Holy shit balls, you are pregnant...with twins! Now what?!
I often get asked what I did to prepare once I knew we were having twins, so I have pulled together a few top line tips of what we did in the lead up to the birth of the Nuggets. Luckily we found out at 6 weeks so had PLENTY of time to get our heads around it. It's amazing how many people still don't find out about their being an extra baby till their 20 week scan. Imagine? Or pre scans when people didn't even know till they were suddenly birthing a second baby, talk about shock factor!
First things first, sit down, take a deep breath and start trying to wrap your head around carrying, birthing and raising siblings born at the same time. I'm not going to lie, it's a big task so best to start mentally preparing yourself for it, it will be hard but it will be bloody awesome too! You will cry, have moments of despair, how can I keep doing this etc, but it will ALL be worth it. It's true what they say, double the love, double the kisses and double the gorgeous moments. You really are lucky to be on the journey to life with multiples, twins, triplets or whatever as they are really a blessing. If you are reading this and thinking fuck off Anna, this is a total stitch up and not what I wanted at all just trust me, I felt the same way. But one day you do look at your tiny humans and think god I'm the luckiest mama on earth, I may take a little while like it did for me, but that day will come for you! So just hold on tight till you get there.
- The scan that showed not one but two Reeve babies
Support - Having support is one of the most important things with having children let alone multiples. Some of you may not have any family close that you can rely on but you will have friends. Let them know early on that once the babies arrive you would like them to come help hold them while you shower, vacuum, fold washing, watch them so you can have a nap and to cook. It may seem like a lot to ask but it's not, if they aren't happy to help in that way then, well, they are a pretty shitty friend and you should be given the boot! You're fabulous friends who are happy to do this just need direction, so by asking/telling them what you need help with early on sets the precedence and helps give them the info they need to help you out with your new life. Trust me, you should use all the help you can get! A tip my friend of multiples told me was that she got everyone to text her partner to organise visiting times, that way she didn't have to deal with the influx of messages, organising times so there wasn't too many people at once or politely decline if that day really was a day that you just needed to hibernate away from everyone.
Stuff - There is going to be a heap of baby stuff, bottles, pumps, cots, capsules, car seats, nappies, wipes, clothes the list goes on. I laugh when some well-meaning person told me I didn't really need two of everything. Because other than sharing clothes and toys as they get older, you really need double the amount of anything you would need for a newborn. A lot of people wait till later in the pregnancy to start buying things, or purchase a lot after their baby shower so there is no double ups. I would start buying early, spread those costs out as much as possible. If you are having a baby shower then make a registry, i know it can feel weird specifically asking for things bu it will help people make better decisions and you will end up with items you actually need/want. Now with all this stuff comes lack of space, start organising early, de cluttering and figuring out where you are going to put all this stuff.
Ask - Do you know someone who has twins? Doesn't have to be a good friend, they could be a friend of a friend or someone you knew that went to your school. If the answer is yes, get in touch, send them a message and ask for their advice, tips, tricks and ask as many questions as you have. I knew no-one who had twins and since I have had the boys I have been that person for so many people who have come out of the woodwork that I have known somehow. Twin mums can give you advice that other parents who had singletons (such a weird word I never thought I would use till having twins) don't have and they are always happy to share and will go out of the way to help you out as they know first hand just how tough it can be! Your friends with one baby are awesome support too, but they just don't know how to settle, breastfeed or carry two babies at once. Your twin acquaintances will give you invaluable advice. This leads me to my next point. What to do if you don't know anyone with twins....?
First Aid - Look after yourself! Your body is going two/three/four babies and we aren't really designed to do that! Its tough on the body so listen to it carefully. My best advice is to see a womens health physio from early one, they can help you with exercises to help your stretching muscles and ease aches and pains you are having, Physic combined with an Osteopath really helped me when I was in agony from back pain. I see Stacey at RE:AB in Ponsonby and couldn't recommend her enough. She is amazing! If your tummy is getting rather large and heavy a support belt like a smiley belt can really help take a load off, think of it as a bra for your expanding tummy!
Join- Join your local multiple birth club and their corresponding Facebook groups. There are thousands of members and they are all very active and supportive with helping new mums out with their twin wisdom. Whats even better as when you are up feeding in the night and wanting to know something, chances are another twin mum will be online too. It's funny how many conversations are had in those groups in the wee hours. You can find a list of the clubs here and they are usually about $30 to join. You can join the FB groups without being a paid member but it is worth becoming one as you get a box of Huggies when your babies are born (that is your $30 back right there), you get discount codes for so many different brands/baby stores and heaps of extra support. There is a great event they hold every few nights called "New Parents Evening" where members of the club spend a good few hours giving advice on your pregnancy and the newborn stage. It's really nice to hear all the things they have to say and helps put your fears at ease. Jay thought it was going to be "boring" but I dragged him along and he was so glad he did go as it really helped him figure out his new role as a twin dad.
I have such a tendency to write really long blogs and the reality is that this is the tip of the iceberg with what you need to do to prepare, but anything that I haven't covered off will be brought up or brought to your attention by doing the above. If there are any other specific questions you have then post them below and I can pull another post together to answer them all.