This night, 3 years ago, I lay in my bed at Huntington Hospital knowing that it was my last night alone. The next day, Dr. Hartford planned to deliver Hermie and Iggy and I remember laying there overwhelmed with it all. Twelve weeks I had been in that bed, twelve weeks of tears, worry, anger, joy, loneliness. I was so ready for them to be born, anxious to be out of the hospital and to meet the two creatures who had been doing somersaults in my belly for so long.
I've been thinking back to that night a lot lately. I was so wired, I could not sleep so they gave me Benedryl and Ambien. I kept the TV on for a while in hopes it would lull me to sleep. A few days later, I would not be able to sleep for other reasons, but as I think back on that night, I realize I was an entirely different person.
Someone, no one I know, once said that you don't truly become a woman until you become a mother. I scoff at this every time I hear it said again. What a ridiculous statement! But I now realize, that for me, it was absolutely true. I was still an immature person. I may have been 35, but I was not an adult. I did not truly become one until I sat there next to my too too tiny babies and watched them fight for breaths in the NICU. The night before they were born, I just wanted them born for selfish reasons. I was tired. I was done. I wanted out. I wanted to meet them. When I eventually got to be there with them in the NICU, I felt like the worst person on the planet and kept saying over and over again that I should have fought to keep them in my belly a bit longer.
I've been looking at pictures and videos of them often over the past few days. They are not babies and it makes me so sad. I hate to even call them toddlers. They don't "toddle." They run. They jump. They wrestle. They fight. They sing. They love.
I am so scared to see them grow up. I am worried that they won't want to cuddle with me or want to share hugs and kisses. I am worried because I know this can't be this wonderful forever (despite all of the crazy 3-year old drama they are inflicting on us).
I guess I'm just going to have to record every moment in my memory and remember that this won't last forever. So today, as they spent their last day as 2 year olds, we baked birthday cupcakes and I let them frost every one, no matter how many times they put their butter knife into their mouths and then into the frosting. We went to Target and had ICEEs and I rigged the hose so that it dribbled water onto their slide so that they could have their very own water slide. We rolled around on the floor and giggled because Lukie had a seriously stinky booty and he wouldn't let me change his Pull-Up. We shared kisses and hugs and made up songs.
What a such a wonderful way to celebrate the last day of being 2! I shall never forget it.