Thursday, January 15, 2009

35 weeks in - 35 weeks out

As of today, the babies are eight months old. They have been out in the world for 35 weeks. They were born at 35 weeks they have been living outside of me longer than they lived in the womb. It is hard to believe that much time has passed.

Motherhood has been a much bigger challenge than I had imagined. My patience is tested more often than I care to admit. I am worn down and tired more often than not. Often times in the evenings, between the hours of 5:30pm and 7:30pm-when the babies go to sleep, I feel like I have been a mother forever and have lost all of my motherly patience....then things start to settle down. The babies are dressed in their pajamas, they breastfeed for one last time in the day, and Lonnie and I each hold one of our little ones and give them their only bottle of the day to top them off before they go to sleep. They dreamily drink as their eye lids start to drop. They snuggle in close before we put them into their cribs and quickly fall asleep. Just before Lonnie and I go to bed, I start to miss my babies, and I peek in on them sleeping quietly in their cribs. They look angelic and almost unreal in their perfection of tiny doll-like hands and features. I still find it hard to believe that I am able to participate in making and raising these children.

My pregnancy was not easy. I was sick to my stomach (to put it mildly) for the entire pregnancy. At fourteen weeks, I received a cervical cerclage, due to an incompetent cervix. I also had gestational diabetes. I also wasn't able to have the delivery that I had hoped due to Maya's transverse position and Max's breach. But I loved being pregnant. I loved the feeling of the babies moving inside me. I learned to give up my body and my sleep, which helped only slightly prepare me for the exhaustion of motherhood.

Certainly, there are days when I wonder if I am a good mother, but I am trying. There are things about being a mother that have come a lot less easily and intuitively than I thought they would, like breastfeeding or getting the babies to sleep. There are also a lot of things that have come a lot easier than I thought they would, like my ability to calm my babies with just my voice or my presence. I am trying to learning patience with myself and with my expectations. I also have a much greater appreciation for all mothers.

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one." (Jill Churchill)