Month: September 2011
“Worrying is interest on troubles not yet due” Oscar Wilde.
With the twins due in 3 weeks now I thought I would revisit a list I made this time last year. During a particular bout of anxiety before L was born this time last year I wrote on a scrap piece of paper an extensive list of all that was worrying me about the impending arrival. Not so much a “to do” list but a “scared of” list. It’s an amusing list to look back on as most if not all of the things keeping me awake back then were filed in the “sorted” or “What was I thinking” tray within the first few days!
This is a list I suspect only an expectant dad could possibly write!
- What temperature should a bath be? – Warm!
Will I gag when changing a nappy? – Only sometimes!
How often do they feed? – A lot at first then less later on! Simples!
How will I know when she is hungry? – No doubt on that one!
What happens when we get home? – A lot!
Will the Moses basket be to small? – They have been used for centuries for a reason!
What do I do when they wont sleep? – Be awake as well! It’s not rocket science!
How much should she/he eat/drink? – Still no idea! Until she has had enough?
When does teething start? – When it starts. Chill!
More importantly what exactly is teething? – Clue is in the word!
Looking back I obviously had no idea what was really going to be frightening! This time round none of the above even register on the “scared of list”. In fact this time round its a very short list indeed.
Surely there aren’t enough hours in the day?
Between the 16 feeds and 24 nappy changes needed for L and the twins every day when exactly is there going to be time for anything else. Of course I’m going to have the sanctuary of work during the week but Mrs B with the help of the support team (More later) is going to have to apply her already ruthless skills of organisation and efficiency into policing a totalitarian regime at No.23.
Once Mrs B has sorted this out she should probably be called in to sort out the worlds financial system. Simple in comparison!!
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to
learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent
disinclination to do so. ” Douglas Adams
As the due date for the twins is just 4 weeks away you could be forgiven for thinking we would be drawing on the knowledge and experience gained just over a year ago when L was born and now be confidently approaching the birth of the twins with the calmness and serenity of Buddhist Monk contemplating the ever after.
Not a bit of it. Anxiety is for both of us is building, sleep is declining and tears are flowing. Last night after the twins had given K a particularly rough day and with the chin strap of my evening crash helmet tightly fastened for the incoming evening barrage from K we had a few more tears than usual.
Whether it was the fact that we are almost ready (Apart from the feeding chair that is: More later) with the cots built, Moses baskets in the bedroom, emergency bag packed or that we had been reading some sage advice from another blogger I don’t know but there has certainly been an escalation in the levels of underlying tension.
There is very little that can be said and done and soothing words such as “Dont worry it will be over soon” and “You will feel better in a few weeks” sound completely useless as soon as they leave your mouth. However what did break through the gloom was thought of a day just over 2 years away.
Its 6am on Christmas Day three years from now. All is quiet except for the softly creaking floorboards of the landing created by 6 little feet edging their way hesitantly towards our bedroom door. “Shhh we can’t go in yet …..daddy said we had to wait until he woke up”. The door is pushed open anyway and L sends one of her reluctant sisters into the breach. Out of the corner of an pretending to be asleep eye K wakes up to the site of three little blonde heads beaming at her from the side of the bed and holding up their overflowing stockings in hope……
On this day in just over two year time hopefull today will seem like another world a very long time ago….
As we enter week 32 the planning phase has moved into top gear and Amazon would appear to be profiting nicely. The Purchasing Department (K that is) is going to be very busy. The scary numbers are as follows:
3 children under 13 months equals:
192 nappies a week: 3 babies with 8 changes a day. That’s a jumbo pack less than every 2 days.
18 bottles a day: If breast feeding proves a no go again. The twins with 8 each and L with 2. That’s an average of a bottle every 1hr 15 minutes or 500 a month.
658 scoops of formula a week: 8 x 4oz bottles for the twins and 2 x 7oz bottles for L.
That’s the equivalent of a 900g box of formula every 2 days: Each box contains 183 scoops of formula apparently.
