Sacrifice: an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
From my minute I laid eyes on my adopted son, he was, and has been, the love, the life and the joy of my life. Though the journey and gift of becoming his mother, he (and his infectious smile) brought healing and connection to my life in the most effortless way. It was he who taught me how to love something more than I loved myself, and maybe it was the great pleasure that being his mother brings to my life that instilled a longing so deeply inside of me towards these girls. Maybe it is the videos of his little diaper clad body singing songs in the sweetest baby voice ever that possessed me. Maybe it was he who gave me the courage to let go of “me” for the better of “we.”
If he is the teacher of love, light, and the joy…. than these little girls are the teachers of sacrifice and faith.
And to be completely honest, self-sacrifice is pretty extraordinarily scary for me. It took me a really, really long time to first, even find myself, and then to have a meaningful relationship with myself; so the thought of giving up any part of myself that I value (some parts of myself that I value a whole lot) for these babies was not an easy process. As as I approach the 34-week mark this week, otherwise known as the home stretch of what has been a 4 year journey and struggle with faith and letting go, It’s almost unreal that the moment I have been waiting so very long for is finally just around the bend.
I am finally inside of the month that I will actually lay eyes on these angels that I have been dreaming of, praying for, and waiting on for so very, very long now. For four years now, my life has been divided into a series of months spent in the waiting; questioning Gods plan, at times loosing my faith, and always wondering if I had it inside of myself to make the sacrifices necessary to get to this place. It wasn’t as easy path for me. Nothing about bringing these two little girls to life has been “effortless” or a path of pleasure. It has been stressful, intentional, relentless, and at times downright painful.
Four years ago, I could never have predicted how both physically and mentally challenging this entire experience would turn out to be, or just how long the wait would be. Every step of this journey has been filled with so many ups and downs, worries and milestones, sacrifices and rewards. Just when I think, “I’ve got this thing down,” some new challenge (working though morning sickness), symptom (pain) or experience (flutters from inside) comes about to shake things up inside of me.
Four years ago I started by charting months and months of menstrual cycles, months and months of waiting for two blue lines, months of grieving the loss of my first pregnancy, months of waiting to start again, months of waiting for cysts to resolve and surgeries to heal. There were the months I had to wait to begin IVF. The months that my life was consumed by injections and needles. Months of healing from Ovarian Hyperstimulation. And than finally at last it was the month I was PREGNANT!!!! Followed by the months I worried myself to death I would loose the babies. There were the months of sickness, followed by the months of migraines, followed by the months pelvis of pain so intense I could barely breathe or function.
And finally, after the sum of all of those months…. here I am. It’s fitting that it is also the month that I am at my complete and utter wits end. I am physically, emotionally, and mentally simply “done.” My body has gained almost 70 lbs in 10 months. I first gave up dancing and running, then yoga, then walking, than sitting, and now I will spend the next few weeks essentially moving from bed to couch to pool to couch to bed again. I have surrendered my body in every sense of the world to these babies. It has been ten months since I was able to break a sweat, to feel really powerful inside of my body, and as of the past few weeks, I truly know what it is like to be totally and completely physically incapacitated.
And then of course there are all of the incredible gifts that have come from the struggle. I am still uncovering and recognizing the crazy self-awareness I’ve gained though this process of being pushed (quite literally) outside of my comfort zone and metamorphosing into a much more open, vulnerable, raw, and naked version of myself. I’ve never been a big fan of change, and during my darkest days when I felt like I was loosing myself overnight, would never ever go back to “being me”, feeling too forced to give up way too many things I felt defined me, and wanted so desperately to go back to “feeling like my old myself,” it was the blogs of other moms (and especially other twin moms) that comforted me and spoke to me the most.
It’s for this reason and many others that I’ve wanted to document this the entire pregnancy in detail; but in full disclosure, one of the biggest challenges for me the past nine months has been how difficult it has been for me to access my voice and write. The pregnancy brain fog has been a complete assault on my creativity. Now that I am finally in the home stretch, I can feel a little clearing in my mind that is beginning to reminisce on the past nine months, where I started and how far the three of us have come. While it has certainly not been easy, I can say with absolute certainty that I have been changed for good.
So without further ado: Lessons in Twin Pregnancy.