Warning…. Cathartic Post Ahead.

I don’t know how long post this will be, or how dramatic, how personal. I don’t know if it will stay up, stay public, or disappear altogether. But for now, it’s being written…. and that’s all I know 🙂

I have said, and posted recently, that having twins is “no big deal” to me as far as dealing with two babies. It’s dawned on me just today though, how it most affects me. It’s not that it stresses me out to have two infants wailing at the top of their lungs waiting for food, or waiting for their sister to finish eating so they can have a turn (which, believe me, seems to always take an ETERNITY when the other is being impatient!). It’s not that I worry about the financial aspect of plowing through several hundred dollars of formula, and even more in diapers, in just the first six weeks…. mostly because I try not to think about that. 🙂 It’s not the lack of sleep, or juggling two carriers and a monstrosity of a stroller whenever we go out. It’s not carrying or consoling both of them, doing twice the laundry, or anything else one might “struggle” with when having a newborn (or more than one).

Today though, I had a bit of an epiphany. I guess you can call it that, although usually that denotes something positive, helpful. For the past several days, since having a couple of conversations with friends who also have children, I have been repeatedly reminded that I don’t have a “first” child. My “first” child was here one minute before my “second” child, and – thanks to that wonderful drug-induced fog I had with anesthesia complications – I don’t remember much about either of them until much later. Since then, it has been both of them.

I love that. As most of you know, I always wanted twins. I’ve always said it wasn’t just “in a novelty way, like I think it would be fun”. I’ve always been passionate about wanting multiples. I am in love with the way twins bond, and the special things you can only experience while watching siblings that have always shared much more than family genes.

I love my two, obviously, even more than words can describe. I always dreamed of being a mommy, of having and holding my own child, and then had that dream put on pause, even if just for a relatively ‘short’ while. After an emotionally long struggle and an uphill path (as well as some conversations with God telling him that I didn’t “have to have twins, for crying out loud!” :))) I am so incredibly blessed to hold not one, but two daughters in my arms every day. For that I am so thankful that I’m typing through streams of tears. I wouldn’t trade it for the world! In fact, I struggled immensely with this post because I know all too well how much it hurts to read people “complaining” about how richly they’ve been blessed. I pray that this doesn’t come off that way 🙁

Yet today, I have had a very real struggle with something about which I was never warned. For a short while in the afternoon, I had just Elise upstairs while Avery slept peacefully downstairs in the pack n’ play. Then tonight, Kyle was spending time with Elise and I had just Avery resting on the couch on my chest. Both times I was strongly aware that they have always, and will always share everything I can give them.

I know what some of you are thinking. I’ve talked to expectant moms who have an older child, and have heard them wonder if they “can love the second as much as the first”. I suppose in a way this may seem like the same struggle, but I’m not so sure it is — so I feel somewhat alone in trying to describe my muddy thoughts. Please bear with me…

If I had a two year old and an infant, each of them would be experiencing different things on a particular day – just by the nature of being at different points in their lives. For each of them individually, I would have spent a large amount of time (however unequal) cradling them in their infancy, watching them open their eyes and explore their world and discover new things each day. I would be interacting with my two-year-old differently than I would be with my infant, even in the same moment. They would have unique childhoods, unique experiences growing up at different points in our family’s collective life.

I’d be lying if I said that, today anyway, I am somewhat saddened that I can’t offer this to Avery and Elise. (Well, and to be really honest, sad that I don’t “get” the same experience myself). Don’t worry, tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and be fine 🙂 I realize that multiples… even sextuplets (God bless their mothers!) do just fine, and don’t “miss out” on anything by being in their unique situation. If anything, they get to experience an infinite number of moments together that cannot be duplicated by siblings of varying ages.

I think I am just having one of those days, when I can’t begin to fathom how time is flying by so quickly. I know that every mother has the same experience… the same enigma to deal with where you look forward to all that your child(ren) will become, but will miss who they are at this moment. The struggle to balance anticipating what you will experience together in the future with what you seem to run out of time to do in the present.

I suppose I’m just feeling sorry for myself, realizing that a childhood that passes too quickly anyway with one child, will be shared by two — the same experiences, the same lives, at the same time. The time spent just cuddling with a precious baby in your arms – minutes that are too finite to begin with – is automatically cut in half, no matter how I balance my time. Really, I think I should just get twice as many hours in each day! Sadly, that’s not my call 😉

I know I will continue to bond uniquely with each of them. I know we will always foster independence in them, as that has been so important to us from the moment we knew they were coming. I know that if they turn out to be well-rounded, normal individuals, that it will not have been some fluke that happened “in spite of” their being twins. Although it might very well be “in spite of” their being ours! 😉

I guess I just needed to shed a few (hundred) tears (and write a rambling post like this, naturally!) to try and sort out this peculiar aspect of raising two at a time……..

Ok, time for bed. Or for the bedroom anyway, where two beautiful (albeit cranky) girls await their mama…… as loudly as ever! 🙂

Comments

  1. I know this is not a “giddy” post but I do hope that you leave it up for others to be able to see how far you have come, where you are going, what you are dealing with. I think this is a wonderfully written post about your desires and expectations and reality and just plain and simple how you feel. BEcause tomorrow morning you will wake up and you will feel differently and you will figure out how to provide the unique childhood for both of your precious daughters – because this is life and you will manage just as you should and these girls will love you more and more every day for providing their childhood

  2. Jen honey – I agree and hope that you leave this post where it is – you are simply writing your thoughts and feelings and no one can take those away from you. Your daughters are precious to you and will have a wonderful time discovering life together – and that is something no one can take away from them.

    I am so glad you are writing this blog – and that you are not just focusing on the ‘happy’ times and photos – one day – when your girls are grown – I think they would like to look back over what you wrote about them when they were babes (and hopefully you’ll continue as they grow) because then they will be able to see for themselves just how deep your love for them really is *hugs*

  3. Just one thing, do you know how lucky you are to already be so intensely aware of how their lives will fly by? This feeling is a gift from God, encouraging you to always treasure every moment, the good ones and the supposed bad. I would give anything at this point to be able to go back in time just to change that one thing. I would never want to relive everything again, but I would love to have had that sense that you are describing, from early on. It took me years to get that and that has been my biggest regret of all, I just didn’t have the sense that you have already, sadly. So, instead of lamenting it or whatever, embrace it, and thank God every day for it, with a prayer for it to never leave you under any circumstance.

    The girls are gorgeous! Keep the photos coming. 🙂

  4. Ladies, you made me tear up a bit (sheesh!) but I cannot tell you how much I have valued and taken to heart each of your comments. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart 🙂