Any pregnancy is exciting, but when you learn multiples are on their way, things are just a bit different! You find out you are pregnant with not just one, but TWO babies (or more)!!! Once that settles in (trust me, it takes a WHILE), here are ten other things to think about before your TWO sweet bundles of joy arrive…
1 – You can only control so much of your pregnancy – While you will do everything in your power to keep those babies growing inside, they will come out when they believe they are ready. With this being said, continue to do everything in your power to keep those babies inside.
2 – Think past the pregnancy – When you are pregnant with multiples, there are so many things that could happen, and it’s easy to imagine all of those scenarios. Educate yourself, but don’t stop at the pregnancy. I focused so much on staying pregnant as long as possible and the birth of my twins, that somehow I forgot to think too much about actually taking care of them (not to mention the next eighteen plus years ahead). Yes, I got all the items deemed necessary to care for two babies, but most of my reading and research in advance was about the pregnancy and birth.
3 – Strangers will want to see & touch your babies – Just like strangers touching your pregnant belly (what?!?), they’ll touch your babies without asking. EVERY time I went out with my girls, the looks, stares, and comments were endless. The one thing that I didn’t expect was the physical contact. Before I could even react, people I had never met in my life suddenly thought it was a good idea to put their germs on my brand new babies (don’t worry – we didn’t go out much right away). Of course, they almost always touched their hands or face. No big deal that my children’s hands are in their mouth all.day.long. Please share your germs with their new immune systems.
4- People have many preconceived notions regarding twins – Many expect twins to be the same. So many twins get lumped together as “twins” and often lose their own identities (especially identical twins). Since I dress my daughters the same, many people (except family and close friends) confuse the two of them. I think they look nothing alike, and are much different sizes. But, since they are twins, I hear so many comments about how they look the same. People also assume they act the same too. My girls could NOT be more different. One is left handed, the other right. One is a picky eater, one will eat almost anything. One falls asleep almost immediately, while the other takes a while to fall asleep. As with so many things, one prefers vanilla, the other chocolate. So… twins are simply siblings that share a birthday and a special bond (and some do happen to look alike or act alike but not all of them).
5 – The twin bond is real – It may present itself in different ways, but seeing two babies interact from very early on is so sweet. Sibling bonds and friendships are amazing to watch too, but the twin bond is incredible and often times unexplainable. I’ll never truly understand it, but I love watching it happen.
6 – Ask for help but also set boundaries – This goes for any pregnancy but was much more important after our twins were born. You can use A LOT of help, as sleep is almost non-existent and life is VERY busy. We had no idea what to expect in those first few weeks so we were blessed with lots of help from family. While we were very grateful for the help, it was also hard for us to figure out life as a family of four since we always had extra people staying at our house too. So, ask for help, but remember you also need to advocate for your family time too.
7 – Twice the work, twice the smiles, twice the love – I may have heard part of this, but I didn’t truly believe it until I was in the trenches of twin parenthood. Taking care of one baby is a lot of work so taking care of two babies is hard. BUT, you really do have double everything. Seeing two babies grow together is so sweet and such a miracle.
8 – If you need two of something, make them the EXACT same – You won’t save yourself from every fight, but life will be much easier that way.
9 – Be on the same page as your husband (as much as possible)- Parenting together is so important with any number of babies, but being on the same page when parenting twins is crucial. So many things come up, especially in the first year, where you will need your spouse’s support. Sleep training was one of those things at our house. My husband and I struggled at first because we weren’t on the same page going into the process. Once we started, we realized we had to come up with a plan for the night before bed so our sleep deprivation wouldn’t cloud our judgement during the night. It’s never easy to make tough decisions, but being on the same page as your husband can make all the difference!
10 – Seek out other twin moms – This was crucial. Any support from other moms was helpful, but other mothers of multiples get you and your circumstances. Being able to fully relate to other moms helps immensely.
Where are my fellow twin moms?? I know you can relate to most of these. What else did you learn about motherhood after your twins arrived that you wished you had known earlier? Life with twins is extra busy, but it’s also incredible too! Enjoy the ride.