That’s 3 kg of formula a week.
I did try to calculate the amount of washing we would be doing but as yet the field of mathematics has not turned itself to this thorny problem. All of the calculations I tried just came out with the same answer ….”A lot”.
When having three children it is often a popular approach to leave 2 or 3 years between them allowing the youngest child to inherit the cloths, toys, chairs etc of the older one. Our alternative approach of having 3 within 13 months presents us with a problem when trying to employ this principal. So added to the scary numbers is the need for 3 high chairs, 3 car seats, 3 cots and 3 baby monitors.
I remember many years ago at school the class was discussing teenage pregnancy in an “it will never happen to me” way and the cost of having children came up. At the tender age of 15 the informed conclusion of the class to the amusement of teacher was that if it did happen at least babies cant actually cost that much.
How can they….they are so small.
So in conclusion buy Amazon shares today as the Beddow family are about to give their sales a boost!
With a 6 month old L sat on my knee and K reclined on the bed with a midwife prodding her with a lubricated blunt instrument we all stared together up at the familiar grainy black and white image on the screen above our heads. First came the smiles and sighs of relief when the tiny but distinct flicker of a healthy heartbeat at 12 weeks came in to view in the centre of the screen.
But as we sat there in wonder (It’s similar to flying in my view. No matter how routine it becomes, if you actually stop and think about it what you are doing and seeing is utterly incredible) the prodding paused for a moment and another flicker came into view. I think I knew instantly what it was as I remember becoming very aware of my heart beat but you have to ask.
- Dim witted husband: “Errrr ……whats that then?”
- Mildly amused midwife “That will be another baby. Your having twins.”
- Wife: Oh sh”t, Oh Sh#t ##!!! (Clasps hands to face)
- (Husband bursts into hysterical laughter.)
A remarkable moment in the B family history. Friends we met on the beach a little later the same day soothed our sense of shock with reassuring fits of spontaneous laughter as did most of our family and friends we told that week. After the initial shock had worn off in a week or two (And after another scan just to be sure) it was replaced by a deeper feeling of denial and disbelief which continued until recently. Very recently in fact.
L will of course have no memory of her 1st birthday but her parents certainly will. Just because L wont remember the day is no reason for not trying to make the day as much fun and entertaining as possible. I think this applies as much to L on her first birthday as it does to her Great Granddad on his 93rd.
After swimming in the morning in the salubrious surroundings of the Wooodchurch Estate Leisure Centre (Where hanging baskets are now nicely positioned to cover the bullet holes in the walls) and a two hour nap to recover from her exertions L decided to pluck up all her courage and take her first steps.
Whether it was the sugar rush from the chocolate cake or the excitement of the day we will never know but it was quite a moment. When the two new little flowers arrive I suspect the wisdom of the endeavor will be called in to question. What every household needs with two new arrivals is a strong willed 1 year old careering around the house bouncing their head off everything and crying with gusto to ensure they receive their parents full attention.
If there have been any dull moments in the last four years I certainly cant remember them. We have been living life to the full and with the arrival of the twins that life is about to get even fuller. Whether life is “Full to the brim” or “Full to bursting” we shall see.
When thinking of a name for the blog K’s suggestion was simply “Madness”. Unfortunately that name has already been taken but lets hope we can manage to avoid the asylum for now at least, although its more than likely we will be trying to check ourselves in to the local 5 star madhouse for some enforced solitude over the next few years.
I am going to try and record the experience of helping to raise three children one year apart in age (yes that’s one year in total not one year between each child ) as I suspect it will all fly past us in a blur. I already have a hazy recollection of the first few months with L. The brain deletes the feelings of exhaustion and fatigue to protect you from actually going mad but along the way of course a lot of the detail is lost.
To add to the hundreds of photographs we already have of L and the thousands more that will be taken I would like to try to record the joy, fun, laughter, worry, fatigue and stress of everyday life with our three little flowers.