I had just given birth to twins and suddenly everything changed. What I thought I knew about having a baby flew out the window. My world was turned on its axis and my confidence dropped to almost non-existent.
This is what happened if you give a woman twins.
It must have been about a week in, my husband had just gone back to work and I woke up one morning and lost it. On top of the exhaustion of having just delivered twins, it had been a week of waking up every two hours to feed two tiny babies, which in twin world equates to 1-2 hours sleep a night.
It begins with a baby waking, if you’re lucky it is one at a time in the beginning until you figure out how the F@#k to breast-feed, but that good fortune is rare so usually you are double fisting it.
The lactation consultant told you babies can burn calories instead of gaining if they feed for too long, so you panic and stare at the clock and pray that they are getting some breast milk before the formula.
You decide 20 minutes of breast-feeding seems like a fair deal, having no idea if they have gotten anything. Having a low supply, you have to also formula feed, so you give them some formula all the while worried you are poisoning your baby and what the earthy Westside moms who you will never meet will think of you.
Now you have to burp both babies, this is done one at a time. So one baby gets propped on your knee while you burp the other. Then you attempt to put them both back in the swaddle, but no matter how many times you watched “Happiest Baby on the Block” you could never get the swaddle down, especially in the dark, in the middle of the night.
After fumbling through your swaddling that looks nothing like the cozy cocoon you’ve seen in every F#*%ing swaddle picture, you put them back in their sleepers, pray that they fall asleep and don’t strangle themselves in your pretzel like swaddle.
This whole process has taken at least an hour. You look at your husband sleeping soundly beside you and for a few minutes that night you hate him. You hate that he doesn’t even hear TWO BABIES who are within inches of him crying and the injustice that he gets to go to work in the morning while you continue this tortuous routine. And you hate your adorable dog curled up next to him sleeping soundly too. If you could have punched them both in the face you would have, but are too tired, confused and horrified that this is your new life.
I have to do that again?
Now your hate filled mind has that heart-wrenching moment when you realize the feeding schedule begins at the start of the feeding not the end, so these little tiny precious monsters will be up again in an hour or so to eat again. You have an hour to relax enough to try to fall asleep knowing you will be back at it again, with no end in sight.
Unless it is a nap, it is next to impossible to fall asleep knowing you have to wake up in an hour. Especially when your brain is churning with hate for your dog and husband, worry that your babies are going to over heat and die in their swaddles because it is overly hot for June in Los Angeles, you have to pee and now hate yourself because you hate this process. Where was the “just me and my babies bonding while feeding moments”?
Hence, me losing the plot that morning. I literally woke up (or sat up as I hadn’t really ever slept) and began to sob. And sob and sob saying “I can’t do this” over and over. I truly felt that I could not take care of these two beings and we had made a huge mistake.
My husband rushed out of our room to get my mom who came in and took the babies to give me some much-needed sleep. Kris went to work, probably worried I was going to pack a bag and drive off to anywhere but here, by myself. It was a low point.
Virtual Village for Parents of Twins
After a quick nap I lay in my bed and went online to research other mothers of twins who felt as I did. There were hundreds. Seriously hundreds, some worse off than me. And that helped.
As did a woman who just had twin girls, whom I had never met but had been introduced to over Facebook through a mutual friend. She was fast becoming a friend and major ally in navigating this world of twins. This online community saved my sanity. I truly have no idea how I would have gotten through that day and the days that followed without the internet and my Facebook friend.
So I am starting this blog and I hope I can pay it forward in some small way. I hope that one day in the bloody wee hours of the morning after not sleeping for what seems like forever, a twin mamma in the early days of this insane, scary, gorgeous journey, comes across my blog and knows she is not alone.