Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Happy Birthday X 2

Miriam and Abraham at 6 weeks

Yesterday was Abraham's and Miriam's birthday, and I am still scratching my head over the fact that they're 2. Sometimes it feels like they should be about 4, having taken FOREVER at each stage to move on to the next one. Sometimes it feels like they should be about 1, having taken FOREVER at each stage to move on to the next one. Sometimes it just feels like there definitely was not enough sleep in however many years there were.

We had a low-key birthday party, with grandparents and aunt and uncles and good friends that just moved back into the area. We ate outside -- cheapo pizza and iced tea (sweetened -- is there any other way?) and fresh lemonade. My mom made two cakes: the traditional my-side-of-the-family German Chocolate Upside-down Cake with a truck for Abraham, and a Daffodil Cake with pink cherry frosting, sprinkles, and colorful bangles and necklaces laced across the top for Miriam. Abraham succeeded at blowing out his candle and Miriam's.

Appropriate to their age, they each received two presents: Miriam -- a tea set and a horse flashlight that neighs; Abraham -- a large toy truck and a cow flashlight that moos. It was refreshing to watch them get a chance to thoroughly enjoy their gifts without being overloaded with presents.

Even though they are our 3rd and 4th children and we already had a boy and a girl, Abraham and Miriam brought a lot of firsts. They were the first set of twins anyone currently living on my side has had (somewhere way back there, a great-great-great something had twins and triplets; and Ethan's side has oodles of twins, but that's not supposed to matter...). They were my first C-section (and being a loud-mouthed natural childbirth advocate, I forced the attending obstetrician to do an ultrasound when I went into labor at 33 weeks to MAKE SURE there was no possibility of doing this without a C-section). They were the first children we've had to leave at the hospital. They were the first ones to be conveniently scheduled when they came home (oh, how I love NICU nurses!). They were the first babies for me to simultaneously nurse (my advice to anyone nursing twins: forget nursing modestly; just lock the dumb door and shut the curtains!).

I remember the disconnect I felt when I visited them for the first time in the NICU. I wasn't even allowed to hold them. Their combined weight was about the weight of EACH of my others. What would I do with something so small? I didn't even want to take their pictures because it was too depressing. Miriam weighed a full pound and a half less than Abraham, and Ethan's affectionate name for her was "Baby Squirrel." Once I was allowed to try to nurse them, she took to it instantly but Abraham showed no interest. We were convinced he was going to be 45 and taking pizza through a nose tube. But as we looked around and saw the other parents in the neonatal intensive care unit, we saw babies even smaller and in much worse condition. It was a striking thought that some of these babies were so premature that if they would have been in the womb, they could have been legally aborted. I am convinced that if we could somehow show these children to high-schoolers, it would drastically affect how they view "fetuses."

They have stayed true to their NICU personalities. When I first saw the nurse changing Miriam's diaper, she told me, "This sure is a FEISTY one!" and every subsequent nurse informed me of the same thing. She still holds her little opinions fiercely, and her pint-sized body has a stronger will than most. Abraham is your stereotypical guy: food is still his best friend (although he finally did give up the nose tube), and the sight of a GI Joe brings loud gutteral shouts and pudgy stompings.

When we finally were able to bring both of them home, Lily was about 18 months old. She had the same name for both of them, which was a very appropriate meshing of the two names: Mayhem. It has been constant mayhem since they arrived, and I love (almost!) every bit of it.


  1. Happy Birthday to Abraham and Miriam. I really enjoyed your post and was quite tickled by Lily's name for them. Maybe it's a twin thing. Our boys called each other the same name for a while.


  2. Mary, you mean they each called each other the same name? How funny! What was it?

  3. saying the same name, cute.

  4. i like the same name thing.


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