We went through a lot to have Owen and Emma. It was heartbreaking and emotional, and an emotionally high stress pregnancy…but in the end, we ended up with two beautiful and healthy children. God is good.
Over the years, I’ve come to accept that Owen and Emma would be our first and last children…but it took a lot of grieving. I grieved that we went from 0 to 2 so quickly; I just didn’t feel that I had the chance to enjoy their infancy because I was in constant survival mode as a new mom and a mom of twins. I honestly hardly remember their first year of life. I felt like I missed out on a lot of “normal” mom life and activities because having two babies felt like such an insurmountable task. Play group as a chance to visit with other moms? Forget it. Play dates? Heck no. Spontaneous anything? No way. An event downtown that would require me to take the BTS? Never. Grocery shopping? Tell me first how you pull a double stroller and a cart while dealing with crying babies…or where you put the food you’re buying if you only have the stroller…or how to get home in a taxi (we have a car now, thankfully) with all the food, 2 babies, and a stroller that is too big to fit in the trunk of a taxi that has a natural gas tank. A morning at the coffee shop with a sleeping child? Whatever. Even as a mom, I envied other moms; moms who “only had one child.” And while I adore my children and have grown into my role as a “twin mama,” life just SEEMED infinitely easier for most new moms of singletons.
I had finally gotten to a point where I had accepted that and simply was grateful instead of bitter about certain things. Life has clearly gotten easier as the twins have gotten older and I think we hit our stride when they turned about 3.5 years old. I have said numerous times to friends how we are finally reaping all the benefits of having twins because they are finally playing well together and need less and less intervention from me. Most mornings, I spend my time on the couch reading while they color or play together and brew up new imaginary adventures. It’s pretty rad, actually. I remember wondering at one point in time during their infancy if I’d ever read again. 😂 Travel from Bangkok to Minneapolis (24-30+ hours) and back again was a breeze this past summer. Taking them places alone and not worrying about one running left and one running right is no longer an issue. Play dates and play group has become a regular and fun part of their lives (and mine). Their personalities and interests have emerged and entertaining them with coloring, crafts, and “school work” (all things that I love) is a breeze. Honestly, I’ve really been enjoying my last year at home with them before they start K4, but was also getting mentally ready to jump back into the teaching world again at ICS. Life has been good, stable and predictable…exactly how I like it. 😝
And then God moved and surprised us all with a new plan.
I confess, it has taken time to wrap our minds around this surprise. When I found myself taking a pregnancy test and two lines popped up, my first thought was, “Waaaaait….two lines means not pregnant, right??!?!” The shock was so tremendous that I honestly found myself grieving all over again. We were done. This was not part of our plan. I grieved my own plans and expectations of what I thought life held for us. I grieved having to start all over when we had purged everything baby related. I grieved going back to infancy when we had finally hit our stride. I grieved not returning to ICS to teach. And I grieved that as I have not felt well, I haven’t been able to give more time and energy to the twins in their last year at home with me. This was SO not part of the plan.
The extreme grief and shock lasted about three weeks. And then when a close friend found out we were expecting, her words bubbling with excitement for us hit me hard. She simply said, “Wow. God must have extra big plans for that baby…I can’t wait to meet him/her.” And she’s right… I have always asked God to let me witness a modern day miracle to help bolster my faith. Her words jolted me out of my grief and helped me to realized that God not only allowed me to witness a miracle, but to even be a part of it. A baby…a baby against all odds. This baby may have been a surprise for us, but s/he certainly was not for God.
And then there’s sweet Emma girl. I joke and say she prayed this baby into being and that she’s not allowed to pray anymore. For many months this sweet child has tenderly prayed every single night for a “real live baby in our home.” I had never told her “no,” but had always said that Mama and Daddy were done and it would take a miracle for that to happen so that it probably wouldn’t ever happen. Mind you, that little girl kept praying anyway. Prayers have no boundaries.
And so here we are…over a third of the way in. Some moments I still waiver. Some moments I still wonder if this was just a test of faithfulness or a dream that I’ll wake up from. But we are learning to embrace. To embrace this good gift. To embrace this new life. To embrace the changes that will come. To embrace this modern day miracle. To embrace growing pains. And to embrace God’s clear plan and sovereignty.
“Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.”
-Ecclesiastes 3:1 (GNT)