Another Twin Mummy
Author: Brea Walker Date Posted:23 February 2016
When I introduce myself to people as a mum of 3, step mum to 1 and business owner – the usual response is “Wow you have your hands full”. Add in all the other tasks that we all do as mums and yes my life can be hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I happen to mention that I have twin boys the usual comment is “I don’t know how you do/did it”. My response is usually “You just DO”.
This is my story:
Congratulations – You are expecting twins
We were lucky enough to find out pretty early on that we were expecting twins. I remember going to the local christmas carols with my family and best friend and stating that at under 10 weeks pregnant; all my clothes were tight and I couldn’t comfortably wear my work pants/skirts. We just laughed it off because we all know that you don’t normally show that early on your first pregnancy.
Hubby and I attended our very first obstetric visit at the 12 week mark. Looking at all the magazines in the waiting room, we found ourselves laughing at all the double prams. Little did we know that our lives were about to change forever. Our obstetrician started the ultrasound and took a little bit of time before asking my Husband, Adrian a question. “What is this”, he said pointing to screen. Adrian replied “The baby”. The obstetrician then pointed to a lower part of the ultrasound and asked “Then what is this”. Nieve as we were Hubby said “I don’t know – Feet?”. I was starting to feel a little nervous thinking that there was something wrong but then he said “ANOTHER BABY”.
Adrian went a little grey in the face and I think my whole life flashed by me as I tried to take in what we had just learnt. Twins…. Wow twins. What really goes through the mind of a parent when they find out they are having twins?
Mother – I have to somehow push two babies out. How am I going to do this.
Father – Who’s your Daddy!!!! I have super sperm.
We were sent off for an urgent scan to check what type of twins we were expecting. Most people only think of two types of twins….. Identical or Fraternal but you would be surprised to know that there is more to twins that you think. First you are categorised into whether your babies have 1 placenta or 2 placentas and then categorised to whether there is 1 sac or 2 sacs. You are then given your twin type. This is a basic understanding of twin classification – it does get a lot more complicated. Our twins were classified as DCDA which means they each had their own placenta and their own sac – they just shared the womb. The majority of these babies are called Fraternal twins however there are a small percentage that are identical (due to the egg splitting in the first couple of days).
Preparing for Twins
I always wanted to keep the gender of my babies secret. That was until I was informed I was having twins. All I cared about know was that I had two healthy babies. I wanted to be organised as I knew that getting to shops to purchase boy or girl specific items would be limited after they were born. At 20 weeks, we found out that we were expecting boys. This meant we were not going to know whether they are identical or not until after they were born.
I then had the task of figuring out what items I would need to purchase for twins.
- Two Cots & Bassinets
- Two Car Seats
- Two Bouncers/Swings/Jumpers
- Two baby carriers
- Two baby monitors (I had to have the state of the art ones that monitored breathing)
- Twin Pram
You can go extremely crazy buying for twins but you do not always need 2 of everything. We purchased two cots that had a bassinet that sat on top of the cot (although we did not use these for long). We bought two car seats (we did not bother with capsules as I was not strong enough to carry two at the same time). We purchased 1 swing and 1 bouncer and I was lucky enough to pick up 2 carriers second hand. I did buy two baby monitors and a twin pram.
The Twins arrived
No matter how much planning you do, you are never fully prepared for twins. Twins have a tendency to come earlier than one baby. This means they are likely to spend time in the special care unit and are likely to have some latching issues due to their early birth. I planned to have a natural birth for the twins. I had read plenty of books and was certain that I would follow a set routine for twins for breast feeding and sleep. They were not going to be given a dummy and they would sleep in their own beds.
How much of this was a reality….
- Twins were born via C-Section at 35 weeks
- They went into Special Care for 2 weeks
- They were given Gumdrop Pacifiers in Special Care
- I had to express breast milk for them whilst they were in special care.
- They did latch but were not good feeders and often unlatched – taking over an hour each on each feed. I had to express milk after every feed to top them up.
- After 3 months on the planned routine of breast and express feeding I was completely exhausted – spending most of my nights in their nursery feeding. We made the decision to formula feed exclusively
- Last night one of the twins was in our bed on and off from 3.30am
Coping with twins
I really struggled on a personal note not with the twins but with social media during their first 2 years. It was pure jealousy and I couldn’t help myself. I would see posts about their babies sleeping through at 2 months of age; how much housework and cooking they have completed or the all time best post “Parenting is a breeze – I am so bored and have watched all the reruns of …. show”. Then there was the photos of trips to the zoo, the park, the beach and designer outfits…. Here was myself, not even able to leave home without one of the twins bolting in the opposite direction or arching their backs in the car seat. The struggle was not with physically having twins, it was a bitter case of “Grass is always greener on the other side”.
Yes I did struggle to breast feed, they did not sleep through the night until well and truly after their first birthday, my house often looks like a cyclone has hit it (even today), the tantrums are exhausting and the bruises they have left on each other from biting are beyond belief but….
My boys are happy, healthy nearly 3 year olds. They amaze me everyday on how well they are talking – Luca asked me last night “Can I please have an apple”. I am not having to remind them to use their manners and they are starting to understand consequences. They can count to 10 and sing the alphabet and are starting to recognise them on a piece of paper. They love to sing and dance and happily play as individuals and together (most of the time)
So for those that want to know what it is really like to have twins. As I have now experienced the first 3 months with a single baby, I would have to suggest that you write down everything you do for your 1 baby in a day – Then multiply that by three. Why three you say? Think of your darling little toddler who has finished their dinner and throws it to the floor. Now think of your second little toddler who may not of been finished but thought that their twin was extremely funny for doing that. Well he doesn’t just throw it on the floor. NOOOOOO……. He first off grabs the food in his hand and throws it at the wall then he will rub what is left in his hands on the highchair, then the bowl will be tossed 2 times as far as his twin.
How do you survive twins? Who knows…. We just do. You pick up those bowls, wipe down the walls, pry the spaghetti from the floor and then place your filthy toddlers in the bath to soak and play whilst you spray down the highchairs in the shower. The good news is they do start to reduce the amount of bowls they throw and more food does eventually start making it into their mouths.