So, the twins turned eight months old last week. You’d think that eight months a mother would kind of get it, would fee how they feel. But of course, I don’t. It’s still evolving, almost every single day. But, the more I think about it, the more I am leaning more towards the idea that I can’t be the only one to feel this way. I can’t assume that by the time a child is X months old, the mother will feel XYZ, you know?
I’m trying to figure out how to explain this in words. I guess I can kind of compare it to when I first fell in love with DH. I remember telling my best friend, E, that it surprised me how you can still feel differently about the person you just fell in love with. I always had a sort of naive point of view that once you fell in love with someone, you were in love. I I didn’t know that it could change, become even DEEPer, continue to become more fulfilling, just keep evolving. I remember thinking that all these new feelings were almost scary, as in how far can this go in my head? Do you just keep falling more and more in love with the same person? How is that even possible? How will my feelings actually feel between now and a year from now- it was impossible to fathom.
I feel that for the first year and a half or so my feelings, attitude and outlook towards DH kept shifting and moving. I kept learning new things about him, and I loved it all. Each time I gained another insight to him it affected me emotionally, and I had a new feeling to process. It was bewildering, I had no idea that this is what goes on between a couple!
So, I guess all that is just a preamble to try and explain my feelings towards the twins. As we all know, I felt very neutral towards them when they first arrived (and then I had all those feelings about feeling neutral- why do I feel this way? Am I the only one? Will this change? God, what if it doesn’t change, what have I just gotten myself into? Did I really just endure five torturous years, just to feel….this?) That was rough, I was scared. I look back now and realize DH felt almost exactly the same way as I did, and that comforts me. We both were shell shocked.
Then it evolved and I started feeling affection for them, and then I started to really really just like them. And once Peanut started feeling better with his reflux, and didn’t have those awful baby-gasping crying jags, it got a ton better. I think I just don’t really enjoy the first four months of a newborn; if I could go back in time, I’d tell myself not to worry, they get a lot more fun and interactive at four months and I’ll start enjoying them more.
Now I look at them and they look like little teeny tiny people and it is so much easier to relate to them, to look at them as more then just needy little things. However, I still have this nagging feeling in the back of my brain that it isn’t enough- I’m not enough of a mother. Should I be doing more? Should I be more protective? Less protective? It’s all so confusing. For example, I was out walking with a neighbor I met, and her DH happened to drive by so he stopped and got out to talk to us. My friend’s five month old daughter was in her stroller, and a wasp started to buzz by. Without even thinking, her DH lept up, ran over, and tried to swat it away- instinct! What did I do, on the other hand? Got scared and turned my head away! We had a problem with wasps near my pool growing up down south, and my siblings and I have this innate fear of them. But that got me thinking- if the wasp had been flying near my stroller and not hers, would I have lept up and tried to swat it away? Wouldn’t a good mother do that, without even thinking twice? I was so upset by that, it’s stayed with me. (Well, I can say that there is at least one other mother out there who had a similar experience as me: Many years ago, before TTC, I was reading a NYC/Mom anonymous message board, and a woman posted how she was so upset with herself and was questioning her mothering skills. She had put her four month old in the middle of her bed while she was getting dressed, and when she looked over a cockroach was walking on her baby’s face. Instead of running towards her daughter to swat the bug away, she screamed in terror and was frozen, she’s disgusted by cockroaches. I remember reading this and totally sympathizing with her, as I also can’t stand the sight of them (again, another casualty of growing up in the south!) and I remember asking myself what would I have done? Sure, the baby was fine of course, but it was her initial instinctual reaction that bothered this mother, and same goes with me.)
I’m probably being too open and honest here, but I’ve always been honest with you, so why stop now? Please don’t flame me or write negative comments about how I am a bad mom. Instead, I’d love it if other moms out there could weigh in with their own personal experiences about this topic.
I just can’t emphasize enough right now how still, after eight months, I am truly still processing everything and coming to terms with it all. The word “all” in that sentence contains so many emotions that it’s almost impossible to describe them: From trying on our own and not succeeding, to making that initial scary first RE appointment, to finding out I’d have to do IVF to get pregnant due to my blocked tube, to then becoming an Unexplained IF Patient, to never getting answers, to finally coming to terms with donor eggs, to getting pregnant, to losing a child at 20 weeks, to coming to terms with using donor eggs and donor sperm AND a surrogate and never experiencing a full, healthy pregnancy or childbirth, to those two cycles not working, to the Celiac diagnosis, to doing a complete 180 and using our own genetic material and miracles of miracles after ALL that, it actually works….times two. I mean…what the fuck? All that was such a terrible mindfuck. If anyone is reading this who is finally pregnant one way or another after a long arduous journey- it’s hard. It’s hard to get over it. And it’s a lot of work processing everything, it’s a daily thing for me. But you also have two babies you need to take care of! And you go about your life and meet other moms and you look at them and they have no flipping clue what you went through, and sometimes it’s like this big, heavy padlock I carry around my neck when I’m with other mothers. I wish it wasn’t there, and I’m positive it won’t always be, but this takes work.
On a cute sidenote, Kelly sent us a little gift: Matching onesies that say “50% Mommy, 50% Daddy, 100% Adorable.” I’m sure you can understand why we like that, and we know that Kelly knows how crazy it all turned out that the children are, in fact, 50% Mommy and 50% Daddy.