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Experienced twin moms, talk me down!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Found out TODAY, 19 weeks, 5 days pregnant, there's two. They're healthy and we don't find out sex.

I have two older boys, 5.5 and 3 years old who I'm very worried will get "lost" in this shuffle. I'd LOVE to hear from moms of twins who have olders, what's worked, what hasn't, what you'd do the same and differently.

I'd also welcome thoughts from homebirthing moms of twins.

I don't know where to START!
post #2 of 30
I have no olders, and mine definitely weren't birthed at home, but I wanted to congratulate you and wish you good luck! FWIW, all the experienced Moms who then have twins seem to do pretty well, because at least they know the basics of taking care of babies and especially nursing.
post #3 of 30
Welcome! Congratulations!!!!

I have four olders and I did indeed give birth to twins at home! Betsy is right, having older children whom you've juggled and worn and nursed gives you a huge leg up on having twins. It also makes it harder to stay down at the end when you need more rest so that's something you'll have to think about as it comes closer.

You take a week to catch your breath, lady! It still feels surreal to have twins and they've been breathing for almost a year now! I also found out at around 20 weeks and was just completely blown away. I was blessed to be able to carry my babies to 39 weeks. My first baby came footling breech and my second came vertex, although posterior and that kinda sucked. They did well nursing from the beginning and are still boob monsters today.

Honestly, I have to be more careful that my TWINS don't get lost in the shuffle around here. Sure, the first few months it was all about the babies, but now that we're back to homeschooling and 'going' I have to make sure to get some snuggly down time with the babies both alone and together every day. Coming back to a quiet place and just reconnecting with them is so important in our busy lives. Your older kids will be SO blessed to have twin siblings. Mine just adore their baby brother and sister and I'm quite sure my two year old thinks babies only come in pairs. She always picks out TWO baby dolls at the store.
post #4 of 30
Welcome! ::

I now smile when I read these posts, though the SHOCK/HORROR is still fresh in my mind. My 2 older daughters were 3.5 and 6.5 when my twin girls were born. It does make a big difference when you have already had the experience of other children. I laugh because I DISTINCTLY remember nursing my 1st born and saying out loud "how on earth does ANYBODY do this with twins!"...ha, my fate was apparently sealed that day

I'd recommend going through the posts here, asking lots of questions and rest, rest, rest! Cooking these babies til they're done is one of the best things you can do to get them off to a great start.

I wish I had been able to have my babies at home, but unfortunately midwives in Ontario (Canada) cannot/will not attend home births of twins...I ended up with a c-section at 37 weeks due to a footling breech presentation of baby A...crappy, but we all survived and went home 2 days later...it's been a pretty awesome experience ever since!

Oh, and watch this video!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E-wU...x=0&playnext=1

post #5 of 30
First of all....Congratulations!! :

My twins were born when ds1 was 5-1/2 and dd1 was 3. Attempting to conceive #3 was a big decision and then to be given the news it was going to be #3 and #4 was pretty overwhelming. It quickly became exciting news though and we embraced it.

I was definitely worried about dividing my time among my dc's. Like someone else mentioned having older children does help in a way. I wasn't worried about any of the "baby" issues. I knew that so many things we actually worry about with our first baby were just that...things to worry about but never turned into a real problem. So many things are just stages and we get through them. After nursing my older children I found nursing twins to be pretty much a non-issue. Sure I was nursing more often but I didn't worry so much about length of nursing, foremilk/hindmilk issues, gas, etc... I had perfected nursing a baby walking around with one arm and using my other arm to do numerous other things.

My older two love their babies . The twins are fairly easy going babies so I imagine it might be different if they were more intense or high-needs. As newborns they sleep a lot so you still have a lot of time to spend with the older children. They ease into it. As the babies stay awake more and more you find different things they can do with the older children. It seems to work out.

The one time I needed the most help with my older dc's was the last 3-4 weeks of my pregnancy. I was on modified bedrest from about 33 weeks until they were born at one day shy of 37 weeks. No homebirth here in Ontario so mine were born via both vaginal and emergency c-section. A bit of a recovery time but overall things were OK.

Good luck and take special care of yourself. It's worth it!!
post #6 of 30
My boys were pretty close to the ages of your boys when my twins were born (they're now 8 and almost 6, and the twins are almost 3). I didn't want twins--I knew I couldn't handle them. When I found out we were having them, I was in shock for awhile.

My twins ended up to be really good babies, so that helped. It was pretty crazy for awhile. I was really glad I had a 5 year old in addition to my 3 year old since he could sometimes help with things for his brother. One tip I heard was to make self-serve snacks on a tray or plate near the beginning of the day. That way, if you're nursing when they need a snack (or lunch), they won't go hungry. I didn't have a nicely organized plate each day, but I shopped with healthy self-serve snacks in mind (sliced cheese, sandwich meats, grapes, etc.).

I wish I'd had more friends who could have taken my boys out to play after the twins were born. If you have relatives nearby, you may want to set up a schedule for people to take them out to play (or the park, or just some grandma time).

I had a homebirth (good thing--my first twin arrived 3 minutes before the midwife--I'd have had a car birth if I'd planned to go to the hospital). What do you want to know?
post #7 of 30
Congrats! Twin shock does have a way of bowling you over, doesn't it? Though it may not always seem so, this is great news. Being a twin mom can be wonderful.

My twins were my first, but my aunt has a family like yours, older two and then the twins. Your older DCs have each other; it seems to ease the transition.

What you'll have to focus on now is to take care of yourself and grow those babes! The closer they are to full term and healthy, the easier it will be on everyone.

This forum has lots of great posts, so do some reading here when you can. Also, I'm a broken record about this blog entry (I pass it along to all expectant twin moms I know):


It's encouraging to read about healthy twin pregnancy. Maybe since the twins are your third pregnancy you will be more confident than I was, it being my first. But it threw me off how alarmist my OBs were, supported by a lot of what I read. Sure, I had some raging "morning" sickness, SPD and some heavy duty water retention, but in general my pregnancy was fantastic. I felt good, ate and slept well, and walked a mile or two every day. Even worked up until the day before labor.

By sometime around 30 weeks I fired my OBs, although I continued going in for u/s with my Maternal / Fetal Medicine specialist every four weeks until week 37. The peri's office was much more sane, and we could see that my cervix was long and the babies were perfect and in good position. Knowing those things and lots of reading gave me total confidence in homebirth (although I didn't tell the doctors or techs I planned it).

I KNEW that any hospital near me would c/s me. Which made me really, really angry. My twins were spontaneous, discovered at 19 weeks, and it was like I had been mugged by the medical establishment. I felt like by homebirthing I was ransoming my body from those that would do lots of things without my consent and not in the interests of my children or me. Sorry to vent, guess I'm still fuming.

But I asked around and found a fantastic doula and MW. I prompted labor with castor oil at 39 weeks (I should have waited), and both girls were born in our bedroom on a Saturday morning. Labor, especially since it was my first time, was not without some drama, but the babies took it very well. It's my understanding that the concern with twins is usually about "Baby B." I'm not sure how valid that is, but in my case, it wasn't an issue. Both babies had their own sacs, and there was an hour between births. We had to AROM for Baby B, which I thought was great. She floated through her sister's birth totally comfy and protected.

My only hesitation with recommending homebirth is that you have to find a really skilled attendant. That's less of an issue in a hospital. Here's my general opinion: in a hospital in the US, as a twin mom, either things go quickly and the babes are born vaginally without delivery complications requiring a skilled dr, or they are born surgically. C/Ss are OBs' specialties, and you can expect most OBs to be well trained.

So, when looking for a homebirth MW, look for one with experience with breeches, twins if possible, and with equipment for IV fluids, oxygen, etc.

That said, I think homebirthing twins can be wonderful, safe, and was really right for us! Go for it!

Here's my birth story:


Check out the twin and triplet video I think ChristyC put together too. It's fantastic!

Didn't see in your sig, but if you're anywhere near PA, let me know and I can recommend one of the country's best MWs!
post #8 of 30
First, Congratulations!!! I also have 2 older dc who were very close to the ages of yours at the time (they were 5 years 3 months and 2 years 4 months when the boys were born). I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about dealing with the older 2 but off the top of my head I'm not coming up with any grand thoughts! I did home birth my twins (and my older singletons) so feel free to ask away on that too. Their birth story is posted here. It was a really, really great experience.

