The snowflakes are now three and a half weeks old. It is hard to explain how significantly our lives have changed in this span of time, one that has gone by in an instant, and dragged out due to exhaustion all at once, with building our home and our world around them. Things that once seemed important (getting to those bits of housework for instance) have fallen by the wayside, and instead have been replaced by 2AM feedings and skin on skin time and being stared up at by two sets of beautiful royal blue eyes. Eyes that are young, and innocent, and not at all "all knowing" like those that came before them were.
If I had written this post the first week, I wouldn't have noticed too many of the small joys of new parenthood. The exhaustion I felt from the anemia is something I can barely describe in words -like running in sand, or trying to breathe through a straw. I am grateful to be feeling a bit stronger in that regard with each passing day, and now that my energy levels are coming up, and my milk (Thank God!) has come in, the chaos that is my life raising newborn twins, and missing the older sister who should be here with them, has almost (dare I say it) started to settle into a routine. Well.. as routine as life without sleep can be, but in a good way.
I am no stranger to lack of sleep. Anyone who has read here for a while knows I am an insomniac, and have been since Peyton's passing, but this new lack of sleep - the wake up to change and feed and change and feed (and usually change again) is more physically, but far less mentally, exhausting than my nights have been these last few years, and for that I am grateful.
I used to wonder what I would do if the snowflakes arrived looking like Peyton. Now I have my answer. Our little K is so much her clone in looks that it threw me for a loop the first week or two. H, however, has a look all her own. I guess I am grateful that if one has to look like Peyton, it is K. I think seeing a little girl who so resembled her big sister would be hard on me.
We brought the babies up to Peyton's hill last week. It was a visit cut short by some not very nice weather, and paving happening at the entrance of the cemetery, but I felt it was important, to show them who she is, and to show her that she has not and never will be replaced or forgotten. I also wanted to go up there and offer her my gratitude, for the blessings and protection that I know she offered over her little siblings leading up to their safe arrival.
It's a funny thing, and one I know you have all read a million times on rainbow baby blogs, but I have to say, there is something so bitter sweet in seeing these babies do all that Peyton couldn't. This week they will have outlived their big sister, and while I am so grateful for all that they do, and the ways they thrive and grow and learn with each passing day, there is a part of me - the Peyton's mother part, that feels so sad for her and all that her siblings get to do, that she never was afforded the luxury of. Little things, like being looked at with eyes full of joy, rather than those of fear and sadness. I wish Peyton had been allowed so many things... and that's the reality of parenting a child gone too soon - no matter how full my heart and my life become I will never stop wishing for all that should have been for her.