OK, seriously, how is it that my twin babies are now 3 months old? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were coming home from the hospital and trying to figure out where to set up our pack-n-play?
While the past 14 weeks or so have been wonderful in many ways, they’ve also been wrought with perpetual chaos. I realized early on that perhaps the most difficult aspect of raising twins is the fact that you can usually only hold or comfort one at a time, thus inevitably leaving the other to scream until you’ve finished with the first. (I tried doing the double hold those first few weeks, when the babies weighed practically nothing, but after the first month I just couldn’t swing it.)
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than walking over to where your babies are crying side by side (because of course they have to start crying at the exact same minute), picking one up, and looking the other in the eye as you leave her in tears. This happened on far too many occasions to count, and every time it did, I’d cry a little myself–or at least I did in the beginning. After the first 278 times (approximate figure), I sort of started getting used to it.
Crying episodes aside, here’s how the past three months went down:
1. I changed approximately 1,800 diapers
2. I did roughly 90 loads of laundry–and that’s just baby clothes
3. For the most part, I managed to average five showers per week–not bad considering that I often had to choose between eating and bathing, and sometimes just had to give in to the former.
On countless occasions, I sat there (usually while breastfeeding) stressing out over things such as the state of my dining room table, which quickly became a dumping ground for the influx of baby gifts that followed our girls’ arrival, and the growing list of thank you cards that, to this day, I haven’t quite finished writing. I spent many hours beating myself up over things like forgetting once or twice to give my daughters their vitamins, or allowing my toddler to watch a little TV on those days where I just couldn’t give him the attention he needed and deserved. But during my occasional moments of clarity, I realized I was, in many ways, doing better than I ever expected.
Here are some of the things I’m most proud of:
1. I learned to function on eight hours of sleep per night. Oops, did I say “per night?” I meant “per week.”
2. Only once did I accidentally feed the same baby twice in a row and not feed the other at all. And then I learned my lesson and started using an app to track my feedings.
3. I managed to do some–not a lot, but some–writing in between all the aforementioned diaper changing, laundry, and nursing.
4. I only had one or two nervous breakdowns, and even those were mild in the grand scheme of what my brain is capable of.
5. I learned to take multitasking to a whole new level, such as the time I managed to nurse one of my daughters while simultaneously taking my then newly potty-trained toddler to the bathroom.
I’ve also been compiling a list of helpful notes to self, such as:
1. Don’t assume that your children won’t all poop at the exact same time, and need you to tend to said poops at the exact same time.
2. When dealing with newborns, resist the urge to buy tons of adorable yet oh-so-stainable white and light pink clothing. It just isn’t worth it.
3. At least once a day, stop, even if only for a minute, to take it all in. There will (usually) be at least one opportunity where all of your children are quiet and content for a solid 60 seconds in a row, and that’s when you’re supposed to take a deep breath, recharge, and, if you’re me, say a little thank you prayer–not just for the silence, but for the chaos with which you’ve been blessed.
The past three months have been nothing short of incredible. I’ve watched my amazing daughters grow into smiley, happy babies, and my toddler evolve into a proud, caring, protective big brother. For all of you twin parents out there who told me that twins are a blessing, I get it now, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a proud, albeit exhausted, member of your club.