Thursday, August 23, 2012

*Guest* Jenny from Blessings and Raindrops

I don't even remember how I happened upon Jenny's blog, I was just hopping around like I do sometimes and then I saw her adorable twin boys, read their amazing story of their in-process adoption and pretty much just fell in love with her and her family. I am so excited for her to be writing here today, whether or not you have twins this is a must read. Great perspective and it sounds oh so familiar! Thank you Jenny for being a part of 3 Little Men & a Mommy today!

A friend called the other day to tell me his big news – he and his pregnant wife were riding the wave of shock and elation after hearing two heartbeats during a recent ultrasound. Twins.

As I congratulated him, I was reminded of that exact moment for my husband and I. The moment our world was rocked.  The moment we watched with tears streaming down our cheeks as the doctor pointed out the two heartbeats on the screen. We had prayed for a baby for so long and we were over the moon as we learned that God had granted us with a double blessing.

I immediately felt sorry for all of the other expecting momsin the doctor’s waiting room because the chances were high that they were only expecting one baby. I’d always been an overachiever and, I’ll be honest here, this whole having-two-babies-thing felt like the epitome of overachievement.

I also distinctly remember the moment fear snuck in. I woke up in the middle of the night a few days after that fateful ultrasound paralyzed with fear as I imagined myself fumbling with attempts at necessary new mom activities like carrying two babies around the house, feeding two babies, or my biggest fear of all – going out in public by myself with these two little people. 

And, I remember the moment that true panic settled in. We finally brought our boys home after four weeks in the NICU. We were on cloud nine. We were home with our precious, perfect sons. We had waited for this moment for so long. Our babies looked so angelic. They smelled so delicious. They napped throughout the day and we snuggled with them close, breathing them in and memorizing every single feature on their innocent little faces. Then, night fell. And, with the coming darkness, we felt something shift in our home. The peace and serenity that we had experienced for those precious few hours started to dissolve. We panicked as we faced our first night alone with the boys. The next nine hours passed in a blur. We were confronted with the fact that our little angels had turned into screaming monsters.  It was a very long night. And, it was the first of many. 

Fast forward to today. My boys recently turned two-years old so I am clearly now an expert on multiples child rearing. {Sarcasm}.

The truth: I survived that first year and am finally able to put a coherent thought together and I thought I should do my best to share my lessons learned as a momma to two little miracle babies. I created this list to help prepare my friends for the ride of their lives.

Most importantly, friends, remember that the first year with twins is far from easy. It is just plain hard. But it will be, by far, the most rewarding year of your life.

Okay, now on to the details…

Survival: The first few months, you are in what my husband and I called, “Survival Mode.” Do not exert energy on any activity that is not critical to the survival of your little tribe. Everyone {including momma} needs to eat. Shamelessly enlist friends and family to prepare meals for you. Freeze meals. Order take-out. Do whatever you can to ensure you are feeding everyone. Drink a lot of water. Sleep whenever and wherever you can. And, do not believe for one second that you will be able to “nap when the babies nap.” That is nonsense that moms of singletons throw in your face to make you feel even crazier than you already do. These babies do not sleep at the same time. There is always someone who needs to eat or get a clean diaper. Just try to sleep whenever you can. Go ahead and enlist your 91-year-old great-grandmother-in-law to come and hold babies while you take a nap. {Nope. I’m not kidding}. I had a strict rule that if you have arms or feet {sleeping babies in a car seat can be rocked with a foot, thank you very much}, you were allowed in my house to help. And, while you rock {whoever you are, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are rocking/feeding/changing a baby}, I sleep. Period.

Crying: They will cry. A lot. And usually at the same time. And, you will be alone with them when they cry. At the same time. Friend, I’m warning you now; these two teeny, tiny, wobbly little humans will bring you to your knees. Your heart will break when you come to terms with your physical inability to calm both babies. You will cry and you will do your best to contort your arms and legs into bizarre positions in order to attempt holding and feeding two newborns at once. {I had success holding one while resting one in the crook of my knee while bouncing my leg and rocking my arms. I pumped and bottle-fed… I was never able to master the art of tandem breastfeeding. More power to you if you can figure that one out}.  And, even though I couldn’t stand it when people told me this, I’m going to say it: it is okay if they cry. It’s okay. Let it go. Let go of the guilt. I promise you that they will soon become these little people who can feed themselves {yes! It is amazing!} and they will not remember which baby you fed first at 3 am when they were five weeks old. They won’t. I promise. {Okay, I don’t know that for sure, but I’m about 99.9% confident on that one}.  Just focus on the most urgent need first. Then, move on to the next baby. All the while praying that someone will miraculously drop by to see if you need any help {Thank you. Thank you. Thank you God for all of the merciful “drop-ins” during my first few weeks home alone with the boys}.

