My becoming a mom birthday

I had a dream I was holding two babies.
I felt the weight of them in my arms, smelled their sweet little bald heads.
It was so real and I lie awake the next morning trying to remember every detail.
I rolled over, nudged Dan and told him.
“I had a dream I was holding two babies….”

We had always known we wanted a house full of kids.
It was the reason we were introduced in the first place!
We had both answered the question of ‘how many kids do you want?’ the exact same way to our mutual friend Christina….
Dan, when he went to college with her in Rhode Island.
“Enough to field my own baseball team.”

And me, sitting across from her in a bar in California 3 years later.
“9. So I can have a little baseball team…”

Christina looked across at me and said…. “You need to meet my friend.”

And so it was that she married us 7 years later in the mountains of Leavenworth on a sunny September day.
…Approximately 5 minutes later we got started on that baseball team.

You are led to believe through your teenage years, that when you are ready to have a baby, then poof, you get pregnant.
For some that is true.
I had taken probably a hundred pregnancy tests in the 7 months we had been married.
In hindsight 7 months is not a long period of time.
But anyone who has been there, knows that when you are longing for a baby… time has a way of being excruciatingly long.
Every month that goes by and ends with a period is a failure.
Everyone asks if you are pregnant and you have to fake a smile when you say “not yet!”
Every where you turn is a round belly or chubby cheeked baby or a facebook announcement.
You switch lines at the grocery store because you bought a box of pregnancy tests from that lady last week and for some reason, her seeing you buy a second box would be the worst.

So when I nudged Dan and told him about my dream and he told me to “take a pregnancy test…”
A little part of me didn’t want to.
I wanted to stay in the dream and not be disappointed with another ‘NOT PREGNANT” stick to add to my under the bathroom counter trash can.
So when I peed on the stick that morning and put it on the counter and went out to feed the chickens, I ALMOST didn’t want to see what it said.
I wanted to go about my day without knowing so the hope of it being positive would still be there.
So when I finally made my way back to the bathroom and peeked over at the stick and read the words PREGNANT…. I almost didn’t believe it.
I sat on my bathroom floor and cried tears of joy.
I waited all day long for Dan to come home to tell him in person that he was going to be a Dad.
The look on his face, I will never forget it.

3 weeks later we were sitting in an ultrasound room when our doctor found the second heartbeat and announced to us that we were having….. TWINS!

My babies turn 5 today.
I can’t remember the time before I knew them.
Oh sure, I remember things I did.
Places I went.
I vaguely remember sleeping in….
But I can not wrap my brain around a time where my ears didn’t know the sound of their names.
That my eyes didn’t know every detail in their faces.
That my nose didn’t know the smell of their hair.
Was there a time that I didn’t know the difference between a ‘I’m hurt’ cry and a ‘I’m hungry’ cry?
Have my arms ever not known the warmth of their bodies or my hands ever not reached instinctively for theirs?
Was my stomach ever flat and not covered in stripes?
Was there a time when I didn’t hear the name ‘Mom’ called out 100 times a day?
If there was, I just can’t recall.

On the way to school today they had me tell them the story of the day they were born.
They ask for this story over and over again and they squeal with delight when I tell them the part about the hospital security having to “shhhhhh” their dad when he went running through the halls yelling “TWO BOYS!!!! I HAVE TWO BOYS!!!!!!”
I tell them when I looked in their eyes for the first time how I laughed out loud because all of those 9 months of wondering who you would be…. and there you were!
Of course it was you!
I knew you.

They ask me who liked milk the most? (Henry) and who crawled first? (Tate).
…And did you like us living in your belly? (most of the time)
…And what was your favorite Thanksgiving? (The one when I got to hold them for the first time)
…And were you ALWAYS my Mommy? they asked today.

“Yes. Even before you were born, I knew I was going to be your Mommy.”

And on this day that these boys turn 5, I realize it is also the birthday of becoming a Mom.
I wrote down this story today to remind me….
For today…. when its easy to reflect on all of the happy times…
But also for the hard days…. when hearing “Mom!” yelled over and over makes me want to hide in my bedroom and cover my ears.

Remember all of those days when all you wanted was to be someone’s Mom.
Remember what a gift it is that you are now.

5 seems so big compared to those tiny babies.
They are so able and smart, funny and kind.
But 5 is still little.
They still climb in my lap for snuggles and need me to help them with their shoes sometimes.

5 years as a Mom, and I have learned so much.
I can navigate fevers and book swim lessons.
I can kiss away boo boos and pack a balanced lunch.
But I still have so much to learn.
I am not confident in my math homework-helping capabilities.
I am certain I will be too nosy when it comes to girls.
I still haven’t figured out how to get them all dressed and out the door in the mornings without breaking a sweat.

But one thing is certain.
I am proud of these two beaming boys.
I know for sure that they brighten this world.
I know that in 5 years that they have changed me for the better.
I know that the next 5 years will go by even faster.
And the next even faster than that.
I sure am glad I woke up from that dream and peed on a stick so I could get a front seat.
Happy Birthday Henry and Tate, and thanks for making me a Mom.

next up…. the year we took our lives back…..


  1. Molly Emerson

    Love love love this!! Keep it coming!!

  2. Oh, my very dear Rachel! You made me cry. If anyone ever deserved to be a Mom it is you! And, of course, Dan is the perfect Dad. I am honored to know you and to be a part of your lives. And honored to watch the twins grow up and that darling, sweet, funny little Finn just behind them. Thank you, “my” Phillips; you really do light up my life and I hope to know all of you forever! Sending birthday wishes, love and, hopefully, a life with the all the Phillips in it. Sending so much love, Miss Cindy 🧚‍♂️💕☮️❤️🌈💜

  3. Rachel Briscoe

    This captured me from beginning to end! I love that you are sharing your gifts with all of us!

  4. Michele Pestl

    Love reading your blog! The boys are definitely a bright light!♡ Happy Happy Birthday Henry & Tate!

  5. Cherub Zimmermann

    Loving your words. Sums up the perfection of all that is. I feel incredibly blessed to watch, learn and discover with you. Infinite blessings to my dear friends Henry and Tate! Live, Miss Cherub❤️

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