Twin Baby Blurbs: Entry 6, 2/23/17

Today during my hour commute from work I put in my ear buds and listened to a pod cast about tardigraves (aka “water bears” an incredibly resilient microscopic animal). THIS is how committed I was to listening to something/anything other than the slightly muted version of the “Mo Mo” (Elmo) video playing for the boys that inevitably permeates my auditory canal despite my best attempts to deter it (I use my vans central speaker option that refers audio primarily to the central portion of the vehicle where the boys are seated in an attempt to drown out some of the volume).

I have to say I don’t get the “water bear” nickname to describe the tardigrave, it doesn’t look very bear-like in my opinion. If a manatee and a caterpillar had relations, the resultant combination would be similar to the appearance of a tardigrave (except in microscopic form of course). During this podcast I learned that tardigraves are the most resilient animal that is known to man and scientists have gone to great lengths to actually TRY and kill one. Seriously, when all of humanity has gone extinct, it won’t be the cockroaches that inherit the earth as we have always heard, it will be the tardigraves! They can survive all kinds of amazing end of days circumstances: they can go without food or water for more than 30 YEARS, they can survive extreme temperatures of -458°F to 300°F, they can withstand pressure that is 6x greater than that found in our deepest oceans, they have actually sent them to outer space where they have survived, AND something very impressive to me as someone practicing and teaching medicine (where we understand and weigh the diagnostic benefits vs. long term consequences of exposing our patients to ionizing radiation from tests such as CT scans everyday)- amazingly, these micro-animals can survive ionizing radiation in concentrations HUNDREDS of times higher than that which would easily kill a human being.


Twin survival tactic no. 1

I’m not sure how to measure a twin mom’s resilience but I would say it’s comparable to that of a tardigrave. And until scientists find a way to subject the tardigrave to the following list of twin mom circumstances; I say the Tardigraves haven’t quite won that title of “most resilent” known life form!

  • How about the sheer physical stress of making TWO humans at the same time!? At the end I had approximately 12 lb in my uterus and had to “sleep” in a completely upright position otherwise I would constantly regurgitate food/acidic stomach contents due to severe reflux- 12 lbs pushing up on your diaphragm and stomach will do that to a person. Crazy lower extremity pitting edema (this means when you pressed on my lower legs it left a visible indentation, kinda like pressing on play dough!), carpal tunnel, constant back pain, constant nausea (not just first trimester! Which is common in multiple gestation hypothesized cause being twice the number of circulating pregnancy hormones).
  • Ever constant twin pregnancy worry!  I actually think that being pregnant with my twins was harder than taking care of them after delivery (maybe this was just my experience, but at least after they are here you have the reward of actively being a mom and getting to know them as they are developing vs. the worry/stress of knowing you are a high risk pregnancy and if you were like me- twin pregnancy meant you were basically a miserable edematous blob!…Somewhat resembling the manatee-esque tardigrave actually! LOL). Just a few examples of the constant worry: Am I gaining enough weight for two babies? Am I eating enough folic acid for two babies? Should I take TWO prenatal vitamins? Am I going to be able to deliver two babies naturally? What will a C-section recovery be like when having to care for two babies? What if they come early as a majority of twin babies do, will there be complications? What if they have to be transferred an hour away to a hospital with a NICU while I’m still at our local hospital being treated? How will we handle the stress and the expense of a NICU stay? How am I going to breastfeed two babies every 2-3 hours? How do I leave the house with two babies, do I leave one inside while putting the other in the car? Do we need to get a different car? How is my 6′ 2″ husband going to be able to drive with the steering wheel basically in his lap because of the two car seats? Should I trust a nanny with my two babies at once when I have to go back to work? Should I commute with two babies and find a daycare close to work? The list goes on and on..
  • The nonstop NO sleep cyclic act of twin baby tandem feeding!!
  • Twin baby diaper changes (the kind where no matter what you do to promote a calm situation, they scream, roll, thrash, and once able- RUN away simultaneously- possibly with fecal material still on their otherwise cute little baby bottoms…my boys seriously hate diaper changes, both of them, if it weren’t so dreadful I would find the whole ordeal quite comical).
  • Round trip 2 hour commutes to and from work with twins.
    • Hundreds and hundreds of hours of “Mo Mo” videos on said commute…hence podcasts on tardigraves…
  • Twin babies enrolled in daycare and therefore twin babies simultaneously contracting literally EVERY contagious illness known to man!
    • Twin babies barfing
    • Twin baby diarrhea blow-outs
    • Dual fevers (Motrin is a wonder drug- Tylenol is bologna in comparison).
    • Tandem contagious rash related illnesses: roseola, hand-foot-and mouth TWICE (so technically x4)
    • Coughing: the regular kind, the “barking seal” croup like kind, coughing with post-tussive vomiting.
    • AND last but not least, let’s not forget the blessed 24 hour daycare return rule which has made you AND your husband use your very last sick day or “call out” at work and you start to think your colleagues don’t actually believe you when you say you can’t show up because your kid(s) is/are sick “yes, again…”

Feel free to comment and add to the list with other examples of twin mom toughness! #TwinMomTough #TwinMomsEqualTardigraves



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