Advertisement
Parenting

20 things I didn't know before having twins

Just two months after having twins, one mom reflects on the joys and surprises her boys have taught her

By Catalina Margulis
20 things I didn't know before having twins

20 things I didn't know before having twins

01That everything would be OK.

I was terrified when I learned we were having twins. Truth be told, I even regretted it. I was afraid of what it would do to my body, my marriage, my son, my family. Later, I would do everything I could to protect it and make it to term (including quitting working out!).

Zach, my four-year-old, is excited about all the fun times to come as his baby brothers grow. His baby brothers can't grow fast enough, in his opinion.

And the hubs and I have grown closer even as our alone time becomes almost non-existent. Having twins requires teamwork, putting marriage to the true test. We need each other more than ever and a healthy sense of humour pulls us through. We still wake up mornings and smile in disbelief: “Twins." We survived. We’re surviving. And we’re doing it together.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: IBushuev/iStockphoto

02It could happen to me

I mean, I should have seen the warning signs. Older mom (35 or over, the experts say). More than one child. Husband with twins in the family (though we didn't know it at the time). I never imagined having one kid, never mind three, never mind two at the same time!

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: subman/iStockphoto

Advertisement

03Being pregnant with twins could be so tough

From the far-out nausea to the extra weight gain (double the hormones, double the pregnancy!), just leaving the four walls of our home seemed a challenge of Mt. Everest proportions. Although we escaped an order of bed rest (just!), many expectant moms of twins go on leave from work because they just “can’t” anymore. And now I understand why.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: DGID/iStockphoto

04I could feel each twin in my pregnant belly

And know who was acting up and who was chilling out.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Dean Mitchell/iStockphoto

05A C-section is not as easy as the celebs seem to make it

A natural birth is no walk in the park, but neither is a C-section. Sure it’s painless in the operating room, but after? Expect to be doubled over in pain, for gas to be your mortal enemy, to stay in the hospital a week, to be terrified of your active toddler coming too close to your sore belly and not being able to hold your babies when they’re born.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: jfairone/iStockphoto

Advertisement

06What it was like to have preemies

As much as parents of multiples are told their chance of premature babies is high, you're never truly prepared for when it actually does happen, and the complications that can ensue. I did everything I could for a healthy pregnancy but they still had to come out a month early. Though they're thriving now, it was scary there for awhile.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Michael Blackburn/iStockphoto

07People could be so compassionate and giving

The doctors and nurses at the hospital and NICU cared for our babies as if they were their own. I was struck by their kindness, concern and commitment.

20 things I didn't know before having twins

08I could feel so helpless

I’m resourceful. If I don’t know something, I’ll figure it out. But when my two preemies were in NICU, one in critical condition, and there was nothing I could do, not even breastfeed, cuddle or console, I felt helpless.

I’m grateful that, at least, we were surrounded by wonderful doctors, nurses and health care specialists who could step in and intervene. There are places where moms and babies are less fortunate. As deep as my pain was, I can not imagine their suffering.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: David L/iStockphoto

Advertisement

09They might not look anything like each other

And they might not behave as people would expect of twins. They might not acknowledge one another, hold hands, cuddle or cry when the other cries (well, OK, that happens from time to time but more out of sheer annoyance than some twin-like connection).

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: G-Hall/iStockphoto

10It would be impossible to breastfeed them both

Although I nursed our four-year-old for almost a full year, I couldn’t pull that off with twins. And no, it’s not easier to feed them at the same time, just crazier. (For the record, I alternate between breast and formula for each twin.)

20 things I didn't know before having twins

11I would need way more...

...diapers (again?!), receiving blankets, formula (again!?), than I ever could have imagined.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: JBryson/iStockphoto

Advertisement

12One could be so much bigger than the other

At two months and counting, Zephyr is still two pounds shy of his “little” brother, Zane, even as they steadily gain weight.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Janice Richard/iStockphoto

13People would be so curious about them

I can’t recall ever seeing baby twins (though I am known for being oblivious to my surroundings). Still, I’m not sure I’d have reacted the way people seem to when we walk into a room or cross the street. I’ve had people stop traffic to wave and it’s at once amusing/unsettling/surprising.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Linda Yolanda/iStockphoto

14I would enjoy being a mom of three boys

I was a parent before, but now I really feel like one.

20 things I didn't know before having twins

Advertisement

15My four-year-old would handle it so well

Besides the first weeks, which required shuttling back and forth to the NICU at the hospital, Zach has been amazingly patient with us, his parents, and loving toward his brothers. If anything, we have to tell him to stop giving his baby brothers hugs and kisses (back-to-school germs, you know).

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: pixalot/iStockphoto

16I have the patience of Job

Two hours sleep in 24? No problem. Simultaneous crying? No problem. No lunch until 6 pm? No problem.

I don’t know whether it’s the lack of sleep or the endless to-do list monologue running in my head, but few things phase me anymore. I seem to navigate life in a contented daze. And no, I’m not on drugs.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: shironosov/iStockphoto

17I’d be driving a minivan

And that I'd like it.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Dave Bolton/iStockphoto

Advertisement

18We could keep our humble home

And that we could fit everyone in it.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Photolyric/iStockphoto

19I could get through hours, days, on my own

I don’t need a nanny or grandparent to shadow my every move and moment. Though I’ve never been more grateful, or welcoming, for the helping hands.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Artistic Captures/iStockphoto

20There are so many twins

It seems everywhere I go, I'm seeing double. And no wonder. There are more than 6,000 multiple births in Canada per year, an increase of more than 35 percent in the past 25 years. If I could talk to those parents I'd give the newbies a high-five and the expecting a big hug. It's going to be okay. In fact, it's going to be great.

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: Artistic Captures/iStockphoto

Advertisement

More baby galleries

20 things I didn't know before having twinsPhoto: waraput/iStockphoto
This article was originally published on Oct 02, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners

I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement