My single double life

By Mike Ipp

So it's kind of a big deal. And when I say 'kind of’, I mean huge, massive, crazy. But in 2020, crazy makes perfect sense. Although this was not the journey I had planned and it’s not how I thought my life would turn out, I have to believe it was meant to be. During a year that most people would like to forget, I landed up becoming a father, to twins.

I found myself in a suspended state of complete surreality and it was about to reach epic proportions. Lockdown starts. A phone call. You hear you are going to be a dad.

Cue the spanner. Cue the bomb drop, and the mic drop. Cue the flipped script. Cue the game-changing-life-changing-what-have-I-done storyline. This movie just took a massive plot twist. Mom wasn’t ready. She was as scared as I was, but I knew this was a story I wanted to be a part of. I had to step up.

And so my single double life was born.

Although completely unconventional and surreal, I now had to own it, embrace it and push past the fear and the panic. I knew that the twins had chosen me to be their dad and it was time for my world to change. Forever. And ‘change’ doesn’t really begin to explain it. 

It's an amazing thing when you land up in a situation that you are completely unprepared for, but somehow, you rise to the challenge, you step into the role and you do what you have to do. You also find out pretty quickly what an incredible sea of support there is out there.

Support not just from friends and family, but from complete strangers, who are cheering you on from the sidelines, ready to help, share life experiences or simply to lend a shoulder to cry on. It’s like I’ve entered a new club and the welcome is warm, strong and encouraging.

It’s been a month of twin boot-camp. Press studs have become the enemy. A burp after a feed has become the best sound known to mankind and half-drunk cups of cold tea are collecting around the house. I have cleaned and swaddled and vaselined and wiped and washed and fed and burped. And cleaned again. And fed again. And again. 

On placing your baby burrito successfully into position, you look around expecting to hear the thunderous roar of a hundred thousand-strong crowd applauding your achievement, as if you have just won the gold Olympic medal for the decathlon.

Binge-watching them sleep and move and cuddle in their crib is better than any new Netflix series. It’s these strange new feelings, thoughts and discoveries that you had no idea would bring you such satisfaction, frustration and joy. Last year’s Black Friday Adidas sneaker focus was replaced with a ‘nappies and baby-wipes’ search. Are nappies really this expensive? How can something so small, possibly go through so many nappies in one day?!

The whole feeding story obviously was a big concern. While it’s obviously ideal to have mom doing her thing, sometimes the situation calls for Plan B. And sometimes Plan B is not all that bad, especially with the wide selection of quality baby formula on the market.

Every mom I spoke to seemed to have her own favourite, but, ultimately I stuck to what they were given in hospital, NAN HA, which they seemed to love and digest and poop out easily! My doubts about not being able to give them everything they needed disappeared quickly as they continued to thrive on the formula. They are already ahead of the curve on their growth and weight chart. Although, I just nodded and smiled politely when the paediatrician showed me those detailed curve percentage charts because most of it just went over my head. All I needed to know was that these little legends were growing like champions. And they are. So, all good.

Jordy drinks his bottle like he is in a beer-drinking down-down competition and Riley sips her bottle slowly and quietly like the princess she is.

It started as a bit of a hassle trying to juggle my formula supply to make sure I don’t run out. But now, with AutoMilk, I won’t be running out of formula any time soon, which trust me, happened way too often.

One month ago I knew nothing, but now this odd little movie is taking shape pretty nicely. It is an unreal story that becomes more real every day. Although Jordan and Riley don’t get to see many smiles, as all the faces that peer down into their cribs are hidden behind masks, the emotion is visceral as they are bathed in so much love and adoration and warmth. It's like having a hundred golden labrador puppies tumbling over you. And with this kind of support, you feel like you can do anything, even raise twins.

It will be a different upbringing. And although I have struggled with that for a while, it may not be all bad. It will be a new, modern, unconventional way of life, where 'raised by a village’ will come into play every day.

I still always land up with one random press stud when getting them dressed. I still dry-heave when cleaning a No.2 and the No.2 continues to flow. I hold them a little longer to get them to settle, even though I know I am spoiling their sleep routine, and sometimes my swaddling technique just isn’t swaddle-worthy (I am almost sure I knocked Riley's head when trying to get her into the car seat). But I am learning on the job and making mistakes daily, even hourly.

Someone told me, all they really need is love. And that I can definitely give them. In spades. In buckets. In truck-loads. And together with the village and the extended village, we’re going to be Ok. More than Ok. We’ve got this, and it's awesome. It’s also scary and exhausting. And awesome. And expensive. And emotional. And awesome. And frustrating. And humbling. And awesome.

I don’t have a clue what I am doing, but what I do know, is that my world is better, because they are in it.

 

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. MyMilkClub reserves the right to its opinions and fully supports the notion of promotion that breast is best in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) infant feeding guidelines. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life, and continued breastfeeding with complementary foods for up to two years of age. Breast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not possible, an infant formula may be used according to the advice of registered health professionals. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.