After complaining in that last post about feeling trapped, I decided to finally try wearing both twins. Who says it can’t be done? I watched this woman’s youtube post on how to wear twins using two moby wraps, then did it myself.
Pros: Put them on and walked out of the house! One trip down the stairs!
Cons: Man they’re heavy. That has to be a pretty short walk.
But I made it to the corner store and bought some sour cream and onions, which I am going to use to make some Hungarian Mushroom Soup tonight. So, can’t beat that with a stick.
One of the most difficult things for me about being a mother of twins has been the loss of mobility. Singleton mothers seem so free: put the baby in a sling and they’re good to go. I’ve become fixated on strollers, because I can’t leave the house without one. I cannot move anywhere without gear. Between me and the outside is twenty minutes of shlepping up and down stairs with stuff, as I chronicled in this past blog post.
Take right now. I’ve got one twin on me in a wrap. She is the slightest bit fussy. The other is asleep in the swing. If I only had this one baby, I could grab the diaper bag and walk out of the house right now! It looks like a beautiful day! I know it’s good for babies to be out in different environments, and it’s good for my mental health, too. If she got fussy I could just come back. Sounds simple, right? But with two, by the time I’m out there they will probably be ready to eat again and I’ll have to repeat it all to come back in.
So here I am writing a blog post instead, worried that my babies aren’t stimulated enough and don’t get enough fresh air. In short feeling like a bad mother, which seems to happen often with twins, since you can’t be everything for both at once.
Here is what sounds absolutely dreamy right now: putting on some stretch pants and a tshirt and going running through the park! Free! Short of that, I’d like to just take this baby, already on me, and just go to the friggin’ grocery store! Just walk down the stairs and away! Gosh dang it I feel trapped! Don’t worry, though, I won’t just sit here feeling sorry for myself. After the next feeding I will suck it up and get all the gear organized to get out of the house. Sigh.
I’m taking this opportunity while my husband feeds the babies from a bottle in the other room to make this quick sketch of me holding both twins. I’m copying it from a photo D took earlier today.
This was sort of a milestone, so I’m happy to be able to record it in some way. Now that M and Bean’s necks are strong enough, it’s possible to pick them both up and comfort them together in my lap. What an improvement from the “pick one up, the other cries, put the first down, pick the other up and then the first cries again,” dance I’ve been doing up until now. In fact they were so comfortable they both fell asleep. The new problem is then I was stuck pinned to the couch under two sleeping babies. But in any case it was better than two crying babies!
Here’s one good way to relax I’m going to try to remember. This morning D watched the babies while I went to a yoga class in Sunset Park. At the beginning of the class, the teacher asked us to picture in our minds an image that was calming to us. At first my mind reeled through all sorts of places, The Anza Borrego Desert in southern California, where I spent quality time as a child, Limantour beach at Point Reyes National Seashore, California, my bed at home. But I couldn’t find calm or focus anywhere, no particular image.
Finally, at the very end of the yoga class, when we were just resting on our backs (I forget the name of that pose), I hit upon an image that really relaxed me. I imagined I was lying on a beach, at the place where the waves run up on the sand. It was warm, and each time a wave would flow up around me, I imagined the sand pulling up around my body, pulling me in, kind of like what happens to your feet when you stand in the waves, only my whole body. The yoga class was outside, so then I opened my eyes and I could see the high branches of the sycamores above, and the leaves, and I imagined the earth was hugging me.
One other pose I liked from the class. In tree pose, instead of just balancing on one leg with the other bent and our arms up stiffly, we waved our arms slowly, like there was wind in the branches. I think this was particularly nice being outside, with a real breeze, and real leaves floating down from the trees. What a relief this cool weather is!
This is Bean in our Fisher-Price swing. The swing is pretty much the best thing ever. It takes up about half the apartment, but I’m not complaining. I’m on a twins list serv where one person called this same swing “The Baby Whisperer.” I’d have to agree.
My babies are the cutest. I mean ever. In the world. All time. I know, you’re thinking this can’t possibly be the case, right? Maybe you’re right. I know this rationally. But look at them! Those melting dark blue eyes. The little lips turning down into a whimper. My heart is all wibbly wobbly.
I’ve never been that crazy about babies. I’m pretty sure I remember thinking puppies were cuter. When was that? I think they’ve corrupted my brain, somehow. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep.
Last night (4:30 am) my husband picked one up to burp. I smiled dumbly at her little face peeking over his shoulder. I’m a mess. I wonder if we will think they are this cute forever? They’ll be 50 years old and we’ll still be all smitten.
Gangs of New York
Another good article about twins, this one about twins in New York. Deals with the stress of a twin pregnancy, too. Poignant. I remember that time, waiting for the twins to come home from the NICU.
Funny twins piece. Will have to consider this piece of advice:
19. If one of your twins gets sick, infect the other one as soon as possible.The other baby is going to get sick, anyway. It is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, so try to manage it. Take the sick baby’s toothbrush, and brush your well baby’s entire face with it. The only thing worse to working parents than two sick babies at the same time is one sick baby who gets better right as the other baby gets sick, which means instead of taking off four days to care for your sick children, you have to take off 7 days.
My hair is coming out in big chunks. Apparently when you’re pregnant you stop shedding hair, and then after you give birth all the hair you didn’t lose when you were pregnant sheds together. This morning the shower drain was completely clogged. The babies seem always to have my hair wound around their fingers now.
I’m reminded for some reason of my family dog growing up, Sophie. She was a yellow german shepherd lab mix, and in the summer she would shed giant clumps of white hair. We would brush and brush and brush and it would just keep coming out, spreading across the yard like shearing sheep.
Durning pregnancy and now baby-rearing I haven’t been able to escape this feeling of being an animal. Breastfeeding, for one. There is something in particular about breastfeeding two babies at once that strikes a mammalian chord. Here’s my two little fuzzy-headed babies, busily suckling, my arms curled protectively around them. When my mother was here, watching me do this, she said, laughing, “You’re such an Earth Mother. I never would have thought that of you.” I’m not sure about Earth Mother, but there’s no escaping a feeling of kinship with the dogs and cats.
Pumping breast milk, on the other hand, as I’m sure I’m not the first to note, makes you feel like a cow on a factory farm. And another thing, when the babies smile, they wag their whole bodies like happy puppies. Who could resist nuzzling?