Monday, April 14, 2014

Letters from the Twin Trenches: From one M.o.M to Another (One Month in)

Back story to our "Letters from the Twin Trenches" series...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... And so began a pretty incredible and prolific E-pal friendship chronicling our respective pregnancies and birth stories that continues to this day.  Her beautiful fraternal twin girls were born (full term) two weeks 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.  These are some letters to her...they tell it like it is.  The good, the bad, the ugly...
I have been meaning to write you for DAYS and DAYS....I was having withdrawal symptoms but writing my response to the Rebel Heart drama took up all my bandwidth...thank you for the support!  And don't you worry about exposing your girls to the world, you and Michael are intelligent, worldly and fantastic people who will no doubt find a way to show them a life less steps my friend.  Rome was not built in a day.
So I joined some twin Facebook groups and I read this quote yesterday that I am now convinced sums up life with multiples: "it gets easier...then harder....then easier...then harder.  Like a constant ebb and flow" (I added the ebb and flow part for a bit of poetic license).  I mean, is that true or is that true?!  I, too, now rate my nights and days by the whole "drive a van into the ocean" metaphor (as inappropriate as it may be, it works) and, while we seem to be having those moments less and less as we "find our groove" (laughable phrase, I know), those run-out-of-the-house-pulling-our-hair-out moments are God are they there.  In fact, every night between 6-9 pm it's a pretty good bet that it will be a total shit show up in here.  Yes, I am talking about the dreaded "witching hour" (though with two - it's hours, plural).  The girls get all possessed split-pea-soup-style and the only thing that will calm them is the boob or wearing them and walking around the block, and even those things don't always do the trick.  It's a constant juggling act.  I pity any fool who sees me during those hours because I'm a raving lunatic (thank God for wine) and probably look slightly possessed myself.  Nights, thank heavens are going well (well, as good as can be expected while sleeping propped up in the center of the bed, surrounded by my nursing pillow and flanked by a baby on my left and right.  Scott now sleeps on the floor - his choice - because space in our double bed has been severely compromised by this arrangement).  We are usually melt-down free between the hours of 9pm and 6am - though it's still a crap shoot from time to time.  It's amazing what a bad fart can do to the disposition of a newborn.  Yowsas.  But we're managing and doing - dare I say - pretty well.  If it weren't for baby wearing and the Moby wrap though, I would be singing a different tune.  I am a total default attachment parent in that these babies are attached to me all. the. time.  As much as I love it though, I do fear that I will be a full inch shorter by their first birthday.  Toting around eighteen pounds of baby is nothing to shake a stick at.
Mira is fine, she will sleep happily in the rock-n-play without me, but Haven has now been nicknamed "Haven the handful" (a stark contrast to "Mellow Mira").  I know, I know...we're not supposed to "label" our twins because then they will 'live up to the labels'...blah blah blah.  But Haven is definitely the needier of the two.  As we near the six week mark I hope we see her fussiness subside, but this child has gusto and has the whole "squeaky wheel" thing down pat.  I swore I wouldn't compare my twins but it's almost impossible not to from time to time, especially when one is so content and so mellow and the other....isn't.  Show me a twin mom who hasn't done this at some point and I will show you a liar.  I'm just really, really grateful that both are not so needy/fussy, otherwise I fear I'd be residing in a padded cell.
Speaking of Haven, she's totally the "come from behind" girl.  In the womb she was baby "B" for the entire pregnancy, then wriggled her way to the "A" position in the final inning (much to the shock of my doctors, apparently switching position that late in the game is rare).  She was the smaller of the two and now outweighs Mira by a whole pound, and has already mastered rolling over and  - good grief - her neck control?   Off the charts.  The child is a beast.  She's going places I tell you.  Amazing how different they are, even down to bowel movements.   Yes, bowel movements.  Haven poops with just about every feeding and Mira?  Mira poops once a week, I shit you not (whoops, no pun intended!!). We were super nervous about this fact but the pediatrician assured us it was totally normal and said we are a perfect study in "fraternal twins and the wide ranges of normal".  I was skeptical but had to take her word for it.  So we waited, tentatively opening each diaper with the hopes of finding poop (I know, the things that excite us now, right?).  Mira finally had a blow-out this morning which, of course, resulted in the exuberant announcement "She pooped!" and was reason to celebrate over here.  We were such proud parents of that poop.  But, yeah...we are a real study in the beauty and bafflement that is fraternal twins.  Really insane.
What else?  Oh...I'm getting out every day by myself with all THREE kids, can you believe it?  I had a total "I'm a BOSS mom" moment the other day walking to the grocery story with the twins in the Moby Wrap and Isla in the BOB stroller.  People were gawking and staring and smiling and I was all "Oh yeah, I'm a super mom!! Ogle away!!" totally basked in the glory and held my head high.  Of course two hours later it all fell apart with screaming babies, blow-outs and puke in my hair, but whatever...I will take my 15 minutes of awesomeness when I can.  But you are so right - getting outside in the sun makes the world of difference.  It's amazing.  Thank GOD winter is over, although the news just threatened snow tonight.  I flicked off the weather woman, and in some weird way I felt better. 
Okay, gotta run. Stay strong mama - you are doing awesome and your emails are always always a pleasure and crack me up.  Sorry I have been such a stranger. 
OH - one more thing...I put on a cute outfit today.  Boot cut jeans, ankle boots, a nursing camisole, and a fitted jacket with a cute scarf....and that's not all! I currently have no puke on me and I might just go to the grocery store in a bit just to show off.  Have you noticed how going out with them sometimes makes you feel better in that "I'm a 'B' list celebrity" kind of way? HA!

PS.  Attaching some of the professional pics my SIL took of the girls, as well as my "1 month" pics.  Also one of Isla walking her "twins".  She kills me with her sweetness. 
Big thanks to Bright Eye Photography for these professional pictures of our girls! 

Haven Jane
Mira Ann
Our slumbering girls.  The fact that they remained sleeping during photo shoot might qualify as a miracle.

Love the blocks?  Me too.  Get them at  Best shower gift ever.
To read more "Letters from the Trenches" or other articles about our experiences with twins, please visit our TWINSANITY page.


Tillerman said...

Beautiful! All three of them!

Anonymous said...

Haven and Mira are just beautiful and I love Isla wearing one "twin" and pushing the other.


Karen said...

Love your humor. We have all had those moments, they will pass, I promise!

MaryJo Boyle said...

OMG--What a great post!!! I never had twins, but I have 4 daughters and I wore them all and I totally agree with you about the benefits of doing it. Keep on keeping on, you're doing great! Hugs said...

Brittany, congratulations to you & Scott on the twins & your success generally. We are on our boat Megerin in the BVI & USVI for 6 months & love reading your blog. As grandparents of 5 we love kids & sailing!!! I have a book recommendation for you to give you some giggles when you have a few minutes of downtime. It is " On the Wind and a Prayer" by Paul Koestner (Amazon). SO funny about cruising - I am reading it for the third time. It would be good to "take you away" for a few minutes a day. Enjoy your life & hope to run into you some day down here.

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