We’re expecting twin boys, and today, I’m sharing all about that life-changing news and how we’re planning for it (as much as you can!)
There is so much that has been on my mind lately, given that we’re expecting twin boys into our lives at the end of this summer. There’s worry, excitement, confusion, and lots of uncertainty. Instead of letting it fester in my head, I figured I’d share it with all of you, in an effort to calm my nerves and also, relate to some of you who are going through similar situations and feelings.
Also, I’m in that early second trimester blissful period, where nothing hurts yet, I have my energy back, I don’t feel sick, and so I’m trying to make as many decisions and plan as much as I possibly can before things get real (which I hear they do more quickly with twins than with singletons!)
A huge disclaimer: these are all fortunate concerns to have. I am so grateful and privileged to be given the chance to carry two babies and grow my family. In no way am I complaining, I am simply sharing the typical thought processes a mother goes through when she finds out news like this. I wouldn’t trade these concerns for anything, they make this journey a journey! I want to be empathetic and honest, because I know there are women out there TTC, and I would hate them to be triggered by this post and to come off unappreciative of my fertility. Love to all of the women going through a fertility struggle right now, my love and strength to you.
Twins: So Much Uncertainty!
I think the hardest part about expecting twins is now all of the uncertainty. I go into every appointment wondering what I’ll find out (and praying that everything is well and healthy.) With having mono/di identical twins, there’s a lot of risk. Our types of twins have their own specific risks and thus, I’m considered a high-risk pregnancy. These types of twins are typically born between 35 and 37 weeks (they won’t let me go much past 37 weeks!) I could be induced, I could go into labor naturally, I could need a C-section, I could have a natural birth, the babies could need NICU time or not. Now, yes, these are similar concerns when you’re just having one, but the likeliness of these issues are much higher (and frankly, common) with a twin pregnancy.
I’ve also never had twins before, so there’s just so much to learn, and I’m constantly learning! It’s exciting, which I try to remind myself of – and that it’s such a special privilege to carry two babies. But man, anything could happen at any time and that’s overwhelming, mentally (especially for someone like me, who likes to plan.) This brings me to my next point…. not knowing when these babies are coming makes it harder to prepare for them.
Our Living Situation
I have belabored over this for weeks. Since the moment we found out we were having twins, I haven’t stopped thinking about our living situation. For reference, we live in a pretty large apartment (for city standards) and the living space isn’t the issue (we are blessed with plenty of that, including a main level, a furnished basement, an upstairs, and a backyard space- we found a gem!) The issue are the bedrooms! We are in a 3 bedroom and while we decided early on that we’d move Luca and Roma into a room together, we weren’t sure which room we’d combine them in. Luca’s current room is about twice the size of Roma’s current room. Naturally, we’d put the two big toddlers in the larger room, right?
Well, we need a daybed for the twins’ room (this was so helpful with our singletons and I can only imagine how helpful it will be with the twins) and so after thinking through all of the options and room combinations, I finally just made the decision for my own sanity (and to begin the shuffling process) to put Luca and Roma in Roma’s current room (the smaller room) because there’s enough space for their toys, their clothes, and both of their beds and that’s all they really need.
Also, I think something we often forget about is how things don’t have to be permanent. If we are ready to get rid of the daybed in the twins’ room, I can simply put the twins in the smaller room and put Luca and Roma back in the larger room.
Other things that are worrying me about our living situation is the logistical difficulty of living on multiple levels (which I realize is a common issue if you live in an actual house.) With our other two children, we lived in a single level apartment, so there were no stairs or levels. The thought of maneuvering up and down stairs with delicate twins and having to figure out what gear to have where is an interesting feat. Also, we have very steep, dangerous steps that lead in and out of our garden level entrance. I’m worried about carrying tiny twin newborns in and out, but I’m accepting that that’s probably the least of our problems.
Childcare: Lots of Decisions!
The first concern that popped into my mind when we found out we were having twins was, “How am I going to do this at night?!” As I’ve mentioned before, Lu doesn’t do nights. Now, this isn’t to throw shade at Lu – he is a fantastic father and we’re a great team (we’ve learned how to work together after having two kids!) However, he just does not function like I do on little sleep and he has to be a leader at work (he owns his company and has to be there for his team and he literally is a cranky zombie without sleep) and he’s at a pivotal moment in his business and more than ever, he needs to be alert and sharp.
After discussing the nighttime situation, we found three options: 1) have my mother come and try to help me for a bit, 2) try to do it all myself, or 3) hire a night nurse. After weeks of debating, we finally decided to hire a night nurse for the beginning months and see how it goes. This was a hard decision for me to make (so far, the hardest) because I love the night time with my babies, I love being there for them, and I didn’t feel comfortable with a stranger soothing them over me. I’m hoping to breastfeed so that I can be with the twins in that way, but I simply don’t feel comfortable handling two with zero help at night. This was an emotional decision for me, but once I made it, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
How’d I come to that decision? Well, first off, my mother is going to come to stay with me to help me, but if we’re both exhausted from being up all night with the babies, how will that work when we’re taking care of them during the day time? I need my mother ‘fresh’ for the daytime to help me, so I can nap a bit to recover from the nights!
