When we were in the BVI's we met up with some blog followers. They were young, fun and we enjoyed hanging out with them (and the left over provisions they gave us from their charter when they flew home the next day). Fast forward to months later when I announced our twin pregnancy on the blog... Imagine my surprise when I got an email from Kimberly telling me that she, too, was pregnant with twins and only a week ahead of me. "Must have been something in those painkillers!" she wrote, referencing the alcoholic beverage made famous on Jost van Dyke... And so began a pretty incredible and prolific pen-pal friendship chronicling our respective pregnancies and birth stories that continues to this day. Her beautiful fraternal twin girls were born (full term) a week before ours and I have to tell you, sharing our (eerily similar) journeys via email has been very cathartic for me. Solidarity. If there is one thing you need as a parent of twins it's community. We need to know we are not alone when it seems our sanity is teetering on the brink, which it will do from time to time when there are two newborns in the house. Particularly if those newborns are screaming in unison.
I wanted to write a pithy blog post yesterday and update you all on what's been going on but struggled with what to write and how to start it. So instead, I stepped away from the blog and replied to Kimberly's most recent email. Once I hit send I thought, "Heck! Why not post my reply to her on the blog?" It tells it like it is (good, bad and ugly) and, let's face it, I'm all about efficiency these days. If I can kill two (or more) birds with one stone, well, I will...so, with Kimberly's blessing, here it is... I've edited and added few bits here and there, but this is the gist of it:
First of all, you look great. Amazing actually. I know you are wearing the Moby wrap in that picture (high five!!) but, honestly, you look thin and cute and not at all like a zombie. As for me - do not be misled, I do not look good in a bikini YET - but there is hope (like you, I have no stretch marks or "twin skin"- hooray!), and I can cling to hope. When I put on normal clothes, however, I feel chunky, frumpy and blah. Not good for moral when you have a decent sized vanity streak like I do. I just need to be patient I guess, a trait that I was not naturally blessed with but one that motherhood has planted in me - and one that twin motherhood has fertilized Monsanto-style. I am impressed you went sailing. I barely get outside, but that is mostly due to the fact that this winter will Not. Let. Go. I feel your concern about the whole 'falling in while baby-wearing' thing, but I honestly felt safer with Isla on me rather than in a life jacket in the cockpit or something when she was a newborn, and she was much, much happier that way as well (fyi, tiny babies, in our experience, do NOT enjoy life jackets!).
So good to hear from you. When your email came in I was literally *just* about to write you. Breath of fresh air!! Relieved to hear we are going through similar things. Last night I was at wits end. Dropping curse words all over the place, suuuuper frustrated and doing the whole "why me?" thing in my head...Mira (surprise!) was the one last night; she cried non-stop for about four hours. Simply could not be consoled. She has awful gas and it was totally heartbreaking and trying my sanity. As soon as we'd get her calm, Haven would pipe up. It was non-stop mayhem between 6pm and 11pm. Scott and I were totally wrecked. I swear if I'd had a time machine between those hours I would have hopped in that sucker and not gotten pregnant when we did. It's nights like last night that make me want to drop kick anyone who complains about the stress of one newborn child. I mean, are you joking? I cannot stop thinking of how much easier this would be if it were a singleton...and again, I know that is super unproductive, inappropriate and totally unfair but...well, yeah. I absolutely love our girls but this whole two newborns at once is a total roller coaster. One day I am on top of it and feel great, the next I am looking for the "return to sender" label. Fun times.
During the madness, I made the colossal mistake of googling "when will twins get easier?" (similar to Googling "twin skin" while pregnant. Do. Not. Do. It.) Imagine my horror upon finding forum after forum full of people who lament, "My twins are nine and worse than ever!! Help me!!" or "It NEVER gets easier, only harder with each passing stage!" and the like...Not to mention the fact that a family friend, who has twin granddaughters comes over and tells me, "Oh, when they are three life gets so much better!" I realize she's trying to be helpful and positive but I'm thinking to myself, "You do realize you told me I have to wait THREE YEARS for life to get better, right?!" Haha...I laugh though. Thank god for a sense of humor.
Luckily I stopped reading and I have a feeling once we pass this itty bitty newborn stage (aka "the fourth trimester") and our girls get a bit more independent (i.e. can sleep without physically touching me) and their digestive systems mature a little more (i.e. less painful gas) things will get much, much easier. Hell, I don't even care about sleeping through the night at this point (three hour chunks is actually totally do-able for me) - but a couple consecutive hours not sleeping sitting up would be heaven right now (so funny you sleep the same way - thought I was nutso and the only one!)? Oh, perspective. It's the little things over here.
Today has been so much better and I feel human and sane again. You know how it goes. And actually Haven and Mira are sleeping soundly not on me right now and have been for 30+ minutes which is quite the milestone. We started giving them probiotics to help with the crying/colic so I am hoping this is part of the issue (digestion/gas/reflux) and we're on track to happier, more comfortable babies. But we shall see.
Okay. That is all for now. The sun is actually out today and it is above 30 degrees so I am going to take the girls on a walk! Yay me! I think a daily outing; be it to the park or down the aisles of a grocery store - is necessary for my sanity to feel human and productive. Days I get out are a lot better than the ones where I feel a slave to the couch. Oh - and days when Dancing with the Stars is on are always good. Man, I love that show.
|Our sleeping arrangement. It's really kind of great, actually.|
|Our beauties. Wide-eyed Haven on the left, mellow Mira on the right. Love bugs.|
|The tandem breastfeeding position with my twin nursing pillow.|