Welcome back to My Life With Twins! This is a weekly post where I share with other MOMs (Mothers of Multiples) about the ups and downs of raising twins (or more!)
This week will mark the seven month anniversary of Ellie and Emmy’s births. In this short period of time I realized how unprepared I was for several of the twin truths I’ve learned. I spent 10 weeks on bedrest before the girls were born, and I read and theorized a lot about how life with twins would be. Here are the real things I learned:
1. I was prepared for a premature twin birth. I was NOT prepared for an induction at term. Let’s face it. Birth hurts. Inductions hurt. Even though my babies were small (6 lbs 11 oz, and 5 lbs 10 oz) the real pain is the work needed to open up the cervix. the actual delivery was cake…sort of…no, not really. Let me leave it at my being eternally grateful for a very competent and calm OB, and a supportive birth team!
2. I was prepared for two babies in the NICU, or I was prepared for two babies rooming in with me. I was NOT prepared for one of each. I still struggle with the reality of not seeing my two girls side by side until 5 days postpartum. I am very grateful for the team that very well may have saved Emily’s life, but I mourn the loss of time with both of my daughters snuggled together with me in my arms as I recovered at the hospital.
3. I was prepared for breastfeeding to take a lot of time. I was not prepared for just how time consuming it really is! Since I was really only prepared for my babies to be in the same place at the same time after birth, I wrongly assumed that I would get coaching and assistance on tandem nursing while we were still in the hospital. Not only did I never get that coaching, I forgot how difficult it is to position small newborns at the breast. About two months postpartum I finally mastered tandem nursing, but I rarely do it! We are out in public a lot, and while I don’t mind nursing one baby at a time out in public…two babies makes modesty a real issue!
4. I was prepared for some baby blues. I was not prepared for super intense mood swings. The hormone fluctuations are soooo much more with multiples, and truly, you are getting so much less sleep. Be gentle on yourself.
5. I was prepared to lose my baby weight quickly (I usually do), I did not expect to lose an extra 20 pounds! Nice bonus to that time consuming breastfeeding.
6. I was prepared for some extra attention when out and about with the kids, I was not prepared for being a circus act. Luckily, I am not a shy or reserved person. And on days when I just need to get errands run, I split the girls up into two shopping carts and the Rev. and I divide and conquer.
7. I was prepared for the girls to be a little more expensive than my singletons, but I was not prepared for just how much they are NOT two for the price of one. I had two hospital stays before the girls were born, we had NICU and routine baby nursery expenses, we have doctor visits times two. I am diapering two, which even adds up when using cloth. Two highchairs, two car seats, big stroller, thankfully, still only one crib!
8. I was prepared for the love two babies would bring, but I am overwhelmed at how much I love having two babies in our house! There is ALWAYS a baby to snuggle, and there are TWO bellies to blow on and twenty toes to nibble!
9. I was prepared for a set of clones. I was not prepared for two very INDIVIDUAL babies! It has been a learning experience to figure out the ins and outs of these girls. They may look a lot a like, and share the same crib and birthday…but they are wildly different from each other.
10. I was prepared to love these babies, I was NOT prepared for how much FUN it is to raise them. Not a day goes by in which I do not laugh at one twin antic or another! This has been an adventure I would not trade for the world!
So, what has surprised you about twin parenthood? I’d love to hear from you!
If you know any MOMs or soon to be MOMs…send them my way!