This is a piece written for us by a member of the infertility, loss, and adoption community on Twitter.
I’ve waited so long for this year to fly by. When becoming a mommy was still just a dream that I thought would never come true, I created secret Pinterest boards for my future kids’ birthdays. I made them secret to avoid the question of “Are you pregnant?” because answering “No…” would be too painful.
I had different boards for different scenarios: if I had a boy; if I had a girl; and if I was lucky enough to have twins. Seven years later, here I am. Diving into the Pinterest-first-birthday-party world. People have said to me, “Why are you putting so much into this? They won’t remember it.” The truth is that this birthday party isn’t just for my twins, it’s for me. I have survived! This is reason to celebrate. I fought hard for this moment. I endured years of struggle. I endured 34 weeks of pregnancy, which I thought was amazing. I endured six weeks of the NICU. And I endured a year of being a twin mom. It has been the hardest year of my life. I prayed for this life, I cried for this life, and now I have it. I am so grateful for it. So yes, I will go all-out for our first year together.
As we approach our big birthday party, I reflect on our first year. I find it strange that it seems to have flown by and it feels like just yesterday that they were so tiny. But it also feels like that was so long ago and maybe spending six weeks in the NICU was just a dream. When I was putting together the slideshow to display at the party, I looked through thousands of pictures we have taken over the last year. I relived the NICU experience all over again in my head. The other night, I went to visit a friend who just gave birth to her rainbow/unicorn baby at the same hospital I went to. I stepped off the elevator and looked at the NICU door, and this overwhelming emotion came over me. I literally felt sick. It was a very weird and unexpected feeling. On their actual birth date, we plan to visit the nurses who cared for them. I hope I can keep it together.
So the NICU was the first six weeks, and then they came home. They were all mine! Oh shit! Now what do I do? We had very colicky babies who gave us a run for our money. The first six months were downright brutal! It was hard! I questioned my ability as a mother. I thought that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mom and maybe that was why it took me so long to have them. Maybe God was saying, “You want it lady, you got it!” But I kept pushing through and found it amazing how my body just went into survival mode. And I got it done. After the first six months, things started being like I had imagined. They were happier, I was happier. I had a routine going. We celebrated that ½ birthday. It was a huge milestone for us.
I’ve spent the last six months making my babies laugh and looking at that Pinterest board I created years ago for my hypothetical twins. We’ve been making memories together that they won’t remember—but I will, and I plan to tell them all about it. The only thing that has been easy about this first year is loving them. But every day has been easier than the last. We have made progress. We are alive. We will celebrate.