IVF & Infertility, Pursuit of Happiness

Twinning with Newborns

As a new mother of twins I’ve found some things to be true. Those of which I list here with the lightest of hearts, the sunniest of dispositions and so much love for my two little fellas. Enjoy!

Victory is Mine!
The biggest battles come in the dead of night but they also happen in the day. Every parent has a different defense but the logistics and sentiments are much the same. Sleep, sleep is the end game. It’s the beacon at the end of the battle, layden with a cozy bed, sweet dreams and the perfect pillow.

The scene is mostly dark with a hint of light coming from a small corner of the room. It’s eerily quiet for a moment and then loud cries break through the silence and burst into the ears of the unassuming warrior. At first the sound stops them in their tracks, with a cringe and then they rush to grab their weapons for battle: two sleepsacks, two pairs of socks, two long-sleeved shirts, a Nose Frida and two bottles of freshly warmed milk! The battle cries become louder and louder as the warrior gathers their items, panic sets in and then scrambling, running, fumbling, stumbling, stubbing their toes on the booby traps of bassinets, stuffed animals and bouncy chairs. It seems as if this battle may be lost but they keep on going, it can’t be over…not yet. Finally, the first defense is launched as the warrior changes one opponent’s diaper, then wrangles with flailing arms, a floppy head and kicking legs to dress them in the long-sleeved onesie, a sleep sack and socks. Phew! But this only angers them…and there’s still another one! Both are using their greatest weapon, decibel levels that can shatter glass and it’s starting to take it’s toll, stabbing at the ear drums and making the heart race!

Alright, diapers changed, onesies changed, sleepsacks on, socks on. All of these will chip away at the opponent and ensure a quiet ending to this epic battle. But it’s only halfway over…Must. Forge. Ahead. The second defense is launched, the Nose Frida. It makes the dynamic duo mad as hell, increasing the decibel levels but again it’s another tactic to reach the epic end…sleep. The Frida helps to ward off stuffy noses which wake up the tiny but mighty opposition.

Finally, the last defense…warm milk. It’s their weakness. The warrior sits silently as they feed the charismatically cute opponents, trying not to make eye contact, any eye contact can start a chain reaction of smiling, kicking, refusing to eat and ultimately play time…a sleepy warriors worst enemy. As the milk level gets lower the warrior hopes that their eyelids lower too, creating the perfect trifecta of empty bottles, full tummies and blissfully snoozy stinkers. If this occurs there is only one last task for the warrior to complete…TWO transfers. Yes, two. When one is securely placed in their crib the warrior breathes a sigh of relief until they turn around and…SHIT, there’s another one! They pick up the second one who starts to wiggle, oh no they’re waking up! Quickly get them to their crib, but not too quickly and maybe sway them a little bit, but not too much, try not to let their skin touch yours or it might stick and that will certainly wake them up…okay, lay them down slooooowly, slower than you’ve ever moved before, lay the bottom down first and then the head. Oh no, they’re wiggling again! Please keep your eyes closed! The warrior rests their hand on them for comfort for just a moment…releasing the hand…phew, they’re not moving but they are breathing and they’re on their back. The warrior ever so lightly walks out the door and closes it while turning the knob to make as little noise as possible….

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! VICTORY! The warrior feels as if they can do anything…they have conquered the battle of the ‘Twin Babies at Bedtime!’ Aaaah sweet dreams!

Number 2 Times 2
Spencer and I are always looking at the sunny side of things. We’ve had some definite ups and downs, and to survive we laugh and look for the positive, the stars in the dark night. Well, we’re adding the epic game of ‘Battle Shits’ to this list. Yes, this is a twist on the classic game of ‘Battle Ships.’ The boys usually choose to play in the morning. It’s perfect for twins because it’s meant for 2+ players. The only rule is one must stop mid-milk drinking to ensure maximum effort goes into the missile launch. Other than that, all is fair in love and war.

George, he always wins at loudest grunt, reddest face and maximum effort. Then there’s Henry, tiny but mighty. He packs a punch and it’s usually a sneaky attack with little forewarning except he sometimes gives a sassy smirk just before he makes his move. One launches the best they’ve got and then the other until both diapers are sunk. They do not always happen simultaneously. One may strike and while they’re being changed, the other will blow. It’s a treacherous affair but in the end, we laugh. What else are we going to do? After all, baby farts and poops are just plain funny. Maybe it’s because they have so little control over their bodies and totally can’t help it or maybe it’s the faces they make that are so epic.

