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Preparing Yourself When Expecting Twins
I had a three-year-old and one-year-old when I got pregnant with the twins. The first two pregnancies were very similar – I went from happy, mad, crying, and screaming all within a two minute span. One night I was being crazy and emotional, so my husband asked if I was pregnant. Right away (being offended that he thought I was acting crazy) I said, “No!!!” Psh ! I know my body…. Although, I am being a little crazy and a little emotional, and I can’t remember when I had my period last… Maybe I am?
With my second child, I had a dream that I expressed milk. When I woke up – SURPRISE! I was lactating. I was pregnant! I decided to try expressing (since I was acting crazy, and such). I went to the bathroom — nope nothing. What a relief! Could you imagine three children in three years? I sat down and couldn’t stop thinking about… So, I tried again. I went to the bathroom, then came out a second later and told my husband that we needed to go get a pregnancy test – pronto.
The test was obviously positive, so I made a doctor’s appointment. Before my appointment I started feeling extremely tired – much more than my other two pregnancies. My family and I were convinced I was having a girl.
The day of the appointment came, and my husband stayed home with the two boys (since we all know how awesome it would have been to bring a one-year-old and three-year-old to the appointment). This wasn’t our first rodeo – we figured we’d get the confirmation I was pregnant and go from there. No big deal.
I got to the doctors and she decided to do an ultrasound since I was 12 weeks already; further along than I thought. We made small talk; I talked about my two children at home, she paused, looked confused. She said, “Hold on.” I was a little nervous, why is she looking confused, and why did she tell me to hold on? Is everything okay? I said, “What?” she said, “Yep. So…there’s two in there!”
“What!? Are you serious!?”
I wanted to laugh and cry, and I started feeling a little light-headed, but most of all I wanted to tell my husband (oh my gosh – how was he going to react?!). I was freaking out with so much going through my head – it was emotionally overwhelming, good and bad. I was going to be a mother of four children….all 4 years old and younger. YIKES!!!
What To Expect
1. It’s Ok To Be Freaked Out
It’s okay! Go ahead and cry! As exciting as this news is – it is overwhelming. Your hormones are twice the crazy (now you know why) so you can’t help to just let it all out. Happy cry!! Scared- shit-less cry! Laugh! We get it!
When I finally got out of the doctor’s appointment I hurried and called my husband… he thought I was kidding. All we could think about was the Benjamin$. How were we going to be able to afford twins?? And daycare for four children? That’s out of the question. Whose car is going to fit four car seats? Are we going to be a van family?
Will we ever sleep? How did this happen? Whose family is to blame? Are we even sure? After our initial freak-out – we talked about it and decided to not to worry. Everything was going to work out. We wanted to enjoy the amazing news.
Did I mention, it doesn’t run in either of our families? So never in a million years did I think I would have twins, but we did – two beautiful baby boys.
2. Maternity Clothes Won’t Fit!
I started looking like I was six months pregnant at three months. I didn’t want to know how big I was going to be by the time I popped – holy smokes! Around six months, my maternity clothes started to get too small. $!#&, Now what?
I didn’t want to spend money on clothes for the last three months – maternity clothes aren’t cheap. My advice? Buy big. It will be huge in the beginning, but believe me you’ll grow into them! The pants that fit looked like skinny jeans at the end (hello swelling!), and my shirts would always show my gorgeous pregnancy-pants elastic.
3. Bathroom Issues
Okay, I’m going to get a little personal here. Dropping something and not being able to pick it up is not the only issue you’ll have, due to size. My belly was the size of a beach ball – and was very hard. There was no bending over, for me. The last three weeks, I had to have my husband help me put my pants on.
That being said, it’s going to be very difficult to wipe yourself after doing your duties… A little TMI I know, but just a heads up is all. I suggest trying to clean yourself while still sitting…
4. You Actually Get To Eat More Food!
That is if you don’t have the worse morning sickness ever sorry if that’s you! One of the best parts of being pregnant is, no one judges you when you eat, and eat a lot. Yes! No needing to suck your belly in? Double YES! This is double awesome with twins.
You’ll obviously still need to make sure you eat healthy, and not eat TOO much. But with twins you need an extra 600 calories per baby!!! The bigger you get, you will wonder how any more will fit into your belly, so it will help to eat smaller meals throughout the day.
5. You Could Carry Full Term… yeah – FULL TERM!
One thing to know is, every pregnancy is different. Some people have preemies with singletons, and some people go full term with twins. With my first boy I was a week late. Second boy I was on time because I had a scheduled C-section. With the twins, I had a scheduled C-section as well. I was scheduled for exactly 38 weeks – which is full-term for twins.
No way was I going to make it to 38 weeks! I felt like my stomach was going pop half way through my pregnancy! Week 35 came and I thought, “Oh, pretty soon!” Week 36 and 37 passed… and the growth-charts I was following stopped (because apparently having twins past 36 weeks is crazy). I finally had those boys at 38 weeks – they both weighed over 6 pounds, each, one at almost 7 pounds!
6. You’ll Have More Appointments
One of the best things about having twins is that you get to have more doctor appointments! You’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound fun – well it is. You get to hear the heart beat at every appointment, and you get to see the baby through ultrasound every month!
It was so much fun seeing them and how much they had grown in such a short amount of time. You get to see them doing things like, putting their butts in each other’s face, or cuddling with each other. It was special. I loved the extra appointments.
7. You May Have Some Scares
Having twins puts you at high risk pregnancy, automatically. There’s just so much going on with your body! With twins they have to keep a close eye on everyone. I didn’t have spotting or have anything go wrong, with my first two pregnancies. With the twins? I bled three times and it was a lot more than just a spot. Sorry for the image – but it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced!
We were happy we were having twins, but we didn’t realize just how happy until you think you’ve possibly lost them. This happened three times and every time was just as scary as the first.
That wasn’t the only scare. One appointment the doctor said that Baby B’s heart rate was very low (everything turned out to be fine – just needed to have extra tests).
At another appointment Baby A’s weight dropped 10%. I was freaking out, especially since I wouldn’t be able to know if there was something wrong until the following appointment. Again, luckily everything ended up being okay.
Then there were worries about hemorrhaging with the C-section, since I had C-sections with my previous babies. The delivery went well, but one of the babies came out purple and not breathing on his own. The amazing nurses did everything they could to get him to breath.
They rubbed the bottom of his foot so much, that he has a scar there now. But, he began breathing… and there was no hemorrhaging on my part. We all walked out healthy, happy, and with ten fingers and toes.
When the twins are born
When they are home
8. It’s Okay For Them To Sleep Separately (and encouraged by doctors!)
While I was pregnant I researched none-stop about twins. What were the best items for them? Should they be on the same eating and feeding schedule? Should I wake one up to eat, if the other one wakes up? How should they sleep?
Would you like to know one thing I would recommend? If you research what to do with your twins, use it as a guide – because every baby is different (even if they are twins).
Just go with the flow. There is no wrong or right answer.
For me? I wanted to make sure they were comfortable so we could all sleep – and our room is small, so I needed to find a way to work with what we had. I talked to my doctor about whether they could sleep together and she said that it was ok for them to sleep together until they start moving – for safety reasons.
So, I got a twinzee pillow (an amazing must-buy) and put it in our pack-in-play, and had them sleep on the pillow until they started moving. Once they started moving, I separated them I put them in rock ‘n plays (HUGE life saver!). When they were about 7 months I put them in their own crib just so they can stretch out more, but at nap time, or just to hang out I put them in the rock ‘n play.
9. Breastfeeding is Difficult
Whether it’s with singletons or twins – breastfeeding is difficult! You don’t know what you’re doing, the babies don’t know what they are doing, your nipples hurt like hell, and for me – my milk let-down was going to be the death of me! Awe – what a beautiful time!
No, really it is the most beautiful thing ever. I’m not here to say breast is best – or formula is best. To me, a fed baby is best. My first son I exclusively fed until he was one and a half. My second son I exclusively breastfed until 8 months (I had to go back to work, and pumping wasn’t working). I tried so hard to exclusively breastfeed the twins, but with them being under weight and my supply not increasing enough, I had to substitute with formula, I tried pumping – that was a disaster for me.
Between feeding the twins, pumping, and taking care of my other two kids – I had no time. With twins you can tandem feed – but it hurt too much when they latched on and I couldn’t seem to get the position right with two on me (one baby had latching problems, even after his frenotomy – to make matters more difficult). So I would feed them at different times.
But don’t let this discourage you. If you are able to do it or want to try then go for it! Every baby and situation is different. I thought breastfeeding is like riding a bike, but it’s not.
It would take me an hour and a half to feed them. Which means I would only get 30-45 minutes before I had to start all over again – because they needed to eat every 2-3 hrs, 20 minutes each side for each baby! With two other kids running around I just couldn’t do it, and that is just fine. Do what is best for you, your sanity, and your babies.
10. It’s Easier Than You Think
So, what I found out (after stressing during my whole pregnancy about how on-earth I was going to manage two boys, two dogs and twins) is thinking, “I got this.” Don’t get me wrong! I want to rip my hair out sometimes – but that’s just parenting. You’re not a parent until you hide in the bathroom to get some quiet time.
I didn’t want to leave the hospital because they spoil you there, and you get so much help and sleep – I loved it! I started having anxiety when it was time to go home!
The first few weeks are hard – trying to find a rhythm, functioning with sleep deprivation, and trying to keep your sanity. But, after a month or two, you’ll find what works for you and your babies. It’s not as hard as you imagine it. Just remember – it’s okay to be scared. You are not a bad mom for having these feelings. But also remember that you’ve got this!
Thank you for reading! We would love to hear from you! What was it like for you finding out you were pregnant? What advise do you have for first time moms, or twin expecting moms?