Nothing can prepare you for the moment when you find out that you are having twins. I will never forget that day when my doctor told me, “Wow! There are two gestational sacs!” and me, responding like a clueless, new mom-to-be, “Is that good?” She responded, “You’re having twins…TWINS!”
I’ve never been so scared and so excited in my entire life. I forgot twins even existed before that moment, and I have never been so blindsided by information. Ever.
But as soon as the shock trauma wore off, all I felt was lucky. I don’t know how or why this happened to me, but it is truly special and amazing, and I can’t believe I get to be these little girls’ mama.
I’m an organized, type-A planner, so I took on the whole twin thing like I was competing in an Olympic sport. I ran this family like a Baby Bootcamp. I wouldn’t have changed the way I did any of it because that’s how we survived.
My life revolved around nap and feeding schedules for a solid year. I believed if we got off schedule once, we would never get back on schedule…EVER. I am so connected with these girls, but in some ways I feel a little gypped. I didn’t get to snuggle with my babies like I always pictured, there was no rocking them to sleep, or letting them nap on my chest.
I had a long list of rules that I followed explicitly. In the time that I wasn’t feeding or changing one of them, I was attached to a pump trying desperately to make enough breast milk for two.
I didn’t leave the house with my children by myself for the first six months. I could hold it together during the day, but as soon as they would go to bed, I was completely overcome with anxiety. I turned into an OCD control freak. Thank God this was all just a stage. When I was in it, it felt like it was going to last forever.
My twins are now 2.5 years old, and I just had another baby, my third girl.
I had an entirely different experience this time around…a do over. My parenting strategy is completely opposite. I need her to go with the flow and have a flexible schedule as opposed to the complete psycho sleep and eat schedule Nazi that I was the first time around.
She takes naps on me all the time; we all snuggle with her every chance we get. She’s my last baby, and I’m really soaking it all in this time. She goes everywhere I go while the big girls are in preschool and takes naps in the car seat or Bjorn carrier on the reg. I take her with me to get my hair done, to get a pedicure, errands around town, etc… (things I wouldn’t have even dreamed of with two newborns).
I’m confident in my mom skills, and I don’t have to be phased by the little things like clipping fingernails, rectal thermometers, and Nosefrida usage (which used to totally put me over the edge).
I have mommy guilt (because mommy guilt is never ending) that my baby is getting a more sane, fun version of her mommy than the twins got. I wish I had been able to snuggle and give them more one on one time, but the truth is, I was just trying to survive.
And to be honest, I’m proud of myself for making it a such a successful operation. All you can do it the best you can do, right?