A year in the life. Aka Pregnant with twins and freaking out?

by

The one thing I have read/heard again and again is that the first year (or two!) with twins is ‘hell on earth.’ This seems to feature in most twin blogs I read, but my experience couldn’t be farther from this!

I do understand from our most excellent specialist multiples antenatal class that when most people find out they are pregnant with twins, there is a certain level of shock, disappointment, fear, worry – and also all the good stuff, too. Again, not our experience. We were doing IVF so certainly knew the ‘risk’ of twins, but both of us really, really wanted them.

But. The first year with twins is difficult. In many ways. I may write a post about the pros and cons of that first year with twins, but for today I thought I would try to remember the gist of how the year went and the effect it had on myself and my wife.

Newborns

When Snort and Coconut were first born, we spent a week together in the hospital before coming home. TMD had the first month off work to stay home with us. It was a blurry couple of weeks. Time itself lost all meaning, as we breast/bottle fed babies around the clock. There was no difference to them between day and night, thought they did tend to sleep for four or five hour stretches pretty quickly at night (we are lucky, I know this).

During the daytime my body and mind miraculously woke up, despite the fact that I’d fed about sixteen babies 1700 times throughout the night.

This was extreme sleep deprivation, but I didn’t find it that bad at all because I was still high on having two amazing babies. Plus, they slept pretty much all the time – when they weren’t awake and screaming to be fed, or shitting through their outfits.

TMD’s mum came to stay with us for weeks 5-7. This was the best thing. As you all know, I was unable to walk at all prior to or after giving birth. Due to my wanting my mother-in-law out of the house, I took my first tentative steps in week 7, hooked up to a TENS machine on full flow all the time.

Months 2-3

At eight weeks I was alone with the babies. My mom did come for a brief visit around 10 weeks, but from 8 weeks I was essentially a full time stay at home mother of multiples. And let me tell you, I was a mother in constant pain, a mother with extremely limited mobility – and you know what? I did it. It’s totally possible.

I loved being home alone with them. I also remember 8 weeks as being quite a turning stone in terms of them sleeping longer at night (we never sleep trained and, quite frankly, never would with babies!), going for longer stretches between feeds, etc.

Babywearing really came into its own, because they did both go apeshit crazy at 5:30 every single night, so I’d pop them on me and they would get calm and happy again.

Months 4-6

At four months old, we went on a transatlantic flight to visit my family. This was like 16 hours of straight travelling, and it was actually the perfect age to go on longhaul flights with the babies. They were awake for looooong stretches of time, happy, playing with toys, but still too little to want any independence. A nice combo.

This is the time when they started to really laugh, to roll very proficiently and move around the room, etc. We also started Baby Led Weaning at 6 months and I have enjoyed every second of it!

Months 7-8

It was around 7 months old when I remember being utterly in love with the age. This continued through eight months. It just seemed so easy (as easy as twins can be, anyway!). They were giving so much back to me, and to each other. They started to really pay attention to each other, to sit unassisted, to really tuck into their food. We started spending lots of time outside and they were very into toys, me, etc.

Crying for feeds pretty much stopped as well. And if they did cry, it was very easy to distract them and focus their attention on something else while I brewed up some babas.

Just a fun, relaxed, happy period!

Month 9

Oh, you were a little bitch, month 9. You are the only blemish on my otherwise perfect year.

Month 9 – Snort began crawling and was into everything. He ripped plugs out of walls, got into tight spaces and destroyed everything within reach, etc. Coconut was not crawling but was back scootching. They were both constantly going in opposite directions and trying to keep up with this new level of their mobility was a fucking killer.

It was like living in the 1980s Nickolodeon Show ‘Double Dare’ – mess everywhere, risk taking behaviour, etc. Except my kids didn’t wear protective gear and we had no great prizes.

Months 10- 12

This was really ‘twin time.’ They are so very into each other. They chase each other round and round the big box in our lounge (don’t ask), they go in the paddling pool, they are always hugging and kissing each other, etc.

Of course, by this time they are both crawling and also both pulling up and starting to take a lot of risks. Both of their foreheads are covered in yellow bruises, we have outraged cries regularly as chairs are pulled over, or they are a little too rough in their lovin’ on each other, etc.

I’m starting to see them more and more as toddlers and less as babies, despite the fact that neither is walking or properly talking.

Summary

I don’t want to paint a rosy glow over everything. I remember when they were two or three months old, and it was the evening. I was in the kitchen frantically trying to cool down two nuclear temperature bottles and crying. I phoned Compadre, sobbing my heart out, and just said, ‘I don’t expect you to do anything, but I just needed someone to know that this is happening right now.’ I stared at the microwave and waved a muslin at them and cried.

I became an expert in pleasing screaming newborns – muslin dancing, hand dancing, slapping my ass and shaking it in their faces while making up frantic rap songs about how much I wanted to sleep, etc. And what really got me through the first few months was the knowledge that no matter how hard they were both crying, it would end. Usually within twenty minutes. I just had to bear the intense awfulness of those brief periods of time, and as soon as their tummies were full they’d be happy again. They might be covered in shit or puke or both, but at least they would not be crying.

It has been awhile since I felt that desperation about them both crying. A long while.

THAT being said, earlier this week I called Snort a ‘little jerk’ and had to put him down so I could go into the kitchen and scream ‘Oh you motherfuckerrrrrrrrrr!!!!!’ at the microwave.

The microwave seems to feature in all my desperation stories – but literally, in the last twelve months? I’ve had maybe only five times like that. At most.

Sure, I’m tired. Sure, my life revolves around my babies. Sure, sure, sure.

But bottom line? Twins are so fun, so fabulous. I enjoy them so much I wouldn’t hesitate to have another baby or two, and we certainly look forward to fostering and/or adopting when Snort and Coconut are older.

The only really bad phase I remember is nine months, but to a more able bodied person it might not be a horrible thing when your babies are more able to move around and rip shit apart. Who knows??

I only have five more days left in this first year, and I’m going to cherish them.

This time last year they were still in my belly. Last night they were both on my lap, arms around me and holding hands. Today they are beating up the box in the living room, laughing and chasing each other around it – and no doubt will be crying soon for milk. My days are awfully repetitive, I won’t lie, but they are also pretty fucking great.

Advertisements

Tags:

3 Responses to “A year in the life. Aka Pregnant with twins and freaking out?”

  1. PottyMouthMommy Says:

    If I’m being totally honest, I wanted twins. I knew that my most recent pregnancy would be my last, and I so desperately wanted more children. And after reading your blog, I knew that having twins really wasn’t that bad. I love how much your love for your babies shines through, and how much joy you take in them. So many parents of multiples blogs are all about how HARD it is- I believe that it is, heck, even having ONE newborn and being sleep-deprived is hard!! But you make it seem almost easy. Your honesty about the difficulties is completely overshadowed by how much FUN you have with your babies!! You inspire me, you really do. And I hope that maybe some day we can meet and I can see your wonderful babies!

  2. Lara Says:

    You’ve turned me around – now I am desperately hoping 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: