When I first found out I was having twins, I cried. Hearing the technician say “there are two” was the most terrifying thing I had ever heard. My husband and I already had a toddler and the thought of having two babies at once was a bit overwhelming. Over the years I have learned many lessons, and will probably learn more as the years go on.
The first lesson I learned was that carrying multiples and caring for a very active toddler is extremely risky. At 26 weeks, my doctor warned me to take it easy and to stop lifting things (including my daughter). Unfortunately, I did not listen and at 28 weeks was admitted to the hospital due to pre-term labor. I spent the next six weeks in the hospital on complete bed rest. I am thankful for the doctor ensuring my babies made it as close to term as possible, but missed my husband and daughter. The twins were delivered one minute apart at 34 weeks. The bigger of the two had to stay in the hospital 10 days longer due to heart problems, but by the time she was 7 months old her heart was completely normal.
The second lesson I learned was that changing and feeding two babies was even more difficult than I thought. We kept the twins in one baby bed for as long as possible, which helped them get on the same schedule. However, if it were not for daddy being there, this mommy would not have been able to keep up. Having a toddler around was beneficial as well. Big sister always liked to help. Thankfully, she was smart beyond her years. Having a walking, talking, potty trained two-year old was a blessing. However, big sister was not too happy about mommy bringing home two baby sisters. Especially once they began crawling around. But that is another story.
On to the third lesson…twins do not need mom as much as singletons. I was sad to find that as they got older, they were perfectly content with playing quietly in their rooms. Our singleton was always following me around, so I was expecting the same from them. Of course the singleton was glad they were not interrupting her time any more. Even to this day, the girls still prefer hanging out together in one of their rooms as opposed to the rest of us.
Lesson number four came when we started potty training the twins. The doctor said they would be behind on everything since they were premature, but I just refused to believe him. I know that all children progress at their own rate, and I didn’t expect them to be as smart and quick as their sister. I just didn’t realize how much longer they would take. It seemed like they just had no desire to be big girls and I was so tired of all the loads of laundry. We definitely spent a lot more money on diapers!
The final lesson came when they began speaking. Twins really do have their own language! The girls would talk to each other non-stop, but spoke very little to anyone else. We always knew when they were up to something though, because their giggles gave them away. They still have a very healthy imagination and still communicate with each other in their own way.
There is so much to be said about having twins versus singletons, but the above covers a lot of my personal experience. I am sure parents of multiples everywhere have similar experiences. Our oldest daughter is now an adult with a baby on the way (yes, just one). Our twin daughters will be eighteen next year and will graduate high school in 2015.