Embla and Olympia: A Birth Announcement

Embla and Olympia,

You are finally here, an armful each of delicious tiny baby, all seashell ears and rooting lips and high-pitched squeaks and snuffles that make you seem more primate than human, curling your fingers around our own and in our hair as though you fear that we may put you down. You came into the world on a nondescript morning at the end of July, a no-sun-but-no-rain-at-least morning, and Olympia, you protested at the top of your lungs for seven minutes straight and Embla, you raised your head right off of my chest and looked around the room as though wondering whether you should request another, and then as I comforted your sister you slowly and quietly turned blue.  You were fine, just a little cold and a little surprised at the sudden turn of events but there was something in the quiet way that you did it that makes me think that we should keep an eye on you, that you will be the child to surprise us time and again just when we think that we have the measure of you.

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I remember my initial astonishment upon meeting the pair of you, that feeling of oh-my-god-I’ve-made-a-human experienced twice in quick succession. It was a feeling that I had experienced already upon the birth of your brothers but I think that even the mothers of very large families must share in that moment, the moment where your child suddenly ceases to be an abstract concept and instead is so small and has those eyes, and do they have hair? Oh they do have hair! And they are suddenly themselves, still your baby but no longer an extension of you.

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There was a moment after you were born, where you were both in my arms and learning to nurse, when it occured to me that I would never feel you kick from the inside again. And I suddenly felt tremendously lonely for you, for that version of you, as I said a quiet goodbye to those unknown babies, those faceless babies, who expressed themselves in movements under my skin. Your mummy and I loved to watch you, to coax you, Olympia, into progressively more outrageous acrobatics. One of my favourite memories of you thus far is of staring at my own abdomen, fascinated and terrified, as you turned yourself from breech to cephalic at thirty-four weeks. Until that moment I had no idea that a small human could stretch my skin so far outside of my own body and that I could survive the experience. Embla, you were always a little quieter and I would worry to myself sometimes, and then suddenly you would move against my pelvic bones like a little fish and I would know that you were fine. I will miss the relationship that we had when you were curled up inside of me, even as I delight in knowing the new and changing versions of you.

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These past few days have been beautiful. We wanted to make the most of your first few hours, your early days. We have cuddled with you in our home, examined and admired your features, marveled at your small accomplishments, your diminutive sizes and the faces that you pull in your sleep. We have shared you with nobody but your older brothers, who adore you, and with the midwives who have visited you every day, some of whom followed your story as you grew inside of me, who worried for you and prepared for you and helped us to bring you into the world. I have watched your mummy blossom in her love for you. These past few days have been about learning you, knowing you. And soon we will introduce you to your extended family who are so excited to meet you.

I remember when you were conceived, when you were cells dividing on a screen. I remember feeling proud of you for reaching day five, for beginning to hatch on that fourth night as we waited for the call to inform us of how many of you survived. The two of you were my strongest candidates, my leaders. You were my future growing outside of my body, awaiting my body. As you were returned to me I clutched your picture and I studied you. You were my blastocysts, my day five embryos, and in my head I called you the ‘blastosisters’ and I was right. And now, little sisters, here you are. We are so proud of you.

You are so welcome here. We are so glad to know you. Whomever you are, whomever you will become, you are our daughters, the little sisters to your big brothers. You have enhanced our family just by coming in to it and we love you. We do. We love you.

Goodnight and sleep tight and see you in the morning,

Your mother, who is watching you sleep x

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18 Comments

  1. Lottie
    August 3, 2016 / 12:42 am

    A massive congratulations to you Amber and to Kirsty, and to big brothers Balthazar and Lysander!!! This post is so incredibly honest and real; I feel almost like I’m going to cry. That part about never again feeling them from inside you really hit me. Wow.

    The girls are here and they are perfect. Happy Birthday to them.

  2. Tara
    August 3, 2016 / 5:52 am

    Many congratulations. So pleased they are finally here 🙂

  3. LauraCYMFT
    August 3, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Congratulations to you all on the birth of your beautiful girls. I’m feeling super broody now. Gorgeous photos.

  4. Josie
    August 3, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    Congratulations Amber from everyone at Little Green Radicals – we are sending you much love!

  5. Helen Beaumont
    August 3, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    I love your blog and have been obsessively checking for news every day (or more)
    So thrilled to see this, and you have a mini Balthazar ! Oh my they are alike !
    Hope you got the birth you longed for, can’t wait for the story

  6. Amy
    August 3, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Oh Amber I love the way you capture moments with your words! Congratulations to you, Kirsty and the boys on the safe arrival of your little girls. Enjoy them 🙂 xx

  7. Chloe (Sorry About The Mess)
    August 3, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Just wonderfully written, Amber. Congratulations again, to you, Kirsty, the boys and Josephine.

  8. Newcastle Family Life
    August 3, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Huge congratulations to you all. They are wonderful and I hope that you enjoy every minute with them and their big brothers xx

  9. Debbie
    August 3, 2016 / 9:38 pm

    Congratulations! Such beautiful babies. I hope everything went as you had hoped.

  10. Em
    August 4, 2016 / 12:31 am

    Will you tell us their middle names? I love the boys’ long complex names!

    Congratulations!

  11. Laura @ Little Ladies Big World
    August 4, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    Congratulations and welcome to the outside world little ones X

  12. Helen | Wonderfully Average
    August 6, 2016 / 5:39 am

    Huge congratulations to you all! This is such a beautiful post! Welcome to the world Olympia and Embla xx

  13. Hannah Budding Smiles
    August 6, 2016 / 8:06 am

    Oh bloody hell Amber I’m sobbing! You’re all wonderful and the girls are just perfect xxx

  14. Laura's Lovely Blog
    August 7, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Oh my goodness they are absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations on your new arrivals. Enjoy your newborn squishy cuddles.

  15. Ickle Pickle
    August 9, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    Just read this – how beautiful. Congratulations to you all, you are so blessed. Kaz x

  16. Mrs H
    August 21, 2016 / 12:22 am

    Oh Amber, I can’t believe I am only just reading this. What a beautiful post. I now feel all kinds of emotional. Your daughters are beautiful and I am so happy you. Love and hugs to your gorgeous family. Lucy xxxx

  17. Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper
    August 25, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    I’m really late to the party as playing blog catch up for the first time in ages, but HUGE congrats to you both, they really are beautiful, beautiful baby girls! x

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