What you wish you'd known about twins (or multiples) - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-17-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
diana_of_the_dunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 1,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I just found out yesterday that I'm pregnant with fraternal twins.  I never in my wildest dreams thought about having twins, so this really threw me for a loop.  I have one DS who is 19 months old now and will be 26 or 27 months when the new LOs are born.  We're obviously going to need to have some kind of routine or process to streamline everything.  I plan on BFing, CDing, and co-sleeping with a bassinet or crib, which I'm already familiar with from DS.

 

What are your best tips for managing multiple newborns?  What didn't you realize that you wish you would have?  If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently?

 

Thanks in advance!


Strong single mama to Ethan (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12)
diana_of_the_dunes is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-17-2011, 11:27 PM
 
Smurfette2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Had I not been so cocky and a know-it-all, I would've slept my butt off during my pregnancy. I didn't get enough rest. I didn't enjoy my pregnancy. I continued to live my life and try to be the boss of everything instead of taking it easy and resting. Those are my regrets.

 

Now at 2 months we are having so much fun. They're so silly. They love laughing. They love interaction. DH's career path has made a sudden change and nowadays he fancies himself a teacher which means he's home with me during the day. This will only last until the Fall but it's been a total help around the house. Don't try to do everything yourself. That's another mistake I made early on. 

 

When our girls were about a week old, we started in on a thing called PT credits which means Personal Time credits. Everyday we earn two hours of PTCs which we use to take long showers, I get pedicures, run personal errands... stuff like that. And we're pretty liberal with the PTCs but we let them bank up too. So DH can use up to 3 day's worth (6 hrs) of PTCs on one outing. He loves to golf so sometimes he goes a few days without PTCs just so he can golf for a few hours. Without PTCs we have to squeeze in our normal stuff like showers while the girls are asleep which is a task in and of itself. Everyday I use one of my PTCs for an hour long nap in the afternoon. Without it, I'm a wreck.

 

Having twins is all about planning. I plan everything! Every outing, every meal, every task. I have to because I need to know whether or not I'm taking two babies or one and whether or not I will BF or take along bottles. Our lives are boring and routine but we use a wipe board calendar to keep track of our dailies. You already went thru the BFing phase so you know pumping is the biggest challenge.

 

I also have a teen who has her own teenaged life and really our lives orbit around her. Her high school schedule is the only one that must be met at least 6x a week (softball on Sat) so that's the one we follow. Kindle has become a good friend to me, so has the internet and typing really fast with one hand. I "internet" only while I'm pumping/BFing because that's the only time I'm stationary.

 

You'll find your own rhythm.

 

Congratulations on your twins! :)  

Smurfette2 is offline  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:51 AM
 
Molliejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congratulations, mama! I had a 22 month old and a three year old when my twins were born. The first year was a blur. Breastfeeding was SOOOOOO much harder. I was camped out on the couch all day in the beginning with babies feeding. I kept a pile of snacks and bottles of water within reach because I could not get up. You are going to need help. I am the kind of person that does not like to ask for help but I quickly realized that I could not take care of two newborns and two other kids all by myself. My father came every day for the first six months or so to help me keep the bigger kids entertained.

 

Twins are tough, but very worth it. Good luck!! 

 

 


mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

Molliejo is offline  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:51 AM
 
Strong Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in love with my hubby
Posts: 2,764
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I wish I wouldnt have listened to all the horror stories about how horrible it is to have twins. I was so scared my whole pregnancy and dreaded them coming. They are delightful, its hard, but nowhere near as hard as I ever thought it would be. Dont listen to the horror stories and enjoy your pregnancy. You will miss feeling the babes moving around after you have them, even though you will feel hugely miserable in the very end. Also, just go with the flow, let your expectations down and you will be fine. Good luck!


Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

Strong Mama is offline  
Old 05-18-2011, 09:26 AM
 
JenChaffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congratulations!

 

I never paid much attention to horror stories about dealing with twins. 

 

They were my first, so I did not have to worry about making sure that another one was cared for and feeling loved.

 

My recommendation is to nap when you can.  Somewhere along the way, I must have simply trained myself not to sleep.  This means that now, when they are 16 months and sleep well, I am totally exhausted all the time because I don't sleep at night, even thought they do.  Relax and enjoy as much as you can.

 

Another thing that worked for me ... (I know some people don't like this) ... I pushed them to be on a similar schedule.  If one of them woke up to nurse, I would get the other one up to nurse.  If one was obviously in need of a nap, we would encourage the other one to lie down, too. 

