My twins turned 9 months on Sunday 22nd January and have officially been a mummy for 18 months including the full gestational period.
I still cannot believe that after 5 years of 'trying', we've been gifted with two healthy and happy precious cherubs who are our source of joy, gratefulness and also hair tearing moments!
No amount of book, DVDs, internet, television programs, friends or family can ever prepare anyone (much less me as I am very stubborn) on the role of parenthood. It's a SHOCK to the system especially for those like me who thrive on order and control so you can imagine the struggles I experienced in the early months.
Feeding newborns every 3 hours (12am, 3am, 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3am, 6am...) and
feeding them in tandem
That makes it 8 feeds per child per day. In our case, it was 16 feeds per day.
That equates to 112 feeds per week. Yes, 112.
Yes we fed the twins at the same time, even if one is asleep - yes we wake up a sleeping baby.
Yes we were on feeding shifts and for 2 shifts a day, one of us would be solely in charge of feeding the twins on our own so that the other adult can rest and hopefully sleep for at least 4 hours! Why 4 hours? Because when you are dog tired, it is quite often rather difficult to fall asleep! What an oxymoron!
Burping newborns take A LOT of time
With each feed comes burping. Sometimes, they will burp quickly and other times, very slowly. By which I mean, 30 minutes or longer. Try holding a delicate newborn and patting his/her back gently for more than 3 minutes. Now, multiply that by 10.
Yes, imagine having to burp twins all on your own.
Washing & Sterilising bottles and tits
We used a microwave steriliser which would do it in 4 minutes! I am so grateful to our microwave for not breaking down during those crucial months of intensive nurturing. We have so many bottles and tits because you need it when you have multiples!
Nappy changes before each feed
Newborns pee and poo heaps. On our first day home from hospital, we changed 24 nappies in 24 hours. Yes, we became experts with the constant practice, can do it with our eyes close and are very quick! Sign us up if there's ever a nappy changing competition.
In my past life (pre twins), I would whinge on occassion about this because of business trips, social life, watching telly till the wee hours of the morning, playing computer games till the wee hours of the morning, reading a book non-stop for 24 hours, etc...you get the point. Now, I NEVER UNDERSTOOD what sleep deprivation meant and can cause until I became a mother. It's blardy awful and oh so soul sucking! I was literally walking in a fog and was in auto-pilot mode for at least 10 weeks! It's the single toughest aspect of having newborn(s). For those of you did not go through this, you are either lying / have a domestic helper or if you are telling the truth (I know one person) - you suck! :-)
Swaddle Swaddle Swaddle
Most newborns love being swaddled, mine included. I was never good at this. It was either too tight or too lose. However, my husband was brilliant at this and he was mighty quick too. We did not have the whoopie doo swaddle blanklet with velcro mind you (wish someone had told me about them)! We had to literally wrap them one fold at a time (as per our lesson from the midwives in hospital), this got really challenging and annoying during nappy changes post 12 midnight!
One thing I would always do for myself each day is to have a shower. Yes, I showered daily. That's a miracle in itself. It was incredibly important that I did that even if I changed into yet another comfy PJs because it was MY TIME, alone and incredibly therapeutic for the soul. You feel like a human for those mere minutes. I did and still do.
Mummyhood is most certainly a privilege and not for the faint-hearted! hahahaha