The eighth interview in the Twinterview series is with newbie blogger, Tracey, who has started a blog called All About Twins, to compile her tips and advice on all things twin related.
The twin parenting community is really supportive and it’s always lovely to see another mama of multiples sharing her twin life hacks!
How did you feel when you first found out you were having twins?
I was completely shocked! We found out at our twelve-week scan and I honestly had no idea that there were two babies in there. I was glad I was lying down. I spent the next few days alternating between panicking and laughing hysterically.
Did you have a straightforward pregnancy?
Yes it was really straightforward. I didn’t have any morning sickness but I did feel exhausted for the full nine months. The last few months in particular were quite difficult, as twin bumps are really heavy and I had absolutely no energy at all.
I went off some food like Chinese Takeaways and couldn’t stand the smell of my perfumes. On the upside I could eat more chocolate, as the twins burned off all of my calories between them.
How was your birth experience?
My twins were both lying in a breech position so I was scheduled for an elective caesarean section. We turned up at the appointed time and several hours of hanging around trying to distract myself with a book later I had surgery and was suddenly a mother of two babies.
Elective caesarean sections are quite surreal because you turn up to hospital and suddenly have twins. Although you don’t feel anything you do hear everything that’s going on and I wasn’t prepared for how messy it would all sound! It all happened fairly quickly and afterwards I was whisked off to the recovery room and Ben (my second twin) spent that time in an incubator. We were all reunited a few hours later.
How did you cope with having twins in the early days?
The early days were definitely the most difficult; thankfully that’s the hardest it ever gets. I had to really swallow my pride and ask for help because I was physically weak after the caesarean.
It was all a bit overwhelming and I had the weeps for a few weeks which didn’t help. I also usually need lots of sleep and as everyone reading this knows you don’t get much sleep with newborn twins!
Both of our mums helped out a lot and my dad and his wife cooked us lots of lovely meals which they stuffed our freezer with – I’m still grateful!
Did/do you have an essential ‘must-have’ item and what is it?
We had a few really handy things that we found and it’s very difficult to pick just one! Digital thermometers, a back-saving changing station and Angelcare sensor monitors, to mention but a few.
But one less obvious item which turned out to be brilliant was a dedicated nappy bin. Each bin comes with its own specially designed bin liner cartridge which wraps each nappy in the lining. Amazingly it totally contains the nappy smells! That’s pretty brilliant when you consider how many nappies you go through each day. You can buy replacement cartridges in most supermarkets and shops like Mothercare.
What is the best thing about being a parent of multiples?
How much time do you have?! Twins are great fun at home and great company for each other when you go out anywhere.
They are so cute — especially when they learn to crawl and walk together — and hilarious at mealtimes. On a practical level, having twins means one routine and one set of meals to cook, one drop-off at playschool and one bedtime ritual in the evening.
They are so much fun and the greatest blessing of my life.
And the worst?
There aren’t too many downsides to being a parent of multiples once you get past those early difficult months. In those early days the sleep deprivation can drive you a bit loopy.
It can also be difficult to get out of the house with everyone so you can suffer from isolation and feel cut off from friends. This doesn’t last thankfully! It gets easier all the time as the babies grow bigger and sleep more and can start to do more for themselves.
And finally, what would your top tip be for any new — or soon to be —parent of twins?
Don’t let it get you down. Yes it’s overwhelming and exhausting in the beginning but you get through it. Hang in there, it will all get easier soon.