June 2, 2015

Dear New Mom of Twins...

Hi there,

How are you doing? No, no, you heard me right, I'm not asking how are are the babies, I want to know, how are you? Are you loving every minute? Barely hanging in there? Ready to break? Gone to crazy town and never coming back?

I've been there. I've felt all of it. And I'm here to tell you that you are amazing.

No matter what kind of twins you have, no matter how you created them, no matter how they arrived, no matter how you are feeding them, no matter where they are sleeping, no matter what - you are amazing. Even though you might very well feel like utter garbage right now, You. Are. Amazing.

You, new mom of two, are in the trenches right now. It's likely you're not sleeping much, your body, heart and soul are undergoing massive changes and you feel completely incompetent at times. You may be wondering what on earth you've gotten yourself into and how anyone could ever think that YOU could care for two babies at once. It's to be expected. Not only that but it's normal. It's normal to feel like you have no idea what you're doing, to question everything, to worry constantly and to feel as though you're going to royally muck this up. You won't though. Know why?  Because no matter how you do it, as long as you're there, you're doing great. Fantastic even. Again, you are amazing.

Maybe it hasn't happened yet but at some point in the next few weeks you will look over at your brand new babies and feel something you've never felt before. It's a grand mixture of pride, fear and overwhelming love. A love you have never felt before, that you can't describe, that you didn't even know you were missing until this moment. And this feeling is what will keep you going for the next six weeks, six months, six years, forever. This feeling is what it means to be a mother and you get to feel it times two. We are a lucky breed us twin moms. Two times the diapers, cries and mess also means we get two times the hugs, laughs and love. And I promise you there will be plenty of all of them.

I know right now you feel like you have no idea who you are anymore. There's a reason for that. The "you" that you once were is no more. You are forever changed.  But, no matter how much it seems like it, you are not gone, you have just evolved. In the next weeks and months you will discover abilities you never knew you had. You will feel confused and anxious as you try to keep up but you will adapt. You will question everything you ever knew and wonder if you will survive this. I promise you, you will.

It will get easier. And then it will get harder. And then easier again. Your life will be a roller coaster from here on out. Your heart, patience and strength will be tested in ways you didn't think possible. But you will survive and you will come out the other side stronger, smarter and more confident. You, my friend, are doing something incredible. Friends will ask you how you do it. Strangers will tell you, "Better you than me!" and they're right. You were chosen for this because of who you were before these babies ever even existed. You were meant to do this. To give these two tiny humans a life full of love, laughs and lessons and no other person in the world could do it better than you.

I know right now it feels like you are nothing more than a poop wiper, a sounding board for cries, a milk cow and a sleep deprived robot running on auto-pilot in a land you've never seen before let alone know how to navigate. It's freaking hard and that's an understatement. You have no idea what it takes to keep two babies alive and happy until you're forced to do it. But you will do it. And one day soon those babies will wake up and instead of wailing and clawing at your breast they will smile at you and you will understand. The light bulb will click and your heart will sing and you will think, "Oh, that's why." You will, I promise you, get through this.

You will cry. You will want to run. You will scream and beg for your old life back. You may even close a door and pull out your hair and say, "I'm done! I can't do this anymore!" And it's ok. It's ok to walk away. It's ok to ask for help - in fact, it's mandatory. You must ask for help. Do not attempt to be super woman just because you think you should. Just as your little babies are growing so too are you. As you bolster their bodies and brains, you learn and grow right along with them. You are not meant to know how to do it all yet, so seek out help the second you feel like you need it. Call your mom over or text your best friend when you feel like just can't anymore. Get on facebook and vent your frustrations to other moms who have been there. Rather than look inept you will look smart because not one person expects you to do this alone. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I'd say that means it takes a whole country to raise twins.

I want you to do something. Right now, no matter what is going, no matter how messy your house is, or what needs to be done, no matter how upset your babies are, how miserable YOU are, I want you to go into your room or the bathroom and look at yourself in the mirror. I don't care if you haven't showered in a week or you feel like crap, go. Look. See what I see? You are still there. Yes, you look different - maybe you still look pregnant or there are dark circles under your eyes or your hair is three different shades of greasy. It is still you though. Smile. Say hello to yourself. Listen to your voice. Pinch your skin. You are real, you are alive and you can do this. You WILL do this and you will rock it. Because this is your life now and everything you have ever done has prepared you for it.

It seems like a million years away right now but one day you will wake up and feel rested again. One night you will put the babies down and they will stay down for a blissful 12 hours. One afternoon you will realize that it's the first time since you can remember that you don't have spit-up in your hair, poop on your pants or food on your shirt. You will have time to take a proper shower and you will wonder what on earth to do with all of those 20 minutes. You will sit down to drink a cup of coffee and actually finish it before a baby cries. And you will wonder how on earth it went so fast. I know, right now you think I'm crazy, but I promise you, you will one day yearn for the days when you could lay with both your babies on your chest and still breathe, even if it means going back to the up all nights and marathon feedings. You will miss that feeling and you will wish you hadn't rushed them to grow up. Maybe you will balk at it and I'm sure you've heard it before, but you need to understand it. Someday, you are going to miss this.

So now, if you're feeling up for it, I want you to go to your babies. Pick them up and smell them, touch them, kiss them and commit everything to your memory. Whether they're a few days, weeks or months old, look into their faces and make your brain memorize exactly how this feels, the weight of them in your arms, the touch of their skin on yours, the smell of their heads, the color of their eyes. Tell your brain that this is a moment you want to look back on years from now. Even if today is the worst day since they were born - set aside the frustration and memorize this moment. Breathe in the good and make yourself remember it. Years from now when they are starting school or driving you crazy as teenagers or on their wedding day you will reach way back into the catacombs of your brain and you will find this precious moment when all they wanted in this great big world was you and you alone. And you will feel a sense of accomplishment like no one else can.

Because you are amazing. Every day, from the second they were created, you have been amazing. You have done something most women have not even dreamed of. You owe it to yourself to know that you will be ok, it will all be ok, no matter how bad it is right now. I promise, you, you amazing woman, will be just fine. Because, remember and repeat this, you. are. amazing.


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