Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's like origami


Despite my Asian heritage, profound love of order and straight lines, I have always royally sucked at origami.

So it came as no surprise to me when at the "Twins and MORE! Care for Multiple Newborns" class Mr. K and I recently attended, I basically failed the swaddling part. I mean seriously, failed. Again. I was never good at swaddling Piglet and I became so heavily reliant on the Miracle Blanket (aka swaddling for dummies) that I never honed the skill. Then of course as he got older and he kept escaping which I interpreted to mean that he was miserable in his straight-jacket, I just stopped swaddling all together.

Mr. K however, has always been a very good swaddler. He is also, by the way, a very good gift wrapper. Just sayin'. He was basically insufferable during class last weekend with his unsolicited input: "Now fold and pull tight. Tighter." and "no, no, you need to tuck that corner" and "it's too loose, the baby is totally going to escape" superior trash talking. And I was all "Who cares! We're going to use the Miracle Blankets again!"

But the truth is, I. CARE. A little.

I hate that he is so damn GOOD at this *one* task and I am so ridiculously BAD at it. Of course the instructor was all about letting us know how a good, solid swaddle is basically the difference between a screaming infant and a blissfully content infant.

So, Dante's Inferno or Nirvana, basically sealing my fate with the former.

Overall the class was great...and really terrifying. We were both just wrecked by the end of our five hour session on Saturday and staring down the barrel at another long session on Sunday. And remember, we already have one child, so none of this was really new to us. We even just brazenly skipped some parts, like the "how to give a baby a bath" part. We were all 'psssht, we do this every single night, we are all over this, suckers!' And that's when I sent Mr. K out to get me a Haagen Daz bar. The scary bits happened when the instructor had a couple with nine week-old boy/girl twins actually BRING THEM IN for part of the class. We all cooed and smiled nervously as our spouses got pale and tiny beads of sweat formed at our hairlines.

I mean, way to PUT THE FEAR OF GOD IN US.

Bring in real, live BABIES? Just like the ones we are going to have in less than eight weeks?! (six for moi) And parents who look really tired despite the fact that we know they have five nights a week of professional overnight doula help? And the mom isn't nursing, so they just, you know, HAND THE BABIES OVER to her and go to bed FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK?!

So just to recap because I'm sure your heads are spinning.
  • Instructor/doula has couple bring in real babies
  • babies are REAL
  • instructor demonstrates simultaneous care of two babies
  • couple sit there and look exhausted
  • couple get eight consecutive hours of sleep, five nights a week while doula cares for babies
  • couple look exhausted
  • babies are not dolls, but REAL
  • students sweaty, terrified
Now that is just blatant fear mongering.

There was the instructor, who incidentally, is also an amazing a professional doula and owns her own successful agency, one baby in the sling while simultaneously trying to change a diaper, find a binky, shush a baby, pick up the dropped binky, teach a class and not get peed on. I *know* that every person in the room was thinking "What kind of e.xperimental d.rug can I get from Mexico or China that will help me grow an extra set of arms so I can survive this?"

We're glad we took the time to go to the class...and weren't shy about getting a business card from the instructor!

As Strongblonde, one of my bloggy friends who has four month-old twins so aptly put it, "Twins are kinda scary." So true, so true.

Perhaps if I can just get better at origami...

Coming soon to a Piglet blog near you: baby shower post and a Prenatal Cradle tale -- the beast has arrived. Stay tuned!

*Note in the photos, how I go from happy to showing some trepidation to that "Hey, um, what?" expression. The photo of the instructor in the lower left corner? Yep, that's her with real live babies. Dems were real, peeps. Very real.


'Murgdan' said...

Awwww...but you guys look like total experts! I have will survive. Thrive even. Gosh, just think, at least you aren't total parenting first-timers. My husband and I would be up the creek with barely a paddle if we were having twins.

Then again...everyone finds a way.
Love your pics. :-) Thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

um....they are scary. but then you get good at it. THEN they learn how to do something else that makes them scary and great at the same time! lol.

you can do it. seriously. i don't even remember the beginning. i reread some of my posts and comments to others and can't even remember thinking or feeling that way. it's all a blur. maybe mother nature's way of helping us through the tough times?

it can't be all bad, right? here i am on a sunday morning, eating donuts and sipping coffee while one sleeps behind me and one sleeps upstairs in her crib. :)

you're soooo close! i can't wait!

Jenn said...

I have to say, I LOVE all the swaddle blankets out there. Way better than swaddling with regular blankets.

I've only had a singleton, but from everything I've been told, you will adjust. Not to say it will magically be easy. Not to say you will not be exhausted, or happy just to catch a shower...but you WILL get through.

Congrats, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Holy poop (respecting your general no swearing philosophy - have much more vulgar profanities racing through my terrified mind) talk about reality hitting you square in the face.

I was up for most of last night - Sugar is so high in my uterus, I can hear her HB with my doppler next to my ribs - and I have the worst heartburn and reflux - and as you know Spice is wedged deep in my pelvis - I almost started crying from exhaustion as soon as I woke up. I honestly want to make it at least two more weeks - and I think that exhaustion plus babies will be okay - I cannot believe that after years of IF and three pregnancy losses, I am going to have babies....WOW.

I am going to email you - we do have a teavana!

Carrie said...

CONFESSION: I am a terrible swaddler. Awful. I am a great nurser-to-sleeper, shuuuusher and rocker, but not a good swaddler. I leave it to my mom and DH and when they are not around, the babies break out of their loose blankies in 20 seconds flat.


I agree: twins are SCARY and REAL and holy shit is it hard, but we MoMs are extremely lucky to see all the things people with just one (SCOFF) baby do. Watching them gaze at each other, touch hands, and nurse side by side? Nothing short of amazing, and worth swaddling hijinks.

And you can text me in the middle of the night whenever you want. I plan to see an increase in that in oh... 6 weeks?

Happy V-Day! Will you be my Bloggy Valentine?

Sunny said...

Oh my god, when you said your twins will arrive in 6 weeks, I had a little freak out. That seems SO SOON when you put it that way! Sure, it looks like my monkeys will be springing much earlier, but that's about when they should be coming home... *gulp*

We are so screwed.

Cameron said...

Okay, what is that blue table thing that Mr. K has on his lap and the instructor has on her lap? I'm very confused. You have twins and you're given a huge lap table?

Oh, and you will be FINE. I'm sure of it. :)

Carrie said...

Unsolicited advice: the double swaddle technique changed our lives! Very busting-out-proof, so great when baby gets stronger! Here's a video on the technique:

Sarah said...

MVK--you look like a natural holding those twin (doll) babies! Amazing, you and Mr K will be great. Lucky babes! xo

Jessica said...

I can't wait to meet the boys!!

Kimberly Bepler said...

The blue 'lap table' is a twin feeding pillow. We show the parents how to use it for both breast and bottle feeding in the class. Kind of hideous, right?

I have to laugh at the witty comnents about my class; it isn't designed to scare you (well, that is not my primary intent!). It is meant to empower you to know that you too can juggle babies on your own if you have to, and to show you some tricks to make that happen.
And clearly it is working, because you guys are doing great!