Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cameraderie amongst mothers

About two weeks ago I returned from a meeting to a voicemail message:

A new twin mom from work wanted to know who my night nanny had been and if I'd recommend her.

(I'd recommend both of them but they are both in full-time day work now, the latter working for my friend, Eve, the single mom with twin boys)

I phoned her back (quickly I thought) and told her this but also gave her my agency's details.

We chit-chatted around this night nanny business for a bit (like, did I actually sleep or get up and help her? of COURSE I slept, I was paying for it and was hellishly sleep deprived) and then I did what I usually do:

"How are you really doing?"

She first said something about how you ALWAYS need two hands - true - and how there seems to be always one screaming - again, true.

And then I rested in the pause and she said, "did you cry every day?"

I was honest and said, "no" but then I added, "but I did feel that frustration and overwhelm and "what the hell was I thinking going through IVF for this"?

And she burst out crying.

I nearly did the same.

She sobbed and said that she cries daily. Sometimes many times a day.

How they were happy with their one child and how she's messed up their lives by wanting a sibling for her and going through this.

"And Marcia, this is why I was so scared to put back two embryos".

(true - she came to me before IVF3 and told me how she was so scared of transferring two embryos. I didn't have any advice because we only had two and I had the twin romance thing going on.)

When she stopped crying so much, I listened to her go on and on, and then we spoke nicely and I told her that there was no shame in going to see the doctor for some AD help, and that the main focus for the first couple of months is simply to survive.

Two people gave me this advice - se7en and a work colleague.

"Don't worry about falling in love with the babies, coping and loving the twin thing; just get through it for now", I said.


Today we had lunch with a friend from work (seriously, the nicest girl in the world and I have lots of nice friends) who I don't see anymore as we outsourced the admin in that area of the business and she's moved to the new administrator. Boo!

Our babies are a year apart, exactly. In fact, her D was due by Caesar on my babies' birthday but he came 2 days early because he didn't want to share :)

Anyway, she has another friend with twins and they were also there.

Well, this mother is very much like me.

No BS and tells it like it is.

Her girls were born at 33 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks.

She says after the first night of the babies being home, she said to her husband, "that's it, I can't do this. I'm done".

Our friend laughed but the two of us said, "we are sooooo not joking" :)

She's a SAHM and has 10.5 month-old girls. Very, very cute girls.

She's a self-proclaimed control freak - and yes, we saw this in action many times. I do love being around control freaks who are worse than I am because I appear positively laid back :)

Even D said, gosh, next to her, you are SOOOOOOOOOOO relaxed.

She said to me that she LOVED being around another twin mom because 1) at least she doesn't feel alone with the crazy chaos and 2) I gave her some inspiration (like my friend Carmen did for me many, many months ago).

And both her and my friend said they can't WAIT for their babies to be walking and talking, so for a change I had the most advanced babies :)

So there we go - I feel so privileged to be able to give other mothers (esp twin moms) just a teensy bit of comfort that they are not alone in the madness.

We do this in the blog world all the time (MandyE, I spoke about you today and how you inspired me with the reading thing) but it's different when you actually see and hear people interact with their kids.

This week I need to get moving again with my exercise - I only exercised twice last week - a dance class at the gym and once at home - and eat properly (more tomorrow on weigh-less).

I also need to stop procrastinating and put together a work presentation for the 18th - it's being critiqued by peers which is always the worst, don't you find?

How was your weekend? And what do you need to get sorted out this week?

PS. I just had a thought - I put on my Mondo list that I'd like similar people to come into my life. Could this be it? But isn't there some kind of friendship code about "poaching" friends? Have you ever met a friend through a friend? How did that work for you?

