Thursday, October 31, 2013

I survived the first year with twins!

I wrote this just before the babies turned one (October 14th was their birthday) and just realized I never got around to posting it (blargh!)  So here it is...better late than never!

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On Monday Margaret and Emily will be one year old.  ONE!  Already!  This past year has really flown by.  It’s such a whirlwind being a twin mom – there are days that feel as if they are dragging on into eternity, never to end.  But as I sit here and reflect on the past year, I have to wonder where it went. 

I swear it was just yesterday that James and my mom rushed me to BC Women’s as my labour got stronger and stronger.  I remember Baby A (Margaret) coming out first and being handed to me right away, her skinny little 5lb7.5oz self just as cute as can be, followed by my ‘Baby B Bonus Baby’ as I like to call Emily sometimes, all 5lb11.5oz of her, FEET FIRST might I add.  My babies!  I had no idea who they would be and yet the minute I laid eyes on them it was as if I’d never lived without them.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago at this time, Andrew was still my ‘baby.’  He was almost 4, but he seemed like such a little boy to me.  When my water broke in the middle of the night and we had to rush to get him dropped off to my dad, he looked so little in his navy blue housecoat, sleepy and unknowing of truly how much his life was about to change from Only Child to Big Brother Of Two Baby Sisters.  When I saw him again in the hospital later that day, he was so grown up and so big-boyish.  I couldn’t believe it!  And with such amazing Big Brother Instinct – he has been amazing (for the most part!) with his sisters since day one.

It’s not easy being a parent of twins.  It’s not ‘easy’ being the parent of any number of children, but multiple children of the exact same age is a challenge.  Infancy is particularly trying at times.  You have two helpless little beings that deserve and require all the love and care in the world and it’s your job to somehow juggle that.  You never get a break because someone is always in need of something, and while in a perfect world napping would always be on the same schedule, in this one it’s an occasional treat…(except that having another child, too, means nap time doesn’t equal break time ever, anyway!) 

It’s extremely difficult, for example, to grocery shop with twin babies because they can’t sit in a grocery cart in the beginning, so there are lots of trips to the grocery store where a stroller is pushed and a cart is pulled behind you.  It also takes about 2 hours to do a shop that would take about 30 minutes under normal circumstances, but lasts a lifetime because you’re stopped so often for having twins.  ‘Are they two boys?’ (No, girls…they’re both wearing pink!), ‘Did you have a c-section?’  (Not that it matters, but no, they were born the old-fashioned way, with help from an epidural in the last few hours THANK GAWD).  ‘Did you use IVF?’  (So what if I did, but no, thanks for asking, I did not).  ‘Do twins run in your family?’  (Yup, both sides.  Who knew I’d be one of the ‘lucky ones’?!)  ‘Are they identical?’ (No).  ‘Yes they are!’  (Why did you ask if you’re so sure, but no, honestly, as far as I know they’re not!)  ‘AND you have an older child, you’re brave!’  (Umm, I didn’t exactly ‘plan’ on having twins, I don’t see how bravery factors in?)  ‘You’ve sure got your hands full!’  (You’re telling me!!)  So many questions like this…EVERY.TIME.I.LEFT.THE.HOUSE.  I notice it’s calming down now…I still get a lot of questions, but not quite as invasive as the beginning months.  (Although I just got asked the other day how many minutes apart they were born...which is ridiculous, who cares?!!  They're one, does a 6 minute age difference really matter to you?!)  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the smiles the babies give to people when we’re out in public, it’s just tough sometimes…You tell me how full my hands are and yet you’re making it take so much longer for me to get the job done…I have felt like a circus freak show on more than a number of occasions with the way people react to the fact that I have twins!  And, heaven forbid, have ventured out in public with!!

I could go on and on and on…and on…and on…But you know what?  While I never really imagined myself with twins, and while I still feel overwhelmed sometimes with the challenges involved with having multiples, I WOULDN’T CHANGE IT FOR ANYTHING.  I LOVE my girls, and I LOVE being a twin mom.  I got not one but TWO amazingly perfect newborn babies - yes, within 6 minutes of each other!  I get twice the cuddles, twice the smiles, twice the giggles, and twice the every single adorable thing babies do.  Twice the LOVE!!  I also get to enjoy my babies interacting with each other, and witness the strong, unexplainable bond that twins share, that no one else can fully understand.  That even I can’t understand, because I’m not a twin myself, but witnessing it in my two daughters gives me goosebumps sometimes, and I love knowing that they will always have each other (and their big brother) to count on.  (Just the other day, I was tickling Margaret's little feet...and instead of Margaret giggling as I thought she would, Emily started giggling...Coincidence?  Maybe...But it seemed like more than that to me, like Emily was feeling the tickles, not Margaret.  I can't explain it but I do believe it!)

