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Just showing my appreciation bfr I actually read this, it only took you 10 min to oblige, most kind.

It's overwhelming and exhausting, but you get taken over by love and maternal instincts and you get through it. There will be moments of "what the hell am I doing?" and there will be moments of "I don't want to do this anymore" but there are plenty of moments of "I can't imagine my life without them."
Tertia you will do a fine job of being a mother, and if not there are always military schools and margaritas.

Now I have to draw from my experience with animals, wild, feral and pets. No, not really. [And that's the amount of my smartassedness for today even though that asshole business is STILL GOING STRONG.] The absolute best for your children is to be utterly wanted and loved, as they are and will be always. That is the absolute best, they have it already. Consider contacting that HK institution that answers by Tess [Tess, get in here NOW!] even more than you now do. She is still standing and prettily - even if shakily at times - so. As will you, equally. For sure. Then read and re-read the comments that will pour in from all the women who love you and your babies and KNOW what you are talking abt. They will tell you how it's done. You are a great mother, you are a control freak, that combo will allow you to find the best solution for the 4 of you as painlessly as possible. As for latest book, it was written bfr answering machines were invented, it seems, Marko will be happy to provide you with another 7 of those. You have support, here and at home. You will have a full-time nanny. You will have your Mum and your friends. In the deep recess where the frightened T. lives now, looking at her in the mirror is the T. who KNOWS she will somehow do it - bcs they coexist, right? That T. I absolutely trust to absolutely walk through fire and triumph. She'll walk you through it, dahling, she absolutely will.

You could always look on the bright side and think you won't have enough time to be scared ;-)
Seriously, you will do fine. You will take each day as it comes and you will cope. No one can promise the road won't be bumpy, but the scenery is beautiful.

Sure, that's that nipple-popping shock when you first dive in...

But after awhile, you get used to it. And then you realize how wonderful swimming is. Its as close to being weightless or flying as you can get on this earth. The water can be just intoxicating, the way it moves and sparkles and splashes on the shore...

Of course, how long it takes to get used to it sort of depends on a lot of individual variables -- just how cold the water is, the ambient temperature of the air, how much fat -- er, INSULATION -- you have... etc. Its different for everybody.

Fat lot of good, eh? But remember, there's really nothing you can do before you jump in that will prepare you for the sensation. It *is* intensely - unexpectible.

As to how you do it? You just do. I know that sounds inane, but that's pretty much it. Life demands it, and babies are life, raw, simple, life. You feed them, you change them. You keep them warm and dry and full of food and one day you look up and six or eight or twelve weeks have passed and you think, "wow" and you think "this is hard, but I've got the hang of it..." and you think "Wow" some more.

Tertia-

I don't think you will find a mother out here who does not think that she screws it up royally on a daily basis- (exception: Julie who is practically perfect in every way).

You have what it takes. Is it going to be hard? Yes. As hard as losing Ben? NO! It will be different and wonderful and awful all at the same time. 2 babies are what you are meant to have. 2 babies are what you can handle with help from your circle of support (which is MIGHTY wide).

I am anxiously awaiting those first joyous posts of your meeting Kate and Adam. I am also awaiting your wicked sense of humour when something not so wonderful happens. Adam may pee on you- maybe even right in your face! Both will puke and poop on you. You may clean up vomit on several occasions. Is it worth it? You betcha. Wait till Marko hooks up that dvd camcorder to the new plasma screen and shows his movie of their beautiful faces.

Remember, you love them the most when they are asleep.

You will be great.

I heard all the 'horror' stories too, when pregnant with my son, and I was a wreck of nerves by the time he came, but you know what? Aside from some sleep deprivation that I hardly recall I have loved every single moment of the last 2 1/2 years, even those first weeks. Actually, they were wonderful weeks. I may have been tired, but I was tired because of my baby, and there's nothing in the whole world that can beat that. You're gonna be fine. The water warms up before you know it!

Your experience of motherhood, like your experience of pregnancy and childbirth will be uniquely yours. People love to tell "horror" stories for some reason. I think it makes them feel stronger or something. But your experience will be what it is. If other people's harrowing experiences give you anxiety, know that for every harrowing tale there is one that is far more mundane.

The first six weeks of my daugher's life were tiring. But I can only really recall one day/night where I was really at my limit, and I have a pretty short fuse. I was blessed with a child that slept through the night by two months. Yes, it does happen!

You will learn, as I did, that motherhood is not a thing that you have to suck in and learn all at once. It's a day by day, crisis by crisis, question by question, poopy diaper by poopy diaper experience. There's no pressure to make major decisions when they're newborns. Their needs are simple and you address them one at a time. And when it comes time to make more significant decisions, like which preschool to put them in, you will have enough experience under your belt to make good decisions for them. Oh, and they're quite forgiving.

Also, if you're absolutely at your wit's end, there is nothing wrong with placing a screaming-for-no-logical-reason baby in his/her bed and leaving the room while you take a break and regroup. You'll all be better off if you do that.

Oh, and since you're doing formula feeding your options are wide open. Marko and the nanny can help with that. I did a combo of breastfeeding and formula, and it worked out really well. My husband really enjoyed being a part of the feeding thing.

NOTHING can prepare you for twins. and nothing against all the singleton moms of baby books out there (they give great advice), but having two is MORE THAN twice the work.

After a couple years of infertility treatments, loses and a pregnancy from HELL I just knew that once the babies came I would be so thrilled it would all melt away. WRONG! I spent days alternating between crying in the bathroom wondering WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE? and begging my husband to take a baby or else I might "throw him/her out the window." YES, i said that, NO, I didn't mean that.

I am NOT trying to scare you, I just want you to know that your fears are rational and that you will get through the first hellish weeks/months. And the first smiles, coos, milestones will make even your bad days GREAT.

And believe it or not, one day you may even start thinking about having another. God, I CANNOT believe I said that.

It's a wild ride, but it's the bumps in the road that make us better parents. You are going to be AWESOME!
Kristin in VA

In my experience... it takes about 3 months.

The first few weeks of my motherhood experience were particularly difficult. Lindsay was colicky (took me a while to figure it out - I thought she was screaming because she hated me). Being an anal, first-time mom, I stressed out about everything.

After about 3 months, we hit our stride. Pretty much the same thing happened with my other two girls (minus the colic, thank goodness!).

As for handling 2 babies... while I haven't had to deal with twins, per se, I HAVE had two babies at once (Ellie and Samantha are 7 months apart in age). It IS possible to feed/console one while feeding/consoling another. Never tried to change two diapers at once, though... you'll have to educate me on that subject, if you dare try it.

And remember, T, this is a GOOD struggle to be facing! Think of all the multiple moms out there. Their kids ended up fine, despite them not being half the amazing goddess you are. ;-)

Tomorrow is 32 weeks - can you feel it?!?! You're going all the way, Baby!

