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  • What I wish I had known before I had twins

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    Nobody tells you about all the anxieties and weird conversations you'll have when you have twins.

    Congratulations on your double whammies! You are in for the best and most challenging adventure of your lives! Here is some information I wish I had heard from other twin parents before mine were born.

    Instead of taking turns with your spouse at night, you will both be up. All night. One baby will wake up first, and, after feeding, rocking and gingerly placing the first back into the crib (while holding your breath and crossing your fingers), the second baby suddenly will wake up. It is as if their cribs are booby-trapped, and you now face another screaming baby, who will certainly wake up the first baby, continuing the cycle. Eventually, they will adapt to some type of schedule (hopefully the same schedule!), and you will either get your sleep or perfect your caffeine regimen. Each month seems to get a little easier.

    Another thing they won’t tell you is how guilty you will feel about not being able to hold/feed/snuggle/bathe/change both babies at the same time. You will worry about their head shapes from lying down too much and they aren’t getting the same amount of attention and human contact. You will worry they aren’t eating the same amounts or pooping the same amounts, and one has a funky rash when the other one doesn’t, etc. because it is only natural to compare them.

    You will be concerned that one rolls over first, one sits up or crawls first, and one starts communicating first. You will be anxious about the twin who doesn’t pave the way and wonder what is wrong and how you have failed that baby. Those feelings subside over time. I vividly remember my anxiety when my son only said, “Yayaya” while my daughter had a handful of words, but now, at age four, he is actually the more verbal child. They will certainly follow their own independent developmental schedules!

    Finally, you will humor anyone at Target and the grocery store and your neighborhood and the park who stops you to ask if they are twins and marvel at how lucky and blessed you are. People swarm to babies in general, but with twins they just can’t help themselves and lose all control of their social filters. They ask bold questions like, “Were they born naturally?” “Did you do IVF?” (I even had an older man approach me during a walk and ask me, “How did you get them out of you?”). You will summon all the politeness you can muster to respond. Lately, I’ve taken the approach that anytime someone says something bold or makes me uncomfortable, I classify it as a story to tell at a cocktail party…if I can stay awake long enough to tell it.

    Congratulations and best of luck with your double blessings. Remember, life gets easier! Keep your sense of humor, and you will have twice as many good stories to tell along the way.

     

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