Hi, I am new to this "tribe". I am writing in part to vent and in part to see if anyone has any advice for child management. I have 2 mo old twin girls and a 21 mo old boy and I am one more toddler meltdown away from completely losing my mind. Before the twins I had a PT job I loved and was about to finish up grad school. The plan was to have a 2nd kid, go back to PT work for a year and then look for FT job in my field. With twins PT made no financial sense and I didn’t want to put them in FT daycare at birth (assuming I could find a job) so I am home FT. I developed severe cholestasis in my third tri with the girls and they were born via c-sec at 35 weeks. They were over 5lbs and never spent any time in NICU and we felt so grateful. For the 1st two months I had a nanny bc of the c-sec and things seemed to be going pretty well but now I am all alone. I don’t think I have 10 minutes in the day when someone isn’t crying. Often all 3 are crying and as I can only attend to one the others have to cry it out alone. The twins also cry half the nite (DS fortunately is a great sleeper).The twins are sometimes simply unconsolable, other times they just want to be held. My poor boy just wants his playmate back - before they got here he was the center of everything, now he spends half his life locked on the other side of of a babygate while I tend to the girls in a separate room. We need to keep him separate from them as he takes anything not nailed down and tosses it at them. I understand his frustration and we do all spend time together when I have another set of hands around. We have tried timeouts, extra affection, ignoring him …nothing works and our pediatrician says we have to give it time. To make matters worse the girls haven’t hit any major milestones (smiling, babbling). When I logged on-line to look for reassurance I found a bunch of literature detailing significantly increased odds of mental retardation, autism and the like. My arrogant high risk OB specialists never mentioned any of this when we asked about the cons of a 35 week delivery (didn’t have a ton of time to do research on our own, they told me to check into the hospital when I went for a routine monitoring visit). Doesn’t help that we are in the bitter cold northeast and the triple stroller doesn’t fit in the car (and the car seats are too close together to risk putting DS next to a twin) so I am basically trapped in the house alone with them 24/7. And forget housework. The place is a God awful disaster. Whenever I do get a few free seconds I am doing laundry, dishes and cleaning up after DS. I feel so bad for the kids – none of them are getting the attention they need and deserve, I often find myself resentful towards them, and I worry about how constantly being left to cry will affect them. I also feel sorry for me bc I am just miserable and for DH bc he comes home to a filthy house full of screaming kids and an unglued wife. And I think I just broke my toe when I slipped climbing over the gate!Please, tell me it gets better.
Child management advice please!
I have no advice, cause my twins aren't born yet, but man, do I sympathize. With my 6, and a husband who works full time and is in school full time, I also feel completely overwhelmed on a distressingly regular basis. I feel for my husband, too, as a lot is put on him when he IS around. But we're managing. I can't even bear to think about what's going to happen when twins arrive in March. Well, at least Spring semester is over in April, and he won't start again until August. Life is rough. 21 mo is a tough age, but he'll grow! You are a caring mama who will cuddle him as you are able, and none of us ever grew up in a perfect existence with every need perfectly met before we even knew it. You're doing your best!
Hopefully, someone with actual twin experience will weigh in soon with some practical tips.
I'm sorry it is so hard for you. Is there anyone in the community that can help? A church who can send over volunteers or a nearby high school who can send over some seniors for extra credit or a home-ec project? Even though my twins were my first, I learned very quickly how to ask and accept help when offered. Do grandparents live in the area? Maybe they can take your eldest son out to the park or the children's museum to give you a bit of a break? If you are worried about the girls' develpment, is there an assessment you can take them to which will check all of their development in one place and it would give you an idea of what you need to do? I'm sure that things will get better as everyone gets older.
I agree with Shuli - please try your hardest to find help.... hopefully you have some family in the area and if not spread your wings out into the community and try and find some help! My twins are now 2 and a half years old and my daughter is 4 and life is wonderful! They are all still a handful but they play together and are fantastic sisters and brother! Those early days are crazy memories and the first year is a real blur! Try your hardest to make it out and about - staying in the house all day everyday will truly make you go crazy!
