I think you must have the wrong person. Do you know who I am? I mean, I am an irresponsible, selfish drunk. Or at least I used to be. Today I’m a grateful, sober mom of almost one year old boy/girl twins created through science, hope and love (otherwise known as IVF). I am beyond lucky.
I’ve been sober now 12 years, but really, just for today. As each day I have to get up and make the decision to be sober again. What seems a bit more daunting right now is getting up and being in charge. I mean, who do these kids think I am, their mom or something?
We had a hell of a time getting pregnant and when we finally did get pregnant with twins, we were terrified, yet excited. Then we learned that Baby B might not make it. She might not be viable. The word “viable”, so clinical and cold that when we look at our girl today and see how vibrant and healthy she is, she fills us with that much more gratitude just knowing there was a chance she might not have made it. She wanted in though. She fought like hell and she had hope, earning her middle name: the only choice really was Hope.
My dear sweet husband and I both work outside the home because TWINS ARE EXPENSIVE. We have an amazing Nanny that watches the babies Monday-Wednesday; my incredible In-Laws come into the city on Thursdays and I am fortunate enough to work from home on Fridays. We’ve got all the support in the world and we are so lucky we only have to pay a Nanny for three days. We have absolutely hit the jack pot on Nannies. We’ve had two due to extenuating circumstances, but we’ve found two incredible women – both through word of mouth and Moms of Multiples online message boards.
We’re close to broke all the time, but we manage. Just making these babies was expensive — emotionally, physically and monetarily. Our boy had to wear a corrective helmet for a little while and that was expensive. Everything with kids is expensive and with twins it’s times two all the time. When people say, “two for the price of one!”, in NO WAY is that true.
We have a great SMALL apartment but we are moving into a bigger space next year. We have a Honda Accord that has no space once you’ve installed two massive car seats and a tandem stroller in the trunk. The babies sleep in separate– but feet apart — pack n’ plays. They have a tiny room that is shared with my husband’s precious stuff as he lost his only private space when the babies came.
My point is, we have little, and yet we have everything we could possibly need. Everything falls into place somehow despite my own sabotaging. It creeps in masked as fear of the next step after reading and talking with other moms. I’m here to tell you, it’s all going to work out. We don’t need to stress so much. I am perfect for these babies. I am the best mom for these babies. They are the perfect babies for me.
What I most desire a new mom of twins to understand is that it’s fundamentally awesome having twins. I cannot imagine having just one baby. Granted these are my only kids so I don’t know any different, but twins are pretty much the greatest thing ever. I swear I read so many terrifying articles and books about sleep training and the horrors of feeding and that you can’t possibly do it without help all the time. I thought I my life was ending before I even had these babies.
The truth is my husband and I have done just fine, great even, without extra help and without killing each other. Dare I say we’ve grown closer and had a blast so far? Yes. Yes, I dare to say that. So every time you hear something like, “better you than me” just respond as my sweet husband does, “Yes, yes it is better it’s me than you, clearly.” With a twinkle of gratitude in your eye.
Being a mom and specifically a mom of twins for just less than a year has taught me monumental lessons I couldn’t have learned in any other way. Patience, understanding, empathy, humility, gratitude are among them.
These are all qualities that being sober has taught me as well, only now I have perspective in a way that sobriety couldn’t have shown me without these babies. They go hand and hand for me now, being a mom and being sober. I am a sober mom of twins. Maybe if I repeat that a million times I will believe it. I don’t have one without the other though, make no mistake. If I am not sober, I will not get to be a mom. At least for me, if I drink, everything else goes away. I know that and I take precautions to protect my sobriety as it’s the most important thing in my life. Without sobriety I have nothing.
Today I choose happiness. Today I choose accountability. Today I choose a future that looks incredibly bright if I keep doing the next right thing. I still wake up every morning – as we now sleep through the night regularly (HOORAY!) – and have a moment of, “oh yeah, I’m a mom!” and it’s still crazy when that hits. I love that daily moment. Instant gratitude over and over and over each day. It’s like Groundhog Day the movie, but in a profoundly excellent way.
Katy Maher is a grateful drunk who doesn’t drink, a smoker who doesn’t smoke and a brand new mom of boy/girl twins from IVF (the devil science brought us babies made of hope, love and science) born January 7th, 2013. She works as a Big Shot in a full time job that she loves and is grateful for the good, the bad, and the ugly. If life were fair, she would be dead, and she would miss this life beyond her wildest dreams. It’s a great day to be alive! Visit Katy’s blog, I Want A Dumpster Baby, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!
The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.
Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.
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