8 New Year’s Resolutions for Preemie Moms

If you’re a mom to a preemie baby, or preemie twins like I am, chances are you’ve heard all of these tips — or proposed resolutions — before.

But bear with me.

Yes, you may have heard them time and time again, but for one reason or another, perhaps you just didn’t follow through.

That’s OK. It’s a new year and another opportunity to restructure how you live.



(Nikoh (L) with Mommy and Noah (R) in January 2017.

So here’s my resolution list. Take it as a friendly little reminder to let the little things go in 2017 and focus on being a tad more easy-going for your own well-being.

1. I will sleep when the baby (or babies) sleep.

When you have a preemie, chances are you are not sleeping much. Between nursing around the clock or feedings every hour or so, you can always use more rest. So when the baby sleeps, remember you should sleep, too. Close your eyes, silence your phone, log off social media and shut your eyes. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 2 hours, that sleep and rest can help.

2. I won’t waste excessive time on social media.

Yes, I know this can be so hard to do. Especially because we all love to scroll up and down on our favorite social media apps to see what everyone is up to, but it can get excessive at times! I know, because I’m guilty of it! A few minutes here and there to see what’s going on is OK, but realize it can be more beneficial to put your phone down after 15 minutes or so and “unplug” your mind a little. Chances are whatever you missed online will likely pop back up in your feed tomorrow.

3. I will let the laundry pile up.

If you’re anything like me, the problem isn’t loading the washer or dryer. It’s folding and putting all the clothes away! I have twin toddlers (boys), and they breeze through clothes like no one’s business! My sunken in bathtub has now officially become the “family closet” where I just sift through clean clothes to find something for each of us to wear, and that’s OK! Yes, I could spend hours folding and putting clothes away, but why stress when I can use that time to play with my babies?

4. I won’t feel bad for staying home.

Nurturing a preemie baby can take a lot of time and patience. And it always seems like when you do take baby out of the house, he/she/they almost instantaneously get sick. I swear my preemie twins were sick every other week this summer. So instead of going out of your way to attend every birthday party or family/friend functions, know it’s OK when you feel like you should just stay home instead.

5. I will schedule some “me time.”

Whether that be a trip to Target (my favorite place to go!), a drive-thru at Starbucks, a trip to the bookstore, a mani/pedi, or whatever it is you like to do — do it! Don’t feel guilty for giving yourself an hour or two to decompress and unwind. You deserve it, Mama!

6. I will be proud of my mama lifestyle.

When my twins were fresh out of the NICU, I barely had time to eat, let alone get dressed and do my hair. I rocked the mommy bun for well over two years and learned to embrace a fresh, makeup free face in public. I often felt bad for spending all day in my PJs, and then after finally taking a shower around 7 p.m., I’d put on a clean set of PJs. I lived in PJs, and you know what, they are so comfy, easy and great!

7. I will eat something, no matter how small, every morning before 10 a.m.

A banana, protein shake, slice of toast, bowl of cereal, handful of almonds, whatever it is that is accessible, shove it in your mouth! Even if it doesn’t sound good, you just need a little fuel. It took me forever to do this myself, but once I started putting something in my stomach before 1 p.m., I noticed I had more patience with my preemie parenthood responsibilities and felt better, too.

8. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Every night when I tuck my babies into their bed, I often feel tears well up in my eyes, because I remember a moment in the day I am not proud of. A moment where I lost my patience with them, a time when I knew I could’ve been a better mom. It’s normal. We all lose our patience; we are all doing our best and we all have the unconditional love of our precious preemies. You, Mama, are your baby’s lifeline, and even when you’re not at your best, you will always be good enough. So take a breath, forgive yourself for not being perfect, and remember tomorrow’s another chance to do better.

Two of them, 1 of Me

My twins have been sprouting like weeds the last few months! It’s still hard to fathom my tiny 3 pound preemies are now almost 15 months-old, weighing 28 (Noah) and 25 (Nikoh) pounds.

Nothing short of miraculous to watch them play together…Today as I remember them sleeping in their NICU incubators, it almost feels like another lifetime.

