Did I ever tell you about the gift that I didn't even know I wanted and needed?
I had lost two little babies before you were conceived. My heart had been broken into a million and one pieces and after lots of tears and prayer, my bandaged up heart was ready to try, just one more time, to have another baby. Just one more time because though I was no longer angry at God, I knew my barely pieced together heart, was very fragile. On the verge of shattering forever.
One day I took a pregnancy test and just breathed. I saw the positive sign, patted my tummy and said a prayer. I'm sure it sounded more like a plea, Please, please, stay put Little One. After so many losses, tears and forgiveness I was barely beginning to see the light of Hope. I knew I didn't deserve another baby. No, God didn't owe me anything. And yet my heart was hopeful. Even if just a little, that He would let me have you.
Two weeks passed and I was so tired. So very tired that I told your Daddy something that can only be explained as mother's intuition: I think I'm pregnant with twins. It's not normal for me to be this tired. Your Daddy laughed and called me crazy.
Because my faith was still shaky, I took a 4th? 5th? pregnancy test and was shocked to see that the once positive bright blue line was barely visible. I panicked and called the doctor and they wanted me to come in to get an ultrasound. Poor Claire was very sick so Daddy had to stay home with her. As I walked out the door I told your Daddy: I'm afraid we'll either find out we're losing the baby or that I'm pregnant with twins. Daddy called me crazy again and said: The Baby is fine. And there is only one.
The nurse had me take another pregnancy test and showed me the strip. I'm so sorry. It looks like you are losing this baby. I sat on the table and cried. Again? Oh God please no, not again. The doctor came in and started the ultrasound while I rested my weary head on the pillow. The words I heard stopped my heart. Your baby looks great. I popped up and immediately saw you. Little heart fluttering steadily. Baby. Just one.
I was so grateful to see that you were indeed healthy, ALIVE, and yet was just a little surprised. Hmmm, I was sure there would be two of you. I went home, tears all dried up and so happy to show your Daddy and big sister your first baby picture, just a tiny little 6 week old baby. Daddy got to say I told you so. And I could feel my bandaged heart truly begin to heal. Band aids can only hold on for so long.
There are certain moments in one's life that are as clear as the day they happened. This day is one of them: Two weeks had gone by and your Daddy and I went back to the doctor for your 8 week ultrasound. Daddy was sitting on a chair in the corner playing on his phone and right before the doctor walked in I told Daddy: Now don't fall off that chair when you find out there are two babies in here. He rolled his eyes and called me crazy for a third time in 2 weeks.
I was holding your Daddy's hand while I looked over at the monitor and saw you. And then, I saw you. Two. Not one. I knew exactly what I was seeing. And yet I had to say it out loud, Why are there two? The doctor laughed. Twins, my dear. You are having twins. I remember sobbing. Crying so hard I could barely catch my breath as I said over and over, Oh my God! I had known all along. Yet to see both of you, two hearts happily beating in my tummy, well it was the final glue my heart needed to be mended--completely. And even though my heart knew all along, my mind had a hard time catching up with it. Both the doctor and I looked over at Daddy's shocked, pale face and asked at the same time: Are you ok? And I just couldn't resist saying I told you so.
And that is your story. And yours. Not one. But two.
You're both 3 today. I can't help but hear one of my favorite lyrics from a song: I belong with you, you belong with me, my sweetheart. I belong with you, you belong with me, my sweet. But of course you two came together. The two of you helped fix your Mommy's broken heart. And I'll be forever thankful. The gifts I didn't even know I needed.
Happy birthday, Madeline.
Happy birthday, Max.