Parenting a Baby after Twins

Posted on
Categories Family, Parenting, SingletonsTags , , , , , 4 Comments

My husband and I had twins first.  And while we have generally thought of the many benefits of having twins first, there are definitely some disadvantages.  And those disadvantages are ever more clear as we have welcomed a new, singleton, baby into our home.

This past weekend, I ran (okay, jogged) a 5k race, my very first race.  And it was at two months postpartum.  I looked at an old blog post I had written when my twin daughters were two months old, and there is no way I was going to be running for over three miles at that point in my new motherhood career.  And reading that post made me realize just how different my postpartum experiences have been.

With the girls, I was recovering from major surgery for six + weeks.  I was also thrown into motherhood head-first.  I didn’t know how to breastfeed.  I didn’t know how to change diapers well, or how to properly treat stains, or what things you really needed, and a host of other tricks of the “trade” that you learn as you mother for a while.

But, the big difference, is that with the girls, for the first several weeks, I didn’t enjoy motherhood.  I loved my girls, but I didn’t necessarily always feel it, not when I felt more like a milk cow than a mother, not when I was so dog tired, not when my kids didn’t smile or laugh yet.  It was a big adjustment to say the least.

On top of all the new motherhood things I had to learn and doubly, I was also going through other big transitions, like going from a full-time student, literally the day before giving birth, to being a stay-at-home mom.  And then moving across the country, from Utah to Indiana, when my twins were only six weeks old.  And then not knowing anyone other my in-laws who we were living with there.  It was a crazy time.  The first year with twins is a general blur when I try to look back at that time.  I really was in survival mode.

So, now that I have a newborn singleton, and am no longer a first-time mother, things are much different at two months out.  First, I didn’t have a repeat C-section and I felt better physically so much faster after giving birth.  And I loved being a mother immediately to my son.  He’s just as cute and precious as my girls were, but I think having just one baby to give my undivided attention to has made my love more ready to feel and give.  He has made me extremely happy already!

And having him has made me feel so extremely blessed for the family I have.   I appreciate and love my twins and my husband more.  I am a lucky woman!

Shortly after I had my twins, my sister-in-law who also has a set of twins, told me that she hoped that someday I would be able to have a single child because it’s so nice to just dote on one child.

And I’m glad that I have. Twins are a unique blessing and I absolutely love having them, but a single baby after twins has been a special treat for so many other reasons.

If you had twins first, did you enjoy having a single baby afterwards?  And if you had twins after single babies, was it much harder than the single ones?

ldskatelyn is a loving wife and mother.  She has fraternal twin girl three-year olds, and a two-month-old baby boy.  She is glad she and her husband made the decision to add the newest addition, as she enjoys the new dynamic in her home.  Follow her at her blog – What’s up Fagans? 

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Pride and Joy

Posted on
Categories Balance, Congenital Anomaly, Difference, Fraternal, Medical, Perspective, Special NeedsTags , , , 6 Comments

This is not the introductory post I had planned on writing. Then again, very few things in the past 15 months have gone according to plan, so, here we are.

We are attempting to reduce the number of bottles Mr. D drinks. He day-weaned months and months ago, lacking the patience to sit still at my breast. But he will carry a bottle with him all day, taking sips here and there, if we let him. Dire warnings of ruined mouth and teeth from our pediatrician have us taking action: he only gets bottles at naps and bedtime (and in cases of emergency).

“Ba-ba?” he asks.

“No, sweetheart, you only get bottles when you go night-night. Would you like a cup of water?”

“Ba-ba!”

“Only at night time.”

“Nigh-nigh!” He takes off, down the hall, towards our room. (Our as in mine and his father’s…but yes, we co-sleep, like the push-over, sleep-deprived parents we are.)

“Mister, it’s only 5:30, there’s no way you’re tired. Why don’t you come play with your house?”

“Nigh-nigh!!”

I follow him. He is climbing onto the bed. He lays down, rolls around, puts his bum in the air, then raises his head, looks at me, and triumphantly declares:

“Nigh-nigh!” (Long pause…) “Ba-ba?”

I scoop my deceitful, manipulative little man up into my arms. Trying to pull one over on me, at such a tender age (and with such a limited vocabulary)! How could this little creature, who didn’t even exist two years ago, have so much knowledge of the world?

And I think: could ever a mother be more proud of her son?

I attempt to relay this little story to my husband, by text-message. Phone reception in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the children’s hospital is terrible, pretty much non-existent. But this is far from our first PICU stay, and we have learned that iPhones can somehow get text messages (even from non-smart-phones!) over the internet, and there is wireless access through-out the hospital. My husband is there with Mr. A, though he and I will soon be trading places.

