When I was about to bring two humans into the world at the same time, for my first time bringing humans into the world at all, I was scared. I wanted to know every possible challenge that was going to come my way so I could begin preparing myself to tackle them all. Unfortunately, after I read blog after blog about the challenges presented with parenting, I became very *blogged down by all the negatives. This seemingly entirely negative life experience we had embarked on was overwhelmingly depressing, and for a while, I had a hard time figuring out why everyone was so “excited” for me that I was having a baby (babies.) To my friends who already had kids who only seemed to talk about their icky adventures, I began asking, or rather pleading with them, “Please, there must be something good! Anything? Why did you have 3 kids? Tell me. There has to be SOME good, right?!” I am here to tell you there is a lot more than just “some” good.
The Birth Itself
Terrifying!!! Right? Let me get this straight…1st, I’m going to dump like a gallon of water out of my body which begins the process of non-duplicated by any other experience pain, and then after hours and hours of this, I’m going to evict 7 lbs of a blubber ball out of my body by means of a tiny opening it’s not really supposed to fit through?! Not quite. None of those words find their way in any means into my description of the day I gave birth to my twins. 🙂 It’s not the daunting, rushing-down-the-hall-on-a-gurney experience you see in the movies. There is time. There is even calmness. The moment you go into labor, you don’t feel that much at all; except maybe, nervous excitement.
After all, the moment you’ve been anticipating for somewhere around 9 months is finally here! There is time to finish packing your bag with the last-minute things. It can even take hours for your contractions to become regular enough for it to be a good time to go to the hospital. I took a shower and shaved my legs one last time! Yes, I was still able to shave my legs with close to 12lbs of baby(ies) and their separate water sacks and placentas in my belly…muscle memory. 🙂 I was in labor for 7 total hours ( I’m thankful) without drugs, got to experience the natural feeling of pushing Pierce out, and I loved it. I was in pain. I screamed. I cursed. But, I can honestly say I’d do it all over again right now if I could. It was such a life-altering precious moment that I won’t soon forget, and hope to experience again someday. A lot of that is because…
1) You get a baby at the end! But seriously, the moment your child is placed upon your chest for the first time, the world stops turning.
Everything that was happening just seconds before has been forgotten and I’m pretty sure there’s like lights and fairy dust dancing around you in circles while happy music plays. Okay, back to serious; everything looks different. You’re filled with a lightness, a feeling of completion, and a joy that runs so deep through you that you forget everything it took to get to that moment, and you forget about everyone else in the room for just a moment while you look at your child for the first time, and tell him everything is going to be okay. You wish time could stand still forever, and think life will never get better than this moment. Alas, this is only the beginning of good things caused by having a child in your life. And if you’re having twins, you do it all over again just a few minutes later!
Are you kidding me? What is NOT good about having a newborn? Okay, everyone knows newborns have ridiculously tiny stomachs, and as a result must wake up every 2-3 hours to eat again, but I’ll take it! It only lasts a short while, and hello most precious adorable innocent sweet little thing with the most potential in the entire world I’ve ever seen! I was hesitant, tense, and downright spooked about bringing home not one, but TWO newborns at the same time, and I’m sure most can understand my concerns. But forget all the real concerns, is there seriously about to be puke, poop, and whatever else comes out of those things all over our apartment all the time?! No. Not even close. When I look back now on our time with our 2 newborns in our house, I remember everything around us feeling so clean. Almost sterile. This was because…
1. They Eat, and Therefore Also Puke & Poo, Very Little
I remember back to a time when we used to celebrate the twins drinking 1 ml, and then 1/2 ounce, and then when they moved up to a FULL ounce! They definitely don’t give you that “eating you out of house and home” feeling for quite a long time, and because they eat so little, they also produce very little puke and poo! Keeping newborns clean is actually easier than you’d expect. 🙂
Also, don’t forget a huge aid in keeping newborns clean is the fact that…
2) Newborns don’t move. When you lay them down, get something to eat, use the restroom, and then come back into the room….they’re still in the exact same spot. They’re not going anywhere unless you put them there. 🙂
3) Newborns also sleep through everything. You could be at home, at a party, at a concert, or in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and if they needed sleep, they’d just be snoozing away. It’s quite nice. You can take them out as often, and for as long as you want!
4) That We’re-the-Only People-in-the-World-Right-Now Feeling
Middle of the night feedings. They’re inevitable. But you can change your attitude and how you deal with them to make them special. Would you believe me if I told you I miss them? I do. They only last a short time, and there’s something about being up in the middle of the night with your baby (or twins), when it seems like the rest of the whole world is asleep, and you’re the only ones up adventuring. It’s an almost indescribable feeling, but if you’ve been there, you know the one I’m talking about. I believe it to be the real beginnings of bonding experiences with your child (or children). 🙂
6. 6 week old babies start going longer stretches between feedings, especially at night. It was around this time when I was able to ease up on the feeding or pumping every 2-3-ish hours, and I was able to start sleeping a lot longer stretches. I think I started with 6 hour stretches, but soon enough I was sleeping 8 hour stretches! Now, the babies were not yet doing this, but my husband and I slept in shifts, and there are just enough hours in a day for you to sleep 8 hours, your husband to sleep 8 hours, and then for him to go to work for 8 hours (provided he has no commute; D was able to finish working from home during his awake “shift”). As soon as he came home from work around 5, I would head to bed. I’d get up at 1, and send him to bed for the night. He’d get up 9, and head to work!
7. Getting the twins to eat and sleep on the same schedule became more prevalent around 6 weeks. Soon, we started being able to catch stretches of sleep all at the same time, and then see each other more while we were awake! 🙂
8. Baby Smiles. Before there were giggles, there were smiles. The first few times your baby smiles at you, you really do convince yourself it’s too good to be true. “He’s just contorting his face that way, it’s a fluke, ” etc. Then, when you realize your baby is smiling at you on purpose, well…you can imagine the emotion. 🙂
9. Sleep Training
3-4 months post due date is when the sleep training book we read and believed in, ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins,’ (also available in, ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’) said it was an acceptable time for sleep training. I could and probably will write an entire blog post on sleep training, but just in case you’re curious, we went with the “Extinction Method,” or in layman’s terms, “The Cry It Out Method.” Okay, I know this is extremely controversial, and a lot of people will have a problem with it, but I’m a firm believer in you have to do whatever works for you! THIS worked/continues to work for us. It took 3 days and the kids have essentially been sleeping through the night ever since. Of course, of course, we have the occasional sickness, teething, and what-not, where we usually end up having to re-train them afterwards because they get used to sleeping in bed with Mama and Dada. But, this continues to work for us. I mean, sleeping through the night! 3 months (post due date) was good to us!
10. Baby Giggles
Baby giggles out of YOUR child are practically life-changing.
I mean, come on….no matter what they threw at me during the day, this erased it all. 🙂
To Be Continued…
*Haha, get it? Blogged down=bogged down