You'll find few people who believe more strongly than I do that all Truth is God's Truth, no matter what vehicle it arrives in. But even I was a little incredulous that He would choose a large sweet tea from Taco Mayo to send a message to me.
(In Oklahoma, everyone knows if you want a drink with good ice, you hit Sonic or the Taco Mayo drive-through. Facts are facts.)
A full cup must be carried steadily.
I sniffed a bit at the Keep-Calm-And-Carry-On disposition of the British. Your cup is full? Carry it steadily, sir!
My cup is so very full, and I've spent the past ten weeks slopping and splashing it around, flailing and frustrated at my inability to get a grip.
I have to confess I've been intentionally avoiding this space. As a personality type for whom authenticity trumps all, I simply couldn't come here and share sweet baby pictures and babble gooey words when the reality from behind my screen is that I have been shaken. And I am shaking.
You must know that I truly am in love with these boys. Now that they are smiling those big, toothless baby grins, I know that I am done for with these two. I completely understand every mother who has ever done anything reckless, rash, or dangerous for her son, for I am confident I will find myself in the same position someday, too. I am a total mess over them.
But I'm a complete mess in other ways, and it's all internal and I must prepare you that what I am feel compelled to share today may make you want to smack me hard on the face. A major reason for my reluctance to come and confess in this space is that I know this will all be terribly hard for some to read, this confrontation with my own sense of entitlement, my selfishness and pride. On the other hand, I know that if there is any hope of me continuing on here, I absolutely must lay this all on the table so you know exactly who it is you are reading.
While there have certainly been tender moments that have filled my heart to bursting in the past two and a half months, there has beat below the surface a drumbeat that I've done my best to ignore. I've brushed it off, I've stuffed it down, and in the rare moments of honesty with myself when I've been brave enough to acknowledge it, I've been so filled with self-loathing that I would cry for days. Even now I'm staring at the cursor as it blinks, completely unsure of how to say this.
Beginning the moment my babies were wheeled away to the NICU in the minutes after they were born, I've been angry. The anger has spewed like so many fountains of oil across a cracked, flat landscape, tarry and thick and coating my view.
Angry to have been seperated from my babies.
Angry they got started on formula before I could get them to the breast.
Angry that it was nearly a week before we got to bring them home.
Angry at how the pregnancy competely wrecked my body.
Angry at how long the recovery process has taken.
Angry that my girls have gotten the short end of the stick over and over again.
Angry that I don't get to open my laptop until after 9 PM each night.
Angry that I can only wear one baby at a time, that sometimes one has to cry while I attend to the other.
Angry that my life has been completely consumed by their schedule.
Angry that I still need to be served on so many levels by those around me.
Angry at all that is asked of me physically, so much that each day would be an out-of-body experience were it not for the searing pain in my shoulders and back that worsens throughout the day.
And the anger, it has sickened me. I imagine God leaning over me as He leaned over Jonah, asking "have you any right to be angry?" And I know that I don't. I don't have a right to it, I don't think.
But I've beeen unable to shake it. And in the past week, weariness alone has spurred me on to drill down and search out the source of the anger. And when I saw it I finally bumped against the root of it, I knew it was true immediately: I'm grieving.
For a long time, I lived in a residual shock that we were having twins. I had been so happy, so content with our two girls, that it had taken me years to come around to the idea of having one more. Just one more. Wouldn't it be nice to have one more? I had finally convinced myself that yes, it would be so nice. Twins never, ever, ever crossed my mind. Just one more and we would be complete.
Even when the physical toll of pregnancy weighed me down so low, I think there was still some ropes of denial that I would cling to, and I started to believe my friends when they would say, "If anyone can handle it, it's you." It's so dangerous to believe your own press.
The shock wore off when reality set our old life aflame, and I think that's when the true grief set in.
I've been grieving my visions of popping a baby in a carrier and carrying on with our happy life with hardly a ripple in routine.
I've been grieving a family size that felt manageable to me.
I"ve been grieving the loss of time and space to write.
Basically, I've been grieving what I imagined the future of our family would be, who I would be as my children grew up and I could indulge in all I had been putting off while I nurtured them through the earliest years. Somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that as an old pro at this parenting biz, just one more baby would be easy.
I've thrown all of this at God and distanced myself from Him. I wanted to blame someone or something, and who else is there to blame, really? I pulled back, wholly skeptical that I could ever trust Him again after He had betrayed my carefully laid plans (plans to serve HIS Kingdom more efficiently, after all).
And so in my mourning, I've not taken enough pictures, and I've not recorded the details of our days the way I would like to have. And in my mourning, I have chafed against the comments from strangers out in public. "Oh how blessed you are!" and I could only tighten my lips and try not to cry. And in my mourning, I've received the loving affirmation from family and friends that I'm doing a good job with surface-level appreciation, all the while feeling it like scrape after scrape against my perpetual rawness.
And it's so stupid and it's so gross, this grieving a good thing. I know it, but for the life of me, I don't know how to fix it.
So I just go on, turning angsty babies towards me on the nursing pillow every three hours, mopping up spit-up and changing diapers, giving my daughters a wink and a promise that it won't always be this way, collapsing into my husband's arms every evening as we console each other through the chaos, praying to be able to accept this very, very good thing, learning to trust God once more one (un)steady day at a time.