I am sure that many people who will read this are parents, and as a parent you can certainly look back to the first month of your child's life and think about the sleeplessness and wondering if you would ever sleep again. The constant diaper changes that made you think "where does it all come from" and then you realized it was the constant feedings. When you have one baby at a time you do go into survival mode for about 2-6 weeks. It is normal, you are functioning somehow with no sleep after birthing this amazing new person and you do not want to screw it up! Well, with twins survival mode lasts, well, forever as far as I can tell.
Actually, I think it can end, but they key is that when people tell you that it is all about survival the first year, it is, but you have to do more than just survive. There has to be some sort of balance and we did not master this balance. As a result, we are still working it out three years later. When the babies are little it seems like there is a lot of help. For us, my parents practically lived at our house for the first two months and then my mother-in-law would take Isabelle a few days a week so that we could figure things out with just the babies. What I have started to wonder is if all of this early survival really was more like panic mode and now we are working on getting things back down to survival mode, and eventually back into "normal".
When the boys were tiny, life was hard. It was hard for everyone, the babies, Isabelle, Jason & I were functioning, but I have no idea how. Having two new baby brothers all of a sudden is something for which no parent can prepare their child. It is also something you can never prepare for as an adult. Interestingly enough with the rate of twins and higher order multiples on the rise there are very few books for children (actually I did not find any) to help them get ready to be a big brother or sister to twins... It really is different than being a big sister to one baby at a time.
Life is still a struggle for us daily. Not always a bad struggle, but a struggle. It is a constant balancing act for which I am always feeling poised ready to fall. The hard part for us now is that when you go from panic mode to survival mode your energy stores are pretty low. I feel that so much of me and who I was before the boys is gone. Unfortunately, many of the things I have lost are things that I really felt good about in myself... like endless amounts of patience, being calm under stress, being positive. I think when you are tired and weary and notice that these traits are missing the more that you try getting them back the more unattainable they become... so the road to normal seems like it is going to be a long one... hoping I make it with happy and healthy children who have not been too much worse for wear.