His birthday is tomorrow, June 6th. He’s turning two. What pulled me here to write a few words about this occasion is the same reason I’m strangely emotional. Two is turning out to be harder for me, as a mother, than one.
Nothing about my twin pregnancy and their birth was exciting or relaxing, minus of course, the fact that I had them after years of infertility. Bedrest at 23 weeks, two rounds of preterm labor at 28 and 31 weeks, hospital bedrest for a month – and then the emergency c-section at 35 weeks 0 days, almost delivering in an elevator on a cold metal table without a spinal. But the next day, when I finally got to hold them for the first time in the NICU – being wheeled around the corner to fill my arms with my own children, when a day before I had none, was the best moment of my whole. entire. life.
Until my last baby was born. His pregnancy was “normal” – except for the fact that he, too, was born 5 weeks early, almost to the same gestational hour as his siblings. The delivery – a VBAC, was an absolute BREEZE. It was fast, he was tiny, and I felt NO pain the entire time. As they weighed him and took measurements, he screamed and screamed. I was informed that I had five minutes to hold him, and then he would be whisked away to the NICU. They placed him on my chest – and immediately he stopped crying. He snuggled in and was awake and alert and I just held him and took in his little tiny body that fit perfectly on mine and THAT was the other best moment of my whole. entire. life. There’s no comparison, there’s nothing like that feeling, and it’s a gift to be a mother, to be able to experience it. Twice.
And so I’m not quite sure why him turning two is harder for me than one. Maybe it’s because – nothing changed at one. He was chunkier, had more teeth. But he was still nursing (another thing that went perfect with this baby. Not so much for the twins). He wasn’t talking much. He wasn’t walking for a few more months. He was the same. He was a baby. My baby.
Now, tomorrow – he’s not. I’m holding onto his chunky little self for dear life. His adorable little voice as he counts to 10, points out cars on our walk (“Another black car!”), or asks so politely for more food (“More watermelon please!” – except it sounds nothing like this, making it even cuter). I love this age. He’s opinionated and stubborn when he knows what he wants, but he’s SO happy. All the time. Everything makes him laugh, and he tries on different kinds of laughs for size often, just to see what feels right. He loves all cars and trucks, trains and airplanes. He loves dogs (he calls Sadie “Sadie Baby”), he thinks everyone’s belly has a baby in it (thanks to our nanny), and he LOVES his siblings. With the twins turning 5 soon, there’s a lot of emotions in this house coming from them. And with the youngest – he has predominantly one emotion all the time, and that’s happy.
So what is so hard about tomorrow for me? He’s the perfect match, the perfect fit, but he always will be, so it’s not like that’s going to change. But he’s the youngest. He’s the baby, and there won’t be another one after him. And knowing that, I’m trying hard not to take any of his toddlerhood for granted. He’s the last baby, and really – no longer a baby. But always my baby.