Featured Blogger: Jade of The Letter B Photography

 

Every once in a while there is a blog that makes you smile every time you check in, and honestly The Letter B Photography is one of those blogs. Jade’s photos are breathtaking and the joy you see come off their faces is just awesome. Jade’s and her husband John’s story is so amazing (and the word amazing does not do this enough justice). They are brand new parents to 2 month old boy/girl twins, Rory and Quinn. I hope you fall in love with this blog as much as I have!


 

What made you decide to start a blog?

My husband, John, was diagnosed with testicular cancer on his 26th birthday (surprise! I know you asked for socks but isn’t this better??) and he decided to start a blog in order to fend off some of the impending phone conversations. He’d say that the only thing worse than telling a boring story once was telling a boring story 100 times. On his good days he’d jump on his laptop and punch in a few thoughts, using humor to help diffuse the bomb. That practice actually ended up being an extremely therapeutic process for him and most of our family and friends, allowing them to see what was happening while keeping everyone’s spirits lifted. Fast forward about a year and a half and you’d find me sitting on my couch, sweating profusely, palms sticky with anticipation while I read through horror stories regarding IVF online (Damn you internet! Why do you give me everything I ask for!!??) I remembered John’s process and I remembered reading his entries and finding myself laughing at them and I remembered it all making things a little lighter. After reading hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe a google of tragic IVF stories, I decided to start a blog that would try to bring a positive spin to our circumstances. I also really enjoyed the thought of connecting with others who were going through or who had gone through, the same thing.

You had quite the journey to parenthood, can you discuss this?

Well, John and I started dating when we were 16 and 17 (but if you call us high school sweet hearts, I swear to you, I will just puke all over this keyboard) and decided to get married straight out of college and start our lives and careers in LA, The City of Angels and Homeless People. Both of us knew that we wanted to have kids but we were still young and kids could wait. We were wild and independent and crazy. We liked to split six packs of Coors light and pull the shades and dance as long as no one could see us. Things were really pumping along….and then John was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer and our lives were suddenly tossed, thrown, catapulted, into a different direction. Ladies and gentleman, please keep your hands and legs inside the cart at all times. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Surgical removal and chemotherapy were our only options short of traveling to India and having a monk lay hands on us and we were advised to begin treatment immediately. Immediately as in…like….yesterday. But we delayed it for a month. We both put John’s well being on hold for 30 days while the cancer grew. Why? Because we knew that we wanted children more than anything else and we knew that the only way we were going to get them now was to bank (which I guess is the PC way to say “masturbate awkwardly in a tiny room with fluorescent lights……dear Sperm Bank, USA: A little mood lighting can go a long way). This risk was never discussed between us. We didn’t weigh the pros and cons. We just knew that we wanted kids and we knew what we had to do to get them. It was very A to B. The following year was a rollercoaster of cancer treatments, ER visits, hospital stays, insurance battles and all around general How-Did-I-End-Up-Here-ness before John entered into remission, totally cancer free. Booyah. Eat it. You can’t keep a good man down. We let things settle down for about a year before deciding it was about time to unfreeze some DNA, jump in our car, and begin a completely new journey: IVF. We started our first cycle in April (via ICSI) and had a really great experience – it wasn’t half as bad as everyone had said and our doctors, for the most part, were really incredible. John came home from work a few weeks later and found a Lite-Brite sitting on our bed with glowing pegs stuck in it that read, “WE’RE PREGNANT!”. I remember he turned around with his eyebrows held up high, forming them into the McDonald’s arches and I said, “With twins” and he goes, “Whoa.”

Your cuties are 1 month old, how has the adjustment to having them home been?

