Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The days are long, but the years are short!

I was on the phone with my friend Vinti and was having one of those days that never ends and she reminded me of this quote "The days are long, but the years are short!" This saying is so freaking true, I cant believe the girls are now a year old. Where did the time go - Some days were very long and I wished for them to end but now it all seems like a blur. I have been meaning to write this post for a while and it is finally time for me to pen my thoughts. My mind works non stop and there are thoughts always running through my head about the whole process from the time you find out your are pregnant to seeing the baby when it arrives and then getting through the first weeks, months and finally a YEAR. I wont lie this is a fun but bumpy ride.

So here we are - WE SURVIVED the first year. Our one year olds are now little brats with minds of their own and have little personalities. I hear the term terrible two's but sometimes I feel like we are already there haha. The tantrums have begun and there are times Amit and I look at each other and think "wow are these the same sweet little ones that we brought home from the hospital?" I cant imagine life without them and every stage gets more interesting. They are both walking and babbling now - they get into everything and are very curious and nosy. We have nick named Aariya Curious George and Aashna Bamm Bamm. Aariya is so curious and has to see everything and want to know whats going on around the house and little miss Aashna loves to whack everything - even us and her sister.

Before the babies were born it was all about getting enough rest and making sure I ate well so the babies got enough nutrition so they would be happy healthy babies. At some point I think people forget that you as a person exist and everything becomes about the baby. Don't get me wrong as a mother you want nothing else for your child but its frustrating at times that people forget you are a person too and not just an oven for the child to grow. Pregnancy is a beautiful process, nature is amazing and the body works in miraculous ways but it also does a number on you. I kept hearing "I love being pregnant, its the most amazing experience", which it is but I wish someone would have also told me about all the emotional turmoil and sleepless nights. I couldn't figure out why I would start crying uncontrollable in my first trimester. Wake up in the middle of the night worrying about simple things like "how am I going to shave my legs?" or "How are we going to do this with no support system in Dallas?". I am sure my worries were a little exaggerated because of the twins factor and pregnancy was hard for someone very independent like me. I am not used to waiting or depending on someone for simple things like getting groceries and running errands that required lifting things. But I got through it with amazing support from Amit. I was so happy that I didn't get put on bed rest because that would have been torture for some one who hates being home all day. Towards the end I couldn't walk much but I was still going out even if it was in a wheel chair!

And finally you get through it and the big day arrives - you are excited but more nervous. You want everything to go well and finally you see your child. Amazing moment but I was somewhat in a daze - are these really my babies? I cant believe they were in my belly? Thoughts just running through my head. You are exhausted and here come the Lactation consultants. Breast feeding is important for the babies and it does give you a chance to bond with your baby but with everything else going on those first few hours the last thing I wanted was a group of women standing over my shoulder telling me its the most important thing and I needed to pump 100 times a day (ok not exactly 100 but it felt like that alright). The best advice I got was actually from a NICU nurse who was just so sweet and patient and told me to try it when possible and not stress about it. The girls were fed formula from day one and so luckily I didn't feel guilty that I was starving them. The funniest moment now that I look back was the time the LC brought her trainee's with her and I had three women watching over if I was doing it right with Amit, my mum and MIL in the room in the NICU. That was a sight all right!!

I was at ease when we were at home and the babies were with us but the entire time I kept wondering if I was doing it right. Here is what I have learnt through this process so far.

Go with your gut and do what comes naturally to you - I struggled with this one quite a bit because our girls don't sleep through the night. I keep meeting mothers whose little ones sleep from 7-7 or 8-8 and have these magic sleep routines. I kept comparing myself to them and had to realize that what works for someone else may not work for you. Amit and I are social people and go stir crazy being at home - we didn't want to resent each other for going out with their friends or HH's so instead we take the girls with us to late dinner to keep our sanity. I know this doesn't help establishing a good night routine but this is what works best for us. So how can I expect to have what others have. In desperate times I even tried to get myself to try the CIO method but that's just not me - it doesn't work for our family and there is nothing wrong with that. I can survive on less sleep and if my baby wants to wake up in the middle of the night to be held back to sleep I will to do it.

Let the small things go - the house cleaning can wait take a nap instead. Trust me this is hard to do when you are slightly OCD and want everything to be perfect but trust me that nap will make you so much happier and a better mother for your kids.

Traditional vs modern - another thing we encountered with our families. Amit and I had decided we would do things differently. We heard what every one had to say but did what we wanted to do. Coming from an Indian background there are lots of traditions we didn't follow because we believed we live in a different world away from family and in a different time. I understand some of those traditions had a place, a reason back in the day but are no longer practical today and so we let them go. Again here you have to pick your battles (their intention is good) - give a little but decide how much is ok with you. The best thing to do is communicate with facts. I think they still think of you as their kids and not as parents who wouldn't want anything but the best for their child. I got advice from everywhere about what the babies should eat and not eat, do and not do and I kept thinking "I know I can read and do a lot of research". We live in a modern world of the internet where there is so much information, may be a little too much. I get our parents raised us in a different time where their source of information was advice from family.
And finally as we enter this new year and the next phase of our life I want to leave you with this video that makes me laugh. The girls love being in their diapers - they get a burst of energy and are absolutely hilarious to watch. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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