Survival Skills

The Next Family

By: Brandy Black

It took one night in the hospital for me to realize that I had to feed the twins at the same time.  During pregnancy I swore I didn’t have it in me to nurse two babies at once; it sounded difficult and I wasn’t interested in being a milking factory.  But after waking up at 3AM to feed one for 20 minutes, change the diaper, burp, and swaddle –and then picking up the other and doing the whole thing all over again –I couldn’t handle it.  I realized I needed to master the double feeding skill…and fast!  The next night I quickly learned how to put their little heads together in a football hold and nurse away.  Sure my boobs are incredibly sore but I’m at least getting sleep.

The only thing that kept irritating me was the fact that I had to wake Susan up just to have her hand me one of the babies because I couldn’t pick them both up at once.  Although she didn’t mind, it just seemed silly to interrupt her sleep for that.  After a few nights at home, I figured it out and began feeding, diapering, burping, and swaddling all at once on my own.  I now take on the nights alone with carte blanche to get whatever I want during the day (when Susan’s not working).  This is particularly fabulous on the weekends when I can sleep in as long as I please.

Three weeks into having 3 kids I’m surprised at how well it’s going.  I realize we are in the honeymoon phase (as the experts that have been down this road before tell me), but I will say that all is easier than I envisioned it to be, or at least I now know it’s possible.  It helps that this is my second round. I’m less anxiety-ridden about the little things and have some sense of what’s ahead.  I have tackled preschool drop off with the babies in tow, and although it takes me 45 minutes to an hour, I can do it and have been for the last week.

Our au pair arrives at the end of this week and I will soon learn what it’s like to have a third adult living with us and helping to raise our family.  So much change has happened to us in the last 12 months it’s hard to remember what life was like before. But the other night when I walked up our street pointing out all the white twinkly lights with Sophia’s little hand in mine after our date together, I realized that I love my life, I love my children, I love the change, and I’m so grateful that everything happened the way it did.

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