My mama always told me that it was going to go too fast. She told me that the day she watched me hold my girls for the first time in the hospital bed. “I swear that was me holding you just yesterday and now here you are holding your own.”
Now here we are one whole year later. I’m starting to realize how true those words really are.
First let me back up a bit. In my last post on our journey of when God Gave Us Two, I wrote about those moments right before we had the girls. I’m going to disguise my recent procrastination in writing this part of the story as a purposeful, “I was just waiting for this perfect moment”, justification and try to make up for the fact that I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like to lately.
July 18, 2016
I woke up early that morning, well if you could even say that I was getting much sleep at all during those days. Mamas around the world know the agony of insomnia towards the end of pregnancy. If it’s not your mind wandering to a million different places, it’s your hip that’s stiffening once again, your back that needs stretched for the hundredth time or the best, your bladder that needs emptied for who knows how many times.
This was the morning I woke up just feeling different. I had been on bed rest for a few weeks now due to preeclampsia. We were monitoring my blood pressure very closely and given thresholds to be aware of when it was an emergency trip to the hospital. My doctor warned me that if I woke up feeling off that I needed to come immediately. So a little before 5:00 am, I woke Weldon up and told him that my blood pressure had to be elevated or something else was wrong.
I can’t remember exact numbers, but for me it was high and above our warning threshold. This had happened a few times already but only when I walked – like literally from the couch to the bathroom -my blood pressure would skyrocket. If I never had to see another arm cuff in my life I’d be okay. I’m pretty sure constant monitoring my blood pressure gave me high blood pressure…
Our bags were all packed already so we decided to make the hour drive to the hospital to go get checked out. After running tests and labs, everything came back okay. Just as the doctor was about to send me home to play the pressure monitoring game again, she asked a few more questions which prompted her to call my maternal fetal medicine specialist for clearance to induce me.
So at 35 weeks and 6 days pregnant, it began!
I have to admit, sharing the news to your family and friends that “it’s time” was *almost* as exciting as announcing the girls’ arrival. I was a big ball of emotional mess. Scared for whatever in the world my body was about to do but absolutely ecstatic that I’d be holding my two baby girls very soon.
July 19, 2016
After spending an uncomfortable night with mild contractions, the doctor came in around 6 to make her rounds and check my progress.
Nothing. Not even a centimeter.
We discussed options and ultimately decided we would choose a cesarean section to deliver. The nurses said to relax (yeah right) and hang out, they’d be back to prep me around lunch time. Even though I knew the dangers that could be involved during a c-section, in this moment I felt a bit of relief. We just felt personally with our situation with having two and the short window of time I had left to try to progress on my own, this was the best option – an answer to prayer!
I remember the feelings I had as I kissed my family that was there goodbye when they wheeled me down to surgery. I just couldn’t believe this moment was real. The next time they saw me, I’d be able to finally show them my pride and joy!
Once I was prepped and ready to go in the OR, Weldon came and stood by my head, held my hand and waited. We walked (well I rolled) into that room as just a husband and wife but would come out as a family. A family of four!
At 1:00 pm the doctor said, “take a breath, you’re going to feel lots of pressure.” And by pressure, I think she meant to say, “Girlfriend, we are about to push every abdominal organ you have into your throat and come back out holding a human”. Weirdest. Feeling. Ever.
The “pressure” came and went. Out came our Baby A. The whole staff of the OR ooo’ed and awe’d. “That’s the first one, now the second!” I don’t even remember much of the next couple of seconds, but at 1:01 pm came our Baby B. We immediately heard two distinct, tiny cries from behind the curtain -a relief, a joy and a flood of tears came over us. “they’re perfect,” said our sweet nurse anesthetist who ended up being our personal photographer in the OR.
They laid Baby B down on my chest first. This was our Ansley Elizabeth, “Ansley Beth”. Her little but wide open eyes stared into mine. I looked down as much as I could as I was still strapped to the table, and I kissed her tiny little face. She was perfect.
Next came our Anna Katherine, “Anna Kate”. She laid there the same as her sister, so wide-eyed and alert. Just looking straight into my eyes, studying my face and my smile. This moment literally took my breath away. How can it be? These babies were miracles – miracles of pure, sweet, innocent grace. We were in love.
They took them away so I could be moved to recovery, but before they carried them out to our room they gave us this precious look of our sweet angels side by side. I couldn’t believe it -two. So tiny, so beautiful – these two precious little angels were finally here. We just looked at each other, no words to say and cried. Time stood still.
Anna Kate was 5 lbs, 8 oz., 19″ long. Ansley Beth was 4 lbs, 7 oz., 19.5″ long. No oxygen or NICU time was needed – a miracle. No issues with blood sugar – a miracle. These two teeny tiny babies had come into this world strong and healthy – a miracle.
A year ago today, this was us:
I blinked once and now today is here already. July 19th, 2017. Our sweet Anna Kate & Ansley Beth are ONE!
What a sweet, incredible year it’s been. I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much, grew as much and cried as much as I have in the last 365 days. Who knew that motherhood could and would ever be this grand? There’s so much more to write about our first year as parents of twins. I hope to share more of that in the coming months on the blog.
