Before I get to the juicy stuff, I want to stress one major point: all babies are different. I will share our experiences in the first couple of weeks with our boys- It might be completely different, or very similar to someone else’s experience. I don’t really know what the norm is, and I quite frequently make up mom life as I go. Anyway, I’m going to talk about what our days and nights (they run together really) were like when our boys were brand new.
That picture was taken right after we got home from the hospital. Look at those “We can do this! Probably!” faces. I remember having no clue what to do with those tiny little babes. I actually said the words “so, do I just wait on them to cry orrrr…?” I mean, I knew how to keep them alive, but I didn’t know what to actually DO with them. Here’s what it comes to in the first few weeks: feed them, change them, talk to them, and snuggle and love on them lots. Cut yourself (and your partner) some slack on the rest.
Full disclosure: this section has taken me three days to write. As I’ve worked on this, I’ve realized that my memory of the first couple of weeks with the boys is fuzzy at best. I mean, I remember most things, but there are significant chunks of time I have a hard time recalling. I’ve decided there are two reasons for this. 1. I’m convinced God makes you forget what life is really like with a new baby so you’ll procreate again. 2. As it turns out, sleep plays a pretty important part in functioning as a human being. Sleep was not a frequent visitor for us during this time thus explains my lack of memory.
If any expecting or new mamas asked for my biggest pieces of advice, it would be to accept help when it is offered, and to consider the first couple of weeks (or month) as training. You get a training period when you start a new job; why wouldn’t you get one when you start the biggest job of your life? So many new moms (myself included) put so much pressure on themselves to make sure they do everything right. Uh, you just brought home a tiny human, it’s ok if it takes some adjusting to figure out what works best for your baby and your family. It’s ok if you don’t know what to do sometimes. You will figure it out as you get to know your baby.
During our training camp period, thankfully, we were able to have amazing family stay with us so that we could begin to get a handle on our new roles. The days went pretty smoothly for the most part…until both boys were ready to eat. Then, we went from 0-100 in about half a second. The boys were crying, I was trying to get into my Twin Brest Friend nursing pillow, then trying to get them both in football position, then trying to help them latch, them making sure they both stayed awake and on the boob long enough to eat. Anyone ever wrestled a couple feral cats? Imagine that happening, and it’s pretty similar to what it looks like trying to nurse two hungry babies when you don’t even know how to nurse yet. Sometimes I would cry with them, and sometimes I would fall asleep. But you know what? We made it through…and you will too.
Even though the days were going fairly smoothly, night time was a whole different ball game. I think night time with twins should be an Olympic sport, and everyone who participates gets a gold medal. I remember the first night in the hospital, we had to wake up the boys every three hours to eat. They did not wake up on their own at all the first night. I remember saying the words “Wow they’re good sleepers” out loud. Well, the boys were just exhausted from coming into the world and I later found out that they sleep like every other baby…about an hour at a time. The boys woke up about every hour during the first month. My husband would get the crying baby, change him, give him to me to nurse, get the other one up, change him, and bring him to me to join his brother nursing. Husband would catch a few minutes sleep while I finished nursing. After nursing the boys still needed a couple ounces of formula so we gave the bottles and put them back down. The whole process took about an hour and a half. Sometimes the boys would go right back down, and sometimes they needed snuggles. Once they did go back to sleep, we did the whole process again in about 45mins- 1 hour. There were a few days that my husband and I were so desperate for sleep that we slept in shifts. One would sleep in the room with the babies for four hours, and the other slept on the couch, then we switched. It wasn’t ideal, but you’ll find that you’ll do just about anything to get more than an hour straight of sleep. Every night when we went to bed, we would say, “this could be the night that they sleep 2-3 hours”. That gave us just the hope we needed to stay positive. Eventually those nights came, and even later, they boys slept all the way until morning.
Even though the beginning was incredibly difficult, and I was an unstable ball of emotions, those times really helped develop a higher confidence in myself. It helped me to form a deeper bond with my husband. It helped me to experience a love of my two little babies like I have never known. Each mama’s experience is going to be different, but whatever your experience is, know that you can get through it and you are doing an amazing job.
If you have more questions about our beginning months with twins, feel free to comment on this post or connect with me on Instagram at blwalker_528.