What to expect when expecting...twins?
Calling moms of multiples! What special tidbits should moms who are expecting twins (or more!) know about those crucial 9 months and beyond?
First off, it's an amazingly crazy, fun ride! With that said, buckle up.
Make sure to have your bags packed a little early as twins often make (or at least try to) their entrance into this world a little earlier than singletons. My girls (identical) tried to come at 31 weeks and we had nothing ready... After a 1 am sudden surprise of sharp pain we rushed to the hospital and there i stayed for 3 more weeks!!! Although I have a wonderful husband who made several trips to the house to get just the right outfits for the girls, i would have loved to have been able to pack that my self.
Must mothers of multiples need to prepare for some sort of "rest". Some may just be restricted on how much they should be on their feet, or lift and some will have complete bed rest in a hospital, like I did. Worse case scenario,I was in the antepartum area of the local hospital on bed rest. One shower and one wheelchair ride a day,the rest of my 24 hours were in bed.
We had LOTS of ultrasounds, various monitoring, and doctors visits. But, it just gives you more chances to see your little miracles as they grow, opportunities to hear their little hearts beat away and time to ask all of the questions you may think of. From 28 weeks to 32 weeks we had ultrasounds every two weeks and then every week after that. (who ever said two babies for the price of one was so wrong, lol)
Get your babies on the same schedule from day one. When one of the babies wakes up to eat, wake the other (from the very first feeding). They will get hungry at the same time almost right away this way. That way you won't we constantly feeding one or the other.
If you are planning on breast feeding, it is possible! I currently breast feed our girls exclusively. It took a lot of work, a few tears in the first few weeks, and several days where I swore up and down that I was done (and I really meant it this time). But, after 9 weeks of feeding them, then pumping, and then bottle feeding them the pumped milk, we got it down and they eat from the breast exclusively (well except when I am at work, then they eat pumped milk). If you bottle feed put them both in a bouncer, car seat, or place then side by side on the bed and feed them at the same time. Then, they will ideally need to poo at the same time and sleep at roughly the same time, allowing you time to get the elusive shower.
If you have g/g or b/b it is nice to have matching clothes but after spit up and poo they don't often match each other in a few hours. So, don't stress if they aren't both in the cute strawberry outfit that your mom got them.
You don't need two swings, two bouncers, two of everything... You can always have one of the babies in a swing while the other is in the bouncer, later in the day, switch. And, one of the babies might not like to swing (or bounce,ect), in this case a second item would be utterly useless. Also, all that gear takes up a lot of space ( a hot commodity at this point).
And, most of all, try to remember you will now have twice, three times, or more to love, to laugh with and to watch grow. It is truly a blessing to have multiples.
Oh and remember nail polish for those of you having identical twins... We painted one of our girls big toe nail so that we could tell them apart in the beginning. It was a lifesaver.
We loved the idea of having twins from the start. Before I found out I was even pregnant, let alone w/twins, I felt nauses a couple times and was tired. After I found out it was twins I still continued to have the morning sickness and was tired all the time. The doc. said that's common w/twins. I wasn't like that w/my other 3 pregnancies (singletons). I had more frequent apps. and ultrasounds. My doctor said to eat more red meats b/c of the iron in it. By the time I got to about 6 months or so I started to get backaches from having so much weight in my belly (the twins). By the time I got to 8 months I could barely stand long enough to wash dishes or even sweep the floor! My doctor decided to induce at 37 weeks due to a 25% weight difference in the babies. (It's hard to tell how much longer they would have stayed in there, lol) They weighed, Baby A, 4.13, Baby B, 5.13. No NICU time at all. They are b/g twins and completely different. As w/every other baby out there they learn at their own pace and, w/my twins, they usually don't start doing the same thing at the same time.
As for supplies after they're born...I use one BIG diaper bag...double stroller of course (mine's the kind w/one seat in front of the other). We have 2 walkers, still need to get 2 high chairs. Only one bounce, one swing, one baby tub (Kind of impossible to bathe 2 babies by yourself at once, lol). I know I've said a lot already so I guess I'm done. But I would like to add that having twins is awesome! You get twice the love!
Wow I would just like to say that I am currently 29 weeks pregnant with g/g twins and I have to say these comments really helped me. I have no idea what to expect, even though I have a friend who has twins.All of these comments seem logical and practical. I am hoping to get my hospital bag packed this week as well as washing up all the baby clothes we have and packing their bag. I have 2 gorgeous daughters already (4 and a half and 2 and a half) so I have an idea on actually having babies but the twin part is a whole new experience for us. Thanks ladies for all the advice. I know I will be helped alot by it all. Thanks agin!
Wow! So much to look forward to.
Most important thing to know in our case was that twins very often come early. We were considered a bit late having ours at 35 1/2 weeks, it seems!
So get organised and have a bag packed (we didn't) and don't forget your camera!! (we did)...
Eat really healthy food while pregnant, and your kids will likely follow your diet later. Lots of fruit and veg. Our guys love them their fruit.
Don't feel you need to get two of everything. Portacots can be shared for at least the first eighteen months. Two bathseats is a great idea if you are planning to bathe them together in a tub. Saves your back and is great fun for the small babies.
But a twin stroller is a great idea. And if you are thinking you might have another kid any time in the next three years, get a stroller that you can add a third seat to. We didn't (first stroller was the Maclaren twin), then had another kid and had to get another twin stroller (Valco twin runabout with joey seat) which was another big fat bill!
Try to breastfeed if you want to, and don't be afraid to comp with formula if you don't have the supply for two. They love the breast, and the bottle is very practical. You will then hopefully have no trouble moving them onto bottles, cups and the like when the time comes. And you can hand the baby to someone with a bottle and run away!
Most of all, make them sleep at the same time. Best way to do that is get them wet and cold with play in the pool or even in a bucket of water, then give them a good feed and stick them in bed nice and cosy.
It is the best feeling hugging two little babies (or more) at once!!
Patience, patience, patience. Problems don't just double, the go up logarithmically. so be patient. be ready for unexpected problems not associated with a single birth. My family seems to tend to multiple births, and i would love to BE one, I have watched ALL my sisters have twins. ALL were overwhelmed. We had to pitch in to help them no matter how extensively they planned ahead. So my thoughts... be sure to enlist ALL the family help you can find! And be prepared to experience one of the most exciting times of your life. Not a lot of specifics, just let yourselves be open to the future of strange events and wonderful joys.