But for today, I just want to celebrate my babies and the joy they each have given us. I chose a song for each of my girls below because music just helps me find the right words to say when I can’t on my own sometimes. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ugly cry for the rest of the day now…
First Birthday Songs from Mama
To: Anna & Ansley2017
I’ll start with my Anna Kate:
With a sweet smile and soft, sensitive spirit you bring light to my world. From the very beginning, you’ve been the loudest. Taking after your mama’s own heart you surely love your groceries. You had a way of letting us all know that it was indeed Anna Kate’s time to be fed. It didn’t matter if I was in the middle of feeding your sister, showering, sleeping, going to the bathroom -whatever. You knew you wanted something so you didn’t stop trying until you got it. This spirit still is with you today. You see that toy over there? You want it, now. Your sister has it but who cares. You’re going to get it -determination. Heaven help us if you can’t. You let us know immediately that you aren’t happy about it.
You were first in doing most things this year. The first to smile, first to roll, sit up, crawl, cut a tooth, walk and now climb! You love to give kisses, open mouth -all in. You love music and dancing. Did I mention you love to eat? Some of your favorites are peas, bananas, cottage cheese and yogurt. You set the stage often for your sister. Maybe you won’t be the one who pulls the dishes out of the cabinet first, but you’ll surely open it up and invite her over to start the deconstruction process with you. You love doors -opening and closing them but hate when they are closed on you. You have a love-hate relationship with the vacuum, the mixer and other loud-noised machines. It’s getting better in time though.
You’re usually the one who knows how to entertain herself longer as you toddle about in your own little world. You’re so curious and you want to know how things work. You’d give anything to be right in the middle of whatever I’m doing, always. Being nosey or “well informed” definitely runs in your bloodline though, you come by it honestly.
I absolutely adore your belly laughs and breathless giggles. They light up my heart like no other. Your sweet snuggles and hugs are one of the best parts of my day. My song that comes to mind for you today is “I Hope You Dance”, by Lee Ann Womack. Just hearing it, makes me think of you as you bounce along innocently spinning around through the wonders of life you’re little eyes are seeing now. I see your soft and sensitive spirit as something familiar, because it’s identical to mine. Your tender heart will guide you towards compassion for others but don’t ever let it keep you from being bold, from going against what everyone else might be doing because you feel it’s right. You’ll be my dreamer, my idealist. When you learn of the realities and evils of the world that I wish I could forever keep you from, don’t let it discourage you. Jesus will carry you, He’ll protect you and love you when you give Him your whole heart. I love you so much my sweet Anna and I wish you a day full of happiness today as always, with lots of sweet sugar! It will always be my delight and joy to watch you as you grow.
And now I’ll end with my Ansley Beth:
Big things come in tiny packages and you surely hold that statement to its maximum truth. From the very beginning you’ve been our carefree, fearless and strong little peanut. You might be little but your personality and spunk is mighty. You make us laugh all the time with your timely expressions and mannerisms. You’ve always had that tiny smirk in your smile that hinted all that sass you have inside, waiting to be poured out at just the perfect moments. Your smile, let’s talk about that. You do it so proudly, it takes up your whole face -I have always been in love with those little gums! You are still are our two-toothed wonder today, but more are coming in soon.
You’re the first to try something new usually – like touching the dog first or testing out a new toy. In a battle of wills or disagreements with your sister, you’re usually our winner. You do have a more “personal” approach to squabbles though as you have learned to go for the hair, use your teeth or just a good ole’ body-slamming tackle. We’re working on changing that though because we know deep inside you really do love AK so you’ll need to learn to express that love to her differently in time.
You hate to be left behind and love to go! Even if we walk from one room to the next, you need to be with us and be going along too. With all that strength you have within you comes strong emotion and compassion too. Your broken heart seems to last a little longer and sometimes you just need to be held a little more. When you pick up on something, you are so quick to learn it and figure it out for yourself. When you learned how to walk at 11 months, it only took you about 2 days to conquer it all! Getting you to be still is a challenge at times because you love to go and be busy so much! When we can get you to sit still and eat for us your favorites are bananas, peas, hot dogs and bread. You love, love, love cuddling your soft blankets and spitting out cold water from your sippy cup as you watch it roll down your belly.
You’re a little more stingy with those kisses but because you love to be held, I adore the feeling of those tiny hands and feet wrapped firmly around me to make sure you won’t be put down until you’re ready to. Your sweet giggles just melt my heart over and over again. My song to you is “In my Daughter’s Eyes” by Martina McBride. I see your strong and fearless spirit as a mark made on you from the man who has my heart, your Daddy. You are just like him and you both inspire me to be better – always. You have a heart that will go and do extraordinary things if you let it. I have a feeling that there won’t be many things or people that you’ll let stand in your way of following your dreams, reaching out and trying something new. You’ll be my doer, my realist. You’ll be our truth teller and honest friend – and probably our most favorite personal comedian (which I’d like to claim as a trait you inherited from me). Soar high my baby girl, but learn to boast of the wonderful things you’ll accomplish as evidence of God’s immeasurable grace poured over your life through Jesus. Give Him your whole heart first and with that you’ll forever fly. I love you so much my sweet Ansley and I hope today is full of lots of cake and fun! I’ll always feel privileged to have the front row seat to your story.
Happy Birthday to my Twincesses, I love you both to the moon and back!