I was terrified when I learned we were having twins. Truth be told, I even regretted it. I was afraid of what it would do to my body, my marriage, my son, my family. Later, I would do everything I could to protect it and make it to term (including quitting working out!).
Zach, my four-year-old, is excited about all the fun times to come as his baby brothers grow. His baby brothers can't grow fast enough, in his opinion.
And the hubs and I have grown closer even as our alone time becomes almost non-existent. Having twins requires teamwork, putting marriage to the true test. We need each other more than ever and a healthy sense of humour pulls us through. We still wake up mornings and smile in disbelief: “Twins." We survived. We’re surviving. And we’re doing it together.
I mean, I should have seen the warning signs. Older mom (35 or over, the experts say). More than one child. Husband with twins in the family (though we didn't know it at the time). I never imagined having one kid, never mind three, never mind two at the same time!Photo: subman/iStockphoto
From the far-out nausea to the extra weight gain (double the hormones, double the pregnancy!), just leaving the four walls of our home seemed a challenge of Mt. Everest proportions. Although we escaped an order of bed rest (just!), many expectant moms of twins go on leave from work because they just “can’t” anymore. And now I understand why.Photo: DGID/iStockphoto
And know who was acting up and who was chilling out.Photo: Dean Mitchell/iStockphoto
A natural birth is no walk in the park, but neither is a C-section. Sure it’s painless in the operating room, but after? Expect to be doubled over in pain, for gas to be your mortal enemy, to stay in the hospital a week, to be terrified of your active toddler coming too close to your sore belly and not being able to hold your babies when they’re born.Photo: jfairone/iStockphoto
As much as parents of multiples are told their chance of premature babies is high, you're never truly prepared for when it actually does happen, and the complications that can ensue. I did everything I could for a healthy pregnancy but they still had to come out a month early. Though they're thriving now, it was scary there for awhile.Photo: Michael Blackburn/iStockphoto
The doctors and nurses at the hospital and NICU cared for our babies as if they were their own. I was struck by their kindness, concern and commitment.
I’m resourceful. If I don’t know something, I’ll figure it out. But when my two preemies were in NICU, one in critical condition, and there was nothing I could do, not even breastfeed, cuddle or console, I felt helpless.
I’m grateful that, at least, we were surrounded by wonderful doctors, nurses and health care specialists who could step in and intervene. There are places where moms and babies are less fortunate. As deep as my pain was, I can not imagine their suffering.
And they might not behave as people would expect of twins. They might not acknowledge one another, hold hands, cuddle or cry when the other cries (well, OK, that happens from time to time but more out of sheer annoyance than some twin-like connection).Photo: G-Hall/iStockphoto
Although I nursed our four-year-old for almost a full year, I couldn’t pull that off with twins. And no, it’s not easier to feed them at the same time, just crazier. (For the record, I alternate between breast and formula for each twin.)
...diapers (again?!), receiving blankets, formula (again!?), than I ever could have imagined.Photo: JBryson/iStockphoto
At two months and counting, Zephyr is still two pounds shy of his “little” brother, Zane, even as they steadily gain weight.Photo: Janice Richard/iStockphoto
I can’t recall ever seeing baby twins (though I am known for being oblivious to my surroundings). Still, I’m not sure I’d have reacted the way people seem to when we walk into a room or cross the street. I’ve had people stop traffic to wave and it’s at once amusing/unsettling/surprising.Photo: Linda Yolanda/iStockphoto
I was a parent before, but now I really feel like one.
Besides the first weeks, which required shuttling back and forth to the NICU at the hospital, Zach has been amazingly patient with us, his parents, and loving toward his brothers. If anything, we have to tell him to stop giving his baby brothers hugs and kisses (back-to-school germs, you know).Photo: pixalot/iStockphoto
Two hours sleep in 24? No problem. Simultaneous crying? No problem. No lunch until 6 pm? No problem.
I don’t know whether it’s the lack of sleep or the endless to-do list monologue running in my head, but few things phase me anymore. I seem to navigate life in a contented daze. And no, I’m not on drugs.
And that we could fit everyone in it.Photo: Photolyric/iStockphoto
I don’t need a nanny or grandparent to shadow my every move and moment. Though I’ve never been more grateful, or welcoming, for the helping hands.Photo: Artistic Captures/iStockphoto
It seems everywhere I go, I'm seeing double. And no wonder. There are more than 6,000 multiple births in Canada per year, an increase of more than 35 percent in the past 25 years. If I could talk to those parents I'd give the newbies a high-five and the expecting a big hug. It's going to be okay. In fact, it's going to be great.Photo: Artistic Captures/iStockphoto
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