When Blaise was new, it was rough. Some mom had told me that having two little ones was the hardest, while others opined that three was the hardest (everyone agreed it got easier as you had more kids and the big ones got bigger).
I remember thinking, I bet two will be the hardest for us. I can only imagine it getting easier from now on.
Ha. Hahahahahaha. Ha ha ha.
To be fair to my 2009 self, I think that if we had one newborn right now it would be slightly easier than it was last time.
But we don't. We have two.
Having tiny twins is weird. It is an I-can't-believe-we-got-this-lucky blessing. It is a how-on-earth-will-we-survive-this challenge. Depending on the time of day, my mood, and how many little people are screaming, it is everything in between.
From the beginning, parenthood has been bootcamp for my character. It is strength training and endurance training and it has shown me over and over how much I can do.
Ten years ago I had trouble heaving myself out of bed to make a 9am class. These days I wake up at 3am, pump, feed a baby, burp a baby, settle a baby, start to doze off myself, jump up and run to the other room to soothe the 2-year-old, come back, start to doze off again, sit up to deal with a tiny fussbudget and then with his brother, finally catch 45 minutes of half-sleep with a baby on my chest, then drag myself out of bed to do the whole thing over again because - surprise! - it's 6am now.
And the next day I will somehow manage to nurse, change diapers, mediate sibling disputes, pour cups of milk and juice, kiss boo-boos, prepare lunches, pick up toys, give big-kid cuddles, figure out what's for dinner even if it's just nachos again, read stories and sing bedtime songs and finally fall into bed praying to catch an hour and a half of sleep before it's time to do yet another feeding.
My eighteen-year-old self would not recognize me.
Having a high-needs firstborn got me in shape, but twins is what will turn me into a marathoner. Hopefully. Or else I'll be a blithering shell of a person by the time Ambrose and Linus are a year old.
Tuesday night I was trudging through the ten zillion steps necessary before we can go to bed, and Bryan came into the bedroom and asked if he could help. And suddenly I was soaking his shoulder while I sobbed about how the work never ends. Truly, never. That's the case any time you have a new baby but with twins it's even more so, and I am beyond exhausted and overwhelmed.
In my good moments I can recognize that this is a season. It will pass. And look how far we've come already.
One week old (Linus on left, Ambrose on right):
Four weeks old (Ambrose on left, Linus on right):
Six weeks old (Ambrose on left, Linus on right):
But I can't always remember that time is actually passing, can't feel it when I'm getting so little sleep that two hours in a row feels like a luxury, can't imagine my little guys sitting up or walking or talking or being anything but tiny super-needy infants because that is the only way I've known them. Rationally, I'm aware that Linus and Ambrose will grow, that things will change, that it will get easier. But often in the neverending grind grind grind, it does not feel that way.
When people ask how we are doing, I tell them we are making it. I try to smile, because I do adore these sweet baby boys of mine. But I usually can't keep from sighing, too.
I wonder when the sigh will go away.