Monday, November 24, 2014

Letters from the Twin Trenches: 8 Months 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...

November 11, 2014


It has been way too long. I know it's my fault and I am so sorry. I have written you a hundred emails in my head and SO many nights I have gone to bed thinking "I have to write Kimberly" because, well, you will either a) feel my joy or b) (more likely) feel my pain. Alas, time just disappears. The old adage "days are long but years are short" doesn't really apply to people with twins I don't think because my days FLY by. One second it's 7:30am and I'm finishing a pot of coffee (yep, finishing a pot of coffee) and then POOF!!! It's 6pm bedtime. It's crazy. Twins are a total time sucking vortex. Granted, it's a cuddly, adorable and pretty hilariously awesome one - but a vortex none the less.

SOOOO....what is new? Both our girls' are 8 months. INSANE. Before you know it they will be a year and we will be like "WHY ARE THEY STILL NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT?!?!" Haha...I joke. Kind of. But wow, it's been a trip. So how are things? How is work? How is your mom? How are YOU? and, most important, how are the beautiful A and M? (Note: Please send a recent pic!) Oh...I guess I should ask how poor Michael is too - how is he holding up in your estro-house? ;)

I think you guys went to the Annapolis Boat show? Am I remembering correctly? How did it go? I think I saw it was successful? Did you quit your jobs and buy a boat? ;)

Things are good in our camp. We are finally in the guest house now which means we have our own space which is wonderful. Not that living with my parent's was horrible, because they were just about as awesome as they could be and we will forever be indebted to them for all their help, but a family of five needs their own space. It's been great to have it. So there's that...

I will start with the good news: the babies are awesome. Seriously, they are the happiest, most smiley little babies ever. Especially Haven. Yep. Crazy Haven; the child who screamed her head off and could not be put down for an entire three months is now the happiest baby on the planet. Always smiling. Always happy. At least in the daytime she is (I'll get to this later). She is a full-blown mama's girl and if I am in the room, she is at my feet, on my lap, eating my face or climbing up to snuggle. She's a mama-seeking missel and she is so nosy and curious. She is standing and "walking" along on furniture which is crazy. Her nickname these days is "The Steamroller" because if anything is in her path (including her poor sister) she'll just plow right over it. We reckon she will be walking by eleven months. We thought Isla was our Olympic athlete (you should see her at the playground!) but now it's looking like Haven might just be our ticket to the Games. We shall see. She is something else, let me tell you.

Mira is still chill and sweet as ever. I call her my "angel baby" because she is just so soft and delicate - I just want to eat her up. Obviously you know about the hospital stay which was awful - but, in a way, it felt almost like a vacation. Meals delivered to me? No cleaning up to do? Only one baby to tend to? Ability to sit down for more than five minutes? Sleeping more than three hour stretches?!?! File that under the hashtag: "you know you're a mom of twins when..." She's healthy as a horse now, though no where near as big and sturdy as her sister. We are actually getting her evaluated by a physical therapist just to make sure she's not delayed since I do have some concerns, though it might just be pronounced in the wake of her rather 'advanced' twin. She is only now starting to sit up on her own and still has not mastered crawling on her hands and knees for any length of time. She drags herself around like a zombie a la "thriller" and, I might add, she is damn good at it. She does a mean army crawl too. It's hilarious. She also loves to sing and bob her head to music which is the funniest thing to see since her head is so big and her little neck sometimes wobbles to support it. She's definitely got music and rhythm in her bones, she "sings" along with me by doing this hilarious open mouth monotone "aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh" - we're working on pitches. One thing at a time.

The bad news: These crazy babies are still not sleeping through the night and while naps are (dare I say?) better, they are nowhere near the consistency and length that Isla's were (they go down at 9am and 1pm every day and most days Haven will do one forty-fiver and then - if I am lucky - an hour, Mira, the better sleeper all around, will usually do an hour to an hour and a half each time thankfully). As for nighttime sleep, on a good night I get up only once or twice to tend to a child/nurse babies (Isla wakes up too now which adds insult to injury). On a bad night, I'm getting up anywhere from four to six times to nurse the babies or calm Isla from a bad dream/get her water/pick up her blanket that fell...etc and it really takes it's toll on my sanity. If you carry the two after subtracting times woken up vs. hours left for sleep - that is a maximum of two to three hours of consecutive sleep a night. It's crazy, and literally wearing both my body and my mind thin.

