2017 Year in Review

January—January stands out as the Month of Stress.  Still reeling from the news of the twins, I staggered into January—a month of long hours and high stress at work.  I worked overtime nearly every day for weeks, as my boss prepared for her maternity leave, and we prepped and delivered material for two separate audits and closed out the year 2016 in the accounting department.  I pulled through it while struggling through the aches and pains of pregnancy that came early on as I started to get bigger. The thought of a week-long vacation in the beginning of February got me through. Theo gave up his pacifiers (favis), and took a leap into Big Boyship with a bike with pedals.


February—We had a nice, cozy, much-needed week at home to start the month.  Then I toppled back into work, scurrying to train my replacement, construct as many tutorials as possible, and haul my ever-growing belly up to the hospital at least once a week for some type of scan.  Knowing my sick-leave was imminent was sometimes the only thing that got me through the long days.  Every night as I put up my feet for an hour after picking up Theo, I had a marathon of Braxton-Hicks as my body not-so-subtly asked me to slow the eff down. We had a really nice Ayyam-i-Ha at the end of the month, despite the fact that I didn’t have much energy to put into it.


March—I went on sick-leave in mid-March, and thank goodness!  The relief was amazing, but even after leaving, I experienced extreme anxiety for a couple of weeks.  By the end of March, I was finally able to relax and enjoy my leave. By March, I was already huge!


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April—In April we were finally able to start really preparing for the twins’ arrival, which was a load off of my shoulders (if not my pelvis).  We purchased our car (which we then realized would only be delivered after the girls’ arrival).  I very much enjoyed my freedom, but at the same time started to feel more and more limited in what I could physically accomplish every day.


May—The twins were born!  May passed in a blur of waiting.  Even though I was 95% sure I would make it to my induction date, I held out faint hope that I might go into labor on my own.    By the end of May, we were all home again, ready to greet the summer.


June—June passed in a newborn haze.  We picked up our car (exciting!) and took our first little trip to visit Andreas’s parents where the babies started sleeping amazingly well at just 5 weeks old. (Go babies!)  I also started learning to drive the car (manual gearshift).


July—My sister arrived in the beginning of July, and stayed for most of it. It was amazing!  We played lots of games, went on some really nice outings, and in general, it was just nice with the extra hands and extra company.


August—Andreas’s last month of paternity leave was when we got a lot of s**t done.  We ran errands like never before, and tried to squeeze in last minute visits and outings.  It went so quickly, but the girls continued to sleep well, so I was nothing but grateful.  I practiced enough with driving that I was able to go out alone—important to master before I was on my own! Theo turned four, and it was so fun to see him excited about his birthday!


September—This is the month that I started really feeling like a Twin Mom.  Andreas started back at work, so I was on my own with the girls during the week, and it was WORK.  I also started getting together with my mom group, which was really wonderful, and I felt so proud of myself for being independent and being able to handle all of the kids on my own.  The girls, however, started waking more at night.


October—Naptime sleep is so frustrating at this point that we do some sleep-training, with some success.  This month was really challenging, as I struggled to get any time during the day to either relax, or get anything done.  I definitely started burning out.  Halloween was fun, though!


November—In the beginning of November, we decided to go for it, and plan a trip to the US!  I spent a few frenzied weeks preparing, and we left in time to get home to my parents’ for Thanksgiving.  The trip went great (better than expected, for the most part), and sleep continued to go downhill.


December—We arrived back in Denmark in early December, and after a few days of adding vaccinations and jet lag onto teething and a cough, I was at my wit’s end.  We did a gentle method of sleep training this time, and while much slower, it seems to have helped, so there is hope for 2018.  We spent a lovely, quiet Christmas with my in-laws, and I have had the biggest urge to purge, so whenever I can get away for a few minutes, I try to clean out another little part of the house, and add some stuff to the pile-of-things-to-get-out-of-our-home.