Put down the reading material. Seriously. There is no manual that can prepare you. Babies don't come with instructions. However, no child suffers too much for having to cry for a few minutes while you go pee, shower, eat, or whatever. Think of it as pee-wee choir practice.

I was 32 when Jake was born. Although I didn't know what the hell I was doing 1/2 the time, it just came "natural". After about 2 weeks (when I healed completely from my section), it got easier. My husband is a lazy jackass, so I pretty much did everything. Jake is 2 now. I pretty much still do.

My son is a terror now - probably from too much attention and love - but when he looks at me and says "I love you Mommy", I could not really care less.

Long story long, my point is that you'll screw up - sometimes majorly. But they will love you and never remember it!

You will be fantastic!

At the risk of being lynched, I must admit to being a mom who thought, "What in God's name have I gotten myself into!??!?! What was I thinking?? I have ruined my life!" Blah, blah, blah. Yes, I thought all those things and there were times when I thought that I would have handed him over to the first person who asked.

It is culture shock. It is more than lack of sleep. It is suddenly realizing, really understanding, that your old life is OVER. And there is a degree of mourning that comes with that realization.

I was not a mom who bonded instantly with my child. I remember thinking, "Why should I have all these strong feelings for this little creature who is, quite literaly, sucking my life blood away?" Hubby took me out for dinner one night when he was a few weeks old. I broke down and sobbed to him that I was the worst mom ever because I did not feel love,as I understood it, for my baby.

The guilt that came along with those feelings was the worst part. I had NO idea that it was normal to feel that way nor that those feelings would eventually go away.

And go away they did. Honestly, it did not take that long and instinct carried me through the first few weeks.

This is not intended to be my own personal "horror story" but rather a realistic look at what new motherhood can sometimes be like. There are many people who bond instantly with their babies and love every second of it. But there are also those who do not feel that way, who feel horribly gulity about their feelings and who try to hide desperately from other people because they feel like such failures. The books talk a lot about the instant bonding women, but rarely mention the other group.

You talked a lot about whether or not you will be able to do all of the baby care stuff. I have NO doubt that you will. You will find a grove and make it work for you. Your babies will not suffer if one of them cried for a bit while you are dealing with the other. Babies are resiliant, they are tough. They can handle all of our mistakes.

I guess my point in typing this is to talk more about the emotional difficulties of being a new mom. Did I just give you more to worry about? I hope not. I wish that I'd had more support when my first son was born. So I strive to provide that for other new moms.

You don't have to be perfect T. Not at the beginning nor ever. Hard thing to tell a control freak ( I HATE it when people say that to me), but a true thing.

I have zero experience as you know.......but I think you will be perfect. Just jump in naked!

You asked, so I am going to tell you. I agree with whoever above told you to stop reading. Nothing is going to prepare anyone for what you are going to go through. Second, 100% give yourself permission to hate certain moments of what is about to become your future. I can't tell you how many times I hid what I was feeling, afraid I would be (and I was) told "you have what you wanted, you shouldn't have a complaint in the world." It's just like marriage, while you may have wanted that other person with all your heart.....it still doesn't prevent problems. Third....just jump in. There will be days you cry right along with the kids. I sure as hell have. People truly think that just because you have experienced losses and infertility that it is all roses. It isn't. Then again, there are those quiet moments. The moments that you somehow manage to steal where you and Kate or you and Adam will be alone (other child is sleeping) and you are both snuggling. There is that moment when whichever child you are holding looks up at you and you can literally see the love that it has for you....Mommy. You store those moments up, to be replayed when the other, darker moments hit.

You simply jump in, knowing that the shock will be over before long. You live in the moment (or that last good moment) until the next one comes along to make a new good moment. It really is a painful process. But something my hubsand shared with me after I ripped his head off in jealousy that the man who never wanted children was adapting to twins better than I. He told me that maybe it was easier for him, not knowing how different it could be. (I had almost adopted my ex sil's son after raising him for over a year.) I think he is right. Ignorance can be bliss.

It's hard when you haven't let yourself dare to dream of even bringing them home to suddenly realize you probably are bringing them home huh?

It takes about six weeks from my experience of a single newborn. Up to that point Aidan appeared only to function on instinct, and without particular regard to hours of the day. Also, he followed a very typical pattern of unexplainable wailing. That was extremely traumatic for us, but the literature says it's nothing to be alarmed about. Newborns don't smile or laugh, and that makes them rather inhuman, because their response to comfort and entertainment isn't what you expect from humans.

After six weeks Aidan started to develop a personality. We only recognised it in retrospect, so at the time we didn't realise we'd overcome the six week barrier. But we began to realise we were dealing with him as a real person, and we could date it pretty exactly to that six week barrier.

Realising your child is a person is not at all as obvious as it seems. I suggest that you play games with your kids, like tickling and counting fingers; when they start to respond you feel like you've found a motherlode, if that's an evocative simile. And it must always happen eventually, though it might take some time. Until then, you just have to hang on.

This is a lurker post; my first. I'm sure you know that there are a lot of us out here.

Had to de-lurk again to respond to this. You have received some wonderful comments so I won't add anything other than to say, it warms up as soon as you listen to your heart, trust your instinct, and tell everyone else to bugger off! I am Type A, obsessive, anal-retentive and the first weeks were tough (just with one!) but then I listened to my instinct. My daughter turns one tomorrow and I have been happily swimming for months!

Long time lurker, first time poster.
Anyway, this is probably dumb but in my experience, the more scared and unsure you are before the baby/ies are here, the easier it is. I was TERRIFIED when I was pregnant with my first. I thought it was going to be the hardest thing ever. But it wasn't. My sister was so excited when she was pregnant, and could not wait for the baby to get here. When he was born, she was hugely shocked and depressed at how hard and different it was than she expected.
Just expect that there will be times when you want to run out into the street screaming, there will be times when you question your sanity, there will be times when you think WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! did I decide to do this? And expect that those times will happen probably until the kids leave home.
But also expect that there will be times when you have an urge to hug your child so hard you might crush them, times when you will kiss thier cheeks so much they will get pissed off with you, times where you really are filled with so much love for them that it makes you cry or laugh.
I hope that didn't come out sounding completely pathetic and naff (we say that word here in Australia too!).

I am another lurker, but I just wanted to say that twins are so much fun! Believe me, you'll find methods for coping with doing everything x 2. It is possible to feed, hold, comfort and entertain 2 babies at one time. I haven't managed simultaneous diaper changing, though... :) And before you know it, they'll be easier on you than singletons are on their moms because they'll start to entertain each other. They'll learn patience at a very early age because it's just necessary--they end up having to wait their turn often. You'll figure out very early on what they are willing to wait for and what they aren't.

I can't wait to hear all of the wonderful stories that are coming once your babies are here in the world!

Don't be afraid to ask for help and advice whenever you can!

Okay, setting myself up to be lynched from the opposite direction, but: Come on in, the water feels GREAT.