As for the girls development - don't diagnose off the internet. You are only going to find the worst! The markers are simply that markers and some kids hit them early and some later. My twins were born at 35 weeks as well and with some NICU time and we weren't given any advice as to risks that that birth could have for their health in the future and I am comfortable with that and just watching them grow and learn on their own schedule. They are still not close to the talkers my daughter was at this stage but they are slowly getting there and I have no worries about them. If you are really concerned, head to the doctor and they can give you some realistic expectations.
Hope this helps a bit - life will lift up - when you do have help, make sure to take some time to yourself! And just so you know, there were many times when the twins were babies that on a really bad day, I would make sure all kids were in safe, secure places, go into the bathroom, turn the fan on (so I couldn't hear them cry) and have a good cry myself! We do what we have to do to survive - you will make it!
Not a twin mama but I saw this on new posts and just wanted to reassure you a bit about milestones. Your girls are 2 mos, right? So adjust the 8 weeks down to 3 weeks for their early birth. That means they should be doing things 3 week old babies do. And I carried my boys until 42wks and 42+3, so if I delivered a baby at 35 weeks, I would personally consider my baby to be 7 weeks early. For me, that would mean an 8 week old would be 1wk adjusted. I didnt' mean to carry on about myself, but I hope that gives you some perspective. If it's safe to say your LOs are "3wks old", it's not reasonable to expect them to be babbling. Smiling maybe, but maybe not. Please don't strees yourself out too much about that just yet, hun.
But it does sound to me like you may want to call your OB or other care provider to be screened for a touch of PPD. I can't imagine what it's like to have 3 babies at once, bc my 2 kids are almost a decade apart. Try to be gentle with yourself, and like others have said do NOt be afraid to seek out help to get yout through this transition.
I so feel for you, I have 4 month old twin boys and an adult (just turned 18 older child)
Is it possible for you to put your toddler into day care part time while you keep the twins alone? Even for a few hours a day? There are several p to that, he gets really structured time which is not ruled by the chaos of the twins, he gets some age appropriate socialization and attention and it is something special you can sell to him for "big kids" that he can go to.
As for the twins, my first three months sucked. What you are describing is completely normal. Chaos reigned and although I work full time (I'm active military), I actually hated my maternity leave. My 18 year old is not in the home (he's my step son) so it was my husband and I. We don't live near family. In our house, establishing a schedule has been key. We did not have help other than my Mom who visited for 5 days and my guys were born at 33 weeks and spent a month in the NICU/PEDS. I let my boys CIO when necessary. I've also learned to feed two at a time and burp one at a time. I've relied highly on items to help soothe such as rotating who is in the swing vs. the bouncy seat. I both breast and bottle feed and actually encourage the use of a pacifier/thumb.
It does get better. By 4 months, the storm should pass. As for the developmental issues, were your children assigned an early intervention specialist? You can request an EI eval through your local county (try googling early intervention). Since you are in the NorthEast, your local Easter Seals can provide evaluative services (for free). If your children are found to be delayed, intervention services (PT, OT, etc... are free also found through the Federal birth to 3 program). Have you talked to your local Mother of Multiples group? They can be a life saver. I know I was recruited when I took my boys out to the grocery store. I've never had parents of twins not stop to offer support (which is so much better than those people who say things like, "you have your hands full...") I was struck by how helpful parents of twins were.
Thinking of you.
Mommy to Franklin & Callan
First off, remember that you are doing an awesome job!! You are still right in the thick of it, so make sure to give yourself time. At 2 months I was still bleeding from the c-section and living minute by minute. It took DD1 at least 3 months to adjust to the new arrivals in teh family, and she was older. We did use grandparents and friends to take out DD1 so she could have some special time (just not with mommy) during that adjustment period. Also, can you wear the babies? I used to wear both of them in the moby wrap at that time so I could at least walk around with DD1 and perhaps play a game or something. I also did a "lot" of reading with the older child. We read every time the babies were nursing or I was trying to rock them to sleep. From my experience, positive feedback did a lot more than "timeouts" to improver her behaviour. Even on a miserable day, I would try to find somethign positive to comment to her about. Now she wants to be called Little Miss Help. When we did time-outs I found that one would lead to two and it woudl just escalate the problem.