Good luck - I know you'll find lots of good advice and stories here. Oh, and check out this website as well. My birth story as well as other home birth twin stories are on there as well in the Birth Stories section.
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. As you can see from the sig already I'm not inexperienced with lots of kids. All my daytime kids started coming at 8 weeks, 5 months and four weeks old respectively and have been here pretty much 5 days a week since. I have three born within a little over a year of each other so I guess that was practice round, but I know it's different when they don't go home and when it's the same age. I've been known to say pretty often that I think it'd be easier sometimes if the kids here WERE twins and the same age so they'd be going through things at the same time, and I guess I get to find out now.

I've both night nannied for newborn twins and day nannied for twins under a year, so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting into there, sort of. Again, wasn't nursing and got to go home.

My huge current concern is the protein I need to get. I'm a vegetarian and it's overwhelming to me at the moment. I also have silly concerns like I know my skin isn't elastic, I'm prone to stretch marks and saggy skin and I have never gained much in pregnancy (I'm tall and not really overweight, I only gained generally 20-25ish lbs and still have the saggy skin)so I'm a little concerned about that, which I know is trivial. I'm worried my SPD won't hold out, my bad back (moderate/severe scoleosis) won't hold out. Those are huge concerns for me. I'm worried about my activity level and carrying around my 3 year old and the 2 year old I watch. I'm worried about doing too much but also about doing too little and not keeping in shape. I want to hear about your twin pregnancies and what was the hardest part and what was easier than expected. What helped?

I'm really concerned about the birth and my ability to push out a breech. I don't want to find out I can't when it matters. I've had two unmedicated complication free births, one in the hospital and one at home, and my "pushing" stage is 10 minutes or less, so I'm not sure what I'm concerned about, but I am. I don't push, my body does. I'm TERRIFIED of a c-section and don't think if it comes down to it I'll be able to be awake for one. I'm worried about milk supply with two (I've historically had fairly low supply, barely enough, and my kids stay very thin). I'm worried about nursing two and never leaving the house again or sleeping again. We live rurally and it's about 25-55 minutes to ANYTHING, so I used to nurse, drive, nurse, run errand, nurse, drive home. Two just complicates things.

Winter babies here in lake effect snow worries me, ins and outs of the car and such, but I've done that before. We'll see how it goes one day at a time.

People are already asking what I need. I'm telling them paper diapers (I have cloth for newborn/small in a good quantity, but will NOT beat myself up for not using them all the time or getting behind on laundry) and gift cards to one store for car seats (our infant seat is expired, or will be, and I'm not sure with my horrible balance I want to sling two on ice and snow), and meals, and not to forget the older two. What else did you find you needed? We have clothes and basic baby gear from the other two, and I have double strollers from sitting. What was essential to have two of?
post #10 of 30
On the protein thing - I'm also a vegetarian and didn't have a problem with protein. I kept a log of what I ate and how much protein was in each thing. After about 5 or so days of that I pretty much knew how much I was getting from my regular foods and then I'd check labels to calculate how much for things I ate less frequently. I just kind of got a rhythm down I guess. Here is an article written by a vegan twin mama about her diet during her twin pregnancy - that should help some for ideas.