PPS this is my favourite pic of the day


  1. Sjoe. Having one new baby is damn hard. I really admire new moms of multiples. I would so not be able to cope with that. I love being in a position of having been there and done that and now being able to guide and offer support to others who are going through similar trials that I've been through.
    I don't think that you need to be worrying about the "poaching" of friends thing. I think that the world is a big enough place for us to share our friends. I have met loads of friends through friends.
    My weekend was restful. I watched movies, read a bit, went to Church, had an impromptu lunch with my parents today and watched some series. Lots of mindless entertainment but exactly what I needed. This week I need to exercise (my fabulous Mommy bought me a fancy skipping rope so I have no excuses now), finish reading 2 books, get my boy settled back into his school routine, and I need to put out a personal administrative fire so to speak.
    I hope that you have a wonderful week.

  2. Those ladies are so lucky to be able to talk to someone as "real" as you, Marcia. I don't know if motherhood is truly *always* blissful for some women, but there are people who never would discuss anything otherwise. Talking to people like that can make me feel like I'm not "normal", like I'm doing something terribly wrong...which is the last thing any of us need.

    I remember the first time I finally talked to a fellow MoM, when my girls were a couple of months old. It was such a tremendous relief. And then I felt even more relief when I finally met someone who'd been through IF and had twins. For me there's definitely an additional set of emotions that go along with that.

    Like Julia said, I love to be able to "pay it forward" in talking with newer Heaven knows I'll never be able to repay some of the wonderful people that helped me. :)

  3. I will do a weekend post in the next hour or so.

    SAMBA did not mean much to us - really not much in support. Do you think we should make a little informal twin mom thingy?

  4. Yes, Cat! I do. I'm not even a member of SAMBA :)

  5. I think your work friend def needs some AD's there is no shame in it. I would be a total mess if it wasnt for them. i think having multiples throws you so far in the deep end and often you feel like you just treading water. Just tell her that it slowly gets better and get those AD's!

  6. You have such beautiful children.
    I admire people with twins and in a way am happy that I do not have twins because our Lord knows that I would not have coped with 2 little babies at once.

  7. Having one baby is overwhelming so with two I reckon you need as much support from people who have been through it as you can find!!!

    Weekend was crazy - Kiaras party and shop stuff :)

    Week ahead - shop stuff and then CT - cant wait!

  8. I think everyone feels a bit overwhelmed in the beginning - multiple or not. And then as you kind of hit your stride you tend to forget about those days and just remember the extremely good and cute things...which is why there aren't more only children I guess? ;-)

    I always tell new moms when they have that wild eyed look about them that it really gets easier every three months. I think it helps them to set a short term goal to get to. One actually specifically thanked me for that piece of advice when her son turned 9 months old.

  9. good for you for telling her like it really is!!!

  10. Love the advice you were able to give your friend--stop worrying about the bonding thing right now and just survive. That is SO true, at least from my experience.

    It's hard to hear moms of single babies gushing about how "in love" they are, or how they love to just sit and watch their babies sleep (usually while holding them). Being a new mom to twins in the midst of all the overwhelming emotions that come along with it is HARD and feeling like you're alone or not doing something "right" (because you aren't SO IN LOVE yet, or whatever) makes it that much worse.

    I think there is a little bit of an instantaneous bond between mothers of multiples, just because we know what it's like, ya know?

  11. We've been away and I am just catching up on all sorts of blog stuff... I just did comments from afar and came home to discover you linked me!!! Thanks you star!!! And I am so glad that what I said helped!!! I still stand by it: Anything in the early days is just basic survival, anything more than the very basics and you are over achieving and must cut back before everything falls apart... because it will!!! Like all really difficult/worthwhile life experiences we simply forget how bad things can be when we are no longer "in there" - how quickly we forget and how quickly we should be ready to lend a friendly ear to anyone who is in there...

  12. I think the cameraderie is HUGE, but it's so hard to find sometimes! I didn't love the Crazies for a long time and felt no guilt about that. I was doing what I had to do to get through the newborn stage and I was acting in a legally responsible manner. After that, I started to love's freaking hard!!!

    I remember Husband telling me that we had made a huge mistake and that we needed to take one of them back to the hospital...that he needed his life back...d.r.a.m.a.


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