Taking care of twins is not what I imagined. I read lots of other moms of multiples blogs, but all of those Moms were either first time moms, or they had a toddler and then twins.
I have 7 other children, so I knew my experience would be different from theirs, but I wasn’t sure HOW it would be different.
First off, they still aren’t very good at nursing, so I’m still making lots of bottles. That means I don’t hold the twins as much as I would usually get to hold a new baby. I miss that. I’m attempting to remedy it.
Secondly, I’m not nearly as exhausted as they all said I would be. The twins often sleep for at least one 4 hour chunk of time at night. In fact, all they do is sleep and eat. Possibly this is because they are preemies. Possibly they will start waking up more and I will have less “not feeding the twins” time.
That’s probably likely. Already my time falls into only 2 categories: feeding time, and not feeding time. So far those times seem about equal. But like I said, the twins sleep a lot for now.
My older kids are super helpful. They have house chores to keep things running (like unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, set the table). They are capable of putting casseroles in the oven (I had 30 made and frozen before the twins were born, plus kind friends and family have been bringing more). They can chop veggies for salad. They love to hold the twins and feed them bottles. Thanks to those big kids, the house is pretty clean and the laundry is not behind. I didn’t expect it to run so smoothly.
Even Banana Cream Pie, who is only 3, can hold a bottle for a baby to drink.
Fourth, I didn’t imagine the large impact that even small health troubles would have. My twins only had trouble with blood sugar levels, keeping warm, and jaundice. It’s not like they had to be in the NICU. But it was stuff I had never had to deal with or worry about before.
I didn’t realize how demoralizing having to stay extra days in the hospital would be.
I didn’t realize how time consuming extra tests would be. Skeeter had high bilirubin levels and had to be on a bili-light for this whole week. I had to take him to the hospital lab every day to have his blood checked to see if the bilirubin level had gone down.
The first day wasn’t so bad because my big kids were home to help.
The second day was their first day of school.
By the time I had loaded Banana Cream Pie and Baby Bean and Zeke and Skeeter into the van, I was so overwhelmed I was crying. And then I realized that I was still wearing my pajamas.
Obviously hormones had something to do with the crying, but leaving the house with a new baby is always hard. I generally do not even attempt it until my new baby is 4-6 weeks old. ( I try to avoid unnecessary exposure to germs).
Attempt to leave the house before the baby is a week old, multiply by 2, and add a toddler and a preschooler. Well, that was a lot to handle. It took me over an hour just to get us all dressed and buckled into the car. Then there was the hour at the hospital. (Lucky for me I have a friend who lives right next to the hospital, and she kindly kept Banana Cream and Bean during that hour.) Then I had to repeat The whole process 5 more times over the week until Skeeter’s test finally showed his levels had gone down significantly.
(P.S. If they ever send you and your baby home with a Bili-blanket and tell you it doesn’t matter whether you put the light on the baby’s stomach or on their back, this is FALSE. Start with it on their stomach. If the jaundice doesn’t improve, alternate stomach then back. But don’t just put it on the baby’s back because that is easiest and think you are good. I’m pretty sure we could have shortened our ordeal by 2-3 days if I had started out with the light on his stomach.)
What I figured would be difficult, but didn’t realize how difficult, is taking care of the twins plus my 20 month old, Baby Bean. I guess she is now Toddler Bean.
Never have I had such a naughty, busy getting into things, toddler to keep track of in addition to a new baby(s).
Always before, my toddler was pretty happy to sit by me on the couch while I took care of the new baby.
HOUSE ELF MAGIC
My sister has 6 boys born in the last 8 years. Each of her boys is very smart, and that means each boy has been very busy being naughty and getting into things and creating big messes. I don’t know how my sister manages the stress of trying to keep up with her toddler(s) when she has a new baby.
I guess she just does what she has to do.
All of the experienced mothers (including my own mother) whom I have asked for advice, sort of shrug and say, “I don’t really remember how I did it when I had all those preschoolers at home.”
It’s the magic of moms, I think.
Remember when Harry Potter asks Kreacher how he escaped from the zombie filled sea cave, and Kreacher can’t explain?
He just did it because he had to.
I think moms are like that. Moms often cannot explain how they do what they do. But they do it because it must be done, and they love their families enough that they find a way.
THE DESTRUCTION THAT IS BEAN
Without fail, Zeke and Skeeter will both be crying–needing new diapers (and new dry clothes) and to be fed. I will be in the process of attending to them, when I will hear the sound of a kitchen stool being dragged across the tile floor downstairs. It is like the herald of doom. It is BEAN.
Bean already tried tasting the cayenne pepper and ground white pepper from the spice cupboard. Sadly, I don’t think she learned anything from the experience. (Well she didn’t learn what I wish she had–not to get into the cupboard.)
She never tried this before the twins were born.
The DH reinstalled the baby gate at the top of the stairs for me, so I can at least trap her on the same level of the house that I am on.
I can’t really quantify what it is I do all day to take care of Banana Cream Pie and Bean, but they need nearly all of the “not feeding twins” time. So I spend the day feeling just a little bit behind what needs to have been done.
Sometimes I get to have a nap. Sometimes I fall asleep without really meaning to. Bean uses this time to her great advantage.
THE RESIDENT LIEUTENANT
The resident lieutenant will soon be promoted to the resident captain. He needs a new command level to keep control over the brigade of kiddie pies. Also, he needs the new pay grade because these little guys use up alarming amounts of diapers.
They are so worth it.