Bringing home newborn twins comes with a mixture of joy, panic, exhaustion and bewilderment. During this time of vulnerability and high anxiety, you lean on those who know you best like family and close friends. Understandably, the thought of having an unfamiliar overnight house guest adds some stress to your heightened emotional state, even though intellectually you know it’s going to mean SLEEP.
Although Margaret was an unfamiliar face at first, she quickly became a part of the family. Having only conducted a phone interview and talked with friends who worked with her previously, my husband and I were a bit anxious and nervous prior to Margaret’s arrival. Don’t get me wrong, I was convinced she would be great after we talked on the phone –she was calm, reassuring, a great listener and sensitive to my needs.
She answered all of my questions on the phone, wished me luck with delivery and said to text her once the babies arrived so we could coordinate a start date! True to her word, she responded quickly to my text and appeared at our door promptly at 9pm; and this was during “Snowmageddon 2011”, one of the worst Chicago winters on record! The second she walked in and shook off the snow, I hugged her so tight in my sleep deprived state I thought I may have choked her. But she reciprocated without hesitation, and I knew everything was going to be fine.
I am the kind of person that tends to retreat and shut down during chaotic situations – and Margaret’s calm, compassionate, confident and reassuring voice of reason was exactly what I needed during those crazy first few months. Margaret is reliable, flexible and great with texting – something I valued since its hard talk on the phone with babies crying in the background.
Her years of experience as a night nurse, nanny and mother (!) reassured me on paper that she was highly qualified, but once I saw the ease and compassion with which she picked up my tiny twin boy and girl, she once again set my mind at ease. Margaret was great about offering feeding tips/strategies for longer sleep etc., but only if I asked her. In terms of waking up with the babies, the first few weeks she set her phone alarm every 2 hours to ensure the babies remained on the feeding schedule recommended by our doctor.
She wrote down all the details each night and created an easy to read feeding chart that we continued to use long after Margaret’s departure. She washed/sanitized all of the bottles so they were ready to go when we woke up. She respected our privacy and was never intrusive. In summary, Margaret is the calm during the storm. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have met and worked with her.
Abby and Phil Chung