I wouldn't worry too much about development at only 2 months. Even though mine were born at 37w5d, they were still "delayed" in everything. They didn't get ot hands and knees until 9 monhts. However, DD2 was walking at 11 months. Just keep an eye out and if somethign doesn't happen by 4 months, then ask your pediatrician.
Most of all, hang in there. I didn't clean house or make real meals until at least 8 months in. It took a LOT longer to get my feet under me with twins that it did with my singleton. However, by 5 months or whenever they start sitting, everything got a lot easier. Then they can entertain themselves for even small amounts of time.
You're an amazing mother and it will get better. Little by little, but one day you'll wake up and realize that you have three smiling faces all looking at you with love (despite the cluttered house and thrown together meals and your completely unkempt appearance.) And those smiles will help you start to forget the hard times.
I just remembered that I cried every day for the first three months after the boys were born because it was just so hard and I only had the babes. I didn't have any help and DH was working most of the day so I was alone most of the time with these two tiny people who were completely dependant on me for everything. There were days when I didn't get dressed and those days when I didn't even bother putting on a bra because of the nursing there was no point. But it does get easier as they get older. As far as the milestones go, my boys were born at 37 weeks and did everything early and were walking and talking by 11 months. My singleton was born at 40.5 weeks, she just turned a year and is barely pulling herself up and her only real word right now is dadadadadaadaaaa. So you shouldn't worry about milestones at all. Each one in thier own time and if nothing has happened by 4 months, then have them assessed.
i am alone with a 3 year old boy and 2 month old twin girls as well. i felt so bad for ds in the beginning because i had to neglect him so much. i have made more of an effort to read to him while the babies nurse at the same time and play with him for at least 15 minutes all by himself a day. this has helped but things are still tough. we send him to daycare (a lady in our neighborhood) 2 days a week and he loves it (so do i !). so there are really only 3 days a week that he has to suffer with just me and the babies and i feel a lot better about that. as far as the crying goes, i wonder the same thing. just yesterday one of my girls cried so long that she just stopped. it was probably only 5 minutes and i had to finish up what i was doing but man i felt so bad. i really hope it doesn't have lasting effects. unfortunately i think it just goes with having twins especially with other kiddos in the picture. and if you can manage getting some help (we get help sporadically from family) i think that would go a long way to making you feel better as would getting out of the house once in awhile. remember that you are doing a great job even if you don't feel like it. in a few more months it will all get a lot easier (or so i hear)
Thanks for all the advice and support. I really appreciate the suggestions and hearing about others experiences. Unfortunately we have no family nearby and daycare isn't an option (crazy high health insurance bills, crazy high student loan payments, dire need of minivan and no more income from me :( ). I have looked up some local playgroups, so hoping we can get out a bit once we get that minivan .... I think we are going to start looking this weekend, DH thinks we can afford it after the holidays. We had an aunt visit last week and it was wonderful for me and my son. Another aunt has promised to come up for a few days in January and DH had the last week of December off so I have some temporary relief up and coming. I am still wracked with guilt about neglecting everyone at some point in the day but it's nice to hear that others have "survived" similar chaos. I'm also still obsessing over their development and am debating calling EI. My laid back pediatrician has a "wait and see" attitude but I don't ... and I figure if anything is wrong its better to begin addressing it as soon as possible. Oh - someone is waking up , gotta run.
I know this post is a little old but I wanted to mention a couple things.
1- My house is a total wreck. I have just gotten decided that if anyone has a problem with it they should try life with newborn twins.
2- the first 2 months I thought Id never make it. Things somehow got more livable after that.
3- My twins were not early but they still didnt laugh or smile as early as my other kids. I swear for 2 months they did nothing but cry and eat and poop. There just wasnt as much time to sit and coo at them and when I did have time i was too strung out exhausted to try.
They are 3 1/2 months now and they coo and smile and are starting to laugh just a little. And while I still have a pile of laundry the size of mt everest I can actually get out of the house before noon.