I found out recently that one of my best friends from high school is expecting twins - and then I found out a few weeks later she is going to have a boy and a girl! My first reaction was abject horror for what is in store for her, but she simply asked, "Would you please say something positive because our other friend just told me all this horrible stuff about having kids and she's freaking me out?"
I had to think hard about that one. This was my initial response to her:
WOW! If you are happy about this, then - congratulations!!
If you are totally freaked out - join the club!
First - go join the moms of multiples group online. I think it's a yahoo group - I'll try to find the link if I can.
Talking on the phone at 5 is damn-near impossible - but the twins go to bed at 6 - can I call you then???
I still couldn't come up with anything positive to tell her, so I focused on the "her" part of the equation and told her that there would soon be a ton of things she had no control over, so to focus on the things she *could* control, such as:
1) you can control what goes into your body. eat and start eating a
LOT (if you can - I ate almost nothing but muffins the 1st trimester
because everything else made my head swim - and it wasn't in the morning
it was between 2 and 4pm) - I'll see if I can find that book that the
moms of multiples recommended to me - the bottom line though being: the
#1 thing that can help multiples (because almost ALL of them are born
early) is a higher birth weight. You CAN work on that by eating as much
as you can fit into your stomach every chance you get. I think the
recommendation was 3000 calories a day - which is actually a lot harder
than you might think - I had to enlist Ben & Jerry in my caloric achievements.
2) you can control where your babies are
born. If your OBGYN doesn't work at the hospital you want, switch OBs.
But - that can be disruptive to your sense of comfort, so make that
decision soon so you have time to get to know the new docs if you want.
Since most multiples are born early, make sure the hospital you go to
is a "Level 3" children's center (I'm pretty sure you are safe where
ever you go in Northern Virginia - both Fairfax and Fair Oaks were
classified level 3 when I had the twins) - this is because if you are at
a hospital that is NOT a level 3 then as soon as the babies are born
they will cart them off for the best care they can get, but you will be
stuck recovering from the C-section at the original hospital. I do NOT
mean to scare you with this - you are in one of the BEST areas in the
country for having twins and you will be perfectly fine!
you can control what color your nursery is, what the decorations are,
and whether they will start sleeping in the nursery or in bassinets in
4) you can control what information you listen to, and what you choose
to ignore. there is a LOT of controversy out there right now that I
SWEAR is the media trying to sell more papers/magazines - pitting moms
in one camp against moms in another. listen if you want, but take it
with a grain of salt. NO ONE can tell you and Hubby what is BEST for
your babies. They can advise you on what they would do, or what they
would do in certain situations but YOU TWO will be the best thing for
those babies and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
5) speaking of Hubby. There may come a time when you are overwhelmed
by hormones, fear, whatever, that it will be a BLESSING to have someone
you love and have faith in read all the info and make the decision.
There was one point during labor when the neonatologist was throwing all
the possible scenarios at us and my head was just spinning and I said,
"Hubs, you have to handle this." and he did.
Take one week at a time and try your best not to second guess yourself. You will be AMAZING at this!!
And since I still can't think of anything positive about being a new mom of twins, let's go with the sarcastic, yet fully-realistic tips for preparing for twins!
1) Set a timer for 1 minute and 28 seconds. Set another timer for 1 minute and 47 seconds. Hit "go" on both and attempt to finish a task. When one timer goes off, drop what you are doing, briskly walk the perimeter of your house, hope you get to the second timer before the beeping drives you crazy, set them both again and then attempt to finish the task you started 2 minutes earlier. Repeat.
2) Buy ear plugs from one of those large, warehouse stores - put them in the pocket of every pair of pants/shorts you own. Keep some in your purse, keep some in that little cubby in the car where other people put change (do NOT put actual change in this cubby after the kids are walking - they can not resist putting coins in the CD player slot.)
3) Buy diapers from one of those large, warehouse stores. (that was just for a joke, you really should sign up for Amazon Mom and buy diapers via Amazon Subscribe & Save.) My personal favorites are Pampers Baby Dry (up until size 3 and above, at which point, switch to Pampers Cruisers - they are bigger and hold more pee), and the Kirkland brand wipes, available directly through the Costco website. Something about those wipes, or how they are packaged, is just engineered better than Pampers, Huggies, and all those organic and all natural options.