As far as stuff you need for twins, my essentials (or just things I was very glad to have) were the swaddling blankets (I must have had about 10 and 2 of them did end up in the laundry every day from spit up or diaper leaks - Miracle Blankets are what we had), my Amby Hammock Beds (I see there are knock-offs these days that might be cheaper), at least 2 good pouches for the newborn days and then other carriers later (which type depended on what stage they were in), 2 car seats, double stroller (I actually had a double snap-n-go for awhile and my MBUD from 2 months on which was my favorite), about 4 doz cloth diapers, clothes, and that's about it. I wasn't one of those moms in love with the ez-2-nurse pillow (it was just okay but I preferred to make my own nest of regular pillows while sitting cross legged on the couch), my babies weren't huge on their swings (though we did have 2), the activity saucers were alright for a few months, I didn't pump more than a few times in 32 months of nursing so my pump wasn't needed at all nor were bottles. I dunno - that's all I can remember right now! Oh, my SPD was indeed horrible in my twin pregnancy. Seeing a chiro I think helped it somewhat. Saggy skin is a fact for most of us. There's always a tummy tuck down the road if it really, really bothers you. I did get a really big diastasis which bothers me more than the skin. They're worth it though. Totally worth it.
post #11 of 30
Reading about your just finding out brings back floods of emotion for me. Finding out we were having twins was hard. I cried a lot, and mourned the loss of the option of homebirth or birth center birth. I had really wanted that for that pregnancy, and was really overwhelmed when I learned it was twins. However, I really had fun dropping the "we're having twins!" bomb on everyone.
In the end, I was happy and excited to be carrying twins, and had a great pregnancy. I birthed the girls at home (after learning about all my options, risks, etc, very sweetly in our bathtub, and everything worked out great for us. I had a perinatologist do concurrent care with my wonderful midwife, and all went great.
My twins just turned one year old, and they are fabulous. So freakin' hard, but fabulous, nonetheless. The older child part is hard, but I swear that having each other will be great for them all, ........someday.
post #12 of 30
I found out about mine at 20.1 weeks (though DH and I had an idea before that but my OB said we were wrong). So, I understand the feelings of finding out that "late," I do!

I'm sure the above replies will be very helpful to you. Our twins were our first babies, so we had a bit different go of it vs. a mama who already has children and then has twins, I think anyway?!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you a lot of luck.
post #13 of 30
congratulations and good luck to you! Someone may have mentioned this already, but Elizabeth Noble gives a lot of dietary info & ideas in her book on multiple pregnancy, and her emphasis is very vegetarian-friendly.
post #14 of 30
My twin babies are almost 19yo! I had a dd11, ds was 7 and dd 2 1/4. It was mayhem, I won't lie, but no one went without.

THe most importaant thig for now is REST. It's hard for most to hold twins to term, and just resting, napping, lying down, will help immensely. I was on bedrest for 7 months, for one reason or another. (never one of those healthy pregnant women ) And they were born at 40 weeks, 7lbs 1 oz and 6 lbs 4 oz. Not too shoddy.

What worked: taking my time getting used to the idea. Accepting help. Begging for help. (WHile on bedrest, mostly, but also when they were tiny)

We put our queen size mattress and box spring on the floor and put a full size mattress on the floor, up against it. THis was our family bed. Dd 2years slept with us also, so we used a bassinet for a bit to keep them safe, or I slept on teh full with the babies, etc. It was great to be able to have a clean place to retreat to when I'd find my spot soggy, great to be able to roll over to nurse.

Other things I found invaluable: A thing that hung from the beam in our ceiling that they sat in and bounced. It kept one kid off the kitchen floor. I wish I'd had two.

A bassinet on each floor. THey snuggled in one at a time.

Two highchairs, though not a big fan before. Ones with big plastic trays. They ate off of them without dishes. Dishes just went on the floor, anyway.

You sound so much like me at that stage! I was terrified of a csec! You've had easy birthsbefore, there's no reason to think these will be any different! Trust yourself to know if you need more help.

Carrying around the little ones all the time, hmm. I'd start planning an earlier maternity leave than you might have. You'll probably need more rest and less activity. I realize that not everyone does, but most I've met have.

We loive very rurally too. My schedule was the same as yours, but I nursed two at a time, not one. And we usually ate out, for even the simplest errands. The car was always full of snacks for the older kids.

By the time they were 2 we were camping, on an island with no running water. No problem.

They are the closest individuals I've ever seen. They adore each other, spend every minute togehter. THey have separate friends and common friends, jobs, interests, but they love each other, more than anyone. Even their mama, even as babies.

My belly? Eh, it never looked quite the same. My dh tells me he loves it, it's where his babies grew. I'd like a smooth 19 yo belly again, but I'd rather the twins. Dressed i'm slim and fine, naked, I have a poochy thing. Honestly, I could probably diet if I tried a bit harder. I think the tough part was learning to use my abs again. After the babies come, think about tightening thoswe abs up while walking,e tc.

The kid that got lost in teh shuffle was the 2 yo. Not by family, but strangers invariably would stop and coo at the twins (oh what a pain that was), compliment #1 on being a good big sis, say to ds, oh, you're the only boy! and move on. I finally used to say and this is....

Really, go lie down and don't think about it. I cried for days wen they said it might be twins. Told teh MW that was the 'T' word, and not to say the 'T' word again until I told them I was ready. I needed to adjust.

You sound like you've had tons of experience with bunches of kids. That'll be invaluable and you'll do fine. Congratualtions! THis is really fun.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
this is going to sound silly, but I see on shows with twins all the time - the "older" thing or the "born first" thing - and it seems to be a big point of contention sometimes. Has anyone tried NOT telling who came first, or is that silly to even think about?
post #16 of 30
HI!! You have a mum going thru the same thing right now here! I just found out a week ago at my 21wk u/s that I'm carrying twins too! I'm still in shock! LOL

I have a 6.5yr, 5yr and 3.5yr old at home right now....they will be 7, 5 and 4 when these babes are born!

We can TOTALLY go thru this together!
post #17 of 30
Regarding birth order: Our boys are almost two, and they don't yet grasp that they are twins. We live in a neighbourhood that is really twin friendly (at least three families with two sets of twins and two houses away are a set of identical boys that are 10 months older). They know that they are brothers, but they also don't know who is older and we try not to say anything. It doesn't really matter to us who is older, so we are not making a big deal out of it. They are super close, and that's what matters. Sometimes Raphi acts like the oldest and tells his brother what to do, and sometimes Danny starts bossing his brother around. It only matters if you make it matter.
post #18 of 30
I had no issues pushing out a breech. It wasn't much fun--she was not a frank breech but rather complete with a dangling foot so looking back my cervix had to stretch around that big ball of feet and thighs and calves and butt--but it was totally doable. It took me about 30 minutes of good hard pushes to make it happen. At the time I was thinking "she's NEVER going to come out" but my midwives were not concerned from their perspective The hardest part for me was then gathering the strength for another birth. I began labor in the evening the babies were born at 3:32 and 4:07 in the morning. By the time it came time to push the second baby out I was beat. I wish I (or someone) had had the presence of mind to give me some honey or something. We were all involved with other matters at that point! LOL! My second baby flipped vertex as his sister was being born and because of that was born posterior. That sucked, too!

My twins are only a year old so they don't really understand who was 'first' yet. It seems sort of silly to me, honestly. She's only 35 minutes older! I do sometimes call him the 'baby brother' because out of six he's the youngest. But, again, just barely!

I think even more than getting enough protein is getting enough water. I was literally drinking over a gallon a day at the end of my pregnancy. I just needed it so much. If I didn't get enough then my pee dips looked awful and I felt like crud.

I'd be concerned about nursing, too, if I were in your shoes. I've historically never had supply issues but I was still careful about building a good supply. Babies went straight to the breast upon birth. I nursed one while the other got checked over. I then pretty much didn't leave my bed/the couch for a full week. We just nursed around the clock. I also, upon advice from my LLL leader, tandem nursed (I hate it then--love it now!) for the first six weeks. She explained the double stimulation was really going to help build up that supply for them. The nursed ALL STINKIN NIGHT for the first 6 weeks. I would nurse one, put them down try to rest and then the other would wake. I tried to get them on the same pattern but that didn't happen until......6 weeks. It was rough. The sleep deprivation was rough. They are just now night weaning, in fact!

The PP is right. They are SO worth it.
post #19 of 30
I totally say which twin is older. I just happen to think it's funny that my older twin is so much smaller than his younger brother - to the point that strangers often ask how much older the younger one is (thinking he's about 10 months to a year older). I really don't think it's going to be an issue though. I think it *could* be if the parents should give special privlidges to one over the other but we won't be doing that. I think it's cool for them to know (not that they care yet) that one is 2 hours & 32 minutes older than the other.
post #20 of 30
My MW brought up the "born first" thing, and I don't see us keeping it secret. I will tell them their birth story, and probably re-enact it with them, as DD1 and I do as they were born in our bathtub, and we bathe together. Also, my second born twin acts the perfect "baby", but is bigger, and hence, people assume the "older" one. We'll see how it all goes!
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