Identical Twin Diaries – Nine Months Old

The girls turned nine months last week but I’m only just getting around to posting this now… It’s a common theme with most things in my life nowadays! Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it often feels like a bit of a dream and the last nine months have gone by so quickly that it can’t possibly have happened.

Over the last couple of weeks the girls have changed a huge amount each day; Edie’s hair seems to have sprung out of nowhere, both are desperately trying to crawl (and failing at present), Mabel woke up on Sunday morning and started saying ‘Babababa’ and Edie joined in by whispering ‘Dadadada.’ Then just this morning as I went in to get her out of bed, she started saying it out loud. It’s so hard to believe they were tiny babies who didn’t fit in preemie clothing nine months ago.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • Babies have a sixth sense. On the days I’m more relaxed – so are they. It sounds so obvious but on days where I’ve had a cold or not slept well the night before, they become so needy and moan constantly.
  • They definitely know more than they let on! Sometimes they do things that astound me. Mabel hides carrot crisps down the side of the highchair so she can eat them later, knowing I’ll forget and give her more.
  • People can be so rude without meaning to be. This is the ultimate bugbear of all multiple mum’s I’m sure, but yes they are twins, yes they were natural, no they weren’t planned and no their identical girls, not boys or one of each. My hands aren’t full and they are not ‘hard work.’ The ‘oooh I bet they’re hard work comment’ drives me nuts, because it implies having one is easy which I’m sure it is not.

Things I want to remember:

  • Both are now sitting when helped up and both can roll back to front… they did one day master the art of rolling back and I spent an entire afternoon chasing them round the lounge but the next day, they totally forgot how to do it and haven’t since!
  • I’m not sure what Edie is trying to do but she gets on her front and all her limbs go in all directions. She looks a bit like a seal and everytime I try and capture this on camera she stops.
  • Considering the fact they are genetically identical, they look totally different. Mabel has a slightly wider forehead, an extra crease in her eyelid and a little nobble on her ear. Edie has LOTS more hair, which is like Jason’s and is totally uncontrollable.
  • How cute they when they hold hands! A lot of people ask me if they interact with each other and they do to an extent. They seem to like been close and touching each other and they’re clearly aware of each others presence but they don’t really have a chat or play together just yet.
  • Sneaking in on them. They now sleep 7pm – 7am at night and before I head to bed, we sneak into their room to ‘check on them.’ I say ‘check on them’ but we might go in a few times. There is nothing cuter than a sleeping baby.

mabel tate nine months old

Routine:

Our routine consists of four bottles of milk a day, around 7/8oz and three meals. I do a combination of puree and baby led for them and it seems to be working. In the last couple of days their appetite has increased and they’ve doubled the amount of food they were having. I’d love to say that I make everything fresh but I’m all for an easy life… I use pouches and then just give them bits of whatever I’m having.

Sleep:

I hate writing about this in case I jinx it but they now sleep for 12 hours straight at night. With the exception if they’ve been poorly or had a nightmare however I go in shush them and they go back to sleep. It’s very rare one wakes the other.

Naps:

They take two naps a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which tends to be slightly longer. If we’re out and about, they sometimes doze off in the car but generally it’s only on a long journey that happens. Whenever I can, I try and let them nap outside in the fresh air. I wrap them up and pop them in the Bugaboo in our garden.

In the last couple of days, I’d had an issue getting them to nap in their cot and was a little worried, that I’d be sat in the pouring rain outside while they napped from now on however after posting about this on Instagram, I had an idea and it turns out Edie prefers sleeping on her front. Her fussiness was because she was trying to turn over, so I’ve been leaving her a little longer and off she goes once she’s got herself comfy.

Me:

I realised the other day I stopped writing about how I felt when they were born and hadn’t really mentioned my recovery or anything else. At nine months postpartum you won’t be shocked to know I feel physically fine most of the time!

I was warned by the doctors, it was possible I would suffer from migraines after the preeclampsia debacle and rather annoyingly they were right. I’ve only had a couple but it’s tended to be if I’ve been about to come down with a cold or if I’ve been quite tired. Despite the fact the girls sleep really well at night, my days are still long and entertaining them takes a lot of work!

