Twin life

Anticipation: the aftermath

On the day before the babies were born I published a post that listed the various things I was looking forward to. It was entitled ‘Anticipation’. Now that six weeks have passed, I thought that it might be interesting to visit that list and see what elements were as I’d expected. My original list items are in bold, below.

I can’t wait to see our babies for the first time.

To be honest, I was so spaced out and traumatised by the c-section that, as it was still taking place, I wasn’t really in a fit state to marvel at the babies as they were plucked, screaming, from my abdomen. It was amazing to meet them again in the post-recovery room, though, and I spent a lot of time in the following few days staring at them and being amazed that we’d made them. I still do that, actually.

I can’t wait to see Tristan’s face when he sees our babies for the first time.

Again, I was in too much of a state to notice what Tristan was doing when the babies were plucked out, although it was very sweet to see how excited he was after he’d checked them out while they were being weighed and measured.

I can’t wait to kiss and cuddle our babies, and count their toes, and try to decide who they most resemble (Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill, if they’re anything like most newborns).

I am still taking great delight in kissing and cuddling them at every opportunity (and believe me, they give me plenty of opportunities…). And I’m still not sure who they look like. I think Hattie has my oval face shape, and earlier this week somebody said that Joe resembled me around the eyes. I think Joe has a very similar mouth and jaw line to Tristan. I guess we’ll have to wait until they get a little bigger before we can start playing ‘spot the family resemblance’.

I can’t wait to be able to tell our friends and family that our long-awaited children have finally arrived. We are surrounded by amazing levels of goodwill from people all around the world and it be lovely to share the news with them, knowing how happy they are for us. We are so lucky!

I was right: it was so lovely to announce our happy news and share the excitement with everybody. We’ve been inundated with fabulous messages, cards and presents, and we are so grateful.

I can’t wait to hear everybody’s reactions to the names that we’ve chosen (people have been very excited about this, which is awesome – and most of the guesses have been nice names, which seems to reflect well on their perception of our taste..!)

People seem to love Hattie and Joe’s names, which is so nice! We’d chosen Hattie’s name very soon after we were told that we were having a girl and a boy – I’ve loved the name Harriet for ages – and Tristan came up with Joe’s name after we spent ages trying to find a boy’s name that we liked and that hadn’t already been used by lots of people that we know.

And I don’t think I’ve explained the middle names yet. Joe is Joseph William Summersett: William for my paternal grandfather and Tristan’s maternal grandfather, and Summersett because it’s Tristan’s mother’s maiden name, and also one of Tristan’s middle names. Hattie is Harriet Frances Kathleen: Frances because my confirmation saint is St Francis of Assisi (and we did consider Francis as Joe’s name, or as one of his middle names – we subbed in Summersett instead at the last minute, and then went with the feminine version of Francis for Hattie); and Kathleen because it was my paternal grandmother’s name (and she was awesome).

I can’t wait to be more comfortable. I’ve been told by lots of people that I can expect to feel better almost immediately: I’ll be able to breathe properly again, for starters, and my constant heartburn should ease off. Yay!

All those people were right: I did bid a swift farewell to heartburn, rhinitis and the pain and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome, and my hips and knees felt better very quickly. I’m certainly not a fine physical specimen now, and I do have some ongoing issues, but it was lovely to be clear of some complaints.

I can’t wait to be able to sleep on my back again.

It is BRILLIANT to be able to sleep comfortably once again! Best thing ever. And I slept on my back quite often in the early days when my milk was coming in and my boobs were very sore.

I’d been told by other new twin mothers that I’d sleep better with newborns in the house than I did when I was pregnant, and they were right: I may not get enough sleep now (particularly as it’s exhausting to breast feed two babies), but at least I go to sleep within a couple of minutes of lying down, any time of the day or night. And I usually sleep very soundly, although in the first few weeks I was plagued by incredibly vivid ‘I’ve been breast feeding in bed and now I can’t find the baby’ dreams that are, apparently, very common (and extremely disconcerting).

I can’t wait to be able to shave my legs and paint my toenails.

HA! I’ve had time to shave my legs twice in six weeks, and my toenails are a disgrace: they remain unpainted, and barely get trimmed. I have absolutely no time to spend on my own maintenance at the moment: I didn’t have a chance to have a shower yesterday until nearly midnight, and I don’t even have time to ring somebody and make an appointment for a pedicure, let alone actually leave the house and go to one!

I can’t wait to be free of pregnancy rhinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It is SO good to be clear of these problems! However, I now have terribly weak wrists, which is making it difficult to hold Joe, in particular. And in the later stages of my pregnancy I developed what had now been diagnosed as tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is the foot version of carpal tunnel syndrome. I’ve still got quite a lot of pain and numbness, but I’m seeing an osteopath to try to sort it out.

I can’t wait to be able to move around without aching knees and throbbing hips.

My knees are still pretty buggered, but I’m far more mobile and comfortable than I was. It’s awesome to be able to go for a walk again.

I can’t wait to be a normal shape again and not prompt people to do a double take when they see me.

This really is lovely (although I still looked at least six months pregnant when we left hospital – a bump that big doesn’t vanish overnight).

Now I just look like what I am: somebody carrying a fair bit of extra weight, especially on the tummy. I gained nearly 30 kgs during my pregnancy and have lost 20 kgs pretty quickly, but I suspect that the last ten kilos will take a bit more effort…

I can’t wait to fit my non-pregnancy clothes again. During the past few weeks I’ve been so huge that I’ve only been able to fit four maternity dresses; I am SO sick of them!

This is quite frustrating. My maternity clothes are too big, but I suspect that my excess ten kilo baggage will prevent me from fitting my normal clothes. I can only judge this in theory at the moment because I haven’t had a chance to dig out my normal clothes from where I’ve stored them. So I have hardly anything to wear – and when we leave the house (which doesn’t happen often), I also have to wear something suitable for breast feeding, which further limits my choices. Getting dressed is challenging at the moment.

I can’t wait to become a parent at last, and start this new phase of our lives.

Despite my many complaints about how hard I’m finding this newborn stage, I am so delighted to have my children, at last. They were definitely worth waiting for!


4 thoughts on “Anticipation: the aftermath

  1. I’ve never slept so well in my life. I’ve never slept so LITTLE in my life either (even with the baby in hospital I’m still ruled by the breastpump) but go its like the sleep of the dead, it’s so good. Plus a 9.5lber and feeding has left me looking like I was never pregnant within less than 2 weeks. Which is bittersweet actually. Hopefully in a couple more months your body will have recovered from the work of carrying two sweet bundles around. Isn’t the human body amazing at times?

      1. Yes I know, I’m making enough for two lol. They have milk in the freezer and a full fridge at Special Care and shes only been there for 5 days!

      2. Crazy! Once you’re nursing her full time your supply should settle down to what she needs, I think – mind you, she’s a big girl, so maybe she’ll drink enough for two!

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