Archive for September, 2009

Advice for parents-to-be of twins.

September 25, 2009

Six weeks in, and all I can say is: relax.

While you may have imagined two babies screaming non-stop, or two little angels gurgling away – or probably something in between, you didn’t imagine it correctly. How could you? Don’t blame yourself. There you were, mammoth and pregnant, and all the cute little socks and fancy prams were gorgeous – but was it really possible to imagine two little people would be in those socks?

We were very anti-pacifier. We didn’t know about the glory of vibrating bouncers (buy two now). We were hardcore about breastfeeding.

Six weeks in, and our babies aren’t very into pacifiers…but the thing is, sometimes they are. And it helps. You’ve got one baby on your lap, feeding it and possibly holding the bottle in place with your mouth while your other hand tries helplessly to mop up the rivers of milk flowing down the side of a little face and pooling into the crevices of the neck. And let me tell you, formula does not smell nice when it has been allowed to fester in fat folds.

So your upper body is busy. You have also, of course, wedged one foot into the frame of a bouncy chair holding the non-feeding baby – because while the vibrations are great, when a baby is really hungry you might as well have placed them on a bed of spikes. You are trying to get a good, strong rhythm of bouncing going ….while not disturbing the delicate balance of bottle-in-your-mouth. Your other foot is probably sockless, while you use your toes to grip a muslin, soft book, or other toy and lift it carefully. Your aim is to somehow fling the book up at your own face, so that you can stop wiping the milk river for a minute and hold the book in front of Baby Two, who is still merrily howling away, in increasing levels of high pitched agony.

You may decide to stop feeding the first baby and give the second a nibble. You may keep switching back and forth. One thing you can be sure of, while you are engaged in this mental dance of Who Shall I Feed And How Should I Do It, you will not wind the babies enough. They will spit up. All over their fresh outfits. (For this reason, ALWAYS have a muslin draped over those expensive vibrating bouncy chairs, because otherwise you need to sponge clean and it leave it empty while it dries. This is not good. An empty chair is a wasted chair). If you do manage to get the worst of the burps out, and somehow also manage to fully feed both babies (who will be inclined to pass out once they have eaten a certain amount, what with you ignoring them to feed their twin), there is no doubt one or both will get the hiccups.

Hiccups make the least burpy baby on earth dribble. And sometimes you just sit there and watch the spit-up cake their cheeks, necks, clothes – because you are locked into some crazy ass feeding position with the other twin.

All of this is trial and error. Most of the time your babies will be really, really happy. They are possibly at their happiest on completely opposite schedules, as they get all one-on-one time….and you, of course, literally never get a second of time to yourself. Being pregnant with twins is excellent training, because that constant feeling of needing to pee? It gets you used to it, which is a good thing because you will have to have a bladder of steel if you want to keep the baby cycle going.

Of course, you are free to leave the babies both screaming while you take the time to pee, with an added luxury of wiping.

Put handwash by every sink. Invest in a thick, non-smelly lotion for every sink, too. While your hands will be cleaned and sterilised to within an inch of their lives, your knuckles start looking like you are an eighty-year-old woman who has made her living by taking in other people’s washing.

Relax. If the chairs work, they work. If the pacifiers do – and you are against them, ease up on the guilt. Life with two newborns is about flexibility, love, a sense of humour, and being honest with yourself. Because you will be tired, you will be snappy, you will feel a guilty relief when you shut the door to the bathroom and excuse yourself from motherhood for an hour – shoving the baby duties onto your equally tired partner. Every baby is different, every adult is different, and every family is different.

Be creative. Try new things and don’t be afraid to mess up. You learn a lot from getting vomited on and peed on at the same time, believe me. (Want to know how to stop your baby boy from peeing everywhere? Let me know. I AM THE MASTER.)

People (and the endless books) will tell you that everything is definite. You must form a routine for twins immediately. You must use black out curtains. You must do this, you musn’t do that. I’ve found that if you just use a bit of common sense and match things to fit your lifestyle and personality, you’ll probably be just fine.

I have spent the first six weeks quite happily, and messily, mucking along. Feeding on demand, completely following each baby’s lead, etc. While no book advises this and says it causes mothers huge amounts of stress, things have been okay. Really okay.

But in the spirit of flexibility and longer stretches of sleep at night, things may be changing soon. In the meantime, we are sleeping them in the same cot (you win a prize of honour or horror, depending on who you listen to), feeding on demand, having playtimes whenever it can be assumed they won’t vomit, talking loads to them, having them sleep on us during the day when we feel like it, etc. We even have them sleep in rooms that are not pitch black…shudder, horror. Things are fine.

This is my last week with Mil here. Next week I’m completely on my own the whole week. You may see less of me in this blog, but rest assured I am probably wearing very comfortable pants, my hair pulled back into messy buns, and I am spending a lot of time kissing little cheeks.

