Great news folks: Life with twins has gotten easier each month so far, and month three was no exception.
It ain’t no cakewalk, but the boys need fewer feeds, my pumping routine is solid, I’m getting slightly more sleep and, while still tiny, the Cub Twins are past that frighteningly fragile preemie/newborn stage.
Month three saw the end of my mom’s second visit since the twins were born and my husband’s return to work. Having put off his business travel commitments while on paternity leave, he’s now playing catch up.
Thankfully my mom was able to help me during his first two trips away, but we couldn’t find anyone to come stay with me for his third trip, which took him to Montreal for seven days. In anticipation of being alone to care for all four kids for a week, I had my first anxiety attack in almost three years. And then I did like Elsa and just let it go. It wasn’t going to be perfect, but I’d get through it one way or another.
And I did!
Miss Cub went to daycare three days instead of two, and I reminded myself that it was completely okay if my kindergartener arrived late for school. If we missed his school bus I could still drive him to school, which is what we had to do just one out of the five days!
The mornings getting out of the house went rather smoothly overall, and in the daytime the twins were true to form and pretty chillax. It was dinner and bedtime that were bananas without an extra set of hands.
Someone was always crying. We averaged a 50% crying-rate, which was pretty stressful when those wails were coming from the babies in the playpen while I was trying to get the big kids fed and then into bed. But you know what, just call me Elsa again. If I learned anything from my therapy to treat my anxiety disorder, it’s acceptance. In the case of therapy, acceptance of my negative thoughts and emotions. In the case of parenting four kids including newbie twins on my own, it means accepting that I quite simply cannot meet everyone’s needs at once, and someone’s gonna cry. And that’s ok. (I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate “The cold never bothered me anyway,” but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.)
My brother and his wife also came to meet the Cub Twins in May. What a fantastic visit! I cannot even begin to say what an awesome baby brother I have and how fabulous his wife is. They were so immensely helpful. My sister-in-law prepared freezer meals for us in addition to making supper every night. My brother washed our van and uncled the kids hardcore. He mastered caring for both babies while bingewatching Parks and Rec on Netflix, so I could nap. I can only hope that my kids will be just as supportive of each other as we are and have just as much fun together as we do.
My brother helped me bring the boys to meet our new family doctor, and she confirmed what I and many of my social media followers already believed: the boys both have umbilical hernias! It’s not anything to be worried about at this point; they just look pretty funny, like little balloons. They’ll eventually “suck in,” but they’ll always be outies. I also had an umbilical hernia when I was born, so my boys will grow up to match mommy with ACTUAL buttons on their bellies.
At their 3-month checkup, Cub Twin A weighed in at 10.6 lb (4.82 kg) and measured 20.7″ (52.5 cm). His bigger but younger brother weighed in at 11.6 lb (5.25 kg) and 22.6″ (57.5 cm). I am really curious if this size disparity will continue and wonder if it will become a source of bickering: “I’m taller than you!” “Ya, well I’m older!” “But only by 4 minutes!!!”
Because they were born almost a month early, our doctor checked for their development relative to a normal 2-month-old, and everything looks to be on track, including those first little smiles!
As far as feeding is concerned, we’ve been able to completely stop using formula as my supply kicked up and the boys started taking more directly at the breast once they were able to stay awake for a full feed.
Formula is a marvelous thing, quite frankly, and it was by no means because I felt it was inadequate that I wanted to try to breastfeed exclusively. It was because it’s so frickin’ expensive! And also because it gave them really stinky farts … like … I know the flatulence is going to be intense in a house with four males, but I’m not ready yet!
I get a lot of mom-cred for breastfeeding twins, but I’m doing it because it’s working, not because I’m a superhero. In month three the boys still took most of their breastmilk in bottles, mainly because it’s more efficient. I’m not sure how much this may change as they need fewer feeds, but I can tell you that I do not love tandem nursing like I thought I would. If I’m going to breastfeed them, it’s one at a time. I have mastered the tandem bottle feeding though!
I feel like this third month is the month when it’s all fallen into place. My big kids are used to having their baby brothers around; Cub even brought them to his kindergarten class for show and tell. I’ve mastered getting all of us out of the house in a reasonable amount of time, and amazingly, even having newborn twins hasn’t stopped my tendency of being chronically early for things. (Yes, I’m THAT person.)
The dishes never end.
The laundry never ends.
I’m always wiping someone’s butt.
My mom’s favourite retort to me when I was a kid and would complain of boredom was: “I wish I had time to be bored.” I don’t even have time to wax my upper lip … so here I am, mustachioed, never bored and with a very full heart.