Early days with Twins {the 4th trimester} {Part 2}

Read Part 1 here.

So let’s catch up and go back to April 2015 where our new little family has just been discharged from hospital – eeek!

Ok, so long story short the routine we had going in hospital pretty much went to pot as soon as we stepped through our front door.  Doh!
The babies would still feed roughly every 3 hours most the day and nap in between but then any time after 4pm they would become really unsettled, cry {and cry, and cry}, then fed every 1-2 hours until morning.  We ended up co-sleeping with the babies on our bed – something we felt very anxious about, even after talking through with my midwife about how to make it safer.  To this day Mr H will still wake up in the night in a panic and check if there’s a baby on the bed we’ve forgotten about!  At first I tried to stay awake all night watching back to back episodes of Family Guy then try to catch an hour or so of sleep here and there during the day between feeds.  But then sheer exhaustion caught up with me.  We ended up co-sleeping until we managed to get them to settle for at least part of the night in their moses baskets when they were about 5 weeks old. 

In the morning it was an achievement just to get out of bed.  It felt like I was constantly covered in babies in a cycle of feeding, changing and cat napping.  Mr H would bring up a breakfast tray and I’d make sure I got showered and dressed {which by the way I can now do in like 10 mins} every morning whilst he took over baby duty.  We would then all eventually migrate downstairs with the babies in their moses baskets.  During the day we’d get back into our 3 hourly feed routine {still breast feeding then topping up with a cup of expressed milk at this point} and at night I’d breast feed on demand.  If they woke up I fed them.  The don’t call it a milk coma for nothing!  I kept a record of feeds in a notebook and fed them on average 12 times a day.  Each! 

Being a new mum is hands down the most amazing but hardest thing I have ever experienced.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was Tired {exhausted} and at times it felt like all they would do is cry and I found that pretty soul destroying.  I didn’t know why they were crying.  I was waiting for my mummy instincts to kick in but no, nadda, nothing.   I was stressed and anxious.  My friends and family would offer to take the babies out for a walk so I could rest but I was too anxious to let them out of my sight and I’d literally hear them crying up the road and feel sick to my stomach. 

Mr H went back to work when the boys were 3 weeks old and my anxiety levels peaked.  I was home alone with the babies for the first time from anytime between 6 and 9am until ~11pm.  I’d be on the sofa with them asleep on me and I’d just sit there for hours.  I was constantly on google or messaging other new mummy friends for advice and comfort {oh hey Rose and my twin mummy pals!} .  Looking back now I’d like to think I’d be able to read their signs a bit better but at the time I didn’t have a clue.  It became a very lonely place to be. 

Luckily I have a very loving network of friends and family.  My mum {aka super mum!} took charge and made sure someone was with me to help out, hold a baby or just be there for at least part of the day every day whilst Mr H was working.  I would still get very anxious and upset but knowing someone would be with me at some point during the day helped more than anyone could ever know.  This is something I will be eternally grateful for!  I had some really dark days and you may be thinking – classic case of post-natal depression – which it may well have been.  Or it may have just been the fact that being a new mummy was bloomin hard!!  The fact that I found it so hard was a complete shock and in a way that was the most upsetting thing.  Looking back at photos I look like I’m on a totally different planet!  I loved these two little beings more than words can express but they were still also so alien to me.  Becoming a parent is life changing.  It’s 24/7.  It’s not all doom and gloom obviously but I have no shame in being honest about how hard I found those early weeks and months. 

As the weeks went on things slowly improved and my confidence grew.  12 weeks was a real turning point for us.  We’d still have really tough days and I still suffered from almost crippling anxiety but we were now getting into our groove and starting to get to know each other.  The mummy instincts finally started to make an appearance {it was about time!} and I was enjoying my babies.  People often ask me how do you do it?  But the reality is that, as with a lot of things, it’s hard but you just have to get on with it as best you can.  Even now when the boys are 14 months I get anxious but the good definitely out ways the bad and we’re lucky to have two pretty awesome little dudes.

One of the main things that really helped me was routine.  There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to this matter and everyone has their own opinions but for me it gave me the structure and stability I needed so very badly and I think it has made my babies happier and more settled.

Other things which helped was the realisation that our babies suffered from reflux and establishing a good nap and bedtime routine.

Top tips for new mummies:

–          Try to get washed and dressed every day.  You will feel so much better for it!
–      Ask for and listen to advice but then make up your own mind –  ultimately you know what’s best for you and your babies
–          Get out of the house every day before you go insane!  Even if it’s a 10 minute stroll around the block in your pjs!
–         Accept help and lower your housework standards.  You may be super mum but trying to do everything including keeping the house up to pre-baby standards is likely to be a losing battle without a little help. I think that our home is now much more homely and welcoming since the babies arrived.
–         Befriend other new mummy friends.  I was lucky that I was pregnant at the same time as one of my closest friends {hey sweetcorn} and we ended up having our babies a day apart.  3am messages were pretty much the norm!  I also joined a twins club and this was one of the best things I’ve done simply because, as you can imagine, having multiples brings its own set of challenges and I found it really helpful and reassuring having a network other twin mums to talk to J
–          I googled pretty much everything early on.  Sometimes it was helpful but probably more often than not it wasn’t. 
–          On that note – don’t be afraid of calling your midwife/health visitor/doctor for advice! 
–         Make sure you have your essentials close at hand.  Being stuck on the sofa covered in sleeping babies with the tv remote just out of reach and knowing there is a giant bar of galaxy sat on the kitchen work surface is not fun.
 –    Remember to look after yourself!  Eat, drink, sleep.  Sounds basic but you’d be surprised how quickly they go out the window with a newborn in the house!  Accept all offers of food and stock up on microwave meals.  You can worry about losing the baby weight later!
–         Everything is for a time and a season.  Babies change so quickly and the round the clock feeds, the sleepless nights and all that comes with it won’t last forever.  The challenges that come with parenthood may change but ultimately what you’re struggling with right now you’ll probably have forgotten about in a few months!

 Top buy:

–          Buggy.   Your buggy will become your new best friend so it’s important to buy the right one for you. The research is worth it!
We bought an iCandy pear from friends of ours who also have twin boys which was ideal!  This was a ‘front and back’ buggy {as opposed to a side by side} which came with two flat pram inserts and two seat inserts plus had adaptors to fit two maxi-cosi car seats and make a travel system.  The base folded down small enough to fit in my tiny boot.  The large basket was really and inflated tyres meant we could pretty much take it anywhere.

We used this buggy for a good year before deciding to buy a side by side Joie Twin Aire as the twins had outgrown their car seats making the travel system redundant and I wanted something lighter and thought the boys would enjoy being side by side more now that they were older.  And I love it!

Published by Ellie Hully

Business Health & Home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: