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In the Trenches: 10 Lessons Learned from My First Months of Motherhood

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Insta familyMy husband and I always joke about our “insta-family.”  Have you seen those little sponges that you drop into water and they expand into a little animal or t-shirt or something?  That’s kind of what becoming parents was like for us.  After a five year pregnancy, we got the call to pick-up our sons, and then poof….we were suddenly driving away from the adoption agency with our two tiny miracles strapped into their car seats.  Insta-family!

While I had been waiting to become a mother for what felt like FOREVER, the truth is I hadn’t even changed more than a handful of diapers during my babysitting years in high school.  Sure, I had the crib, stroller, car seat, clothes, diapers and all the other necessities…so I was totally prepared right?!  HA!

The first few months of motherhood to twins were equal parts happiness, thankfulness, and extreme utter exhaustion. There were so many memorable moments and so many learning experiences. In the midst of my new mommy burnout, I jotted down a few of the random moments (some of which made me cry at the time and now they make me laugh).

In the Trenches of Twin Motherhood: 10 Lessons Learned:

1.) COFFEE; just nuke it!   
Those first few months with twin boys, I thought I would never drink a hot cup of coffee again. My daily routine was: wake up, the boys are quiet, so make pot of coffee. While brewing, check on boys; still sleeping like little angels. Coffee done. Pour large steaming cup. One boy starts to cry. Tend to baby and settle him down. Run back to coffee and savor sip; coffee is COLD. No problem, reheat in microwave, nice and hot. Take another sip; baby B starts crying. Put coffee down and tend to baby. Return to coffee; coffee is COLD. Reheat again and repeat until 4pm. By 4pm, realize that coffee is likely radioactive and it is now too late in day to drink it anyway. Pour coffee out and thank God for my two miracles.

2.) Just roll up your sleeves!      
Dressing up in “real” clothes was a rare experience that happened only for reasons such as doctor check-ups. The boys had their first month doctor visit, so I showered, put on actual clothes, and did my hair and make-up. Five minutes before it was time to leave, both babies had wet diapers. First hand experience: Change first baby, and then wash my hands. Look in mirror, say “forget it” and put hair in a ponytail. Change second baby, who has a very wet diaper. Trust baby is done peeing and don’t put the pee-pee washcloth down. Get sprayed by pee-pee. Stop the monsoon with my hands, but the sleeves of my cute outfit get hit in the storm. Running late, so no time to change. No problem, just roll up my sleeves and go. Cute outfit saved. Silently congratulate myself on yet another super mom moment.

3.) Twin advice.
When you have one baby, people give you tons of parenting advice. When you have two babies, all of the parenting advice doubles and is coupled with “double the trouble,” “double the fun,” “you really have your hands full,” “I had a hard time with one, I can’t imagine two,” etc. The only parenting comment or advice that ever helped me was, “Breath through your mouth when changing poopy diapers.”

4.) Constipation:  
It is so sad when those little dudes can’t poo. Per our doctor, a small amount of pear juice works wonders if baby is constipated. However, if you use pear juice, the advice about breathing through your mouth when changing poopy diapers from #3 is null and void. My husband can verify first hand that pear juice works and results in baby poo that can squirt that far.

5.) Teeth Brushing:  
Brush your teeth immediately upon waking in the morning. Don’t wait until after your breakfast or your first cup of coffee. If you wait, time will get away from you and it might be 3pm before you figure out why your teeth feel like they are growing moss!

in the trenches

6.) Solid Food Fun:
After months of formula feeding, starting solid food is fun. Beware if baby has a cold during this fun feeding however, because a full mouth of sweet potatoes plus a sneeze equals a sweet tater explosion all over everything including your face!

7.) Baby Colds:
It’s tough when your little ones have a cold. It seems to take them twice as long to get over it than an adult. First hand experience: In another rare moment, I was dressed up to go out shopping. Cute outfit, new boots, hair done….check, check, and check. Gigantic booger on shoulder of cute outfit….CHECK! Finding the booger before leaving for the store…SCORE one for mama. Not finding the booger’s three friends down the back of my shoulder prior to going out….SCORE three for the boogers.

8.) Say Yes to Help:
So many people will ask if they can help in passing; call them on it! Put them to work, so you can nap!

9.) Acid Reflux:
When my boys were newborns there were many weeks they would cry uncontrollably with seemingly no reason. It. Was. Awful. I took them for their check-up one day and when I described the symptoms to their doctor she promptly told me they likely had acid reflux and that she could prescribe them something to help. I started crying and said, “you can fix this!?” I was a new mom, I just thought all babies cried that much!

10.) Expect to Cry:
Getting up every few hours to feed and change little ones obviously makes you one exhausted mamma. So, expect to be tired, emotional, and don’t be ashamed of it!  You aren’t alone!

 

You might be thinking…those are the ten things you remember most about your first months of being a mom?  Trust me, it’s a wonder I remember anything at all!  It turns out, the moments I yearned for most, turned out to be the ordinary, messy, tiring moments.

What small, ordinary moments of parenthood do you treasure most?

Love,

Natasha

 

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16 thoughts on “In the Trenches: 10 Lessons Learned from My First Months of Motherhood

  1. All of these lessons were great! I gave up on coffee awhile ago! My son had GERD and it was so horrible to see him in pain. He just stopped having to take medicine a few weeks ago….so far so good.

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  2. I can identify with all of these! Except I don’t have twins, so I imagine everything was magnified. Great list!

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  3. So cute. Congratulations on your twins. Adoption has touched our hearts, too. I think that the advice “Breath through your mouth when changing poopy diapers.” was the best.

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  4. Loved this post so much 🙂 My youngest would get hiccups constantly and that lead to one of her nicknames. And yes, crying (with both mom and baby) is to be expected. Motherhood is definitely not easy at all times but is so incredibly rewarding.

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  5. #3 made me laugh!
    First time round, I only had one baby and I honestly thought I wouldn’t get through it unscathed (I didn’t – I did get peed and pooped on a lot). Fortunately, second time round, I was more prepared (though not unscathed either).
    I’m now pregnant with twins – how prepared do you think I am?
    Answer: not so much. Ack!
    Congratulations on your twin boys, by the way!

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    • CONGRATULATIONS Alison! Wishing you a wonderful pregnancy! Take it easy on yourself with those two babes on board! Glad I could bring you a laugh.

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  6. Nice list!
    I agree with so much of it, although I didn’t have twins.
    I will say that the nursing pain was beyond my wildest imagination. Sheesh. I’d be crying on the floor in the middle of the night.
    All of the emotions were crazy for me.

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  7. I loved discovering about this precious/challenging part of your adventure together! I can relate to so many of these during the early stages. Isn’t it amazing how we can look back on even the moment of tears with a sense of happiness of beautiful memories: the miracle of motherhood indeed!

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    • Agree, mommyhood is such a miracle, we just sometimes forget when we are deep in the trenches! When the fog lifts, I always feel so thankful! Thanks Sasha!

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  8. I love this and it’s so true! 🙂 You really do remember the most simple things sometimes. Like I know I will always cherish the memory of the fact that my daughter gets an insane case of the hiccups every time I make her laugh. (I hope she grows out of that!) Definitely never be afraid to cry! Motherhood is the hardest and also the most rewarding thing ever. 🙂

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