Two years ago today, the doctors finally took pity on my poor, bloated body and delivered my twin sons at 37 weeks and 5 days, and our little family of three (Dreamy, me and two-year old Bisky) changed forever. Just three short years before that moment, Dreamy and I were recently married and pursuing successful careers with plans to start a gym together. At 38 I was on the fence about the whole breeding thing but leaning towards ‘no’ and since he’d already raised two kids he was just fine with that. We had extra money, extra time and big dreams.
Adding one sweet little girl to the mix was an adjustment but looking back it was relatively untraumatic. When I learned on September 10th, 2013 that my second daughter-to-be was actually TWO BABIES it was almost incomprehensible. Unlike many people, I am not a baby person and I have NOT always wanted twins. But God knows best and here are the things I’ve learned from being a Mom to two plus one.
- Give yourself permission to be pissed off – and then get over it. A big part of the twin-mommy process was allowing myself to be okay with my feelings. I was overwhelmed and not overjoyed when I found out and had to fight feeling guilty for feeling that way. I had so much resentment about the circumstances and then I’d immediately get this superstitious fear that my lack of gratitude would result in a miscarriage so I’d try to feel grateful for extra babies. A dear friend who had an unexpected third child shared with me her feelings at the time and gave me ‘permission’ to grieve the life I was never going to have. After that though, I prayed for acceptance. It took about a week but I got there.
- Be prepared for a whole new relationship with food. Probably THE best thing about my twin pregnancy was being told I had to ‘front load’ and eat as much as possible to help the babies grow. They TOLD me to eat cheeseburgers and milkshakes. As someone who has lived in fear of ‘fat’ for two decades this was the keys to heaven. I really enjoyed that first week. Then I found out that if I can eat whatever I want with no guilt, I really didn’t care about cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Who knew? I found out that if I ate whatever I wanted, it ended up being healthy food. And that they weight came back off very easily until I reached my body’s natural point (which coincidentally is 15 pounds heavier than I’d prefer but I’m almost 44 so too bad for me).
- Get used to EVERYONE commenting on your body, your babies and your ‘full hands’. It’s just going to happen. Twins are more common but they’re not THAT common and when you carry two 7 pound babies in your tummy you just look like a freak of nature. I actually got trapped in my car once when someone pulled in beside me before I could get out. When people saw my belly and my two-year old they’d smile knowingly and say “YOU’VE got your hands full”. So I’d look them in the eye and tell them to STFU. Actually no, I didn’t. I just smiled and said ‘I sure do,” not letting on how terrified I was and how their smug little observations helped exactly NOTHING.
- Get used to being flexible. Dreamy and I pride ourselves on our punctuality and orderliness. We (were) never late. It was still doable with one baby but with twins and a toddler you just need to embrace the flake. For me, it was sanity-maintaining to keep the house as clean as possible and resume an exercise routine just to feel normal and like I had some semblance of control. I’ve heard others say just give up on a clean house. It’s definitely almost impossible but I just had this sense that if I gave up ‘they’d win’. Even with all that, we had to accept that we were pretty much always going to be late, would never have free time to do anything for ourselves and personal conversations were almost impossible. It would have helped at the time to know how much better it got after about 18 months. Or maybe not. I kept thinking it would get better any day and that gave me hope. I might have given up if I’d have known how long it was going to take.
- Become an elite delta force team with your partner. I really don’t think I could have gone through this with anyone but Dreamy. Even today, when we take the kids to the park we divide and conquer. We can communicate via eyebrow which kid needs attention and who’s on point with whom. Gender roles be damned, you do what you gotta. When there is more laundry than humanly possible, more wet diapers and more cuddlees than laps you have to split the load.
- Live in the moment but hope for the future. That pretty much sums up the first year or so with twins and a toddler. There are moments of incredible sweetness and there are moments when you just want to cry and run away, but you can’t so you cry more. I feel like I’ve walked through a storm and even though now they’re mobile and challenging in a different way, they are so much fun! Last night Aiden crawled into Ben’s crib and they laid there laughing and giggling for almost an hour before they fell asleep and it was awesome. And Bisky is almost always okay with them now, which is pretty awesome too!
So happy birthday Frick and Frack! I forgive you for being two boys and today, after all we’ve been through, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Like I tell my kids…God had to give me a new heart to hold all the love and I’m so grateful for unexpected blessings!