Probably the most convincing argument for me was that I have two toddlers that need me. I can’t be so exhausted that I’m sleeping all day and ignoring my toddlers that need me physically, but most importantly, emotionally. Now, I’ll be less tired and have more energy to be with my toddlers when they’re home (and to be there for them for bath and bedtime.)
Another part of the childcare situation is work. I work full-time, so I have a nanny that comes during the day to take care of Luca and Roma so that Lu and I can work. Since having Roma and the pandemic, I’m much more fluid now, and I divide my time during the day between work and being with my kids. Now, I don’t expect my nanny to take care of two newborn twins and two crazy toddlers by herself. Side note and fun fact: she has fraternal twin boys! Instead, I’m going to need to figure out a balance with work and being a mother. More to come on this, but what will be helpful is that Luca and Roma will be in school from 8:30 to 11am every day, so I’ll have that time solo with the twins and then, I’m hoping to switch off and take Luca and Roma in the afternoons (after nap) and my nanny can take care of the twins. Basically, I’ll have to transition from full-time to part-time once the twins are born.
I’m sure this will just be a go with the flow situation, but this is how we’re mentally preparing for it and it’s good to have some semblance of a plan.
Woof. We gave my sister (pregnant and due end of May!) all of our baby gear, because we figured we were most likely done with having children and if we decided to have kids, we’d just take it back from her after she was done with it. Well, we got pregnant and she moved to Florida!! So now, instead of buying one extra of everything, we have to start from scratch. Luckily, many of the brands I’ve worked with in the past have been offering to help me out, so I’m grateful for that help, but it’s pretty overwhelming.
However, I’ve had to rethink our stroller situation. We have a very narrow entrance to our apartment and after almost a full year of jamming our side-by-side stroller through our entrance (it’s such a pain, we have to sometimes to take it apart to get it through our entrance!), I’ve decided to go with a different brand of stroller and do the top stacking strollers. Also, I’ve found a triple stroller for when I take out the twins and Roma (Luca will be almost 4 and old enough where he can be on a scooter or a kickboard!)
Then there’s the question of: do I need to get extra sets of things (like a nursing station) for the main level and the upstairs level (with the nursery)? I don’t want to have to lug everything up and down, especially when I’m having to lug up two babies! Needless to say, I need to build a very focused registry this time around! And any and all tips are welcomed from those who live in 2-3 story homes as well!
The final bit of gear will be the car situation. We still haven’t figured this bit out, because Lu is convinced that we don’t need a second car and that for the few times we go anywhere with the whole family, we can make it work. Right now, we have a car with 3 rows and captain seats, but when the third row is up, the trunk space is tiny and it’s difficult to get back to that third row to put toddlers in the seats. We’re definitely minivan-bound, but I think that we’re going to wait until we live in a home where we can have an easier time with two cars and when we need to drive everywhere (right now, everything but Target is just a stroll away.)
We plan on spending one of these weekends soon testing out the car seat situation and seeing if it is truly feasible. I’ll keep you posted!
Something I’ve started to do that has made me feel better is gathering resources and reading a lot about twin pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life. I’ve started following twin mothers on Instagram, watching YouTube videos on twin births and videos that feature logistical life with twins (ha!) and that has made me feel much more equipped and mentally ready. I’ve watched countless tandem nursing videos and have researched all about NICU life and how to prepare for that.
While I know how to take care of babies, I don’t know how to take care of more than one at the same time and that part has been overwhelming and uncertain for me, so connecting with people online, reaching out and asking questions, and then just doing research (love Twiniversity!) and watching videos has been tremendously helpful.
Learning To Let Go Of Previous Experiences and Accepting New Ones
Having twins is an absolute blessing, and I’m so excited to see Roma and Luca see their baby brothers for the first time. Our house will always be the fun, loud, lively house, and holidays will always be joyous and vibrant.
Despite this joy, there are singleton pregnancy/baby things that I’m already grieving. I’ve had to shift my mindset to “I’m sad I won’t be able to do it this way again” and instead focus on the parts of being a twin mom that I’m not even aware of yet that will be so special (like, seeing them communicate in their own language, seeing them hold hands during a feeding session, staring at two beautiful baby boys side by side, etc.)
However, I can’t help but ignore these feelings, and I’m feeling sadness around certain memories of singleton newborn life.
For example, like having to give up baby wearing both my babies in skin-t0-skin wraps (for example, the Kaola-type shirts or a Solly Baby wrap that’s thin.) I’m aware there are dual baby carriers, but it’s more difficult (and heavy!) having to carry two babies at once. I loved just wrapping up my baby and going about my day. That won’t be as easy and if both babies are fussing and want to be held, I know I’ll feel sad that I can’t just quickly wrap them both up on me. I’ve already put this Weego Twin baby carrier on my list! And I know that when I am wearing both of them, it’ll be double the love in my heart.
