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On Motherhood

Last week I wrote letters to my twin girls telling them their birth story.  The letters were a “homework” assignment for the biographies they are writing in school.

It was a very difficult process for me, given that the day they were born was one of the hardest days of my life.

For those of you who don’t know the story, my girls were born at 26 weeks and weighed 1 lb. 10 oz. and 1 lb 3 oz. at birth.  They had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  When they arrived, they were in critical condition and we spent the next five, long months in the NICU at Primary Children’s Medical Center.

There is nothing that can prepare you for a life or death struggle with your child.  Now that time has passed and I look back, I know it was the relationship with my husband and the loving support of our family and friends that really pulled me through.

There is one part of the story that will always be in my heart.  It isn’t something I wrote in the letters to my girls, but it is something I thought a lot about as I wrote their stories, and that is the strength I gained from my mother and mother-in-law during my darkest hours.

When I looked at my girls, so tiny and frail, and my heart faltered, it was their strength that lifted me up and gave me the strength to hope.  Both women had such faith in God, even when I didn’t.

It is this strength I think about as Mother’s Day approaches.  I think as women we have a special ability.  We can find hope and wisdom even in the face of unimaginable odds.  We can nurture and sustain our loved ones in a unique and special way.  I am so lucky to have such women in my life.  I only hope someday I can be as wise and good as they are.

I remember my mother’s prayers

and they have always followed me.

They have clung to me all my life.

-Abraham Lincoln

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16 Responses to “On Motherhood”

  • Wow, what a beautiful story! My sister just had triplets and carried clear till 34 weeks! They only had to be in the NICU for two weeks, so I can only imagine how you felt going through all that for 5 months!
    You are very strong indeed!
    Thank you for sharing this- it brought me tears.
    Your girls are lovely, how proud you must be!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Erin:

    That tiny hand print puts things into perspective! What a beautiful post!

  • Happy Mother’s Day, Calli! I love that picture! My daughter’s birth story is still very present in my mind, a little over a year after it was written. I look forward to sharing it with her someday! We’re a far cry from where we were last year on Mother’s Day: then, recovering from a difficult C-section with a helpless 3-week old and now, busy as can be with a busier-than-me 1 year old! The past year was full of beautiful changes and I feel like I really deserve to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

    Enjoy the day with your children!

  • Tee:

    Wow. Well this just makes me cry! What a blessing that both of your daughters are here, strong and happy. A testament to you too! Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Patricia:

    The photo with the handprint and quarter brought tears to my eyes. Wishing you the best Mother’s Day.

  • How did you look so put together? I looked like a train wreck for weeks, and my twins made it to 32 1/2 weeks!

    • Calli:

      Oh my, if I look put together, it was an illusion! The photo was taken when my girls were close to three months old, so I had some recovery time after their birth.

  • Deborah:

    My son was 8 weeks preemie and born with a rare genetic disorder. His life has been full of multiple hospitalizations and surgeries. He will be 18 on the 31st of May, and I remember every painful detail of the day he was born. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me, but still I am proud of my son and of the better person I have become because of him.
    God Bless and Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Kristie:

    Thank you for sharing.
    It is something to share like this in a very public way, but thank you for the reminder to share this with the people who make the most impact.

  • Sue:

    What a beautiful post! I literally have tears in my eyes…Thank you for sharing.

  • Lori C.:

    That is such an amazing story about your sweet girls! Thank you for sharing that. Happy Mother’s Day Callie!

  • that was a wonderfully heartfelt post. I too had issues with each birth of my 3 children. Our last little miracle was born at 28 weeks gestation. Even though she was 3 months early, we took her home just 2 months later, on Thanksgiving day. She is a healthy, happy 3 year old now. I had my Mom to lean on during the whole ordeal as well. It is amazing the amount of Faith and Strength Mom’s have when they need it.

  • So perfect, Calli.

  • Nancy Pope:

    Calli,you are so blessed to have two beautiful daughters in your life!!! They are truly amazing in every regard!! Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of their lives!! By the way, I love Ben too!!!

  • Mother’s Day is a very special day! I know I’m so lucky to now have 2 beautiful children in my life now. My daughter was born in December at 6 weeks early and had to be on a ventilator but thankfully was out of NICU in 2 weeks. I can only imagine what it would be like to have her there for 5 months!

  • Julia:

    Such a beautiful post. I love the quote by Abraham Lincoln – never heard it before. He has put into words so beautifully what I have always felt about my mother’s prayers. They are definitely the wind beneath my wings. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you had a lovely mother’s day!!

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