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TWINS?!?! and in shock at the news

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi there, mamas,

I'm a longtime lurker at MDC and have posted just a few times, but turn to the wise mamas here for advice, humor and wisdom almost every day.

And I am looking to a new forum, because my husband and I just found out yesterday that we're expecting TWINS! I went in for our 18 weeks ultrasound and the tech looked, paused, looked, paused, looked, took a breath and said "Well, how do you feel about two?" We were FLOORED! I had had a feeling that DH and I would "need" to go out to lunch after the ultrasound, and would need our friend to watch DS (2.5) for more than just the appt., but I thought that was because we'd learn something was wrong with the baby, which I was actually better prepared to deal with than the fact that there are two bambinos in my belly...

I have SO many questions. How do you raise two newborns? How do you not collapse breastfeeding two?? (My son nursed through the night, every two hours, for about the first 4-5 MONTHS! Can you do that with two and not fade away to nothing?) How do you stay healthy enough to keep them in there long enough to cook and be big enough to take on the world when they're born? How do you send two kids to college at the same time???

I know -- not all of these questions need to be answered this morning. I guess the shock still is there -- we really had no idea except that I had been SO sick this pregnancy (threw up every night for six weeks straight and off and on for another four) and hadn't been at all with our son. But everyone said "oh every pregnancy is different" and "maybe it's a girl" and so I blew the idea off. But otherwise, not much has changed. I have gained the same amount of weight that I had with my son at this point (which I now know I need to work on and start eating even more -- it was so hard there when I was throwing up so much, though) and just this week my belly really popped, which didn't happen this soon with DS, but I figured that was related to being a second pregnancy and having loose muscles.

Holy cow. Twins.

I wish I had more to say at this point, but we both kind of keep getting stuck at the twins part.

Thanks for letting me share the shock, panic, terror and excitement with you. Any advice, words of wisdom, etc. would be GREATLY appreciated. I went to our book store yesterday and found one not-bad looking book called "Having Twins...and more" (seemed the most AP-friendly of the bunch there) and have been reading that, but I guess I want real life experience. What did you eat? How do you stay sane? And even if takes a while, please tell me it's worth it. We're both pretty scared.

Thanks for listening and any advice you have. Look forward to becoming a part of this community.

Mama to DS (June 02), wife to DH (married 95), walker to neurotic dog (arrived 3/00) and PT writing instructor to 28 needy university students

(also, someone who still has to learn to do her signature!!)
post #2 of 19
woah! twins!
well, congraTWINlations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Im sure the questions will be answered very well in the parenting multiples forum.
However, Im also sure that the best over-all answer to most of your question so far would be: "How? with love and faith, tolerance and patience."
How absolutely positively exciting!!!!!!!
post #3 of 19

TWINS!! Man readiing your post brought back memories from my ultrasound and pure shock!! What you are feeling is so normal. I found out on a Friday and cried all weekend. Cried because I was surprised, happy, scared, in denial, overwhelmed, ecstatic, in disbelief, etc. I bet you were floored! It's pretty big news!!! Probably the biggest surprise of your life.

Yes I hear you. SOOOO many questions!!! No you won't collapse bf'ing two. MY ds was still nursing thru the night while I was preg with my girls so I thought the same. How can I do this x2? It is hard. Some days I think this isn't so hard, I'm really getting the hang of it. Some days I just want to give up and go to bed for a week. But you get thru it. And your babies will be so darn wonderful and beautiful and amazing that just thinking of that will bring tears to your eyes and YES IT'S WORTH IT!

You will need to eat lots and lots of good stuff and you won't fade to nothing. Now that you know there is 2 you'll pick up your food/protein in take now anyway so it'll just continue once babies arrive. Eat tons of protein to get them big now and help keep them in longer. Drink protein shakes!! Your nutritional intake is a huge part!

Ok got to run right now. You'll get really good at multitasking with twins. No time for much. Bf'ing twins is so doable. Read up now on diff positions for nursing 2 at once. What great news!!!
post #4 of 19
Originally Posted by LoisLane

How do you send two kids to college at the same time???
Let me know if anyone figures this out. I'll have my son and then the year after him my girls. 3 going to college in 2 years!!! I'm still trying to just pay childcare for 3 while I work part time!!!!
post #5 of 19
having twins is incredible, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. i love it when they play together, its so cute. i think they'll be best friends.

i was so sick during my pregnancy i thought, I had better be having twins, because i am never getting pregnant again. so when i had the sonogram and they told me twins, I thought "thank God!"

