My boys are nine weeks old today. Nine weeks! It seems like they were born only yesterday, but here they are now, nearly double their birthweights and wearing clothes that are two sizes bigger. I'm so immensely proud of them, so happy to have them in my life. They bring joy to every single day, even the hard ones...but it wasn't always like that.
I can't even begin to describe the first week at home after we left the hospital. No really, I can't. It was such a fog of hormones and sleep deprivation that I don't even remember it. I do remember turning to Mr Bibliosaur at one point, tears streaming down my face, and asking, "What have we done?" I know that sounds terrible. It wasn't that I didn't love our children, but I was so incredibly overwhelmed by...well, by everything. By the massive hormonal shifts that were happening in my body, by not getting more than 30 minutes of sleep at a time, by the overpowering neediness of the two babies that were suddenly in my life. In desperation, I picked up my twin book and discovered there was a word to describe this: twinshock. It's what happens when it all suddenly hits home.
It helped that my mother flew to Australia from the USA, arriving after we'd been home just a few days and stayed with us for a couple of weeks; even though she'd never had multiples of her own, she had given birth to and raised three children and her experience and advice were invaluable, and Mr Bibliosaur and I grew more confident by the day. And then she went back to the States. And Mr Bibliosaur, who had taken a month off, had to go back to work. And I was home. Alone. With two babies.
I was terrified. How could I even begin deal with this? What would I do when they needed to be fed at the same time? What about if they both started crying at the same time? I'm not a baby person - I never babysat as a teen, never even interacted a great deal with my friends' children until they were toddlers. What did I know about parenting infants? Nothing! The twinshock returned in full force, and I was shaking hard when I kissed Mr Bibliosaur goodbye the morning he returned to work. I turned to face my two 4-week-old children, uncertain how we'd make it through the next eight hours. And yet somehow we did. I cried with relief when Mr Bibliosaur arrived home that night, but at the same time I felt a surge of hope - we'd managed to survive a day! I had no idea how we'd make it through the rest of the week, but we could at least make it through one day.
The same thing happened the next day, and the next, and by the fourth day I was starting to feel better - more clear headed, more confident. I'd worked out my preferred method of feeding them both at once, and luckily for me they seldom fussed at the same time. Since then, things have gotten easier every day, taking a huge turn for the better at around six weeks when the boys dropped one of their nighttime feedings and started sleeping for slightly longer at night; and now at nine weeks, I feel like an old pro. The twinshock has long since worn off, and although I still get nervous occasionally when I need to take them somewhere that's crowded and busy, on the whole I feel happy and confident about my ability to care for them.
So if you've just had twins and are feeling overwhelmed...hang in there, OK? It will get better - I promise!