How much of this is normal? - Mothering Forums
Parenting Multiples > How much of this is normal?
rachel7628's Avatar rachel7628 01:55 PM 03-16-2011

I'm beginning to wonder if I need to see my dr for ppd.  Or maybe I'm just alarmingly sleep-deprived.


The history is that I was not happy when I got pregnant and even less so when I found out there were 2 babies.  My girls are 3 months today and I'm still upset about the pregnancy.  I'm constantly thinking how much easier things would be if there were only one baby - going to the store, breastfeeding (which I finally had to give up), cooking dinner, sleeping.  The other night I found myself thinking about how I didn't ask for any of it and this was just very unfair.  I resent that there are 2 babies - not either baby individually, though.  I think both babies are great by themselves.  I don't think I've really bonded with them yet - I feel very disconnected.  I'm scared to leave the house with the kids - I haven't ever gone anywhere with both babies and my toddler without another adult (with the exception of 2 playdates when I had someone to help me get everyone ready and others moms to help when I got there).  When both babies are awake at the same time, I panic - not real panic, but it terrifies me.  Shouldn't I be past these fears by now?


But then there are 2 babies - it  will take longer to bond, right?  And I'm averaging 4 to 5 hours of sleep so my emotions are going to be a little out of whack, right?  I don't know - I think I just need to hear from other twin moms that some of this is normal.

Katie063008's Avatar Katie063008 07:30 PM 03-16-2011


     I had some of those feelings too.  I sometimes wish we had each baby individually so that I would be able to spend time with each one and with my toddler.  I hated when the babies would cry and I couldn't meet both babies needs at the same time.  I hate turning on a video so that DD1 will stop crying and I can have time to feed the babies or make lunch. I hated not being able to wear both babies (yes it's possible, yes it hurts your back over a long period of time.)  It took longer to bond than with DD1.  And it's even harder when you're stuck in the house.  We live in Canada and there was a lot of snow this winter so with two small babies and a toddler there were weeks that I spent in doors.  I was definitely down. 

     That being said, you can judge how you feel best.  I had similar feelings, but I don't know exactly how you feel.  You should talk with friends or family or partner about your thoughts and maybe with your doctor too. 

     I started to feel better after a few things:

  • We bought a big chariot type stroller that I can push through the snow (why don't people shovel their sidewalks?  I have real sympathy for people who are forced to travel in wheel chairs or scooters.)  Now I can go to the early years drop in centre and to the library.   It's still hard and often strangers help me get the kids dressed or into the stroller or hold one of the babies while I deal with DD1, but it's out of the house.  Sometimes you just have to make up your mind that you're going out and do it.  Easier said than done.
  • At three months the nursing slowed down...a bit...(and don't feel bad about the bottles.  My two still nurse, but no one can know how difficult it is with two babies and even more difficult if you have nursing issues).  It got better again at 6 months when I started feeding them food and now at 9 months they can sit up and play
  • DD1 plays with them and brings them toys now that she is older.  If I'm cooking or busy she can often keep them amused for a chunk of time (10-15 mins)
  • They sleep a bit better now.  I think I manage 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights.  I feel mostly sane.  We co-sleep, but had to move DD1 out of the bed when the babies were born.  She moved back in for a bit when they were about 3 months but now is comfortable in her own bed.  It was hard.  We had to move her more quickly than I wanted and that was a struggle too.
  • The babies will tolerate my husband lying between them now and not just me. It took a bit of fussing for this to happen and I did feel like an AP failure.  But then, I was losing my mind with no time to myself so it seemed like the best option.


     It really does get a bit better, but is still struggle.  You're not alone in feeling as you do.  I have moments where I long for only one baby that I could wear in a carrier and not have to take the giant stroller.  I hate being a spectacle on outings (mall, coffee shops other less kid friendly places) because someone always seems to need attention.  Or someone needs to comment on how many children you have.  Yes my hands are full.  I hate not being able to get out of bed at night and have some alone time because one baby or the other always fusses. And sometimes I resent that I always have to talk about the positive aspects of having twins and a toddler.  It's hard.  Harder than most people can imagine.  They will grow up.  Then I will miss their sweet little cuddles at night, their laughter, the way they hold each other's hands while nursing, they way their sister can make them laugh so hard they hiccup.  I love them, but I won't lie, it's frustrating. Good Luck

shahjehan's Avatar shahjehan 09:06 PM 03-16-2011

Originally Posted by rachel7628 View Post


But then there are 2 babies - it  will take longer to bond, right?  And I'm averaging 4 to 5 hours of sleep so my emotions are going to be a little out of whack, right?  I don't know - I think I just need to hear from other twin moms that some of this is normal.


Yes, yes, and yes.  At least for me it was.  I was in survival mode with so many little babies, including a toddler. It is so very, very hard to bond in the same way as with a singleton, but that isn't all bad.  I had more time to spend falling deeper in love with DD1 because there was just her.  After I had the twins, I essentially had three very small, dependent people to care for.  The time and energy wasn't there for me to fall so deeply for two more as quickly.  It was a different love story for each child; not better or worse, just a unique dynamic of a complex lifetime relationship. 


