Sunday, September 14, 2008

"All that matters..."

It seems lately that all I hear is that I should be grateful for my healthy babies and just forget about their birth. It's difficult for me to hear it and I've heard it before (after Joshua's birth.) It's hard for me to have people thinking that I somehow don't value the 2 beautiful, healthy little boys that I have just because I am not happy with the way that they arrived.

"All that matters is a healthy baby."

Yes, of course! A healthy baby and mother is obviously the ultimate goal in any pregnancy. But the birth matters too. Maybe not to every mother... but it does to me.

I believe that my babies arrived in the safest way possible given the circumstances. I would sacrifice my body 1000 times over just to hold them both in my arms. What mother wouldn't? It still does not mean that I can't mourn the loss of a peaceful birth while still delighting in the new lives that have joined our family.

For me, the birth is the culmination of the entire pregnancy and the beginning of the journey into caring for these new little babies. I can't put into words the way it felt to lift Leila and Sarah to my chest for the first time and smell them, feel their warm, wet bodies, and take in the entire experience. It made it REAL.

I crawled up into bed with my twin daughters and nursed them and cuddled with them. I enjoyed every moment and every sensation. I remember the emotions I felt and everything about the experience... their first cries, seeing Matthew and Joshua's faces as they watched them being born, and the immediate, intense bond I felt.

It's a stark contrast to what I went through 10 days ago. I did not hear my babies' first cries. I have no recollection of holding them for the first time. I was not the first person to hold them-or even see them. I woke up and there were 2 babies there but I never experienced their birth. There is a disconnect.

So don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely in love with my babies. I would give my life for them. I know my cesarean was necessary. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am grateful to have 2 healthy babies and that is THE most important thing.

But I also feel a great sense of sadness that I lost out on those first moments with my babies. I can never get those back. I wish I could have had the peaceful homebirth that I had planned and prayed for all those months.

I'm having a hard time explaining it, but I just want everyone to know that I AM thankful that my boys are alive and well. But it doesn't mean that the birth experience doesn't matter.

Ryan (top) & Nathan (bottom)

My mother and grandmother drove down to visit and spent Friday and Saturday with us. The kids had a great time and it's always a treat to get to see our families. Living so far from home is made increasingly difficult with each new addition to our family. Hopefully my mother will retire soon and eventually we'll move back home. Until then we'll have to settle for a couple of visits each year and lots and lots of pictures.

Nathan (and his dimples!) Did I mention both boys have Matthew's adorable dimples?

Ryan (on the bottom)

It's been rather exhausting having 6 little ones in the house! We are loving life though! Today the girls tandem nursed with the babies for the first time. I will have to get some pictures of it. It is so amazing to sit and nurse 2 sets of twins. Sarah was rubbing Ryan's head as they nursed together. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen. This nursing 4 thing is not so hard after all!

Of course we never have a shortage of "helpers" in this house. Mostly the helping consists of wanting to hold babies. M & J are especially fond of holding their new brothers. They are already asking when we'll have more babies. (I wish!!!)

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