Adjusting to Life Change with Twins

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by mjwebb05, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. mjwebb05

    mjwebb05 Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,
    Our boys are one month old on July 18th (they were 33 week preemies) and I know that it will not always be about the feeding, changing, swaddling, cuddling, sleeping schedule, but it is for now! I am just wondering if anyone else can speak to what the adjustment was like for you if you are like me and went from no children to twins and from working full time to being a stay at home mom. It is such a drastic identity and schedule change, and at times I wonder if it is still possible to have the normal postpartum hormones and lack of sleep that make me feel anxious sometimes and even have a feeling (at least once a day) of being "trapped" in this new life. I know many of you on here can probably feel like you are hibernating in your house and ruled by a feeding schedule!! Taking my dog outside for a walk feels like a treat now as it is something "different" and not related to my sons and trying to get them to eat :)

    On the other hand, I am still kinda nervous about being away from the house for *too* long...we went out to dinner the other night after running some errands (grandparents watched boys) and I felt anxious being away from them for that long!

    Are these normal feelings?? I do not think it is PPD, but if it is, it is not a bad case as I am functional and not always feeling these feelings - just on and off through my days. I am so happy to have two sweet little boys, but getting to know them can be exhausting at times!! "Is that rooting a reflex or is he really still hungry even though he fell asleep feeding 5 mins ago?", etc. I am thinking it is more attributable to the HUGE life change that happens when you have children, and especially twins, as your first children!

    Just need some reassurance or those who can relate!
  2. shj52429

    shj52429 Active Member

    You are definitely not alone in feeling this way. I have a 3 year old so I can't relate to the new parent things and am glad I am not a new parent but yet my 3 year old adds to the craziness even more so than the twins at times. My boys are 12 weeks tomorrow and I have been back to work for 2 weeks. I was just feeling good about our routine and getting to know my boys when everything got overturned when I went back to work even part time. I have all those feelings too and found that getting out and bringing the boys with me helps tremendously. I feel some days all I do is get ready to go somewhere and then clean up once I get home but I go crazy sitting in my house. Most of the time I take all 3 of them by myself and try to time it right after they eat. Most people I see comment on how much I get out but I think it is easier now than it will be in a year! I also hate to leave them for so long, especially now that they are with a sitter when I work but I do feel a lot better after getting out of the house. Do you have friends with babies? Since it is a lot of work to go out and about, I have invited a lot of people to our house for "playdate", which is really just purely for socialization since they are all babies. It is a little hard to see how "easy" they have it with one but lots of time they help with yours too. Hang in there, everyone on here says it gets easier!
  3. Magdel

    Magdel Member

    Your feelings are very normal. It is overwhelming at first but you will get more comfortable and confident every week. Be patient and be kind to yourself. You don't have to have all the answers right now. Do what works for you and although getting advice from others is helpful remember every child is different. Don't forget to laugh and enjoy parenting too. Sometimes it's easy to forget that part.
  4. christy.fisher

    christy.fisher Well-Known Member

    One of my biggest adjustments was realizing that I was still a 'lover' to my husband and not just a mommy. I was so focused on and practically drowning in baby that anytime he tried anything, I yelled at him. This body is for baby raising! It took me a while to get the hang of being in a different role for different people - mommy for the babies, lover/wife to my hubby, etc.

    I think you are fortunate to be going through the hard, beginning months in the summer. My babies were born in the beginning of January (the crappiest month of the year in my opinion) so I was stuck inside all the time, after having already been stuck inside for 6 1/2 weeks of bedrest. Ugh... Not many fond memories for me there.
  5. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Totally normal! It's especially hard on the mom in the first while because they need you more than anyone and you lose yourself in there. I also had a very hard time being away from the kids.. it was a bit of a catch 22- I knew I needed a break from them to be functional, but it caused me a great deal of anxiety to be away.

    Anxiety is definitely a part of PPD. I am prone to anxiety, so after pregnancy with all the hormones and the sleep deprivation I was definitely experiencing more than normal. I wished I had taken it more seriously and mentioned it to my doctor, because looking back at those first few months I realize I could have enjoyed them more. That being said, once you start getting more sleep and you gain a bit of confidence that you can handle the kids it does start to get a lot easier. Even though you are having a hard time leaving the kids now, take time to do something for yourself as often as possible, even if it's just a good long shower, reading a book for 20 minutes, anything to recharge. Also, stay in touch with your friends! A good phone call through the day can really ground you :)
  6. shj52429

    shj52429 Active Member

    That is so true, making that adjustment is hard, especially being paranoid about getting pregnant right after having twins lol!! It is also hard to adjust to your "post-twins" body and feel good about how you look when you barely have time to shower, let alone do your hair and have a clean, cute outfit (or find one that fits)!!
  7. piccologirl

    piccologirl Well-Known Member

    i had 33 1/2 weekers and i could have written your post! :wavey: :hug: i'm also a FT working mom and these are my first children.

