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What kind of help was most useful after your twins were born?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We've had family coming through all summer to help us get settled in a new city (very far from all family and close friends). The whole time we've been anticipating the early arrival of these babies and kind of assuming that there would be help here when they were born. Well here I sit at 39 weeks. No babies and anticipating minimal help. All of our immediate family are in academia, so this is a very hard time for them to get away. DH will take about 2 weeks off, though I think he will want to go to work in the evenings or try to work some from home, as he has no official leave since he is at a new job (he does have a very understanding boss though). SIL is planning to come out for at least a week at some point. She is somewhat flexible, but could be sent to help out on the Gulf Coast within the next couple of weeks. DD's nursery school starts next week (thank goodness), so she will be in school from 9A-3P. We will also be getting some meals from people at our church.

I guess I am trying to figure out what kind of help we will realistically need. My mom has offered to pay for a post-partum doula, but she is already lending us the $$ for our homebirth, so I don't want to take her up on it unless we really need it. I know I will be spending most of my time just nursing these babies. DD is on the spirited end of the spectrum and I'm sure will have lots of needs as well. I should add that DH is happy to do most of the cooking and will clean at my request, but I want him to have time to bond with these kids too...

When people say, "Let us know if you need any help?" what should I say? What helped you the most in those early weeks and months? TIA!!
post #2 of 14
unless your husband is going to be doing it you are going to need someone to pick up and drop off your older child. it would make your day much easier to not have to have a schedule and have to load everyone up twice a day, at least for the first month. then maybe set up a carpool where you only have to drop off or pick up once a day.

i had my mom and dad move in with me for 2 months after the twins were born. i was spoiled but then my husband was deployed in the war so it wasnt all sunshine and roses either. i would take any help people are willing to offer. tell people specifically what you need and when. Meals will be a good help but visitors will be even greater help. ask friends over so they can help with holding a baby, diaper changing so forth. if your mom is willing to help $$$ wise then maybe find an old granny at your church willing to come by during the day for a couple of hours.

with your oldest gone for most of the day you will be fine. you can take care of both of them. while you have your husband around in the beginning get the hang of tandem nursing so when you are alone you can nurse. the rest is really the same as a singleton. well just my opinion.
post #3 of 14
I don't have an older child, but we never had any "live in" help after our girls were born. A couple of my friends literally FILLED our freezer w/ casseroles (that were things they'd confirmed we like, since both dh & I are picky eaters LOL) so all we had to do for food was I'd bring a casserole up in the morning & leave it out to thaw & then dh would put it in the oven when he got home.

Our parents were here quite abit on the weekends & mom went w/ me to dr. appointments. When mom was here she would catch up on cleaning & laundry & such. But overall, it wasn't too bad. I think I'd be inclined to put the money toward a cleaning service rather than a pp doula.
post #4 of 14
When people say "let me know if you need help" - ask them for FOOD! Several of my MIL's friends got together and dropped off meals for us once or twice a week for the first month and it was amazing! We had absolutely no time to cook and I was ravenous from nursing twins. Get as much help as you can stocking your freezer, or having people deliver ready-made meals to you. You won't believe how hungry you will be and no one will have time to prepare healthy food or shop during the first weeks.

I had a difficult surgical delivery, so we also had a post-partum doula come at night during weeknights for the first 10 weeks. (My husband simply could not be up all night and still function at work.) It ate up all of our savings, but at least we survived.

I also had a senior citizen and a couple of teenagers come over as "mothers helpers" during the early months, basically just to help me hold babies (mine needed to be held all the time) and give me time to take a shower or do a minimal amount of cleaning. They might also be able to take care of the twins so you can have some one-on-one time with your older child. It was less expensive than hiring a baby sitter, since I was also home at the time and didn't leave the babies alone with any of them. Even a junior high student should be fine for that.

Good luck!
post #5 of 14
Lots of people cant help during the week much but I loved loved loved having a Saturday work day, when those who wanted to help could come over and do cleanign on Saturday.
I had a 16 month old when my twins were born and the dishes and the floors just haunted me.
make a help schedule and have it handy so when someone offers to help book them then. You wont call them later.
When they ask what they can do to help you can say "you could either bring a meal or come over on a Saturday to help with housework". Then when they say which they would prefer, pull our your schedule and have them pick an availible day.
I could have used tons more help than I received and more than I felt able to ask for. I think it is harder to go back and ask for help after an offer is made than to just arrange it at the time..
Good Luck
post #6 of 14
sorry, double post
post #7 of 14
See if Mom will pay for a maid service for a while. That was the one thing I needed most, and didn't get-everyone helped with the babies and me, and I had to clean!!! Having my dd do all of the laundry was great too-anything to relieve some of the household stress is good. Good luck, and I hope those litttle guys come soon!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone!!

I have been feeling that having a housecleaner come to scrub floors, bathrooms, etc. every 1-2 weeks would be more useful than a pp doula, and your replies confirmed that for me. I love the Saturday workday idea! I am terrible at asking for help, but my dh is actually quite shameless. I'm sure he would ask some co-workers to help out with something like this. (to dh's credit, he also is one of those people ready to help another at a moments notice. Didn't want to make him sound like a big mooch! :LOL )

I find myself wishing we had a chest freezer. Maybe I'll start scanning the classifieds.

