Posts Tagged by babies
Of all the things I remember about 9/11, I remember being pregnant. It was not my first pregnancy, and it would not be my last, yet it was a pregnancy marked with sorrow.
I was a young mother, with 5 and 3 year old sons. I had just flown back home (via United Airlines, no less) from a family wedding in Michigan. While I was gone, the Rev. and my then little boys had moved all of our worldly possessions into our home on a beautiful river in northern Minnesota.
Our phone and internet had been hooked up (hello, dial-up!), but I was still waiting on the cable guy. On that sunny September day 10 years ago, I looked at the pile of moving boxes in my living room and opted for coffee on my back deck instead of work. I was just past my first trimester, and coffee was beginning to be palatable and enjoyable again. But there was one problem. I was out of creamer.
I loaded the little ones up in our little car, and headed out for the grocery store. I was not even around the bend in our road before I began to hear the horrific news on the radio. Not only had one plane crashed into the World Trade Center, it appeared that a second one had as well. I immediately turned around and returned home to call the Rev. at church. (We totally did not have cell phones yet! I only got mine 2 years ago!).
The rest of the day is a blur. I remember the Rev. going to a neighbor’s home to watch news coverage. I remember being angry, frightened and sad. I remember logging on to the computer to check with my Yahoo Baby Club (we still, 10 years later, communicate daily) to make sure everyone was OK. We were all in shock, and frightened, and angry, and most of all, unsure of what kind of world we were bringing these fresh new babies into.
Our cable was not hooked up for a few days. I actually never watched any 9/11 video footage until a year later. I’m actually glad that we had no cable on that terrible day, as I most certainly would have viewed it on the Today Show, live.
What I did not realize until yesterday was how much I had sheltered my Child of 9/11. Sure, hen has heard the term. He has written letters to members of the US Military. He is a proud Cub Scout. He knows that there are other people who hate America.
However, we had never really told him about that day. When he was alive, but not yet born, and life as we knew it changed forever.
Yesterday, as we were getting ready for church, we had left the TV on, and he watched the events unfold. He finally learned what 9/11 was.
As I was driving him to visit a friend, he asked me about it. About what happened. And so I told him. I told him about the terrorists. But mostly, I told him about the heroes. I told him of the first responders. I told him of the ordinary people who reached out and helped friends and neighbors. And then I broke down in sobs as I told him the story of Flight 93.
I told him that there are children, his very age, who have never met their fathers, because of this act of terrorism. I told him of people who lost mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. I spoke of innocence lost.
Our world changed that day.
But when I look into the eyes of my son, my child of 9/11, I can see hope, and a future. When you see a nine year old this week, remember, quite possibly, their world was changed the most.
Yesterday the twins turned 10 months old. They sleep mostly through the night, they finally nap at the same time, they eat more solids and depend less on breastfeeding to meet all of their needs. In other words, they are getting to be a lot easier. I’m going to be a lot busier soon, as both girls appear to be on the verge of walking, but at the same time, I’m pretty used to keeping mobile babies entertained. This isn’t my first rodeo, you know!
A friend gave birth to her set of beautiful twin girls last Tuesday. When I went to visit her at the hospital and I saw those two tiny perfect little peanuts I gasped. They were both 6 pounds 5 ounces, a bit smaller than my Ellie was, and a bit larger than my Emmy. And yet. . . I could hardly remember my girls being quite so tiny, and quite so helpless.
So this post goes out to my friend, as she navigates these first tenuous weeks of adjusting to not one baby, but two!
- Be gentle on yourself. A multiple pregnancy takes a lot out of you as a mom, especially near the end. Multiple deliveries are no picnic either, whether you deliver naturally, via c-section, or a combination of the two. It is likely that you lost a lot of blood, are anemic, and also very, very tired. So rest as much as you can, accept help when offered, and take things slowly.
- Remember that babies are more important than schedules. As much as you really want to get those babies into a routine, part of that routine has to come from the babies as well. Spend the first few weeks paying attention to their hunger cues and establishing a healthy nursing relationship. It may be harder to breastfeed two, but it is not impossible, and it very well be your most time saving decision in the long run (even though it does NOT seem like it now!)
- In these first few weeks, don’t try to keep the babies on the same schedule. If they fall into it naturally, fine (many MZ twins will naturally keep very similar schedules, DZ twins probably will not). However stressing about keeping two individuals on the same routine may end up being more work for mom in these early weeks. Personally, I relished time alone with each of the girls. I also think that they appreciate some one on one time with mom.
- Get to know the signs of postpartum depression. Tell your family members about the signs. Tell them to tell you if you are exhibiting them. Seek help if you need it! The hormone shift after a multiple birth is extreme to say the least. Find a way to relax, be alone, and hash out your feelings. Blogging in my early days really helped. I know people thought I was crazy for writing instead of napping in those first months, but for me the writing was even more therapeutic than sleep!
- Drink a ton of water. You need it. Your babies need it.
- Take a bajillion photos. Write everything down. You THINK you will remember all of these crazy days. Trust me. You won’t. (oh and in those pictures, keep the babies in the same order all of the time! I still mostly have Ellie on the left and Emmy on the right!)
So, it is time for you to chime in! What is your best piece of advice for a brand new mother of multiples? (MoM). Are you expecting twins, or more? Do you want more of my tips, or experiences? Ask away! I love to hear from you all!