When I finally arrived at the hospital to visit you today after a few days of staying home with your sister, I felt pretty bad. I don’t necessarily think anyone would have faulted me for not having it together enough to be spending time at the hospital with you while also figuring out how to have Madeleine at home, but at the same time, there was no question that you were getting the short end of the stick. It wouldn’t be the first time either, since I’d had to leave you before while Maddie was at Sick Kids. But when I got there, feeling all mom-guilty about it, the nurse handed you over to me and you burrowed in immediately like usual, ready to eat like nothing happened, as if to say, meh, no hard feelings. It was, for lack of a better term, so very Reid of you.
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to admit this, but when I found out I was pregnant, I really wanted a girl. Then, when we learned it was twins, I thought, “I really hope at least one of them is a girl”. In fact, I was completely terrified I would end up with two boys. What would I do with two boys??! But then, of course, you were born. And ever since that day, I have been so, so incredibly grateful that nobody listened to my original request.
You are just one big love ball. You weren’t able to be cuddled for a while in the beginning because you needed so much help to breathe, and then when we finally did it, you soaked it all up and never looked back. When we snuggle now you get right into every possible nook, and open your arms out wide as though you are trying to hug me back. Even though I am more than happy to give all the love in one direction (yours), there’s something that always somehow feels reciprocal. I like to nuzzle against your face just to get you to nuzzle back, and when my hands are close by, you grab onto them. Now that you have developed super pro star neck and head strength, you use it to pull away and stare right at me.
At the same time, you are so very impatient. You want everything yesterday, and there is no reasoning with you if it doesn’t happen. Not only do you cry about it, but you cry about it in such a heartwrenching way – your lip quivers and your face scrunches right up – that it becomes so hard for me to remember that it’s entirely okay for me to let you be upset sometimes.
Probably my favourite example of these two traits – your loveliness and impatience – is seen when you feed. Breastfeeding is hard when your babies are born far too small to eat, but even if that hadn’t happened, it wasn’t something I ever envisioned enjoying. But you are so enthusiastic – you want to eat all the time and you want it nownownowgo! – that I cannot imagine trying to take that away from you. You get grunty and wide-eyed, and you hold on like your life depended on it. It is pretty much the best thing ever.
I learned early on in your life, when you were taking longer than expected to come off the ventilator, that you have your own schedule. As much as it worries and frustrates me when you have setbacks, I try to remember that it doesn’t mean you are incapable – you always, always get there – but that you just need a chance to do it in your own time. I am glad I have already been able to learn that about you, and hope that I will be able to keep it in mind as you grow (I apologize already though for the times I will forget – I think you might just get your impatience from your mother).
I am pretty sad right now that we are experiencing Madeleine’s homecoming without you, because you are such an important member of our new little family. You bring me so much joy I can hardly stand it, and there is so much love and sweetness inside of you. I’m not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I am so glad that I did.
Come home already, would you?