When I was pregnant with my first child, I distinctly remember going to the bookstore and pouring over the baby books. I carefully chose the cutest, sweetest one on the shelf. Throughout his first year of life, I meticulously and neatly filled out every detail with a specially purchased, smudge-proof pen.
Child Two — I attempted to do the same, but of course fell short. The “big stuff” is filled out, but I completed much of it based on educated guesses made a month or two after the fact.
Then I had twins.
They’re nine months old and I have yet to purchase a baby book. Aside from the obvious (that I scarcely have time to eat, much less take a moment to write down when one precious peanut eats her first spoonful of prunes) I haven’t purchased a baby book because I haven’t found one with room to document the milestones that are standing out to me most right now: milestones for multiples.
Yes, I know that multiples learn to crawl, walk, babble, sleep, and eat just like every other baby, but when you have twins or higher order multiples, you quickly find yourself waiting for an entirely different set of milestones: milestones unique to babies born with a womb-mate.
So, if I were to design a baby book specific to twins, triplets, or quads, here are just a few of the line items I would include as noteworthy events in this first year of life:
- The first moment you hold them both, together.
- The first successful tandem feeding.
- The first tandem diaper blow-out.
- That first witching hour they both scream inconsolably at the same time.
- The first time both nap at the same time.
- The first successful public outing with both (or all) of your babies.
- The first time leaving the house with only one (and feeling like you’re going on vacation).
- The first night they both sleep through the night, on the same night.
- That first picture you get of both smiling.
- The first moment they look at each other and you know they’re noticing each other.
- The first day you realize you’ve had them mixed up for several hours.
- The first day you notice a characteristic that unmistakably distinguishes one from the other.
- The first night they sleep separated.
- The first time one steals a toy from the other.
- That first funny moment they laugh at each other.
- The first morning you wake up to them chatting with one another.
- The first time you forget there are two and leave one somewhere (relax – it was only for a few minutes).
- The first moment one gets jealous of you holding or feeding the other.
- That first day you’re unable to carry both at the same time because they’re getting too heavy.
- The first moment you’re struck breathless with the realization of how blessed you are to have the unique privilege to be a mom of multiples. It’s a journey like no other.
So in the midst of all the chaos and changing and feedings….soak it all in, mamas.