We finally returned home with Pickle and Papad, a couple of days ago.
I was in the hospital with the two of them and the ever-loyal Vijay for quite a few days. I started to feel distinctly better and was subsequently discharged.
The second day after being home, it turned out I had developed another infection, and it is still ongoing. However, I'm hoping that this is the last leg of this whole illness affair.
In the meantime, it feels good to be home. The first couple of days weren't great because I was unwell and because Peanut was behaving like...well, a 3 year old who is suddenly saddled with the reality of little twin brothers, just like I was behaving like a (half-crazed, post-double-surgery) 30 year old who is suddenly saddled with the reality of little twin sons. Basically, I ended up smacking her bottom and still come dangerously close to doing it whenever she has a meltdown. I know she doesn't know any better and needs time to adjust and am trying my best to control it and am digging into the deepest untapped layers of my being, where I'm hoping lie hitherto untapped reserves of patience and tolerance. Somewhere deep, deep within.
It's obviously a round the clock job - well, a single baby is a round the clock job. Two babies are ...what, round two clocks? One wakes up hungry, the other wakes up hungry a few minutes later while I'm feeding the first one; they do synchronized potties; they cry in unison. Even when they don't cry/poop/feed in unison, one still doesn't get much rest because you've finished with one when the other starts up! Surprisingly though, I think we're doing pretty well now - it doesn't seem new, for one - having Peanut 3 years ago was quite an eye-opener. Secondly, it's miles better than being apart from them, as we were for the first ten days when they were under observation in the nursery; and it's better than the last ten days when we were all admitted in the hospital together, and the four of us were away from Peanut. The very fact that I've found a few minutes to blog says something, doesn't it?
So let me tell you about my new sons.
First of all, they are identical twin boys, a fairly rare variety as far as statistics go apparently. They don't look quite identical though - Pickle is darker - he was at birth and this was compounded by extensive phototherapy for his jaundice - and his nose is more like Vijay's - while Papad looks more like me, and in fact, more like a miniature version of Peanut - we often joke that he is her twin, 3 years later! I don't quite know how it works in terms of their starting to grow more alike as the months pass, but time will tell. I did double check with the doctors to confirm they were actually identical, though - it's actually a blessing to be able to tell them apart easily at the moment. There are still times when I have asked, when being handed one to breastfeed him 'Who is he?' in a zapped manner. Vijay also has been known to observe them closely and them remark with a beaming proud smile 'Bilkul twins jaise lagte hai' ( roll of eyes).
Pickle is the older one, and he's also the one who is growing bigger faster - he's already almost 2.5 kilos while Papad is about 2.2 kilos. They were both born a minute apart, and were 2.1 kilos at 35 weeks, 3 days.
Personality wise, and yes, it's never too early to start labelling them, is it - Pickle appears to be slightly crankier, and has already started exhibiting a strong preference for the phenomenon known as 'Godi', refusing to just lie still. Papad is more peaceful and lies back and looks around interestedly at things around him, although he can probably see just about the end of his nose.
They are both terribly cute and ugly little creatures and so, so very small - Peanut was 3.5 kilos at birth and so having such tiny ones around is a bit new - but we've already adjusted to it and handle them fairly well. I still bristle inwardly when someone remarks 'Abhi to bahut kamzor hai' ( who likes hearing that?) but have surprisingly not reacted to it much, and even the inward bristling passes after a moment.
Vijay's brother has been a key support during this time. He had flown in from the U.S a few weeks back and the timing couldn't have been more perfect -for us, that is. He has been helping babysit almost continuously and changing diapers, making up formula bottles and the works like a seasoned pro - which he is, considering his younger son just turned two this month. He's been amazing, as has been Vijay, and of course, the rest of the family. What do people do without family!? It's great to have them around.
Back to the twins. Papad, while being the more peaceful one, sleeps way too much and has to be coaxed into waking up to feed often enough. He is also the guy with the biggest range of dirty expressions, although both of them are pretty good at conveying the emotion 'What the hell are you guys doing with me? Are you seriously my parents? Is this seriously my life?' when troubled enough.
I am still marvelling at the fact that I have 3 children. I had never thought it would ever happen.
Twins, especially. Who knew? Who thought? Not even my dumbass ultrasonologist who informed me of the single fetus at 12 weeks, who was doing well.
Either ways, twins are a curiosity for most people and bring out really offensive behavior. There was this 'mother's room' at the first hospital where I would go to breastfeed the kids every few hours, while they were in the nursery. One day there were these Punjabi aunties who were so tickled by the fact of the twins, and so fascinated watching me feed them simultaneously and expertly that they forgot their own daughter who was struggling to breastfeed her baby - and had the nerve to call out to their waiting son-in-law/son outside 'Amit, Camera lao, inki photo kheechte hai! Dekho, do-do ko kaise pila rahi hai'. I was seriously shocked by this - no matter how cute and endearing my own husband had found the sight of my feeding the two of them, he didn't really seriously contemplate recording the moment for posterity on film, and here were these shameless strangers wanting to do the same, without the thought of even asking - although, even asking would have been bad enough!
Basically, lots has happened in the last month, but clearly I'm not going to be able to write one coherent post about it, so look forward to more instalments over the coming few days whenever I'm able to snatch the time.
Edited to add: No, they didn't end up taking the picture. Because thankfully 'Amit' had left his camera behind in the hospital room. Even if he had sent it in, the fat Punjabi cows would have not got a picture, but a couple of black eyes courtesy Y. I didn't put on 24 kilos during this pregnancy without gaining a bit of strength too.
( 14 kilos are already gone of the same though - Yay! Irrelevant side note, but it makes me feel good)