Editor’s note: Co-editor Alison wrote this four days after her twins were born in September 2014.
During my twin pregnancy, I thought a lot about lasts.
My last pregnancy. My last two children. My last few years in the trenches with all that comes with having four young children.
I did not give much thought to firsts.
I did not think the firsts with my twin babies would be the smallest things.
The first time I saw their faces, was not immediately after birth. It was five hours later.
The first tears that came when I did see them, in a scary, bright, unfamiliar place full of beeping machines.
The first time I touched an arm free of tubes and IVs.
The first time I managed to hand express colostrum, and it was a mere 3ml, and I cried, wondering how I was going to help them grow if I couldn’t produce enough for two.
The first time I held my daughter, 31 hours after she made her dramatic entrance.
The first time I held my son three long days after he was born.
The first time I cried with joy (yes, there is a lot of crying) when my milk DID come in and come in a rush and abundance.
The first time I touched their hair at four days old because they wore warm beanies for the first three days.
The first time we had skin-to-skin contact at four days old.
The first time I breastfed my daughter, four days after she was born.
And the firsts that have yet to come, four days in.
First bath. First night in their cot. First diaper change by someone other than family. First breastfeed (for my son). First night at home. First time meeting their big brothers. First kiss on the forehead. First time being held by their grandparents.
All the firsts I’d taken for granted with my older children. When you have premature babies in the NICU, nothing can be taken for granted.
My babies are strong and resilient. They’ve been fighting since the first minute, and they continue to fight. They are growing stronger, today, always better than yesterday.
And so am I. From ugly crying on the floor of my hospital room bathroom, I went home, determined to make life at home as normal as possible for my older children. I go to the NICU every morning for a few hours to be fully present with my twins, probably asking the nurses and neonatologist far too many questions, and just soaking in my children.
Firsts. So much more to come, and I look forward to all of them.
Alison Lee is the co-editor of Multiples Illuminated, a writer, and publisher. A former PR and marketing professional, she is the owner of Little Love Media, specializing in blog book tours. Alison’s writing has been featured in Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and Club Mid. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends (Fall, 2014), and has an essay in another, So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood (Spring, 2016). She is also an editor at BonBon Break. Alison lives in Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).