We made it back in one piece!

We all survived our first international trip with the twins.

And let me tell you… Survival. Was. A. Feat.

Julie with twins on Taboga Island

A big, beautiful, busy, tropical feat.

Overall, the trip went really well. It would have gone better had the girls not gotten sick. I couldn’t believe it, they’ve only gotten sick one other time since we got them and then they both got sick on this trip. It was a real bummer but in the grand scheme of things, they could have gotten sick in much scarier ways – it was just the common cold – so I’m thankful for that.

Paige sleeping

Although even a cold can make sleeping kind of rough. Poor Paige, for the first time ever, got to sleep in a big bed with Mom and Dad. She was terrible at it. I suppose that’s what we get for encouraging our babies to be comfortable in their own sleep space from the time they were newborns – babies who have no idea what to do when you bring them to bed with you. Play time? Mad dash race to crawl off the bed? Anything but sleep?

We were in Panama for just ten days but it felt like a lot more. Of course some typical travel things happened…

We saw some sights:

Panama Canal

Like the Panama Canal – more on that in another post.

We relaxed on the beach:

Twins on the Beach

I feel like beaches used to be a bit more relaxing.

We killed time in an airport:

Twins at the airport

An added perk of twins is that you can pit them against each other in races.

And we took showers with lizards:

Lizard on Andy's Leg

You know, because like I talked about here, that’s just what you do in Central America.

But of course, this being our first trip with kids, nine and a half month old twins to be exact, some things were obviously a little different…

For starters, it was an extremely busy trip. Not busy like we saw everything there was to see in Panama, but busy in other ways.

Busy like we were chasing babies all over shoddily baby-proofed hotel rooms that weren’t really meant for babies.

Baby Proofed Living Room

But hey, it’s amazing what turning over a few chairs will do.

Busy like there were no highchairs so we had to hold both babies every time we fed them… which for anyone who’s ever had babies, you know is all the time.

Feeding Paige Poolside

The plus side of feeding babies poolside is that no bibs are needed. Afterwards you can just jump in the pool.

Busy like even simple things like taking an early evening walk were pretty darn complicated.

But the biggest difference of all was that we were so busy holding our babies – like ALLLLL the time.

It’s not that I don’t usually hold my babies, but… well, I kind of don’t. Early on in this journey of motherhood a good friend actually commented on this. She worried that I took it the wrong way but I didn’t because she was absolutely right. She put it perfectly saying that, “For most new moms, their calm is when their baby is right in their arms but since you have two, your calm is when your babies are here and here (gesturing to right in front of me).”

She’s right. If I’m holding one baby and my holding of that baby is all that’s preventing said baby from having a meltdown, what happens if the other one starts melting? I’ll tell you what happens, mayhem happens. So for me, I’m at my calmest when I can get both babies to be content right beside me, but not right on me. That way, if one needs extra attention, my arms aren’t otherwise occupied.

That being said, holy cow are my arms sore. Andy and I have never held our babies so much in their short little lives. We held them while we baby-proofed hotel rooms, we held them while we ate our meals, we held them while they ate their meals and we held them while we traversed skies, seas and busy streets.

When I think about the individual countries I’ve visited, one or two specific things usually spring to the front of my mind. And just like Colombia will always be, first and foremost, the country we went to after Andy was diagnosed with cancer, Panama will always be that country where we had babies in our arms the whole time.

Holding babies in Panama collage

Seriously, the whole time.

But even though my arms were sore and it wore on us to have our babies, usually so independent, attached to us the whole time, it’s hardly something to really complain about. After all, as the old poem goes, babies don’t keep, so I’d better enjoy these sore arms while I can.

I have a bunch of cool stuff to tell you all about Panama and some of the crazy things that happen when foreign people meet babies in upcoming posts but for now I just wanted to check in and say that we did it, we actually did it. We took our twin infants on a trip and all came back safe and sound. Now I just need to find some time to work on some more blog posts and find some time to plan our next trip.

It looks like we might be hitting Eastern Europe this September – and if this last trip was any indicator in how the next one will go, it might be time to start lifting some weights and getting my arms ready for toting around toddlers.

Panama with twins

2 responses to “We made it back in one piece!

  1. Well done! Thankfully, they’ll soon be able to toddle along holding your hands instead. 🙂

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