    excellent point! it's totally normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed and anxious right now. that said, PPD is an insidious thing. it's surprisingly easy to convince yourself that it's just a shade of stress or it's just your own inability to cope. it can feel like a matter of degrees and if you can just pull yourself together you'll be back to normal. it's important that you understand what your body has just gone through birthing two babies. don't be afraid to talk to your doctor if you feel like you're struggling with the stress.
  8. sruth

    sruth Well-Known Member

    We too went from being alone and married for over 10yrs too two babies! I worked full time in my career to being a SAHM for over a year and a half. I felt trapped and overwhelmed daily. What helped me get through it (and works even today) is Acceptance. It’s one of those things that people keep telling you "your life will change forever" but you never understand it until you're living it.
    Once someone told me that I kept waiting for things to get easier and manageable rather than accepting my NEW life...because the old one is gone (for the better). So I work on that every day and looking forward to the milestones helped! Sleeping through the night at 5 months (well, at least one). Dropping the third nap at 9 months and then another at 15 months which gave us more freedom.
    I just experienced two weeks of sleepless nights due to an illness and the "old" feelings of the girls early days came back and I was depressed and anxious...sleep deprivation is no joke. Just know that what you are feeling is normal for a post-partum body that isn't getting enough sleep.
  9. DblStuffOreo

    DblStuffOreo Well-Known Member

    My girls are 14 weeks 1 day today (8 weeks 5 days adjusted) and I totally know what you are talking about. I went from a cute wife who was respected and had a booming career in a man's-world profession to a mom of twins who works part-time from home and who has to watch while her prize projects get taken over by the guys. These first few months have been full of self-doubt, anxiety, frustration, and re-defining who I am. At times I also felt trapped - even resentful as my husband walked out the door into the "real" world. But, with each day it gets better and I get more comfortable in my new skin - and you will, too. While raising twins is not easy, it is manageable - even down right fun some days.

    A perfect example is seeing your post and reflecting on my day today. I ran to the store with my hair in a bun, no make-up on, and baby spit-up on the shoulder of my ill-fitting top, all while anxious as heck that the twins would stay asleep for DH while I was gone. The old me would have snickered at the new me (maybe not even under her breath). While the new me misses the old me, and sometimes still mourns for the life I had, the new me has known joys the old me could never fathom.

    So, rest assured, what you are feeling is TOTALLY NORMAL. Know that the good times will outweigh the frustrating times, and the first three months are not a good time to take score. Hang in there! You're doing a great job!
  10. hsddc

    hsddc Well-Known Member

    You are SO not alone! I felt very trapped early on and I have a very vivid memory of going for a walk with my dog around the block (literally 10 minutes) and feeling guilty that I was gone so long but also totally excited to be outside in the fresh air with no babies.

    It gets much, much better (soon). I took some advice from a friend whose twins are 6 months older than mine. She said to get out as much as possible with the kids--even if it means taking a risk. You just have to think--what is the worst thing that could happen? For example: if I go out to lunch with the kids, what's the worst thing that can happen? They get unhappy & start screaming, you'll get the food wrapped up and you'll head home. And if you're able to feed them a bottle or if you're ok bf'ing in public, then you don't even have to worry about their schedule (so much).

    Once I adopted this philosophy, it made things so much better. And if you pick family friendly places, it's really no big deal and you'll feel human again to be out in the world. I don't know where you live but Target is a big favorite--no one seems to care if kids are screaming in Target. And Cheesecake Factory (or similar) is great for bringing the kids, the one by me even has a stroller parking area.

    For the first few times, bring a friend, family member or sympathetic neighbor to help out. It WILL get better! You really will feel better about this. It's so easy to get in the rut of the 2-3 hour schedule and by stepping out of your comfort zone, you'll find, I think, that you don't have to be trapped at home.
  11. haleystar

    haleystar Well-Known Member

    Oh I can TOTALLY relate to this and it lasted much longer than it should have. Our boys had issues with the bottle until about 7 months. Feeds went from taking an hour locked up in the nursery with the door shut to avoid distractions and from screaming and crying through feedings, projectile puke to 15 minute feeds with 8oz bottles for each and that time includes changing to diapers and warming the bottles. People would always say to me that I need to get the boys out more but I really couldn't. They ate so badly that it took an hour and sometimes it was 2 hours to feed them both. It was terribly frustrating. So yes, I hibernated like the animals do in the winter. The absolute worst thing about it, for me, was that I was the only one they would take a bottle from so it's not like I could have someone watch them for a few hours while I go out since they needed the bottle every couple of house. I'm so glad that hurdle has passed. Now we are trying to make the transition to real food and it's taking a very long time for the boys to get the idea. Oh well, they'll learn when they are ready...doesn't mean I can't put cheese sticks in their hand even though they end up smooshing it all up in their hands and clap then throw the rest of the stick to the floor for the dogs.