If you are expecting twins, you can expect to be surprised a lot – by how capable you are, by how tired you are, by how special it all is. You can also expect to spend a lot of time thanking various deities that you did not have triplets.

Love to all.

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I am so lucky.

September 24, 2009

Many people unwind in the evening with plates of food on their laps, a glass of wine, a snooze. Me?

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Sometime last week (?), Coconut and Snort were a bit grumbly. You know, it’s early evening and they can’t decide if they need to sleep or play. I plopped them both onto a pillow on my lap, jounced it a bit with my knees, and hey presto. Coconut and Snort found each other’s hands and that worked for awhile. Then Coconut actually flopped herself over so her head was on Snort’s chest – both emitted a giant sigh of contentment and promptly passed out.

We sat like this for a few hours, these two little miracles all cosied up to each other on my lap. I just stared and stared and stared (and took about 500 pictures.)

Send wanna be teenage parents to us: WE WILL DETER THEM.

September 20, 2009

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End of summertime, and the living is (?) easy.

September 20, 2009

Think I have emailed or facebooked everyone who wanted old blog/baby name stuff. If I forgot you, please kick me in the ass in the comments section. I’m sorry.

Things going well today – such a relief to have a day at home with TMD and the babies. I have officially decided on bloggy names for them, and am also working on a new introduction page. Exciting stuff. I wanted to unveil their blog names with an entry for each of them, and pics for each, but fuck if I have time for that! (Don’t say ‘f’, you GD idiot.)

Baby Girl (aka Torre) = Coconut

Baby Boy (aka Mano) = Snort

I am fairly certain all this name chopping and changing means I am officially crazy, but again. Who cares. I probably AM crazy. I woke up sometime last night (must have been fairly early as TMD was still in the kitchen.)…

I was absolutely positive I was holding Snort. I could feel him breathing in my arms, could feel his feet, etc. Problem? No head. I was gingerly feeling around in the covers for his face, getting more and more freaked out because it was not there, until I started keening for TMD in a panic-ridden voice. She ran in and tried to reassure me – apparently – that Snort was in the cot, and Coconut was still in the lounge. I – apparently – kept feeling for him, mumbling, ‘He’s here, I know he is. Where is his head? The blankets are smothering him.’

This is about the level we are both functioning on most of the time, but especially in the nighttime. Last night was also special because we had our first fight in about 432523 years. It was an interesting thing, happening everytime we got up for Baby Nighttime Funhouse Of Horror. It was mainly me sobbing about her mother, and being ravingly crazy lady mad that TMD had not uninvited Mil from being here.

TMD called Mil today to uninvite her for the final week, and lo and behold, Mil was already on side. She planned to ask tomorrow if we minded if her hubby came up that final week, and they would catch the train into the city, troll around our local area, etc. Essentially leaving me, Coconut, and Snort alone except when popping in so Grandpa could see them again. Hopefully she won’t feel all wounded and hypersensitive that we called her first, but jesus. I actually have had nightmares for the past two nights in a row about her being here. It’s not her, per say – though the obsessive baby winding is making me FUCKING CRAZY INSIDE – I would probably be this way about anyone being here so long.

I am officially my mother, who got freaked out about people being in ‘the family space.’ While I thought she was obnoxious and crazy, I am now a fully paid member of the Family Space Club. Emphasis on immediate family only.

Hope you all are having a good weekend. We are – Meg and Nic came to visit yesterday (we heart them hardcore), and we also got their baby passport pictures taken. Country B is reasonable about baby pictures, but Country A wants babies alert, eyes open and staring right at the camera, head straight, no hands supporting them, in a natural expression. Yeah. That being said, we got the pictures – and I managed to push their pram for the first time ever!!! My crotch is not thanking me for it today, but it felt amazing.

I also got my nicey nice gift from TMD for carrying and birthing the babies – I will have to take a pic and post it as it is gorgeous. And, actually, every mother, pregnant woman, or woman who hopes to be pregnant will want a link to the company website.

Both babies asleep now.

I am still in my nightgown (it’s 4:16pm) – I have to wear clothes as I am still leaking? Wtf? Leaking being not only my still-bleeding vajayjay, but my left boob. I had a dream last night that it was shooting as hard as a firehose. (Last night was eventful, you see.)

I think I am going to go beg a bathtime, read, and shower. Tomorrow we have to leave the house practically before dawn to drive into the city – we have to go to the Embassy to do all the Country A-related things. I am going to have to really live up my cripple status and work my crutches to ensure TMD is allowed in. Afterwards, we may drop into Operation Fingerpaint to have Joy meet the babies.

Busy, busy.

Why can’t I stop writing? I miss it.

Love to all.

Sorry, I’m totally fucking stupid. Don’t say ‘f’*.

September 18, 2009

Uh, I can’t figure out how to get people’s email addresses from the comments unless they are actually written in the comment itself. So if you would like the address to my last blog, or *excitement* you want to know the real names of the babies, do leave a comment on this entry …. with your email address in the body of the comment.

