The truth.

by

Thank you to all who responded yesterday. It is always a pleasure when people reach out to help me, particularly as I have never been one to say when I needed help – at least prior to my training as a counsellor/therapist, anyway. That changes things, or at least it changed me.

I think one of the problems is that I have been treating Coconut and Snort as singletons, at least in relation to eating. But it is inescapable that they are not singletons. It’s interesting to talk to moms of singletons versus moms of twins. Twim moms talk about crying a lot whilst both babies are crying – who do you go to? How do you prioritise? Twin moms also talk about all the different things they have tried – different routines, different feeding techniques – all the ways they have fumbled along before time or ‘routine’ was a success. Singleton moms don’t have the same need for routine.

Let’s say it takes Snort, on a good feed, about twenty minutes to have his bottle. Then ten minutes of burping or whatever. That’s right quick, indeed, but sometimes he manages it. So then he’s awake for awhile. But Coconut and her snacking (think I have it figured out – she is part vampire. She is ‘snacking’ during the day as he does at night, when he doesn’t need as much to eat. We need to keep her AWAKE during the day, for god’s sake.) – it could take her 20 minutes to eat a little bit. An hour later and she needs another 40 minutes or so.

When you look at my ‘schedule’ as a whole, I am feeding one baby for about an hour. There may be a slight overlap of sleep or play time, say ten minutes (like right now!). Then the cycle starts again with the other one. This is what comes of being baby-led. I’m not saying I want to turn into a drill sergeant, but in some ways we HAVE. Going out? We have bags packed, bottles ready, feeding sorted as best we can. If hell breaks loose when we are out, TMD and I have ways to immediately manage (of course, this would be different should I be alone).

The thing is, the one adult to two newborns ratio has some inherent problems, and it’s going to take me some time to sort it all out. The mini goal for today (though it is probably quite a challenge) is to get them used to going flat on their backs after eating, instead of passing out in their bouncy chairs. Snort in particular will resist this. I am scared of it with Coconut, because DAMN can she vomit – and being tilted helps. That being said, I have thrown her on a pillow on the ground, and she is merrily kicking away. No vomit to be seen.

I feel there was a lot more I wanted to say. To vent, to figure out, to explain to other people.

It’s nice to read that other twin moms find it really hard. There are also some who choose to take the hardness, and use to to help those that follow. It is a community unlike others, though ‘mom communities’ seem to me to be more welcoming, inclusive, and understanding than many I’ve belonged to. Twin moms just have the added level of knowing how fucked up it sometimes gets.

Me? I think I am a person dedicated to herself. Suddenly having snatches of time here and there for me, which I devote to updating this blog and keeping my sanity, is something I am unaccustomed to. As is working this fucking hard. My GOD, is it hard. Even as I am admiring Coconut’s stunning eyelashes, a small part of me is glancing at my chart to see when Snort is due to wake up. It’s like a constant little ball of dread, of oh fuck, of ‘I just need a break. Please.’

My life will never be the same again. I think I am only just starting to comprehend what that means on a very basic level. I think the tears rolling down my cheeks for about 3 hours straight yesterday were due to this being the first week on my own – and yesterday was the first day without any visitors. My SPD is still bad. Really bad. I have not properly slept in the seven weeks since they were born. I am also not one who does well emotionally when she is stuck at home; I know this about myself from long before I was even pregnant.

Crap. Snort waking up. Coconut doing some intermittant crying. Hope she settles soon on that blasted pillow. Need to go feed him. I am not done with this entry, not by half. But will post it now as not sure when I’ll get another chance. And if I post now, maybe I will get comments now?

I am lonely.

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8 Responses to “The truth.”

  1. Jennie Says:

    Bless you, these first few weeks must be incredibly hard for you. Major readjustments, both physically and mentally, and all on very little sleep. Once you’ve had babies you understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture!

    In my experience, the first twelve weeks were the worst, as you learn to adjust to having this small person to look after as well as coping with fluctuating hormones (and did I mention little sleep?). I think that you’ve just got to do whatever you can to get through the next few weeks, and try not to beat yourself up if you feel like you’re missing things.

    Judging by the comments I see posted on your blog, lots of people care about you, and are wishing for a good recovery from the SPD, and I hope that you can draw some happiness from that, amidst the turmoil and chaos of new-motherhood! And with a bit of luck, in a few weeks you’ll look back at this time and see how far you’ve come. I wish I had some twin experience so that I could be more helpful, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you.