Y’know, we basically walked through The Valley of the Shadow of Death and back to get these kids so having them here is a real blessing. Even when they’re screaming and crying and kicking and screaming and you have no idea why, we sort of look at them and go, “He really has your screaming face, doesn’t he?” Some moments get hard for sure, but it’s not nearly as overwhelming as we had prepped ourselves for it to be. We had spent the previous nine months enduring the advice from family, friends and strangers, warning us about how difficult our lives were about to become. People would come up to us on the street (literally) and stop us to ask about how many babies I was packing. I’d tell them “Twins” and they’d say, “Wow. Good luck. You’re gonna need it. No, seriously, good luck. Get your sleep now. Your life is over. Your free time is gone”. And this sounds like a parody or an exaggeration but it’s pretty much verbatim and it mostly left John and I staring at each other thinking, “I sure hope that lady doesn’t have any kids. Yikes”. Anyway, we were so prepped for chaos that when they showed up, much like the IVF process after reading all the terrible articles, we both kind of went, “That’s it?” We beat cancer. We survived Banking. I had my eggs surgically removed. A screaming baby? Give me a break. I’ll do it with one hand and a smile on my face. We’re alive and we have a family. I think the most important thing we’ve learned so far with them is to just stop, take a breath and enjoy the season that we’re currently in. This is a very short time in their life and then it will be over; they’ve already started to outgrow their clothing and they’ve both dropped a midnight feeding. Those moments are gone with them and I’m glad we cherished them. Everything is so fleeting so whether good or bad we’re trying to savor them all.

What question(s) do you have for the other families in this community?

My main question is how other multiple moms found the balance of meeting both babies needs while still finding the time to have quality one on one interactions with them individually? John and I try to keep the babies on the same schedule – eating, sleeping, bathing, etc so when one is asleep, they’re both asleep. I’m afraid that, especially when I’m alone and John is at work, my attention is being split between the two of them, instead of focused one on one.

Be sure to leave your answers to Jade’s questions in the comment section and then head over to The Letter B Photography to leave some bloggy love!

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8 tips for One-on-One with your Twins

8 tips for One-on-One with your Twins

Parenting can be frustrating. Children are very demanding of attention -especially babies. With twins, there …

14 comments

  1. Becoming Supermommy

    I'm afraid the link to Jade's blog isn't working!!!

    But aside from that, MAN do you guys remind me of us! (as in, me and my husband and our twins). It's effing eerie.

  2. What a beautiful story, I love these people. =)
    As far as time between? I would say at this stage just try to do the best you can splitting the attention, but don't beat yourself up. I think we care more then them when they are this young. =)

  3. Double the Giggles

    Amazing story and what beautiful babies! At this stage, I don't think they'll mind (or even understand) you splitting your time between the two of them. As they become toddlers, it's much easier to take one on errands while the other stays home with dador mom for some one-on-one time. You can be sure they'll both know they're getting extra attention!

  4. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs)

    I loved reading your story, and I'm looking forward to checking out your blog! 🙂 🙂

    I have always been a nut for keeping our girls (now 26 months) on a schedule…without a doubt, that's what keeps me sane! But even with a strict adherence to schedule, I would still allow the girls to vary from each other as much as 30 minutes – only during the day – when they were infants.

    At night, if A woke up, I'd wake up B so they could feed at the same time. But during the afternoon, if A woke up, I would get her and cuddle for up to 30 minutes before I woke B. That usually meant A was going down for her next nap a little earlier, and I could return the favor with B.

    That allowed for some really precious one-on-one time, still keeping the girls on the same overall schedule, and still allowing some downtime for me between feedings.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your beautiful baby boys!!! And ENJOY these early days. Time does pass so quickly. 🙂 🙂

  5. I love this interview, it's so inspiring!

    As far as splitting time, that's a hard one. My twins are 7 months and we are starting to find a way to give one on one attention. My husband travels a lot for work so it is often just me and the kids. As they have gotten a little older, I find it easier to have a special play time with one while the other is keeping themselves entertained.

    It sounds like you are really enjoying every moment! Just remember, it only gets easier, but still, don't take your time with them for granted!