    I would say totally normal. My boys were a complete and total surprise to us since we had stopped trying after 2 years and getting nowhere and when we gave up we got pregnant and to our surprise we were having identical twin boys as our first, and probably last, lol, children. I TOTALLY understand what you mean by the "Huge life change". Going from working outside of your house and regularly socializing with people our own age to engage in adult things to now bound to the house taking care of two newborn babies that need to eat every couple of hours and all the other things that can happen.

    I think you may be experience slight PPD but most definitely the baby blues, which are very common. My best advice to make YOU better and happier and able to cope would be to talk to you GP and tell him/her what's going on. It might not be a bad idea of the doctors opinion, there may be a low dose anti-depressant med that you can take while going through this adjustment period where your hormones plummet so rapidly that people who are prone to depression when they are not pregnant and extremely likely to develop PPD. The earliest you can nip this in the bud the better. You don't want a possible baby blues to turn in full on PPD because I tell you want, it is the WORST feeling and it just lingers and lingers...oh it's terrible and it makes it SOOO hard to take care of the kids because in a way, and I hate myself for saying this - and this may not apply to everyone but it did with me- I suffered severe PPD which made the first 3 months of the twins life unbareable.

    I think it's most definetly the hardest things for us to do, especially when the first kids are multiples...they tend to send some of us Mommy's into shock and anxiety feelings when the thoughts of preparing and taking care of 2 kids at the same time.

    I know it seems far away but your twins, as they start hitting milestones like sitting up, crawling, talking, and standing will become easier and so much fun to just kick back and watch them play patty cakes with eachother laughing hysterically at the exact same time, or when they get into tickle wars. It will get easier in some ways, harder in others but hang in there, take a deep breath, relax for a moment, think about all of the positive things around you and about how these two babies love you more than anything in the world as do you to them. Do when you start having bad feelings or are just having a really frustrating day. Sometimes it helps me.

    You'll get there and make it through. My boys will be 1 on Friday and guess what? Even though we went through rather extreme feeding issues with bad reflux, 1+ feeds every 4 hours which all envolved each baby projectile vommitting during meals. We made it through it, not always happy but hey we all still have hair on our heads! :)

    But seriously just see your GP about how you're feeling. You don't want to risk the possibilty of this getting worse, you know?

    Congrats on your babies!!!
    1 person likes this.
  12. haleystar

    haleystar Well-Known Member

    It won't let me edit that original post to fix all of the typos and other various things I did to butcher the English please excuse them and I hope they didn't confuse what I was trying to say.
  13. healer27

    healer27 Well-Known Member

    Hi, just wanted to say I feel the exact same way and I have a 3 you already. But prior to this I was working pt with my 3yo in daycare those days and after having gone through the young baby thing once was finally enjoying a schedule in our lives. We were trying to get pregnant but twins were a big suprise. On top of it my twins were monoamniotic/monochorionic which means they were both in one sac with two umbilical cords which is considered very high risk because the babies can compress there cords and pass away in utero so I was in the hospital 2 months seperated f rom my 3 yo and husband prior to this. Now I'm home but going bonkers, I've even felt "mad" at the babies at times because of this when deep inside I know they are true gifts but the isolation and full time demand on top of sleep deprivation is AlOT. I haven't been able to take them out yet because they were born at 34 weeks and we were told no big public places for 2 months until there immune systems mature a little more so its been hard; and although i woul dlove to tak ethem for walks its been too hot to even be able to take them out. Well jus twanted to say you are not alone..
  14. MrsBirch

    MrsBirch Well-Known Member

    I can absolutley relate...mine were born at 31 weeks after me being on 3 1/2 weeks of hospitalized bed rest. They are now 3 and a half months old and I still have those helpless days, not as many but every so often I wonder if I can do it. But I know I can and so can you!! A mom of twins told me to enjoy this time because once they are mobile I'll be wishing they were infants again

    Good luck!!
  15. dra1408

    dra1408 Well-Known Member

    I totally relate. I also went from no kids to two and having a full time job and a part time job to being a SAHM. It has been very hard for me to adjust and I tend to over think and second guess everything I do. I was diagnosed with PPD and put on a mild antidepressant, which helped, but I still have my bad days. I love my girls with all of my heart but being a SAHM is the hardest job I have ever had, and it makes it even harder since I have very little help (DH is little help and very unsympathetic). It does get easier the older they get, though. And I also hate to be away from them for very long.

