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!
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.