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.

Twins

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.

IMG_2866

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m a twin and my mom would have loved these tips!

  2. Teresa Kindred 25 Sep, 2014

    Do you love having a twin? My boys are so close!

  3. Joan Stommen 25 Sep, 2014

    You’ve nailed it Teresa! These tips from your experience are just as important today. I was the support person for my daughter and it’s been a great ride ever since! They’re almost 7 now and it’s the truth…..the heart does expand to love all of them! The Moms of Multiples and other groups are great resources and support both locally and online. I help out at their consignment sales (great way to keep clothing/equipment/etc prices down) and their picnics & parties. Great post….love the series you are doing on twins! Well done 🙂

  4. teresak 25 Sep, 2014

    Thank you Joan, what a sweet comment! Love our grandbabies, don’t we!

  5. I was thinking it was me asking you that but when I looked back I couldn’t find the comment. Daughter is doing okay 23 weeks in and still working even though her hubby and I are throwing a fit over it but doc said he would allow it for a couple more weeks. Christmas Eve still but you know how that goes. I pinned this to our shared babies board. I know shenwill enjoy is as much as I did. At least being a boy and girl we wont get them mixed up…at least I hope not. Barely containing excitement! I also see you’re from KY that’s where I lived for 40 years before moving to SC 3years ago!

  6. Christine Crosby 26 Sep, 2014

    I love this post, Teresa! How handsome your sons are! I’m sure they are smart as whips and if they have your loving, kind and generous heart as well, you are a very lucky mom. You must be just busting with pride.

  7. teresak 28 Sep, 2014

    Thanks, Christine! I love them very much!

  8. teresak 28 Sep, 2014

    Nice to meet you! Congrats on your upcoming grand-twins! Twins are special. Enjoy! And tell your daughter to take it easy. If the doctor says bed rest take it seriously!