Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Adjusting Our Sails

I watched an interview with Elizabeth Edwards the other day, and I really liked an analogy that she made from her new book.  She said:

“I have said before that I do not know what the most important lesson is that I will ever teach my children…I do know that when they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not go her way…she adjusted her sails.”

I have been so anxious the past several months about the arrival of these twin babies.  As I’ve said before, Greg and I were actually using protection at the time they were conceived, and since twins don’t really run in our family, it never even occurred to me that we would ever have twins.  So, the anticipation of this adjustment has been overwhelming at times – as if I have been in the midst of a storm.  I have doubted my ability, and I have doubted my Heavenly Father’s judgment in my ability.  I have been so concerned as to how adding two children would affect my life, our family life, the lives of the children we already had, etc.  I was trying to see these babies as a blessing, but also acknowledging it as a trial, and I was reluctantly and nervously adjusting our sails.

I forgot about one thing though: How much these two sweet spirits would bless our lives and change them for the better.  Yes, we are adjusting our sails, and traveling a new, unexpected course, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  With the birth of all of my children, I am amazed that heart could contain so much love.  And I see, with new eyes, all of the love around me.

Their birth was difficult for me.  It was a different kind of difficult than with my other children.  I walked into that Operation Room and it was daunting, to say the least.  I had to take a couple of deep breaths to calm my nerves and accept the fact that there really wasn’t another option so I needed to suck it up and be brave.  I felt much better when Greg and my mom walked in.  I spent their entire birth concentrating on my pain and working with the anesthesiologist (who was wonderful) to manage everything on my end.  It was long and difficult.  I was physically and emotionally drained.  I said a lot of prayers to help me keep holding on and staying strong.  My sweet husband rubbed my face and my mom kissed my forehead in reassurance.  I saw each baby briefly before they were taken to the nursery.  As soon as I saw them, I felt immediate peace and love and trust from my Heavenly Father.  Our family is definitely on a different route, but what a privilege it is for us to be able to adjust our sails to accommodate these new spirits!

As I held my sweet boys tonight, I looked at Greg and said, “Can you even imagine our lives without one of them?”  There is nothing quite like having four, inquisitive, bright, beautiful eyes attached to two 3 pound, 13 ounce little bodies (yes, they still weigh exactly the same) staring up at you in awe.  Such strong, fighting spirits in such small bodies!  Everyone that meets them automatically loves them and can feel of their sweetness and strength.  The nurses fight over who gets to take care of them (I witnessed that today as I was in the nursery during a shift change).  Today, as I was feeding Kade, our nurse held Spencer up to her, eye-to-eye and said, “I really like you.  You know that?  I really do!”

They are a lot of work (I’ll post the laborious schedule later), and yet people seem to gravitate toward them.  Last night, Greg was at Austin’s baseball game when the night nurse came on her shift.  When he called, I went on and on about her and how he was really going to like her.  When we walked out of the nursery last night, he said, “You’re right.  I do really like her.  But I love Kelly too.”  He paused, thinking about all of nurses that have cared for our boys.  With a deep breath, he said, “There are so many women that I love now!”

He’s right.  I love these women so deeply for loving my sweet babes and taking care of them with so much love, patience, and tender attention.  They have all been wonderful, and I will be forever grateful for all of these surrogate mothers.  (Spencer & Kade)

For Mother’s Day, I held my boys for the first time.  Later on in the day, I got to hug and kiss my other children as well.  The last thing I did that day was receive a tender kiss from the man who made it all possible.  I have adjusted my sails, yet again, on behalf of my children.  I will never be the same.  I feel glorious.  


Laura said...

Wow, Emily...the boys are incredible and so are you! You're right, it's truly a miracle when you are able to look into the eyes of your new baby and just feel such incredible joy and love. You are now twice blessed, actually 5 times blessed. Remember, we'll be there for any help you need. :)

Marianne said...

They are so cute! And they look so much alike. I always thought that if I had identical twins, I would accidentally switch them. Hopefully one has an identifying freckle or something. You look so beautiful, too. Can't wait to see you all.

Mindi said...

W.O.W. --for you and your tiny triumphs. They are magnificent.

Amber said...

Emily, I love the last picture! Your little guy is snuggled up against you so peacefully, because he KNOWS you! He knows you are the person in the world that loves him the most, in a way no one else can, no matter how many marvelous nurses love and care for him. These twins and all of your other kids are so blessed to have you as their mom! Thank you for sharing your incredible experience.

Jana said...

Oh, they are beautiful! And I love the way you express yourself on your blog, it really is amazing.

Jackie said...

Can't wait for you to be able to bring them home! Anxious to see them- and to help out. Congrats again!

Kim and Brian said...

They are so beautiful and yes, very sweet. Thank you for letting me visit you and see them yesterday. I loved watch Kade wake up. I love his little grunting and squeeking sounds. His face expressions were amazing. Can I just say that babies are amazing. Everyone I see reminds me of the miracles that we are blessed with everyday. You are an amazing mom and Greg is the most excited dad to show off his babes I've ever seen. Thank you, thank you!!

PS. I know what you mean about the nurses who take care of the babies. They have such a wonderful spirit about them. I cried when each nurse ended their shifts and I knew that I wouldn't see them again before we left.


Xazmin said...

You are amazing! I look up to you so much, and love the way you express yourself, and the things you say.

These babies are so blessed to have you for their mom!

You truly have an adorable family!

Krainich Family said...

Emily, You went and made me cry! I don' know wh I am so emotional, but reading this post made me take a step back and realize how everyone has their own set of trials and lack of belief that they can actually do what they've been called and asked to do. Thank you for admitting that you had doubts. It's easy to spot the strength in others and compare them to your weaknesses, so I am grateful you didn't cover up your doubt. I need to adjust my sails, I have beeen blowing in the wrong direction for a few months now. Lovs:
Can't wait to see those babes of yours. How are you recovering from the C-Section?

Kristy said...

Beautiful, beautiful post Emily. It made my heart grow. Thanks,

Valerie said...

This post made me cry. I'm so happy for you guys! Your children are amazing and adorable. I can't wait to meet Spencer and Kade.

kto1s said...

Oh Emily. This is so lovely--you are beautiful and those boys are darling as can be! Please know that I'm sending my thoughts, prayers and love as you navigate this sweet, intense, roller-coaster-of-emotions time. As wonderful as those NICU nurses are;), I'm praying for a quick stay and a marvelous homecoming to be just around the corner...much love, Katie