We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
I was shook the day I found out I was expecting twins. My hands shook and my body shivered as my mind tried to grasp the unexpected future ahead of me.
After being a mom to two singletons (which is twin-mom talk for one baby at a time), I had no idea what to expect being a mother to twins. I knew very little about the challenges twin moms face, and how my life would be impacted, good or bad.
Having twins has both broken me and built me up to be stronger than I had ever thought possible. Besides hearing your typical twin mom rants about the bizarre and often inappropriate things strangers say, I don’t think people truly understood what being a twin mom feels like.
Here is my experience…
I think every new mom expecting more than one baby comes to the realization that this surprise will be cause for all the speculation to come. From the excitement that comes with announcing the news, to your body and the invasive curiosity you’ll inevitably be met with, your private life as you know it is over. No one can prepare you for the amount of of curiosity others have for twin pregnancies.
Oftentimes they comment about having my hands full. Imagine their expressions when I mention my two other kids. I loved (and still do) watching their shocked reactions. When people were curious how my body was adapting to two humans growing inside, I flashed my belly and got it over with.
Then there’s life after pregnancy. By this point I was kind of over the attention and quickly mastered the art of avoiding eye contact, cutting my grocery time to one quick excursion. Understandably, people are just naturally curious about twins. It did however place emphasis in my feelings of isolation.
Though I was surrounded by mothers with multiple children, I found myself yearning to be around other people who have had twins. This feeling of wanting to be surrounded by your multiples tribe doesn’t disappear after your babies are born. You long for other people who get it – get the exhaustion and the pain and how much you are constantly exerting yourself. I needed people who could relate.
I reached out to another twin mom to get support on breastfeeding, but was quickly met with disappointment. This mother, sent a long email filled with negativity – not the pep talk I was hoping to be inspired by. Instead, I considered never setting foot outside of the house and having my husband wake up for every feeding.
But something put a halt to my pessimism. I found it in me to fight all the negativity that had been clouding my mind and thanked this twin mama for challenging me to conquer the obstacles ahead. I became a mom on a mission.
I started researching like crazy from my couch. I watched YouTube videos on how to tandem breastfeed twins and I read every book possible and highlighted any tip that would give me independence. I even rehearsed in our twins’ empty nursery. I have to say, I killed it from day one and every bit of the planning had paid off.
In my life I have endured my fair share of pain. I have had stitches, a broken ankle, back injuries, given birth vaginally twice, and had a major surgery. But all of that pales in comparison to the constant agony your body experiences when you’re housing more than one baby.
The idea of giving birth was my only source of relief from the relentless pain my body was experiencing leading up to the main event. When I wasn't feeling heartburn (which could only be described as swallowing daggers), it was excruciating pain in my hips.
But I persevered. I moved from the bed to the bath, routinely. I clenched my teeth when I had to stand longer than five minutes and braced myself when I’d have to go up a flight of stairs, ready for the inevitable blackout. Enduring continuous agony has now made me super tolerant to pain.
Every passing week leading up to the birth of my beautiful twin girls was cause for celebration. Each week was another milestone, and the day my girls were out of my body I sat and watched, filled with satisfaction as my family and friends passed them around. I had done it. I created these two beings. The pregnancy was a marathon and I had crossed the finish line. No one can ever take that feeling away from me.
There were times I can honestly say getting the twins out of the house just wasn’t worth the hassle. Going out without help, even to this day is a major challenge, and sometimes I opt out because I know I'm setting myself up for a disaster.
I used to feel very alone in this, but I have found my peace with it. I have mastered many scenarios on my own and on the days I’ve told myself "why bother," I listened to my intuition without being hard on myself.
Let me just say that the amount of backlash you get from messing with a twins’ schedule is hell compared to when it’s just one baby. That I know now. But what's frustrating is the other people who don’t get it, and think they know better because they’ve popped out a few kids. What they don’t understand is when your baby won’t sleep, or wakes up screaming, there is about a 95 percent chance that their twin will too.
Almost every day as a twin mom is like a scene out of Sophie’s Choice. Both cry...who is currently my favorite? Haha, no. That isn’t how it goes. But yes, you are constantly in a position where you’re forced to make difficult choices many of which involve choosing one twin over the other.
How do I do it? I start by triaging the situation. Who was the original cryer? Is someone faking it? Who is dirtier/hungrier/in more pain? Is one of the cryers at risk of making themselves throw up? This is the way it has to be and my twins have the kind of patience my older kids will never know.
No one is as efficient as a mom of multiples. We know how to manage so many things all at once. We have nailed the art of creating an assembly line and using body parts for abnormal purposes. I’ve now discovered unthinkable ways in which my legs, feet, elbow and chin can be used for carrying, balancing and reaching for things while using the rest of my body parts.
Honestly, growing, birthing and raising twins is the most impressive, selfless, bravest thing I have ever done. To this day, I still look at my girls and am in awe of their perfect little fingers, toes and ears and think what an amazing thing my body has done. The fact that countless things had to go right to create my girls is not lost on me for one second.
You can follow our twin journey on Facebook and Instagram. You can also find us on my personal blog, Nesting Story and on our YouTube channel.
Photos: Sarah Martin Photography
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.