It's a little overwhelming...
Overwhelmed would be an understatement to how I’m feeling at the moment. I’m so happy the girls are here and I’m absolutely head over heels in love with both of them. But I can’t stop crying! I know it’s that stage of the game where the hormones are trying to level out and I expected this to happen. It hasn’t been extreme or anything, for the most part I’ll just have a little ‘moment’ that lasts 5 minutes or so where I cry and feel overwhelmed and then it passes. But tonight I just can’t seem to stop crying.
I think the fact that James is going back to work tomorrow is the main cause. I feel like it’s too soon to be left on my own. Andrew is going to his Nana’s tomorrow so it’ll be an ‘easier’ transition of me with just the girls for the day – and I’m REALLY hoping that I’m able to sleep when they sleep at least a couple of times throughout the day so I might not be a complete zombie by evening. But who am I kidding, I AM a complete zombie ALL THE TIME now. I totally forgot how seriously painful the sleep deprivation is! It’s killer. I thought I was used to not getting much rest given how crazy uncomfortable the double pregnancy was, but now…I get so tired that I swear I can actually FEEL my nervous system beginning to shut down. I’m not even kidding! Earlier tonight I had to go lay down while James took over because I didn’t think I’d survive through the rest of the night otherwise, and it wasn’t an exaggeration. If I wasn’t so freaking tired I might be able to think more clearly.
I’m mostly happy. I may not have planned on twins, but I LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE them both SO much, they are both the sweetest baby girls ever and I couldn’t be happier to have them here. And I’m so happy they have Andrew for their big brother – even if he has become much whinier in rebellion lately for the lack of attention he’s been getting compared to what he was used to…he’s very good with them, so sweet, and I love all my kids to bits. BUT…I’m overwhelmed at the thought of being left alone with all 3 from 7:30 in the morning till 6:30 in the evening. And rightfully so, right?? As much as James has loved being home with us, I can well imagine that he’s thinking what a ‘break’ it’s going to be to go back to work. He can sleep on the 45 minute bus ride to and from work if he wants to, and he can sip a coffee, eat lunch in peace, he sits at his desk and listens to music while he works. He’s going to be tired, there’s no doubt about it, because I can’t take every shift with the girls – twins is double duty and it’s not like it was when we had Andrew where I pretty much dealt with him through the night entirely on my own from the get go. I was able to nurse him in bed so I could still rest, for example, whereas the twins are too small and I’d worry about them in the bed with us at this stage, not to mention I can’t nurse two babies while lying in bed anyway! But still, his days are going to be way more relaxed than mine. I’m worried about this transition, it’s happening too fast, I’m hormonal and totally not ready!!!
Time is so hard to find these days. I don’t have much more than a few minutes usually to do anything but mom duty. I should probably be sleeping now instead of writing, but I’m waiting till the girls’ next feed and then I’ll go to bed, because they’re due fairly shortly. I also NEED this time once in a while in order to not go completely crazy, because it’s not healthy to feel like I’m not getting a free moment EVER. I know it’s early days and I have to allow myself time to adjust to being a mommy of 3 when I was mommy to ONE for nearly 4 years. It’s a big life change, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Everyone keeps telling me how I’m doing such an amazing job and don’t LOOK like I’m lacking in the sleep department, and that it appears I’m just taking this all in stride and GO ELIZABETH! I appreciate the praise, I really do, and a lot of the time I think I AM taking it in stride. I had a long time to ‘prepare’ for this (not that one can EVER prepare for a baby, let alone BABIES…), I wanted this more than anything – after losing the baby last fall, to now hold twins in my arms is an absolutely incredible feeling. I feel SO lucky. I’m also the type of person who looks at it that you have to just take on whatever is put in front of you, and these are the cards I was dealt, so why wouldn’t I do my best to take it all in stride? It’s just that then I have these moments where I’m like, what the hell have I gotten myself into?! This is going to be insane! My life is changed forever! I’m going to be crazy busy and lacking sleep FOR YEARS! I don’t regret this one bit, but in moments it all just seems like so much to be taking on.