2017 was a wonderful mix of successes and struggles, and to be 100% honest, it was a much better and easier year than I expected.  And who knows?  Maybe all of my anxieties about 2018 (including, but not limited to starting my job again, and whether or not I’ll be able to go down to part time or not) will be as unfounded as my anxieties about 2017 (that having twins would be so difficult and unbelievably overwhelming that I would close to not survive it).

So, no New Year’s resolutions for me this year, only continuing to get a handle on my anxiety, and to practice taking the time, and silence, that I need to stay sane.


6- and 7-month Update – Oona and Beatrix

It was bound to happen eventually—I missed one.  So much has happened these last two months with the girls, and with us, that I am not really surprised.

Months six and seven brought eight teeth (four for each), lots more eating, the twins’ first plane rides, and more movin’ and shakin’.  What it did not bring is more sleep (sad face).

Four days before the girls turned six months, we took our first trip to the US with all three kids.  Whew. The trip happened rather spontaneously, as we realized ticket prices were as reasonable now as they were for February or April, so we took off to spend my favorite holiday—Thanksgiving!—with my family.

The babies did really well on the flights, but more about that in a different post.

I was a bit worried that the girls would have stranger anxiety just in time for our big trip, but it hasn’t showed up yet!  Both Bea and Oona loved seeing all the new people, and they greet everyone—family and strangers alike—with matching smiles and big, beaming, blue eyes!  On the way over, jet lag was almost non-existent.  After a couple of early mornings, they seemed to be pretty adjusted.  Over the three weeks, though, sleep got progressively worse, as Oona woke up multiple times a night to eat, and Bea woke up for her favi (pacifier).  I was getting pretty worn down, but decided to just carry on while we were on vacation, and worry about it when we got back home.  And worry about it, I did.  Jet lag going East is always worse for me, and it took the girls a while to get over.  Add in some hardcore teething, a little cold, and their five-month vaccinations (only a month and a half late…), and sleep has been hard to come by.  It was normal to be up 25 times during the night for a while after we returned.

I am trying a no-cry sleep solution, although there is definitely still crying involved, because even while we comfort them, they still cry.  There has been some success, especially with Oona, but it is hard to notice, when you’re still up 10+ times at night.  We recently decided to have Bea sleep without her favi, as she wakes so often to get it back.  So far the first night went well, but we have learned to reign in our optimism.  I am hoping that when I write the next update, I will come bearing good, sleepy news!

On the eating front, the girls are doing well!  Bea has been eating more than Oona for the past two months, gobbling anything we give her.  Recently, they have learned to sit up better, and are starting some finger foods in addition to purees/porridges.  Bea also apparently thinks she is very grown up, and does not need to nurse anymore, which can be frustrating.  And what is even more frustrating is that they have both been biting me (now with four teeth each) for months!  This, added to the fact that even getting Bea to nurse is a struggle, makes me wonder how much longer our breastfeeding relationship will last.  However, I do remember this phase with Theo (a nursing “strike”, eating lots of solids, and biting), and we did come out the other side, although I don’t think he nursed as much as other babies his age afterwards.  I have been pumping sometimes, and I will use my breastmilk to make their cereals and mix with their purees in hopes of getting some more of the good stuff in them.

As far as moving goes, both girls are rolling both directions (Bea first, then Oona), and turning in a circle to get toys.  Oona has started to try to scoot, but only goes backwards, which, as you can imagine, is extremely frustrating as she gets farther and farther away from the object of her desire.  Neither are sitting on their own yet, but with the blow-up pillow in the IKEA high chair, they can sit very well, so we’re moving to those instead of the Stokke Newborn chairs that we have been using since they were very small.

Through teething, jet lag, and developmental leaps, it can feel like at least one baby is always grumpy, but that’s just the nature of having twins (or so I assume).  There are also shining moments of overwhelming amazement and joy that these two perfect, adorable beings are loaned to me.  Even a year after we first got the news of ”twins”, I still look over at Andreas occasionally and just say ”I can’t believe there are two…TWO!”

both 7 months