A friend of mine told me parenthood was about worrying. She was so right! You worry about the things your kids do or what they don’t do. You worry that you are doing all the wrong things or not doing enough of the right things. I have been lucky – I have two of the greatest kids of all time. They have been on the same schedule almost since they came home from the hospital which is critical with twins, until recently they had never been sick, they are growing great and at the top of the growth curve even though they were preemies, and they have personalities a mile wide. Oh – and they are really cute.
As you know, we had a bit of a rocky start. I saw them in the delivery room, and then did not see them again for about 3 weeks. My family put a picture of me in their incubators, and it was a pretty awful picture; it is a bit scary that that is how they first saw me! Apparently while I was in the ICU, folks were worried I wouldn’t remember I was a mom. Not a problem!
In some ways being a single mom has been easier than I thought it would be, and in some ways harder. I had a great baby nurse for three months who taught me everything I needed to know in the beginning. I am fortunate to have an amazing live-in nanny who does all the heavy lifting on the weekdays. They are great sleepers for the most part and good eaters and they are now starting to play with each other, which is SO cute. But parenting two is hard – and even more so as a single parent. First there are pure logistics: when it is time for bed and I need to bring them upstairs, the one who is left downstairs starts crying. When I go back to get to get the second one, he first one starts crying. Baths are hard – I would bath them together but cannot take one out and leave the other one in the bath so have to do one at a time. The same thing happens – whoever is not in the bathtub getting my attention cries. Then there is the comforting issue – there have been a few times, not many, but a few, when they are both crying hysterically at the same time. I would hold one, calm him or her down while the other cried, put the first one down and pick up the second one only to have the first one start crying hysterically again. When this happens the only solution is to throw both kids in the car and go for a long, long drive.
I think most of this is pretty much as I expected however. I can’t really say that my kidney failure has impacted things much- other than holidays – my nanny gets holidays off, and unfortunately on dialysis I don’t. Try getting a babysitter on Labor Day! Fortunately my parents have been able to come out for all the Monday holidays and have really helped me out. I may be more tired from the dialysis but it is hard to say – what first year parent, especially with twins, is NOT tired?
I am worried that the post-transplant time will be the most difficult so far. For one thing, I am going to be in the hospital for 4-7 days, and they cannot visit. In addition, I am not supposed to lift more than 10 lbs for 4-6 weeks! That means I cannot lift or hold my babies until late November at the earliest. It will be hard, especially for Sophie who is a mama’s girl and having some stranger anxiety right now. My family will be in for a while after the surgery, but will need to recruit friends to help the week of November 15 – so friends, thank you in advance! I know that in the long run everything will be fine. I think I have it in me to be a great mom and I know with everyone’s love and support we will survive this.