When I embarked on my parenting journey I did an enormous amount of research on parenting styles. I figured that I could choose what kind of parent I wanted to be to my children. I wanted to design our family dynamic. I found that I liked many aspects of the attachment parenting style. This consists of early bonding (skin-to-skin), learning to read your baby’s cues, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, bed-sharing, no baby training (aka no Ferberizing), and taking care of Mama. The style also strongly encourages the bond between the child and their father. This all sounded really good to me when I was pregnant. I knew early in my pregnancy that I would have twins. I thought I could totally be an attachment parent. I was staying home with my kids, so it seemed like it would be super easy. I was as prepared as a parent can be when having twins.
When my boys were born they were both breech which led to an emergency C-Section. I was quite fine with that because I was not looking forward to having twins vaginally. My first priority after the boys were born was to start breastfeeding. Latching was more difficult than I had read. I kept trying, but we eventually supplemented with formula. I was a little disappointed in myself. The next priority was to bond with the babies using the skin-to-skin method. Both, I and their dad, spent 3 days in the hospital room bonding with the boys. I was off to a good start.
When we got home with the twins I found that I enjoyed baby-wearing. Bed-sharing was altered to bedroom-sharing. It worked well to have two swings at the end of our bed when the boys were super small. They would swing all night. I felt close to them. I, on occasion, liked falling asleep with a baby on my chest, until I started waking up with panic attacks. I felt as if I had an elephant sitting on my chest. I was starting to suffer from Post-Partum Depression at this time. I just could not bed-share.
I was also having a hard time breastfeeding. I had enough milk, but the boys could not functionally suck hard enough to keep my milk going. I was living around my breastfeeding schedule. I would feed one baby, then feed the other baby, then I would pump. It was a nightmare. I never slept. I lasted 6 weeks before switching to formula. Things were not going according to my plan.
As they boys grew too large to sleep in their swings, we decided to put them to sleep in the bedroom next to us. The plan was that they would sleep in the same crib at first. I did not expect this to last very long. I assumed they would start waking each other up at some point, but it went well. It went very well. I noticed that each and every night the boys would sleep somehow touching one another. They would lie back to back, or with their heads touching. Sometimes they would hold hands. It was precious! This was how they were in the womb. Always touching. This is when I decided to incorporate the attachment theory to the boys relationship since I could not be the attachment parent that I had so diligently planned to become. I was so sick. I just could not keep up. So, I started putting the boys to bed in only diapers. I came to the conclusion that I could still incorporate a lot of skin-to-skin by nurturing the boys’ sleeping situation. They did not sleep often, but when they did they were bonding. It felt like a huge win. They slept like this until the crib was too small. This was one of my most successful parenting decisions.
Today, my boys have a great relationship with sleep and they still sleep together. Touching most of the time. I realized that my plans had to be altered, but not completely forgotten about when things went wrong. I could not do it all. I needed to be creative to accomplish the goals I had made for my family. Though, I could not be that parent I had planned to be, I used what resources I had to make the best of it. My version of attachment parenting worked out just fine.
The Millennial Twin Mom