twins: the first month

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If a picture is worth 1000 words, I think this one  from their one month birthday party last Friday could sum up how life with twins feels right now. One will be serene (in this picture, Lucia) while her sister (Alethia here) begins screaming. It often feels like an impossible balancing act – trying to satisfy both of their needs simultaneously.

But then they will snuggle up close together while sleeping or rest peacefully on my shoulder as they drift into dreamland  and as I hear their quiet rhythmic breathing and tiny sighs, I know that life could not get better than this. It is beautiful, but it is certainly very hard as well. The only reason I have a couple minutes to blog now is that my Grandmother (their great-grandmother) is downstairs “on duty,” and she insisted that I rest until the next feeding – which should be quite soon (in the next half hour or so). Life right now is measured in 30 minute, maybe 1 hour increments – with longer breaks at night. (they do tend to sleep solidly for 2 to 3 hours at a time at night, for which we are immensely thankful) So I will take hold of the moment and try to capture this new experience in bulleted form.

Best things about the first month:

  • Getting to know these girls that I had carried inside me for almost 9 months
  • Seeing them become healthy and strong as they gain good weight, moving from the “preemie” stage to the “newborn” stage [I was so excited to see that they had outgrown a couple of their outfits last week]
  • Holding them as they drift off to a peaceful sleep
  • Watching their personalities emerge: Alethia seems to be quite “spirited” (the picture above demonstrates that well) and also very alert – taking in the world with her big blue eyes, inquisitively examining any new person who holds her; Lucia seems to be rather laid back, a bit calmer yet insistent when she wants to be fed (we usually have about a 2-5 minute window as she begins crying before it breaks into a full-out wail) and she’s a heavy sleeper
  • Going on walks in our neighborhood as a family
  • Introducing them and taking pride in others’ comments – the most frequent being, “They are so beautiful!” (and as a very biased parent, I couldn’t agree more …)
  • And I guess it goes without saying – but being off bed rest finally! And the process of labor & delivery itself was rather easy compared to everything else. So rewarding to get to meet these girls.

Hardest things about the first month:

  • Having to take them to the children’s hospital ER to be admitted for low weight after only being home with them 3 days – and the 6 days that followed when they were hooked up to IV’s/etc
  • Giving up any block of sleep longer than 2 hours
  • A “typical” day when I’m alone caring for them (thank you to our family and friends that there have only been a handful of these so far!): no break for a shower, eating breakfast at 1:00 pm (although the process began hours earlier), and even that meal being interrupted by one cry or the other
  • Trying to pacify both of them when they’re screaming simultaneously – and not lose my mind!
  • Feeding them … trying to figure out what will work best for them and me. Still struggling through this – not much of a rhythm yet at all and I often dread each feeding time (which lasts from 45 mins to 1 hr)

I think these posts describe life with twins pretty well – so I refer you there as I head off to stave off a hungry baby: 3 week old twins and twins at one month

11 thoughts on “twins: the first month

  1. Thanks so much for posting in your limited amount of time. My wife & I are expecting twins within the next month. Your post puts it all into perspective and I can honestly say that I have gotten something out of reading it

  2. So great to read this; you are my hero. I’m struggling to make it with one; you are amazing. I definitely had the same feeling of ‘labor and delivery was easy compared to coming home!’ I laugh at the fact that I was so nervous about what would happen at the hospital. That was nothing. I will continue to pray for you; please pray for us and Greta! Love you.

  3. Hang in there! It sounds like you really are getting the hang of things and the little gals will only become better eaters and sleepers as time marches on! We love seeing pictures and hope to meet them “soon.” (i.e…after Levi arrives and can meet them too!)

  4. Thinking of you often! Praying for you as I think of it, mostly when I see you on fb…so glad things are better for your babies! They are precious!

  5. Such an awesome and exhausting time Heather. You bring back so many memories to me. The eating part is a difficult one. Esp if you are trying to breastfeed and supplement. You are in my prayers. I remember our first morning alone after all our family had left. Took Jenny to preschool and brought them in in there little carseats and sat on the floor and said well its just you guys and me now.!!! Scarry time but fun. In 4 months you will be sailing. Give me a call if you want.I can’t believe Mike and Liz are grown up and married now!!! Miss you. 864-915-1548/

  6. Pingback: Celebrating Seven Years of a Perfectly Imperfect Marriage | hidden glory

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