And I worried that she might struggle to bond.
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And I worried that she might struggle to bond.
POSTED BY AMBER
We registered the boys’ births today. They are officially Balthazar Octavian Percival and Lysander Edmund Odysseus. And as they’re three weeks and one day old today already, I thought that I would check in with a couple of photographs and an update.
Our little Balthazar is finally growing! On Tuesday he weighed in at 6lbs 11oz, a full 10oz more than his birth weight. He doesn’t curl up inside his clothes quite so desperately these days and seems to be more comfortable in his own skin, but we still frequently find him all tucked up in his babygros and the trouser legs minus both limbs.
We call him the small angry one or the tiny tyrant because he’s somewhat more demanding than his brother, but in truth he’s a delightful baby. His mannerisms are still very ‘newborn’, which is to be expected as if he were still gestating in me we’d only be at 41+3 right now, and it makes him wonderfully sleepy and snuggly when he’s not shouting at us! He’s extremely ticklish, pulls the most expressive grumpy faces and has mad professor hair after his baths (which he hates).
Lysander, or the fat one as we’ve rather unfairly taken to calling him, currently weighs an impressively chubby 7lbs 5oz and no longer fits in ‘tiny baby’-sized clothes. As you can see, he has developed quite the double chin! He is the sweetest baby and seems to be smiling at us already. He’s much more interactive than his brother and enjoys being read to and staring at his own face in the toy mirror, being cuddled upright and listening to music. He loathes the pram.
They’re wearing the F&F Raccoon Sleepsuits in these pictures. We found them at Tesco when I was expecting them and fell in love with the soft pastel colours and the woodland theme. We’re not fond of cars, trains and sports, all of which tend to be prevalent in little boy clothing ranges, and prefer to dress the boys in clothing that is less aggressively ‘male’. They wear a lot of animal-themed prints and are building an impressive collection of robot pyjamas.
I’m not sure which I prefer – the white babygro that is patterned with moose, foxes and raccoons, or this cornflower blue babygro with the friendly raccoon. What I do know is that I’m not ready to say goodbye to this outfit yet, and will probably buy it in a bigger size. Seriously – how cute?!
We are so enjoying parenthood – some of us more than others (ahem) – and in particular, being parents to these particular children. It is so much fun to get to know these little people, and to slowly (in my case) fall in love.
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I love how every time that I stagger out of bed to tend to a crying baby, you have beaten me to it and are sat there holding our child, with the biggest grin on your face. For the first week or so of this parenting journey I thought that you were faking it, but I’m beginning to believe that you are truly this happy.
Motherhood suits you. Visitors often remark as to how naturally it has come to you, and even the professionals assume that you are the mother and I am the gormless friend. I’m not thrilled to be relegated to the outside role, but it pleases me enormously how easily people recognise your maternal bond. You are so good at this.
It was always clear that I would be the one to carry our children, but I still worried that your bond with them would suffer. I worried that I was cheating you of the opportunity to have children of your own. I was wrong. These boys are entirely ‘your own’ and your bond with them is better than mine! You have loved these children of ours from the very beginning, from a time when I doubted that there was anything in my uterus at all. You are a wonderful mother.
I love to listen to you talk to them. You talk as though you are participating in a conversation, as though they answer in voices that only you can hear. You read them stories and poetry, you can make any book seem interesting. You bring the world to life for them.
In every photograph I take of you these days, you are cradling at least one infant. Sometimes you have two. Do your arms never get tired? Do you never find them – I don’t know – kind of dull? Every day, you make some new discovery about these children, be it the curve of a particular toenail or a new aspect of their personalities. You make them little people to me, rather than shrieking blobs. And you do it so effortlessly. It makes me wish that we had done this years before.
I am so glad that we are doing this together. You should know how much I admire you right now, how much I’m enjoying getting to know mama-you. Thank you for sharing this time with me. Thank you for loving these children as easily as you do, for being their mum.
With much love,
Adjusting to having two children after approximately twenty-five years of having zero children has been rather the experience – as far as I’m concerned, at least. Kirsty has taken to the whole mummyhood thing like a duck to water and seems never to get overwhelmed, but I’ll be honest and say that as good a set of babies as they are (and objectively I can see that yes, they are VERY good and easy babies) I still find them overwhelming. After all, they literally outnumber me.