I originally intended to populate this blog much more frequently, but being a mother to my twins has proven to be incredibly demanding ever since they started crawling, and now walking and climbing on absolutely everything! (And NO baby proofing doesn’t really help when you have one toddler going left and the other toddler going right.) I always find myself thinking and talking about how difficult twin motherhood is, not because I want people to say, “Oh poor you,”….but more because I am still amazed at how mothers do it, and how they did it decades before me with much less resources.

Twin motherhood is quite the beautiful challenge and you can never fully comprehend it unless you have carried two babies in your womb simultaneously and taken care of them everyday. There are moments where it feels overwhelming and almost impossible, but there are also plenty of times where it brings more love and happiness I ever could have imagined. Tears normally accompany both ends of those two spectrums.


Every aspect of twin motherhood has indeed had its immense challenges, and certainly its highs and lows, but the part that literally tugs at my core is the obvious fact that there is ALWAYS two of them and one of me. I have two babies, only 1 minute different in age, who often need and want me at the exact same time. It tears my heart apart to have to pick between the two of them when deciding who to tend to first. Believe it or not, it happens several times a day.

Many parents tell me what a blessing it is that my twins are each other’s playmates. Yes, it’s so wonderful that they love to make each other laugh and they do entertain each other all day. But what happens when they are playing, chuckling, having a great time and all of a sudden they bump their heads together? This happened last week. There I was with my two babies, crying “mommmm! mommmmm!” I ran over to them, dropped to my knees and scooped them both into my arms so they both felt comforted. But I couldn’t pick them up simultaneously, and there was no way to give them the individual TLC I know they needed. It broke my heart to see the tears rolling down their little cheeks, boogies coming from their little noses, and I had to divvy up my hands to wipe the tears and clean the noses with one hand each.

And then there are the times when they are sick, when only my arms can comfort them. The last two weeks Nikoh was very sick with bronchitis. His throat was so swollen and red he didn’t eat or drink much. He was sluggish and not nearly his playful self. He wanted to lay on my chest, and in my arms for the better part of one week. But then there was Noah, who didn’t catch bronchitis, but did have a high fever for a few days and some congestion and would you believe he just wanted to be in mommy’s arms too?

Aside from being in the NICU with both Noah and Nikoh, these last few weeks have been the most emotionally and physically draining for me. I literally had to rotate babies in and out of my arms for several days straight so I can give them an equal amount of love, comfort and attention. It was so hard to do. I would be holding Nikoh trying to soothe him, and never really got to give him all of my attention because I was looking over at Noah who would often be sitting on the floor, leaning on my legs and looking up at me with his red and swollen little eyes. After 30 minutes of holding Nikoh, I would switch and it would be Noah’s “turn.” Imagine doing that over and over. It was like neither one of them were fully comforted because once they started to feel secure and cozy with me, I had to put them down and pick up their twin brother.

But it’s not always seeing them cry that makes me sad, sometimes it’s seeing them happy and wanting me so much.

At least once a day we watch one of their favorite cartoons, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I know all of you parents can relate to how magical this show really is! The second they hear the theme song, Noah and Nikoh will stop whatever it is they are doing and instantly turn to look at me and once we’ve made eye contact they start dancing, bouncing their little legs up and down. They both run up to me as I am dancing along with them and start reaching for me to pick them up. How do I decide who gets picked up and dances with mommy, and who stays dancing by himself? As a twin mom I have learned when I can’t get to them at the same time, they have to take turns. So today for example I picked up Noah and danced with him in my arms, while I dropped my other arm and grabbed Nikoh’s hand so he too can feel like he’s dancing with mommy. This might not sound like a huge dilemma to some, but trust me when you are a mom to twins it is heartbreaking not being able to give them the attention they want, need and deserve right when they ask for it.

I imagine parents who have more than one child also have to deal with these scenarios from time to time, but I can’t be certain it’s as intense as having two children the exact same age needing you at the exact same time and likely for the exact same reason. This is just one of the things about twin motherhood I never even thought about during my pregnancy, because I really had no idea what to expect. And despite my research, there was no book out there teaching me how to be “OK” with dividing my heart and attention between my two, precious boys, every second of everyday.

All I can hope and pray for is that the times I do give them both individual and “twin” love and attention, they feel comforted by me and loved enough to feel like they were born to the best mama in the world.

