“Having a baby is as exhausting as they say it is. Having two babies? That’s just unfair.” – Jim Halpert (The Office)
I laugh every time I hear that line while watching The Office. It really is such a true statement. TWO BABIES. Who ever would have thought that would be our path?
I remember the day we found out we’d be having twins. Daniel and I thought we were ready for anything. I arrived at the same office i’d had all of my previous ultrasound appointments for Raine. I sat in the same lobby until they called my name. Daniel was running late, and I remember being extra nervous at that point for some reason. They set me up in the room and checked everything out. They were very polite, and allowed me to wait for Daniel to find out the gender (which is what our appointment was for that day!) I let out a sigh of relief when he finally made it to the room.
“Okay, so do you see that?” We did. I nodded. “That’s the first baby, and this one over here is baby #2!” My face sunk. First baby? baby #2? What was she talking about? Clearly this lady had it wrong. I sat there in disbelief. “We’re having twins?” Daniel asked excitedly. I began drowning out the conversation between the two of them at this point. I went into complete freakout mode. We had planned for ONE more baby. We had financially prepared for ONE more baby. We wanted Raine to have ONE sibling to bond with. I was completely devastated. When I finally came back to reality Daniel just kept saying over and over “We’re having twins!” I wanted to punch him. How could he be excited? I literally felt like my life was over.
We thanked the Technician and went on our way. We walked down the hallway silently. In the elevator, Daniel started to have a conversation, that same annoyingly pleasant tone, and I started bawling. “Baby, are you excited, or are those upset tears?” I began to explain how everything was going to change, how my life was forever going to be burdened my this, and how I didn’t think we could do it. I never understood how Daniel could be so happy and not upset even a little in that moment. Hindsight, I’m forever grateful for his positive attitude, because it’s what ultimately got me out of my funk, and into an attitude of gratitude.
In the days to follow, we would give the news to our families, friends, and co-workers. I remember crying on more than one of those phone calls. The responses were half excited/surprised and half worried for us, which I completely understand. It was not something we planned. In fact, Daniel and I had a running joke that we only wanted two children, so we wouldn’t be outnumbered. I guess God laughed at that plan.
I was extremely blessed in both of my pregnancies. I wanted a home birth like I had with Raine, but it was no longer legal to have home births for multiples. So I had to mentally prepare for a hospital birth, a foreign concept to me. Everything else went great! I went full term with Raine, and made it to 38 weeks with the twins (I was huge!) I was actually supposed to be induced that morning at 9a.m. and, was pretty freaked out by the induction process they explained the previous week to me. My body must have known, because I went into labor on my own, the same day at 4a.m. I was able to deliver natural and without any medication. My doula, Mikki Bell, was also beyond amazing. So if you’re thinking of having a doula, I can recommend a kickass one! The twins were healthy and beautiful. Jax was 6 pounds 15 1/2 ounces and Rowen was 5 pounds 12 ounces.
So fast forward to the difficult aspects of having twins… right after they were born!!! I hated being in the hospital, and left before my “time was up.” The constant interruptions from nurses and doctors was irritating. I know it’s their job, but I was used to the quiet of my home (with my previous home birth.) When we got home it was a little calmer, but not without it’s complications.
Breastfeeding twins is EXTREMELY difficult. The first few months I would breastfeed, pump, and repeat. Between the two of them, I felt that I was always feeding someone. I set up shop in my room, put Netflix on, and pumped. At one point, I remember feeding both babies at the same time, just to feel more productive. I put Jax on one boob, and Rowen on the other. Daniel was in awe. So yeah, breastfeeding was no easy task.
I had really bad postpartum depression, and it didn’t help that Daniel had a very limited amount of paternity leave. I just cried and cried all day, and waited hopelessly for him to come home at night. Daniel was, and is, a very hands on dad. But even with the maximum amount of help, it still felt unbearable some days. I never thought I would see past the breastfeeding, dirty diapers, crying, or lack of sleep. We moved shortly after to Temecula. Though, Daniel still worked two jobs in LA. Because of this, it made more sense for him to sleep at his mother’s house, (some nights) to avoid the long drive home, and lack of sleep. There were many nights I tackled this parenting thing alone. I juggled sleepless nights with the twins, while also taking care of Raine. Man am I glad those days are over!
It didn’t exactly become easier after this phase either.
Just like all parents, when I thought I’d mastered a stage, they moved on to another one. And just like that, I was clueless again. This was true with them teething, being sick, crawling, walking, talking, fighting, (constantly) and all the other life stages children go through. Only we were experiencing it with two babies at once. Piece of cake, right? HA. Not even close.
I still have frustrated days, where I’m so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. I still worry, I still feel like I’m carrying the world on my shoulders. I still cry (a lot!) None of that just went away. But it did become more manageable on most days. It has become so much a part of my life, I barely remember the days when there were just three of us. All the hard times are so worth having, if it means having my babies. The experience is so complex, but the good times are SO GOOD. When I see them worry about each other, when they don’t like to be apart, when they play, laugh, and speak to each other (twin language is real!) It makes it all worth it. It’s such a beautiful thing we’ve been chosen to do. I read something once that said “God trusted me so much, he gave me two.” I love that saying and feel it rings so true. I wake up every morning, and go to bed every night, with so much gratitude for this role I get to play in their lives. We are forever a “party of 5” and I wouldn’t change that even for a second!
-Gypsy at heart