During my twin pregnancy, I thought a lot about lasts.
My last pregnancy. My last two children. My last few years in the trenches with all that comes with having four young children.
I did not give much thought to firsts.
I definitely did not think the firsts with my twin babies would be the smallest things.
The first time I saw their faces, was not immediately after birth. It was 5 hours later.
The first tears that came when I did see them, in a scary, bright, unfamiliar place full of beeping machines.
The first time I touched an arm free of tubes and IVs.
The first time I managed to hand express colostrum, and it was a mere 3ml, and I cried, wondering how I was going to help them grow, if I couldn’t produce enough for two.
The first time I held my daughter, 31 hours after she made her dramatic entrance.
The first time I held my son three long days after he was born.
The first time I cried with joy (yes, there is a lot of crying) when my milk DID come in, and come in a rush and abundance.
The first time I touched their hair at 4 days old because they wore warm beanies for the first 3 days.
The first time we had skin-to-skin contact at 4 days old.
The first time I breastfed my daughter, four days after she was born.
And the firsts that have yet to come, four days in.
First bath. First night in their own cot. First diaper change by someone other than family. First breastfeed (for my son). First night at home. First time meeting their big brothers. First kiss on the forehead. First time being held by their grandparents.
All the firsts I’d taken for granted with my first two children. When you have premature babies in NICU nothing can be taken for granted.
My babies are strong and resilient. They’ve been fighting since the first minute, and they continue to fight. They are growing stronger, today, always better than yesterday.
And so am I. From ugly crying on the floor of my hospital room bathroom, I went home, determined to make life at home as normal as possible for my older children. I go to the NICU every morning for a few hours to be fully present with my twins, probably asking the nurses and neonatologist far too many questions, and just soaking in my children.
Firsts. So many more to come, and I look forward to all of them.
I will tell the twins’ birth story soon. They were born on September 14, 2014 at 4.47am (baby girl) and 4.59am (baby boy) respectively at 34 weeks, 1 day, and to say that it was dramatic, would be understating it highly.
I won’t be doing weekly Through The Lens Thursday here for a while. Instead, I will probably do a monthly roundup at the end of the month, with the month’s prompts. Instead, you can expect many posts about the twins and all my thoughts and emotions about preemies, life in the NICU, and so on.