Yesterday, Madeleine and Reid turned six months old based on their corrected age. This felt like a pretty big deal, as it means that we have now officially entered the realm of solid food, (almost) independent sitting, and teeth (two on the bottom for each of them!). Even though these things are totally natural and had nothing whatsoever to do with me at all, I still feel so very proud (“My kids have teeth! They are obviously super genius miracles!!!”).
As with the eight month (chronological) milestone, the closer we get to their first birthday (again chronological…they won’t “really” be one until March), the more I start to feel amazed – and slightly overwhelmed – by just how far we’ve come. It is really quite mind boggling, something I struggle constantly to wrap my head around. With two little ones, you spend so much time just thinking day-to-day, which I think is a wonderful, healthy thing (nothing like a baby to teach you how to live in the moment!). But every now and then, I see or hear something and think, “wow, this really has been a long, rough road”.
Truth be told, I still struggle with it quite a bit. I struggle with my memories, the lingering sadness for myself and the babies that I wasn’t even sort of able to process while it was happening. I struggle with the flashbacks that I always feel unprepared for, the forgotten details that always seem to catch me off guard. I struggle with the stories that I hear of other families that weren’t as lucky as ours, and with learning previously-unknown information about the babies’ hospital stay that reminds us how close we came to being one of those less-fortunate families ourselves. And, of course, I struggle with the unknowns ahead of us, the appointments and the therapies that remind us that maybe we aren’t doing as well as I like to think we are.
All of these things are still here, still as pressing as ever, six months from their due date and nine months from their birth. They’ll probably be here for a while. But even so, here we are, with two amazing solid-food-eating, giggling, rolling, babbling, squirming babies, who bring us more joy than I ever thought possible. And THAT is definitely worth celebrating.