With Mother’s Day coming up, we’re taking this week to share stories from our own Twin Cities Moms Blog Contributors on how they became mothers. We all have unique stories, and some of our stories are still being written. We hope you enjoy reading about these moms’ experiences!
My birth story starts with a unique perspective. Enjoy.
Who am I?
I am a big surprise, one filled with gasps and second glances.
My room in the womb was extra snug.
I heard rumblings on the outside filled with, “Good luck” and, “Glad it’s not me.”
I sensed every emotion and it swirled around me.
I arrived early.
I was welcomed by a blur of bright lights and powerful hands.
I said, “Hello,” with a strong scream as I took my first breath in a new world.
For only a moment, I saw my mom.
She was tired and very sick, but so happy to see that I was healthy.
The room spun as I was passed around, washed up, weighed and measured.
My first bedroom was stark and sanitary, filled with beeps and many faces that I had to trust.
For a little while, I was cared for by many.
I have to share my parents, their time and attention.
I don’t know what it means to be alone.
I am held and snuggled, but only when it’s my turn.
I am gawked at with smiles, “Oooh’s,” and, “Ahhh’s,” even frowns and concerns filled with, “That looks rough,” and, “Bless your heart,” to my parents.
I know my mom’s sighs of exhaustion, her tears of joy, her sounds of stress and when she talks to the Lord. She talks to him a lot…
I am compared and judged all the time.
People mix me up, confuse my sounds and my name.
I was born with a friend.
A friend who knows the beating of my heart.
A friend who cries when I cry and needs love when I do.
A friend who teaches me, learns from me, plays with me, and steals from me, but still loves me.
A friend with whom I have to share my birthday and holiday presents.
Who am I?
I am a twin, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My birth story isn’t complete without thinking about the perspective of my children. I envisioned how I would want their birth to go, but they had other plans. I listened to them, I trusted my “mom gut,” I believed in my doctors and I was happy knowing that we were all safe. Not only did that first ultrasound with two sacs surprise us, their birth was just as surprising. Putting all plans aside, I was patient and content to let my story unfold in it’s own way.
I feel very fortunate that I had a wonderful pregnancy. One that I would wish on everyone. Little to no nausea, thick hair, strong nails, I ate well and slept pretty well. I truly felt amazing, right up until the day my girls arrived, when I learned about the severe pre-eclampsia that I may have had for at least a week. After complaining about chest pain, a brief stint in the ER resulted in a doctor telling me that I was fine and I just needed to go home and rest. I later discovered that my squished liver felt deceivingly like pain in my chest and it’s toxic levels (and that “mom gut”) were slowly telling me I needed to get back in and get my babies out. My severe pre-eclampsia which lead to HELLP syndrome, was the answer to my blood pressure reaching scary levels and the main reason my little ones had to say goodbye to the cozy womb six weeks early, via emergency cesarean. I narrowly missed a blood transfusion and managed to giggle a little at the double vision side effect I experienced from the magnesium drip. Through it all, I continued to energetically ask when I could snuggle my babes. Almost a month later, we were all finally home and figuring out life.
Post-birth; all the healing, emotions, learning and adjusting felt as if it was still part of my “birth story.” My plans and preparations seamlessly shifted into those first moments, months and even that first year as I learned to fully welcome and mother two.
The first and unexpected challenge I faced, even before my girls arrived, was the comparing. This was something I was not prepared for. Since day one, my girls have been compared to each other, and as twins they may always be compared in some way. One meets a milestone and the other must too, right? I dress them the same, so they must be the same. One loves to draw, why doesn’t the other? After all, they are twins!! …and the list goes on. I don’t always know how to answer everyone’s curious questions. I know they mean well, but it can hurt. At the beginning, it hurt to have conversations about comparing the perfect little humans I had the honor to bring into this world. Even though I knew it wasn’t intentional, they didn’t deserve that. But they came into the world with more love than I ever imagined I could give to two people at the same time and that’s all that mattered.
On top of all of the emotions of being a first time mom, I quickly had to learn how to manage more than one. Not only was I figuring out how to breastfeed for the first time, how to change tiny diapers, how to burp, bathe, and understand cues, how to carry two car seats and get through small doors with a large stroller, I had to multitask according to each of my children’s unique needs. I also had to learn how to share my time with them, as they needed me. I had to constantly consider their perspective. For me, this was another unexpected and difficult part of being a new mom with two. An uncomfortable sense of jealousy came over me at moments when I thought of other moms who could spend all day enjoying their first born. It felt unfair to share but I had no choice. It was rare to just sit with one of my sweet smelling newborn babes and stare at every inch of her beauty, with no time limit. Right when I would have a “moment” with one, I would need to tend to the other. I just wanted more time with each of them, but I didn’t want to miss a beat with either!
Since I had never done this “mom thing” before and never had the chance to figure it all out with one baby first, I would find myself questioning my ability and feeling guilty for giving one a little more time or attention. I often whispered apologies while they would both cry, clearly needing me to give them so much more than I could give.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but continuously remind myself how lucky we were to have two! Two babies!! A birth story I never imagined. An experience that came with a lot of unsolicited advice and not always a lot of encouragement from passersby who notoriously exclaimed that they were, “Glad it’s not me!” Some may say they could never have twins (yes, many have said this to me), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is no perfect scenario in the world of parenting. You just need to sit back, filter what you hear, let your story happen, and love every single inch of your children individually. Because, twins or not, they are a unique and miraculous mixture of human life. So with all the comparing, sharing, multitasking, and so much trial and error, at the end of the day, I am a Mother, and I’m proud of my story.