The Reality of Raising Twins or Why I Don't Remember the First Year Our Twins Were Alive!
Our Twins Arrived in the Usual Way, Mostly
First off, I am not poking the bear by saying this. Nor am I revealing a huge revelation from friends. Many times since my wife and I had twins, I have had people say something similar: "I want, or I always wanted twins." Some of them even add one and done. So you get two kids that many people seem to want. You only have to be pregnant one time. But truly, it is not that easy.
I don't envy people thinking things like that. But I can tell you that having twins is very different from having a single child. My wife and I had a daughter first. She came to the world to borrow from Harry Chapin "in the usual way." Our daughter quickly picked up the system.
Her first experience out of the hospital and our apartment was on her third day on this planet as we went shopping to grab a couple of things. So that was the routine, our daughter coming with us when we set out to do the various things we had to do each week.
Not mind you that the twins arrived differently. Well, actually, to a degree, they did. In week 14 of the pregnancy, the Doctor informed my wife she was on bed rest. Although, initially, she was not on hospital bedrest.
Weeks 15 to week 30 were a huge change for us. My wife is normally full of energy; suddenly, she was on the couch. Our daughter was suddenly running house errands for her mother. I was off to work in the morning and home in the evening. It was a stressful time for our family.
On week 31 of the pregnancy, the stress doubled. Doctors told us that we needed to get to 32 weeks. We had fingers, toes, and everything crossed. Finally, we made it to 33 weeks. At 32 weeks of pregnancy, the babies would have functional lungs. That increased the chances of survival significantly.
When they arrived in this world, the stress didn't end. Remember earlier; we had our daughter; we were out and about three days after she joined us, doing the shopping and living life. The twins were in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for two weeks after birth. My wife didn't leave the hospital, and the stress of moving our daughter around, coming to see the twins every evening, and working all day left me exhausted.
I don't remember the first year, it is a blur...
I figured once the twins came home, I would be able to catch up on sleep. Sadly wrong, so bad, it was not even funny. Because they were premature, the twins had to eat every 4 hours. Or six times a day. There are two twins, so it takes two adults. Although our daughter fed and changed them many times, she was in school. So we got up two times at night to feed them. The first rule for babies DON'T wake a sleeping baby. But we broke that every night.
During the first year of the twin's life, we realized, well, before, but it hit home quickly, our house was not big enough. So we moved when the twins were five months old. We would move again before the twins were two years old. But the first move put us in a larger house. So we had less to worry about in terms of space.
The first year was a blur. We learned many things. One of the most important lessons we learned is that when Twins are asleep, you keep them sleeping. Waking twins is not a good idea. Even if you wake one by accident, the other awakens quickly. So when we no longer had to feed them every six hours, we stopped waking them!
Now, in addition to not sleeping, we also learned that you must consider two things with twins. The first is that you have to buy two of everything. The second is ensuring that the twins know they are individuals, not aunts. That means you have to trade off the "look at the cute twins dressed like each other" thing and dress the twins in different colors. That way, the twins know they are not a unit.
As I wind down this article, I wanted to remind you of the original thing I started with "wow, twins, I would like twins, one pregnancy and done.: If you are willing to give up sleep, and buy two of everything, then I would say Twins are the best thing for you! I am proud of the people my wife and my twins have become, but I wanted to caution you that it is not an easy road from wanting twins to having them!
So, I am curious...
Have you ever said, gosh I wish I had twins?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 DocAndersen