I have wanted to be a mom for as far back as I can remember. My brother Matt is only about a year younger than I am. From very early I took it upon myself to be his surrogate mother. My dad used to say “He’ll never learn if you always do it for him!” It drove my dad crazy. I didn’t care though—I loved taking care of Matt. Over the years many things changed—Matt could do things for himself, but I still wanted to help and take care of him. It was in me. Matt was my substitute until I could have a child of my own.
From the very beginning I knew that Johnny wanted children just as badly as I did. It was such a huge factor for us. So, when Johnny and I found out we were expecting on February 7th (I could tell you the time, what I ate that day, and how I was feeling), we were elated that our wishes were coming true. The dream became even greater when we found out on March 3rd that we weren’t expecting one baby—we were expecting two!!
Immediately Johnny and I were thrilled. Maybe thrilled isn’t the right word. Lots of people are scared when they find out that they’re having a baby. Things change—their lives will be different, they will have to dedicate their energy away from themselves. We didn’t care. That’s what we WANTED. We loved talking about the future… baseball games, family trips, mini vans—yes, I actually want one! I don’t care if it’s a “mom mobile”… that’s what I want!
We wanted it all WITH these little guys and we wanted it all FOR these little guys. Everyone else who loved them did too. I guess we still do.
A few weeks later we were thrilled—and a bit surprised—to learn that we were having two boys. Immediately Johnny and I agreed on the name Connor for our first little boy.
Besides getting married and having kids, it was one of the easiest decisions we made. There was not discussion. And if you know Johnny and I … you know it is rare when we agree on things immediately. From that moment on Baby A became Connor. He had a name and he was loved more than many people are in their whole lives.
Eventually I started feeling the little guys kick. The feeling was incredible. I’d stop things just to wait for a little nudge. I sat at school with my hand on my stomach as I read stories to my class. I wonder if my students noticed that I would smile at completely random times when the guys were saying hi. If I had a bad day, I’d ride the whole way home with my hand on my stomach going way too slow. It never got old.
As things progressed over the past few weeks and I ended up on bed rest, I tried to keep a positive attitude. But to be honest, there were only 2 things that could keep my truly happy and make me smile even when I felt miserable. One was to hear their little heartbeats on the Doppler and the other was to feel their little kicks. It was a reminder of why I was there and what I was pulling for. It was Connor and Colby’s way of telling me that things would be okay.
And it was. As they entered the world on July 19th—a lot early and a little impatiently—I was elated. Again, I don’t think elated is the right word here. But it will have to do. Hearing the first cries, kissing their little heads, and seeing the joy on Daddy’s face are all things I won’t forget.
Nor will I forget the precious 43 hours we got with Connor. He gave me the ultimate gift- my ultimate desire—I was a mom. But even better… I was HIS mom.
Now, taken too soon, it hurts to say goodbye. I can’t pretend that I completely understand why we had to say goodbye so soon. My first baby, Colby’s big brother, will always be missed. The will never forget those sweet features- the crinkly ears, those tiny toes, the dark hair, or those big blue eyes just working to take everything in.
But mostly I won’t forget the love I have for him. The love I’ve had since long before I knew him.
At closing, I just want to say that Connor will be forever loved. He was a dream come true. His life, although brief, was so important and meaningful to his daddy, brother, and I. There was no shortage of love in his life, I promise you that.
If you have read all of this, then you deserve an update on Colby. :) Right now he's doing great... he's eating with a feeding tube in addition to his IV nutrients. He's on the CPAP instead of the ventilator (GREAT day!!). We've gotten to hold him once. We can hear his cries now! He's starting to regulate his own body temp. He has no more blue light for the jaundice! Overall, he's a cutie who made it to 28 weeks yesterday! Here's to MANY, MANY more!!