I look back on the two weeks when only Wilder and Gemma were home with unalloyed joy and happiness. We had some truly lovely afternoons. (It helps that they came home 4 weeks before their due date and dozed a lot.) The breastfeeding was positively easy (especially compared to what came afterwards) and we settled into a routine really fast. Now, okay, part of my daily routine for those two weeks involved racing out the door at 5:30pm, throwing updates to Calder over my shoulder as we passed each other in the foyer, so I could reach the NICU in time for catch Elba's 6pm nursing time. Then I got to sit quietly rocking her for two hours while Calder dealt with the witching our at home (and he had no hesitation about setting both babies in bouncers and feeding them bottles of EBM simultaneously--I know it's heresy, but sometimes I think fathers would do a better job than mothers, with FAR less angst, if we only were willing to give them the chance; which, for the record, I am NOT). I'm sure the whole NICU/third baby issue altered my perceptions of that time. But honest to God, I caught myself thinking, "if this were it, I would be okay." Then I felt guilty. Can't get started too early on the guilt, right?

It was when we hit the crying jags of weeks 6-12 adjusted that I started thinking I was going a little nuts. But those days did come to an end. And by then, I was a little bit over the initial shock of entering the water. Getting outside on the lawn with babies, going for walks with babies, and hiring a mother's helper for 8-12 hours a week to take care of the laundry and dishes, made a big difference. You've got the maid now, right, and the nanny all lined up? That will be LOVELY, and I'm envious in the extreme. Our mother's helper could only stay on for 2 months and then it was just me and Calder again....

I have a whole collection of ways I soothed/comforted (and just as usefully, failed to soothe/comfort) three babies at one time when they were feeding/screaming/fussy, and they're good for the first 12 months though not so great for almost-four years old, but I will send them on e-mail at a time when my husband is not trying to fall asleep 10 feet away from the computer.

Oh, and even if you give up reading the other books, do read "Keys to Parenting Multiples" as soon as you get it. Karen will help put your mind right at ease, without implying that she's completely off her rocker about reality. I can't say enough good things about Karen.

I want so badly to say something that will help and set your mind at ease. I can only tell you how it was for me and hope that it gives you a little comfort.

I was just discussing with my partner, that I don't remember feeling overwhelmed after my twins were born. I had waited so long to hold them that doing the midnight feedings,and spending that time alone with my boy, ranks up there with the very best moments of my life. My little girl had a harder time of it all and she is still in the hospital (doing very very well) and with all of that to deal with, I just put one foot in front of the other and got through it all. I never had them both home at the same time, so I can't really relate. As far as splitting your time between the two, you will find a balance before you know it without even thinking about it.

Now my twins are five months old and time is going by too fast. I miss the nights with my son (he sleeps through them now) and we still manage to just deal with what we have to deal with and it really never gets too huge or scary.

You'll be great.

I learned my first lesson in "how the hell will I do it" when I was in labour. It went on, far too long to be humanly possible, and I just kept working at it - because I had no choice. And then it was just over, and my son was here.
There are moments, over and over again, that are too hard to be borne. Getting up ONE MORE TIME after an endless night of broken sleep. Holding your baby and having him puke down your last clean shirt. Getting sick at the same time they do. Midnight ER visits. It's a string of impossible moments, stretched out like some brutal strand of pearls.
But you just do it.
You just do.
Because you're the mom, and who else will?
And on the other side, you find yourself stronger and more sure of yourself.
I know you won't have labour (SEE? TWICE WITH THE U!) to experience, but considering what you've already gone through to bring these children into the world...I think you'll be just fine.
You just do it.

Susy and Falimako said what I would have.

I do think you will be rewarded for your negative anticipation. I know I was.

Oh, and by the way, the damage has already been done; the kids are genetically related to YOU.

Sorry, I laughed and laughed when Mel gave me that analogy on Sunday night. Tis v true. But like I told you, the first month or so will be a blur but you WILL get through it 'cos you have to. I am up the road and will be on call for whatever you need. Just ph me, sms, send smoke signals whatever. Those babies will be FINE 'cos they have the most divine mom to look forward to! DUH.

I presume you have a cordless phone already, I don't see how you could stand bed rest without it, but if you don't then get one NOW. Turning the phone off is crap advice, a cordless phone is your friend.

Long time lurker, and first time poster too

Lots of comments here about 'it takes x weeks,' or it takes 'x' months...

You know what, to me, the water WAS at body temperature when I jumped in. It does happen. I loved my kids the moment they put a screamy bloody wrinkled red little troll on my belly. Ofcourse I didn't know a bit about taking care of a baby the first time, but what the hell, I loved it, and I never wondered how I would be taking care of it, I just did it. I am sure there were lots of things experienced moms would do otherwise, but hey, I am what I am and *I* am the mommy, so I do as good as I can.

I am sure you'll be all right. After all, it could be the Carribean you're jumping in, or the waves of the lovely Italian Mediteranean Sea.

I have a very good friend with twins and triplets, less than two years apart. How did she cope? I asked her many times, and I remember the time when they were just born. She simply did everything like we say in Hebrew para-para, you just milk one cow after the other. You have no choice. She said, I kept saying to myself: para-para. I do what I can and that must be enough.

Remember that babies are programmed to thrive, even under less than optimal conditions. Your babies have optimal conditions, my dear! They will thrive. They are lucky to have you as you mum. And if nobody ever appreciated you - dear Tertia, your children will appreciate you with unquestioning love. Whatever you will give them will be perfect. (Until they get into puberty - but until then you are immune to criticism anyway!)

If one sibling has to wait a bit for your attention, it doesn't matter at all. Waiting for one's time is an important assignment to learn. And do you think you did'nt wait for your fabulous mother's attention while she was tending to your siblings? You did wait, and you overcame your frustration, and it was a part of your growth.

Do'nt expect too much from yourself. I promise you, your babies will adore you, even if you are very critical of yourself. You will be a perfect mum, so why be a perfectionist one?

I admit I remember only bliss and happiness with my eldest although he was a difficult child and cried a lot and slept very little... I do have a loving and beloved husband but this is nothing (I hope he doesn't read this!) to the love you get from a child and feel for a child.

Prepare for a love relationship where you are undisputed queen of hearts. Prepare for your kids to look after you, to look forward to you, to feel happy when you're around. Prepare to fall in love so totally that sleep deprivation, being spit on, getting nothing in time... is just small things you take in your stride.

Oh dear Tertia, you went through much much worse! You are so unbelievably strong. You don't know it yet but you will click into function like you always did when you were challenged. You are a mother and proved everything already any human could ever prove.

Believe me, these maligned first weeks of motherhood, with healthy hungry babies at home, are dizzying but they will make you a new person. Sorry if I sound gushing, maybe the sceptics are right to warn but I feel the baby stages where the happiest months of my life. I felt wanted, I felt needed, I felt efficient, I felt loved, I felt giving love and just doing well.

