Editor’s Note: [Published article with Cullman Today right before Samuel and Noah’s 2nd birthda]
In less than a month, my twins will turn 2. Two-years have flown by fast. The last couple of years have been the fastest and the slowest years of my life. To be most honest, it has been a blur!
A ‘blur’ of amazing, exhausting, messy and magical all rolled together into two beautiful babies, miracles, who just blessed our lives just 2 short years ago.
When I think about how lucky I am that get to be Samuel and Noah’s mom, my heart swells!
As most of you already know, their arrival was anything but boring and normal. Mundane would never be the word to describe their birthdate. Samuel and Noah showed up to the party 10 weeks early and fought through a 2 month stay in the Huntsville Hospital NICU before they were able to grace their presence at our home.
These beautiful baby boys have taught me so much since their arrival on May 2, 2018.
I won’t sugarcoat it and say that it has been easy. (It hasn’t). I won’t say that I enjoyed every minute (I didn’t). I won’t lie and tell you that I am not tired all the time because I am. Certainly, as well, I won’t say that we went many places at the beginning because we didn’t.
But I will say that it has been the absolute best years of my life. My heart has overflowed with love and there are so many times when I feel like I can conquer the world. And to all those people in Walmart,(before the Coronavirus pandemic, since we don’t dare venture out with them now) or all the other places we go, who feel the need to stop and comment “Better you than me…” I agree….I am so very glad it’s me who gets to be the one that Samuel and Noah Wheeler get to call momma! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wake up in the morning and run to their crib just to kiss them on the forehead and Thank God for allowing me the honor of being their momma.
There was a time in my life I never thought I would have this chance and now that I do, I am so very thankful and appreciative of every moment.
So here are some of the things that my twins Sam and Noah have taught me after year one!
1. Even though they are the exact same age and are parented the exact same way—my boys have very unique personalities and it’s so rewarding to watch these develop! If you are around my Samuel you noticed how laid back and calm he is. This is NOT the case with Noah He is more high strung and dramatic like his momma, he always wants his presence known.
2. Some stores offer ‘twin’ discounts… just ask! It doesn’t hurt to ask, because assuming will just get you nowhere.
3. They learn to share early on (not necessarily a bad thing!) They share my attention, they share germs, they share blankets & bottles (not always on purpose), they share a stroller and of course they share a birthday…
4. There is nothing I dread more than cutting baby fingernails & toenails. Probably why I have only done it once and let daddy do it because he is so much more braver than me in that aspect.
So when I manage to cut all 40 at once I feel like I have completely mastered an art!
5. Together my one year old babies now weigh 50 pounds. Who needs a gym with barbells when you’re lifting babies all day?!
6. People will always ask you if your twins are identical especially when you have both boys…but mine are fraternal as of now. We haven’t decided to have the test yet to do it. . (People ask me this ALL the time.)
7. Twins are (almost) always a surprise. Even if you battled through infertility or if they run in your family, I think we can all agree that there is still an element of surprise the first time you see two beating hearts on the u/s! (People ask me this, too.)
8. Perfect strangers will look at your twins (when you feel like you have things all together) and say ‘good luck…’ and others (when you are feeling like a hot mess) will say ‘ohhhh I always wanted twins!’ (Just smile at them.)
9. There will be tears and more crying… the cold hard truth is that you can’t always console two babies at once and your heart will hurt when you are comforting one and the other starts to cry. (Just remember that on the flip side, at other times this also means more smiles & more baby giggles – and nothing beats that!)
10. They have their own language, play together and can sometimes be entertained just by throwing their blankets and stuffed animals out of the crib; for hours.
11. On the other hand there are NO breaks… someone always needs something. But they bring so much love to the table! You never leave the day empty.
12. Your days may be a blur and I won’t tell you to enjoy every minute. But do savor the smiles, the cuteness, the giggles & the snuggles and find joy in the journey. Your hands will always be busy, but your heart will always be full. And from what I’ve heard it just keeps getting better and better with each year!
13. Being a part of a Multiples moms group is a must. I have learned that joining HAMOM (the Huntsville Multiples Mom group) has been a saving grace for me at times. These women are not only a wonderful support group but friends to cherish for a lifetime. I wouldn’t have made it through the first year without them.
My advice to you, if you are reading this, is to always give your friends with multiples a little grace during that first year. The second year is easier, but it is also a lot more active than you will ever imagine.
It is probably extra difficult for the ‘momma friend’ to leave her house. She may not respond to your calls, texts, or emails right away no matter how desperately she wants to talk to you.
If she is anything like me, her emotions are on high and she could burst into tears at one slight snippy comment or situation…Know that this is quite possibly the most challenging and demanding year of her life; whether or not she had to go back to work full time or not. If you live nearby, offer to watch her kids for a morning so she can leave the house or take her a meal. If she works, offer to come by and spend some time with her after work. If you are a long distance friend, remind her that it WILL get easier. Chances are she knows she blessed, but in that particular moment, she just might be faltering and struggling in every aspect.
Honestly, these two years have been tough. I won’t lie. However, with each milestone and each smile, my husband Cody Wheeler and I have seen our hearts grow. We never knew we could love this much and that our lives could grow tremendously in just one year.
I have had moments of weakness and tears where I honestly felt spreads thing and defeated. I have cried tears people might not realize and beat myself up over things that have been said.
However, I have learned to chill a little bit more and soak up every second with my beautiful boys.
The fact is these moments are fleeting and the big picture is amazing. When I look back at my life 5 years ago compared to now, I see how it went from being bleak and full of darkness, to sunshine and happiness: all because of three special boys who entered my life: My husband and our twins.
I am so thankful for the blessings in my life and full hands that God gave me to give me an even fuller heart.
When I see Noah and Samuel fighting over their new food truck or hear them giggling/playing in the nursery when they are supposed to be taking a nap; my heart swells with pride. I live for those laughs daily. I live for their uh-ohs, their temper tantrums, and their kisses on my cheeks. I live for them waking me up in the morning just because they are screeching and laughing at each other. I just live for those boys.
All I can say now is that I thank God every day for making me a momma of twins. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. People often ask me how I do it, and I have to give credit where credit is due: I have an amazing support system and an amazing husband. He helps me in every possible way.
He changes diapers, cleans the house, and goes above and beyond to help me tackle every challenge or obstacle we are faced with on a daily basis.
I couldn’t do this journey without him nor would I want too. We are blessed with amazing families who have stepped in and helped us as well.
Challenges are always there, especially right now as I am learning to work at home during the Coronavirus with the boys at my feet, but the love that we have found in the presence of these two little angels is astounding.
Life before Sam and Noah is nothing compared to Life now as we know it: A life that is well worth living with twins!
Photos and article by: Kelly Jo Wheeler