This time six years ago I was deep in the throes of twin labour. If you think the "twin" bit was tough, think again. That was perhaps the easiest part of the whole "twin experience" to date. In actual fact it turned out to be the most straightforward (with the usual caveats and exclusions) of all my deliveries and our beautiful babies arrived at 3.20am and 3.30am. Text book.
But at that point someone seems to have mislaid the manual, or at least the bulk of it which contained the information and reassurance regarding feeding, weight gain and development. For six months R and I survived on snatches of sleep, constantly dealing with crying babies and incessant vomiting. At three weeks old we had the first of (oh so) many hospital appointments, and such was my exhaustion I arrived in the hospital car park with the new buggy - having failed to cut off the tags to enable the damn thing to actually OPEN properly! Never before had I experienced that all encompassing, inexplicably life-sapping total exhaustion, and I hope I never, ever will again. The concept of a "full nights' sleep" is still a dream, existing only in a parallel universe somewhere across the Galaxy, but at least now it's (usually) enough. Between feed pumps alarming and uncomfortable/awake/insert any excuse you can come up with, they do! I am usually up 2-3 times a night, but that is so far removed from those early days.
My photo stream is testimony to a considerable amount of fun and adventure over the past 6 years, with special memories by the score as they grew older. Moving to somewhere without a loft was tough - I struggled to hang on to all my treasures from their early days - and their brothers' too - with so little storage space!
It's been a bumpy ride and we've pretty much written our own twin handbook on the way, which is probably why tomorrow feels like such an incredible milestone. It's taken this long to even start to understand the fundamental difficulties the twins have always had with feeding and digestion, why they suffer so much more than their siblings or the rest of us, and why our family is so absurdly divergent from the text book we all subscribe to.
But that said, on the outside, when feeling well and medicated appropriately, they are the bounciest (that should probably read BOUNCIEST) loudest (definitely LOUDEST, even accounting for hearing loss in one and over compensation in the other) almost-six-year-olds around. The best things come in small packages they say, and when I look at my two youngest I fill with pride, in total agreement. They face everything life throws at them head on, and refuse to let anything (or anyone, which can be rather tiresome at times) get in the way of their chosen path.
It's scary how fast time flies, but so exciting sharing the journey.
Happy 6th Birthday Kitty and Archie, my Mini-Me and Monkey :)