While the twins will be our first human babies, Andrew and I have had "children" for quite a while. Cooper and Stella, our two precious dogs, are an integral part of our family.
Cooper is a six-year-old yorkie who is too smart for his own good. His vocabulary is astonishing...we are pretty sure he understands about 90% of what we say. He is certain he's not a dog, and expresses this belief by refusing to eat dog food unless there is shredded cheese on top. He is quite independent, but also knows when to give the sweetest snuggles. If I cry (which seems to be often at 31 weeks pregnant), he is always the first to comfort me. He also has some advanced medical training--when Andrew's blood sugar goes low in the middle of the night, Cooper often scratches until Andrew gets up to eat. He is a typical firstborn...responsible, caring, and good at entertaining himself.
Stella is our one-year-old yorkie poo, and she is quite the ball of energy. We were constantly on the fence about adding a second dog to the family, but when I yearned for a child getting a dog seemed to be the next best thing. Looking back, we realize this was one of the best decisions we have made for our family. Sweet Stella has been so good for her big brother. He eats better and plays more than he has in years. Stella has the most adorable face, and she is quite possibly the most cuddly animal ever. She will lay with Andrew or me for hours, giving her love freely and generously. She is also quite hilarious, and she keeps us entertained with her precious antics.
This morning I had to drop both of my fur babies at the vet--Stella needed a teeth cleaning and extraction of one tooth that never fell out, and Cooper needed a teeth cleaning and had a spot on his back that needed to be removed. Both had to be put to sleep, which I hate, and both had a complete freak out when we pulled up to the vet's office. They clung to their mommy, and I cried as I pulled out of the parking lot without them in my lap. I was so sad that I couldn't explain to them that this was for their own good, that I would be back soon to hold them and cuddle them. I quickly realized that life with babies will be similar. There will be times when we have to make choices that the babies don't like, and we won't be able to explain to them that we are trying to do what is best. There will be moments when the things we have to do will make the babies angry, and I know that hearing their little cries will break my heart. I just hope that human babies forgive as quickly as our four-legged kids.