FullSizeRender Mother’s Day 2015

Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

In Retrospect~ Twin Motherhood

It’s been a few months since I have had the chance to blog… my twins keep me extremely busy running back and forth between them!

A girlfriend recently asked me how I felt motherhood changes life, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on my first year as a twin mommy. (Great timing too because my twins, Noah & Nikoh, turned 1 on March 26!)

FullSizeRender (February 2015- Noah & Nikoh 11 months old)

So friend, here’s my answer…

Some women say they grew up feeling that embedded “maternal instinct,” while others admit (with some hesitation) that “motherhood” was never really atop of their priority list. For me, the desire to become a mother always fell somewhere between those two spectrums.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you education and career had always been my main focus in life. I never felt like being a mom was my ultimate dream or life goal. Instead I thrived on education and living my childhood desire of being a journalist and writer for as far back as I can remember. It wasn’t until the first moment I saw Noah and Nikoh in their incubators in the NICU — when I was not allowed to hold them for their first few days of life, and only able to place my hands and fingers along their tiny, frail bodies — that I instinctively felt the overwhelming emotion of actually feeling and yearning to be a mom. Seeing my babies for the first time changed me completely, and it happened in an instant. All of a sudden I was someone’s protector, their best friend and their biggest advocate.

Yes I felt like a mom the moment I found out I was pregnant and I knew my life would change tremendously when my twins were born (it actually changed drastically as soon as I found out I was expecting twins), but I never expected how different I would become after I gave birth to them. I have always considered myself to be a genuine, kind-hearted, giving and loving person, but those emotions have amplified since I became a mother to my twins. During my pregnancy I often imagined what type of mother I would be once my twins were born. I knew I would give them all of my love and devotion. But when my babies Noah and Nikoh were born two months premature, I instantly became the type of mother they needed.

I was laid off from my job with AOL.com a few months before my twins were born, and I was devastated. But you know that old saying, “It’s a blessing in disguise…” Cliche I know, but that’s exactly what it was. I love my career and am very proud of all the education, sacrifice and experience I have under my journalism belt, but I never thought twice about it after my twins were born. I often say that if I were still employed when my twins were born, I would have quit my job in a heartbeat in order to stay with my babies in the NICU around the clock the way I did for more than a month.

Why? Why quit my job when so many preemie parents continue working and somehow juggle the NICU?

Because that is the mother my Noah and Nikoh needed.

They needed me there by their side every single day. To watch over them as they were being poked and proded, pray alongside them at their weakest moments, and to hold them when they were finally strong enough to be in their mommy’s arms. I knew they needed a mother who wouldn’t miss a second of their most trying, early moments of life.

My preemies needed and deserved a devoted mom that was there for them in the NICU. Despite feeling like my body had been cut in half and healing from an emergency c-section, my babies needed me every morning, every night, all day to sit with them in the NICU and walk back and forth between the two, whispering into their incubators how much I loved them and how wonderful they were doing.

Even when the NICU nurses would tell me to go home, get some rest, step outside..I always chose to stay because that is the mother my babies needed. A mommy who was there for them all of the time.

Before I had my twins I used to be selfish… always on a news deadline, constantly in a hurry to finish writing my stories and always contemplating the next personal goal I would achieve. When I lost my job I cried because I missed and loved my work so much. Today that sounds silly. I can’t ever imagine loving anything more than my babies.

So my friend, motherhood has showed me that time, indeed, is ever so precious. It flies by. Zooms by really when you have children.

Today as I sit on the floor in my den, playing with my twins who just celebrated their first birthday, I find myself thinking about “missing my work” less and less. Instead I spend my days chasing them around, making sure they don’t pull down the blinds or knock over a chair, and I realize that being a mother to twins, has far exceeded any of my educational or professional achievements that used to mean the world to me. Twin motherhood is definitely my biggest accomplishment and it has brought me all of the love my heart has ever desired.

Yes I still am a journalist, I love to write, read and learn about the news of the world, but for the time being I realize that time is fleeting, and although the news is never-ending, my twins will only be babies for a short period of time, and it’s up to me to savor, indulge in and really experience every single second with them.

One day I will return to my full-time journalism post, but for now I find achievement in watching my twin preemies grow and thrive, and helping them meet all of their developmental milestones.


Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.32.30 PM

XO~ Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy