Monday, September 29, 2008

coping and twin access

Deeeeeeep breath. We're on day 3 of our first colds. It's a minor one, but as with everything with twins, it's proving to be more work, more intense, than I could have imagined. The boys are upset by their inability to breathe (who wouldn't be?), and need to be held and snuggled... which isn't easy for one person to do, particularly when that one person also feels like crap. Fortunately, Laurie's here today, so she's cuddling Max now as I nurse Shoghi.

When I'm alone, there are times I just need to stand back and take a deep breath, especially when they are both screaming at the same time. It's just not safe to pick them both up, and how do I choose one over the other? I just lean in really close and talk to them until I've got my wits about me and can figure out how to help them. Here's a video of both boys crying - I know it might seem cruel to capture this, but hey, it's a big part of parenting babies, and even more so, parenting twins. You've got to have a strong stomach for tears, I tell you. I'm wide open for suggestions & tips, so feel free to leave some in the comments!!

Here are some of the things that are becoming my top coping mechanisms:
  1. tandem nursing. i've done it 3 times now by myself... hopefully this will become the standard for feedings, but that's a ways off still.
  2. perfect for night time feedings, when i need something to keep me awake and i'm between netflicks disks. i've been watching bones. thanks to ben for the recommendation!
  3. the boys love music, and this cool site hits the spot for them and me. Laurie swears that Max is a sucker for a little James Taylor. iTunes' new genius feature works similarly and is brilliant.
  4. brownie and a glass of milk. need i say more? sometimes comfort food is the only remedy
Admittedly, "coping" implies hard times... and yes, caring for these boys is hard - harder than I imagined, and I have years and years of childcare experience. Having cared for only Max while Shoghi was in the hospital, I can say definitively that taking care of one baby is many times easier than caring for two. At the same time, though, I have to remind myself that I am living my dream right now - in many ways it's better than I ever imagined.

We all marvel over just how different the boys are, and how much fun it is to be able to discover each of them. I am so enjoying this fleeting time when they are still so tiny - even though Max is over 8 pounds now, he and Shoghi are still just wee little peanuts, so fragile, so physically moldable... they just melt their little bodies into balls of baby and it's pure delight. I have to remind myself that just a few weeks ago, when Max was hitting 6 pounds like Shoghi is now, we all thought he was so big... when in fact, he was (and is) still so tiny. I want to be really present to both of them, because even for their obvious differences, they are still absolutely tiny, perfect babies... and changing before my very eyes.

They're starting to really respond to me, which is so special. They seek me out with their eyes when they hear my voice; they seem to hold me, somehow, when I pick them up. They curl into my arms when we nap together, and calm down when I try to talk them down from their sometimes desperate crying... even if it's only temporary, it makes me feel like they really do know I'm here for them, striving with everything I have to make their experience of this physical life easier in any way I can. They obviously love nursing. It's an organic experience of love and dependency like I've never had before, and it's so much more than I could have imagined.

So, even while the hardship of this time is prominent and probably comes out more in my recording of this experience, the foundation for it all is blissful and wonderous.


A little shout out to my uncles - Hi Donald & Paul!! There are new pictures in my photostream on flickr - I often upload new ones without blogging them, so you can check there if you're looking for your twin fix! there's a link to flickr on the right sidebar in this blog, or you can bookmark it here. I do post family/friends only pics too, so you'll need to create an account and add me as a contact if you want to see those. I also upload some videos to youtube that I don't blog, like the next one of Max, yawning in the sun. You can find my videos here. :o)


  1. what a fabulous and gripping window into the tremendous luminous JOYS of your new life as well as the challenges! i certainly have never been so enthralled by a story of motherhood as i am by your dear c. thanks for finding the time to share it all with us.

  2. my almost 4 year old tried stroking the computer screen to comfort them!!!!!!!

    hopefully this means i'll have a little bit of help from time to time!?!

    you're doing a fab job


  3. Hey Celeste!

    Just saw your comment in my blog, and I don't have your email addy to send you my home address. Email me at tvo1991atcharterdotnet. :)

    I DID have the post-c edema. That's why I couldn't get my tennies on. And I had the pregnancy edema before that (though I was surprised that my feet and ankles got WORSE after delivering) so couldn't wear them during pregnancy either. Not that I could have tied them had I wanted to! :)

    I hear you on the double screaming. It's painful. But it gets easier every day as we figure each other all out. Poor Evan, he's so easy going that he often gets neglected because his sister is being so high maintenance. When she's calm, he gets extra hugs and kisses as mommy tries to make it up to him. :)

  4. I found that there was a lot of comfort crying going on. If i could figure out who "started it" and get them calmed down then the other two would settle more easily than if I tried to comort the others first.

    Also, Fussy Baby Rule Number One. Never forget it. First thing you do with a fussy baby is check the diaper. You can try everything else and then go "duh" as you realize the diaper is wet even though you just changed it.

    Now I have to show the videos to B again. She keeps telling me about "Ogee" crying. IO'm going to have a bruise on my chest where she keeps smacking me to get my attention. LOL

  5. I wanted to add: you do realise that your videos are going to get high hits from mothers preparing their offspring for upcoming twin sibling arrivals ,))

    i think we watched about 5 times. LOL. then went on to the happy ones - to which all four of my children are cooing and ooing and ahhing .D

    let's hope they feel the same way with their twin sibs in the flesh!!!


  6. Hey celeste amazing woman! here is the link I told you of!

    Peace and love to you and your clan!
    2:30pm 4 October

  7. Hey Celeste, I know you're awfully busy right now, but I gave you an award over on my blog.