Finding out that you are pregnant with twins is both exciting and anxiety inducing. I know that when I found out at my 16 weeks scan (yes, 16 weeks! my scans before that the Dr said I only had one baby) Anyways, when I found out at 4 months that I was pregnant with twins, my first reactions was panic, disbelief and I thought the Dr was joking. Then I saw them. Two tiny little babies. Two tiny little heartbeats. My life changed yet again.
For 16 weeks, I was preparing myself for a little girl and then in a split second, I was preparing myself for two little girls.
Needless to say, my girls are the best thing that has ever happened to me and they are now big two year olds. Over the last two years, I have struggled, learned, cried, laughed, and became a mom I always wanted to be and I want to share some advice for new twin mommies.
1. Schedule, Schedule, SCHEDULE!
I can’t stress this enough. If you want any chance at sleeping, you need to keep your twins on the same schedule. Feed them at the same time or 10 mins after one another. Change their diapers one after another, and lay them down to nap at the same time. This Rock n Play was a life saver for me since I was a stay at home mom while my husband was at work. When I would feed Baby A, I would have Baby B in the rock n play until I was finished with Baby A. Seriously, the best thing I could have ever purchased!
2. Breastfeeding/ Bottle Feeding
A lot of moms have a tough time deciding what they want to do when it comes to how they want to nourish their babies. Breastmilk or formula? No matter what you decide to do, your baby will love you for it. Do NOT feel guilty if you try to breastfeed and it just doesn’t work or it isn’t something that you want to do..and in the same sense, do NOT feel guilty if you decide to formula feed. Your baby is happy to be with you and as long as there is food in their belly, they will be happy. I will be completely honest, I tried breastfeeding and because my girls were born at 32 weeks, they had a hard time latching and a hard time having the energy to nurse and it was extremely hard for me to nurse twins at the same time so I pumped until they were 3 months old and we ended up switching to Elecare because they both had MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance – info in another post) I was sad and it was very difficult for me when we switch from breastmilk to formula but now that I look back, it really wasn’t a big deal. My girls were healthy and happy. The Twin Z Pillow did help a lot when I was breastfeeding, so if thats the route you want to take, I would definitely look into it.
“Some women prefer to breastfeed each twin individually. While this is more time consuming, some mothers feel they need time with each twin to aid with the individual attachment process. Other mothers feel that time alone can be given in other activities and breastfeed individually only occasionally. Mothers who tandem nurse need to take into account the differences in their twins’ nursing styles. One may be a vigorous, fast nurser while one may be a slow, un-hurried nurser. Therefore nursing times may not be the same for each baby, even when they are nursing together.” – todaysparent.com
3. They will cry. Sometimes at the same time. You will be okay
You are a strong and smart mommy. Even if you don’t believe it just yet. You have so many ways of making your babies happy that you haven’t even discovered yet. There will be days that you think you can’t handle it, but trust me. You can. This too shall pass and a year down the road, you will look back and think “wow, they are a year old now”. Your mothering instincts will pull you through times when you think you can’t hear one more cry and will show you that you are a woman you didn’t know you could be. I believe my daughters taught me how to be the person I truly am and have taught me patience, love and strength I didn’t know existed.
Tip* Babies usually cry for 1 of 7 reasons
Go through the list and you’re sure to get a happy baby.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This was a hard thing for me to accept. That sometimes I needed help. I felt that as a mom, I should be able to do it myself but sometimes I just needed that extra 30 minutes of sleep, or someone to warm my milk to feed them while I slept. My grandmother used to clean my house while I would be playing with the babies and that was a tremendous help for me since I have OCD and hate a dirty house. I also had friends bring over frozen meals which was also huge help so I didn’t have to cook. Always welcome help, even if you think you don’t need it.
5. Always be prepared
This is something any mom can benefit from. Always bring extra clothes for your babies AND yourself. Put a little plastic bin in your trunk with extra diapers, wipes and outfits. You’ll thank me later. Bring extra bottles anywhere you go because sometimes a trip to the a friends house that was supposed to be 30 minutes, turns into 2 hours and you have hungry babies. Hungry babies/unhappy babies = stressed out mama. I remember one time I brought the girls to the Drs office for a quick checkup and it turned out to be 3 hours!!! I was not prepared and I felt so bad that I didn’t have enough milk for the girls. I never made the mistake again. Now I am over prepared at all times. I pack sunscreen, bug spray, Tylenol and baby Benadryl every time I leave the house and thankfully they all fit perfectly in my Diaper Bag Backpack. I swear by the backpack because when you are alone with your twins, carrying 2 carseats or holding two hands is a lot easier with a backpack instead of a diaper bag falling off your arm.
You were chosen for this because you are strong enough to do it, even when you think you can’t. You are their mommy and this journey is the most unique, challenging and exciting thing you will ever experience. You will struggle sometimes, and you will get stronger in the process.
You’ve got this!