Saturday, November 20, 2010

Master Multi-tasker

I've always considered myself to be pretty good at multi-tasking. But until recently (11 weeks and 5 days ago if you want to be precise), I discovered what it means to really multi-task. And I've gotten pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself. Some examples? Well, I can change one baby's diaper while entertaining the other on the floor with my foot. I can rock a baby in a cradle with one foot, while rocking the other baby in my arm and washing bottles with the other hand. I can also pump breast milk, return emails and watch tv all at the same time.

Not impressed yet?

I can bottle feed 2 babies at the same time (see below!); I can breast feed 2 babies at the same time; in fact, I can breast feed 1 baby and bottle feed the other at the same time. I can even feed 1 baby while burping the other. And I've been known to use a headset to talk on the phone while doing all of the above!
I can also comfort 2 babies simulataneously. Julie often prefers my words to my arms, so if I lay her on the diaper changing station I can sing or talk to her while I hold Anna (who prefers to be held when she's upset). But when both babies want to be held, I find the best way is to sit on the floor Indian style and lay 1 baby in my lap (bouncing my legs slightly) while holding the other baby in my arms. This position also works well for holding 1 baby (in my lap) while changing the other's diaper (on the floor). All in a day's work. I often wish there was someone around to capture my multi-tasking magic on camera, but then again, if someone else was home they better be holding a baby and not fiddling with a camera!

I'm getting pretty confident with my multi-tasking abilities, but Monday I've got another task to throw into the mix - my job. I'm kind of a mess about it. I love my job and I miss my coworkers and I even miss having something to talk/think about that doesn't involve poop and spit up. But I'm also so very sad at the idea of being away from the girls for 10 hours, 5 days a week. It just seems wrong. The longest I've been away from them so far has been about 4 hours. And to immediately jump to 10 seems crazy. I feel I should have been weaning myself off of them in these last few weeks, but I haven't wanted to waste a minute. And I know they will be okay at daycare, but that doesn't mean that I will be okay!

And on top of my feelings of sadness and guilt are my feelings of fear that as good at multi-tasking as I've become, it still won't be good enough. How can I be a really good mom and still be good at my job too? I know all of these feelings are normal, but that doesn't make them any less scary. And I am definitely scared.

But 12 weeks ago I was scared that I wouldn't be able to take care of 2 babies and I've managed that somehow, so I'm sure I'll manage what lies ahead too...

Still, if you could send some thoughts, prayers, and/or good vibes my way Monday morning it would be much appreciated.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The girls are 10 weeks old today. And for 10 whole weeks, I have managed to avoid the parenting cliche of running into the nursery just to make sure the baby is still breathing. Maybe a mother of one baby does that kind of thing, but when a mother has two sleeping babies in that room she doesn't dare go in and risk waking them up simply to reassure herself that they are still alive. She just has to trust that they are. I read this in a book about parenting twins, and have found it to be true for me.

Until last night.

Since the beginning, our nights have been pretty predictable. The bedtime has gotten earlier, and the time between bedtime and that first wail has gotten increasingly longer (thank God!), but one thing has remained consistent - Julie is the one doing the wailing. She doesn't eat as much as Anna (despite my best efforts to force her to do so!) so she gets hungry sooner. When she starts wailing at night, I go in and feed her and then wake Anna up to feed her too (Twin Rule #1 - When one eats, both eat). Lately, Julie's first wail has been sometime between 3 and 4 am. Which isn't bad at all. We put them down by 9, so that's a good 6 or 7 hour stretch (if only I also went to bed at 9!). But last night, the first wail was heard at 4:30 - and it wasn't a wail at all but a whimper. And from the sound of that whimper I could tell it was Anna. Definitely not Julie.

Now a whimper can be just a whimper. It doesn't necessarily mean a baby is waking up. She might just be resettling or having a dream, so I usually let it turn into a cry before I go rushing to the nursery. (Don't judge me people - I've got TWO of them in there - I can't jump at every noise!) This time, however, I panicked. But before I went rushing in there, I woke Roger.

"Roger! It's 4:30!"

"4:30?" he mumbles. "That's awesome - she made it to 4:30." (The "she" being Julie - because it's always Julie.)

"But it's not Julie. It's Anna, right? Isn't that Anna?" I say, shoving the monitor closer to his ear.

"That's Anna," he agrees, more awake now. "But go look."

I tiptoe into the nursery and sure enough Anna is barely whimpering and Julie's eyes are closed; she's totally still. I creep closer. I put my hand near her nose to make sure she's breathing. I think I feel air. I'm pretty sure. I give Anna a pacifier and she falls back asleep immediately. I run back to the bedroom.

"Well?" Roger asks. He's sitting up in bed, clearly worried.

"It was Anna," I confirm.

"And Julie's okay?"

"I think so."

"Well, is she breathing? Did you check?" He starts to get out of bed.

"I think so! I don't know!" I say, uncertain now of whether I actually felt air or not.

We both go rushing back into the nursery. Roger reaches into Julie's crib to touch her face. She opens her eyes slightly, looking irritated by the disturbance. Roger then goes to Anna. He needs confirmation that she too is okay. She's sound asleep.

We tiptoe back to our room relieved though realizing that we've become the cliche. The fact that Roger is also a cliche makes me feel slightly better about the situation.

And just in case you're curious... half an hour later, Anna started whimpering again, then crying, so I went back to the nursery to feed both of them. But 9 pm to 5 am? I call that sleeping through the night! Now let's just see if they can do it again...