    Your feelings are completely normal and believe me, you are not alone!
  16. 5280babies

    5280babies Well-Known Member

    My situation is exactly as yours. DH and I were very involved in our careers and had a lot of hobbies and other passions we worked on outside of work. We were back and forth about having children but we decided to move forward since I am getting a bit older. We were giddy to have twins but oh so naive. I will never know how I made it through the first months...but you do what you have to do. I looked at them and was in love but I became so lonely and depressed. I was secretly mad that DH got to go to work. I was mad that family lived far away and didn't call me enough to check in (although I guess they were worried for me.) I was a SAHM until May - so about 14 mos when I decided to take on a pt job. It ends in October and I can't wait to be a SAHM a few more months. Sleep deprivation was a killer and really affected how I looked at things. Now I am very busy with them but also with work and I just want to be back spending time with them. This age is amazing - every age is amazing. I remember forcing myself to get out to the store and feeling so thankful to be among adults, even strangers. I welcomed the attention, better than talking to myself at home. But it was very very difficult. Some days I felt like I accomplished something, other days I wished I wouldn't have tried. Such a mixture of feelings, but I will never ever forget it - it was an experience that was life-changing, still is. I tried to soak in every moment I could - I focused only on those babies. The house was a terrible mess, I didn't return calls, and I let people stop by not caring what they thought. Then one day I felt confident and this whole new proud feeling emerged, like I really became, and still am, an awesome woman. I am not tooting my horn, I think every woman has to give herself a pep talk now and then and at some point my attitude went from down in the dumps to a more positive direction. I still have days, but if I prep myself not to fail in my mind, even when I am exhausted, we make it through. I have kept a journal - not a lot but thoughts here and there. It helps greatly - I recommend it. You will love reading it a year from now. And lastly, this forum WAS my only friend for months and months. :grouphug:
  17. jromkey

    jromkey Well-Known Member

    As others have said, what you are feeling sounds normal but I also think Sara and Jen had valid points about PPD and talking to your doctor about how you're feeling. Just know that we all understand how difficult it is to raise twins and the adjustment period will be tough. I too was working full time before giving birth and won't be going back to work until they are over a year old. Even though I chose to extend my leave so I could take care of my girls a little longer doesn't mean that everything is wonderful. I have days where the monotony of the routine at home gets me down. I can get into funks and just feel like I don't have the energy or will to go anywhere or do anything beyond meeting the babies' needs. But I find that if I force myself to get out of the house for a walk with the babies or grab a coffee I feel instantly better. I never regret going for a walk. Like others have said, you also need to think about starting to take some time for yourself. I totally remember how I felt in those first few months when my parents or in-laws would watch the kids so we could go out - all we'd do was talk about the babies and I'd get worried about them so we'd end up going home sooner than planned. So that is totally normal! Soon enough, when the sleep deprivation has lessened and the babies get on something of a predictable schedule, you will love going out again and you won't feel so anxious about leaving them. You are in the thick of it right now but rest assured you will make it out of this stronger and more resilient than you ever imagined. Best of luck and know that we in the FY will always be here to lend support, encouragement and advice!
    1 person likes this.
  18. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    Everybody here has such valid points so I'm not going to repeat any of them, but I did want to say congrats and it will get better before you realize it. My two are exactly a year older and I can't believe it was a year ago because it seems like just yesterday. I don't have exactly the same experience as you because I was the one who had to go back to work. DH quit his job when the babies were born so we parented together for the first 8 weeks and then I went back to work and he stays home. I actually felt resentful that he got to be with them all day and I didn't, and resented a lot of the SAHM I would come in contact with because they got to see their kids more than 2 hours a day (2 AM feedings not included). The reason I tell you this is that our postpartum hormones can affect us regardless of whether we are constantly in mommy mode or not, and we always want what we cannot have...its human nature! Hang in there, and keep forcing yourself to take small tidbits of time for yourself and you will feel more human. A year later, I still miss my kids when DH and I go out and leave them with a sitter, and we still find ourselves talking about them more than anything else, but that's ok. We come back feeling recharged and excited to spend more time with them.

    I also want to reemphasize what others said and recommend you get out with them for walks. It will make you feel better, help you feel fit again, and many times the fresh air has a calming effect on babies. Even if they do cry, its ok. You're outside, so no ones gonna mind! Also, no matter how tired and stressed you feel, take lots of pictures. A few months from now, this time will be such a blur to you that your pictures will be your memories of how small and precious they are
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