Dear little girls,
It seems strange to refer to you as that, ‘little girls’, when we have known your names almost since we learned that you were girls. My brain wants to imagine you in the years to come, when you are more grown-up even than your brothers are now, all pigtails and knee-high socks. But you are not little girls yet – you’re babies. You are (Name) and (Name).
In a way I feel as though I already know you. I have wanted you for so long and was so sure from the moment that I stared at the pictures of your embryo forms that you were you and you were both meant to happen for us, even though twins meant additional complications. I was sure that you would be our little girls, that both of you needed to happen and at the same time. Call it hormones, call it fate. I don’t know. I know that we will never regret our boys, and we will never regret you.
We are going to meet you soon! It is exciting and terrifying. Exciting because I have wanted you in my arms for so long, I want to know you so badly and I want my second chance at being a mother to newborns uninterrupted by all of the fallout that we dealt with last time. And terrifying because I have placed on myself so much pressure to get it ‘right’, because the stakes are high in the last week of pregnancy, because I’m struggling to maintain a healthy haemoglobin level. Because after you are born we will need to raise you and to nurture you and somehow to survive the sleep deprivation without losing our minds. I hope that I can be a good mother to you. I know that your mummy, my Kirsty, will be the best mummy that you could wish for.
I don’t know what your world will be like by the time that you are big enough to find this blog and my letter. The funny thing, to me, is that the world has been so supportive of your mummy and I as a couple, and yet recently we’ve been ripped to shreds over our plans for after you are born. It’s very odd. I’ve been told to stop being so selfish, to stay home and feed my babies. I have been told that because I’m taking a short maternity leave, because I’m trying to be responsible in prioritising financial stability and career progression, I am little more than a surrogate to you. I have been told that you will be irrevocably damaged by my leaving you with your own mummy in order to go back to work, that she is inadequate, that the heart and soul that she pours into motherhood does not and can not compare to my ability to mother you simply because you have grown in me and you are used to my heartbeat and my milk is the unicorn’s blood that will nourish you.
Little girls, it’s bullshit. I look at your happy, well-adjusted, dynamic big brothers and nobody can tell me that being raised by your mummy wasn’t the best thing for them. They come running to me on a Saturday morning and I hold them tight and nobody can tell me that my role in their lives resembles that of a surrogate. They are bright and they are healthy; perhaps a year of breastmilk might have been better for them but nobody can tell me that they haven’t thrived on three months of expressed breastmilk and nine months of fortmula. They lead a wonderful life, a perfectly stable life, and we make that possible because we are good parents. Their lives, our lives, your lives, may be a little alternative but babies, they are damn good ones.
We know this but it still stings. And how dare these people judge our family, tell us that they feel sorry for you, imply that we are somehow lesser because I am the best person to gestate you but she is the best person to raise you. Because I will not take months away from my career to be with you, possibly to the detriment of our family stability and prospects? How dare they have the audacity to imply that your mummy is inadequate, that her best efforts at mothering will never measure up to my ineffectual and vaguely panicked attempts at doing the same? How dare they try to reduce me to a pair of breasts when I can be so much more, when I can haul myself out of bed after a sleepless night to make a nice home for you? When I am damn good at what I do, almost as good as your mummy is at what she does?
Little girls, nobody should feel sorry for you. You have been loved and wanted from the start, planned from years before your conception. You have the best mummy in the world, and I have your back. If I’m not there when you cry it is because behind the scenes, I am providing for you. It is because we can’t always both be there.
And when I walk out of that door at six-fifty in the morning and I am standing at the bus stop and thinking of you, my tiny two-week-old newborns still at home, of course it will hurt to leave you. But life isn’t meant to be painless and sometimes the best thing to do is the thing that will hurt the most, and I think – I really think – that it will hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you, if you even notice at all. And when I’m sat at my desk and my body hurts for you, I will feel proud that your mummy is able to stay home because of me, because I work hard and I am good at this job. I will feel glad that she is with you, because you could not be raised by a better person.
Let’s never forget how lucky we are.
I love you.
Your mother x