I am sure there is some way to get the email addresses in another fashion, but hell if I can figure it out on four hours of sleep. Don’t say ‘h’.

* Everytime we swear, we follow it up with this comment. All because my mother once said this to me. It has reached a new level, such as, ‘Give me a GD carrot, you B.’ (That’s Mr. Bluebell talking. See the previous entry if you are uncool enough to not know Mr. Bluebell.)

Literacy levels are soaring.

September 18, 2009

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See the rabbit on the back cover? They LOVE the full size rabbit on the inside.

And I know Mommy loves making that rabbit have a very deep voice. Why, just last night Mr. Bluebell told Mil that if she didn’t meet him in the alleyway and give him a carrot, he would come after her and break her kneecaps. Seriously.

He’s good fun, that rabbit.

And now back to the kidlets – aren’t they so fucking cute you could SCREAM?

Drive by pooping.

September 18, 2009

It’s me, g. Yo yo yo, check one two three.

Not sure how long I have till Baby Girl needs to eat, or Mil appears. Last night we chickened out on asking her not to come back in the fourth week, but TMD had a chat with her about how in that week I need whole days alone on my own – giving suggestions on how she could make herself scarce. Feel a bit like an asshat because this lady is paying a lot of money to stay locally, and also clearly wants to help her grandbabies and me as much as possible. Nervous how she will be today, following yesterday’s conversation.

In other news, I’ve got a wicked cold. Baby Girl got it a bit and has recovered, and now Baby Boy is so congested he sounds like he’s been smoking a pack a day for the last twenty years or so. Right now both are sleeping in bouncers at my feet – a sweet sight, and a pleasure to the ears. Have lots and lots of pictures to put up, still will email those of you wanting baby names or link to old blog (leave a comment with your email address if you do!), and also going to have a general tidy up. This blog seems to be my only ‘me space’ at the moment, and I feel very relaxed and happy when I am pottering around.

Today I am also googling things like ‘twin diaper bag’, etc etc. Anyone know of a decent diaper bag with lots of pockets – and big enough for two? I don’t think twins means a bag twice the size necessarily, but definitely need something stury and spacious. TMD is using one of our backpacks, and I can’t get on with that. Everything shoved into one giant area? Fucking hell, man. I need me some organisation.

Crap. One tissue left?!? Need to go on the hunt for more before a baby wakes up…

Today is a special day. (And not just because of what happened at 4 am, though THAT ROCKED.)

September 16, 2009

Today I was alone with the babies, twice. Time one included screaming, feeding, and throwing up. Time two involved nappy changes, feeding, shit explosions, and naps. I WAS SO HAPPY.

I like being on my own with the babies. I was lucky enough to feed them one after the other, so each feed was nice and calm. I had the birth cd on and sang to each of them while they ate; Baby Girl just stared and stared into my eyes. And then I felt it – the overwhelming rush of love that was like a punch in the stomach – it made my eyes tear. Forty minutes later and Baby Boy shifted suddenly during his feed, paused, and stared right through me. How lucky was I to have a second crashing wave of love run through me?

I think it’s because I was on my own with them. I am more than capable of this. Sure, I’m going to probably cry from stress or pain or fear on occasion. But the powerful feeling of caring for these babies, my boy and girl who are so lovely and cherished? It makes me feel like the strongest woman on earth, the first woman to be so sure and solid and brave.

Top Secret Shiznit.

September 16, 2009

I’m in the midst of a no-internet-during-the-day thing, while I enact a cunning plan. In short, fuck the pain, I am going to properly care for my babies. That way Mil has nothing to say, and things are calmer. I started the No Computer, No Pain No Gain campaign yesterday – have loads of pics to upload, and also to get in touch with those of you who want the other blog address and baby names. Stay tuned till this weekend?

Now I need to write another entry, all by itself, so it can just be beautiful and not tangled up in my military operation.

*kisses*

September 14, 2009

Okay, kids, will send links to my last blog to those who requested it asap – tomorrow? And if you wade through all that, there is more. Momma been blogging a long time.

In the meantime, I just ranted about Mil to TMD. We have a plan in place. Again, will try to update tomorrow. It’s a bit manic as they are getting weighed and stuff in the morning, then I have physio in the afternoon.

It is a (sick) relief to read that other people also have problems with their Mils. MY Mil is the sort of lady who takes great offence at the smallest thing, and then is wounded for the next forty years. I hear the same stories over and over – all of them make her sound crazy. I am SO POLITE.

I ignore the small stuff, but some stuff she does actually hurts the babies. Remind me to tell you about the fucking hats. Ridiculous.

Ventfully yours,

Me

PS – I reply to all your comments in my head. I also read your blogs. I am just shit for time, particularly when I have to be on high alert to be able to participate in my own children’s lives. Mil has GREAT intentions, just too fucking many of them. She is now also mocking my mother.  Nighty night.