Don’t Say It’ll Get Easier…
Reflecting back on the craziness that was the newborn stage, there was a common theme of reassurance that was kindly given for life with baby twins:
‘Don’t worry, it will get easier after 3 months…’
Ah. Ok. What’s three months of sleep deprivation, demand feeding and uncontrollable synchronized crying? I can do this. I’ll just rub coffee into my gums, fuel up on Haribos and treat myself to the odd occasion of fizz to get by. Let the newborn duration begin.
Now, let me tell you, twin mama or no twin mama, having a brand spanking new baby thrusted into your calm and organised life is quite the challenge. In fact, it’s quite a trauma. Long gone are the sleep-ins until 10am and partying until the early hours of the morning. Hello to endless crying (that you have no idea how to remedy), constant round-the-clock feeding (if you haven’t already, sign up for Netflix as you’re going to need something to save your sanity at 3am) and literally so little sleep you end up putting the milk carton into the oven and the kitchen rolls in the freezer. And what I don’t think I can get across through these little words on the screen is the feeling of relentlessness throughout this time. Once the adrenaline disappears and your hormones drop, it’s just you, your babies and survival.
It. Is. Tough.
But, in the midst of delirious deja vu (feed feed, change change, cuddle cuddle, sleep sleep…#twinlife) I soldiered on. Only a couple more months and then it’ll be over. I’ll find it easier after three months. Everyone said so. And they’re mamas themselves so it must be true. Right?
Well actually..not quite.
It was the 26th of December, the day before the twins were due to turn 12 weeks. The end was in sight. It was so close I could almost taste the ‘more than two and a half hours of sleep at a time’ and the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed by the never ending laundry pile and smelly nappy changes. Beatrice unfortunately had to spend Christmas night in hospital. Then of course, Francis got it a few days later and also had a trip to A&E. So inevitably this was going to impact on this ‘3 month miracle’ where life became a doddle. So, I must say I wasn’t totally surprised when 12 weeks arrived life was…exactly the same. 3 hourly feeds around the clock, still anxious about going out on my own with two tiny babies, exhausted beyond belief. So I thought, ok…perhaps let’s give it until they are actually 3 months, rather than going by weeks.
So, I went to bed on the 3rd January, more excited than if it was Christmas Eve, waiting for this newborn haze that I was surviving in to disappear. I couldn’t wait to have more sleep, feel like I had more of an idea about what I was doing and just all-round getting my life back on track.
But guess what? That wish was still a pipe dream.
Now that I am on the other side of the ‘survival phase’, I have come to realise a few things. Firstly, everyone’s perception of ‘it will get easier’ is different. What is ‘it’ that you expect to get easier? Is it your confidence in taking your babies out? Stretching the night feeds so that you only have to get up once, rather than 5 time in the night? Being able to shower before 3pm? It would be completely unrealistic to expect all of these things to fix themselves after this ‘miracle three months’. Managing your expectations will help.
The second thing I have realised is the time frame. The echo of 3 months…3 months…as if you’re running a marathon and once you get to month 3 you pass the finish line…is also, not realistic. My naivety got the better of me and I honestly thought that life would (almost…) get back to how it was pre-babies after those gruelling 12 weeks. Babies are so different, how could we expect them all to suddenly fall into this perfect box after a particular amount of time? Some babies sleep through the night very early on, others take months…even years (sorry mamas…) but all find their way in their own time.
The third thing to remember is that our babies are not robots. Day-to-day, week-to-week will be different depending on a million and one things: they’re teething… it’s too hot… they’re overtired… it’s too cold… they’re going through a growth spurt… it’s trapped wind… etc etc etc. If you’ve followed us for a while on our Foxfairy Twins Instagram page you might remember a few months ago Pete and I were going to celebrate our 14 year anniversary with a lavish home-cooked meal once the babies had gone to bed. It should have been so easy. Put babies to bed at 6.30pm, babies go to sleep, we have our evening to enjoy each other’s company. Oh how naïve we were. We had the most horrific evening with them. Constant crying from 6pm all the way to near 11pm. Needless to say, the steak was cold, the fizz was flat and we were exhausted. Of course the next night we were back to normal and they went to sleep almost straight away. Little babies will be so unpredictable. Remember that they are little humans too.
I can say, now we are at ten months, we are finally feeling like we kind of have it together…! I’d say a lot of that comes down to time and practise. If you take anything away from this post, please remember: your baby is one in a gazillion, there’s not anything as precious as they are, you are doing the best job you can and your baby will always love you. Everyone’s experience of being a parent is different, so please do not compare. Whether it takes 3 months or 3 years for motherhood to feel a little easier, this is your unique journey. Enjoy the fabulous times, ask for help when needed and remember, we’re all in this together.
Love, The Foxfairies x