The Wolfshark
I feel like this should already be a thing but it isn’t so I’m making this centaurian-like creature up so that I can accurately describe the tactics of twins. This animal is a mammal that lives on land, spending most of it’s early months on it’s back. Just like wolves, they are an unassumingly mild-mannered, cute and cuddly creature, but they are not to be taken lightly. Although they cannot move on their own, they are still able to hunt in pairs due to their ability to plan attacks through coo-versations. Biologists think this happens just before the early morning feed, they decide who will strike when. Sometimes it happens in intervals so that the tired parents are left to be awake, aware and on-point all day, every minute, either holding, rocking, playing, singing or keeping one or the other calm. Sometimes it happens at the same time…please refer to the battle scene above that refers to their greatest weapon…the heart-wrenching, blood pressure-rising and ear-splitting cries. The only defense is a long car ride or a jaunt in the stroller to render them happy and content.

They’re like sharks because of their ability to smell blood in the water, also known as a less than perfectly perky parent. They prey on moms and dads who are tired, haven’t had enough coffee, don’t sing nursery rhymes in the right tone, make faces that are not that funny, aren’t quick enough with the food (“MOM! The meatloaf! Where’s the meatloaf?!”) and a menagerie of other daily tasks that are needed to ensure two pleasantly content ‘wolfsharks’ remain. Somehow, they sense this and revert back to their wolf-like abilities of hunting in pairs to keep their prey literally on their toes all day with no rest. The combination is tiresome at best. How does one survive against this duo? By drinking coffee. And maybe beer and wine. And sometimes, we’ve just gotta fake it ‘til we make it on those less than full energy days.

For a funny and oh-so-true read on another take on the wild animal-like qualities of twins, read this post by The Best of Twins: Twin Boys Are Like Velociraptors

The Moctopus
Since becoming a mom, specifically a mother of twins, I have severely cursed the powers that be for (a) not naturally adjusting the amount of sleep that I need to match the extreme lack-of that follows childbearing and (b) only giving us two arms and hands…’tis a cruel joke. Since neither one is going to magically happen, no matter how much I wish for it, I’ve increased my coffee intake and I’ve also learned how to pick up, carry, close, open, feed, move and manage multiple items and children with my chin, fingers, hands, elbows, knees, feet, toes, mouth, shoulders, arms, legs, head and teeth. Every single part of a mother’s body is crucial! As if that isn’t completely apparent through the act of growing babies and giving birth, it becomes even more factual after they’re born.

Having twins certainly magnifies this octopus-like ability that mothers have. One time I shoved the second half of toast in my mouth, trying to meticulously nibble on it without it falling on the ground, carried a bottle and my phone under my chin, had George in one arm, the laundry basket in the other with my hip helping to carry the load, closed the blinds with my foot, so the sun wouldn’t shine in Henry’s eyes, and used my elbow to give the sleepy baby a couple more rocks in his bassinet as he was starting to get restless just before I left the room. Why put myself through this much mastery of my joints and limbs? Because there’s no time for several trips up and down the stairs or in and out of the room, it must be done in a timely and effective manner…meaning a mastery of the ‘moctopus’ maneuvers. With twins it’s a never-ending juggling act in which the objects are mostly tiny human beings that absolutely cannot be dropped! One needs to be changed while the other needs to be rocked; or one needs to be held and rocked/bounced to sleep while the other needs to be rocked and both require a specific speed or they are not quite satisfied; one needs to be fed while the other changed…the list goes on. It sure makes that trick of patting one’s head and rubbing one’s belly at the same time seem like a piece of cake!

So Much Two Love
The feelings and thoughts that are written above come from pure honesty and are all based on actual events that sometimes happen daily, at least for myself as a mother of twins. It may sound like I’m not entirely loving this twin mom business but I say them in jest because we must laugh at and embrace the craziness so as not to be consumed by it. To be honest…I am seriously overflowing with love x2! These little fellas have really brought out the best in me and make me oh so happy even though they play battle shits, make me feel like a moctopus, or like I’m at war or like I’m getting attacked by a shark/wolf-like creature. Life is supposed to be out of sorts, unpredictable and chaotic! And my babies? They help me make the best of these three words. They help make life’s impurities purer and are so irresistibly cute and funny that I find myself laughing all of the time…H & G already look at me like I’m a nut! I love them with every ounce of my being and I look forward to writing more of these “Twinning” posts as they get older and as new games, habits and tactics arise!

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