Man- if I had to pick one age I could bypass- it would be three. I know, I know… it sounds horrible and heartless, but seriously, like overnight they have taken over my sweet (yet rambunctious two year olds) and replaced them with these beings that appear cute on the outside and full of sass and stubbornness on the inside (I blame Jeremy). My babies are no longer babies!!
No- they are no longer babies- we will probably always refer to Whitney as “Baby”, but the baby stage has packed up and left the Hillman household (or at this current point, my parent’s house because #moving).
As we approach the threenage years, I’m going to take a second and reminisce on moments… that I remember…
- Finding out there were two: Seriously- will never forget that moment. In the Dr. office, not expecting great news. I had had an ultrasound the week before (at 5 weeks) but Dr. didn’t say too much and said let’s repeat it in a week. For someone that had been through multiple early miscarriages… I wasn’t expecting great news. I had symptoms, but I also had symptoms with Jeremiah, the baby we lost in the second trimester due to a Partial Molar Pregnancy (ugh- needles in the skin just typing that phrase out). So I sent Jeremy to his bowling meet, had my mom meet me at the Dr. to watch 7 mo old Knox in the waiting room so I could find out maybe good news/probably bad. It was a new tech… had an internal ultrasound because it was so early… and before she flipped the switch on, she goes “Well, it still might be too early to see both their heartbeats”. Me: “Oh, you must have the wrong chart, we’re just checking for a viable pregnancy.” Her: “Lisa Hillman? Yeah, they didn’t tell you last week there are twins?” Me: “Uh… no… you’re kidding right? Oh my gosh, I can’t breathe… can you go get my mom? I definitely need my mom? She’s sitting out there… go get her please?” Her: “Uhhhh… I just can’t leave this inside you…” Me: “Oh, right”. I don’t really remember the rest of the appointment besides the moment of my just handing my mom a picture of “the babies” and watching the realization of what was happening wash over her face. Let’s just say she was a little more excited than I was.
- Telling Jeremy: Have you all seen it? It’s on YouTube… I’ve never seen my husband speechless before. Watch it HERE.
- Team Green: Being Team Green was SO hard… especially with twins…and especially with a High Risk Doctor that had a hard time keeping secrets. But we made it and it was SO worth it. We had an idea that Baby “B” might be a girl… the nurses referred to “her” as a Diva because B was always the most difficult to get the readings on and never cooperated. Fast forward to the delivery and “A” came out with “It’s a girl!”… we start crying and then go… oh man, two girls!! Imagine our surprise when two minutes later “B” comes out with “And it’s a boy!” Uh, what?!?! Welcome to the world, Griffin (who still has Diva-tendencies)
- The Delivery: First “Gentle C-Section Delivery” at Copley. So great. We had a clear curtain so I was able to see them immediately. They put Whitney on my chest right away and had Jeremy wear a button down so he had Griffin right away for some skin to skin time. Well, both of them wouldn’t settle down and kept crying, so the nurse did a quick switch and sure enough- we had a daddy’s girl and a mama’s boy from the first minutes of life. Totally different from the C-Section I had had with Aiden 13 years prior that I didn’t get to hold him for over an hour and barely saw him before they whisked him away for all the tests and bath.
- The feedings: Dang- that sucked. Neither twin would latch. We. tried. everything. Lactation consultants, nipple guards, different positions… nothing worked. Which left me to pump. And pump. And pump. I missed out on a lot of life in the first few months. We would feed them, burp them, change them, get them settled, then I would pump for about 20-30 minutes (for a good feeding) and I would have about 30 minutes before the process started all over again. Fed is best and my life became insanely less stressful when we introduced formula. And the babies were so much more happy and content as well. I repeat. FED IS BEST! for everyone!! including my 3 other children and my husband.
- The support: The meals, the help, the holding of babies. It was all so great. It takes a village and our village sure picked us up and helped carry us when we were too tired. Showers were so glorious and it was so nice to have someone come and just sit there so the shower could happen uninterrupted.
- The first year: Nope. Don’t remember it. I don’t remember who rolled over first, who talked first, who crawled or walked first. Nada. I got nothing. I remember moments of success… like figuring out how to carry both of them up and down the stairs at the same time, when they could feed themselves a bottle, when I got them both to relax at the same time… even if it was for only 30 seconds. I SWORE I would not take any moment for granted with them. Sleep deprivation beats memory. Hands down. I do remember buying a Franchise when they were 3 months old. Who doesn’t start a franchise when their twins are three months old?
- The gear: So much gear for twins. Not necessarily two of everything, but two of a lot. So many bottles and bottle parts (Thanks, Dr. Brown), the pack and plays, the diapers… so many diapers. We used to order our diapers from Amazon- and it would look like we had a body delivered to our house every month.
- The real world was not twin friendly: I gave up going places eventually. I remember pushing one cart and pulling the other cart through a store. I remember getting so mad when people would take the “big cart” at Target for their one child. I had to remind myself they have no idea. I actually pulled into Target once and left because I couldn’t find a big cart. I would take the double stroller places, but that didn’t fit anywhere (which double strollers are the same width as wheel-chairs, which made me super sad). Grocery stores put milk at the back of the store. No quick trips. This now made Jeremy the sole-grocery shopper. And trying to get twins through a parking lot is like herding drunk cats.
- The Chaos: It’s never calm. What’s calm? There’s no calm. There is always something going on. Someone crying. Someone yelling. People fighting. Something lost. We’re late. We forget things. We haven’t forgot kids yet, though. Yet.
- Their bond: They maybe aren’t as close as some twins, but they sure have a bond that none of the other siblings share. They have a special sense that they can tell what is going on with the other when we can’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not butterflies and rainbows… they fight… but they love each other fiercely and don’t like to be apart from each other at all. They watch out for each other. I would take them to the church nursery to interact with other kids, and they would just play by themselves. Now, they will tell you they are each other’s best friends. Melt my heart.
- Boy vs. Girl/ Nurture vs. Nature: So with boy/girl twins… there’s not a whole lot of time to promote “girl” toys or “boy” toys. Since they started playing toys- they gravitate toward the same gender toys. Our biggest thing has been Griffin (and Knox) wanting to paint their nails or wear dresses. Who cares though, right? Why can’t boys of pretty nails? Or wear pretty dresses? Why is it so much more appropriate for girls to wear “boy” clothes, but not the opposite?
I know this post doesn’t make it seem all great. It is. I swear. I was never a person that wanted twins. I was actually shocked when I found out there are people in the world that wish for spontaneous twins! I wouldn’t change it for the world. They were the perfect finale. The perfect caboose to our train. Quatro and Cinco. I can’t imagine life any other way. I enjoy the questions. I enjoy watching their bond grow. I enjoy the chaos. I embrace the chaos (somedays). I love that we have a huge triple stroller named “The Beast” and I love Black Betty. I love that we have this large family and that I have 5 kids that are all so uniquely different. But I don’t love 3’s. 3’s are rough. I’m sure I will be celebrating in a year when we reach the 4’s. Until then- que sera.