Have you ever listened to a song and it made you well up, or even cry? Does it happen every time the same song or songs play and you wonder if you have crossed the crazy line? You know the crazy line that, especially as a Mother, is very hard to see because you feel like you have set up camp next to it so often it becomes normal. Like a mountain climber setting up his tent on a cliff edge, it just becomes part of the routine.
During runaway hormones, sleep deprivation, colic, growth spurts, wonder year leaps, teething (only to mention a few things) … did I mention off the chart hormones…I swear that sometimes I have crossed that line but I’m just not sure because I can’t see it and I’m too busy just truckin’ along to pay much attention..
But first, oh my word, River and Piper are so much fun. Happy 8th month birthday back on August 17th girls!
I have enjoyed every stage of their lives so far and right now I am loving the laughs, giggles and ear to ear smiles. These girls hold nothing back, including teeth now. Piper got her first tooth showing it’s shiny white enamel on her 8th month birthday. I was expecting it to be one of the four front ones but it is further back. She is going to be a carnivore like her Mom. Then they both woke up on August 21st with a bottom front right tooth cut through and on the 22nd the bottom front left.
I first mentioned lullabies here http://wp.me/p43eFn-td where I wrote about using them to condition the girls to know when bedtime was. It’s more like Mom has been conditioned to be sentimental and sometimes downright sappy . The lyrics can really pull on my heart strings when I am cradling the girls, they can make me well up, and sometimes yes, I cry. They are tears of joy, hope and thoughts of River and Pipers past and their bright future. I am a passionate person!
“Just a gift from Heaven just a dream come true”
This one is making me tear up right now! I waited so long for our little girls and I am so incredibly thankful to God for them. I can’t imagine my world without them. As full as my life was before they were born, now it seems empty because I can’t imagine a life without them in it. I dreamed of having children, I know Darren did too.
Darren’s Dad had a vision of the girls four days before they were born and he told Mum the details but not us. It was a miracle we still didn’t know their sex, even with three ultrasounds a week and technicians who don’t remember that although 90% of the population wants to know, we didn’t. After they were born his dream was confirmed, two perfect, red headed little girls. Who knew we were having red heads except of course God, who shared His secret with Dennis.
Mum was very delighted to hear Pa say that he saw them perfect. She had heard from a friend in the States about a set of, now adult, MoMo twins who had some of the digits on theirs hands missing from something that happened in utero. She wasn’t sure what but she had become worried and had begun spinning that worry into even more prayer. She told us this after the birth, how when she first saw River and Piper in their isolettes she counted all 40 fingers and toes and gave a sigh of relief.
I didn’t have a vision but I really liked the name Rowan and funny enough it means red head, although it’s a boys name I was considering it for a girl. Glad I didn’t go with it, neither of the girls are a Rowan in my opinion. Why are boy’s names easier to pick?
“You are the answer to a million prayers”
I prayed and prayed for these children and many people have agreed with us in prayer. God is good, He heard us and I heard Him. One evening after a Woman’s group, where (funny enough) we talked about expectations, I went to my vehicle and as I turned the key in the ignition the radio came on and it blared “Children are a gift from the Lord”. It was a Focus on the Family radio show on Spirit FM. It all makes sense to me that what I am about to share with you took place in a vehicle, because God likes to speak to me there. I have told Him many times, as I am crying in thankfulness from some revelation, that it is really hard to drive with tears in my eyes. After I heard that sentence on the radio I broke into sobs, I felt really angry and I turned my anger towards Heaven.
Gasp, you can’t be angry at God!
I wasn’t angry at God so much as I was expressing my anger to God, but even if I was angry at Him, He knows how I feel so why would I hide it from Him? I didn’t sin by taking my anger out on anyone. I took it too my Father in Heaven who loves me and knows my heart. With Him I am safe to share anything without fear of condemnation.
“When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day” Ephesians 4:26.
And take it to him I did, I marched into the throne room (metaphorically speaking) and I said to Him, between sobs, “If children are a blessing from you, where are my children?” I was essentially saying to God, I believe your word, it says Children are a blessing from you and I’m not experiencing that promise right now. It’s not demanding for me to say that to Him, I don’t need to demand a promise that has already been given in His word.
You know what happened? I heard Him say (not audibly for those who don’t understand this) “They are coming”. Instantly my anger vanished and my tears of sorrow to tears of Joy, I felt so relaxed, peaceful yet excited. I just praised him over and over and with renewed hope, I believed.
After more than three years of trying to conceive, less than two months after hearing from God I was pregnant. The comical part to me is that I didn’t say baby or child but I said children, I love God’s sense of humour.
Sometimes we stand boldly before God and we wrestle with Him. I wrestled the idea that I just couldn’t believe that He didn’t have, in His plans, any children for me. In the face of adversity we have a choice to reach higher levels of trusting God. In wrestling with Him, who knows all of me anyways, He showed Himself more to me. God gave me a lasting impression of how great and mighty He is with rare, high risk twins. Turns out He had a journey involving children planned out for me all along and I was going to find out, eventually, what His plans for me were and where He was going to take my faith during this time.
“I am here beside you I am here to stay, I will keep you safe and never go away”
I know it’s just a lullaby but I won’t always be here to keep them safe. The truth is I will have to let go of them,. As they grow and I slowly teach them how to make, not only their own choices, but good choices, they will step out from where I can keep them safe. If I don’t do this letting go, I will in the long run be hurting them and that is not part of my intentional parenting plan.
