The Newborn Stage Is Hard But You'll Forget All About It Soon Enough

newborns swaddledAt 5 months old, my twin boys are at a really fun age -- belly laughing, thwacking their links around, making these strange dinosaur sounds, punctuated by raspberries. They're also sleeping through the night, napping well, chilling out at restaurants...oh crap, did I just jinx myself?

Anyway, I think all this cuteness must have numbed my brain because just yesterday, I was talking to a woman expecting twins, and guess what came out of my mouth? "Oh, it's really not that hard. It's all about perception. Just get them on a schedule and it's easy." I wished her good luck and hung up the phone, smiling about all of the great things this woman had to look forward to. Then, it hit me...memories of those hourly, middle-of-the-night wakings! The unexplained fussiness, times two! The endless feedings that involved breastfeeding and pumping and formula top-offs, only to have them eat again 1.5 hours later! Oh my freaking God, it happened -- I had forgotten how hard newborns are!

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Oh, sure, other Moms had warned me about this. They said once we were clear of the newborn stage, it would get foggy, just some blurry memory of tiny swaddled bundles of angelic joy. When I was busy feeding two newborns eight times a day, I remember wondering if this would ever end, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All that crying for no apparent reason, the shushing and swaying and swinging that didn't seem to do a damn thing -- sweet. The way, they'd wake up several times in the night, not to eat, just to complain, and never at the same time, so I was just on an endless loop of paci-popping -- yeah, that was fun.

But, see, even now, as I'm recounting it, I'm thinking, "Oh, it wasn't so bad. It didn't last that long. At least they didn't have colic." What's wrong with me?! Snap out of it, Jenny, snap out of it! Because you know what's happening? My womb is starting to ache for more babies! That's right, now that we're all sleeping and snuggling and grinning goofy and wearing baby jeans, suddenly I'm thinking that I should do this again. Folding up the little onesies that they keep growing out of, I think about how I miss them being so small. Huh, I do?

I even mentioned it to my husband the other night, telling him how all of these women in my twins group want more babies and he looked at me sideways and went, "But, you don't, right? Jeeeeenny?" Pause, smile. "Jenny, seriously? Since when? We always wanted just two kids. Are you serious?" Nah, well, I mean, maybe...no, no...but, maybe it wouldn't be so bad...no, no, I don't really. Or do I?

And that, my friends, is evolution at work! When you're wobbling around at 9 months pregnant, or in the thick of labor, or trudging through the swampy bog of your baby's first few months, you think, "How could anyone want another kid? Who would ever want to do this again? That's it, we're done after this one!" (Oh, I'm sorry, do these sentiments not ring true? That's because biology got you all brainwashed and you forgot!!!) And then, a year or two later, you decide it's time to try for #2 or #3 or #4, all giddy with excitement about another baby on the way. Forget the endless feedings and sleepless nights -- this is going to rock!

Of course, the Dads seem to remember -- like soldiers who've survived a battle, they will never forget. Only, they don't have to go through the same things that Mommy does during pregnancy, childbirth and those first few months. So, when their little newborns are suddenly these playful, interactive chunk-a-monkeys, squealing with delight at the mere sight of Daddy and "Da-da-da-da-ing" their way into his heart, he's totally gung-ho to go again!

Oh, Mother Nature, you sly minx, with your memory-numbing magic and that clever way you butter us up with baby giggles, you have found a way to propagate the human race. But, I'm too smart for you! That's right, whenever I start to think that maybe I want a whole baseball team of mini-Me's, I visit a friend with a newborn, or give her a call on the phone. And just like that, like a voice beckoning to me through the fog, I remember that those first few months were a total bitch.

Have you forgotten how hard the newborn stage is?

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