Everything is more difficult with two. One screaming baby can be deafening; two screaming babies are a cacophony. And whose needs do you prioritise? It’s intense.
But if I had the option to go back to that day in the IVF clinic where I insisted on having my strongest two embryos put back in my womb and signed the disclaimer to say that I was happy with the risk of having twins, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love that our boys will grow up with a sibling their own age. It seems strange to me that one of our twins could have been placed ‘on ice’, that they could have grown up as brothers several years apart. That we could have chosen to gestate one, and have the other embryo destroyed. The way that it happened feels very right to me. The twins are meant to be twins.
I’m not sure that I believe that newborn babies can love, but they certainly seem to like each other. They sleep best when snuggled together, and spend more time focusing on the other’s face than on anybody else’s. It’s very sweet. I’m looking forward to watching their relationship develop as the weeks, months and years pass.
This is my entry for the Siblings linky hosted monthly on Dear Beautiful. It seems a little strange to begin a monthly project at the end of the year but I’ve been looking forward to participating ever since learning that the boys were in fact a multiple pregnancy. Lots of other bloggers are also sharing what their siblings have been up to recently, so do head on over there and check them out.
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There were times in the first few days where I looked at my perfect dog and thought yes, life would be so much easier right now without you.
And then I thought, your life was so much better last week. How could I have done this to you?
And it would have been easy to think that for her sake, I should find her a shiny new better home. Easy to think that the kindest option would be to send my best friend away to live with strangers who didn’t have small dependents sucking up 95% of their time.
But I love this dog and I’ve always said that if anybody needs to be rehomed, healthy white newborns probably have a much better chance of finding a good home than scruffy middle-aged mongrels, even if the mongrel does have good training and a heart of gold. So we persevered.
And it hasn’t been that bad! I was worried that she would struggle to share us with the babies, that we would have jealousy issues to work through, but there’s been none of that. She can be a trifle clumsy and clueless and there have been a few hair-raising moments (like when she tried to leap up on the bed without realising that the twins were already laying on it!) but those have all been our fault rather than hers. We try to be careful to safeguard all of them by never leaving her alone with the babies, or putting her in a position where she could accidentally harm them.
Actually, consistent help with the dog would have made an enormous difference to our sanity levels in this first week and a half. My mother kindly agreed to look after her for the birth and then rather begrudgingly took her when we were readmitted, but my family are not the sort to pop round to take Posy for a walk. It would have taken a massive weight off if, for example, we hadn’t had to worry about making time to walk the dog in the morning amidst the chaos of having to dress, change and feed two babies, plus use the breastpump, plus dress ourselves. I’ll admit that I haven’t yet managed a morning walk with brushed hair! Kirsty’s family adore the dog and I suspect would have been happy to help but alas, they are on the other side of London. I had hoped that we would have the budget to employ a dog walker to be her friend for an hour or so each day, but ultimately it was not to be.
Thankfully, I had the easiest caesarean recovery ever and the twins adore their pram, so we have been able to take lots of lovely long walks at strange hours. We’re finding that the more worn out she is, the easier it is for the rest of us. My batty post-partum hormones can’t cope with seeing a bored and moping dog on my sofa!
Establishing a routine has been our saving grace as it gives us – and her – some idea of when we need to start getting ready, and a target time to get out of the door. That said, we have also tried to introduce little treats and highlights back into her day, whether it’s sharing a slice of toast with us whilst the babies are sleeping or a quick game of kisses whilst I’m feeding a baby. It’s hard to remember to prioritise the dog over ourselves when we finally have a minute and all that we really want to do is snuggle and sleep, but it makes such a difference to her day and to ours if we find time to remember her feelings. After all, she’s been our ‘baby’ for so long.
The only issue that we’re experiencing is that she’s very protective of the babies. She doesn’t like for anybody aside from us, but especially men, to hold them. It’s something to work on, and we’ll get a behaviourist in if necessary, but as far as adjustment behaviours go this one isn’t too hard to deal with.
I think that this dog-and-two-babies family thing is actually going to work. I’m feeling pretty positive right now. Exhausted, admittedly, but full of happiness that with a little bit of extra effort and a lot of good behaviour on Posy’s part, we can do this thing.
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