Katherine Betts interviewing fellow twin mom Oly.
It's time to here from another Mom of Multiples Hero! If you missed our last story from Bonnie, find it here. This blog series helps us MoMs celebrate our triumphant moments, because momming is tough and we all need a little encouragement from those that have been there.
Q1: Please introduce yourself. How old are your children and what's your favorite thing about them?
My name is Oly and I’m 25 years old. I’m originally from New Mexico but after getting married in November of 2015, I moved to Phoenix. Shortly after my arrival in the valley of the sun, I was shocked to find out not only was I pregnant (thanks for nothing, Mirena) but I was pregnant with twins! Needless to say, life changed very fast for me. Before my pregnancy, I was just a 23 year old trying to pick a grad school!
I have 13 month old fraternal boys named Lawrence (Law) and Orion. They are complete opposites. Law is my fearless adventurer, my go-getter and the one frequently on the receiving end of my “wait! Don’t do that!”. Everything about him is big, loud and determined. Orion is my sweet bug, mellow as they come and so ready to crawl into your lap to be held. Truly my favorite thing about them is how well they balance each other out and even though they are completely different personalities, they really are so mellow.
Q2: What's the one thing you wish you'd known before having your multiples?
It’s so cheesy but I wish I would’ve known how much they would make me grow as a person! I was given all the horror stories about the sleepless nights, the colics and the public meltdowns, but I wasn’t told about how accomplished I would feel when we faced a challenge and crushed it.
I love to be challenged. I tend to throw myself head first into things and fight to succeed. That mentality has lent itself quite nicely to the whole twin parenting thing but it has also made me the biggest advocate for myself and for my boys.
Q3: How do you practice self-care? What do you do to pick yourself up after a tough day with the kids?
My first love will always be the outdoors. Pre-babies, I used to be an avid long distance runner and hiker so now when I’ve had a rough day with the boys, I first take the time to meditate and think about the good that’s in my life, then I go for a run.
At first, running was defeating in and of itself because I was not in the shape I was in before but even that has been a trying but welcomed learning experience. Before I took for granted being able to just walk out the door and knock out a run. Post baby, I’ve definitely developed patience and respect for what my body has gone through.
Q4: What has been your biggest struggle and how did you overcome it? (or how are you currently working on it?)
We had faced quite a few medical problems with Law in the beginning. At one point, we had an appointment for him almost every day of the week. That was rough but we made it through the bulk of it and thought, “there’s no way things could be worse that that!”. Then we got news that my husband’s grandfather had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His grandparents are the only family he has so we made the decision to leave everything and move back immediately. We had no plan, no jobs lined up, nothing. All we knew was that we had to get back as soon as possible. So in a week, we packed up the babies, our two cats and left.
We were blessed to have 3 months with him and will cherish those moments forever. I wouldn’t say that we overcame it because in that type of situation, you’re just along for the ride. I do think that while losing him was the biggest struggle we faced as a family, it taught us just how precious life is and how there was a plan in place for everything. Before we were so surprised to have gotten pregnant with twins against all odds, but now we really like to think it was so he could meet his great grandsons and have those moments of joy in his last days.
Q5: What has been your Mom of Multiples Hero hero moment? That moment you gave yourself an internal high five because you were totally bossing it?
This memory always makes me laugh. The boys were 5 weeks old and it had officially been the longest we had gone without camping. To say we were going stir crazy was the understatement of the year. At the time, my husband was working 12 hour days and was due to be home smack dab in the middle of our witching hour. I had had ENOUGH.
I went to our outdoor closet and started throwing everything that we would need for one night into the living room. Tent… sleeping bags….coffee….bear spray….water reservoir…jetboil.. and then I realized that I had no clue where to even begin in packing stuff for these teeny tiny babies that were screaming their heads off at me.
After a few minutes of googling the weather conditions for the surrounding 100 miles, I decided to throw together some warm-ish things for them, my pumping stuff and just sat down on the floor with them (still crying) to wait for my husband’s arrival.
The second his foot passed the threshold, I told him we were going to go camping. Much to my surprise, he just shrugged his shoulders, grabbed some things and started packing the truck. We literally picked a direction and started driving while I looked for campsites. After one particularly scary moment of feeding the babies on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, we managed to find a campsite at 11 pm and settled in for the night.
Well the boys slept amazingly while we were up every hour trying to make sure it wasn’t too cold for them, cleaning bottles, checking for wild animals, etc. It got down to 43 degrees that night. The next morning, with the boys wrapped up like burritos on a cot, my husband and I looked at each other and just smiled. We realized that our previous lifestyle of being outdoor junkies had not ended; we had instead just gained 2 more adventure buddies. Since then the boys have been to 5 states and have camped out under amazing skies in beautiful landscapes. All because we had survived our first overnight camping trip.
Thankyou Oly for your story! I feel like I need to pick my jaw up off the floor at the thought of going camping with 5wk old twins. Sometimes you've just gotta do what feels right and I admire your determination to make it work!
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