Luckily the first couple of months with newborn twins is a massive blur. But one thing I do remember is that it wasn’t entirely a whole load of fun.
Mind you, I can’t say the first 8 weeks of Toddler’s life was much cop either if I’m honest. Is having a baby even supposed to be fun or were my expectations a little out? I’m sure I’m not alone. Hell on earth could be a better description on some days.
Anyway, one of the main reasons (there were a few) for it being just that little bit shit, was that both babies suffered from that dreaded thing – colic. I still don’t even know what the f*ck colic is, but from the looks of Google, nobody, not even doctors seem to know, so I’m in good company.
All I can tell you is that it was beyond crap, and involved A LOT of screaming from both babies. Initially I thought they were just being babies, screaming is what they do, right? But when both would throw up the entire bottle they’d just drunk (and I mean ENTIRE) and were so rigid they were like planks of wood, even I guessed something wasn’t quite right. This wasn’t just wind.
Like most twins, my pair are fed at the same time, either in bouncers or on a special double feeding pillow when the Other Half isn’t around. If I had to feed them individually, we would NEVER EVER leave the house. (You read in a previous blog, I congratulate myself if I get out before 11am as it is). Toddler would also be calling ChildLine to complain of neglect.
The whole ‘tandem’ feeding is great – until you’re dealing with colicky babies. Then it’s like you’re in the casino playing a game of Russian Roulette, but there’s no thrill, no dishy croupier and no cash prize. Just more laundry.
Who’s going to throw up their bottle first? How far will their projectile vom go this time – over their clothes, my clothes, the carpet, the wall? Who is going to be the first to cough so violently you actually start to sweat with panic?
But the million dollar question is – when both babies are like a ticking time bomb, who is going to get my attention first? Who am I going to wind first, in a vague attempt to stop the vom and choking? It’s like they’re testing me on who I love the most… Harsh.
So like most of us do, I trotted off to Mr Google for advice, to be greeted with numerous ‘life-saving’ tips from other mums, and eventually did what any good parent does – I asked my Facebook friends for advice.
*I did also take them to the doctors, but was a bit of a waste of time.
After trying numerous medicines, even the ‘this saved my life’ Colief everyone raved about did nothing, the only thing that made a slight difference was changing their formula.
Now I know I should have been grateful for a bit of a solution, but it was like a double-edged sword – £13 a box for the damn stuff. THIRTEEN POUNDS! And we still go through three a week.
Shit. The. Bed.
Add that to the 100 nappies we use on a weekly basis, and my wine consumption could soon be taking a hit! I worked out once how much we would spend on formula in the year they are on it. I can’t bring myself to tell you for fear of getting emotional again.
The other hideous bit I vaguely remember is the whole napping thing. Like most babies the Twins were nocturnal, as I’ve ranted about before. But I was determined to get a nap routine in place as early as possible – obviously for my own sanity. Eight months down the line, with Toddler entertained by Daddy downstairs, I am patting myself on the back as I sit blogging away, whilst both are peacefully snoring in their beds.
But, OH MY GOD, in the early days getting them to nap was pure torture! It became a massive battle of wills. I will NOT get you out of your cot. You WILL go to sleep if I have to stay here stroking your flippin’ head all afternoon. I WILL NOT GIVE IN, I AM THE PARENT, I AM IN CHARGE! Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Gina Ford, but I also wanted a routine for the sake of Toddler’s day too – it was just a bit tricky to implement.
I’m hearing all you ‘gentle parenting’ experts tutting at your screen right now, and unfollowing me on Facebook (bye). But as with everything to do with this parenting malarkey it’s each to their own, and I’m glad I persisted with cotbed napping. It eventually worked for us, and now they go down like a dream twice a day.
Night times? Another story.
But f*ck me, it was hard. Twin Two would always go off with just a little bit of persuasion, but Twin One was a devil. A devil, I tell you! I have memories of eating cold stir-fry next to the cot whilst I stroked/cooed/sshh’d/willed him to sleep. Another time I actually managed to change Twin Two’s shitty nappy one-handed (never to be repeated) at the same time as stroking Twin One.
There was even an occasion when I momentarily fell asleep kneeling at the side of the cot, still sodding well stroking Twin One. Move your hand and it was game over. He was awake and screaming again.
Just to top off those early days of ‘three under 2.5’ parenting, the dreaded chicken pox hit. Yeah, thanks for that! The Twins were just four weeks old when Toddler woke up with spots and within hours was TOTALLY pickled. Cue a week at home (Did I tell you I hate staying in?) with a pox-ridden toddler and colicky babies and I was seriously on the edge.
I was told the Twins were still so young they’d have my immunity so wouldn’t get it. WRONG. Six weeks into his little life Twin Two caught it, and I was told because he was so young, he’s likely to catch it again. Poor baba! Luckily Twin One escaped it, so I’ve still got that to look forward to another time.
So you can see why I just LOVED the early days of this whole ‘adventure’ (hate that patronising word). But like I said at the beginning, luckily it’s all been buried in a sleep-deprived haze.
Or I might be hitting the alcohol and chocolate even more than I already do.