Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I have been the mom of Stephen Michael Armstrong and Annabelle Rae Armstrong for ten weeks today. It sounds cliche to comment on how much time flies but OMG time fliiiiieeesss!!
The last two months have been insaaaannnee. Being a mom is a lot better than I expected it to be (I had extremely low expectations) and I praise God everyday for His grace to me.
Stephen Michael is the big brother by two minutes. He was born at 10:54 on August 24th and weighing in at 6lbs 7 oz. His cry sounds like a whimper. He is my alarm clock in the mornings.
We call him "Squeak", "Piddle Brains", "Bitty Bubba", and "Mr. Man". He is the fussier one. He likes to be held a lot and is always curled up in a ball. He overtook Annabelle in weight by a pound at two months. His legs are quickly becoming little ham hocks. He loves to smile smile smile and he is just precious. He can almost hold his head up and when I put him on my lap he will stand up and gets this look on his face that seems to say, "I can do it! I can do it!". In the early days he always looked very concerned and worried. Right before he cries, he makes the exact same pout I make before I cry.
Annabelle Rae was born at 10:56 on August 24th and weighed in at 7lbs 6oz. Now she is a full pound less than Stephen. Her cry sounds like a long sigh. She is our sleeper. Once she falls asleep she is out like a light. When she wakes up she loves to stretch stretch stretch and makes faces just like her dad. When she falls asleep she fights it and cries just enough to make you want to pick her up and you have to remind yourself that this is her process. She has started smiling a lot too and she can say "Ahhhh" if you ask her to. She also sighs continuously in her sleep and it is super cute, even at 1:00am.
Having twins has been an adventure. It is very challenging and easy at the same time. I can't imagine not having either one of them. It doesn't feel real yet. It also doesn't feel too hard right now which I think is a testament to the fact that God's grace is sufficient for each moment. I know that I will look back on this season and say, "how did we survive that?"
Motherhood So Far
I was pretty anxious for the first three weeks. I felt insecure all the time and always wanted to pass them off to someone else. I felt sick to my stomach most days, anticipating how I was going to survive when I didn't have Brian's mom or sister helping me every day. I was terrified and could not rest in just enjoying their newborness.
Sept 20th was my first official day on my own with them and it has gotten easier each day. I feel like we are in a good rhythm and schedule now. Stephen wakes us up in the morning and I groggily grab him out of the pack 'n' play and put him in our bed and snuggle with him until I fully wake up. Then I get Annabelle and let them both smile and snuggle and cry for a few minutes before going downstairs to nurse.
We watch the Duggars on 19 Kids and Counting every morning when I nurse them and, I have to say, I LOVE THAT FAMILY. I think I will devote a whole blog post to them later.
My second favorite time of day is bath time. I think it is b/c they are so content, quiet, and cute for those five minutes and then they smell so good afterward. My favorite soap and lotion are the Nighttime Bed and Bath stuff from Johnson and Johnson. I love love love it. Right now I am using the Burt's Beeswax shampoo and it smells like my grandmas house.
Nursing has been an adventure and challenge in itself. I have had ups and downs with it and at this point we are mostly giving them formula with two to three nursing sessions per day. It is the best I can do. I feel like it took the babies about six weeks to really get the hang of it and by then I was giving them more bottles so I think my supply had dropped. I say that if I can give the babies one feeding of breast milk in a day then I am a happy girl. I think the nursing time is really more for me than them. I don't know what will happen when I go back to work so we'll see.
I am anxious anticipating how I am going to do it when I go back to work. In the words of Pam Beesly Halpert, "How was maternity leave? It rocked. It rocked my a$$ off." It makes me sad to think that I have to give up spending my whole day with these babies.
It is kind of a paradox b/c each day I feel like I just wait for them to sleep so I can get my stuff done and spend a lot of the time they are awake distracted with Facebook, TV, laundry, and chores but the thought of not being with them for 6 or 8 hours makes me sad.
Even though I will probably enjoy adult interaction, getting out of the house, and putting on real clothes - I think it will be heart breaking each day to leave and sacrifice this special time. They are only small for such a short time and I hate that I have to miss parts of it. I am praying I can be able to stay home within a year so let's see how God provides.
As I said before, God has been so gracious to us this far into parenthood. He has blessed us with babies who are good sleepers and don't cry a ton. We have a loving family who helps us in more ways than I can count. I don't think we would be surviving so well without them.
I am going to try to start blogging a little more about being the mom of twins. I have thought of a few topics I could write about since I started writing this entry. Those things include:
-Why I Love the Duggars
-A Play by Play of August 24th
-Parenthood is Heartbreaking in a Good Way
-My Stomach Would Scare the Bejeezus Out of You
-It Doesn't Feel Real Yet
So we'll see if I ever actually write about those.
Until next time,