The physical demands of two infants are incredible!  It is so exhausting, and the nighttime needs of two can make you feel like you are in a fog during all waking hours. Three months was an especially difficult time for me.  The babies were coming out of the newborn, sleep-a-lot phase and need more activity, but they lacked the physical skills to sit up and manipulate toys to entertain themselves.  I got into such sleep-deprived ruts I didn't even know I was in until I got a small chunk of uninterrupted sleep to remember.


I think your feelings in this post sound normal to me, based upon my experience.  I would suggest that you try to take them somewhere out of the house for small trips as much as you can.  Storytime at the library or to the park, or even just around the block.  It's good for the kids and you to get out.  I felt so much better when I got some fresh air, and the kids were more relaxed and restful for the rest of the day.  I put one baby in a wrap, and the other two in a double stroller.  Or  DD1 walked ahead while I followed behind and the twins watched her explore.


Your post brought me back, so thank you for reminding me how fleeting that really intense time is.  It is still crazy around here, but in a more balanced way.  Now my twins are three with a four year-old sister. I sleep from 11-7:30 every night.  Nobody needs to be fed during the night.  Only one is still in diapers.  They play together and make me laugh.  They are all well bonded to each other.  They can do things on their own.  I go out with friends once a month or so.  I can go out to dinner with my DH, and sleep with him in the same bed at night.   I have time to write a long rambling post on a message board orngbiggrin.gif.



Good luck!  You are in the trenches of intense parenting.  Very hard work with many rewards.   




mamalovex3's Avatar mamalovex3 06:49 AM 03-20-2011

I think a lot of what you're experiencing is normal for twin moms.  Having two babies at once is an entirely different experience than having one.  I've felt mad at times because I just physically can't do some when they're both crying and I can only get to one at a time, or when I'm changing one and the other starts to cry.  One thing that really helped me was when a woman at a Multiples LLL meeting said "You can't parent two babies the same way you would parent one".  I think of that often and I think it makes me feel a little less guilty for not being able to wear both babies, or attend to each whimper.  I believe it does take longer to bond with two babies, you just don't have the same physical energy, or even emotional energy to spend...especially when you are so focused on just meeting their needs - changing, feeding, sleeping.  It really is survival mode.  I rarely leave the house alone and I don't have a toddler to contend with.  I will only go places where I know I can just leave if I need to.  Hang in there mama!  You're doing a wonderful job mothering your babies :)

mauri456's Avatar mauri456 01:40 PM 03-20-2011

I remember feeling the same way, especially at 3 months.   I was told that there is another hormonal shift then (kinda like right after the babies).   Also I think I expected it to be super, super hard in the beginning and really started to loose steam at about 2 1/2 months.  They were still so stinking hard to take care of and I thought that by them I would have found a rhythm and we were still so far from it!!!  I even posted on here if you go through my posts wondering when it would get easier.   


A lot of posters said around 3-4 months and I totally agree.... I mean it is still REALLY hard.  I have my days where I could scream.   There have been times that I hate to admit but I have had to put the babies down and walk into another room to collect myself for a few minutes even if it means they were crying (I know so NOT AP, so NOT what I believe).   I feel like it is SO different with twins and nevermind the fact that you have another child to care for.... (I do as well)


Things have gotten a little better though... most days I am able to play with them, my daughter, pick up the house (no major cleaning but it also doesnt look like a tornado hit it), make simple meals, and even shower.   At 3 months I could barely play with my daughter.    We have our bad days... and actually those are the days that I FORCE myself out of hte house.... getting out and getting some fresh air makes a HUGE difference... even if we just go to Target and look at things. 


I've learned to get out I put one in a baby carrier and the other in the stinking bucket seat.   I hate those buckets but they are only 5 months so they still need something to sit in.  I do still battle with feeling almost trapped by the twins... not that I don't love each one of them but that I feel angry that I had twins, ya know???  But there are such sweet moments too - like when they smile AT eachother and grab for eachother, when they are nursing and they pop off and look at eachother, they've even giggled at one another.  I know those sweet moments are going to grow and the hard parts will fade... but it is totally survival right now.  I do get jealous at times too - like at my friends who had only one baby and ya there lives changed but not to the degree that mine has (I gave up an awesome career for the time being, put a hold on my almost done master's, we are so poor right now bc we had two at once)  ALL things that with one baby likely wouldnt have happened.   


I remind myself daily that I can only control myself, that I have so many blessings and I try and just soldier forward in the trenches...  (we will both make it...and you are totally NORMAL!) 

rachel7628's Avatar rachel7628 10:06 PM 03-21-2011

Thanks for all the input.  It's nice to know it's not just me.  I think the biggest struggle is that I thought things would be getting easier by now.  And it's all just as hard.  So, now I'll wait for the 6 month mark - that's when things got easier with my high-needs toddler.