I'm so glad I'm not a first time mom...
I remember feeling so overwhelmed before Lucas was born. I had hardly held a baby, dare I say it, I think I hadn't even changed a diaper. And now they were going to let me leave the hospital with this baby; that I was to feed, change, bathe, love and care for - without instructions?
Due to his somewhat stressful arrival, it was hours before we really got to see and hold him. The feeling of cradling that swaddled little boy for the first time was so amazing. And, did I mention, overwhelming? We unwrapped his little blankets, holding him so gently, and also a little awkwardly as we tried to figure out how to hold a newborn...
Of course, after a day or two it all seems very natural, and you can hardly remember what life was like before. The learning curve for new moms is so steep, coupled with recovery from labor and delivery and at least a few weeks of severe sleep deprivation - it's no easy feat! And yet, we keep going back and doing it again? Why?
I think the answer to that is pretty obvious; it gets "easier" with each successive baby. I'll admit, when we were expecting Elena I felt quite anxious about going through the whole baby thing again, and questioned myself over so many details of the infant stage; would she breastfeed well? how would I balance a baby and a toddler? when and how will we start solids? can we synchronize their naps? And all that worrying for nothing - Elena integrated herself into our life so seamlessly and all those stages and milestones passed by so quickly and easily. (I know it's easy to say that now with two potty trained, sleep trained, food trained pre-schoolers, and at the time it probably all didn't "feel" easy - it just turned out easier than I expected)
I guess that's why they say the third time's the charm! When we first found out we were pregnant with baby #3, I had no doubts about my abilities as a mother and very few worries about how to include a baby within our day to day routine.
Then we found out we were having twins!
So if you're a first time mom, or even a second-time mom, wondering about this journey of motherhood, be encouraged. It does get easier; and those skills of nurturing and caring for a baby come so quickly. Don't worry about having all the right "stuff" or following all the rules. Even if there were no cribs, strollers, car seats, baby bathtubs, bottles, pacifiers, baby swings (ok, this list could go on for.ev.er...) all your baby needs is you! Isn't that amazing? So don't stress out if your baby is hungry 2.8 hours after their last feed, or if they haven't had a bath in two days, or if they need an extra nap one day. Respond to their cries, listen to them, and gently guide them and grow them.
The biggest lesson I've learned from my twins so far has been about sacrifice. It was easy for me to imagine adding one other little one to our lives. So easy, and so little sacrifice. With twins I am constantly reminded of my need to give of myself - my time, my body, my dreams, for their well-being.
And we all know, that in the end, the sacrifice will be worth it.