Every parent of twins I spoke to before Kate and Evan were born told me the same thing – the first year will be a blur. Just do your best and expect a lot of marital fights. Ten weeks in, Kendra and I are as solid as ever, both getting sleep (not tons, but enough that we only need two to three lattes per day to function), and finding time to spend with each other and Addie. Maybe we’re still in the honeymoon phase?
Don’t get me wrong – it’s hard. Really hard. There are stretches of days when I teach on a couple of hours of sleep, wondering how I can possibly make it through my sixth period class. I forget the names of students I’ve taught for three years. But somehow, I get to the end of each school day, pick up Addie from pre-school, and get us home safely. Kendra’s daily experiences are so different from mine because she’s home with the twins, juggling their needs and Evan’s various medical appointments. By the time I get home, we’re both exhausted. But our day isn’t over yet – we still have a few hours of playing with Addie, bath time, dinner, night-time stories, making the next day’s bottles and packing Addie’s lunch, cleaning up the house, laundry (there’s always a load to do these days), and when we’re lucky, a few quiet moments together.
The twins have grown tremendously over the last ten weeks. They’re both over ten pounds now! We are finally starting to get smiles from them, as well as more awake time. Though they are not sleeping through the night yet (Addie was sleeping 10+ hours a night at this age), they are starting to sleep for longer stretches.
We’ve been back to the cardiologist twice for Evan’s checkups. He continues to amaze us all. We had a moment when we thought for sure he’d be having his surgery sometime this fall, but after just a week on a low dose of Lasix, he went from being sluggish and not feeding well to being a rock star. These symptoms were the result of his heart having to work extra hard to pump blood through his body. Because of his VSD (a hole in his heart), every time his heart beats, blood rushes backward into his lungs. This makes his lungs wet, which makes it harder to breathe, which makes his heart work harder. The Lasix is a diuretic that helps keep his lungs clear, thereby putting less pressure on his heart. At our most recent visit to the cardiologist, we got great news – surgery is no longer imminent. We were thrilled to hear this because the bigger and stronger he gets before the surgery, the better his prognosis.
Though our lives have obviously changed drastically, we’ve made great efforts to minimize the impact on Addison. Some nights that means Indian food!
It also means that we’ve continued to get outdoors with Addie as often as possible, and that the twins were just three weeks old when we took them on their first hike. Since then, we’ve taken them on several more outings – amazing when you compare their experiences to Addie’s first hike at eight months old.
So life has most certainly not been a blur since the twins arrived. Maybe that’s in part because I have been so committed to blogging through this first year. (I took an eight month hiatus after Addie was born.) Maybe it’s because parenting gets easier after the first kid. (We learned loads with Addie, and have definitely relaxed as parents.) Or maybe I am just lucky to have an amazing wife and kids. (And family and friends who’ve kept us company, washed our dishes, babysat one or more of the kids, made us dinner, and provided unbelievable material, emotional, and physical support.) Regardless of the reason, I am grateful for it all – the spit-up, dirty diapers, three-year old tantrums, sleepless nights, snuggles, quiet moments, and the love. There seems to be an endless supply of love. What more could we ask for?