Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Letter to My Sons on Their First Birthday

My precious Luke and Zach,

It will be a long time before you are ever able to read this, but I didn't want your first birthday to go by without writing down all you have meant to me this past year. Oh how I love you so! You have changed my life in so many ways and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Lucas, your name means "bearer of light" and what a bright spot you are! You have had quite the first year between a difficult NICU stay, physical therapy, helmet therapy, and countless evaluations. You have taken it all in stride with a sweet disposition and smile on your face. You love to make new friends and are such a happy and content little guy. You were a busy bee when Mommy was pregnant with you and that has not stopped one bit. You are already walking and moving everywhere. You are quite determined!

Zachary, your name means "God has remembered" and every time I see your sweet face I am reminded that God truly remembered us in our affliction and gave us you as a precious gift! You are such a sweet little boy. You love to be near Mommy, Daddy, and Luke. And when you smile it lights up the room. You are very observant and are happy to let Luke try new things before you take a stab at it, unless it involved eating--then you will take the lead! You have the sweetest voice when you babble and you love to make Luke laugh. If only we knew what it is that is so funny to him!

There are so many prayers I have for you, my sons. But the one that is over them all is that you would one day see your great need for a Savior and trust Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Oh how I pray that you would be found in him. There are many things in this world that will compete for your affections, but only one thing can truly satisfy the deep longing in your soul--and that is Christ. I pray your heart would be stirred to treasure him above all else.

You have brightened my life in ways I never knew possible. It is a joy and a privilege to be your Mommy. I love you dearly.

Happy 1st Birthday!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thoughts on a Year of Motherhood

One year ago today we heard these uncertain words:

"It looks like your uterus is no longer a safe place for these babies. You are having them this week."

And just like that we went from a family of two to a family of four in a matter of hours. Of course, we always knew we were a family of four, from the moment we found out about our precious twin boys. But up until that point the boys were still cooking safely inside of me. That all changed rather quickly.

I was 31 weeks and 6 days when Lucas Daniel and Zachary Garrett made their grand entrance into this world. One year ago tomorrow I went into early labor (thankfully I was already in the hospital preparing for their arrival later that week) and we welcomed them into our lives. It was such an uncertain time because we had no idea how big Luke would be. Every scan showed he was significantly smaller than Zach and not getting enough blood flow. They were early enough that their lung development was barely at what it needed to breathe on their own. The doctor told us they were right at the threshold where their lungs could be fine or need a lot of help.

There are a lot of things you aren't prepared for when you become a parent. No amount of classes, reading, or making plans will prepare you for the arrival of your child. There are just too many variables. In our case, we had no way of preparing for feeling like your heart was being ripped out as your tiny baby struggles to breathe on his own. Premature babies don't always come out breathing and I will never forget asking over and over again "is he breathing? is he breathing?" in the operating room. And I will never forget the overwhelming reassurance when the nurse told me "I can hear him coughing in the next room. He's breathing!".

But there are other more universal things no one prepares you for. No one prepares you for the intensity of love you feel the moment your eyes meet theirs. Or when they bury their heads in your chest because it is the safest, most comfortable place they know. Or when their cries are comforted only by the soft touch of their momma's hand or the familiar sound of her singing to them.

Motherhood is a wonderful thing. It is the most life altering thing I have ever experienced. And I am so thankful that I have been able to experience this last year as their momma. In many ways it feels like we have survived the year long hurricane that is twins. As we have adjusted to the new normal we can't imagine life without these sweet, busy, fun boys.

People say it goes by fast and they weren't kidding! Thank you, boys, for making this past year the best one we have ever had!