Every single day we spent with them was a blessing and every day they learned something new. After talking with everyone at work I would on maternity leave and then working for home for at least six months; once I had them I couldn't let them go.
The nurses told us to sleep when they did but for three days we spent most of it staring at them as they slept. They were everything I hoped they would be. They were almost seven pounds now and we had a woman who stopped in every couple days to check on them and us. Maybe it was excessive but Chase didn't care about the cost and neither did I.
We were so afraid of something going wrong but after a few weeks we got the hang of it; at least for now. Chase was taking two months off work but after a month he worked from home a little bit; admittedly so did I.
Everyone was as in love with them as we were. Lina and Mia were always wanting to hold them and they did very well with as many people that came around. They got fussy if they were away from us too long though. All the bonding at the hospital paid off; they were very close and comforted when Chase held them too.
When I was pregnant I kept expecting to fail every day after having them; I didn't expect it to go this well. We were prepared for the sleepless nights, crying and we've been around infants to know how to keep patience when they just want to cry.
Sometimes nothing we do will make them stop and then all of the sudden they figure out what they want; usually food, and they're fine. We got professional photos done as a small family and a large one; we wanted to make sure that their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were a huge part in their life.
Some days I refused to let anyone come over because I missed them. Everytime they were passed around my heart hurt to have them back in my arms. Chase watched everybody like a hawk even though they knew what they were doing.
We were the last to have kids; they were all parents but that didn't stop us from nearly following them around. When they were out of my site my stomach would drop because that sad feeling would sink in. My stomach was flabby and sagging but I was working out to try and tone it in.
It's been a month and I still wasn't used to putting my hand on a small stomach. There were days I would reach for my belly and my hand kapt going farther than I anticipated. During those times I would look down and then look for my babies.
Riley got amused every time someone held one of them and were getting them situated because Chase would tell them how to hold the baby; literally every single time. They never took it personally because everyone had been there.
You can't just shut off your worry because you know Grandma has Maria and Auntie has Markus. There was no stopping any of it. The day they turned a month old we invited out family over to show them the photos and to announce their godparents.
Godparents didn't just mean who would take care of them in the event something happened and we both died. But that fear was still with me everyday. We had godparents and we never thought anything of it besides that was who mom and dad picked to be extra special in our lives.
We never thought a crash would take them both. We were adults though. But that was morbid and I didn't want to think about something like that ever happening again to us.
So we ate and Chase and I were also coming up on our first anniversary; we were retreating for the weekend for that one. Grandma and Grandpa were going to watch them for the weekend because they insisted that it was what grandparents did. They also intended to steal them literally whenever they could.
They could be planning the nicest dinner and specialist occasion and we could call and say hey, something came up. Can you watch the kids for the night? They would probably be there in twenty-six minutes. They have been timed; they literally will walk out the door, get in the car and come over.
It's cute and kind of scary.
"So we wanted to thank you all for coming and request you return our children to their parents; we miss them." Rochelle cuddled Markus and handed him to me and Monica reluctantly made her way to the front of the room. She pouted as headed back to Riley's side.
"She's officially banned from here; Brylee. Stop letting her hold them." And I knew why; Monica was pushing for another baby. Miguel was still a little guy and Monica was ready; she wasn't going to let him wait long to give her another child. They were only about half way there; better just give in now because we all know he will.
"Just give her your own to hold and she'll be fine; promise." He shook his head at me answer and smiled. This one was the big decision; this would be when Monica would start deciding when she was giving up her career to stay home. As soon as she got pregnant, she'll have all three by thirty; guarantee it. Chase and I wanted to wait at least three years before trying again; which meant that I would be starting a certain birth control soon that was compatible with feeding.
We haven't had sex since I was banned and we probably won't until our anniversary; it gives me time to heal and get sexually comfortable with my new body and it gives us an added special moment.
"So we wanted to give you this first." Monica held a little book and had two large presents.
"I recommend handing over the babies before seeing." Riley and Monica and each took a twin.
"Make sure you hold him like-" Chase started in again and Riley shook his head, clearly amused by his best friend or brother.
"Like this?" Riley asked as he held my little guy and bounced him; something that made Chase cringe thinking Riley would drop our child. He never dropped his, well not as infants anyways.
"Careful." Markus grabbed onto daddy's pinkie and everyone gave a collective 'awe'.
Riley handed over the little book and there were no words; I just cried. Riley took the photos of mom and dad from when they had the twins and had them photoshopped into our family photos.
"We have a disc and you can print whatever but we did have a couple framed." There was a photo of Chase and I holding them and my parents were photoshopped behind us. They were added in the middle of the one with Chase's parents. They were on either side of Riley and I as we held them. They even found photos of mom and dad holding Lina and Mia and removed them, adding Maria and Markus in their place. In every photo they were see-through, like spirits or angels watching over their child and grandchildren.
"On the disc there is the option to have them fully there. We took the framed photos we had and did them for you so we could have matching ones." The same poses that hung above their fireplace could now hang above ours.
"These are incredible." This was more than anything I could have ever asked for.
"The woman who did the photos was in on it; I admit. We posed you for some to do it. And she's amazing with photoshop." They looked effortless; not choppy at all.
"Well this makes me feel guilty now." Through my tears I managed to speak.
"Yeah; we figured. Just give us the next baby." Monica was entranced with Maria and Riley honestly looked like he wasn't bothered.
"So that means that these babies have Rochelle and Scott as god-parents." We debated and decided to stick with couples instead. It would have been nice for their godparent to match their middle name but Scott and Rochelle won out.
Monica and Riley handed them over and we got a photo with them together.
Over time we let others in to see them, we sent out cards to keep people feeling included and let them know we were thinking about them. Things got easier over time and we grew into our new roles. They were magic, a miracle; a dream. They were everything we ever wanted out of life.
No matter what my body looked like Chase still looked at me the same way he did on our wedding day last year. Through the emotions, my lashing out and the things I said during labor; he loved me. He was my rock and there was no better father. He doted on them, he adored them and he looked at them with more love than he looked at me with.
When your child is born your heart grows in ways you could never imagine. I would push him in front of a bullet for Maria and Markus if I couldn't get there first and he felt the same. Watching them move around, discover new things and fuss is more incredible than anything I've ever seen.
Some parents had a hard time with the crying but we knew we were lucky to hear it. We had a friend with a premature baby who spent almost four months in the hospital and she kept saying how she wished they could hold her, that they could hear her cry since her lungs needed more development. They even just wanted to change the diapers; anything but they couldn't. After hearing that we took every cry as a sign that their lungs were strong.
When they grabbed onto our pinkies it was like a direct line to our hearts. They gargled and cooed and made little noises. They smiled and were usually very happy babies. Everything they did I wanted to take a photo or video of so I could have it forever and watch it when they were sleeping.
We were captivated and not ashamed. This was a feeling I wanted to embrace instead; we would have another baby and we would be just as in love, but we will never feel like this again. Scared, joy, like we're getting the hang of it but still a step from failing. This was a feeling you can only get by being a first time parent. When we had our next one I had no doubt there will be a whole array of first emotions again.
Until then though we were going to enjoy the family we've created. And to think this life I had, this husband, my son and my daughter; it all started with a drunk night that never should have happened.