A simple cold left both boys with runny noses, and then Mr. D got better and Mr. A did not. Our pediatrician suspected a sinus infection (not his first), but when the ten-day course of antibiotics was done, he was worse. The pediatrician-on-call for the day (because of course it was Saturday), suspected his recently repaired palate was infected. I filled another prescription, gave him the first dose, and put him down for his nap. He woke up, vomited blood. I pulled his remaining stomach contains back into a syringe via his G-tube: they were bloody. I put them in a small Tupperware container, changed his diaper (poop looked weird, so I bagged that, too), and took him (and his ‘samples’) to the ER, leaving Mr. D with my mother.

I watched them working on my son (it never gets any easier). They wanted to intubate him; I was able to buy a reprieve and repeat blood-gas, which showed that to be unnecessary. I spouted off his medical history better than I ever could my own: dates of hospitalizations, surgeries, tube placements; pertinent findings from swallow studies, sleep studies, upper- and lower-GI studies, MRIs, echoes, everything. And the underlying root of it all: a deletion on the long arm of Chromosome 2.

“Which specific deletion?” asked the attending, and I told her. She nodded sagely, losing my respect. She’d never heard of his deletion, I knew. Which is fine, but be honest with me, as my son’s life is in your hands. She would leave the room and attempt to Google Mr. A’s syndrome, and not find out much. Fewer than 25 cases of similar (and no exact) deletions are known to exist. And, to be perfectly frank, there seems to be not much to say about it except: “This is not good, and will cause lifelong problems. Here is a list of some but not all, of which he may have many.”

We were told awful things: lists of he-will-nevers and he-will-always-needs and the impression that very few people had any faith in Mr. A. But we had held him (after his fourth day of life, once he was stable enough), sang to him, loved him. He was and always will be our first-born, heir to the kingdom, recipient of faith, hope, and love.

It eventually became clear to me—first from suspicions, then from out-right confirmation—that few, if any, had expected him to make it through his first year of life. (That no one bothered to prepare us for this is another post.)

But he has indeed survived. He has blown previous research right out of the water. He is writing his own story, and I get to watch.

This stay was short: 2 nights in the PICU and one on the floor. I bring him home in fine spirits. He wants to stand. I take his hands and help him. He lifts one foot, then the other, walking across the living room with my assistance. A week ago, he would only do this with much prodding and many tears, and now here he is, trying to chase the cat.

And I think: could ever a mother be more proud of her son?

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Valuing Motherhood

Posted on
Categories Mommy Issues, Parenting Twins, Perspective, SAHMTags , , , 1 Comment

Thanks to various things, I am valuing my role as a mother more.  I am beginning to understand just how important I am in the lives of my young children.  I (along with their dad) am their everything.  They look to me to know how to react to things, how to learn, how to speak to others, how to love.  A mother is the temperature gauge of her home.  So, if I’m mad, everyone will be in a foul mood.  And if I’m happy, chances are, everyone will be happier.

The sacrifice I make every day to stay home with my children instead of pursuing my own desires will be short-lived and worth every moment if I make it so.  Because, although parenting young children is extremely taxing and challenging emotionally, physically, and spiritually, it is such a short amount of time.  Before I know it, my children will be in kindergarten and then college.  All research shows that these first few years of a child’s life are paramount (even though they won’t remember much of it!).  It sets them up for the rest of their lives!  So though I am not currently helping our family’s financial situation much, or furthering my education, or developing new talents, I am helping our family in many, many ways.  Motherhood is extremely important.  Raising great kids is extremely important.  So I’m choosing to make the best out of my awesome appointment of being a mother of young children.

Doing so means I view my children as gifts, as precious, as pure, as wonderful.  I see their potentials.  I love them fully.  I devote my attention (note I didn’t just say time) to them.  I make them my top priority, not my home, not my grooming, not blogging, not Facebook, not some book, movie, or game – THEM!  I still feel like I am coming into this new frame of mind, of this new understanding of the true value of motherhood, but I am determined to live differently.

And that is what has made me happy again.  I’ve changed my outlook.  I’m stopped comparing (and am slowly stopping the complaining).  I’m prioritizing my life.  And it all feels pretty great.  I’m not worried about keeping up with someone else.  I’m not worried about how others perceive me. And I’m not going to downplay myself, because I know I’m a likeable person, that I’m pretty, talented, and smart.  And I know I am a good mom.

I’m not perfect (in fact I’m very flawed), but I’m content.  I’m at a good point in my life.  I am seeing my purpose differently.

How have you come to view your role as a mother?  How has it evolved over time?

*This is an excerpt from a post on my blog.  Read the entire post HERE.

ldskatelyn is a mother to one set of g/g twins and one newborn son and feels so absolutely blessed to be a mom!  She wants to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of her fellow MOMs!  She blogs more on her personal blog.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone