Paternity leave is now over. Today is my first day back to work. I took off four weeks, one week before the girls were born and three weeks afterward. It turned out to be perfect timing. I could clean up the house from the remodeling prior to Hirono’s parents coming and the girls arriving. In addition, three weeks with the girls without thinking about work was incredibly satisfying. I’m really happy with how things turned out.
The first three weeks with twin newborns was incredibly intense. The closest I’ve experienced in the past is initiation week at the fraternity. No sleep, random intervals of emergency, never knowing what to expect next, etc. They were also both two time periods in my life that were profound. In each case, trauma shared with another brought us much closer together. Initiation forged friendships that will never be broken. The three weeks with the girls forged a bond that is proving to be extremely strong. It is an experience I will never forget.
On the pragmatic side, I’m now an expert at diaper changing, burping, soothing, dealing with diaper rash, etc. We can tell who’s crying at a distance and in some cases why before even seeing them cry. I’ve even learned to sleep for 2-3 hours straight without moving at all so that they can sleep on top of my abdomen. Hirono and I can also now sit and earnestly discuss bowel movements for hours.
For any who haven’t yet had children, I highly recommend really taking some time away from work and getting into the day-in-day-out maintenance of your newborn. There’s no better way to get to know them. Its the most wonderful experience I would never want to have again.