December 31, 2006 I gave birth to our twins Ryan and Felicity.They were born 3 months premature due of a flurry of pregnancy complications. Ryan, twin A, was the first born at 10:57pm. He weighed a mere 2lbs2ozs which was still 4ozs more than his twin sister! Even though he was very tiny and sick, he was still perceived to be stronger than his sister right from the start. In some ways this was true, he was larger and seemed to have less complications overall. Still, the fact remains that he was a long way from being healthy. During his stay in the NICU, at one point it was uncertain if he would live through the night. His little body started shutting down from sepsis which was causing renal failure. Miraculously he survived and 88 days after his traumatic entry into this world he was healthy enough to finally come home.
Today he is 5 and a half years old and except for having mild asthma, he is completely healthy. He is actually big for his age, towering over his classmates and weighing over 80lbs. His sister, Felicity, is beautiful and bright...However, she has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects all of her motor skills. She requires help with literally everything and uses a wheelchair most of the time for now.
It has been difficult for Ryan to understand why his sister gets so much attention (in his eyes I'm sure it seems like she gets way more than he does). It has also been hard for me to find balance between both children. Sometimes I have to remind myself that Ryan is only 5 and still requires a lot of attention (despite having a twin sister with CP). I believe we have always expected more out of him than we should have,something I believe most siblings of special needs children experience (however unfair that may be). I used to wonder what it would have been like to only have one child at a time...I wondered if I would have enjoyed the first few years of motherhood more or if I would have had more patience overall. I've spent a lot of time feeling guilty and wasting energy worrying about if I am a "good enough" mother to them.
Recently, I have had a shift from feeling "not good enough" to realizing that most days I am doing the best I can. I believe that is all anyone can do on any given day...some days will just be better than others.
Ryan is a remarkable little boy. He is smart,funny, talented, sensitive and extremely loving. He is very inquisitive and stubborn (both of which can be very annoying at times but will probably serve him well as he gets older). About 2 weeks ago he was having one of those days when he was really testing his limits and pushing EVERY button I have. I felt like I was doing everything wrong and I was in the red with patience. Fortunately for both of us his grandma took him for a couple of days. I thought I would feel relieved to have a break from him and although I did feel some relief, the truth is I really missed him. Our house suddenly felt too quiet with no one asking me a zillion questions or putting on elaborate dance shows for me. I missed laughing at all of the funny, quirky things he does...I missed him outstretching his arms saying,"hug kiss hug kiss" or "cuddle!".
The fact remains I am the mother of twins and I will never know what it's like to mother a singleton. The fact remains that one is able-bodied and one is not.... The fact remains it really does not matter. Today I can't imagine our experience being any different nor do I wish it was.
Our home is noisy, messy, busy and crazy. Felicity requires a lot of hands on attention and Ryan requires a lot of attention, period. This is our life and I love all of it...the good, the bad and the ugly...
For anyone who is wondering why I titled this "The Little King"...the reason is because it is the meaning of my sons name, Ryan. It suits him! Every time he calls out, "Mama!" it is a privilege.Today I know the true value of being mommy to my miracle babies...Priceless!!! Need I say more? ~Yours Truly
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