It is 4:46, p.m.
I just put the first piece of food into my mouth that I have had all day.
My hair is filthy, my pants are still somehow too tight, despite all the eating or sitting still I do not do, and my ears are ringing from the screaming. My mascara (I put on while I was at a red light) is streamed down my face, there are more dishes in the sink than in the cabinets, there is puke all over my pants and my house has a faint lingering constant scent of poop.
I have stopped typing this 12 time already to attend to a scream, a fallen binky, a spit up covered chin or administer another burp.
So, I know I haven't updated this blog in a little over 8 weeks, but my hands have been a little full. On May 8th, my pregnancy journey ended. At 8:42 and 8:43 a.m. Maddox James and Logan Thomas entered the world as we know it (respectively). They came in weighing well over 4 pounds each and screaming (some things haven't changed). They spent a short 18 days in the NICU at Albany Med and came home, together, on Memorial Day. Considering the circumstances, we could not have asked for a better turn out. Really we are so lucky and blessed. This blessing has had me rather occupied though.
For example - today.
Today I decided was a good day to try to help their Dad and go to Lowes to get all the items I know he needs to complete our house projects.
Planning ahead, and having learned from the past, I called in their Grandmama for back up. I asked her to meet me at Lowes because it is impossible to push a double stroller and shop. For anything. Ever. And I have learned the horror of one baby becoming upset in a retail setting, and it wasn't pretty.
I should've called the whole thing (as if going to Lowes should be considered some massive undertaking) off after the first feeding of the day. I say this because the first feeding went surprisingly well. I managed to keep one child at bay while feeding the other and then switched and got through it all without as much as a scratch! This does not pose well for the rest of the day. Mornings are typically the hardest... what did this day have in store with that in mind?
Instead, I went about my morning, singing and thinking we have turned a corner and things were in fact, getting easier! I dressed and redressed my two beautiful, marvelous, (albeit spitting up everywhere) children. Somehow the hours passed faster than I expected and it was time to feed them again. Looking back, the time flew by because it was spent tending to the screaming animals that hours earlier were sweet angels. I fed them lunch and prepared for our trip to Lowes, assuming the car ride would do us all good. We made it to Lowes in one piece, found Grandmama and began knocking off items on the list.
This is where it got good. And by good, I mean fully entertaining for any twin parent who has been through it to stand back and watch. And by good I also mean a wonderful lesson in birth control for our teen youth.
We had spitting up, in amounts that could fill buckets. We had pooping through clothing. We had tears. We had screams. We had complete and utter heart break (mine). We had shoes flying off and mittens disappearing. We had adult sized man farts. We had people stopping to ask "are they twins?" for the millionth time. We had gurgles and whimpers and cries. And all of this times two! (Lucky for me I had Grandmama back up. THANK GOD)
We made it through, not completely unscathed, but we made it. Loaded everything, including two animals that resembled my adorable children, into my car. As my mom kissed me goodbye and made me promise to call if I needed further help that afternoon, I saw the pity in her eyes. A feeling I now know only a mother knows. She can't fix it for me as I can't fix it for my boys. We just have to live through it.
As I drive I am hoping the boys will fall asleep. I'm starving, exhausted and in need of cleaning my house that awaits but I am willing to drive for the next 15 hours if it means they will sleep and be happy again.
They do sleep.
For 8 minutes.
In the 8th minute I look into the mirror to see Logan wide awake and spitting up, again (really though?! What is possibly left in this kids stomach!?!?!) and I steer towards home.
I unload the babies and place them, with binkies, in to their crib while I make the bottles. Bottle making is done to the tune of their screams. I return to them and from their crib side, choose the child that looks the most inconsolable. This is harder than picking a winning horse at the race track. And a 100% jinx, as it ensures you that the other child will scream for the next 35 minutes until you feed him. Indeed this event went just as so.
I chose Maddox to eat first. Logan took his binky and quietly binked away during my choosing. I dragged a dining room chair into the nursery and sat next to the crib and silenced feeder #1 with his bottle. I was able to reach over and replace feeder #2’s binky as needed. This worked for about 3/4 of the bottle. Then the screaming began. A scream like no other. And no binky could fix it. I did all I could. All that was with in my power. I took Maddox out to the couch, continued to feed him, and cried. I cried through my prayers of "please make Logan stop crying that heart breaking cry". I cried through my out loud wonders of what lesson I am supposed to be learning. I cried tears of complete and utter heart break at the sound of something I cannot fix. I cried tears of complete exhaustion. I just cried.
Maddox finished eating, and Logan did stop crying (thank you for small miracles!) before he started crying again. But I was now able to feed him while Maddox digested and this is always the easy part. One is fed and one is eating, all is well. Up until today anyway. Today Maddox screamed through Logan's entire bottle.
As I sat on the floor next to Maddox's seat, feeding Logan, I laughed at every scream he made, stopped and replaced his binky every time he spit it out (prompting his screams) and I just laughed. Not because I was finally completely insane (questionable), not because I was delirious, but because it was downright funny. These kids are a freaking riot.
Today, amidst the madness that is Twin Momhood, I stopped and realized these things:
I am starving. And I am lucky to be because that means I know what it is like to have food.
My kids had a major meltdown in the middle of a store. For this I am thankful because it means we got out of the house, and we arrived at the store in a car, which means we have our own transportation.
My kid pooped through his clothes. I am thankful for this because he has clothes to poop through! And his digestive system is working!
My kids screamed for what now feels like 17 straight hours. They have working vocal cords, for this I am thankful. And it also makes me appreciate the calmness when it does finally come.
I came home to a disaster of a house. I am thankful we have a house. A home I should say. Anyone can have a house, we have a home.
I had the help of my mom to get me through this particular Lowes disaster. I am thankful for not only her selfless help for me, but her love for my children and the memories we created today.
The boy’s dad was at work for this entire day of craziness, as he often is, perhaps more often than I care for. I am lucky this is the case because it means he has a job. It means when he is home I see what it is like to have a partner in this. That we get to share these crazy moments and we value them more because they are rarely spent together.
For every minute I am awake in the middle of the night, followed but the entire day of light, I am grateful. I am grateful because these days truly go so fast. Faster than I could have imagined they ever would. And although it feels like the past 8 weeks have been one very, very long day, I know the day will come when the midnight feedings, crying for binkies, impossibility of dual feeding and poopy diapers are gone and I will be thankful to have ever had them.
Today was just another day on the list of long, exhausting, stressful days with two newborns. For this I am thankful in ways words cannot describe. Every moment that I am sure I just can't make it through, that I just can't do this, that God chose wrong in making me a twin mom, is erased when I look at these boys and see them smile. To know they are in good health, and safe and happy. To know they rest well, and have nourishment, and arms to snuggle into when they are scared or sad. To have them surrounded by so much love - from those who have met them and who have not yet. To see how much they are teaching me in such a short amount of time, in ways I never could have planned for.
And for this, I am forever thankful.