Sometimes people ‘pity’ me for having twins – I have actually had perfect strangers say so right to my face!  I take complete offence to that, because I don’t need, nor want, anyone’s pity.  I never in a million years would have had 3 kids if twins hadn’t happened to me, but guess what –  I was given a whole extra person to love just by fate, and if you ask me that’s pretty darn incredible.  My life is chaos, yes, but it’s a good kind of chaos.  I’m the mother of twins, and I couldn’t be more proud!

Pumpkins scream in the dead of night



Tonight (the night before Halloween) we started what I hope will be a new Halloween tradition.  We drove around looking for lights and decorations, just like we do around Christmas.  Andrew LOVES Halloween, in fact it just might be his absolute favourite day of the entire year.  Spooky things are his fave, what can I say, he takes after his mom =)

We were nervous about taking the babies in the car so late, but it worked out.  Rarely do I go out anywhere past 4pm because if I do, the girls will nap in the van and then at their regular bed time they’re wired and don’t want to sleep.  We didn’t leave the house till 7pm, but we had them all ready in their sleepers and gave them some milk for the road, and they fell asleep fairly quickly while we drove.  When we got home we were able to transfer them straight to their cribs and they only woke enough to get another bottle and back to la la land they went! 

As for the neighbourhood lights and décor…I say I want this to be a tradition to go looking because it’s fun to see what’s out there, but I have to say we were all more than a tad disappointed by the complete lack of anything to ooh or aah at.  There were 2 places that were decorated really impressively, and the third best place in all honesty is our own house!  We don’t even have THAT many decorations out, but enough to make it pretty Halloween-y.  It really didn’t take that much to make it ‘festive’ for lack of a better term.  Yet almost no one has anything whatsoever.  It would be so cool if more people got into the Halloween spirit.  Next year we are totally adding some lights to our décor, but for this year our giant skeleton, gravestones, rats, skulls and bones, bat, witches, devil and MORE will have to do!  I have to admit, I'm with Andrew - I kind of love this day too =)

Oh and I can't forget our pumpkins!  We bought 6 of them when we went to Apple Barn a few weeks ago to the pumpkin patch.  All of the carvings we did yesterday and today were Andrew's visions, and include a Daddy pumpkin, a Mommy/Mummy pumpkin, an Andrew pumpkin, a Margaret pumpkin, an Emily pumpkin, and a Fifi pumpkin!  The whole family =)

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Two years

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since I lost my baby #2 at almost 3 months pregnant.  What I'm focusing more on is how even more incredible it is that one year and 3 days after that, I gave birth to two healthy and beautiful girls who turn ONE on Monday!!  I know I am SOO very lucky to have them in my life.

I still think about Baby #2 on a very regular basis.  It crosses my mind pretty much every day.  I don't know if that will ever change.  It has certainly gotten 'easier' over time - it's rare that I cry about it now, and only seldom does it make me lose sleep (I get flashbacks once in a while when I close my eyes and it feels like it just happened).  I think if it hadn't  happened in the particular tragic manner that it did, I may not think about it still in the way that I do, but then again who knows...What I do know is that it was the worst day of my entire life, and something I will always feel sadness over.  I will never know WHY that baby didn't make it, and yet I will always have that split second mental image of how PERFECT he or she looked.  The not knowing is really the worst part for me.  It's a scar that can't heal.

BUT I have my girls to focus on, and while I still question why I had to go through that, I can't question why I ended up with Margaret and Emily, because I can't imagine my world being complete without them!  They are amazing just like their big brother, so full of life and love and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

I still can't help but feel a sense of sadness today over my loss, though.  My poor baby that couldn't survive, I still feel so sad for him or her.  I will always love that baby, even though I'll never know who they would have been.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Pumpkins galore!


 
On Saturday we piled the kids into the van and drove out to Apple Barn in Abbotsford to go to the pumpkin patch.  I had never been to a pumpkin patch before, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  I think we’re going to make a family tradition and go every year. 

