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Twin Life

The most common question that I get about having twins is if it was hard. The second most common question is whether my son and my daughter are identical twins. Yes, people want to know if my boy/girl twins are identical.

My answer to the first question is usually, "I guess so?".

People say that becoming a new mom to a singleton baby is hard. Hard on mom, hard on dad, hard on finances, hard on relationships, hard on work, hard on sleep... so I'm just going to assume that having multiples is just exponentially harder... its like math or something. The thing is, I don't really know. I have never had a singleton baby ( where I didn't already have twins) experience to compare it to and just jumped straight into twin life.

Before Patience and Cash came into my life I had had three back to back miscarriages that ultimately lead to a struggle with infertility, exploratory surgery, and eventually, the use of A.R.T. to conceive. So, it was really never a surprise to see two flickers on that first ultrasound, which made it easier to grapple with the idea of twins and prepare from early on.

Aside from a nightmare hemorrhage that occurred right around twelve weeks in, my pregnancy was fairly easy. I felt as big and uncomfortable as a planet, but I only gained a few more pounds than the suggested fifty. I was able carry to term, avoid a C-section, and birth naturally after a thirty hour labor. Recovering didn't seem like a difficult experience.

Nothing really felt hard, but I don't really know because I had never done any of those things before.

After the twins arrived things definitely got difficult. Sleep was non existent. Breastfeeding took up about one thousand percent of my time. They cried what felt like non stop. I was alone with them most of the time.. the list could go on and on, but I just sort of did it. I don't remember thinking "this is so much harder for me than for other parents" or really wanting to compare experiences in that way. I absolutely do remember being painfully tired though. Like, painfully painfully tired.

I joined a weekly "new mom" and a separate breastfeeding group, which I completely loved and highly recommend. Being the only twin mom in both groups is probably the closest that I will ever feel to being a rockstar. The other moms would say that they didn't know how I did it, or that they could never do it with two when one was hard... and the only thing I could say was that not doing it wasn't an option.

I was really lucky and sort of fell in with a bunch of crunchy mamas that were really supportive of breastfeeding, incredible sources of knowledge when we all developed thrush, but not judgey when I chose to start supplementing with formula as I was getting ready to go back to work. When I went back to work I was able to hire an actual angel nanny to stay at home with the twins, which made it easy for me to go home at lunch and nurse them in the middle of the day.

I'm not saying that having twins has ever been a breeze, but I guess I just know that it could have been so much more hard. We definitely had challenges, but nothing insurmountable.

The thrush was terrible, and painful, and almost put an end to our breastfeeding journey pretty early on. The pediatrician (which we switched from) was pretty unhelpful, but as I mentioned before I lucked out with my circle of mama friends. Sleep was probably our biggest hurdle.

Like, there was no sleep. The twins woke up about every ninety minutes, mind you, they weren't sleeping the same ninety minutes either. So it was up and down up and down every forty five minutes or hour for a long long time. I think it was over a year, but it was all so blurry I can't remember a ton of details. I hired a night nanny for a while and I think she saved my life. She would come from 11:00 pm until 5 am a couple of nights a week just so I could function like a human being at work. That obviously wasn't a long term solution, but helped enormously.

Getting back to the original question, yes, I suppose having twins is hard, but that is also subjective. I know women who have had extremely difficult and dangerous pregnancies carrying a singleton baby. I know families that have dealt with sick a infant and serious conditions. Those things seem waaaaaay more difficult to me than being overwhelmed and tired. So thats why my answer is usually "I guess so?"

I do know that the day both of them could sit up I realized that if I pointed them at each other they interacted enough that I could sit and have a cup of coffee ( six months). I do know that they learned team work by helping each other climb out of the pack and play, get into drawers, and open doors. I know that they tired each other out crawling all over the house. I know that when Cash began displaying developmental delays we caught it early because where he had been keeping up with Patience he began falling behind. I know that I am still exhausted but for all the best reasons.

Finally I know that parenting is hard, the days are long, and the years are fast... so I am just trying to appreciate that it can always be harder, enjoy the enjoyable moments (let's face it, not every moment is enjoyable), and hopefully sneak in a nap once in a while.

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