Oh dear little babies, you are not so little anymore. Just sorting through pictures of from one year ago brought me to tears. Your faces are the same, but not the same at all. I can remember every second of your delivery. I can remember exactly what I was thinking when I saw your sweet little faces for the first time.
I can remember hearing you cry for the first time, Ryan. I asked your daddy if this was all real. If you were real. If this was really happening. Feeling you leave my body and hearing your tiny voice for the first time was a complete out of body experience. I honestly never thought I'd get to be a mother. It has been a joy and a blessing. Every day I am thankful.
When it was your turn to be delivered Reese, I was so tired. I pushed even without contractions. I just wanted to see you, to know you were okay. When your head crowned, the doctor turned you and your daddy could see your face. You opened your eyes right away. I remember asking your daddy what you looked like. He could only cry and respond "she's beautiful". Little girl you are beautiful. Every single part of you.
The night we took you home from the hospital it was 9 degrees. We had you bundled so tightly and getting out of the maternity ward was such a debacle since you both had microchipped ankle bracelets and at least a dozen layers on top of your tiny limbs. Daddy and I had no idea how to get you into your car seats. The hospital staff kept trying to make me sit in a wheelchair and I had to put them in their places and let them know your safety was more important than my sitting in a chair with wheels. From the second I found out you were in my belly my whole life changed. You both took over my whole world, and everything I do is for you or with you in mind.
That first week was a blur of nursing, sleeping, burping, sleeping. Well, you guys slept. Daddy and I not so much. I think we were running on pure love back then.
I remember thinking how crazy life was, how busy it became. How much work it was to parent! And you guys hadn't even started moving yet. I had no idea what we were really in for, that's for sure.
Reese, you poor thing, you had such bad colic and you were so uncomfortable. Your daddy used to walk around the house with your belly resting on his forearm. He'd just walk in circles carrying you for hours. I swear you and I both only survived those first two months with his help. You were both such good babies, just sweet and cuddly. Good eaters, good dispositions. We were so very blessed.
That month you had your first baths in your new home. Daddy and I were so careful with your tiny little bodies. You were terrified and shivering. It was nothing like the happy, joyful, splashing bath times we have now. We felt so badly for you, but we had to clean your little parts.
Those first few weeks you both slept the same way that you were in my belly. Ryan, you laid completely splayed out. And Reese, you slept in a tiny little ball with your hands over your face and your knees pulled up to your belly.
Reese, your favorite place to sleep back then was in Daddy's armpit. I think it was just a warm and small space for you to cuddle into. Daddy and I used to laugh because your head always smelled like Old Spice as a result.
Back then you both slept together in the bassinet of your pack and play right next to our bed. You were our tiny burrito babies. Of course, most nights one or both of you made it into our bed. We'd sleep completely at the edge to give you as much room as possible. Not even two feet tall and you took up a king sized bed.
Later that month we tried tummy time for the very first time. You two weren't so steady on your bellies. And for a while it looked like maybe you had fallen asleep, except for a whimper here and there or the wiggle of a tiny finger.
You both slept a lot back then and your Daddy and I got so much joy out of watching your little lips quiver and pout and smile in your sleep. The faces you'd make. I spent so many days trying to imagine what your little faces would look like. You looked nothing like I could ever imagine; you are both so much more beautiful than anything I ever pictured.
It's almost a year later and we still find so much joy in holding you in our arms and watching your tiny faces as you sleep. There is a peace and a stillness that comes from feeling your warm breath on my neck, your tiny hands twitch on my chest, hearing the sounds of you sucking on your pacifiers slow down until there is nothing but quiet.
Each time I get to sit with you in my lap and stroke your hair and hold your tiny little hands and breathe you in, I wonder what I did to deserve such happiness.