It is hard to believe a month has passed. 4 weeks ago Tim and I were breathlessly awaiting the surgery that would bring us our boys. I do not know if I will ever blog that experience, it was one that was difficult and scary, though in the end we were given the greatest gift, the beans, our boys. One month ago we began this irrevocable journey and the time has just flown by.
I want to update monthly as I think this will be a place I can come to for reflection, to reread and relive this time that is passing as quickly as the pregnancy did not. The significance of each week during my pregnancy was that it kept the beans in that much longer. The significance of each passing week now is that we are learning about our boys, their temperment and personhood, who they want to be, who they will be, what they like and do not like.
Owen is the big boy, the first born, his name means desire born and warrior. He is O to us, one of the many nicknames ascribed by Tim and I. We are overly fond of giving ridiculous monikers to everything in our lives. We have even nicknamed our car many times over. So he is O, Harry Houndini due to his ability to escape his swaddle (appropriate as my mom’s sisters swear their dad was related to Houndini), Ice maker (both get this name because they sound like a fridge dropping ice when they poop. I swear.) and Baby O. There are many more, we doubt he will know his real name by the time he can respond to our coos and silliness. He is chill, like his Papa. Mellow unless getting diaper changed, content to gaze at Dad’s black and white photos hanging over our bed. Really strong, muscular even, with calves directly inherited from his maternal line ( I possess the most shapely but somewhat masculine calves (of which he also sports). So strong is he that he likes to challenge all takers to a game of ‘Can you hold a wiggle worm, head throwing baby who is agitated?’. he sings a lot and sounds like a contented kitten when he is in his Moby wrap. Great little eater, impatient with the breast when hungry,(they have been bottle fed breast milk and are learning the art of cuddling mama’s boob) but loves the breast when agitated. And such a good, good boy. Gazes at us with such wisdom, still sees angels, furrows his brow seriously when hard at work eating or performing other important tasks.
Then Mason, named for the stoneworker, the good person. My little one, the Scrapper. He goes by Mad Dog Mason because of the ferocious way he attacks both breast and bottle when hungry. I will include a video someday, hi-larious. Also known as Icemaker. AKA MJ, Slippery Pete, or just Mace. He tries so hard to keep up, I can tell he wants to grow and match his bigger brother. But he also is the Cuddler, when we sleep them together we find him snuggled to Owen, closer than he was placed, always trying to bury his nose into his brother’s shoulder or hair. He is alert and vibrant, makes the most precious faces, gets that huge eyed stare when fascinated by something, looks at us with so much wisdom. He already listens when I read bits of Dr. Suess, tries to figure out what Mama’s songs are about, and cries only to let us know his needs. He has the more delicate system, gets the painful icky gas and has Mama slightly obsessed with his in-and-outs, never does a dipe get thrown without an inspection. She just worries because he was so little, so delicate at birth and still today.
There is another aspect to this first month of which I must write. Tim and I live in a multi-generational household. About 3 years ago, we started house hunting. It was exciting at first, but then so discouraging in the climate that is Southern California real estate. We discovered that we could not afford to buy a home in the town in which we both were raised. We looked further afield, then one day my dad approached up and offered us the house I grew up in. It came with conditions: both parents retired, two teenagers finishing high school, looking towards college, and a home that had sustained the damage of 8 kids tearing it apart since 77’, but we jumped. We took our ‘down payment’ money (that would have barely gotten us by) and invested it in major improvements on our existing home. We signed the papers and became proud owners of a home full of memories and people with a mortgage in the low 200’ s (almost unheard of in La Verne). Why do I include this info? Well, 3 years ago we never entertained the possibility of twins, jeesh, the possibility of kids seemed unlikely. But we did the ‘buy’ because it felt right. It was win-win and though most of America does not imagine having their parents with them as a step forward, we found that we liked them and wanted this. Is it hard at times? Hell, yeah. But it is also the reason I am writing this in the relative peace of an early morning with a cup of coffee. It is the reason I get to shower everyday and put on my makeup. It is why we have clean cars and eat some home cooked meals (let’s not push it, they ain’t hired help, you know.) My youngest brothers (at 16 and 17 ½) are learning about babies, about why they do not want one now and what is required to keep them happy. They look at me with new eyes, in some awe and fear of their sis, Mama Bear.
And Opa and Omie…what do I say about these two. They cherish and cuddle these boys, beg to be given feeding responsibilities, re-arrange their schedule when exhaustion sets in on Tim and I. They do not laugh at their daughter and her strict guidelines as to feed methods and sleepy time (and to think they have done this 8 times before and I am telling them what to do). They listen carefully to instruction (follow it...well, not always). Then when I start to crack or feel overwhelmed, they are there with a cup of tea or apple, or a soothing back rub that helps lift the tension and worry I carry that accumulates as the day progresses.
It has not been an ‘easy’ month. It is full of challenges, sleeplessness, and gut wrenching worry at times. But it is also full of smiles and the softest skin I have ever ever felt, hi-larious dipe change contests between punchy sleep-deprived parents and moments of utter peace when we look at each other with wide eyes, both thinking, What did we ever do to be worthy of this? What could possibly be better than where we are right now?
I cannot wait to see what the next month holds. And for you mamas out there who do not have those extra hands, those loving family members and friends willing to do the things you need…well, I salute you. You have a strength and fortitude that can only be understood by another walking your same path. Hang in there, and seek those who will be to you that my family has been to us.