We are swiftly approaching the big O-N-E! What a whirlwind of a year it has been. It feels like the fastest, most incredible year, full of ups and downs and so much learning. Here are the top twenty things I learned while surviving my first year with twins and my advice to those whose journeys with twins are just beginning.
1. The first several months are really, really hard. It will get easier. …And more fun too.
2. In those first several months your babies will want to be held all the time. For the breastfeeding mother of twins, this means sitting on the couch with your nursing pillow pretty much all day (and in my case, all night too).
3. Find a pediatrician you trust. Realize every child is different. Numbers are just numbers and milestones will happen in your own time.
4. There will be tears. The babies will cry and so will you. Parenting is hard, emotionally exhausting work.
5. People will want to stop you everywhere. Get used to hearing, “Are those twins?” “You have your hands full!” and “Double trouble!”
6. Your love for your partner will grow immensely but you will probably show it to each other in ways different than before. Be patient with one another. You are a team.
7. Try your best to go with the flow. Just when you think you have things figured out everything will change and your system will upend.
8. Your body will be hijacked. You’ll get it back someday. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m still waiting skeptically.
9. Forget having a conversation on the phone and thank God for texting.
10. You can read all the parenting books you want but at the end of the day, your children are unique individuals. You will know what they need.
11. Learn how to tandem baby wear. The sooner the better.
12. Learn to accept to help. Hopefully you’ve learned how to do this while you’re pregnant.
13. You won’t get any sleep. There’s really no way around it. You might be one of the lucky ones but don’t count on it.
14. Twins are expensive. They will only share three things, your womb, germs and their birthday.
15. You are going to survive. Phases will pass and you will look back and say, “Wow, remember that?”
16. You will have no clue what you are doing. Just keep winging it.
17. Your love is enough.
18. Don’t feel bad for all that Netflix binge watching you did while pregnant. Idle time will be something of the past.
19. It really does go by fast.
20. You will love you babies more with each passing day. It’s hard to comprehend because you think you can’t love anything more and the next day comes and you do.
Before our babies were born I got a lot of horror stories about how hard the first year would be. It was definitely a challenging year but I can think of far worse things to go through. Despite the struggles, I have never experienced so much love, joy and fulfillment. I have been blessed with a great support system and I’m thankful for all of your support, encouragement and advice over this past year. It really does take a village to raise a child and I’m glad to be part of this one!