Top 10 benefits of Having Twins

Before I was blessed with my twin girls I was a pretty accomplished mom of singletons. My first three sons are very naturally spaced about three years apart, and son three and four are 23 months apart (which I used to think felt like twins). We then took a long break from childbearing and were gifted with twin girls just about a year ago.

At almost 21 weeks pregnant when I went in for my routine ultrasound, I was shocked to see two little hearts beating! That is when my life changed. That was the day I truly became a mother of twins!

At first, it was hard to see past the negatives of having twins. My pregnancy was higher risk. My delivery was a three ring circus. My babies were over a pound lighter each than my singletons were at birth. Breastfeeding was harder to establish in the early days. I’m only just starting to get regular sleep at night. My laundry is never caught up. Our whole family cannot fit into one vehicle. I’ve flaked on more than one big event for my bigger kids. We ate way too much fast food for a while.

And now, when I look at my one-year-olds and see the joy in their eyes, all I see is the good, the benefits of having twins!

So, here you go, my Top Ten Reasons Twins are Great!

  1. One pregnancy, two kids.

    Sure, I got as big as a tank. Sure the reflux just about killed me. Sure, my gallbladder threatened to quit. Sure, I got really, really cranky. However, I came out of it with two gorgeous little babies in just 38 weeks instead of 82 weeks. That, my friends, is a bargain!

  2. A Sense of Efficiency.

    In my younger days, I loved the book Cheaper by the Dozen. Not the movie with Steve Martin, though that is funny too! In the book, the father and mother are efficiency experts, and they use the children (all 12 of them) as experiments. Now, I’ve not experimented (much) with my kids, but I do know that the day I discovered how to actually tandem nurse the girls was the same day I felt like superwoman! Once I had both girls at home, my life fell into a pattern: feed one, then the other, change one, then the other, bathe one and then the other. I began to respond to the random stranger that commented that I “had my hands full”, that “really, it is easier than just one kid”. If nothing else, it shut them up!

  3. Always a full wash load of diapers.

    This probably belongs under the efficiency item but it works on its own as well. I cloth diaper the babies. I cloth diapered most of the other kids as well but I was always plagued by the fact that I either washed very small loads of diapers (which never seemed efficient), or I went too long between diaper loads (eeew factor). Well, let me tell you, cloth diapering twins is not only very efficient, it is affordable and no harder than using disposables. I daresay it is easier, as I never run out! It takes me just a little over a day to get a full diaper pail full of cloth diapers ready to run through the laundry. And when I change the girls I never have a dollar sign running over her head. And that is good, we have six kids, we have plenty of other places to spend that diaper money!

  4. Two babies entertain each other.

    When I had my sons one at a time, I always had to spend a lot of time building endless block towers or doing the stoop-backed walk around in circles. With twins, I make some towers and have done some walking practice, but mostly, these two just want to hang out with each other. Separate them and they will call across the room to each other. They are true besties!

  5. Two babies don’t always take up twice the space.

    Our girls still co-bed in the same crib. At around six months they went through a patch where I thought we would have to separate them as they began waking each other, and then we went on vacation and they shared a pack n play. By the time we came back from our trip we knew that there was no way we could separate this crew! I think when they outgrow the crib we’ll just move them to a full-size bed. We also only had one swing, and one of many of the baby toys. We do have two car seats, a few double strollers, and we HAD to have two bouncy seats.

  6. Twins take the attention off of you!

    Yes, twins cause a lot of attention when you are out in public. In the early days, it is wise to budget at least an extra half hour to all of your outings, as two babies in one grocery cart can cause quite a stir. The good news though, is that no one is looking at YOU! All those crazy gawkers see are two sweet little munchkins and they will be busy making smoochy faces at them and telling you how busy you must be…or that they wish they were you…or that their second uncle was a left-handed twin. It is no matter that you have oatmeal in your hair and yesterday’s makeup, and bleach stained yoga pants and the slippers that you accidentally left the house in. All the people see is TWO BABIES AT ONE TIME!

  7. Front of line privileges at the grocery store.

    Let them both cry, you will be out of there in no time.

  8. The best nighttime snuggles ever.

    Until you have had two babies who share a birthday snuggle on your lap after a bath, you have not really lived. Trust me.

  9. More laughter than you can handle! 

    Not a day goes by when my sweet baby twin girls don’t give me something to laugh at!

  10. Two times the kisses!

    Need I say more?

Chime in! Do you have twins (or more) in your life? What have been the hidden benefits? You know I’d love to hear from you!

 

My Life With Twins: Advice to New Mothers of Multiples

Yesterday the twins turned 10 months old. They sleep mostly through the night, they finally nap at the same time, they eat more solids and depend less on breastfeeding to meet all of their needs. In other words, they are getting to be a lot easier. I’m going to be a lot busier soon, as both girls appear to be on the verge of walking, but at the same time, I’m pretty used to keeping mobile babies entertained. This isn’t my first rodeo, you know!

A friend gave birth to her set of beautiful twin girls last Tuesday. When I went to visit her at the hospital and I saw those two tiny perfect little peanuts I gasped. They were both 6 pounds 5 ounces, a bit smaller than my Ellie was, and a bit larger than my Emmy. And yet. . . I could hardly remember my girls being quite so tiny, and quite so helpless.

So this post goes out to my friend, as she navigates these first tenuous weeks of adjusting to not one baby, but two!

  • Be gentle on yourself. A multiple pregnancy takes a lot out of you as a mom, especially near the end. Multiple deliveries are no picnic either, whether you deliver naturally, via c-section, or a combination of the two. It is likely that you lost a lot of blood, are anemic, and also very, very tired. So rest as much as you can, accept help when offered, and take things slowly.
  • Remember that babies are more important than schedules. As much as you really want to get those babies into a routine, part of that routine has to come from the babies as well. Spend the first few weeks paying attention to their hunger cues and establishing a healthy nursing relationship. It may be harder to breastfeed two, but it is not impossible, and it very well be your most time saving decision in the long run (even though it does NOT seem like it now!)
  • In these first few weeks, don’t try to keep the babies on the same schedule. If they fall into it naturally, fine (many MZ twins will naturally keep very similar schedules, DZ twins probably will not). However stressing about keeping two individuals on the same routine may end up being more work for mom in these early weeks. Personally, I relished time alone with each of the girls. I also think that they appreciate some one on one time with mom.
  • Get to know the signs of postpartum depression. Tell your family members about the signs. Tell them to tell you if you are exhibiting them. Seek help if you need it! The hormone shift after a multiple birth is extreme to say the least. Find a way to relax, be alone, and hash out your feelings. Blogging in my early days really helped. I know people thought I was crazy for writing instead of napping in those first months, but for me the writing was even more therapeutic than sleep!
  • Drink a ton of water. You need it. Your babies need it.
  • Take a bajillion photos. Write everything down. You THINK you will remember all of these crazy days. Trust me. You won’t. (oh and in those pictures, keep the babies in the same order all of the time! I still mostly have Ellie on the left and Emmy on the right!)
  • Chocolate.

So, it is time for you to chime in! What is your best piece of advice for a brand new mother of multiples? (MoM). Are you expecting twins, or more? Do you want more of my tips, or experiences? Ask away! I love to hear from you all!