We’ve always known we wanted to have more than 1 kid. When we started discussing the When of growing our family, I was appropriately terrified. The thought of repeating the first year of a new baby’s life with a toddler in tow made me nervous. It was hard enough the first time around! Do I really want to do it again? With a toddler around?
Knowing we eventually wanted another kiddo, we determined we had no good reason to wait any longer. And lo and behold, I found out I was pregnant on New Year’s Eve, 2017. What a way to ring in a new year! In February, we went for our first doctor’s appointment. At that appointment, the doctor said, “This looks like a healthy twin pregnancy!” and our entire world shifted.
To think I was nervous about adding one baby to our family? How in the world were we going to add TWO? Would we have to move? Buy a new car? Abandon all hope of a life for the foreseeable future?
I heard once (I think on coffee and crumbs) that your hardest transition as a mom is the one you make with your hardest baby. Was your first baby colicky and crying for months on end? Hardest transition. Did you third baby refuse to sleep through the night until she was 18 months old? Hardest transition. Was kiddo number 2 a velcro baby, uninterested in being held by anyone besides his beloved mama? Hardest transition. Did your 4th baby have medical issues that made you feel like you lived your life in and out of doctors’ offices? Hardest transition. In other words, it’s less about birth order and more about the individual baby and the things that make him or her more challenging than your other babies.
Julia’s first few months weren’t easy. She didn’t take a bottle or a pacifier. She wanted to nurse roughly every 2 hours for much longer than the internet said she would need to. She was decidedly a mama’s girl, and for her first several months of life, she viewed everyone else with a fair amount of suspicion.
On top of her being a needy baby, I was deciding whether or not I wanted to quit my job, we were trying to buy a house, and even though I wasn’t teaching, I was trying to keep a music studio afloat. End result: I decided to quit the job, but worked for 2 more weeks to wrap up my projects–clingy baby in tow. We ended up being able to buy the house after 3 months of uncertainty, and moved when Julia was 4 months old. I started teaching again around the same time we moved, and our dear parents put up with a crying baby for a few hours a week for weeks on end, while I drove as fast as I could to and from the studio, away from and back to my often distraught baby.
All of that combined: she was, hands down, my hardest transition.
Comparatively, tripling the number of our children hasn’t been too bad. We’ve had our rough nights and our fussy evenings and our tears and our bumps in the road as we try to find a new normal for our family. But compared to all of the challenges of Julia’s first year? I’ll take it.
In part, I think I’m smarter this time around. I know what to expect, and I’m giving these babies much more of a daily routine than I gave Julia. But more than that, we just lucked out with two really good babies. They are content to be left with other people. They sleep well-ish. They have a relatively predictable schedule during the day. They’ll happily play on the floor or in a bouncer or on your lap. Julia is a champ of a big sister–she genuinely loves our babies. And our family and friends and community have been so supportive–they’ve brought meals, given gifts, and watched our kids so we can have some time to ourselves.
Is having twins easy? No. No, it isn’t. Was I afraid having twins would be much harder than it has turned out to be? Yep. I have nothing but gratitude for the way these last few months of adjustment have been, friends. Nothing but gratitude.