a lot of books about raising twins have sections on nutrition during pregnancy. I was advised by my doctor to take extra calcium and folic acid in addition ot prenatal vitamins. I also ate and ate (lots of healthy stuff- cereal, milk, pasta, whole wheat toast w/ peanut butter, juice, veggies, fruit), and my boys were born at 40 weeks at 7.1 and 7.11 pounds. its also important to watch for signs of premature labor.

so relax, enjoy your book, and come back with more questions!

post #6 of 19
I loved that Elizabeth Noble book!!! Yes, most AP twins book I've seen. That and Karen Gromada's "Mothering Multiples" (a MUST with so much great info on bf twins)

congrats to you and dh! You'll love it all. I bf them in bed with me, I end up awake about every 2 hours at night, but I just roll over and get one latched then fall asleep while they nurse back to sleep too. I actually don't feel exhausted. They do have times when they sleep all night -- up to 11 hours!

Drink more water than you've ever drank in your life. I always put lots of lemon in mine... gives it some flavor while giving me extra vitamin c.

rest, rest rest. and never feel guilty about it.

OK, have fun preparing. You'll also get great info on your pregnancy (though not very AP) from the boards at www.twinsmagazine.com.
post #7 of 19
Congratulations! I totally remember the shock The Elizabeth Noble book is very AP and a good book. I also *highly* recommend "When you're expecting twins, triplets or quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke. It was the best book for nutrition, weight gain and all kinds of important twin pregnancy stuff

As for all your questions...I think it really depends on what your babies are like. I've had an easier time with my twins (13 months now) then I did with dd#1 in terms of sleeplessness, colic, etc.

The one thing I say to all pregnant twin moms (I run a bf'ing multiples group here) is to do your very best to have a spontaneous, vaginal birth - get the/ right dr/midwife, choose the right hospital (or not), get a doula, rest and gain weight so that you'll go full term. While singleton moms have an upward battle with nursing and caring for their babe after having a c-section or being induced, it seems to be much, much worse for multiple moms.

Good luck!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all of your great suggestions and encouragement. I really needed to hear from mamas who have been there that it will be OK (I mean, I know there will be plenty of hard moments... but I was doing a fine job on my own with the worrying part).

The shock is starting to wear off a bit and some of the awe is settling in. I mean -- there are TWO little ones growing well in there, and despite all those months of being sick, they appear healthy and strong so far... what an amazing miracle.

I am gearing up to meet with (and possibly leave) my OB next Tuesday. We're new to Canada and had a hard time even getting in with an OB (most women have GPs at their births, and midwives can't deliver in hospitals in Alberta (we had a great midwife/hospital birth with our son in PEnna), and I'm not entirely comfortable or ready for homebirth, even when I thought it was just one.). Anyway -- I think having twins now officially qualifies me as "high risk" in their book, so I shouldn't have trouble transferring to another more natural, supportive one -- I've gotten some recommendations from friends. At least that's the hope. (Off topic -- but my OB's only solution to nightly violent vomiting, including throwing up blood, was to write many prescriptions (only one of which I filled after much research, for diclectin, a mix of Vit. B6 and an antihistimine). No suggestions about diet, ginger, natural remedies -- nope, just wrote another prescription. Argh.)

Anyway. I so badly want to cook these babies for 40 weeks and birth them vaginally... and I *need* people around me who believe that that's possible. I also have the name of a good doula... which seems all the more important now.

OK. So I'm really babbling now. I just wanted to say THANKS and that I look forward to reading this forum and learning all I can from you and your experiences.


Lisa (a little-less-stressed tonight)
post #9 of 19
HEY! I can't believe I missed this thread. I am in Okotoks!!!!

ANd Ihave 4 year old twin girls.

I know it is a bit far, but we are starting up a AP play group. If you are ever heading to Cow Town, we would love to have ya!
post #10 of 19
have you found a good doula ?
post #11 of 19

Lisa - I'm currently 18 weeks with twins as well...

And, as you are too, I'm a little overwhelmed myself... but, this is my 2nd set of twins. My first set, b/g, are 3 1/2 yo.

I had a textbook pregnancy and l&d with them. I did have to deliver in the OR, which kind of sucked, but they were both head down and born within 10 minutes of each other. I was 38w6d, Emily weighed 6lbs even and Nathan weighed 5lbs 4oz. For almost 39 weeks, I've always thought they should have been bigger though. I ate very well, drank lots of water, ate about 100 grams of protein a day, if not more. I think I just probably grow smaller babies -- my mom did anyway. So, who knows?

Oh, neither of them had any breathing problems and came home iwth me 2 days later. So, really, that's what mattered most to me. I wanted them healthy and they were -- still are.