 

Oh, something we did that I think that we shouldn't have done ... When one would make the slightest noise, we would rush to get her out of their crib so as not to disturb the other.  I think that many of the noises being made were just restless sleep noises and we ended up unnecessarily waking a half-asleep baby who would have put herself contentedly back to sleep.  I now realize that when they are asleep, they can sleep through anything!  I recommend trying to resist the urge to comfort at every little whimper.  You can tell the difference between a whimper that needs love and attention and one that is just a normal sleep sound.

 

I love watching them interact.  It is amazing how different two personalities can be given that they have the same parents, the same environment, the same background, at the same time!

JenChaffee is offline  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Smurfette2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Mama View Post

Dont listen to the horror stories and enjoy your pregnancy. You will miss feeling the babes moving around after you have them, even though you will feel hugely miserable in the very end. Also, just go with the flow, let your expectations down and you will be fine. Good luck!

Great advice. As I said before, I wish I'd either kept a blog or took the time to actually sit down and enjoy our pregnancy. I didn't hear any horror stories, maybe because we had the first twins of either of our families. We make mistakes all day long and we're like whatever. We just roll with it. Twins are definitely a whole lotta fun. :)
 

 

Smurfette2 is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 12:20 AM
 
~adorkable~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: State Of Bliss
Posts: 4,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Mama View Post

I wish I wouldnt have listened to all the horror stories about how horrible it is to have twins. I was so scared my whole pregnancy and dreaded them coming. They are delightful, its hard, but nowhere near as hard as I ever thought it would be. Dont listen to the horror stories and enjoy your pregnancy. You will miss feeling the babes moving around after you have them, even though you will feel hugely miserable in the very end. Also, just go with the flow, let your expectations down and you will be fine. Good luck!



its funny that you tell her not to listen to horror stories and then go right ahead and tell that she will feel "hugely miserable"  i never felt that with mine, she may not either!

 

as for what i wished i had known? for me it was what i wished i had done, i wished i had spend a lot more time selfishly enjoying my pregnancy, it may have been my only one and even if it isn't it was special, they all are. i did not get enough pictures, thinking it would always happen "next week" well i went into labor and the rest is history.

 

 i also wished i had met my local parents of multiples group sooner, they have great events and a twice yearly sale that is saving me tons and would have saved me a ton more if i had gotten my premie sized clothes there. most local group have them, look it up in your town!


partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

 
~adorkable~ is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 08:41 AM
 
Shuli's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My boys were my first. The one thing that I regret was that I didn't sleep when the babies slept during the day. I was alone for most of the day, so I spent the time that wasn't with the babies catching up on stuff or talking to friends. But they were my first, so what did I know? The one thing that I am glad that I did was ask for help. It is very hard for me, but needed for survival of the first six months at least. There was no such thing as a visitor, if you came you either held a baby, folded laundry or otherwise made yourself busy while we visited. My boys were 27 months when I had my little princess and the same applied. The boys were in a home daycare setting, so I would ask for neighbors in the same program to pick them up for me or take them in the morning, you may need that for your older one. In terms of a schedule, I had one baby in the NICU for a week, so he came home on a schedule and his brother just stepped in line, so for me that was easy. I didn't wake one up in the middle of the night to nurse, I let them go on their own schedule, but they usually did wake up together or one right after the other most nights, which worked out for better night sleep.

 

Most of the time I found that you really couldn't plan too much, I just sort of went with the flow. I did pump though, so if I had to go out or DH and I had a social engagement I had something I could take with and that was a life saver, especially at restaurants or weddings. We also took the babies with us in the beginning and our social lives didn't stop just because we had two newborns, they just sort of fit in. They were pretty easy going that way. After a few months it wasn't possible anymore, but I'm really glad that we didn't stop seeing our friends or attending functions because of the babies. I think that I would have resented them if it wouldn't have been our decision to stay home. That's my 2 cents :-)


: wife to James, MoM to R babyboy.gif and D babyboy.gif  (Aug 2007) and E babygirl.gif (Nov 2009) and Y babyboy.gif (April 2012)

Shuli is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Strong Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in love with my hubby
Posts: 2,764
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Adorkable I was really talking about the horror stories of how hard it is raising twins, not the pregnancy. And most people feel hugely miserable in the end of their pregnancies, even with one. My babies weighed 7 pounds and 8 4. I was hugely miserable, oh and plus I had a heart failure forming that I didnt know about at the time. I dont think saying hugely  miserable is a horror story. I COULD go into how awlful the end of my pregnancy was in detail, but I didnt. :)

 


Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

Strong Mama is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 04:09 PM
 
foxynursejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congrats!  My words of advice are to take people up on their offers to help.  I was on bedrest for the last two months, and my mom had made up meals ahead of time and froze them, as well as coworkers coming together to bring meals over.  We used those during my time on bedrest and during the two weeks they were in teh NICU (I stayed at the hospital with them).  It was easier for my husband to pop one of those in the oven for himself and DS after he got off work, and I knew they weren't eating just junk.  Let a family member come and sit with the twins while you nap, take a warm shower, just enjoy quiet time.  My twins are almost 18 months old, it goes by so fast, I remember just finding out that I was carrying twins.  Good luck and congrats!!! 


