Multiple Birth Pregnancies: Two Sets of Twins!
We Had Twinstimes2!
How We Survived Back to Back Twins
I was thirty-one when we found out we were expecting twins. My husband and I were psyched. Starting my family late, I kidded that I was being efficient with my time. I had some serious time to make up. My Mom had six kids by this age. My Mom assured me that it was not a race and that I did NOT need to have nine kids like she did. I agreed. This was not my goal, but we did want a couple of kids.
At this point, my step daughter was only eleven. She had been an only child up to this point and was excited for some siblings.
I had an ultrasound at eight weeks. I am not certain if I was even looking at the monitor at the time or just feeling incredibly awkward having an internal ultrasound. If you don’t know what that entails, look it up. So the doctor said something about two sacs or two babies or two something. Honestly I don’t even remember. What I do remember is all of the thoughts that rushed through my mind. We were in the process of looking at a second property. I had commented that maybe I would go back to work after our first child, but stay home after the second. Suddenly these all rushed to the forefront of my mind. I recall looking at my husband and saying, “We aren’t buying that house and I am not going back to work!” I don’t know what he said for certain, but I am guessing it was along the lines of, “Yes, Dear!”
We Were Having Twins
I didn’t feel any different. It was surreal. I called my parents and they were excited. I left a message for one sister saying, “Hey. I had the ultrasound. Both heart beats are strong. Talk to you later!” She was freaking out when she called me back.
I am the youngest of nine kids. My mom had great pregnancies. Apparently I was bred to breed! I laugh at this statement because I wasn’t the teenage girl that wanted to babysit. I would rather cut grass.
I never had morning sickness. I was tired until about seventeen weeks but this was typical of twin pregnancies. We had our detailed ultrasound at twenty weeks or so. They confirmed two healthy babies. We were so relieved. We were open to knowing the gender. I felt like I had a bit of extra planning to do with twins. We found out we were having two boys.
Identical or Fraternal Twins?
We were told our babies were fraternal twins. This meant less risk to the babies and me. The doctor gave me a great analogy that helped us understand how they could tell they were fraternal vs. identical since they were both boys. There are a few different scenarios. She told me to think of it this way. The sacs the babies are in are like a bedroom. The placenta which provides nutrition for the baby is like a bed.
1. You can have two bedrooms and two beds. This is the best case since the babies were not sharing anything. These are always fraternal twins. This is what we had.
2. You can have one bedroom and two beds. This is the next best case, but there is more risk due to running out of space or shared amniotic fluid. These can be fraternal or identical twins.
3. You have one bedroom and one bed. They are sharing everything and there is a risk for Twin to Twin Transfusion as they are even sharing blood. This is the most risky and these are always identical twins.
Even though we had the best scenario fraternal twins, I still had checkups every two weeks. We needed to make sure I was progressing well, the babies were growing properly and that there was no need for bed rest. I stopped going to work every day at thirty-four weeks. Getting ready in the morning was wiping me out! I was in IT (Information Technology) so I could easily work from home. I took a week off before I had the babies. Not sure what I did because I was very uncomfortable.
Our First Set Of Twins at One Week
Our Twins Are Born
At thirty-seven weeks and two days, I had a scheduled C-section. The boys were healthy and never went to NICU, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is common for twins but I had technically carried them full term. They weighed 6 lbs 3 oz and 5 lbs 12 oz They came home when I did. We were so fortunate.
Our Life With Twins Begins
The first weeks were an absolute blur. I bottle fed so my husband and I both enjoyed the night feedings. We would each take a baby through the night. You were responsible for him the whole time. It was a crap shoot. Just because your baby was good last night and slept well, that was not a guarantee for the next time. I even recall my husband feeding my baby one time and not feeding his at all. He insisted on feeding the kids on the couch downstairs. I fed them in the chair in the upstairs hallway. We would cross paths on the stairs and not even say a word. We were super tired! Aaahhh….good times.
We Are Expecting Twins Again!
We actually wanted another baby close in age to these two. We knew we wanted more than two and I enjoyed having a sibling close in age. You figure the next one will be one and then the three of them will be very close in age and grow up as friends. I had a sister with twins and a singleton thirteen months later. It worked for her.
We found out we were expecting when the twins were nine months. This was a pretty easy stage. The kids were sleeping well and they were good babies. I was not stressed out. This was planned.
Twin Ultrasound Eight Weeks
Another Set Of Twins
I had an ultrasound at eight weeks again. I was watching the monitor this time. I know for absolute certain because I had learned to watch and see what was going on. I saw two sacs and I saw two babies. I asked, “There are two again?” The doctor confirmed but further explained he was making sure there weren’t three. My heart was about out of my chest. Did I mention my boys were nine months? The doctor confirmed just the two and thoughts rushed through my mind again. How was I going to take care of four little babies? This sounds selfish but I thought about how I would ever lose my baby weight? Would I ever be able to leave the house?
I don’t even remember what we talked about on the ride home. My parents were watching the boys at the time. When we got home they asked us how the appointment went. I explained what we found out. My Mom gave me a big hug and said I could do it. My Dad laughed. I think that made me laugh, too, while crying.
My Personality Made Me Ready For Twins
I am lucky that I am pretty easy going. Very little phases me. God gave me this gift. Now God was giving me quite a challenge. I was pretty sure I was going to be ok. Feedback from the majority of people when they found out was…Well if anyone can do it, Karen can. My favorite was…God must have so much faith in you! This was 100% a compliment and I took it that way. My husband and I made a great team on set one. We were up for the next set!
Pregnant With Twins Again
I was crazy tired for about seventeen weeks but again no nausea. Luckily, my boys were still young enough to take two naps every day. Every day they took two naps and were in bed by 7:00 PM. Every day I took two naps and was in bed by 7:00 PM.
