To be honest, I’ve only had you two for less than a month because you both spent time in the special care nursery. Although it does seem like forever I haven’t had a good night’s rest.
I thought it would be nice to leave some candid words behind where one day perhaps you might find solace in them when I am gone. Morbid, I know but I love words and stories and I hope we share many of them for as long as we can.
Tobias, you are named after a favorite character from a beloved book. You’ll figure out one day that your mother loves getting lost in words and falling in love with made-up people. Liam, you were so nearly James but everyone voted against that name for being old-fashioned. I thought it timeless. Your father wanted to name one of you Mitchell but I sure as hell wasn’t about to let that happen.
It is such a weird and powerful thing, naming someone. A name gives a person identity and despite being afraid I wasn’t going to be a good mother, I wanted to make sure you had good names. I hope you like them. I hated my name for being long and unpretty. I hated that people could hardly pronounce it and I spent a better half of my life trying to change that by changing my name. I have gone by Dragon, Rachel, Selena but I learnt to accept myself. I’m sorry if I have set the both of you on the same path but maybe it will help you grow a little more patient and a little more accepting.
You were born premature and the hospital asked me to be warded for a night before I could take you home. The point was to make sure I knew how to take care of a preemie. I spent my first night with Liam on the 24th of September. I was so excited at the prospect but when 3am rolled around and you kept crying, I wanted to run away or give you to the nurse but I couldn’t because I wanted so badly to bring you home and I thought if I showed weakness, they would think I was an unfit mother and wouldn’t be able to leave with you.
One of the nurses finally had enough of your crying around 10am in the morning, took you, fed you and gave you back. It was such a miserable thing, not being able to feed your own child. But you came home and thrived and your brother came home on the 30th of September.
Both back together once again.
We each claimed one of you for our own because we wanted to see who will be the better parent. We think we can prove our parenting skills by doing so but I’m sure it will fail. Parenting is a team effort, not a one man show.
The novelty of having two babies to take care of was thrilling. It was like getting a puppy for Christmas but even better because you had our features: his eyes, my lips – you were a part of us. It was fascinating. You both made funny noises and cute sighs. Tobias would randomly scream which was quite heartbreaking because we imagine it was from the trauma at the hospital but we laughed at it anyway and it stopped after a week. Liam would shout and complain whenever but especially when he’s hungry and he’s yet to grow out of it. There were definitely hard days as well, when you two kept waking less than an hour apart from one another, that was the most tiring.
We learnt a few things in these short weeks. We found that Huggies make the best diapers and are especially suitable for preemies and they aren’t the most expensive diapers on the market which was a huge plus. The best way to burp a baby is over your shoulder but that’s also how they fall asleep. If you want to keep them awake and make them finish the bottle, hold them up by their little faces and bang on their backs, gently.
Liam shits right after he eats and both will pee on you for being too slow. We learned to take shifts instead of focusing on just one twin each. We rotated those shifts so we could rest up. I found out that your father is a great father but sleep deprivation makes us all grouchy and impatient. You’re both filling out and gaining weight and filling up my heart.
It’s only been a month and already your cheeks are rounder, your bodies are stronger and your personalities are slowly developing and I can’t wait to get to know each of you.