  2. 2momswithaplan Says:

    I can’t sit here and say that I know what you are going through because I don’t. But what I do know is that it will get easier. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Reach out to TMD for help – let her know that you need some ‘me’ time and enjoy a 20 minute bath. I hear this is very helpful to regain your sanity. Hang in there, sweetie and remember you are not alone. There are many here (including myself) who care about you and are cheering you on.

  3. Tatiana Says:

    TEN MINUTES of burping? Whaaaat? I do like a minute, and if she doesn’t burp… whatever, she’ll burp when she feels like it. Cause really, I wouldn’t want someone smacking my back for longer than that!

    I honestly can’t wrap my mind around how crazy your life must be. I can, though, identify with how lonely you feel. I’ve felt so lonely too. I’ve said to Chris many many times that all the sudden I REALLY understand the saying “it takes a village”. Parenting really, really wasn’t meant to be done alone, but sometimes we don’t have the choice, and we have to do it alone, AND IT SUCKS.

    Like you write, your life has changed forever. You are now a master multi-tasker. You are now someone that other women look up to as a strong mother. You are simultaneously the most vulnerable and most powerful person in your world.

    Love you all.

  4. Katie Says:

    I hear you on everything. Prioritizing is hard…especially when you’re doing it with humans, but over time, hearing them cry will get easier and easier and you’ll know who you need to go to first. You’re the mama and you’ll just know. Sure, you’ll fuck up (tons) but none of this trial and error will harm them. In fact, now that my guys are 15 months, I think they are better adjusted children then my singleton that’s 2 1/2. My twins understand patience and waiting for their turn. They’ve never known it any other way. I don’t know if my random rambling will help you or make you more confused/irritated, but I figure it’s always nice to hear someone who’s been through the same thing you have and come out on the other side of hell alive. Right?
    How do you feel about swings? If you’re not against them, they may save your sanity…they did mine. I could put one twin in the swing after their feeding (propped upright) while feeding the other so they weren’t laying flat to throw up all over themselves. This cut out burping time. Also, I did prop a bottle or 500 up when I was so overwhelmed and I couldn’t take the crying anymore. Using a swing or propping up a bottle isn’t IDEAL, I know, but remaining sane when you’re outnumbered is, so try to leave the guilt behind and do what works for you that day, hour, minute. Good luck! =)

  5. Jenny Says:

    Jolyon’s eating style is, really, well, the only good way to describe it, even if it’s not very PC, is spastic. Lots of distraction, flailing at being overwhelmed by flow of milk, coming unlatched, milk spewing into his hair, being STILL HUNGRY and then relatching him. But he usually achieves eating in about 10 minutes. 20 minutes at most – usually less than that. And he gets about 30 seconds to one minute to produce a burp. If he doesn’t do it then, he won’t if we keep at it longer, either, so we conclude that he must not need to burp.

    However, because he’s a singleton, we can more easily cycle through another feed later, so perhaps he is eating less than one might need twins to eat in a sitting. And, also, I think breastfed babies tend to eat smaller meals more often?

    He is not, and has never been, a very vomity baby. He has done it, of course, but the only times it’s happened is when we over-fed him early on when we hadn’t yet worked out the difference between hungry and cranky because he wanted to be put down to calm himself down from overstimulation. He occasionally spits up a little bit but it’s not very plentiful.

    Routines – yeah, we have the singleton luxury of not having a schedule, although we have fallen into a routine. Most of the time it’s a nap, wake up starving, eat, happy time, cranky time, nap routine. Sometimes cranky time leads to more eating though, and then another happy time… depending on how much he ate when he woke up.

  6. Jenny Says:

    Ultimately, you need to do what works for you. Our current routine is working pretty well with the two working moms and no daycare plan we have going, so not having a schedule is working, so we are not feeling the need to change it. However, if you are having issues with the on-demand thing, then by all means, do the schedule! It is all about what works for you and enables you to make it through your day!

  7. Jenny Says:

    And I wish I could tell you what to do about the lonely thing. Like I said above, we both are back at work now, and basically swapping off days at home with baby and days at work. (And sometimes baby just comes to work with one of us if we both have stuff to do at work.) That means we both get our share of adult conversation and interaction with adults, and I think that is really helpful to our sanity. We’re also starting up with our annual volunteering project. However, with the SPD you may not be able to do those things, and that is HARD, so you have my utmost sympathy. Can you join a parenting support group in your immediate area?

  8. Jinxy Says:

    I totally get the dread and the ‘I just need a break. Please.’. I can only imagine how hard it must be with twins.

    Lily’s on a 10 minute twice a day nap kick right now and seriously some days I just really wish I had a job to go to or something.

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