I remember wishing, and hoping, and praying for each one of you.
I remember the moments I found out each of you was growing inside my belly.
I remember feeling overjoyed and terrified all at the same time.
I remember feeling each one of you move inside my tummy.
I remember your daddy resting his hand on my abdomen so he could feel you, too.
I remember him talking to you each day.
I remember choosing names for each of you; making lists and narrowing down the choices.
I remember waiting impatiently for your arrivals.
I remember so vividly the days each one of you finally arrived.
I remember seeing your faces for the very first time and holding you against my chest.
I remember being in such disbelief that you were really real and you were mine.
I remember the look on your father's face as he, too, saw you for the first time.
Rachel, I remember the first week you were here and I had trouble nursing you. I had thought it would be so easy, but it wasn't and I couldn't understand why my body wouldn't take care of you the way my heart and mind wanted it to. We got through it, though, and everything worked out just fine.
Megan, I remember knowing with all my heart and soul that you were a girl, even though we didn't find out for sure ahead of time. I remember being so nervous about how I was going to take care of a newborn you AND your toddler sister. I remember you sleeping in your bouncer seat in the floor right beside my bed for the first few months because it was the only place you were at peace.
Emily, I remember being amazed that you were so big when you were born because, to me, you still seemed so new and small. I remember, in the hospital room during your first night, you cried and cried because you were already hungry and my body wasn't ready to feed you yet. I cried when I handed you to the nurse for a bottle, feeling like it was my first failure as a mother of three.
I remember that being a mom with a newborn, whether it is your first or your third, is overwhelming, and exhausting, and so very hard.
I remember, though, that it is also joyous, and beautiful, and miraculous.
Back then, when you were all so small, and motherhood was still new to me, I didn't get everything right. I still don't get everything right. Now, however, I know that I get things right enough most of the time and that you are all growing up to be beautiful, intelligent, creative, compassionate young ladies. I was amazed by you then and I am amazed by you now.
You don't remember those very first moments and days, but I remember them well. I cherish them - the good and the bad - because they were the beginning of you; the starting line of my journey through motherhood and your journeys through life. We still have a long way to go and I can't wait to see what is still ahead.