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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)