Yesterday, I went to a fellow first-time twin mama’s Baby Shower, and it got me thinking…
You never get to a stage of parenting where you feel like you know it all. Every day brings a new challenge and a new delight. I hear parents of four and five children say how hard it can be, how they still don’t feel like they know what they’re doing, and how they’re no expert!
But I think there is something special, naive and wonderful about being pregnant for the first time.
Mummy friends assure me that their second (or more) pregnancies were different to their first. The first time was exciting, scary and full of the unknown in a way that cannot be replicated the second time around. Reasons include lack of time to pamper yourself because you have a crazy toddler to look after, lack of excitement to the same degree from your friends and family, and the wisdom of knowing what to expect (to an extent!).
Having twins the first time you conceive is a unique experience because you have the challenges of two kids without the experience of already having raised a child. Parents regularly tell me how much more relaxed they were with their second child. How they no longer felt the need to read the baby books cover to cover. How they forgot to fill in their baby book. How they didn’t obsessively baby-proof the house to the same extent. The list goes on. First time twin mamas are not afforded that luxury.
My girls are still very young and I have a lot to learn. Speaking to fellow mamas – particularly multiple mamas – has been invaluable. I looked at that pregnant twin mama yesterday and felt both envy and relief that I wasn’t her! Envy that she had all the excitement of two teeny tiny babies yet to come, and relief that I’ve managed to survive the same teeny tiny baby stage and don’t have to go through it again.
I know that every stage of development brings new challenges but I think there is something very unique about the brand new first baby (/babies!) stage. Fellow mamas, you know what I mean. The daily sense of wonder (OMG I created these! OMG how am I going to keep them alive? OMG they’re so small and fragile! OMG I’m so tired! OMG OMG OMG!!!)
When I was pregnant, one of my main emotions was fear. How would I cope? How would we afford it? What if I hated it? What if I was a crap twin mama? What if, what if, what if?!?
And so even though I’m still a complete novice, there was a part of me that felt proud to have survived this crazy twin mama life, and felt able to pass on some tentative words of wisdom. Even if it was just to say, “You are so lucky, enjoy every moment.” Because it really is a blessing.