  6. At first, it's the simple things. Put the kiddos in swings and play a hand of cards. Hold hands. Kiss. Say thank you when he does something special. Schedule a typical good afternoon nap time for bedroom recreation (ahem). Brag about him to others. Etc.

    It's really the simple things that tell him: you mean as much (and maybe more) than these little precious needy people.

  7. Great story! Yes, those little munchkins grow WAY too quickly. I love your photos, they make me miss the bald little babies our girls used to be!

    Enjoy your twins! We still have people making comments like "woah twins… poor thing." Seriously?? you get twice as much to love… (and yes clean up after and feed and soothe at 2am) but luckily we don't take pictures of that stuff and it seems to fade over time haha

    As far as one on one attention I think you just make it fit in when you can. Like someone else said when our girls were that little if one woke up a little bit earlier during the day I would embrace that as some one on one time. As they have grown it has become easier to take them out for one on one time.

    Good luck!

  8. This is definitely my favorite interview ever! What an inspiring, upbeat family!

    As for one-on-one time…we have found that it gets easier (and more meaningful to the kiddos, I think), as they get older. My girls are almost two, and we now split up some afternoons, with each baby going with a parent to do something special…even if it's just the grocery store! I do bedtime by myself most nights while my husband works, so occasionally, one girl will be ready for bed before the other. That is a good opportunity to get a little one-on-one time in as well.

    Congratulations on your beautiful babies!

  9. I adore your photography! Gorgeous!

    As for splitting time, it just goes with the territory of having multiples. In those early days, you're in survival mode. As they get older and more awake, you can play with them on the floor together and take turns focusing on one.

    When they're even older you can leave one with your husband while you run errands with the other!

    My boys love it when it's their turn to go grocery shopping with me 🙂

  10. I love your attitude (and your blog)! Such adorable little boys!! I think the same way when people say things to us about "wow, twins. . .insert bad advice here" =). We worked WAY too hard to get these little peanuts here to care about lack of sleep or a little crying! You go girl! I'm right on board with you!
    I agree with the other ladies – it gets easier to split time the older they get. We have our girls (5 months old) on the same schedule, and when both me and my husband are around, we each take a baby. When I am alone, if one wakes up a bit earlier from a nap they get some one on one time, and the other may get a little one on one time later in the day when her sister is napping. Also, I make a point to breastfeed my girls individually (as opposed to tandem) at least once a day. . . that's some awesome one on one time too that I think is often overlooked =).

  11. What a beautiful story of two parents who are so in love, and in love with their sweet babies. Amazing pictures too! I know adhering to a strict schedule doesn't allow much time for one-on-one bonding, but take it where you can get it, even if its changiong a diaper or a 2am feeding. More oppurtunities for individual attention will come as they grow!

  12. Stick to the schedule! You'll be grateful for it as they grow. It makes one-on-one time tough, but you can always run errands with one or read a favorite book to one. We always shot for once a week, and if it happened more great! It gets easier and happens more frequently as they get older. My 3 year old b/g twins definitely developed their own interests as they grew (one's all boy and the other is a little princess) and we just encourage them in everything they choose to do. It means a lot of running around…one to ballet and the other to baseball, but it is worth it to see them doing something they chose to do. It gives them something to be proud of individually. Good luck and thanks for sharing the beautiful photos!

  13. wow! what an amazing story! Congrats to them…I'll definitely be stopping by their blog!

  14. Love your photos!

    Some people are so ridiculous about twins. I have LOVED having twins. Seriously. The first 6 weeks are the hardest, but it gets better and better the older they get. Mine are 8 months old now, and we're having a blast.

    As far as splitting time goes, it's so much harder when they're young. When mine got a little older, I would play in the morning with one and then in the afternoon with the other. And I think it's not about giving them "equal" treatment as much as it is about giving them each what they need. You'll be great! When they laugh at each other it makes all the early days SO worth it!

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