We have neighbors whose son goes to dd's nursery school. He is only there until 12:00pm, but they have offered to help with drop-off. The school is on the campus where dh works, so once he is back at work it will actually be very easy. I am starting to think that if we could find a trustworthy highschool or college kid who could pick up Ellie a couple of days a week, bring her home, and then help with the babies or housework, so that I could get a couple of hours to focus on dd. I'm really going to miss her during the day, and she will be coming home right at the time of day when she is most tired, cranky and in need of TLC. Just brainstorming here .

Thanks again for the btdt suggestions. Of course at this point, I feel like these guys are just going to stay in there until they are teenagers, so all this planning might be moot! .
post #9 of 14
Our post-partum doula is doing overnights for six weeks and we seriously cannot live without her. It's allowing us to catch up on our sleep so that when she finishes with us, we won't be out of our minds tired to do the overnights. We bottlefeed overnight - I'm doing breastfeeding and bottle feeding (pumping and formula) and this has really helped us, plus she's got them tandem feeding.

If you can afford it, DO IT! Overnights are crucial !
post #10 of 14

Without our PP doulas, we would have been in very sad shape.

When people asked what we need, we said cd service and doulas.
post #11 of 14
I wish that I'd had a pp doula. I had no help except that my mother would come every Friday afternoon. Having a nurturing female presence that I could count on every week was really important for me. She'd usually make us lunch, help me with the babies, help get laundry caught up, hold down the fort while I took a shower. I was so tired that I really couldn't think straight a lot of the time & she would really help me focus on what mattered & helped me make a plan for the upcoming week. There were a lot more friends & family members that would have totally been there for me if I had just asked. At the time, I think I just felt like I ought to have been able to do it all myself but I wish I would have asked for more help.
post #12 of 14
We found a wonderful woman who would come in for 4-5 hours, 3 days a week and make my life sane again. She would first take care of whatever baby needed tending too - diaper, holding them while I showered etc. If I was nursing or napping she picked up - dirty clothes, towels, toys, washed dishes, swept the floor - all of this was so huge because I had a dog that sheds a lot and a 4 yr old that leaves toys and books all over the house.

then she would change my sheets - that had spit up and breast milk and some baby pee - aaaaahhhh they never stayed clean for long but for those few hours it was heaven!

When they got older and started napping more, I would run to the store or
pick up my older ds from pre-school without having to lug the car seats in and out. I would only be gone for an hour but it really saved me.

I would spend any spare money on extra help!
post #13 of 14
Hi there!

We had triplets in December - with a 2.5 year old older sib (DS). My recollections on this topic are quite recent! Here goes:

1. Night help, if possible. Its expensive. My husband and I paid for this with our savings. But it was the only thing that kept us sane -- and doesn't last forever as babies eventually do sleep through nite (BTW - and I did breast feed)! I found with a toddler to parent during the day it was a must. On those particularly stressful days - I recall that thinking "I only have to make it to 10 pm" -- really helped get me and my husband throught it.

2. Another option -- Help from 3 pm to DD's bedtime? Cheaper. DD will likely be much more demanding with your time. Help can be with babies -- You can focus on DD totally through play/dinner/bath/bed (which is so nice for the older siblings of multiples) - and skip out to breast feed/pump as needed - refocus on babes when DD is in bed.

3. Friends/neighbors offering help? Great -- Have someone set up a help schedule! If paid help is really NO option -- try to facilitate suggestion number 2 above through friends/neighbors offering to help -- have someone "schedule" them during that critical 3/4 pm to DD bedtime. Even if you can't get coverage every day -- as few as 1 or 2 days a week will really help! We had friends that came during this time 1 night a week -- and it made a HUGE difference.

4. Last suggestion. FOOD! Again - when friends/neighbors/family offer -- take them up on this. Family needs to eat. So hard for you to manage. And you will need to eat a TON while breastfeeding those twins! I was unbelieavably hungry when I breastfed my triplets - I ate 4 full meals a day with desserts - and weight fell off left and right.

Please feel free to email me directly. Would love to chat about all the interesting challenges and joys of parenting multiples with an older sibling! You are blessed - and about to embark on the biggest adventure of your life!
post #14 of 14
I would say a pp doula the first week or two. These women are trained to be useful and notice details that could turn into a problem (like engorgement that leads to mastitis, or saddness that leads to ppd). And because you are paying them, you won't feel guilty asking them to do stuff like mop the floor.

Get a freezer and start filling it up!! I really needed easy to eat breakfast/lunch foods. Quiche, waffles, bagels, muffins, etc. really help, otherwise I just ate junk/coffee.

Put a sign on your door, and read it into your answering machine: We accept visits of 1 hour from 2pm until 4pm to people bearing food. We got caught twice with "friends" coming over at 6pm and wanting to holding babies and eat our dinner, while we were trying to made dinner and put kids to bed. I am not so nice anymore, I just say,"It is time for you to go home so I can put everyone to bed."
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