04 Aug Congratulations, It’s Twins!
By Erin Jones
Congrats, you just had twins…. now what? Whether this is your first kids or a double addition to a child or children you already have, you are in for a treat.
I remember the day we found out we were pregnant with twins. I felt overwhelmed with many emotions: one being thrilled and one asking myself how will we do this? It was such a blessing!! I, like many others, struggled to get pregnant and then to find out there would be double the fun, I couldn’t wait.
Amelia and Emerson, beautiful and healthy twin girls, were delivered on October 8, 2005. They are fraternal, one redhead and one blonde. Like most twins, the girls arrived a little preemie weighing in at 5 lbs. 11 oz. and 5 lbs. 13 oz. (yes, 12 lbs. of baby). Of course, like any parent, I fell completely in love with these little bundles.
The girls both did well. However, Emerson’s temperature would not regulate to a normal level so when I was released from the hospital my babies were not. For a hormonal mom – this is probably one of the most awful feelings in the world because immediately the worries began. Are they being fed on time? Is there enough to feed them? Are they sleeping? Do they need to be cuddled? Those are just a few questions that ran through my head. However, I knew in my heart and head that they were well taken care of with nurses and doctors monitoring them constantly. I spent four days and nights back and forth to the hospital every 4-5 hours. It was exhausting and exciting all at the same time.
Emerson’s temperature leveled once they put the girls in a crib together (yes, what they say is true, twins need each other).
On the seventh morning, a Saturday, we went to feed them and the pediatrician said, “Are your car seats ready?” I looked blank and said “What? They are coming home?” In my head I said, “Seriously, how am I going to do this?” (NOTE: This is the moment you realize their life is now in your hands and that’s scary for first time parents, and IT’S OK to feel that way!)
As with any parents with newborns, you enter a world of the unknown and you just have to go with it. The adjustment period for bonding with your baby, or in my case babies, takes weeks. You have to get to know each other, figure out what those cries and screams mean , and have patience even though you are tired as heck.
Things I learned as a new parent of twins:
1) You will be in a haze the first 12 weeks, at minimum.
2) Your days are nights and nights are days: it doesn’t really matter to your newborns and you must give up control.
3) You will mess up, again and again: babies are more resilient than you think.
4) Throw out the schedules for the first few weeks: you can read book after book about how to get your babies on a schedule but take the pressure off yourself and your partner – your babies have another plan.
5) Moms: do not try and be the feeding hero, ask for help. Otherwise, you will be a hot mess. With twins, especially, you need some extra arms. I breastfed them both at the same time and worked on my computer (typically that is not recommendedJ).
6) Sleep: try and get some. The absolute best advice I ever read was to trade off 4-5 hour blocks with your partner or another trusted helper. You may even feel like a human again. Realizing someone has your babies for that amount of time will be the best moments of your early parenting life.
7) Enjoy the moment: kids grow up so very fast. You close your eyes and they are talking back. So, it’s ok to STOP what you are doing; there is nothing more important than being with your babies.
8) Set limits: early on it is important to set limits on visitors (unless you are practicing tip #5 and asking for help). Learn to say it’s not a good time. Even though you want to share your bundles with the world, you must be able to say no.
9) Give YOUR body time to heal: though parenting is very busy, always remember you will be a better parent if you take time to heal.
10) Snuggle: you really can’t spoil a newborn (at least that’s what I believe). Snuggle, love, and kiss those babies as much as you can.
There is a world of parenting styles and suggestions out there, and these are just a few things I found helpful to remind myself of early on. Parenting one baby is fun but tough—and parenting two babies doubles the joy and the challenge!