Jolene, RN; Proud Mommy to Dylan (09/27/05), Bryce and Kaia (12/02/09)
foxynursejo is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Llyra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: right here
Posts: 9,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll add the suggestion to make sure that you are working on open communication with your partner. It's so easy, when things are crazy busy and everybody's running short on sleep, to start snapping at each other, dealing with each other in less-than-fair ways, and carrying around grudges or resentments. You may MEAN to make time to talk about it, but somehow the time never comes, and little problems get bigger and bigger. (As me how I know.... Make sure you have a few hours, first...) So I think that during pregnancy is a nice time to make sure you two have talked over each of your expectations and priorities, and to begin to agree on how to make the littlest bit of time in each day to spend a few minutes together, say something positive, or enjoy each other's company just a bit. It's also a nice time to agree not to let little problems fester into bigger ones.

I've read that the rate of divorce in the first year after the birth of a child is very high. The divorce rate after the birth of multiples is even higher. I don't think it has to be that way-- I think we just forget, when the little ones are demanding so much of us, that we have to take a little bit of time to nurture our own relationship.


me knit.gif, he bikenew.gif, my three reading.gif, sleepytime.gif, and fairy.gif-- and the one we lost angel2.gif
Llyra is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 02:47 PM
 
Imprint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Llyra - and others - sounds like very good advice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Mama View Post

I wish I wouldnt have listened to all the horror stories about how horrible it is to have twins. I was so scared my whole pregnancy and dreaded them coming. They are delightful, its hard, but nowhere near as hard as I ever thought it would be. Dont listen to the horror stories and enjoy your pregnancy. You will miss feeling the babes moving around after you have them, even though you will feel hugely miserable in the very end. Also, just go with the flow, let your expectations down and you will be fine. Good luck!

 

Even without mine born yet, this is something I quite agree with.  People - some in life, some in books - love to scare people expecting twins about how hard it is to raise two newborns at once, pulling out war stories that make them look like amazing survivors, while intimidating fresh recruits.... I'm certain it can be very difficult, and I'm prepared for that, but I also feel like Strong Mama's comment that 'they are delightful, it's hard, but nowhere near as hard as I ever thought it would be' expresses what I've come to feel is a reasonable way of regarding what's coming.  Hard work, but with a real payoff, and distinctly survivable.

 

Everyone's different, but many pregnant women in their last months do seem miserable with singletons, and the more so with twins; so I didn't take a comment about being hugely miserable as prophetic or doom-laden, just possible!  The intent was clearly to be reassuring, even in that event.

 


Julie, wife to my dearest friend reading.gif reading.gif since August 2009.  Mama to babyboy.gif Oliver & Lydia babygirl.gif, born August 2011.  Enjoying: slingtwin.gif and femalesling.GIFdh_malesling.GIFnursex2.gif 2twins.gifcd.gif, and looking forward to making baby food carrot.gif, and continuing to watch my wee ones grow  babyf.gifbabyf.gif.  

Imprint is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
diana_of_the_dunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 1,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm not too worried about after they get here.  I dread the possibility of colic, but I would with a singleton as well.  It's mostly the pregnancy that scares me, TBH.  I was all natural with my first, and the only intervention I had was for my midwife to rupture my membranes so DS could move into the birth canal.  I had a lot of fluid, and it seemed to be impeding his progress.  This time, I feel more threatened by c-sections, timelines, and the possibility that the babies could come early or have some kind of problem during birth.  I also have to have an OB attend the birth, though I'm not yet certain that he has to deliver if everything is going well.  I'll find out at my next appointment on Tuesday.

 

I'm also worried about finances.  I'll be out of work for longer than I was with DS, and we've been having major car problems that have all but wiped out our savings.  I really wanted to take a whole year off, but now I don't even know how we'll make it for 3 months.  I'm trying not to stress, but it just feels like life has dumped a lot on me all at once.

 

Thanks, mamas, for all the encouragement and for taking the time to comment.  It's much appreciated!


Strong single mama to Ethan (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12)
diana_of_the_dunes is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off