My dearest Knox & Ryder,
The clock has officially struck midnight. It is officially April 14, 2011 and the two of you are officially 1 year old. How could this be? It seriously feels like yesterday when Daddy and I found out we were having 2 babies! We felt like the luckiest people in the world - and still do.
It's so easy to get caught up in the rough days (and there were many). Neither one of us knew what to do with one baby, much less two. We were (and still are) exhausted all of the time. The struggles of living several hundred miles away from family. The struggles of caring for twin colicy infants. The spit up - - and more spit up. The late night feedings that took an hour and a half and had to be repeated an hour and a half later. How do you feed two babies at once anyway? The schedule - or lack thereof one - in the first few months. What do you do with them when they're awake? Will they ever stop crying? Will they nap long enough for me to get a good nap in? The days - weeks - we never left the house. The days we never left our bedroom. Looking at the clock and counting the hours - minutes - until Daddy would get home to help me out. The daily, weekly, monthly trips to the pediatricians office for almost this whole entire year. Teething - oh, teething. I thought you started teething at 2 months, but turns out, you were just pissed. Then the real teething came along. Your bad reaction to Tylenol and the projectile puke that came with it. The bloody finger (sorry Ryder - I got carried away with trimming your nails and accidentally trimmed your finger), the bloody lip (several times), the bloody toe, the bloody nose (the easiest). The pain in the butt of washing bottles. The expense of formula!! The guilt of not breastfeeding. Thinking of the money we would have saved if I would have breast fed (but hey - nobody can call either one of you a titty-baby). Trying to run errands or just get out of the house for fresh air in between feeding time and naps. The fear of being by myself in Target and the two of you throwing a fit (so far it's only happened once and I'm sure it will again). The fear of you stopping breathing while you sleep (to this day I have checked on you every single night to make sure you still are). I'm sure there are more that I have successfully managed to block out of my mind (Praise the Lord).
But really it started before you were even born. The horrible headaches, the nausea from my prenatal vitamins, the clothes that stopped fitting (and still don't - probably never will). Worrying about eating enough to grow two babies (apparently I had that covered). The definition of uncomfortable that changed by the day, even the hour. The backaches. Spending more time at night getting up to go to the bathroom that I did actually sleeping. The major effort it took to turn from one side to the other. The 3 weeks I spent on bed rest. The false alarm runs to the hospital.
But the love also started before you were born. When we found out we were having twins, we were way more excited than we were scared. We couldn't stop smiling. I don't know how we kept it a secret for so long. We got to peek at you so many times via ultrasound that I lost count. Each and every time we were so impressed with your growth. And your movement! We could have watched you all day (except for that hour and a half ultrasound in Poteau on Christmas Eve. It was hot in there and I had to pee SO bad. I had drank so much sweet tea before, hoping you guys would be active and we could find out what you were - even though I was certain you were boys). All of the cool baby stuff that we bought and received as gifts - that was fun!
And then on April 14, 2010, you arrived. Exactly one year ago today. I was so exhausted from your delivery that I don't remember much. I remember holding Knox for the first time. And I remember Daddy holding Ryder up to me to kiss before you were whisked off to the NICU. I remember holding both of you at the same time - for the first time - just hours later and wondering what I was going to do with two babies. I remember thinking how amazing it was that your daddy and I were chosen to give life to two beautiful, healthy boys and that you were MINE! One of my favorite things to do was to hold one baby on each shoulder and rock you to sleep. Sometimes I'd never lay you down for your nap, I'd just keep rocking. Or sometimes I would move to the couch and all 3 of us would take a nap. I still love to tote the two of you around - even at close to 25 pounds a piece!
And look at all you've done in just one short year!! You've learned how to lift your head, roll over, crawl, sit up, smile, clap, sleep all night (bless you for this), shake hour head "yes" and "no", say "mama" and "dada", to walk and to melt the hearts of your parents. Yes, you have us wrapped so tightly around your tiny little fingers. There are hundreds of people (some that have never even met you) that have fallen in love with The HenderTwins. We are very proud to be your parents and happy to call you OURS!
I remember vividly the day we all came home from the hospital. In just the few short days we were gone, the grass had turned green, the leaves appeared on the trees and all of the flowers had bloomed. It was plain as day - you tiny little boys were my purpose in life. It all made sense. This is what it's all about. YOU are what it's all about.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what the two of you can accomplish in this next year. I vow to do everything I can to be the best mother I absolutely can and to show you even more life experiences.
I am SO proud to be the HenderTwins' mama and you continue to make me proud every single day. Please continue to be exactly the way you are.
With more love that you'll ever know,