Two weeks later, on June 24, our social worker called us and left me a message saying, "I have a situation I'd like to talk with you both about." I also had a message on that same day from the nurse telling me my HCG number (after it had not doubled the 2 tests before) and saying, "These are great numbers. Congratulations!" I was at a meeting for work and my boss (and now very close friend) and I drove back from the meeting as I tried to make sense of all of this. I was so sure I would lose at least one of these babies, probably both. So, I did what any expectant mom would do...I set up a nursery and I hoped and I prayed and I did something I had become very very practiced at doing: I waited...
You know the rest of the story. It wasn't an easy couple of months...the hardest of my life actually. I was perpetually sick with anxiety and worry. I had migraines daily. I should probably have been blissfully happy in my first trimester, preparing for my first baby to come home...but mostly I was just terrified. Terrified to lose them.
Three years later and I'm still terrified to lose them. I am up nights worried about them. If they are coughing, I get sick to my stomach and can never go to sleep until I know they are peacefully asleep and well. I can't watch movies or shows where people's children are in danger. I don't go to parks, play dates or outings and chat with the other moms. I stay with my kids, stand behind them as they climb, watch them as they play and do anything and everything I can to make sure they stay safe. My babies.
Jackson is sitting next to me as I write. He pointed to the picture above and said, "That's my mommy!" Wow - I was writing on this same blog 3 years ago, but the story was very different. I dreamed of a moment like that. He also looked over at me 5 minutes ago and said, "Mommy?" and I said, "yes?" and he said, "I love you" and then kissed my arm. I am now the mom of this sweet, beautiful, kind, incredibly charming and funny almost-three-year-old who is not afraid to show his love and affection. He is almost potty trained and ready to go to preschool in September. When I take him places, he now lets me out of sight and loves to play with other kids. When I watch him from afar, I see his body posture and he looks just like a little man. He loves to annoy the crap out of his sister (and all of us) just to see the reaction. He also adores tractors and trucks, especially garbage trucks. One of his favorite activities now is art, mostly paint. He has a creative streak that astonishes me. I get to be his mom.
If that wasn't enough...I am the mom of a tenacious, hard-headed, passionate, determined and insanely intelligent 2 year old baby girl who reminds me so much of myself in some ways that it is actually creepy. She is not quite potty trained, but trying hard. She talks like a 16 year old, I swear. She picks up on concepts and words after hearing them once. She loves her mommy and still has to be attached to me wherever we go. Nursing is still her favorite activity. She is the most active little girl I have seen in a long time, and bounces, runs, or jumps everywhere she goes...which results in lots of bumps and bruises. She has many ideas about what clothes she should wear, what cup she wants to use and how she wants to do just about everything. I can only hope that in my frustration and impatience, I don't squelch her beautiful self-concept or her desire to speak her mind, no matter the consequence.
I will be honest. The days are long, and I am not the mom I always dreamed I would be. But they ARE the children I always dreamed they would be. They are more. They are everything. Three years seems like such a short period of time - but it is literally a lifetime. There will always be "before June 2010" and "after" in my world. I love the "after."