One of my friends got the surprise of a lifetime a few days ago when she found out the baby she and her husband was expecting was actually TWO babies! (She’s around 22 weeks along.)
I had to giggle at her Facebook announcement because I remember the stunning shock of being told the same news and all of the excitement and fear. The overwhelming protectiveness, gratitude, and NICU time with my newborn twins flooded my memory like it happened yesterday.
Being a parent is an emotional experience. Being a mom of twins doubles those emotions and comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. There are some things that are impossible to prepare for when you’re pregnant with twins. Here are five things I didn’t know about being a twin mom:
Prepare yourself! When you shop with your babies, you will never make it through the checkout line again without someone telling you their own rendition of a twin story of someone they know or who is part of their own family.
Twins and multiples fascinate people. Twins are exciting.
People want to empathize with you. Everyone has a twin story to share. Twin babies are a double dose the joy, sweetness, laughter, stress, trouble, and an overload of cuteness.
I’ve been guilty of it too even after I have sworn I would never do that! I learned to embrace the stories and the twin community, (although there were many times I really just wanted to quickly buy the box of diapers that were needed the second I got out of the store to change the kiddo who was about to have a blowout diaper).
**Sidenote: I no longer experience this when we go places because Blake is 35 pounds heavier and at least 5 inches taller than Nora. I get way more comments at this point about having “my hands full” with five kids than twin comments although many of my friends with identical twins still get those stories.
People don’t seem to have a filter when it comes to twins.
I think people generally have good intentions when asking about your twins and want to know them individually but sometimes the comments can get offensive and borderline rude. These are all real comments I have received about my own twins.
Which one is the smart one? Which one is the good one? Well . . . you must be the active one. Which is the athletic one? Which one is older? Which one is the naughty one?
My answer usually goes like this, “We try really hard to let our kids be individuals just like other siblings so comparing them isn’t what we do.”
All of those people who gush about wishing they’d had twins say it with the best intentions, but they have no idea how hard it is to actually raise twins.
I always wanted twins myself. There is some kind of romance or uniqueness about twins.
However, just like having one baby is a lot of work, twins are double. You need to feed two babies. Your pacifiers get lost twice as fast. There are two times as many diaper blowouts. Two babies interrupt your precious sleep at night. Two babies need to go for shots. They need all the things—two car-seats, two high chairs, a double stroller, so much stuff.
The list goes on and on. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact. One baby turns your world upside down, double that and you have twins.
There will be times one twin will be easier than the other.
I can honestly say I love my kids equally, but they have individual personalities. I can also honestly say there are days I enjoy one child more than the other (just like any of my other children).
When my twins were infants, Nora developed severe acid reflux. She literally barfed on everyone—multiple times a day. There were very few members of our family or friends who really wanted to hold her because they knew what was going to happen to their clothes. Blake was a happy infant who very rarely spit up anything. I’ll let you figure out which twin people wanted to hold more often.
You can do this! Even when it’s hard, you have doubts, and are scared out of your mind.
There were times when my twins were newborns that I seriously wondered how I was going to survive the day. I couldn’t remember the last time I had showered, I was so sleep-deprived that I was barely functioning, and after an hour of solid crying from a baby who had barfed up every sacred ounce of milk I’d given her, I was seriously wondering what kind of cruel joke God and the pediatricians had been playing on me when I’d decided that I could breastfeed two babies at one time.
But that moment passed. I learned to go with the flow. I learned to take the good with the not-so-good. I learned to ask for help.
Since then years have passed, and my precious babies have grown, blossomed, and bloomed into two kiddos who I love with my whole heart. Trust me, sweet moms of multiples, you will get there, too!
From one twin mom to another, welcome to the twin club! It’s a journey of a lifetime—full of fun, laughter, and unique challenges and struggles . . . and every moment is worth it.