We brought jackets in case it was chilly and we needed to bundle up, but it turned out to be a fairly warm day, which seems crazy for this time of year.  I hope it stays that mild for Halloween (and isn’t a torrential downpour like last year!)

Apple Barn is really geared to kids, and beyond just the pumpkin patch (and apple picking, obviously, given the name!), there was also a corn maze, bouncy castle, a cool bouncy ‘pillow’ thing, a petting zoo, hay rides, and the list goes on.  We didn’t partake in absolutely everything they had to offer, but just about.  We got 6 pumpkins – one for each of us (the green one is for Fifi!) and we actually picked them all out directly from the pumpkin patch and had to tear some of them from the stems.  It was neat to feel that connected to what we were doing, since I’m used to going to Safeway and picking a pumpkin off the top of the pile!  I got some fun pictures of the kids enjoying the pumpkins, although I’d have liked to have got more, but the babies started eating (or attempting to eat) anything and everything from the ground.  After I caught Emily eating a handful of dirt but couldn’t do anything about it because I was holding Margaret, and James was off putting our pumpkins in a wheelbarrow and Andrew was running around saying we just HAD to THIS pumpkin and THAT pumpkin and they all looked like they weighed 100lbs, I said it was time to go!!  It was a lot of fun but I think in some ways it will be more fun in the future when the babies aren’t quite as into eating things from the ground!

It felt like a great way to kick off October, and has us all excited for Halloween (well, me and Andrew, at least!)  
Hard to believe that in a week the ‘babies’ will be one year old…A lot of reminiscing happening here at the moment.
Happy October!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

So much to do, so little time



When I was 22 I couldn’t take retail anymore so I quit my job and eventually found what I thought was going to be a much more sophisticated position in an office environment.  It could have been that, except that I ended up working for a guy who appeared kind (and I think deep down he meant well) but his brain was so scattered that the job was a total gong show from beginning to abrupt end a few months later.  His company had been a solo operation for several years, and he was finally starting what he hoped would become a large corporation, with me being his very first hire.  He was so eager to get his company under way that he would come into the office every morning with a new task for me to get started on.  In most cases this would make sense – you’re given a set of tasks and you complete them in a prioritized manner, done deal.  In this job, however, it seemed that the boss was so keen to get the ball rolling, he wanted me to ‘deal with yesterday’s task later and focus on this new one’ EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Which meant that in reality, I was never actually completing much of anything.  Very seldomly he’d give me a task that I knew I’d be able to do in just a number of hours (if he didn’t throw me for a loop and start me on something altogether different after lunch, which wasn’t uncommon for him either).  I was so relieved when I knew I’d be finished the work in one day because then I knew I’d actually have accomplished something and could move onto the next thing without worrying about the long list trailing behind me of things I had barely started.  Most of the time, I just felt like I was floundering, and I couldn’t fathom how I would ever manage to catch up with the work load.  In the end, the job didn’t work out due to an insane boss…I would totally take accountability if I felt I was at fault, but the guy went nuts one night and what I discovered when I got to work the next morning kind of freaked me out and I quickly gathered up my things and left to never return…

I will leave it at that, but suffice it to say, I am sort of feeling that sense of dread creeping in lately – the one that takes hold when there’s too much piling up on the ‘to do’ list.  Compared to a lot of people, I’m sure I’m really organized.  But how amazing would it be to TRULY feel as close to 100% organized in life as possible?  IS that possible??  Tell me if you feel like you’re life isn’t in the least bit of chaos and everything is in its right place.  Then tell me how you got there!  I’d love to know (despite the fit of jealousy it would send me into knowing that it actually IS possible to be uber organized and have life in a state of perfection!)

I don’t need things to be ‘perfect’ per se, I just wish I wasn’t constantly thinking to myself, ‘I’d love to do this!’ or ‘I NEED to do that!’ or what have you…Then my brain just automatically adds it to the list in brain that has become so long that it’s turning to mush (the list AND my brain)……..

Sometimes I feel really organized, at least in relation to certain aspects of my life.  But lately so much is piling up, and my time for completely tasks that don’t involve washing highchair trays, changing diapers, fixing snacks (etc along the same vein) is so minimal that it’s impossible to make so much as a dent in the list.  Sigh.  I know in the grand scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter, although to me it does at least a little bit.  And yes I am well aware that instead of writing this rant about my lack of time to get things done, I probably could have completed half of one of my tasks!  But it’s too late now…Maybe I will start tomorrow…


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