Last year started out pretty rough. I’d just given birth a few weeks before, we were just beginning to understand the severity of what was happening with Madeleine’s head, and we were pretty much completely overwhelmed and terrified. I think about that time now and I almost can’t even feel it, can’t figure out how to get my head wrapped around what that was like even though I know I lived it. And I also cannot believe just how different things are one year later.
Last year, we would talk about this vague, fuzzy idea of what it might be like down the road when we were home with our babies like a normal family. But that was almost impossible to really picture, and when we tried, we could only see as far as infancy, of having tiny, needy babies waking up in the night and feeding every couple of hours. We are past all of that now. Now, we have two curious, adventurous, hilarious, happy almost-toddlers. And everyday is a brand new picture of something we couldn’t have even imagined while in the NICU.
Madeleine and Reid are both crawling now, and have figured out how to climb things and pull themselves up on furniture to stand. They can sit and play with each other, and babble and squawk and wiggle-dance. They are starting to understand what I’m saying when I speak to them, and they look over when I call their names. They want to eat the food that’s on my plate. They splash and giggle in the bath tub. They make each other laugh. They make me laugh.
This morning we went to see an audiologist to have the twin’s one-year follow-up hearing test. I was nervous about it even though I felt reasonably confident that they didn’t have any major hearing deficiencies. I held my breath as I sat there, watching them turn their heads towards the sounds, some of which were even kind of hard for me to hear. We got the all clear – “they are hearing beautifully, Alana” – and I could breathe again, one more bullet dodged.
Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning and head into the babies’ room, I notice that they look different. A little older, a little bigger than the day before. It’s so slight that I’m sure no one else would see it, but it’s a reminder that we’ve already moved on from the tiny baby stage. In a way, it’s a bit sad to think that already that part of our parenting journey is behind us. But mostly I’m just really looking forward to all that is to come.