I had a little time to kill, so I was cruising the baby section, a part of the store so foreign to me now with my seven-and-a-half-year-old and my almost-five-year-old. I blinked my eyes at all the new stuff, all the changes, all the difference since the last time I had frequented those aisles.
And so, on a whim, I thought it would be fun to pick out some onesies, some gender-neutral ones, of course. A little Good Faith gift to the babies. Some proof that they are real and that I believe in them.
I smiled as I skimmed the choices, so little. So sweet. But it only took a few seconds for my smile to fall as I realized the smallest onesies on the racks were 0-3 months. I mean, of course those were the smallest. But I was looking for preemie sizes and there were none.
And it all just sort of hit me, right there, right where I stood in Target's baby section. I cried there, standing in front of the normal-sized baby clothes, cried because it hit me hard and fast that this is all so different and I am all so afraid.
It's so hard, impossible really, for me to write when I feel like I'm keeping a secret from you. That's why I started these confessional posts to begin with, to create a place where I could be just totally transparent and trust myself to you - good, bad, and ugly.
I want to journal through this pregnancy, sharing weekly updates and details and inviting you to be part of our story as we go, but I feel like I need to get this out of the way first, this confession of fear.
I'm afraid that if I don't, someone somewhere will read all of my twins pregnancy updates and think, "Bless her heart. So naive. Doesn't she even know? Is she clueless about all that could go wrong?"
And so once (hopefully). Just this once (maybe). I want to lay it all out on the table, everything that terrifies me about this pregnancy and how twins will change our lives:
I'm afraid of growing two babies. I'm afraid of what this pregnancy will do to me physically - the stretching and the defiance of physics.
I'm afraid of bed rest.
I'm afraid I'll never, ever get through the sickness part and that I'll never, ever have any appetite for food. Ever again.
I'm afraid I'm not eating enough or getting the right nutrients and that somehow, already, I'm failing them.
I'm afraid they'll both be boys.
I'm afraid they'll both be girls.
I'm afraid I'll give birth too early.
I'm afraid I'll go to 38 weeks.
I'm afraid they'll have to stay in the NICU. I'm afraid of coming home without my babies.
I'm afraid my body won't be able to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding two little ones.
I'm afraid I won't be able to use cloth diapers or baby carriers or practice Attachment Parenting or any of the things that made mothering my girls through infancy so fun and so rewarding for me.
I'm afraid I won't be able to parent my girls they way they need me to parent them. I'm afraid they'll remember and they'll resent the babies or me or all of us.
Most of all, more than any other fear that taunts me in my daydreams, I am blood-runs-cold terrified that we'll lose these babies. It's utterly irrational how terrified I am, but at the same time, completely logical. I've followed the stories of women like Beth and Diana who have bravely and beautifully shared the heartache and unfathomable grief in losing their twins. There are also friends of our family who have lost twins and their faces are rarely far from my thoughts.
I somehow can't quite get to a place of acknowledging that we have, indeed, won the baby lottery, that we hit the jackpot on this last and laughably flippant try; I can't acknowledge that without saying in the same breath that it's too much, that we don't deserve this, this goodness, this overwhelming blessing. I guess if I'm going to sit here with you and say, this is the truest of truth, then I have to say that I'm afraid that because we weren't hoping, weren't anticipating, weren't expecting to get two, that the price of that is that we'll get none.
And there. Now I've said it.
Confession, indeed, is good for the soul.
And listen, I know: God. Sovereign. Do not worry. Trust and obey. Jesus.
I know all of that.
That's why I have to whisper this to you in the quiet of the confessional instead of just being normal about it, because I know that it's not very Christian to be all up-at-night-terrified. I know.
But I just had to have this moment, this one dark, hushed moment behind a curtain, bowing my head next to a screen to confess it all. Thank you for hearing me.
A few days after my breakdown in the baby aisle, the girls and I were in Target and AJ found those little chicks in a nest in the picture above. I didn't think twice. I bought them. A Good Faith gift to the two within me. I put them in the kitchen window sill and I smile at them when I see them there.
For as long as God allows me to, I will partner with Him in creation. I'll do the very best I can to mother my third and fourth children, whether I get to do that for 12 weeks, 12 years, or 5x12 years. They are real and they are His and they are ours and we are blessed.