My sons. My twin sons. It still doesn’t “roll off my tongue.” It seems surreal and just as every single mother of twins told me before they were born, it’s true – we are in survival mode and time is flying by. And I’m not sitting in my rocking chair, watching them quietly nurse while listening to the lullaby channel on Pandora, imagining what they will look like when they’re older and daydreaming where they’ll go to college. I’m not watching them during tummy time with my camera, carefully placing cute toys around them for a picture perfect shot. I don’t gather adorable outfits in the morning to dress and undress them just for fun because they are only tiny newborns ONCE. And I haven’t put them in their cribs to see how tiny they look in such big, masculine wood beds. I don’t get to video during their baths and basque in the wonderful baby lotion moments of cooing and smiles after bath time. Once they’re asleep, I’m not making phone calls to friends and family, doing dishes and laundry or vacuuming the family room or play area. I’m not even playing dress up with my almost two year old toddler. I’m not fixing my daughter lunches and snacks or going to the park to play. I am not showering or sewing or taking online photography courses or freelancing. I’m not fixing healthy dinners for my tired, commuting husband, taking photos of him lovingly holding our babies. I’m not working out or taking long walks with my newborns so they get fresh air like I did every single day for my daughter. Nope. I am pumping, pumping MORE and pumping again, 24 hours a day, making bottles, washing bottles, drinking water, eating anything I have a chance to eat, changing poopy blowout diapers, getting spit-up on, and I mean REALLY spit-up on, rocking a baby, passing him off to my mom, rocking another baby, swaddling, putting into a swing. Falling asleep while overnight feeding, or during Sesame Street in the morning. They cry – all the time, someone is crying. I pick one up, give him gas relief drops, feed him his bottle, change his diaper, get peed on, change his clothes, re-swaddle him, block my toddler daughter’s karate punch to my son’s tiny back, turn to catch her just-hurled baby board book that is headed for the other twin’s face. I tell her sweet, little, overly-concerned and angry face that we shouldn’t throw books or hit babies but let her know I understand how she feels and why she is reacting the way she is and tell her I love her and try to give her a much needed hug. She pulls my hair and open hand smacks my face as hard as she can. She kicks me and runs off to hug my mom instead of me. When it’s time for bed and my husband has bathed my daughter, my mom has rocked and fed a baby, I have pumped and rocked and fed a baby, my daughter goes down for the night and my husband kisses me goodnight and tells me he feels guilty to tell me goodnight when he knows I won’t sleep. It’s dark and I finish making their nighttime bottles and realize I will be up with the coyotes’ howls during the night, with my husband’s alarm clock in the morning and will hear the cries in the middle of the night from my daughter who needs her mommy but I am on the pump or stuck downstairs feeding a baby. Life with twins sure is different. I feel blessed I had my daughter as a singleton first to know what it’s really like to have a newborn. Because this truly is survival right now. And every picture I manage to snap is a reminder of a moment in time I wish I could’ve enjoyed individually with each of them a little longer but couldn’t. I am sure in the blink of an eye they’ll be graduating high school and this blur will be the pictures I have snapped. And I will be happy with that and will look at each picture happily remembering the craziness during this time in our lives.
XO ~ Stephanie
The twins, seven weeks old (gestationally, 4 weeks old), Maxton William and Carson Armin with their 22-month old big sister Mattelyn Lovae.