Getting Ready for Twins
During the fourth month of my pregnancy I complained to my doctor about being short of breath. He decided to do an unltra-sound. “I know why you are short of breath,” he said after a few moments of looking at the machine screen. “See those two circles,” he said. I nodded. “Those are heads. You are having twins.”
That was almost 23 years ago.
Last month I wrote a short post called, Are You Two Twins? A NanaHood reader commented that she was going to be the grandmother of twins and suggested I write some more articles about them. She asked me several great questions and her questions are the basis for this post. I don’t claim to be an expert on twins, but I am willing to share what I learned.
How do we get ready for twins/multiples?
Besides the fact that you obviously need two of everything, here are some suggestions.
1. Color code clothing and pacifiers. Even though I knew my babies apart, other people didn’t. By using red pacifiers for Russell and green for Grant, we avoided getting them mixed up. I also dressed Russell in red, or at least put red socks on him and Grant wore green ones.
2. If there are other children at home spend a lot of time talking about the babies and what it will be like when they come home. Assure them that their help will be needed to help care for their new siblings. Involve them in decorating the nursery, or washing baby clothes. It makes them feel important and more excited about the new additions.
3. Invest in a good washing machine. If I had it to do over I would have bought a big, big washing machine. The one we had was average size and with five children there were mountains of laundry. A larger machine would have helped. Put a new washer on your wish list. Maybe Santa will bring you a new one….if you’ve been good!
4. Expect the unexpected but don’t assume the unexpected will be all bad. My doctor told me every possible thing that could go wrong during my pregnancy. I worried from the moment he told me that twins were a high risk pregnancy. He went into detail about every thing that might happen. My husband tried to reassure me that he was doing that because he wanted me to be prepared for anything in case something did happen. I know that in the medical profession there is a fear of law suits and patients have a right to know what could happen, but for worriers like me…it wasn’t a good thing.
5. Twins will more than likely be premature. Ours were due the end of January. In October I was put on complete bed rest (I’ll save that for another post-how to survive bed rest and keep your sanity). I had three other children to take care of and wasn’t too keen on going to bed for a couple of months, but the twins were worth it. They were born the day after Christmas, 4 weeks early. Pack your suitcase early, you probably won’t make it to your due date.
6. Get a support team ready, you are going to need it. The first night our twins were home my husband and I would get one to bed and the other would wake up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. By the time the sun came up we were exhausted and wondering how we were going to survive. Thankfully we had friends and family who pitched in and helped. If you don’t have friends and family near, hire help, at least for the first few weeks.
7. Should you breast feed or bottle feed? That’s a personal choice but I’ll share what happened to me. I wanted to breast feed because I did my other babies. I was 36 years old and had 3 other children. Breast feeding twins was not a good idea. By the time they went back for their 2 week check up they had lost more than a pound. The pediatrician told me to start supplementing immediately and within a week they were back to their birth weight. Within a couple of weeks they were bottle babies. Did it make me a little sad? Yes, it did. But their health was more important than anything else. Whatever is best for the babies is what’s best for you.
To all moms and nanas expecting twins or multiples, being ready also means getting your heart ready for twice the love. There’s no way I can explain what that feels like, but I can tell you it’s a good thing. A. Very. Good. Thing.
Tune in next week for a post on Bed Rest-Tips for Staying Sane While You Wait on Your Babies.