4) Don't give your kids rhyming names.
5) Seriously, name them in advance, don't make that decision while you are hopped up on demerol.
6) Buy as much used crap as you can. People won't stop making those "two-for-one" and BOGO jokes, but they stop being funny as soon as you shell out hundreds of dollars on two car seats that you'll have to replace in 9 months, and maybe even buy a third just for the "car seat challenge" to get a baby home.
7) Take a course in commercial truck driving - this will acclimate you to pushing those giant double strollers around. Whether you opt for the "front-to-back" stroller where one baby gets to lay down and the other only gets a 170-degree recline, or the "double-wide," you'll have to put a sign on your ass that says, "CAUTION: This vehicle makes wide turns!"
8) Repeat after me: "why do you want to know?" You are going to get all manner of bat-crap-crazy questions from total strangers, and a good half of those questions are going to be personal in nature like "are you going to breast feed?" - "*how* are you going to breast feed two babies at once?" - "are they natural?"
Totally appropriate response to all those questions is "why do you want to know?" - it's so much more polite than "it's none of your damn business!" I had a little fun with the "are they natural" question one time though - I said, "No, we already have one natural daughter, so we decided to makes these girls out of plastic."
9) Start sucking up to your friends and family members now - you are going to be leaning on them a lot once the babies come. Schedule them to come over once a week to give you a 2-4 hour break and learn to nap during that break, not catch up with your friends. It's tempting, but you need to tell your friends in advance that you'll focus on them again in 6 months.
10) Go to a place with lots of puppies and let them climb all over you, slobber all over you, pee all over you, and if you are lucky, one of them will have an upset tummy after all that activity - encourage it to throw up in your lap, and then see if you can get one to rub it's rear end on your elbow. Then go home and get right into bed and go to sleep. Really give those smells a chance to take root and grow - you'll grow immune to them shortly.
11) Start watching cage matches on YouTube - this is what you can think about while the babies are pummeling you from the inside, and then again when you start putting them in the play yards so you can get one thing done without them crawling under your legs.
12) Start exercising your sense of humor - without it, you just might go stark raving mad. I used Facebook status updates to post my slightly twisted view of what the twins were doing to me and when - and it not only made me feel better, lots of people thought it was funny. You'll also find that special group of people who are up with you at 4am - roll call on Facebook can make you feel better when you aren't the only one slap-happy from sleep deprivation.
13) Speaking of sleep deprivation - it would be funny to tell you to start setting your alarm for every 2 hours so that you can get used to it - but in all seriousness - there is no getting used to it. You'll just be crankier for longer so get all the sleep you can now and luxuriate in it - it will be gone soon.
14) Start road-testing your friends to see who you can be honest with, and who you have to sugar-coat things for. I had a friend come over one time and start waxing philosophic about how wonderful kids are and how you totally forget all the pain and suffering they cause you - I had to interrupt (with eyebrow raised) and ask, "Exactly *when* does this feeling start?"
When I come up with an answer to that question, I'll let you know. In the mean time- get ready, you are about to face the greatest challenge of your life.
My dear friend Jenna Duffy is going for her first chemo treatment this morning to start the fight against a very, very bad breast cancer...
Breast Cancer. We all shudder when we hear it, and send up a grateful prayer that we don't have it. And then we think about the people...
I see a lot of discussion in the momisphere about cleaning the house while the kids are still young, or even while they are still living at ...
I'm usually not one to judge. I really didn't like the tone of that post that went viral the other week where the author was very c...
I am serious, I can NOT make this stuff up. Well I could, I *am* that creative, but what you are about to read REALLY happened. I may no...
This week's Theme Thursday is about "parenting styles." I know there is a ton of mommy wars going on because of one person ju...
The last place you EVER want to have sex is on the beach. I've heard so many stories from people who tried it, got sand in ALL the wron...
Now all you health-advocates and vegetarians, don't start jumping up and down trying to convince me otherwise. I haven't always...
So I'm going in a direction here that I really never thought I would go. It's been a rough week between the cramps, the plantar f...
Complaining is good for the soul! Get it off your chest, don't let those frustrations fester, and learn to laugh at your situation rath...