I've been asked a lot of questions in regards to babies and motherhood and have quite frankly failed to answer them all, but I thought I'd write this post which answers majority of them. So, I'm going to share some bits and pieces of my memories thus far being a mama of twins and also what I have learned that has shaped me along the way. I hope it sparks your interest and I hope you feel welcome here, because you are!
Since I became a mama (6 months and some change ago), life around me has honestly felt more chaotic and overwhelming than my babies themselves. Of course we have had our moments of everyone is crying (literally everyone, all four of us) but truthfully, we have had moments of peace and joy 90% of the time. Our babies are heaven sent little angels and I am so thankful for their easy going personalities and especially that they have each other!
After I gave birth to my sweet boys, we were able to take Alder home with us and had to leave Rowan in the NICU for a week to nurture his eating skills. The first month was the most challenging for me, as I'm sure it is for many other mama's out there. I remember going up to the hospital to visit Rowan for the first time since going home with Alder, bringing our diaper bag, and realizing once we got there that we had forgotten to pack DIAPERS. Yeah, like I said, the first month was the hardest - physically and emotionally. You probably couldn't get me to remember my own birthday those first few weeks! It amazes me how many places a human mind can be in at once.
It took the first month for me to really start getting into my own rhythm and routines. Routines were and still are so important to me and have helped everything along the way. Within the second month I remember feeling more like myself again. I wouldn't say I ever felt especially lost or unknown, but I certainly can see how easily and deeply that could be felt during that sensitive season of life.
Getting out of the house whenever I could/can and even making it a high priority, has been extremely crucial in my overall health! Early on, I would get into this pattern of waking up, forgetting to eat breakfast, forgetting to drink water, never getting ready for the day, not showering as often as I could have, isolating myself with my babies at home out of convience and not napping when I finally got an opportunity. I was overworking myself and under nourishing myself which is harmful to a person's physical and emotional health. It certainly was for me.
*I've had a lot of questions about sleeping so I am here to answer them!*
We had the boys sleep in a bassinet next to our bed in the very beginning and throughout the first month. Pretty soon after month 2 came, we started having them sleep wherever they would.. the mamaroos, the bassinet, the double pillow, whatever worked. Time and time again, people always had and will always have their opinions, but you have to do whats best for you! That's what we've done, and it has worked well for us so far. We always made sure our babies were safe and healthy! That's our top priority alongside loving them with all our hearts. At about 3 and half months, we started having them sleep separately in their own cribs in the nursery - BEST DECISION! They have been adaptable little fellas so far which we are very grateful for. They have done so well being given a bit of space, independence, and being separate for sleeping at night. Since we started the crib sleeping, we've all been sleeping much better, surprisingly to me! Motherhood can be scary and I think the unknowns keep us from doing normal things like having your baby sleep in their own bed. We don't regret it one bit!
Around the same time in month 4, I started to fully embrace and enjoy everything that twin motherhood had to offer me. I of course had been loving it before this, but also feeling pressures from other people and allowing those pressures to almost steal my joy. Month 4 is when I ended my breastfeeding journey by choice and switched to formula and began introducing veggies not too long after. Nursing one baby sounds so ideal looking back and I do hope to experience that someday with a new baby Hancock but twins again would be incredible! Anyways, with nursing two babies you are practically required to be half naked which is not super convenient when you are out and about - hence the not going out and about much the first month or so. Once I began getting out, I would be on a strict schedule for "free time" to make sure and be home to nurse in time, but it was "free time" none the less. Every minute outside of our home and in the fresh air counted as gold at that point in time. I do sometimes wish I was still nursing the boys, not only for the nutritional benefits but also for the fact that it was free! But then again, I have felt happier, I have the happiest babies, and thats what matters most to me and my family. I strongly believe that you have to do what's best for YOU and YOUR health and YOUR happiness and YOUR babies and their health and happiness!
It has been pretty smooth sailing from 4 months to now (almost 7 months). The boys are thriving and growing and the sweetest. We take them everywhere with us, always have. Sometimes we'll even take them on date nights because they usually sleep through the whole thing. Alder is our thinker. He is typically content in just staring at the ceiling or his hands, and is always observing the world around him. He absolutely loves cuddles and tickles. Rowan is a little ham and also admires his hands daily. He is always smiling and it doesn't take much. He loves being on his tummy and sleeping on his tummy, always has. They both sleep through the night (9pm-8am usually) these days which is magically world changing. There are off nights of course, because babies. But for the most part, they are pretty consistent.
I wouldn't say "I know what I'm doing" or that I've "figured it out" because hello, I haven't! But I do trust my instincts and I know my babies. My story is mine and your story is yours. Just do the best you can every day and that is plenty!
FROM ME, TO YOU:
I just want all the mama's out there to know that you are loved, you are doing the most important job in the world, you are brave and strong and smart! It is okay to have a bad day, but it doesn't mean you have a bad life! You're allowed to have a great experience and you're allowed to share it with others. I think it's important that first time mama's know the good side of things too and that it isn't always difficult. I think it's equally important to know that there will be hard times. Like, really hard. The best thing I have done and that I think you can too, is believe in yourself and your abilities to care for your babies! Drink water every day, don't forget to eat food, go outside even for 30 minutes a day with your baby(ies), and remember to smile!!! If you have a healthy baby, that itself is such a blessing that is often over looked by the crying and sleepless nights and tired bodies and endless thoughts flooding our busy brains! And even if you just get out of bed and brush your teeth and that's literally all you accomplish in one day (aside from keeping tiny humans alive of course)- it's entirely enough, and GOOD JOB!
*Stay tuned for a blog post in the next few days with lots and lots of pictures!
There's only so much time in a day for a mama to get these things together!