Transporting: You can cancel your gym membership {as if that didn’t already happen the second your doctor gave you the order to stop working out during pregnancy with twins – or was that just me?}, because you will be doing some heavy lifting. Lugging two car seats from point A to point B is a workout. Those things weigh a ton. Then, add the weight of the babies. You are easily benching 450, girl. {Give or take a pound}. You are super woman. You rock. {Oh, and the trick to getting the babies in the car is to load them up inside. Leave one on the floor while you put one in the car and then go back for the other. Bonus points if you have a black lab who keeps watch over the baby sitting inside by himself because you will worry that your newborn has unlatched himself and jumped out of his seat in the forty-five seconds that you were away. You will. It sounds crazy but you too will become a frantic basket case when running on two hours of sleep. Just trust me. Lack of sleep can turn the most sane, calm momma into a full-blown crazy person}.

Leaving the House: It won’t happen. There will always be someone who spit up and needs an outfit change. Or someone who needs a diaper change. Or someone who needs to eat again. Just take each day in stride. If you are able to walk the twins to the end of the driveway in their stroller, count that as a success. Remember that this is just a short season of life. This too shall pass.

Going out in public by yourself: This will cause serious anxiety. Trust me. Just avoid it for as long as you possibly can.

People say the wackiest things: You will get stares and questions that will literally make your jaw drop. People will ask if your boy/girl twins are identical, they will ask if they are “natural” {don’t even get me started on that one}, everyonewill ask if twins run in your family {an unveiled attempt to be subtle when asking if you conceived with the assistance of fertility specialists}. Just smile and be thankful that you aren’t a famous person that has to deal with the paparazzi every day. Your babies will grow up and become less fascinating to passing strangers eventually.

Write everything down: You will forget which baby you fed at the 3 am feeding. It’s inevitable. {And, on that note, wake brother up after you finish the first feeding to keep the babies on the same schedule. As awful as the thought of waking a sleeping baby is, it’s the best option if you hope to get any sleep between nighttime feedings}.

Let go of expectations. I mean it. Let ‘em go.

Count your blessings. Marvel at the miracles in your arms.

Slowly, you will gain confidence in your ability to parent these two little people. You will laugh with them and chase after them as they learn to crawl and then walk {in opposite directions, of course}. You will watch their individual personalities emerge and you will be in awe of their devotion to one another. You will be overwhelmed with kisses and hugs at the end of a long day.

Friends, you are about to enter a pretty exclusive clubconsisting of parents of multiples. You will be amazed as you learn that there are other parents who understand where you are and who will encourage you as you wade through the murky waters of those difficult first months. These parents will stop you on the street and remind you that “there is a light at the end of the tunnel” and you will not believe them {in fact, you’ll laugh and think that they have completely lost it}. And then one day you realize that it has happened. You have emerged into that light. And all of the hard work and all of the tears and all of the sleep forgone has brought you to this place. And, you will be oh, so grateful.

Jenny Marrs is a momma to two-year old twin boys and she chronicles their antics and adventures on her blog, Blessings & Raindrops. Her family is also currently on a journey to adopt a little one from the beautiful country of Ethiopia. You can read more at


  1. Thank you for your sweet words, Krystle! I am so honored to guest post for you and I cannot wait to hear about your "media month" experience while you've been away! :-)

  2. Great work Jenny! Krystle - great blog. Your family is beautiful! There is nothing better than being a mommy to twins! Blessings to you both.

  3. Amazing post!!! And oh so true!! Thanks for sharing!!! The only thing that I did differently is suck it up and take them out on my own starting at 5 weeks. It made me SO much more confident in my abilities to parent these precious little unpredictable peanuts!! I loved reading this!! Thanks for posting! :-)

  4. Great post! My twin boys are seventeen months old and I read this I kept saying "yep, yep, yep" to myself.