I walked into a baby mega-store the other day and passed the clothes section. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that made me stop in my tracks…the tiniest onesie 3-pack on a hanger. I couldn’t believe how small it was and checked the size: Newborn. I immediately felt a lump in my throat. My babies, my little girls, almost one year ago swam in the enormity of newborn onesies. I was momentarily stunned at the recollection of how small they had been and got ferklempt as I realized how far they have come in the last year.
Almost a year ago, at 35 weeks, I was on bed rest with pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure flirted with dangerous territory, and after a few weeks of “wait and see,” the scales finally flipped–it was safer for the twins to come out than to stay in. To this day I don’t have the words to express how worried I was from the moment that decision was made until the I heard my babies cry just a mere two hours later. Terrified is too mild a word.
Pepper arrived first. They opened my womb and we could hear her shriek as soon as oxygen hit her lungs. We named her well, I thought to myself. Elora arrived a minute later, and her healthy cry allowed me to take a deep breath of relief, a breath I felt as though I had held for 35 weeks.
Pepper weighed just over 5 pounds and Elora clocked in at slightly over 4. Hospital policy for premature babies dictated they spend a minimum 24 hours in the NICU. I was so proud of their strength and resilience when they were released from the NICU at 24 and 36 hours respectively. Three days later, I came home with my miniature girls that looked like a pair porcelain dolls. They had lost a bit of weight and were now 3 pounds 15 ounces and 4 pounds 9 ounces. Tiny, tiny, tiny. I could not believe they let me take home babies so little they barely fit into their car seats!
And so began the fastest year of my life. The first few months were a blur for me as I nursed and pumped around the clock. When the girls started on solid foods at 5 months that definitely made things a litter easier on me, and when they began to sleep through the night that literally changed my life. Their milestones are coming at us fast and furious now: hand waving, standing, and first teeth to name a few from the past two months. They also just went through a giant growth spurt and finally outgrew their 6-month sized clothing and went up to a size 3 diaper!
My girls have blessed our lives immeasurably. They have revealed a tender side of our son that makes me love him even more (if that is even possible), and I have seen them melt my husband’s heart like nothing else. I am so grateful as I look back on the past year. Happy Birthday my sweet, smiling little daughters. May you continue to sleep well, eat well, grow everyday, laugh even more, and bring joy to all of those around you. You are so incredibly loved.