Wednesday, December 16, 2009

3 months

Tomorrow my daughters will be three months old—and what a journey it has been. In many ways in seems like yesterday that Justin and I checked into the hospital and in other ways I can barely remember life without Morgan and Addyson. Most of you know I struggle with change—though I always embrace it for it has proven to be for the best. So you can imagine two children was a huge adjustment. Yet in the last three months I have been moved by what an amazing community we live in, what a supportive family we have, what a loving husband and father Justin is and how much I love being a mom.

While my love for my girls was instantaneous, adjusting to being a mother came less naturally. I worried about Addy’s health, Morgan’s fear of diaper changing, money, career, my body image, but most of all I worried about my ability to be as strong in the role of a mother as I was in other areas of life. Yet I seemed to be one of the only people doubting me. Over the last few mouths our community has put a great deal of time and energy into making us comfortable. Meals, dog walkers, and helping hands have come in abundance. Various members of the Western Washington community brought dinners for three months, the Whatcom mother of multiples sent diapers, helpers, and support from families with twins. My neighbor IJ comes over for an hour every day she knows I am alone to help with a feeding. Three times a week my neighbor and friend Jen walks 1/4 mile uphill in the rain to help me gather my troops (Addy, Morgan, Scout and Vern) and get them out for a walk. There is not a thank you note that can express my gratitude.

While our community has been amazing, the love of our family has blown me away. Three months ago my mother came to help us out. Five days later she moved into the hospital to take care a Addyson around the clock. She left two weeks later totally exhausted but with the knowledge that Addy, then less than five pounds, was healthy and safely home. Then Judy, my mother in law came to stay for two weeks. She rocked babies like it was her job. A few days before she left, we had the first argument we have ever had (in about 10 years). She was frustrated that I had so little faith in my ability to be a patient, caring mother. At the time I was pissed that she did not give me the compassion I thought she should, but in retrospect I have come to understand a stern hand was exactly what I needed. I wanted to prove to her what she knew I could do all along. I could stay home alone with two babies, I could breast feed, take care of the dogs, lose weight and be a good mother. I cannot wait for her to return next week and see how far we have come. Additionally my Aunt Donna, cousin Mica, Uncle Steven, Aunty Nors, Father-in-law, Sister-in-law, step-mother-in-law, and Grandparents have each taken the cross country trip to meet and help with our new family. To each of them I am grateful. During that time the girls have grown so much.

Morgan is now almost 13 pounds. She can lift her head, loves a diaper change, wares 6-12 months clothing, and mostly sleeps (with a few nightly visits) from 11:30pm-5am. She smiles, sits in a bumbo, is outspoken, and is growing up to be a beautiful little girl. Addyson is now almost 9lbs. She is so calmed natured. She is independent and sleeps like a champ. She smiles and loves a warm bath. She has little wisps of red hair and is so pretty. Other then the fact that they were born on the same day, there is little about my girls that suggests they are twins. They look and act differently, but seem to like to be together as though they were best friends. I am sure there will come a day (or two) when they fight like sisters, but I hope they always remain friends. As a person who fears change, having children forces you to face your fears every day. Each day they change, grow, and learn something new. They have recently discovered their hands and inspect them every day. We read together each night and I am amazed at how intently they listen and look at the pictures. It is great to watch development in process. It is amazing at how many things I have learned to do at once and fascinating how little sleep humans really need. Each of these lessons could have been learned without the love and support of Justin.

Justin and I learn differently. I, the nerdy book type, love to read and study. Justin just goes for it. When we encounter a crossroads with the girls, such as how to teach them to sleep through the night, our tag team approach seems to work well. I read and Justin jumps in and tries different strategies until something works. Since the day we found out I was pregnant, Justin never doubted me. In fact he has been my biggest fan and is truly an amazing father. After a long wet day at work, Justin walks in, picks up a baby and takes on a full time parenting role till he goes to sleep. When Addy was in the hospital he did everything and more than the nurses. When Morgan could not sleep through the night without crying he held her on his chest all night. When Vern is to tried to walk the stairs he carries her and when Scout needs a walk he straps on a baby and off they go. When I could not keep my eyes open anymore, he put me to bed and ran our household on his own. I am so grateful to have such a remarkable and compassionate life partner.

Together Justin, Morgan, Addy, Scout, Vern and I are on an extraordinary journey. As the holidays approach I give thanks for my family. There is no doubt there will continue to be challenges (like returning to work in 2 weeks) but I am confident in and excited for the great rewords. I will do my best to keep you updated. Wishing you and your family a happy and a healthy new year.

Justin reading before bedtime

The GREAT Grandparents come to visit

Great Nana's talk put Morgan to sleep

Morgie in the bath

Mom reads to her girls

Morgan smiling

Hangin with Great Papa

Papa reading Addy the story of Hanukkah


Addy in the bumbo

Grandaddy John comes to visit

Aunt Jill reads Addy a story

Addy's big smile

Nana, Mom and the girls