Raising an individual

My experiences are written from my point of view as a twin mom. I know that the life I live as a parent is worlds different from the average singleton pregnancy with no complications. That being said there are a lot of areas that overlap and are similar across all parenting lines. I have been thinking lately about what it is like to raise two individuals.

I have said from the beginning that my babies are just siblings whom decided to grow at the same time. Yes, they are twins but growing at the same time is where the “sameness” stops. In utero my babies had their own personalities and I knew that I really wanted to focus on raising them as their own person, not as a pair. This has proven to be somewhat unavoidable because my little ones are each their own magical individual being. With twins I feel that people tend to always think that they are very similar regardless of identical or fraternal. I thought this as well, I figured that if you were a twin you had this connection that made you act the same and be very much alike. I could not have been more wrong. Twins are their own beings and people outside of the environment they grew in. There may be similarities but there are far more differences.

From the start Henley and Crosby have been different in their temperaments, in what they like, and now that they are older their personalities. In the beginning all babies need the same basic care but as their mom I could tell they were different. Henley was loud, sort of in your face about her needs and feelings. Crosby was more relaxed and quiet, calm with this sense that he understood more than we thought. As they are starting to really develop and grow into their own I see two very different people.

Henley needs space and time to sleep, she is really interested in watching the world and figuring things out, her eyes study everything.  She needs to think about things before she will let you know how she feels. She is unhappy if she does not sleep and eat when she needs it. Everything is about exploring through her mouth, she licks and bites and brings everything to her mouth in order to make sense of it. She needs to be in bed earlier but loves the morning time.

Crosby is gentle and soft in his ways, he does not dive into anything but slowly warms up to things. He is alert and awake so much more than his sister. His naps are at times put aside when there are things going on around him as he loves to watch the world go by. He loves people interacting with him and will dole out smiles like they will never run out. He needs a lot less sleep until he hits a wall then it is extremely hard to get him to snap out of a tantrum and calm down. He does not want to leave a party early and will push himself to be alert and aware of what is going on. He is exploring more with his hands but still takes the world in through his eyes.

These are just surface differences that I have noticed between them. I learn more about each of my children every day, they are growing at such a fast rate that literally overnight they can change. What I am struggling with now is the fact that I want to raise these two as just that, two. I hope to be the type of parent that allows them to explore the world on their own, to learn from mistakes and from each other. I want to create the environment that will always allow them to discover more about themselves as individuals. I think they will grow up to be very different people but I want their core values to be the same, I want them to love us and each other because family is most important, I want them to respect all points of view because there is no wrong or right, I want them to learn and grow everyday together and apart. These are all things that I challenge myself with as a twin mother raising two little ones at the same time.

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Photo courtesy of Jenn Ireland

The Holidays

One of my goals for 2015 is to be present more here on this space. It is acting as my baby book for these two little ones. Now down to business…

The holiday season was fun and busy this year. Firs time with children and I can say that I think it was a success. We sent out a holiday card, got santa pictures taken, dressed them up, and spent meaningful time with our families. Henley and Crosby got to meet their cousin Marlowe for Thanksgiving, it was so special to spend time with their Aunt and Uncle. I also got to spend some time with my new niece. The meaning of family has changed now that we have the kids. It is hard to explain but we were super close with our families before but now after all that we have been through it is amazing how much I cherish each and every member. Without our families we could not have gotten through living at Children’s and having twins. Gratitude and thankful are the two words that sum up the holidays this year.

Our outing with Santa was a success, two hours in line and zero meltdowns. We got the best picture we could and I think it is pretty damn good for 9 week old twins.

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2014

 

Christmas was wonderful, and exhausting as well. We were with Jamin’s family for Christmas eve and then with my family on Christmas day. There is a lot of gear that now follows us everywhere; diaper bag, breast pump, bottle for Crosby, baby carriers, car seats, and Elwood with his leash. It is comical to see our car loaded and we are just going somewhere for half the day. We are getting used to this now and can pack up pretty quick. The babies were great and only got fussy at the end of the day. With everyone around, all the noise, and so many people cuddling them they got overtired. We would get home later than usual and feed then put them to bed. They would take a bit longer to go to sleep which means that we missed out on our sleep. I was really tired by then end of Christmas and needed a day to recuperate.

The babies are growing so much, it is amazing to watch these tiny humans change before your eyes. They both are smiling and interacting a lot more, I will update in more detail this week on their 3 month post.

Right now my family of four is watching the Seahawks and I am going to join them. Merry Christmas to everyone out there be thankful of what you have and who you have around you.

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Santa gave the twins both a place to relax

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Christmas outfits at 11 weeks old!

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Cutest elf ever!

 

18 weeks…half way (1st trimester recap part 1)

18 weeks

So we are 18 weeks pregnant and growing. All of the sudden I look down and there is this belly in front of me. I am loving the feeling of energy again and can tell that even though I am doing  A LOT less than my norm I am doing a lot more than the first weeks. One thing that I will write about at a later time is the fact that I am not the weight lifting super pregnant wonder woman I always thought I would be. It is what it is and I am doing the best I can with the situation I am in and with the body that I have. This does not mean it is easy.

For today I  wanted to talk about the beginning and the first trimester. Here goes…

At first I felt fine, just like myself. There was so much fear surrounding me though. I was afraid to move or make something “bad” happen. Having two miscarriages before does not really set you up for positive expectations. I was waiting for something bad to happen and so scared. This fear really stuck around until about week 12.

In the beginning I was SO hungry all of the sudden I was eating pizza and burgers (meat was SO good all of the sudden). J was at first excited to eat all of the “unhealthy” things that I would never have normally eaten but after a few weeks he was over it and asked for “lighter” dinners. I just needed food constantly. Also what used to be a meal was just a snack all of the sudden. I would need two eggs and toast and fruit and this is not normal for me. It was fun to “let go” of my eating expectations and just live a bit. Carbs and salt were the best, olives and pickles still taste like heaven.

I was worried and waiting for nausea to kick in, everyone was telling me once you feel sick you know the baby is sticking around. Even though I was falling asleep on the couch every night by 7:30 I still felt well, just hungry. Until about week 7-8; then it kicked in the off feeling that just sits in your tummy. I could tell that having food always helped and tried to eat small snacks constantly. Sometimes I could not go 1 our with out eating something. Saltines helped, but eggs and toast were amazing in the morning. I just felt drained all of the time, days were long and many times I had to nap on my lunch at work. Perfume smelled horrible to me and I really just wanted to be home on the couch. Not much movement or exercise on my part at all.

Things that helped:

*acupuncture weekly through 1st tri

*starting progesterone suppositories (not a fun way to take them but I think this was necessary for my body to hold onto the little ones)

*Not worrying about food and categorizing it as “good” or “bad”

*Meditating every morning to connect with the little life(s) in me, I love this and really believe it helped me with anxiety and fear

Next up: Weeks 11 and on (a scare and dealing with it)