I guess your moment of understanding will come when your dear supportive mother will look at you with pride and say: I knew my girl would make such a good mum, but I did'nt know HOW good! My very dear mother said that when she saw me with my newborn, before I could "prove" anything, and it gave me so much power to start with. I allow myself to tell you that because I know you have an adoring clan around you who will support you and admire your ability to cope. I wouldn't have said it to a daughter of a cold or disapproving mother. But you are so lucky. And so are your babies.

To return to my friend: her twins and triplets are adolescents now. You never ever saw nicer children. They are well-behaved, they are modest, they have humour, they have a strong family identity and are very open towards strangers. They laugh a lot, and each of them has found his/her own field of excellence. One paints, the other is a sports champion, the next a highly gifted student etc.

The fact that they never had the chance to be the pampered center of universe has been so good for them. The fact that they always had their siblings to rely on has made them strong. They are simply the nicest children you could find (except for mine, of course). And so will yours be.

I promise you, they won't be able to compare. They won't look at the ceiling above their cots, thinking, "well if the neighbor mum can do it, why can't Mama Tertia?"

It will take them time to understand not everybody was born twin. And when they do, be sure they will be proud and happy to be twins.

Sorry for the rant... and sorry if I just told you what others have said already better than me. Remember: para-para. And it will be just perfect.

A few tips from the trenches:
Babies don't care if their nappies are wet or dirty. That can wait a few minutes.
They do care most passionately about having food the exact second they get hungry. Make a huge batch of bottles every time you step into the kitchen.
I gave the the bottles straight from the fridge. They loved it.
Don't try to be supermom, ask for help loudly and frequently.
Call doc even if you think it might be "nothing". Don't be embarassed. More times than you think, it is something!
Don't guilt out about TV. My kids watched TV and M, 6, has been evaluated at genius level. M, 4, is reading. TV will allow you to take a shower or use the bathroom.
Grab every SECOND of sleep you can.
Those little automatic swings are a gift from GOD!!!!!!!!
Don't worry if you feel like you're losing "you". "You'll" be back. Eventually.
Some babies are good sleepers, others aren't. Nothing that you did. Just hope for the former.
Eventually going back to work was very nice. A clean, quiet office where everybody ate and peed without assistance from me was a welcome break from the darlings. And v. relaxing!! Don't feel guilty if you feel relief at work.
NOBODY IS AS PERFECT AS THEY LOOK. EVERYBODY ELSE is just as tired and irritable and overwhelmed. At least at first.

You have gotten so much good advice and encouragment from your following here. I just want to share the piece of advice I gave to a friend as she neared her due date. She, too, was reading every book on the market. I encouraged her to do so. Read everything you can. Take it all in. And then throw it all out the window. There are many wonderful tips and tricks in all those books, but no single school of thought, method of parenting or parenting theory will meet all the needs of either or both of your children. Every baby is different and will need different things to satisfy and soothe them. Listen to Kate. Listen to Adam. They will tell you what they need, in their own way. Kate may like to be rocked and Adam may like to be bounced. As you get to know them, you will quickly learn what pleases them and what doesn't. The wonderful thing about babies is they have no censor mechanism - so they react and you KNOW.

I am quite sure they will tell Mommy what they need. And I am even MORE sure that Mommy will be utterly fantastic!

Tertia~

If it helps, the water has periods of being warm from the very beginning. Yeah, there are times when you realize it's freezing and want to get the hell out, but there are fabulous times right from the start.

And I strongly disagree with those people who tell you to stop reading. Keep reading. Read as much as you possibly can about any scenario that you might possibly have. Just keep in mind that certain ideas or philosophies won't apply to you and don't be afraid to do the opposite of what the book suggests. You'll find what works for you.

It sounds like you'll have enough help that your babies won't have to cry a lot while waiting to be fed or changed. And it won't take you long before you learn to read their cues and anticipate what they'll need next, thereby warding off those horrendous screams.

One more lurker coming out with suggestions. When friends ask "What do you need?" have ideas for them. Tell them you need a meal, you'd love a bouquet of flowers, the sheets to be changed, the garbage thrown out. The best gift I received after my twins were born was a neighbor who came over and said she was giving me three hours and would do whatever I wanted her to do. I politely declined and she proceeded to say she was staying and would start by washing sheets and mopping floors. I'll never forget that act of great kindness.
To quote a U.S. Army recruiting slogan, this is the toughest job you'll ever love.

I fully believe that if we weren't scared out of our motherfucking gourds, we wouldn't be sane. It's a very big deal, and I personally am terrified. Only cure is to do it, I guess...

...and I know you'll do it brilliantly.

Tertia--I had held a newborn maybe 3-4 times in my life before I took mine home. The best pieces of advice I got:
--Babies are not fragile, very very hard to break in fact.
--It gets better at 3 months, OMG how much easier at 3 months!!
--Babies are great teachers and will show you what they need. Put down the books unless you have a specific question--you'll drive yourself crazy otherwise.

Can't wait to hear all about them.

-S

If you've had a rough pregnancy physically (which you have), aving those babies out will be a huge relief.

When you're worried about the babies, you can go check to make sure they're still breathing.

Someone else can hold one (or both!) for awhile to give you a break.

You can find a comfortable position to sleep in.

For me, all these things made the first few weeks so much easier than I thought they would be. What mind-fucked me was the constant nature of it, and the culture shock. I thought it would be task after task. Instead, it was just constant love mixed with wondering if I was doing things right. And feeling like I'd somehow lost myself. Once I gave myself permission to lose myself for awhile, it all got easier. Don't think there's anything wrong if you truly don't like being a mother at first. You can love your children passionately and still not like being their mother. You get yourself back, slowly, after about 6 months or so.

What was really key for me was finding a group of other new moms to hang out with, so I had adult company of people who were going through the same things. Without that contact I wouldn't have made it through.

First time poster coming out.... :)

Andrea Buchanan wrote a book called "Mothershock" after her daughter was born. It deals with the wide spectrum of feelings (also negative ones) many mothers have when trying to get acquinted with motherhood.

It's an excellent book written by a very talented writer. You can check it out at:
www.mothershock.com

Btw, don't worry, you'll be a great mother!

Do you know how wonderful it is to hear you worrying about handling the babies instead of wondering if there will be babies?

That said, nothing but nothing prepares you for motherhood. It is a shock to your system. But, its the most wonderful shock you'll ever go through. You will survive the first few months. Just remember to take all help that is offered. If someone offers to help then give them a specific job. You will be brilliant.

It took about 2 -3 months for the water to warm up w/ my 1st. She had colic. And not as long w/ my 2nd. But eventually, you'll forget the water was ever cold. Infact, you'll probably forget what is was like before you had children. I know you think that sounds strange now - but you'll see soon enough.

32 weeks tomorrow!!

