Now that we are nearly out of the dark shadows of the fourth trimester and life’s a little more manageable, I thought I’d post what my typical day as a formula feeding (I stopped breastfeeding *detailed post forthcoming*) mama of nearly 3 month old twins looks like. There are two versions: The Good Day and The Bad Day.
The Good Day looks something like this:
5-6am S+W wake up and H. feeds them while I try to grab a few more hours (read: minutes) of sleep.
7am I get up and take over while H. gets ready for work. I try to eat some breakfast and make myself some coffee. This may or may not get done.
7:30am If I’m lucky, I can grab a shower before H. leaves. Getting a shower in, no matter how quick, goes a long way towards making me feel human.
8am Playtime with S+W. This usually happens on their activity mat and involves a repetitive loop (redundant) of a semi-annoying song and a lot of kicking and squealing with delight. Tummy time is possibly also explored.
9am Time to eat again!
Twice a week, we have a lovely nanny come help out in the mornings. On these days, I make my escape and hit the gym, then try to get some work done. On the days she isn’t around, I usually play with S+W on the floor, let them hang in their swings or in their cribs staring at their mobiles, until they get tired and I put them down for a nap.
Noon Time to eat again! (see where this is going? it’s rather routine, The Good Day)
As you might guess, after lunch involves more activity mat time and tummy time. Or I might walk one guy around the house exploring, while the other takes more time investigating his mobile. ( I probably should invest in more toys for them at some point…)
2pm When fatigue sets in and the merry, annoying loop of activity mat song takes on a scary, carnivalesque like connotation and it’s clear the blinking lights and weird, dangly stuffed bee/ bird creatures have turned from entertaining to frightening…
…S+W go down for another nap. We’re experimenting with official nursery naps these days and so far it’s going pretty well, so long as swaddling and white noise are involved.
3pm Time to eat, yet again!
We might take a walk with Zero around the block, or to Whole Foods, or Groundwork for coffee. Then I get lazy and let them fall asleep in the swings, while I get their bath stuff ready, eat a snack and waste time on the internet.
5pm Bath time.
6pm Bedtime routine.
*detailed posts on these forthcoming*
After they are tucked safely into their cribs, I grab the monitor and make dinner. H gets home, and we eat, talk about our days (his infinitely more varied than mine!) and cathc up on tv. Occasionally, dessert is involved.
8pm I pass out and H. does the dishes
9pm H. passes out and we sleep until:
Midnight Time to eat again!
Between midnight and morning, the guys sometimes fuss, and need a few pats or a reinsertion of a pacifier.
The Bad Day is similar to the above, but with much more misery and much less showering. It could be caused by any number of things: overstimulation, growth spurts, illness, or maybe, even just a bad mood. Do babies have bad moods? I don’t really know. Anyway, The Bad Day for us looks like this, but x2:
The single hardest thing for me about being a mom of twins is that I, like most, only have two arms. It kills me when the guys are clearly in need of extra love and I can’t hold them both at the same time.
I’m trying to get this all down before time and nature give me that proverbial mother’s amnesia where you get far enough away from your birth experience that you forget how terrible and hard it was and think it might be fun to do it all again…
So when we left off, Harley was taking the babies to the nursery and I was being sent to the recovery room, where I stupidly assumed I would only be spending a short amount of time. This proved to be the mother(f*&^er) of all assumptions.
Once, about one million years ago, I ate ecstasy at an after hours club somewhere in Los Angeles. Like most drugs procured on the fly in shady corners of nightclubs, it was cut with what I assume were a multitude of fillers, one of which had to be ephedrine, aka speed. I couldn’t stop shaking. My experience in the recovery room was very similar, but with less techno.
The shakes started and I waited. I waited for them to stop. I waited for the nurses to bring in my babies. I waited and waited…but all I got were worried looks from my nurse as she repeatedly took my blood pressure. It was way too high. And I wouldn’t get to see my babies until it went down.
Which it didn’t. After about three hours, my OB determined it was best that I be put on a magnesium sulfate drip because I was in danger of seizing. Postpartum Pre-eclampsia.
I was finally released from recovery and wheeled into the part of the hospital reserved for pregnant ladies with problems. It was there I was finally able to really bond with Slater and Wallace. They took to breastfeeding like champs, but I was feeling less and less like a champ as the day wore on, the old drugs wore off, and the new drugs kicked in. Drugs are bad, even those procured by medical professionals in a hospital setting.
For the next 24 hours, I was under surveillance. They kept the babies mostly in the nursery, except to feed. During that time, I made my first walk to the rest room - the hardest steps I’ve ever taken. My lower half still mostly numb, my head light, it was the scariest, weakest and most vulnerable I had ever felt. Good health? Being able bodied? Things that should never be taken for granted.
When I was finally released to the regular postpartum ward, it felt like a victory, but the rough times weren’t over yet. Coming off pregnancy/ birthing hormones is intense. I cried for no reason and every reason at random times. I became convinced that there was no way I could protect and care for these babies - they were just too small, especially Slater, who, in his early days, looked like a frail baby bird. At times I was so sick, I couldn’t feed them and they had to be sent back to the nursery. This made me feel like even more of a failure. At times I was so sick and in so much pain, I was pretty sure I was going to die. This also felt like failure - of the most final sorts.
I couldn’t do anything on my own. My first shower was a joke. I felt like an 85 year old stroke victim. I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t stand up straight and I definitely couldn’t look in the mirror. The few glimpses I did catch of my body were unfamiliar. My whole self had become unfamiliar. These were the hardest days. Harder than anything I could have ever imagined.
Cliche as it sounds, it was totally worth it.