Just like my heart is connected to God’s I am working towards connecting River and Piper’s hearts to mine. I can run into the safe arms of God who may not agree with a choice I made but He will never love me less for it. He restores me and puts me back on my feet. I will be the safe place they can come to when they make mistakes so I can lift them back up and encourage them.
I will never love them more or less because of what they do. I will love them for who they are, children of God entrusted to my care till they say “I do”, or move out of the house, after which I will need to completely let go.
Another truth is that I won’t always be around.
When the girls were born Darren wanted to talk to me about who should be the girls guardians if something happened to us. At the mere mention of this topic, tears would start streaming down my face. I let him know I wasn’t ready for that talk yet, I had to talk myself into having it and he was really good about it.
My hormones were still going crazy, I was under a lot of stress and the thought of not being there while River and Piper take their first step, have their first day of school, their graduation, their wedding day or their children really upset me. It was just too much on top of being away from home and my church family for so long, the girls in NICU, an upcoming move out of BC, recovering from my C-section and my breast milk not really coming in, just to name a few things… and did I mention hormones (they were so crazy!)? We would start to have the discussion but part way through, when I got overwhelmed I would let Darren know I was done. He was understanding and eventually we got the conversation completed.
How hard of a discussion is that? Pretty hard for me. Who is good enough for our kids?That question isn’t meant in a mean way but simply my first general thought. I don’t think there are a lot of people who feel someone can raise their kids the way they can. Mostly because we are their parents but also because we all have such different values.
I started thinking:
Who has integrity to honour our requests?
Who will love them like we do?
Most importantly, who will make them feel loved so that they know in their very being, without a shadow of a doubt, how special and unique they are and that their creator, Papa God, loves them so much and that they were created for a very special purpose?
We chose the people we did based on these questions and whatever leftover concerns we had we handed them to God. Ultimately He is their best Father already, we know He loves them more then we do and we entrust Him with them because He first entrusted them to us. Which leads to:
“Oh, I love you but God loves you the best.”
No matter how much I love River and Piper, God loves them the best. There is no greater love than the love of the Father who sent His only Son to die on the cross for the world. When I think about how much God loves my little girls I am reminded that He loves me that much too. I am overwhelmed with His outrageous love for us.
The moment I saw you I wanted to hold you and keep you warm on a cold grey morn. The moment I held you I wanted to kiss you and welcome you here on the day you were born.
I wanted so much to hold my little girls but I couldn’t, they weren’t stable. They were being kept alive with the help of machines via intubation. I’m not sure if it was a grey morning but it most likely was, seeing as how it was a December afternoon in Vancouver. Whatever the weather was, when they were born I couldn’t keep my babies warm. Their isolette was doing that, not my snuggles even though I wanted so much for it to be me.
It was on day three that I was able to hold Piper and I held River on day four because she still wasn’t stable enough before that. The nurses wanted us to wait longer but we are advocates for Kangaroo care (skin to skin touch). I remember, clearly, the nurse handing Piper to me and I was so concerned with her comfort and, my word, not pulling all the C-PAP (assisted oxygen) tubes out and monitoring wires off her. Then all of a sudden it hit me, I’m holding my baby, my little precious baby and I had a floodgate of emotions rush in. I was in such disbelief that her small, fragile, now three and a half pound, body was finally in my arms.
Piper melting Mama’s heart.
Seven months of pregnancy, with the last two months being inpatient, had rolled into delivery and it all still felt so surreal. I then had these beautiful babies but I could only see them in their isolette and at most, reach inside and hold their hand. That moment of tangibility, when I held all of her, changed everything. My children finally felt real and not just like a concept I kept trying to make feel real. I was flooded with so much love, when I thought there wasn’t room for any more, amazement, awe and wonder.
After the girls were held they were soon extubated and onto C-PAP which was much less invasive and just aided the girls so they got enough oxygen when they breathed on their own. Even though River was initially the first to come off all breathing aides for good, she had to be intubated twice which was really hard for us to hear. It is very uncomfortable for anyone to have the tubes inserted, let alone for a tiny human being, but she bounced back onto C-PAP again soon. Although it maybe doesn’t sound like a big deal, no one can understand NICU time unless they have been through it. It is really hard and dramatic bordering traumatic to have to go through.
When our babies were held they thrived.
Touch is so important, when Jesus healed the Leper in Mark 1 he could have just said “Be healed” but he didn’t. He, being filled with compassion, reached out and touched the man as well. That leper had to leave everyone he loved to live outside of the city in the leper camp. That leper had not felt the loving touch of another person for years, Jesus knew this. The Leper was healed physically and emotionally through touch and I know our girls received healing from Mama and Papa giving them the Kangaroo care they so needed to grow big and strong.
The song lyrics I mention are from Nicolette Larson’s release, Sleep Baby Sleep. Don’t get me started on other albums! Nicolette recorded the album after the birth of her daughter in 1994 and it is timeless.
The girls are over 8 months old now and I still well up at all the same places where the lyrics tug on my heart and I’m ok with that. In fact I hope it never changes, even when my girls are old enough to look at me funny for doing so.
Here is a duet with Graham Nash:
Here is my favourite to sing to them:
Watch out for the bear song though, it get’s stuck in my head.
I do not make any money by referring this album.
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© Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and momotwinsfun.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.