I have a friend that had trips at 30 weeks and then twins 2 years later at 36 weeks. IVFs #3 and 4. When she came to visit us at work, I thought she would have looked like hell - but after 10 years of waiting for kids - her water was luke warm from the beginning!

HGIJ!!!

That should have said HBIJ!!!

As my son lie screaming in his bassinette when he was two weeks old, I sat and cried because I had tried everything and didn't know what was wrong. My husband sleepily rolled over (it was at one of those godforsaken middle of the night hours) and suggested burping the baby again. I picked him up and patted his back for about 10 seconds, and a huge belch came out. Then I sobbed even harder because I felt so horrible that I LET MY BABY SUFFER ON HIS BACK WITH OBVIOUSLY PAINFUL GAS!!! What was wrong with me!?

What's the point of that story? Well, at the time, it made me feel like the worst mother in the world! How could I not have known the poor thing had to burp!? (I'm sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my hormones were out of fucking control!) Hindsight, as always, is 20/20. And looking back, if that was the worst thing I could have done as a mother, hell, I was doing pretty damn good!

Tip #1. Know that your hormones are going to make everything seem so so so much worse. I was going to say, "be prepared" for your hormones...but, there's no way you can prepare for something like that. Just cry as much as you need to, and know that it's perfectly normal and okay.

Tip #2. Keep reading. I don't get people who say to stop reading. To me, the scariest thing is when people say " Relax, it'll just come to you naturally." For some people it does, and for some it doesn't. But most of us need something concrete we can hang on to. Knowledge is power, and though you won't use books/magazines as a child-rearing Bible, it's nice to have at least some kind of guide.

I have an extremely close relationship with some family friends, who had twins 6 years ago. I was lucky enough to be able to help (and I say lucky, because it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life) with their care. It was demanding, and very hard at times. Yes, one had to cry it out sometimes while the other got taken care of first. But oh. my. gosh. What an amazing experience it was. And like other people mentioned above...they will learn patience and understanding at SUCH an early age (and I do mean in the infant stages) and they will always have eachother to entertain them.

Twin Tip #1. Pre-make the bottles!! I did this with my own. What a time and sanity saver!!

Twin Tip #2. Get two bouncy seats and learn to love them. Use them and love them, they will be your new best friends. Bonus if they are the vibrating variety. Just be sure to have batteries on hand.

Twin Tip #3. Get them on a schedule! Some people are believers of schedules and some are not. I personally am. Either way is absolutely fine, but I can guarantee you, a schedule will SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Hope some of that will help. Just remember above all Tertia, you are going to love Kate and Adam to bits(heck, you already do) and that alone makes you a great mother. You will do fine. I believe that with all my heart.

I too, confess to lurking. I am a mom of twin 8 month old boys - first time parent and also an extreme Type A. I never was a "baby" person, but when these two lads appeared, something kicked in and I haven't looked back. I received great advice from many but the best was - Don't ask what's BEST for my babies, instead ask "will it harm them?". I was much more relaxed about it and the boys picked up on it. There are moments, don't get me wrong. But they are survivable and you find what works for you. Even if it is putting one crying in the crib while you attend to the other. It won't harm them. I streamlined everything and being Type A sometimes helps with organization. I shared bottles, boobs, soothers....I am having a wonderful experience and am not looking forward to returning to work. I only wish I could have a maid but we are arranging for a nanny.

Accept the offers of help, but deep down trust in yourself as you will find your system. You will do an incredible job and you were given twins as a gift...you are a magnificent person and all will be well.

Hang in there. (I had all the same thoughts prior to delivering my twins - I blamed it all on the hormones).

Hi Tertia,
I know everyone is giving advice so I thought I would put in my two cents. I was so thrilled when my son was born, but I do remember that the first two weeks were really hard. During the first week I felt physically tired and during the second week I was more emotionally tired. Logically I knew that I was responsible for this baby but it was a bit of a shock to not be able to pee, shower, or eat whenever I wanted to. Having family around to hold him really helped. I remember feeling like I was in a fog during those weeks. Of course I loved him to bits during that time and when I look back it passed so quickly.

I like to read parenting books. I think that if you are the type that is comforted by reading go ahead and do it! If it freaks you out, don't.

You will do a great job and I am sure that once you get the hang of it you will LOVE the water!

Good luck, Tertia!

when we had michael, we (i say we because dh took one month off work) ran around like chickens with our heads cut off! i was exhausted for the first 3 wks. after 2 months i asked my sister when it actually gets easier and she said 3 months. at the 3 month mark, i felt like a human being again and my sister confessed that my neice actually started sleeping through the night at one month old. my ds never really slept through the night and to this day he wakes occasionally.
with two i would suggest help and accept help from all who offer.

Ok, as one who JUST had twins 6 weeks ago and is in the throes of sleep dep., I can attest that you'll do fine and you'll do what you have to do. I honestly think if you are formula feeding and have a nanny it wil be smooth sailing, although since I don't formula feed what the heck do I know.

They are sleeping 4-5 hours for one stretch at night now, which is a godsend. So sleep is a LITTLE better, but not much. With twins you are more sleep dep. cause you have to spend twice as long feeding them etc... If your husband will help you, great! If not, hire a night nanny if you can afford it. I can't but my partner wakes up with me and feeds one a bottle of breastmilk while I nurse the other. I have also learned to nurse at the same time, but we are having major BFing issues and are having to consult with specialists, so it is not smooth sailing there.

You will figure things out. There are times when they are both crying and I'm trying to get them to latch on but they are frantic for whatever reflux or other reason and I just burst into tears and cry with them. I also find it overwhelming to take them somewhere on my own and so am afraid to try. But baby steps... With a second person like a nanny around all the time (or most of it) you will find it much easier. I have one two days a week with me and those are my favorite days!

And I do admit to thinking, oh, if only I had one, hopw much easier it would be. But who would I give up for more sleep??? NEITHER of them.

You are gonna do great, one day at a time.

My best friend had twins when she was 17. (I know, I know).

Being all best-friendy, I used to help out a LOT. I would sleep over 3-4 nights in a row, feed, change, even wake up in the middle of the night. And I was only 16 myself.

It's doable. Trust me. I spent plenty of time with them alone, and once you get the hang of it, it's like riding a bike. You can carry them both at once. If they're hungry at the same time, you have two hands. She even breastfed them both for the first two months. They sleep practically all the time at first so a lot of time is spent watching them breathe. It's when they're both awake that it gets a little tricky but it's totally okay.

If a couple of bratty teenagers can do it, so can you. We used to look at each other and say "Two is possilble. One person can take care of two, but if they were triplets- FORGET IT!" But it's one of those things that if you had triplets, you would be saying, "Three is ok, but four? NO way." You adjust and you cope. After a little while, you could not imagine there being only one, it would seem so lonely and quiet!

I am by no means underestimating the enormous responsibility, life changes, and stress of dealing with any amount of newborns. I just know that you will be fine, they will be fine, it's just a matter of the routine and adjustment period. That's not to say it won't be hard, it just won't be impossible. Not even close.