There are certain tedious tasks that I’m finding frustrating. When I had Andrew, I nursed him for what felt like 24/7, but it didn’t matter if I was glued to the couch with him latched on for hours on end because he was the only one I had. With the girls…I have Andrew bugging as soon as I latch them on that he’s hungry or thirsty or wants to play a game or have a different show on etc, etc…I know he’s just wanting my attention and is getting used to the changes around here, I don’t begrudge him that, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t annoy me. And then I’ve got the girls, one latching well, the other not so much, or both of them grimacing at the nipple shields but still not being able to latch onto my actual nipples (and at this point I’m even scared to try…maybe tomorrow I’ll give it another shot). They’re so tiny (under 6lbs each) so breast feeding is just CHALLENGING, and oh yeah, the fact that there’s TWO OF THEM. Yes, I have 2 breasts, but…it’s just not the same latching 2 babies as it is bonding with just one. Or at least that’s how I’m feeling about it at this stage. I know we’re only 12 days in tomorrow, so I need to give it more time and not give up. But it’s definitely not easy, and it makes me sad (read: CRY) to say that I’m not enjoying breast feeding the girls the way I did with Andrew. It was just so much less complicated. I know various factors are making it more challenging this time around, but I just feel sad that it is this way.
I have a strong milk supply at least, but it’s SO time consuming pumping so often. I’m pumping every 3 hours if I don’t nurse as well, but if I’m breast feeding it’s not much longer between pumping sessions, truthfully. I can pump usually 4 ounces on one side and about 3 on the other within 5-10 minutes. From what I’ve been told that’s pretty darn good, especially this early on. I guess I’m not overly concerned about my ability to produce the milk, it’s just so time consuming all the pumping I have to do, on top of the tandem feeding, and then after I pump I have to immediately sterilize all the parts for the pump and bottles that are dirty, because I’ll need them for the next pumping session, and if I experience let-down I need to be able to pump NOW, I can’t sterilize then or it’s sort of too late and I’m leaking everywhere instead! James bought us a great sterilizer (for nearly $100, but I swear it has already more than paid for itself, that’s how often I use it!) and it saves A LOT of time not having to boil water on the stove. But it’s just a tedious task! With Andrew I had a hand-held pump but I only used it when we were going out without him or I was visiting my parents and wanted to nap so they could feed him for me. It wasn’t so much of a production ALL DAY AND NIGHT the way it is with the twins. But it’s just the way it is – and I know I need to do it to keep my supply up so I can feed two babies. And I WANT to do that, I prefer it over formula since it’s free and the best source of nutrition I can give them. It’s definitely important to me to feed them breast milk since I am able to produce it. I guess I’m just finding it frustrating that it’s not as simple as just latching them on, letting them feed, and that’s that. Even just to go over to my mom’s for a visit, I have to pack the pump – I didn’t think to the other day and James had to go home and get it for me and bring it to me, because I can’t go many hours without it. I don’t like that!
Over all I know these are minor issues, and I’ll get used to all of it, and it’s all so worth it to have my little girls here. They really are SO sweet. James dad and partner were over yesterday for a visit, and today my uncle and grandma came over to meet them. Everyone is just smitten with them, they are just so sweet and adorable. And good natured! I know this might change, but so far they are fairly quiet babies. They cry when they’re ready for their next feed, but they’re not overly noisy about it, same with during their diaper changes. So far they’ve never just cried for the sake of crying. They’re also becoming much more alert since yesterday. They still sleep A LOT, and today we put them down for tummy time but they fell asleep during that, too! But they are definitely opening their eyes more, and wider, and taking things in.
About the tummy time, it was quite interesting…We placed them head to head on the tummy time blanket. When they started out, they both had their arms up by their faces. We didn’t even notice till a little later, but they had both kept one arm up, and put the other arm down by their sides, and it was the exact same one for both of them, so basically if we placed them next to each other they’d have been doing the exact same thing. Coincidence, or a twin thing – who knows for sure, but I’m going with twin thing!!
I know the sleep deprivation plays with my head a bit and makes me feel like I can’t do this, when ultimately I know that I CAN do this, and I WILL do this. It’s just hard. And I know that’s OK, because no one said it was going to be easy! I’ll manage, and I’ll do the very best that I can. I just needed to vent a bit about some of the things that seem difficult right now. It’s an adjustment for sure, but definitely worth it for all the sweet cuddles I’ve been getting!