I bf them both until we all got the stomach flu at around 8 mos and in 4 days my milk was completely dried up. So, unfortunately, that ended that.

This time, I hope to ebf. But, yes, all I did was bf -- round the clock. I wonder how I'll do it this time... but us mommies have a way of just getting done what needs to get done, ya know? Their ped told me at 3 days old that I could try to bf, but no one in their 20 year practice has been able to bf twins successfully. HAHA... so, did I then become their first success story????

Don't let anyone discourage you from anything you want to do. Dr's will tell you that twins are automatically high risk. In reality, they're just not typical but not high risk -- that is unless they're sharing a sac and placenta or there's something "major" going on. But, most twin pregnancies run just like singleton ones do.

It's a hell of a ride. I wouldn't trade it for the world. My twins -- as other mom's will tell you -- have such an incredible bond iwth eachother. It's really amazing.

Welcome to the "club"!!!!!

mama to Emily and Nathan 7/14/01
edd 7/12/05 with twins.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I can't tell you all how much your replies and encouragement have meant to me these last days. I feel much more grounded now and am starting to get excited. Thank you for all your great replies.

I just left a message to arrange to meet our doula (she's actually a homebirth midwife who will sometimes work as a doula in hospital deliveries). I can't wait to meet her!

Charmarty, my DH and I don't get up to Calgary much, but you can be sure that when I do, I'll let you know. It'd be great to meet up with your group! Likewise, if you find yourself in Lethbridge, let me know.

Thanks again everyone. I'll keep you posted, and am so glad to have joined the club.

post #13 of 19
Congrats on your twins!!! I'll second the recommendation for "Mothering Multiples" by Karen Gromada. She also has a website with lots of nursing pictures which can be helpful: http://www.karengromada.com/photos.htm I'm also on a yahoo group that she's a member of & she's an amazing resource for those who are having trouble breastfeeding (or really anything twin-related).

Breastfeeding two, for me, is easier than messing w/ bottles & formula would've been. Remember that newborn twins have never had mom's undivided attention so they don't know what they're missing. I was able to nurse them simultaneously most of the time & they pretty much nursed all day for the first 6 mo or so, so that was all that was required (more or less) to care for them We had a rather complex & ever-changing sleep arrangement but it at least allowed me to get the bare minimum sleep I required to function. It's not easy, but it's do-able & as they get big enough to interact with each other it makes it all worthwhile to see them together
post #14 of 19
I second all the other advice so far - especially about 'Mothering Multiples' and the yahoo discussion group AP multiples (really useful resource). One thing that no one has said yet (I think) is get your support systems in place now. Of course, you are already doing the right thing by finding this forum so early , I wish I had known about it from my pregnancy.

Anyway, everyone said to me 'get help, get help, get help', and they were right. For me and my babies breastfeeding was pretty time consuming and I also needed to get as much sleep/rest/relaxation as possible. So I would think that anything you can do to facilitate that is a really good idea - friends, relatives, paid help, anything and everything you can manage and you feel comfortable with. My partner works from home and was able to take lots of time to help me and, blimey, did I NEED him.

Congratulations again - and for now, take care of yourself!
post #15 of 19
Oh yeah, definately get your support system in place now. One thing that was so awesome for us was a couple of friends went together & their shower gift to us was to literally fill our deep freeze w/ casseroles (that were recipes I'd given them &/or that they knew for a fact we liked). For the first few months all I (or dh) had to do to cook was pull something out of the freezer in the morning & put it in the oven at suppertime. Then I'd reheat leftovers for my lunch. If people ask how they can help, this is a suggestion you can give them, or you could start now & stock your own freezer.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great advice. That's smart thinking about the food -- people have already started to ask "what can I do to help" and making healthy, easy-to-prepare food is perfect (I remember being SO hungry after my son was born and with all the nursing I did in those early weeks... it was a kind of ravenous I'd never experienced before, not even like being hungry at the end of very long backpacking trips, and I imagine this time it will be more intense).

I emailed the local contact for the Twins and Triplets Club in my town and she said she'd call today and seemed very eager to help. Already, hearing from you all (who have BTDT) and knowing there will be someone locally who can help with advice re: doctors, the hospital, etc., makes me feel so much less worried. There are still questions (how do you fit three car seats in our car? will I be able to make up for lost time nutritionally speaking and give these babes the best chance of staying it til their due date? and braces, college, etc) but the initial panic and fear have started to fade away.

Thank you for being here when I needed it -- for real life advice but also words of encouragement about the magic of multiples. I feel so grateful to each of you and appreciate your help.

