My first Twinterview guest post is with the lovely Jess who blogs over at ‘Mummy Of Boy Girl Twins’.
She’s kindly put herself in the spotlight and has agreed to answer a few questions that any new (or expectant) parent of twins is dying to ask… over to you Jess!
So shocked. We had been through IVF (this was our 3rd round) and we had 2 embryos put back in this time, so there was always a chance of having twins, but when they confirmed it at the 7 week routine scan, we couldn’t believe it! We were stunned! Speechless!
It was an amazing moment though and I will never forget it.
Did you have a straightforward pregnancy?
Not really. We were under consultant care throughout, and so we had a lot of appointments and scans, and were well looked after, however we also had quite a few scares. I had a bleed at 9 weeks which was frightening, and then one at 21 weeks – I went into hospital and was monitored.
I also suffered with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) throughout the pregnancy, which affects the pelvis, and I really struggled getting in and out of the car and getting about. I saw a physiotherapist which helped me manage it but it didn’t really cure it.
The tiredness was very difficult to deal with too, and I left work to start maternity leave 2 months before the babies were due because of my ability to concentrate and drive!
At the end of the pregnancy I also had Placenta Previa (where the placenta is lying across the cervix) — which can be risky — but, nevertheless, I carried the twins to 36 weeks and 3 days, which is pretty good for a twin pregnancy.
How was your birth experience?
I had been in hospital for 3 days; admitted due to my Placenta Previa – when my waters broke one afternoon.
I stood up and they just went! I panicked and called for the nurses! Within an hour or so I was made ready for a caesarian section (I couldn’t give birth naturally due to the placenta blocking the cervix).
Hubby arrived and we went to theatre. I had Harry & Lottie 3 minutes apart.
Harry (first) weighed 6lb 7oz and Lottie was 5lb 13oz. I bled a lot afterwards, apparently, and had to go into a special care room with the twins afterwards to recover.
Other than that the birth went well.
How did you cope with having twins in the early days?
I was incredibly tired and overwhelmed but we somehow just managed to cope.
Hubby took 2 weeks off work initially and we just got through that time together. When he went back to work my Mum and my Mother-in-Law came 2 days each a week, which meant I was only on my own on a Friday.
They helped me to change and feed the twins, and I tried to grab a few hours sleep here and there.
When I was on my own my twins fed one after each other, Lottie would wait for Harry. They were both bottle fed.
It did take a good 1 hour to feed and burp both of them – but it worked quite well. We got them into a good routine after a few months and they would feed every 3-4 hours.
Did/do you have an essential ‘must-have’ item and what is it?
Our swings helped; they had a baby swing each (from eBay) and this helped settle them whilst I washed up or popped to the toilet.
I also highly recommend the Baby Jogger City Select pram, which allowed me to shop and get about easily. Isofix bases for the car (the car seats clip into them) were a life-saver for time! Having a changing table downstairs with clothes, cloths, wipes and nappies also helped.
As going upstairs with two all the time is not easy!
What is the best thing about being a parent of multiples?
Watching them grow up together.
They now (at 2 years old) have an amazing bond, and special friendship.
They make me laugh every day. I am so lucky to have a boy and a girl and love their little personalities coming through. Plus people help you out too! Opening doors in shops, assisting to help and giving you clothes. Brilliant!
And the worst?
When they are ill and clingy. Really tough. And illness (colds etc) seem to last for weeks.
When they start fighting over toys is hard and draining. And when you can’t cuddle them both, or pick them both up at the same time. The guilt really hurts.
And finally, what would your top tip be for any new — or soon to be —parent of twins?
– Take as much help as you can you. I was too proud and wanted to do a lot myself but I wish I had accepted even more help on offer.
– Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Things like the housework, your appearance etc can all wait. Once they are older and you are in a routine you will be able to get back on top of things again.
– Don’t let everyone descend on you in the early weeks. Hubby and I had a few visitors each week and were strict on how long they stayed. It was too overwhelming otherwise!
– Get out as much as you can when you feel ready. I felt ready to get out and about around 3 months. I popped to the local retail park, went for a walk or just went to Asda! Anything to get dressed and get out. I then joined playgroup and a music class which helped with my sanity!
– Make friends with other twin Mums – whether it is through a group, or online. They made me feel normal and helped with great advice.
If you’re a parent of multiples— twins, triplets or more — and would like to share your experiences, in a Twinterview, please get in touch I’d love to hear from you!
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.