I heard a lot when I was carrying twins that we were in for twice the work - twice the diapers, twice the bottles, twice the baths...well, twice the everything. People would say, "It is like having one baby, but double the work." This seemed logical to me because I was carrying two children and that made perfect sense.
Then I gave birth to twins and brought them home from the hospital.
It was during those first three months that I decided that all of these people had no idea what they were talking about. All those people who appropriately spaced out their children so they were able to enjoy each of them individually. Yeah, those people, you know who you are...:)
I remember the first three months were filled with various emotions. I was thrilled that both Peanut & Jelly Bean were healthy and doing great. That was the blessing. I was thrilled because I was the mother of two beautiful little girls which was a huge surprise the day they were born. I was thrilled because my dream of being a mother had finally come true and that God blessed my prayers. No complaints from this twinmama, I am blessed! However, the first three months were also the roughest three months of my life. I was sleep deprived beyond imagine. I was overwhelmed beyond imagine. I was hormonal beyond imagine. I was confused...well, beyond imagine.
The work involved with caring for twin infants is well beyond double the work. Yes, there are double the diapers, bottles and clothing, but it is more than that. No one speaks about the "third" child known as "inconvenience, logistical nightmare and do-overs". Let me explain...
I remember watching my friends who could easily transport their sweet little mobile baby wherever they went. Want to go to the store? No problem! Grab the baby and pack the diaper bag and off you go! Want ME, a mother of twins, to go to the store? Okay, let me grab both babies, hold on, they are getting heavy in their car seats and the diaper bag is crammed full, you know, at least 2 sets of clothes, diapers, 2 sippy cups...wait a minute, I can't carry both car seats and the diaper bag to the car, so I need to take each one to the door and then come back and oh no, Peanut just spit up on her outfit...wait a minute, let me change her, but wait Jelly Bean is already in the car. So I go back and get Jelly Bean because I am paranoid and don't want her alone for more than a minute and then I finally change Peanut and go to put her in the car, but wait! Jelly Bean just pooped in her diaper. Crap. Yeah, that's what's in there alright. Go back for Peanut to bring her back in the house. Change Jelly Bean. I am really tired now. You know, sleep deprivation, right? FORGET IT!! I will just call twindada and have him pick up a pizza for dinner...
It's is more than double the work. It takes some time to figure out how to manage all of the demands, the logistics and emotions that make up the twin life. Each new stage presents new challenges, but it is also amazing how twin parents (and other multiple parents) are able to overcome each hurdle. I figured out how to plan my time better. I learned to not sweat the spit ups and unexpected diaper changes. I learned to recognize that this is hard work and that it is okay to ask for help. I learned that "this too shall pass" and once it is over, I will miss it. And even as hard as those first three months were, I would love to hold my 4 lb twin preemies one more time.