Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Things, Not Bad

*Warning: Uncharacteristically sappy post ahead*

Not to brag, but we've been pretty lucky with our kids and their sleeping.  I know some of you are going to read this and get out your voodoo dolls and start wishing pain upon me and my children for this but I won't hide the fact that I'm grateful for their sleep patterns.  My older kids were both sleeping through the night by 3 months- my 5 year old was sleeping through at 6 weeks!

When we brought the twins home I was prepared for endless months of babies being awake and feeding.  I envisioned one baby being awake and screaming and then just as she went down, the other baby waking up and the whole thing being a vicious cycle.  And that cycle did exist, briefly.  I would say the number of times where one baby would go down and the other would promptly wake up was less than 15 total but they were some long nights.  Luckily, though, the girls started sleeping through the night at around 12 weeks.  Later the our other two but let's remember the twins were ripped from my womb, rightfully so, about 7 weeks too early!

Now that the girls are turning 11 months- TOMORROW- our sleepless nights are even fewer and far between than ever.  We're in the lucky minority, I know that.  Our sleepless nights with the older kids usually involve vomit, nightmares or fevers.  With the girls they involve fevers, teeth or growth spurts.  Last night was an example of a night that involved teeth, growth spurts and playtime.

And I am feeling it this morning.

Despite the fact that I got maybe 3 hours total sleep last night, I woke up this morning (to screams of anger from two hungry babies) in a surprisingly good mood. (Talk to me around 6pm this evening and I may be singing a different tune).  Last night was actually pretty special and emotional for me.

The girls woke up just as I was heading to bed...that was around 12:45 in the morning.  First it was our little firecracker and I promptly removed her from her crib to our room in the hopes that her screams wouldn't wake her sister.  It didn't work.  For the next 25 minutes the husband and I changed diapers, made bottles, sent our 5 year old to our room to sleep, rocked babies who had big, wide open eyes and searched, in vain, for our Vicks Vapo steamer to help with the girls stuffed noses.  It was at that point that I sent the husband to bed and hunkered down in my 5 year old's bed and attempted to get the girls to sleep.

I spent the next two hours singing the same song over and over and over again.  If you've ever watched "Sesame Street" you know the song "Sing".  This song calms all of my children like you wouldn't believe.  It's a song from my childhood, something my grandmother and my mother sang to me.  Something my mother and father sing to my kids now.  It's a special song with a great message.  I love it and so do my kids.

So I sang it....for hours.

And I took turns rocking each of the girls.  I patted bottoms and gently rubbed heads.  I bounced and swayed and ssshh'd.  And they did finally quiet down and sleep...after I had fallen asleep and they had sufficiently played in their cribs.

In those hours that I sang the song over and over again I routinely teared up.  The line, "Sing of good things, not bad...sing of happy, not sad" brought tears to my eyes almost every time through.

The girls are turning 11 months old tomorrow and just yesterday I placed the order for their first birthday party invitations.  To say that I thought we might never get here is an understatement.  And I don't mean because their first year was impossibly hard- it wasn't.  It was hard but it didn't break me, as I thought it would.  But a year ago when I was pregnant and worrying about whether or not my girls would be born early or have issues I would routinely go to this place where they were the worst case scenario.  And I know that's not healthy and it's pessimistic and a whole host of other things.  But when you're pregnant with twins and you've got information and statistics and stories flying at you from every angle it's hard not to go there.

I never imagined that our first year would fly by as it did.  And as I looked into my littlest ones big blue eyes last night I thought of all of the possibilities that could have been and that weren't.  And I realized, again, how incredibly lucky we have been.

Every. Single. Child is a miracle. Our girls, and our two older kids, are incredible miracles- for so many reasons not spoken here.  But these babies, these twins who were so unexpected and who changed our lives in so many ways, have brought us so much since entering our lives on the ultrasound screen so many months ago.  And last night as I sang them to sleep and thought of good things, not bad, happy things, not sad, I couldn't help but get all misty eyed thinking about how far they've come and how far they've brought us.

There's a whole new set of sleepless night that lay ahead of us in the next 18+ years.  There are still challenges ahead that could be easy to overcome and some that could very well be almost impossible to tackle.  But if the past year is any type of indicator, the strength and joy that we derive from these little people- all four of them- is what will propel us through those times of challenge and will bolster us through the times of struggle. And they'll only enhance the already ever-present moments of  laughter and love and joy.


Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.


Jen (Huckdoll) said...

This post brought back so many memories for me. Those nights! Yes! Through your words I remember them like they were yesterday. For some strange reason I used to sing 'Fix You' by Coldplay for hours on end ... weird. But yeah, I feel this post for sure. I can't believe the girls are almost 1! Amazing.

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Sri Sun Metal said...

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Kristy said...

I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!
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