At twenty or so weeks, we had our detailed ultrasound. They confirmed two healthy babies Because they were boy/girl and this time, boy/girl. We knew they are fraternal and also the two bedroom/two bed scenario from above. We were pleased again because this was the safest.
The 4x1 Quad Runabout Stroller
Our Quad Runabout Stroller
During my pregnancy, I needed to get my stroller situation figured out. I needed to solve the issue of getting out of the house. Then I knew I was going to be OK. I was on a mission to find a quad stroller. I ended up with two. One was 2x2 and folded into the back of the car. This thing was heavy! It weighed about 65 lbs. The second was the Quad runabout and was a 4x1. This was my favorite stroller. I put so many miles on it that I am low tread on the second set of wheels. You should have seen the looks when we took it to the bike store to get the tires replaced. It was nice to have this out of the way before the second set was born.
We Made It! Eighteen months with Set One and One month With Set Two!
Our Second Set of Twins in Seventeen months Arrive!
My prenatal care was nearly identical this pregnancy. At thirty-eight weeks and one day, I had a scheduled C-section. The babies were born healthy and no need for NICU. My husband was able to hold them right away this time. They were 6 lbs 4 oz and 6 lbs 12 oz. They came home with us right away.
We Were in Our Neighborhood Newsletter
Life With Two Sets Of Twins Begins
I wasn’t sure how my now seventeen month old boys were going to adjust to two babies. Luckily, they had never had us to themselves so they had already become pretty independent. Lucky for me, I had to my stroller and I had the best bottles in the world.
The Podee Bottle System
I stumbled upon these bottles and have recommended to moms ever since. If you only have one child, perhaps they are not as necessary. When you are feeding more than one at a time or even if you have multiple children on the go and have a baby, this is like another set of hands. It works like a pacifier and the children can essentially feed themselves. We held them as often as possible, but when you are getting lunch for two toddlers, feeding two babies and your husband is at work, any extra help is invaluable. You need to check these bottles out!
Our Three Person Table and Halloween!
Life With Twins
Again, the first months were a blur. I don’t even remember if they were hard which might mean that they were. I do know that we survived. I also know that I don't want to know how many diapers we changed! I know that we worked together as best we could to meet the needs of all the kids. Someone asked me what do you do when all those kids are crying at the same time?
I said, "We answer cries in the order they are received."
We Are Having A Baby!
Life with four little kids kept us busy. I kidded that I was tired for four years.We were finally getting to a stage where they were playing well together, crying was decreasing and they knew the rules. Everyone could feed and dress themselves. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!
We were entering the preschool years, too. In Fall of 2009, I was finally going to have two mornings off. All four would be in preschool two days a week. I was excited to run some solo errands or even run without a stroller. I felt myself getting some freedom back.
The summer of 2009, when the kids were four and three, we found out we were expecting again. We were surprised, but I was excited. I recall pondering to my husband a few months earlier…What would it be like to only have one baby? Would the pregnancy be easier? Would just one baby be easier?
I have also decided to be careful on what questions I ask out loud. I tend to get it!
And, my light at the end of the tunnel dimmed a little bit.
Other Family Stories by Twinstimes2
- Which Kid is My Favorite?
I always tell my kids they are my favorite. Find out which one really is!
- Listen To Your Children!
My kids funny sayings made me want to start a blog. Today, as my oldest set of twins turn 7, I take a look back at what I have learned from my kids.
- The Secret to "Big Family" Vacations
Can your family vacation together every year? Mine can and it is a big group! Find out the secret to "Big Family" vacations.
The Fear Of A Miscarraige
At about eight weeks along, I was pushing the four kids in the quad stroller. I was feeling pretty good and we had gone to the park. Then, something was wrong. I think I was miscarrying. All body signs were pointing to yes. I was freaking because my husband was in Mexico. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I was afraid to be optimistic and I was stressed about getting to the doctor, kids in tow and getting bad news.
I had a friend come over and I went to the doctor. The ultrasound showed that the baby was completely healthy with a strong heartbeat. He suggested that maybe there was another sac that didn’t develop or miscarried. He said it would be difficult to ever know. It is possible that I had been pregnant with twins again. I will never know.
A Healthy Baby
Beyond this moment, my pregnancy was wonderful. Singleton pregnancies are easier, at least for me. I was only tired for twelve weeks. I could easily run two miles until about week twenty-eight and then I felt like I had to hold up my belly. I had a scheduled C-section at thirty-nine weeks two days and gave birth to an 8 lb 12 oz boy. I finally got to hold one of my babies right away. He seemed huge for our babies. The other kids wore newborn diapers and preemie clothes. This baby wore size one diapers and 0-3 month’s clothing. Taking care of one baby was easier. There is one baby. I still used my Podee bottles as sometimes he needed to eat during preschool drop off or pick up. My youngest is so easy going and independent.
Our First Set of Twins: Age Seven
Life with Five Children
So now they are seven, seven, five, five and two. Life is so much easier than a few years ago. The oldest two are in first grade and are reading chapter books. The second set is in pre-K and are learning to read. My youngest son is being two and he is awesome.
We can’t say we survived yet. We still don't have all of them in school or have had the opportunity to experience the teenage years. We did survive the infant and toddler stage. Those are the age which they are most physically dependent.
I can’t believe seven years has passed since we started this journey. It seems like just yesterday and it feels like we have had them all forever.
Our Second Set: Age Five
God Bless You!
We run errands all the time. We have this thing down to a science.
We go to the grocery. We go to the pool. We are on the go.
People stare at us all the time.
Most comments are kind.
The most common comment when I am by myself with all the kids is, "God bless you!"
I always smile and say, “He already did”.
© 2012 Karen Lackey