough energy, enough time looking them in the eye, less time watching TV, more time reading books with them and playing games. Guilt over what I don’t have to give to my two kids inside the womb: enough nutrition, because I am certain that I am nowhere near meeting the caloric/nutrition requirements, because there are days when the thought of having to force myself to eat one more meal is completely overwhelming, to the point where I’d rather feel sick and try to take a nap than figure out again what in the world sounds remotely appetizing.
Then there’s the fear. Fear that my inadequacy will cause my babies to come too early and be too small and spend too much time in the NICU. Fear that I’ll blink and Arden will be in Kindergarten and I’ll have not enough to show for his time with me at home because I was too busy being selfish, too busy with the babies, too busy whining and complaining and wishing it away. I want to give my kids everything, and each day I feel that I have less and less to give them. The fact that I have one shot at being their mother when they are little…it’s terrifying.
So, I’m fighting to stay thankful. I’m fighting to remember the gold. I’m fighting to preserve these memories that play again and again in my mind before I go to sleep at night because I have to believe that it’s worth something, and that somehow it’s going to be enough.
1. Arden’s speech is improving so much! It brings me so much joy to hear him speak in sentences. Sometimes I want to write down every single thing he says because I don’t want to take it for granted, the years of listening to him babble and wishing so desperately that I knew what he was saying.
The way he answers a lot of questions first with a long, southern-sounding “Weeeelllllll….”
How he often says “I meed [this or that or to ____]” (meed meaning need, of course:).
The way he says “No, I NOT going to ____!” when he’s been asked to do something and I have to try SO hard not to smile because I’m just so happy that he’s expressing himself using words, not screams, even when it’s not the answer I’d like to hear.
How he says “I wike-a-dis!” when he likes something.
I just love this little guy so much and I crave the moments when I get more insight into his personality. He’s such a special boy and I am SO proud of him.
2. More on Arden: his speech therapy teacher Mrs. Gause praises him weekly, especially the way that he shows kindness to the other kids by working to include them when they are more shy and showing enthusiasm for all the activities they do. It makes my heart swell with pride when I hear about him being kind to others. I can’t think of much else that would make me so proud of him.
3. Jane. Oh my Janie Baby. She is such a joy. I really do feel that way about her most of the time now–which is a huge victory, if I am honest, not because she hasn’t always been a blessing but because her first year of life was so difficult that it is easy for me to associate being her mom with being exhausted and grieving. That is not her fault, but it is still a discipline to work to change the way that I experience her intense qualities. I once wrote a poem about Arden and Jane (that I might share one day) about their powerful qualities, comparing Arden to a wild stallion and Jane to a rainstorm.
Like a loud rainstorm
She displays and she disrupts
But she gives beauty
And over a year later, this is still so true! She is always moving, always making noise, always making her presence known. She loves to talk and ask questions (“momma, whatcha doin’?” All. Day. Long.) and give me running commentary on whatever she’s doing or watching. She cries passionately when something is not the way she thinks it should be. She is loud, she is persistent, she is not convenient. But she is such a gift, and she is a giver. She is constantly looking to see how she can make me smile, how she can share an experience with me, how we can make a memory together. She loves to sing and dance. She talks about the babies. She’ll randomly say something like, “the babies are so sweet!” and give my tummy a hug. Seriously!! She can play hard-to-get with giving me kisses, but she NEVER deprives me a kiss if I tell her it’s for the babies. She is already such a kind and sweet big sister and it melts my heart daily.
4. The way Jane randomly gives Arden hugs throughout the day.
5. The way Arden and Jane say “hi” to each other all day long. “Hi, Ah-nen!” (Usually repeated over and over again until finally…) “Hi, Janie”
6. The way Joey never makes me feel guilty for how there’s a lot of slack for him to make up for these days around the house.
7. These miracles inside me that I still can’t wrap my head around. Baby A and Baby B. I think about them from time to time and wonder which one will be more intense like his or her older siblings, and which one will be more reserved. I wonder if they will have curly hair. I wonder if at least one of them will be an “Angel Baby” (let it be Lord!!). I wonder what it’s going to feel like to have two babies to care for, feel all this intense love for, keep up with and savor all the little moments with. Most of all, I wonder how I’m going to do it.