I hope you are all having a lovely week! Today marks 3 weeks with 3 kids. It still all feels so new, but also hard to remember what it was like before. Although that could be the sleep deprivation talking.
I feel like each week has been easier than the one before, with of course some really challenging random days thrown in across the weeks. Being a second or third time mum is definitely a different experience from being a new mum and mostly an easier experience!
Starting with twins was a huge learning curve! I constantly questioned my choices and instincts. It didn’t help having conflicting advice coming from several directions. Much of it was well meaning, but felt like criticism at times.
The twins were premie, born at 36 weeks, and they were very tiny. Actually 36 is quite good for twins, but definitely brought some big challenges with feeding, weight gain etc. Their sister was born smack bang on her due date and weighed close to the twins combined birth weight. It made a big difference and there is only one of her.
So this time around I am much more confident, relaxed and I am older. It has made it much easier to cope and adjust.
Also my expectations are/ were more realistic. I didn’t have any clue what to expect with the twins, I knew it would be hard but had no idea what “hard” would look and feel like. Or how long phases would last.
This time around I knew having a shower and getting more than a few hours sleep was a big achievement. I also knew that it would get easier and even if it felt like it wouldn’t, things have a way of changing and changing quickly. I also knew what to expect with breastfeeding, it took me 9 weeks to establish it with the twins. It took about 9 minutes to establish it this time round. Largely that has to do with having a full term baby vs a premie baby. However, I was confident when she started nursing that she was doing it correctly and everything was going well.
The first week was still quite challenging. I hadn’t anticipated having a c-section and I forgotten what the recovery entailed. The most challenging part was managing the twins and helping them feel okay about being big sisters. I knew that part would be hard, but I was really thinking that having a newborn would be the hardest part. Ironically she is really quiet and very easy going so far.
The girls were very upset the first week. I couldn’t pick them up, I still can’t. I can’t drive for 3 more weeks or push their stroller. So we are quite limited in what we can do. Getting out of the house was hard and if I didn’t get them out of the house fast enough they quickly had cabin fever and were literally bouncing off walls. Basically we had lots of tantrums, pushing boundaries and they fluctuated between being very excited to be big sisters and asking if the visiting midwife could take her back to the hospital. Luckily I had my family around, my Mum took off a few days from work and that made eating, laundry and just keeping things together manageable.
The second week I was pretty much on my own but the girls were more settled than previously. I felt a lot better and again it was still a challenge but manageable. I figured out how to juggle a shower each day, which is seriously a huge achievement with a newborn and it drives me crazy if I feel grubby!
We have sort of fallen into a routine, of getting up trying to get out of the house to one of the parks nearby. Having some down time at home after the park and lunch. And then playing in the yard or inside in the afternoon. The girls are bored of the park, but thank god we have 2 in close walking distance! They have learnt to swing properly and are playing more independently. I feel as though they are quite mad at me but in time they will adjust.
They girls have watched way more TV than I would ever like and their evening meals have been less than stellar. Chopping fresh veggies has been replaced with frozen. The house is not clean and there is laundry everywhere. I am often leaving the house covered in baby puke and not even aware of it. But I feel pretty good, I have had far fewer tears and much more sleep this time around. And I know things will get easier and change. I’m trying to soak in the newborn moments, which is hard when someone always needs attention. But overall life is good. I have three healthy beautiful kids!
I apologise that was a very long post. I have so many posts floating around in my head, it sort of just incoherently poured out. I also promise the blog will not entirely become about my kids, pregnancy, birth etc. However, obviously these things are dominating my life and I had so many questions when my twins were born. It was hard to get realistic picture, so I hope I can provide that for someone sometime who stumbles upon here.
How is life with you all? Have you settled into the season change? It has been so warm here for winter, I know that is going to change! Have you struggled with major life changes? How did you adjust your expectations? And mums out there how did you help your older kids adjust to being big siblings?