 

Physically, I hadn’t really put on ‘weight’ while I was pregnant. I was ‘all baby’ as they say and I think this was down to the fact I stayed really active and ate healthy meals. My body has changed though and I’ll admit, I’m not overly happy about it but it’s just something I’m trying to accept and get on with. Hopefully as time goes on and now the nights are lighter, I’ll be able to get out for a run more often.

My maternity leave is now officially over and thankfully I was already in a fortunate flexible position working for our family businesses and myself. I love working and although I enjoyed been off with the girls, I’m so excited to get stuck into lots of new projects.

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It’s not that bad!

I wrote a post last week on my old blog, Girl in the North called ‘New Beginnings’ about my move over to here and it felt so strange writing it, but it feels even stranger writing this one! It’s taken me a good while to get things the way I wanted here and it still isn’t exactly how I imagined. No doubt, I’ll be tweaking and making little changes for weeks (months) yet. I thought for ages about how to start this post and I guess it makes sense to start at the beginning of my journey to becoming a Mum.

The day I discovered I was pregnant with twins, myself and Jason drove back home in pretty much silence. Every so often one of us would mutter ‘I can’t believe it…’ or some expletive. We hadn’t planned on one baby coming along at that time, let alone two. After getting married J had moved up from his place in London to Durham where we lived in my tiny two bedroomed house, which wasn’t close to either of our families and we both drove unsuitable three door cars. To top things off, it hadn’t been long since I’d took the risky move of leaving my well paid public sector job to go freelance. I’ll be the first to admit, even at 29 (only a couple months off 30) I didn’t feel ready.

I did what anyone in my position would do and came home to google ‘pregnant with twins’ and I really struggled to find anything positive. I joined various groups and still the majority of comments I found were negative. This didn’t just include multiple-pregnancies, it was singles too and it wasn’t just the internet. The majority of books told me my life would be over and how I’d be desperately seeking solace in a large glass of red every night. So despite the fact my blog mainly covered things to do in the North East, I started using it as a coping mechanism and wrote about my twin pregnancy journey.

And having come through it and currently at 8.5 months on the other side, I can honestly say, it’s not that bad.

Of course, there have been moments… there have been long sleepless nights and days where I’ve felt like I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing but they are fleeting in comparison to the joy Edie and Mabel bring. I noticed very early on, that the days when I was most chilled around the girls and didn’t worry or stress, they were also the most relaxed.

Until the girls came along, I’d barely held a baby – there weren’t many in my side of the family or at least none that lived near us. I’d never changed a nappy before or put clothes on anything other than my dolls when I was younger. So when they arrived, I began winging it. There were lots of ‘guidelines’ floating around from various different organisations and coming at me from all directions but shortly before J went back to work, during one long sleepless night, I came up with a plan that contradicted my naturally panicky personality and decided to just do what I thought seemed logical and best. And the most important part of my strategy… (try) not to worry about it.

I kept writing as it was quicker than filling in the baby book my Mum had got me (sorry Mum) and I wanted to remember everything. And since the days were long and quiet without many or sometimes any adults, I started rambling away on Instagram Stories. Other mums (and not just multiple mums) online and offline started commenting on how relaxed Edie and Mabel were and they asked questions about my routines or how I did x, y and z, and quite often my answer was just, ‘I don’t know really I just tried this.’  So despite the fact I’m no expert and I’ve never claimed to be, I started writing about these things and planning posts as I thought it might just help people who were in the same position as me. These were the things I craved during pregnancy, honest articles that weren’t designed to terrify.

Since entering the club of motherhood, I’ve realised that just like in school, I’m a bit of an inbetweener. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly ‘mumsy’ but I’m also not desperately throwing myself at the Vino every night. There seems to be this trend in the parenting world at the moment that it’s ‘cool’ to point out all the not so nice stuff that comes with it. I imagined from some of the things I’d read that my life would be full of poo explosions, I’d be covered head to toe in sick and I’d never sleep again and I’m not going to lie, it’s happened but not every day. The good far outweighs the bad.

So that’s what I really hope Crap, I’m a Mum will achieve: as well as giving me an outlet to write just like I used to, that it will also provide a resource of honest, down to earth information that doesn’t put the fear into soon to be or new mum’s because it’s really not that bad.

Photo courtesy of Angela Fenwick

 

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