By the way, those same twins are now 5 yrs old and were the flowergirl and ringbearer in my wedding in August. She's done a great job with them, and they're totally normal great kids. Just like yours will be!

I didn't have twins, but I was such a dumb first-time mom. You learn SO MUCH in the first weeks. It really is doable.

What people have said about help is so true. If ANYONE asks you 'do you need anything', always say YES! Case had a good hint...get people to make you food. Really, having a casserole or two in the freezer is a godsend.

When you look into those perfect little faces, your heart will melt.

I know mine did.

You will be great.

That's the best - ie - most accurate analogy of motherhood I've heard. Your sis is v. clever. (And yes, the water is flippin' freezing, but you get used to it.)

Another delurker. My mother, at the age of 52, decided she wanted to have a third generation of children. (The age difference between her first born and her last biological child is 20 years--she started young and there was a 12 year gap between #2 and #3.) So she adopted a Prader-Willi baby at 6 weeks. A year later, she adopted 1 year old twins. So she now has the pseudo triplets. I'm not so sure about the new born stage, but I can tell you a lot about the toddler stage.

First, help is good. Hired help is even better. The 462548 loads of laundry an hour just disappear! (And hell, when you've got a teenager and a good for nothing college student (me) in the house too, you really need the help laundry wise.)

Second, send them to pre school. I know it might seem hard and possibly heartless to send a teeny tiny baby off into the real world, but it is a life saver. From the age of 6 months, the first one was in school from 730-2. The excuse, of course, was that she needed the therapy provided there, but my mother quickly discovered she should've done that with all of us.

Third, yeah, they all entertain each other, blah blah blah. But it also means that there are three of them. One to plan, one to follow, and a third just in case. Or for you, just one to plan and one to follow. But no matter how much trouble they are getting into, and no matter how dangerous it is, once you finish repremanding them, you will immediately go run to tell someone just how cute it is that they are working together to cut each other's hair off.

Fourth, a huge time saver is dressing them the night before. This won't apply for a while, but once they are old enough for pj's, don't use them. The nanny actually puts them in pj's after their bath, but that's at like 5 and they don't go to bed till 730, so plenty of time to completely mess up their clothes. So my mom dresses them in whatever they're gonna wear the next day before bed.

Last thing, LABEL EVERYTHING! I know they are gonna end up sharing germs no matter how hard you try, but having one juice cup labeled Kate and one Adam might keep them from passing some colds back and forth. Also, after a while, they might not be wearing the same size diapers. It only took two years for my mother to realize, hey, lets get a set of drawers and put each one's name on one! Now they don't end up with puddles because Abby got Naomi's diaper or anything. (Of course, now they have puddles because Naomi thinks she is potty trained. She really really isn't.)

And the advice about a schedule is great. If you are a control freak, it probably goes without saying, but just in case, you really should have one. And they might turn out to be control freaks, too. The babies are on a schedule more because Naomi wouldn't have it any other way.

A good friend of mine has 10m old twin boys. She was on bed rest almost the entire pregnancy and had a C-section. So after that much bed rest and that major of a surgery she was totally exhausted and weak before she even got the babies home. But she survived. She hired some help in the beginning and had a mom, who is almost as amazing as yours, around to help out a lot. I just saw her last week. I walked into the restaurant and there she was with one baby on each knee b/c some other woman with twins was monopolizing the restaurant's high chairs. She then proceeded to balance these babes in the crooks of her arms and feed them both at the same time- one with each hand. It was amazing. There's no way my arms could possible have handled the weight of two 10m old squirmy boys and still have gotten any food into their mouths. Anyway, from the time they were a few weeks old I've watched her perform amazing acrobatics to keep both of these boys fed, clean, and happy at the same time. Whenever I comment on it she says that you just learn to do whatever it takes to make it all happen. She's amazed herself with what she can do and how far her body will twist to rock one while the other one eats and change one while the other one rocks. But the key here is that of course at first there was a learning curve, but it took weeks to overcome, not months. And she, like you, had amazing friends and family to help her through the rough patches. And at the end of it all (well not really the end I guess) she's now got two beautiful happy babies and killer biceps.

De-lurking to say you will do just fine. Kate and Adam will know how loved they are. There will be rough patches, but in the end, they will be loved and thats what counts.

Tertia,
You need to read Andrea Buchanan's book, Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It. http://mothershock.com/ . She absolutely addresses all these issues... and more.

But I know you can do it. You're going to be a magnificent mother. And it will be hard.

I was overwhelmed with just the one (single parent and no family near by), but I managed and I'm still amazed he's walking around breathing because of some of the rather inane things I did as a parent. Which you won't do because you are already magnificent.

This is not flattery, this is the truth.

So, come on in, the waters divine!

So unoriginal of me - but I agree with Susy, Falimako and Mollie said.

I was warned ('cause I'm a Type A, as in Anal-retentive, big into planning every moment in life type) that it's the obsessive Type A expectant mothers that are most often prone to Post Partum Depression. Those with a healthy fear/respect of the daunting task ahead seem to do better.

If you don't over-think, over-read or come to any strong conclusions on what life with babies will be like in advance, you'll have a much smoother time of "rolling with it" when they've arrived and are occupying your every waking moment. Besides, once you have them in your arms and start to "learn" them (what they like, when they like it, how they like it) you'll KNOW you're a genius mum.

I too felt as though I was studying for some very hard test that I somehow knew was going to be written in a language I'd never seen before. And it was, and I learned as I went along, and it was hard, and it was wonderful.

I remember that in many ways I had to find my own way. People get very passionate about what works and doesn't ("Oh, you have to use the baby wipe warmers...", "These nipples are the only ones...") and I think every kid is different (and you'll have two possibly different kids). I'm a reader and think it helped me, not because I ended up using all of it, but because in those moments of pounding head against a wall it gave me something to try that I might not have gotten too on my own.

Here are the things no one told me and I was surprised by:

1. That I reacted differently to my son's cries than everyone else did. I think we, as the moms, are biologically encoded to do so (part of the hormonal bath everything is talking about). When N would cry, my very attentive, totally nurturing partner would be concerned and react, but she never felt like she needed to break the door down to get to him at the sound like I did.

2. That I could make a conscious decision to either be exhausted by my interactions with him or energized by them. I always made the choice to be energized; sometimes it was just for show, but often what started out as show ended up becoming true. As I went back to work this became a great thing for both of us.

3. That as a fully (I was 40 when he was born) grown adult with a full, passionate life behind her, I never would have thought I would ever think, "I now know what love is." I think you already know that from your painful journey so far, but when you get the opportunity to parent a child it just grows and grows. Love has no boundaries or limitations.

All of this must be tempered with the notion that I did not suffer from any post-partum depression. I have many friends who have and I think it’s so important to listen to your instincts and get help if you need it.