Nursing is a big unknown and I’m having all the worries about whether or not I’ll be able to nurse them both, tandem feed, the whole thing. If the twins are born super early and have to be in the NICU, I’ll have to pump and try to make that work. I think just knowing that it will be a journey and not so black and white like it was for both of my other kids is comforting (I like to be mentally prepared!) I’m sad that I won’t have that easy “oh, just pop the baby on the boob!” moments if both of the babies are fussing. I think I’m underestimating how many times one of the twins will need me when the other is totally fine, and I’m leaning into that and hoping it will all even out. I just can feel the guilt seeping it now!
The birth experience. I’ve had long talks with mamas about this and I have to accept that I’ve had two beautiful, vaginal, uncomplicated births and I should be thankful for those and look at this third birth as a different experience. Having a c-section worries me for many reasons, but hearing stories of other mamas and their uncomplicated c-sections and all the benefits of c-section birth has me feeling better about it. I think the biggest scare for me is having no control! Can you tell I like to control and plan ahead as much as possible? 🙂 I’m learning to let go, I promise! And to be clear, I don’t see vaginal births as any “better” than c-sections (a birth is a birth to me, the hardest part is cooking the baby for 9+ months, not the birth!) It’s just a total unknown territory to me, and I know that it’s very likely. Mostly, I’m worried about the physical recovery, having two active toddlers at home.
How I’m Feeling About Having Twin Boys, Specifically
When I announced that I was having boys, many of you asked, “What do you think about having two more boys?!” Well, first off, I think as long as my babies are healthy, I don’t care if they’re male, female, or otherwise. I just want healthy! But of course, I have thoughts on having two more boys!
When we found out we were having identical twins, I knew the genders would be the same (because they have identical DNA, which is wild!) When we found out they were boys, my initial thoughts were, “That’s going to be a LOT of energy to handle!” because in our personal experience, boys are much crazier (energy-wise) than girls. Now, I have friends who have timid, gentle boys and whacky girls, so it could go either way with the twins. But over the years, as hard as high-energy Luca can be at times, he is an absolute blast and we’re all always laughing. To me, having two more boys means that we’ll always be the fun house. When Roma brings her friends over, there will always be something fun going on, and I love the thought of that.
I love thinking that Roma and I will bond even more strongly, now that we’ll be the only two females in the house! I definitely competed with my sister for the attention of my mother, and it’ll be kind of nice not to have to divide that female attention two ways, haha! I love that she’ll be the Princess of the house, and I can just see her running the show. I smile just thinking of the moments where she’s having a tough day emotionally and her brothers come to her rescue, make her laugh, and make her forget her troubles. It’s also fun to think of all the boys in school together (there’s a good chance that will happen, if I can bring these babies to full twin term!) and I can’t wait for all of the sports games where Roma and I are cheering on her bigger brother and her little brothers on the field! And vice versa – I was the captain of the lacrosse team in high school, and I get emotional thinking of her brothers cheering her on loudly in the stands or wherever she may excel!
From what I’ve been told, girls who grow up with all brothers tend to be more easy-going, can deal with anything, and know how to ‘manage’ men, haha! And the brothers have sweet soft spots and are kind and loving because of their protective nature over their sister growing up.
Also, there’s one thing that immediately comes to mind, thinking of Roma’s brothers. My relationship with my brother. I’ve never had a relationship with my brother, and all I know is disconnection. When we were young and in elementary and middle school, I have bad memories. I actually don’t have a single good memory with my brother, which is very sad. What I want for Roma is for her to have a positive, strong relationship with her brothers. I’m looking forward to seeing the brotherly-sisterly dynamic between Roma and her brothers.
It’ll also be hilarious to see Roma try to date! There’s going to be a thick layer of brothers to get through first! Needless to say, she’s in good hands. I’m happy it worked out that Roma is sandwiched in the middle age-wise, so she’ll always be able to relate to her brothers. The twins and Roma will be 26-27 months apart, whereas Roma and Luca are 21 months apart!
The Big To-Do List
Here’s what my to-do list looks like right now:
- Wean Roma off her pacifier (I don’t want any confusion when the babies come and they’re using pacifiers.) My goal is to have her weaned by age 2!
- Potty train Roma (she’s definitely ready, I just need to find the time to do it, and will use the same method I used with Luca.)
- Plan a little “babymoon” (we’re thinking just a weekend in Montauk while my parents watch the kids!)
- Build our baby registry (I just need to sit down and do the research/talk to twin moms to decide what I need. Some things have such long shipping times because of COVID!)
- Go through everything we do have for the newborn/infant stage to make sure we don’t buy duplicates. Like, I still have a zillion baby blankets and swaddles, haha!
- Move Luca and Roma into the same room (hoping to start this in early June!)
- Prepare the twins’ nursery (probably will start this after I transition Luca and Roma, so mid June.)
- Pack a hospital bag!
Thanks for reading this post, and I hope for some of you who have been having similar situations, you found it relatable!