Today was one of those rare afternoons that I used to take for granted – I was driving my car with the windows down, backseat empty, and the radio blaring. Life was good.
And all of a sudden, a lyric came roaring at my subconscious:
Of all the things my eyes have seen,
The best by far is you.*
… and, clear as day, my beautiful babies’ faces appeared in my mind. And I couldn’t get home fast enough to kiss their sweet, cherubic faces and stare into their beautiful, trusting eyes. I wanted to snuggle and stroke their smooth, newborn skin. I wanted to feel their hot breaths against my chest as they fell asleep. I wanted to feel their bodies rise and fall with each miraculous breath. I wanted to be home with them.
And that’s how I knew.
Song lyrics have always spoken to me louder than musical notes. I know I’m really listening to a song when I connect with the lyrics. And song lyrics take me deeper into the music, take me deeper into myself.
So it’s fitting in a way that I knew I was hopelessly, undeniably, and completely in love with my girls while listening to a song.
When I first learned that I was pregnant, so many people told me, “Just wait for the ultrasound. I fell in love with my baby when I heard her heat beat for the first time!” But, for me – while that moment was unforgettable – it was overshadowed by the fact that the first heartbeat would be followed by a second heartbeat. I guess I was in too much of a shock after hearing, “it’s twins!”
For all the places I have been,
I’m no place without you
When I expressed concern that I didn’t feel overpowered with emotion during the first ultrasound, many other friends reassured me. “The heart beat sounded like any other heart beat – but feeling them move inside you – it’s incredible. There’s no way to explain it, and you realize that you are making this baby and you’re just overcome. Wait until you feel them move.” But feeling them move was weird for me – I felt like I was digesting my lunch or hoping they wouldn’t kick me in the ribs. Cool and private and weird, yes… Hopelessly in love? No.
For all the things my hands have held,
The best by far is you
Still again, my friends comforted me. “Hearing the heart beat was cool and feeling them move was a trip, but it wasn’t real until I heard their cry.” That made sense to me – love at first sight. But, during the c-section, they didn’t cry right away. Both girls were in shock of being born and didn’t make noise for a while, and then, when they did cry, it was utter chaos for the first
moments hours days weeks of their lives as we raced around to adjust to them.
I’m the satellite
And you’re the sky
No one told me I would realize that I was head over heels in love when I was running to Target for more formula. Driving alone in my car, it was these lyrics that gave voice to the beautiful truth that has snuck up on me and flattened me with its power.
I’ve been told this is fairly common for twin parents. Yes you love them. Yes they’re cute. Yes it’s incredible that you made them. Yes your life is forever changed. Bryan and I talked about it a lot in the first few weeks – yes we loved them. Of course they were the cutest babies that ever lived. We were delighted they were here —
But the complete life change, the stress of adjusting to providing round-the-clock care for two itty-bitty humans, the lack of sleep, the physical exhaustion of new parenthood, the crazy hormones – it was intense, and I couldn’t help but wonder when I would fall in love. When I would not be able to imagine my life without these two little bundles.
I’m not sure when it happened – it crept up on me, for sure. But those lyrics helped me realize it. My life is forever changed.
These two little ones are truly the joys of my life, and I am truly, hopelessly, helplessly in love with my twins.
* Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, “Cecilia and the Satellite” – I should have known it was written for his daughter.