It was a big surprise even though twins run in both families. When I first found out, I imagined how my life would be all in double: double strollers, double cribs, double breastfeeding, double changing diapers... And all the double effort and time required as a first time mum away from home and family support.
I didn't have any complications except for my early, unexpected delivery timing. I delivered my twins at 33 weeks, which wasn’t a pleasant experience. I didn’t have my hospital bag ready. I knew there is higher risk of delivering earlier with twins, but I didn’t expect them that early! During my pregnancy, I kept telling myself how blessed I am for having my twins and that God knows that I will be able to manage with two, and that’s why he sent them. I told myself that he will give me all the strength I need!
A two way street
Each stage is challenging with twins, from breastfeeding, having them both sick with fever and making sure they both have the same amount of attention and affection, creating a routine... Also, you need to be able to adopt two different ways of saying and teaching things as they have their own characters and personalities. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation when you need to swap between two different ways of explaining something, so they will learn, or understand what to do and what not to do. This for me today is the main challenge — as a first time mum who is already trying to learn how to educate her child, but who needs to think about it even more as they are twins!
Mother of dragons
Being a mother of twins is like being a ‘Mother of Dragons’ — this gives me confidence and pride! The best part of having twins is seeing their bond grow and not worrying about how you can keep them entertained.
Routine, routine, routine
My advice to mums expecting twins is to have a routine from day one and to synchronise them. Also, make sure you don’t try to carry them every time they cry — they might cry for 10 minutes, but they will also learn how to self-soothe, to calm themselves and to sleep alone. In the first few months, it is ok to use pacifier — you will probably need it for one while changing diapers for the other. Have a routine and stick to it... being strict about a routine will give you more free time.
If you want to breastfeed twins, best way is to do it at the same time on a foam nursing pillow, holding a baby under each arm in an American football position, so you dont spend your entire day on the sofa! Between feedings, stay close to your new best friend, the breast pump machine, and make sure you keep pumping to be able to increase the supply and cover the twins’ meal needs.
Take time for you
Make sure you get some time to go out on your own. I used to breastfeed and then let my husband give the pumped milk for the next feed so that I get out for a coffee with a friend. This system meant I could have four to six hours on my own.