Now and then: A six week comparison of the two newborn experiences

Going out in public is a damn scene. I’m usually wearing the babies which causes people to notice that I’ve got twins. It’s way too convenient to give up, so that’s where it starts. If I’m far enough away from Justin and the big kids, I’ll politely show the babies’ heads, nod and smile when they say I’ve got my hands full, gratefully explain that we are thankful, then move on. However, the real comments start when everyone is near. Wait a minute, you have two sets of twins!?!? (Disclaimer: none of this bothers me, I realize it’s slightly out of the ordinary and I’m the type to comment on something like this, as well.)

The first question everyone asks is if it runs in the family. At this point, unless I’m feeling in a feisty mood, I just laugh and say “It does now.” The questions from there vary depending on who is the asker, but I gotta say, there are no limits to the things people will ask. I’m an open book, so the questions don’t bother me. The issue is that usually we’re pressed for time and someone is losing their mind while a well intentioned stranger is asking about our lives.

Anyway, that’s been the biggest difference this time; obvious but true. We’ve got two other kids. Experience in the newborn phase was huge. I knew what to expect and it didn’t seem nearly as bad. We didn’t have weight checks this time, so everything was a little less pressure, which then made everything a little more enjoyable.

So, it’s hard, there’s no sleep and someone always needs something (even more so now). Breastfeeding turned out to be as successful as last time, which is to say it wasn’t.

Bigger babies meant no weight checks, but I still ended up in the hospital with Landon when he was three weeks old. (Everything is okay, it was viral meningitis – not bacterial, so basically just a cold). The hospital time made my already difficult breast feeding journey next to impossible, but this time I accepted it and moved on. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sad that I couldn’t nurse my kids for 4 years, but I’m happy that’s currently my biggest issue. They’re fed and growing, so everything will be okay.

What we found was that expectations were at an all time low for how this newborn experience was going to be, so the experience has definitely surpassed it. It’s challenging and chaotic, but I can’t imagine it any other way…. Most days.

Some days are really hard. Being pulled as a mother of four, wife of one, friend of many, employee, etc., gets really hard. And a lot of times, I don’t feel like I’m doing well at any of it – certainly not all of it. I’m more grateful than could be imagined but it doesn’t make it easy. I try to remember the advice that I so easily give, but it’s hard. On days like that, I try taking pieces off the mountain as opposed to looking at how high the mountain is and how far I have to go. If it won’t matter in five years, when will it? One year, one month, one week…. Or not at all. Worry only matters if it changes action.

I got my first smile out of one of the new babes today and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to do this. It was just four years ago that I thought I may never experience the joy of babies and now I have the four sweetest little humans on the planet.

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