Longtime reader, Laura Case, has twin boys who are five. She is on the other side of new parenthood and when you see her amazing (she’s a professional!) photographs of her sons, Nate and Alex, you can see that it MUST get easier, or at least a lot more fun! We are so grateful to her for sharing her story.
Let me be honest – when my husband Jon and I had twins, we got our butts kicked. I had NO IDEA how many different ways our butts would be kicked. First there were all the inhumanities of a twin pregnancy, as well as the difficulty of carrying 12lbs 4oz of babies around. I experienced the unique joy of 15 weeks of modified activity and/or bed rest, and Jon didn’t get off easy since he was my personal servant.
Then there was our one week NICU stay, which sucks no matter how long you are there. Those first three months home were a complete blur of feeding babies, changing babies, pumping, and very little sleep. And the crying, THE CRYING! The biggest secret of twin moms is ALL THE CRYING.
Jon and I both telecommute so when my maternity leave was over, we chose to put our boys in day care. While a great choice for our family, the boys were SO SICK all the time for the first two years. Add in Alex’s torticollis (due to twin pregnancy) – months of physical therapy and his resulting plagiocephaly ended in a helmet. Add in Nate’s reflux (due to prematurity) – endless vomiting, endless ear infections, and finally ear tubes. And did you know sick babies don’t really like sleeping?
My million dollar question through all of this was – when does it get easier? When do Jon and I get some of our life back? Newborn twins = FREAKING HARD. Twin toddlers = double dose of CRAZY. Potty training two boys at the same time = we deserve a freaking award (and new carpet) like you wouldn’t believe.
Then something really amazing started to happen when our boys turned 4. In addition to being able to walk, talk, feed themselves, sleep all night, and wipe their own butts, they started to play together. TRULY play together for long periods of time. Suddenly I could read a book for an hour while the boys were awake. At first we didn’t know what to do with ourselves but quickly we started doing more things for ourselves.
Now we sit back and watch our friends have new babies. They have sleepless nights. They learn how to juggle two mobile children. They have to referee. Meanwhile, we’re done with our kid transitions and we have reached what I believe is the Golden Age for twins. In just the past few months I almost hit my personal record for a half marathon, Jon was gone overseas for two weeks and I didn’t call for ANY backup, and I’m in the process of launching a photography business… yet I still spend a lot of quality time with my boys. I finally feel like the mom I was meant to be. I finally feel like I can breathe again.
As hard as those first few years were, I would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat. Without all of those difficult years, I wouldn’t appreciate how much easier it is now. As for our marriage, after going through a twin pregnancy and the twin parent rookie years, I feel like there is little life can throw at me and Jon that we can’t tackle together. And seeing our twins’ relationship blossom over time has been one of the most special experiences of our life together.