We did a modified cry it out out two months ago out of sheer desperation (back when the twins were waking every two hours for weeks and weeks on end), and it did work to a point (meaning only waking up at 1am and then at 6am), but I think we're teething again (both girls have their bottom two teeth) which is wreaking havoc on sleep and, of course, my mental state. Scott is sleeping with a full-blown trucker; I drop more "F" bombs in the middle of the night than I care to admit. When that monitor goes off, my heart literally skips a beat when I look at the clock and see only two or three hours has gone by, I get PISSED. Then I calm down. I try to remember this is only a sliver of time in our lives - and go and nurse them, which guarantees slumber. Sometimes I let them cry for a while to see if maybe just maybe they'll fall back asleep, but when I do that it almost always results in Haven waking the whole house which is total mayhem and I usually do what I can to avoid that, probably to the detriment of "sleep training".  Ahhh....sleep is overrated, right?....WRONG. It is not, but whatever - we're almost at a year and before we know it they'll be two and three and four and this will be nothing more than a blur, just like all the other twin moms who's kids are older tell us. But I still really want to hurt the mom's who say, "My babies slept through the night - ten hours a night -  at 4 months old!" I honestly believe if our girls slept well at night, I would be 100% a-ok. I mean, our days are awesome and I can handle all three no problem - we have our routine and our fun and all that good stuff - but the nighttime shenanigans wear me thin. Literally. I am now at my pre-baby weight and still shrinking. I guess that's the silver lining? I will definitely be bikini ready for January. No doubt.

But, sleep deprivation aside, all in all - life is so good. I am so in love with these little munchkins and they are such sweet love bugs. I never really thought I could love another child as much as I love Isla but - lo and behold - I totally do. If I had a dime for every time I say, "I cannot handle how much I love these kids!" I'd be buying that Hallberg-Rassy 46 in no time. I feel so lucky and so blessed with our girls. Isla (though fully in the throes of the "terrible twos" and full of "challenging moments") is such a joy and the twins' personalities are really coming out. I'm just DYING to see what they are like in a year. It's going to be so fun when the three of them can really play and interact - I'm getting glimpses of it now and it's fun to imagine what the future will look like with these three little ladies in it. 

It's also fun to imagine a solid 8 hours of sleep. Sigh.

Miss you - write when you can! 

Much love,
Like this series? Check out my other "trenches" posts:

Breastfeeding Twins: A Delicate Balance (notes on successfully establishing breastfeeding)
Letter from the Twin Trenches: From One M.o.M to Another (4 weeks: letter to a fellow twin mama)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: Four Months In (Out of trenches? Not quite)


S/V Gratitude said...

Wow, all we can say is wow! And, this only reinforces the adage that babies are for young people. We had only two, and "enjoyed" a bit of the experience you describe, but having twins is exponentially different. Keep on doing whatever you are doing to cope, because the end results will be awesome. We still offer babysitting services if/when our paths cross on the water.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hear ya! I have a 4 year old and a 8 month old and everything would be just awesome if the baby slept through the night! She still wakes up every 3 hours and is ready to roll at the crack of dawn! Oh, and very short two naps during the day! You are not alone! :)

Windtraveler said...

Van! You and Lauren are welcome to babysit - at least we know they wouldn't be confused by the boat! We hope to be back in the Bahamas in the near-ish future so you never know! Big hugs to you both!
@Anonymous - Seriously, right? If I was getting a solid 7-8 hours I'm pretty sure I could conquer the WORLD at this point. So happy to know I am not the only mama who is still dealing with "newborn" sleep tendencies ;) Cheers!!!

Physioshane said...

Agree with the rest, amazing life, jealous. I work with sailors, but only watch them from the sideline (onshore). What a life your living.

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