It is remarkable for me to look at photos like these and these and start remembering. I even get nostagic, at times, when I think about their time in the Newborn Intensive Care. Although it was difficult, it was such a special time.
I remember having to pump milk -- even in the middle of the night as if they were waking to feed -- and then taking all of my milk to the hospital so they could put it in a feeding tube to feed them when I wasn't there. (I could only feed them every other feeding because it took too much energy for them to nurse every feeding in the beginning.)
I remember how incredible it felt to nurse those boys for the first time, knowing this was something that distinguished me as their mother.
I remember getting to hold both of them together for a while after nursing them, both of them held close to my chest and fast asleep. It was magical. I felt such a sense of responsibility, pride, and JOY to be a mother of twins and to have such beautiful boys.
One of the nurses told me that a newborn baby can smell its lactating mother from 50 feet away. That was so comforting to me because I wondered if they knew who I was (compared to everyone else that was around in the NICU), and the nurse told me that and then said, "When you walk through that door, they know you are here." I pretty much lived there when they were in the NICU for two weeks, but it was still incredibly hard to go home at night and leave them behind.
I remember walking through the doors of the NICU when I was just getting there in the morning to feed them and hearing Isaiah making the fussy grunts he always made and the nurses telling me he'd been ready and waiting. I remember the first night we got to put them in the same bed together and how they snuggled right up to each other.
There was a distinct smell in their room those first two weeks before they came home. I spent lots of time pumping in there and the smell is stuck in my memory and special to me. Funny how something that small can be so pleasant for me to think about.
It was so fun to nap all together. I would get in the big chair in the front room and hold both of them up against me and sing hymns to them for a long time, something that I love and loved sharing with them.
Now, a year later, I feel so incredibly blessed to have them. I love being the comforting hand or hug to calm them, always being there to notice the new milestones they have achieved, watching the two of them play with and amuse each other, sharing the gentle, quiet moments that we have each day. I love helping them discover the world and all the beauty in it, and trying to share with them, from my heart, the things that are most precious to me.
Life was always full and wonderful before, but they have made it so much more so. They are physically exhausting and taxing on the patience at times, but they leave spiritual markings in my soul. These moments together and everything they are teaching me mean more to me than I have words to express.
I thank God, every day, for these two sweet, sweet blessings. I hope one day they will know what a privilege it has been and how much I have loved being their mom.