More soon when/if there's any news.

post #17 of 19
Don't worry too much about not knowing right away. I didn't find out about our twins till my 20 week u/s *and* actually lost weight during the first trimester due to thyroid problems. My girls were born at 35 1/2 weeks & (IMO) were only in NICU for a week because I had "good insurance" (I was/am SO mad at the entire hospital by the time it was said & done). I also firmly believe that if I'd been able to "listen to my body" and stop working when *I* felt it was time instead of when I finally got a dr. to listen to me, *and* if I'd had any idea that I was having contractions off & on for weeks before they were born (my contractions were NOTHING like any description of contractions I've ever seen & I honestly think that if my water hadn't broken these babies would've been born at home because I *never* would have recognized them as contractions, they never "came & went" it was a constant cramping) that they would definately have been born close to term. You know to be watching your nutrition now, don't worry about what's already happened.

Also, not to sound negative, but be aware that your multiples club may or may not be a good source of information. I went to one meeting of ours while I was pregnant. There were no children there (except one set of 7 yr old (approx) twins whose mother appoligized several times for having to bring them w/ her because her babysitting fell through). They went around & introduced themselves telling the ages of their multiples & several had infants. I pretty much gave up on the whole thing right then, I just couldn't see leaving my infant twins just to go sit & talk to a bunch of women I didn't know (ok, can you tell I'm not good in new situations LOL). But even if I'd wanted to, there's no WAY, given my kids' personalities & the way we choose to parent (AP) that I could've been gone in the evening like that while they were tiny. They cluster fed in the evening to the point that poor dh had to come home & fix supper, bring it to me, do *any* chores that needed done, etc. I was sitting at my nursing station from about 6pm till bedtime (& I don't remember when that was LOL). Anyway, just wanted to suggest that you not rely "blindly" on the advice of your multiples club, from what I saw (& what I've heard from others who are active in their's) it's not always the most AP-friendly advice, kwim?

Another warning (while I'm being negative LOL) just be aware that when you're pg with twins (or have twins for that matter) people will say some of the most horrible (IMO) things to you. I had someone send me a "congrats on being pg w/ twins" card & in it she wrote "hopefully you'll have them c-section" that card made me SO MAD!!!! especially since one of my concerns was the increased RISK of c/s w/ multiples. I also had a LOT of people just assume that since we were having twins we wouldn't have more children. Things like "wow, you got it all over with at once" or "hey, maybe you'll have a boy & a girl and then you can be done". I tended to just ignore those comments but they sure made my blood boil. So just be warned. But maybe your friends & acquaintences are nicer than mine (although I also got comments from total strangers, sigh).
post #18 of 19
My boys were 6 and 7 pounds when they were born at 39 weeks. They were very healthy, breastfed easily in the beginning, and we all went home immediately from the hospital. It's very possible to have big, healthy twins. I ate a ton, especially protein, following the nutritional guidelines from the Barbara Luke book.

I felt like you when I found out at a 22 week ultrasound that I had twins. I cried for at least a week. There was not one part of me that was excited about it. We went to the bookstore and I felt better after getting educated. Elizabeth Noble and Barbara Luke helped a lot (although I don't like how Luke uses scare tactics to get you to follow her advice).

The whole first year was hard for me. I got very little sleep that year, and although I loved both my boys, I couldn't understand why I had to have them at the same time. Then, one day I turned the corner. It just happened. Somewhere around the time my boys started walking, I started getting more sleep, and day to day life got easier. I realized that having twins is an amazing gift. We're so lucky. I absolutely love having twins. You work hard in the beginning for a huge pay-off.

The boys are approaching two and a half. They bring joy and happiness to EVERYONE who meets them. They are so wonderful and I am very proud. My life is nothing like I expected it to be, but actually it's even better.

Good luck to you. You can do it.

P.S. I had a hard time cosleeping & breastfeeding in the bed with two, so we three slept in a huge "chair and a half" recliner for several months. Keep that in mind as a possibility.
post #19 of 19
Great final thought from Spidermama. I spent about a month to 6 weeks sleeping in an armchair with my sons (after we had spent about 6 weeks trying to get them to co-sleep in bed with us) and it was a lifesaver. We suddenly all started getting more sleep. But one thing I wish we had done was invest in was a big recliner/nursing chair (preferably a rocker) so that it would have been a bit more comfy for me. Like Sweetpeas says, you can spend a lot of time sitting in your nursing chair, even if you don't sleep in it! My babies were evening cluster feeders too - my dp had to cut all my food up for me so I could eat whilst nursing! So you might think about making it one of your big investments.
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