You will rock,

Kel

Hey Tertia,
I have 2.5 month old twins, and I'm here commenting on your blog - so it must not be that bad, right?
AND - my babies are high need babies..they always want to be held, sleep in our bed, etc. They do cry to be fed/held/burped/etc. at the same time and want to be burped at the same time (that's tough!) and I just do the best I can. You'll figure out ways to do things, like sitting cross-legged on the floor and putting the babies one over each leg and patting their backs to burp them. They'll try to roll off and you'll do your special one-handed baby pickup trick and everything will be fine again.
You're going to be a great mom. And you'll look at moms with one baby and think how easy it must be!! ;)
Oh - get a boppy, or even better a boppy lounger...you can feed them both at the same time with those things..if you are nursing get a really good twins nursing pillow..it'll be worth it.
My husband and I each take one baby at night so neither of us get much sleep, but I have heard of people doing shift work. We don't do shift work because DH works long hours and I would never see him if he had to go to sleep as soon as he got home.
I guess I'm trying to reassure you more than you give advice..just telling you, it'll work out! Do whatever the hell you want - they are your babies! - but know that it's going to be okay and you'll figure out your own way of doing things.

Don't worry - the water IS cold, but you'll love it anyway! You'll never want to get out! (ok, maybe once in a while, for a slight millisecond, until one of the two smiles at you)...

6 - weeks. Once you see the first smile you get the HUGE payoff and everything is butter after that. You will see!

Every mom I have talked to, including myself, feels that she has messed up, somehow, every single day of mothering. You will, too. You will find ways to mess up that astonish you. And yet, and yet...

Love covers a multitude of sins.

Just love those babies, and they'll know it, and it won't matter if they watch one too many videos or eat too few vegetables or if you lose your cool and shout once in a while. If you love them, they will know it, and you'll all be grand.

I'm going to try and talk you down off the ledge. Just exactly about a year ago, I was so petrified of the challenges of twins that I had to take Zoloft (which I stopped taking soon after their birth). I was sad and miserable. I was having a very difficult pregnancy, which didn't help. Now, as we approach their first birthday, I wouldn't trade my girls for anything. And I may be the only twin mom to think so, but I actually thought that twins was NOT twice as hard. Harder, but not twice as hard.

I worried that we'd never be able to travel again, or eat out again, or have any semblance of the life we had before. I thought I'd be exhausted beyond reason, and would grow old before my time. I wondered how I would manage my career, and my marriage and my finances. I really thought that the next several years would be hell. Well, we eat out all the time, especially since the girls can sit in high chairs. They love it. We have flown with all three of our kids, and survived, and plan to do it again in the near future. We're still solvent, I'm back at work full time, and my husband and I still love each other, although we don't have much time alone together. That will come. And we have a three-year-old too. Of course, I do look like a 80-year old hag, but you can't have everything.

There are many challenges to having twins. I thought of every single one when I was pregnant, and obsessed about them. After 11 months, let me tell you, there are so many more joys. Even though there are so many twins born these days, because of IF treatment, twins are still so special. Sure the first few months are hard, and sure I never get enough sleep, but I honestly (I really really mean it) didn't find it THAT much harder than having one. And I've never felt so alive.

Here's my assvice: Sometimes Kate will have to cry while Adam has his turn. She'll survive, and maybe even learn persistence and tenacity in getting what she wants. My girls are much feistier than my son ever was. Watching them negotiate the world is so much fun. Take shortcuts, when necessary. Pacifiers rock! (Wonder what you call them there?) Formula never passed my son's lips for nearly a year. My girls got only breastmilk for the first three months or so, and then we supplemented with formula as needed. They seem no worse for wear, and I have more freedom and more sleep.

My last piece of assvice, take it or leave it. Get help, if you can. Paid help if possible. I found that when I had friends and family helping, I always felt the need to entertain them, and they always let me! I never felt comfortable just going into a room and sleeping. They also always just want to hold a baby, never to actually DO anything. What you need is sleep. Sleep you can count on. And if you care (I didn't) someone to clean for you. We had a baby nurse two nights a week. Not a lot, but a lot for me. I generally am very independent and hate to need help. The best advice I got was take any help you can get, whenever you can get it. Our baby nurse, who only took care of twins and triplets, came at 9 or 10 at night, and stayed until 7. Not so many hours really, but enough for us to sleep. She made everything look soooo easy, and the girls loved her. She also taught me a lot, and made me feel calmer about so many things, because she'd been doing this for 15 years. Fifteen years of twins and triplets every night. I made sure on the nights that she came to go into my room, turn off the monitor, turn off the light and SLEEP. I got up and pumped once during those hours, if I had to. But barely opened my eyes to do it. I lived for those nights. And they helped me survive. And I didn't feel like a little prima donna who won't get up with her babies, because it was only two nights a week.

I'll tell you what I hope for you: after the difficult and anxiety-filled pregnancy you have had, and the long road to motherhood you have traveled, that mothering twins will be bliss. That's how it was for me.

Don't expect to be able to do anything other than taking care of the babies for the first 3 months. Get someone else to do everything else. When I was a doula, I used to put up sign-up sheets at the client's church for dinner, dishes, laundry, and errands for the first few months if she couldn't afford a postpartum doula.

DON'T get a "baby nurse" who thinks the babies are hers and you're there to wash up.

OMG, I just saw how long my comment was. Sorry. I get carried away, especially as the first birthday approaches.

Wait until you have one (or two) of those beautiful babies snuggled up to you. You'll want to take a snapshot and have it last forever. It's a love like you will of never experienced or imagined. This is what will make it manageable when you don't get to sleep, have time for yourself, etc... It's a new kind of love and you deserve it. Cheers!

You have received GREAT advice. I personally thought the first year was easy in comparison to the last year! I had high maintenance 26wk preemies w/severe reflux and I still think the pre-mobile stage pales in comparison to double tantrums and double trouble :) Still, I wouldn't trade the experience of raising twins for the world. I LOVE having twins and they are so entertaining to watch - Marko won't even need to turn on his plasma purchase!

My only specific advice is always keep them on the same sleep schedule and in the same room. I always get an extra hour of snooze time in the mornings...while Zack and Sam engage in 'crib talk'.

If you ever need to chat/vent...you know where to find me!

Hi Tertia! I have been reading and enjoying your blog very much, and finally there is something I feel I can help you with ...

Yes, mothering newborns is overwhelming. I was around babies quite a bit before I had mine, and I was still woefully unprepared for the stresses.

The good news is, you will rise to the occasion. You have resources you don't even know about! A couple of things stuck out in your post that I wanted to comment on...

I have bunches of friends with twins, and they all say that to *some* extent their kids kept each other company and played with each other, even at the very beginning. There are also all those awful times when they are both sobbing hysterically -- but this happens with just one baby, and the kids usually survives with his psyche intact.

