And we made it
Happy 1st Birthday Ella & Preslyn!!!
I remember countless times thinking and saying "If we can make it the first year, we can do this." I know that I didn't come to that conclusion for months after we first found out we would be twin parents. High risk patients. An inpatient. NICU parents. The list goes on. But eventually I wrapped my head around those thoughts and decided we could do this. And here we are. One year later from the night that changed our lives forever. Changed our family forever.
Gearing up for this week has forced a slew of emotions to resurface. Many of which I never wanted to relive again, but I know will always be with me down deep. I was reading over many blogs that I wrote last year in November and remember the exhaustion, the anxiety, and hopelessness I felt knowing my babies were in such a crucial stage and also the faith that was building up inside me that would carry us through. I've been collecting my thoughts for this blog and wanted to sit down and start writing several times, but my head and heart were all over the place. The bottom line is that the overwhelming feeling that surpasses all others is sheer gratefulness. I am so so SO thankful to be able to CELEBRATE this day instead of look back with sadness and remember a loss. I am beyond words grateful for my two beautiful, healthy daughters, who have surpassed all odds and are the definition of a miracle. I feel like they have opened my eyes to so many things in life that I took for granted. I can honestly say that I don't think I have taken a single day of this year for granted. EVERY single day I see their two faces and KNOW that I have so much to be thankful for and am truly blessed to have them in my life.
When I am out and people see us, I know that they get caught off guard and people say the first thing on their mind. Many times without actually thinking. Many common responses are "oh, there's double trouble." Or "oh wow, you've got your hands full." and other things along those lines. I just want to smile and tell them our whole story and how grateful I am that I have my "hands full" and "my work cut out for me", etc. Because I cannot imagine a day without one or both of my babies. They are amazing, they are so different and they bring me such joy.
Preslyn, I'll start with you because I'm sure I'll hear plenty of times in your life that you are always last since you are technically just a few seconds younger than your sister. Just saying your name brings a smile to my face because I can immediately picture your great big toothy smile, and your corresponding fast breathing as you greet me in the mornings. I keep waiting for a snort, but haven't heard one yet. You get so excited and it is such a thrill to see you in the morning. Usually you wait your turn because your sister, the little drama queen starts demanding attention immediately and you watch intently. You are so petite. Your little face, so small and dainty. This is one of the ways many people tell you apart from Ella. And your hair. oh it makes me laugh to think of your little "faux-hauk". You are so precious and your deep hazel eyes just melt me. You also have another classic look which is very similar to Zoolander. You purse your lips together and look like you are just thinking so hard. It is so funny. Alot of times you seem like you are in your own world. And your baby babble sounds like Chinese. You are a really fast crawler and at the moment have no desire to stand or walk. Your method of transportation is working for you just fine, so why change it?? You are so laid back and chill, which surprises me because that is very different than how you have been the first half of your life and even inside me. I've been noticing you are very attentive to details. You will study a toy until you figure out how it works or comes apart. You could find the one small piece of trash in the entire house on the floor and have it in your mouth in seconds. You are a super sleuth. I call you my monkey because you grip on to me so tight when I hold you that really I think you could hold yourself onto me without me holding on. I love you my little precious more than you will ever know.
Now, Ella...oh my little diva drama queen. You have come alive recently. You squeal and holler if we don't get you your food fast enough and push against the car seat straps literally every single time. You are turning into your big sister Hayden by the minute! Ella, you are such a trooper and a fighter. I know God has some big-time stuff for you little one, because you have been through so much and are still the most precious and sweet child. I am reminded every time I see your scars just how grateful I am to have you in our lives. I pray that you are never ashamed or intimidated by them, but instead use your "war wounds" to tell people about your awesome God, who allowed fantastic doctors to be around you and directed them in the surgeries to save your life. I will never forget that day that I walked you down to the surgical unit and had to hand you over to the nurse. It was one of the worst feelings I've ever had. I didn't even know what to do with myself as a mother. I just wanted to be with you and make sure you were ok every step of the way. I was so worried for you and had to mentally go into a different realm just to make it through those hours of waiting. I hardly remember that time passing because it was so hard to know they were working on you that whole time. It was awful. Your second surgery wasn't as awful but still the fact of knowing that you were so small and were going through such awful things was very hard on me. I pray that your life is so easy on you physically, because you have been through enough for a lifetime. You are so smiley and are so proud that you can stand all by yourself. You love to dance and laugh and love to lean back and hang your head upside down. You still suck your two middle fingers but not as much as you used to. Just when you are really tired. You are a little bit of a toy hogger when it comes to Preslyn. You will take every single toy from her that she tracks down. You little stinker. But today, Preslyn tackled you and laid on top of you and you just laughed your little head off and didn't try to get her off. It was adorable. You have both been interacting so much more lately and it is so cool to see that. You can make each other smile and laugh and its so funny to hear you both laughing at each other. I am so excited about Christmas this year because it is your first Christmas at home with us. Its amazing the little things that we take for granted, but I will never take for granted having my whole little family together on Christmas day. You have been eating really good lately. Unlike your sister who savors every bite, you inhale your food. You can have three bites to her one. I'm sure with you two it will always feel like a competition with everything, but I gotta tell ya, I don't think Preslyn will care one bit! So just take it easy little champ. You are a fighter and its already starting to show in your personality. I love that you love when I squeeze you really tight. You are still a cuddler and a great sleeper. Your dimple is a heart breaker! You are so stinking cute and to think there is another one that looks just like you ;) Me and your dad are already preparing for the boys that will start lining up. Now about your hair. It has filled back in from where they shaved it, but it is still thinner on the sides and front so you look like you have a bit of a mullet some days. And your little ears are adorable. One was folded over alot while you were in the NICU. I would always unfold it for you but because of that one of your ears sticks out just a little farther than Preslyn's . Its one of your distinguishing features. You are gorgeous and have a killer smile and a fun loving personality. You are going to be an amazing woman! I love you my little belle-belle.
Happy Birthday Preslyn!
Happy Birthday Ella!
One year down and we are all still alive and all still love each other. Mission accomplished.