The first three months are the hardest. Guaranteed. I have heard mothers of twins say they didn't really get it sorted out for a year, but after six months things were ok.

I think the "get help" advice is the only advice worth taking.

If phone calls help, keep the phone on the hook. If visitors help, let them come. I'm a highly social person, and I love the distraction of visitors and outtings. I used to dread long afternoons "trapped" with my baby in the house.

Are there twins clubs where you are? Around here there are all these clubs for moms-of-multiples, and it seems like a really good resource. I found it completely essential to be able to talk with other brand-new moms so I didn't feel like the only crazy one.

A good friend of mine adopted two babies at the same time, and they're now about 2.5 years old. She told me that before the adoption, everyone told her she was crazy -- I mean, who chooses upfront to have twins? She said that there was only one relative who was really supportive, and that woman gave her a great quote:

"One baby will take up 24 hours of your day. Two babies can't possibly take up more."

Wishing you the best. You're a few time zones ahead of me, so happy 32 weeks!

I spent the first 3 months resenting the fact that I had two babies and could not give them the love and attention that singleton babies get. I cried every day for about 3 weeks (hormones I guess). I also miss it terribly.
Now I have 21 month olds who don't like to cuddle for long, and don't understand mommy's need to smell their hair all the time (it smells good and reminds me of their babyhoods). I've learned how to carry two babies up the stairs, how to keep one baby out of the other's vomit and how to hold two toddlers on my lap for stories.
One piece of advice that was given to me by a mom in my twins club--dress them in overalls so you can pick one up by the back. I never did it but all those times I tried to hold both at once as babies I would think--oh if I only had them in overalls! and then I'd laugh which was frankly better than the overalls.

I have survived 24 years of being a mom of twins.

Try to get them on the same schedule. Feed together, nap together, bathe together etc. It's the only way you find some time for you.

you do the best you can. and somehow, its enough.

save time for you. whether its taking a 10 minute walk or going to a movie. something NOT BABY, at least once a day.

get them on a schedule. it is not cruel, it is not stunting their creative outlets, it is sanity.

and always remember: STUPIDER PEOPLE THAN ME HAVE DONE THIS. (like tess!)

ah yes, television as a 30 minute babysitter is NOT a bad thing. use baby einstein videos, then you can feel better knowing they are "educational".

No wisdom on twins other than to say that you clearly are going to be a natural as a mother, with more than enough love to go around, so don't sweat the small stuff! I am going to bed, but since it's past 5 AM your time, I think I would now be officially correct in wishing you congratulations on 32 weeks!!! Well done. You are now very very close indeed!

Oh, and one last thing...staying in the moment helps. I used to almost start hyperventilating at the thought of the next big challenge--solid foods, for example. Then I'd start worrying about potty training, preschool, grade school, talking about sex, dating, learning to drive...and on and on. Not helpful, because those things are to come, and I'll figure them out when I get there. To think about them too much now just causes anxiety. So I've learned to focus on the immediate challenge at hand, even if that's just getting her to take a nap.

Well, I typed a long comment night before last and my computer crashed. Grrr. You will be okay. Get lots of help. Having help makes all the difference in the world. We had both parents home for the first three months, then my partner went back to work and I had a LOT of solo time, including days at a time while DP was traveling. When I had help, it was easy, when I didn't, it was nearly impossible. IME, it makes all the difference in the world.

Personally, I strongly believe in responding to babies as much as possible, and letting them set the agenda, so I'm not a fan of scheduling. I find that families fall into a rhythm pretty quickly anyway. As someone else said, don't plan to do ANYTHING else for a while. Figure that a shower and peeing on a regular basis is a pretty good set of accomplishments for the day. Don't cook, don't clean, don't get anything done. A little laundry if you're feeling really ambitious. See how bedrest can really help--you already know how to keep your house going with you tied to the couch! I really didn't have a big problem adjusting to sitting on the couch nursing 24/7 because I had been sitting on the couch trying to keep my babies inside 24/7 for months before! And let me tell you, when they're out and healthy, it's a heck of a lot more fun. :)

The best advice I got from another twin mom is to learn to ask for help. This was hard for me, but I'm so glad I did. It sounds like you have a wonderful family who live nearby. That will make all the difference in the world. Never say no to an offer of help--have a list of tasks people can do for you ready and waiting for when someone offers. Let your family celebrate with you by helping with the babies. You will be just fine.

Hugs. Email me if you want to talk more. I can point you to some twin bfing (I know you'll be supplementing, that's cool) and other resources if you're interested. Cate

It is overwhelming, exhausting, but also the most beautiful, wonderful time of your life! I promise there will be one second where you think, "what the hell did I do?" But, after diving in, there's no getting out and you will feel love like no other for those babies! Seriously, I finally felt confident at 6 weeks. It all seemed to come together. He started sleeping better, breastfeeding finally got easy and my body felt pretty normal, like my old self.
That special love will make you feel stronger and will take you further than you will ever think possible.

I have a good friend who just had her second set of identical twins- she swears what gets her through it is that she and her husband sleep in shifts. One sleeps from 7:00-midnight, the other from midnight-5:00 a.m. Earplugs mandatory.

Tertia,

After two kids (less than 2 years apart - not the same as twins, but still hard), one being horribly colicky for 4.5 months...I think you don't realize how hard and horrible it is until the hard part is over. You are too tired during it to even realize half the time. It isn't until after, when you look back and think, "How the hell did I do that? I am never doing that again!!" Then you realize how bad it can suck at times.

The best thing, I thought, was being able to say it sucks and not feel bad about it. There were times I said to my mum, "Why did I have this child, I don't even want to hold her" (I cringe now admitting I said that - btw, my daughter was the horribly colicky one). My mum would just say, "It's okay to feel that way, a lot of mum's do, it will come, all the feelings, the know how, everything. And you know what? It did. But it felt good to be able to admit it at the time and have another mum tell me it was okay and normal to feel that way.

Anyhow, I doubt any of this makes sense. I just wish you all the luck in the world. You and your husband deserve this wonderful new family coming, you really do.

you get taken over by love and maternal instincts and you get through it

I would just like to point out that you can't count on the first part. Not everyone bonds the same way or the same speed, so don't let anyone make you feel guilty if you aren't overwhelmed by love and devotion instantly. Not everyone is wired to get all warm and fuzzy at being needed 24-7, some of us downright resented it.

You will, however get through it.

Sleeping in shifts is really a very good idea. So is having someone else around at least for the first 2 weeks to help.

I think you'll be fine, it just sort of 'clicks' with you after a while, you have a great sense of humour and that alone can be a lfesaver!
You just get really quick at changing etc with twins, you just need a little practice and its only the first few frantic weeks that are bad
Saying all that though twins *are* scarey, I had mine after my son and at times I still felt like I knew nothing!
One last thought is that when Adam is home things may well just improve you'll be more relaxed and I really think so will Kate, she may well miss his presence, just an idea

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