Life is full of unexpected twists and turns.  Like spontaneous twins.  And, let me tell you, nothing rocks your world (or your boat) like finding out the pregnancy you thought would result in one baby, is actually going to result in two.  It's quite a mind-bender.  They say only people who can handle twins are blessed with them, and I must admit - there are times I've wondered if my paperwork got mixed up with someone else's - but here we are.  And, guess what?  It's not so bad after all.  In fact, it's pretty dang cool.
PREGNANCY

As shocking as it was, my twin pregnancy was wonderful - despite what all the information out there on twin pregnancy would lead you to believe.  I had no complications, was comfortable and healthy, and for the majority of those nine-plus months, I was living it up on our boat in the Caribbean.  I did a lot of reading and research on all things "twins" during this time (I read eighteen books to be exact - some of them twice) and the very first book I would highly recommend to anyone pregnant with multiples is: When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, 3rd Edition by Barbara Luke.  I followed the guidelines outlined in her book (namely: EAT, EAT, EAT) gained fifty pounds (!?!) and vaginally delivered healthy, full-term twins (39 weeks, with induction) who weighed in over six pounds each and required no time in the NICU.  Fist pump! While genetics certainly played a part in this, I also believe that this wonderful outcome was due in part to my listening to the advice outlined by Dr. Luke in her book.

Posts about my twin pregnancy:

Feeling out of Sorts (pregnancy funkiness - it's real folks)
New Horizons: Thoughts on Change (musings about how our life did a major "about face")
10 Things Not to Say to a Woman Pregnant with Twins (True stories. Laugh along.)
I've Got the Whole World in My Hands (My belly painting.)
My womb: AKA Alcatraz (38 weeks pregnant)
On the Verge of Becoming a Family of Five (thoughts on expansion)
Letter to our First Born (my conflicting feelings of booting our first born out of her only child position)
39 weeks: Go Time (the last pictures and thoughts before our twins were born)


NOTES FROM THE TRENCHES

We're newbies in the world of multiples, but you can follow along as we stumble and figure this whole thing out by reading our Notes from the Trenches Series.

Notes from the (Twin) Trenches (48hours in)
More Notes from the Twin Trenches (2+ weeks in)
Breastfeeding Twins: A Delicate Balance (notes on successfully establishing breastfeeding)
Notes from the Twin Trenches: Three Weeks In
Letter from the Twin Trenches: From One M.o.M to Another (4 weeks: letter to a fellow twin mama)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: From One M.o.M to Another  (1 month in)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: A Bad Week (6 weeks in)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: Two Months In
Notes from the Twin Trenches: "This, too, Shall Pass" (three months in)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: Four Months In (Out of trenches? Not quite)
Letters from the Twin Trenches: Six Months In
Letters from the Twin Trenches: Eight Months In

OTHER TWIN STUFF
Tandem Babywearing: My Favorite Carries and Carriers I am a huge advocate of "babywearing" and it has been a lifesaver with our toddler + twinfants. In this article I hightlight why I babywear, how I do it, and the different types of carriers I use. I also link to many other articles, videos and PDFs on the subject for further reading for those interested.

RESOURCES

As I mentioned earlier, I did a tremendous amount of reading and research while I was pregnant with twins.  Here are some links to books and sites I found (and continue to find) helpful.  If you have anything to add, please share in the comments!

Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More! - Breastfeeding is a big deal to me.  I nursed our eldest for sixteen months and my goal with our twins is to nurse them for a year or more (if possible).  This book is put out by the La Leche Legue and is all about how to successfully establish and continue breastfeeding more than one infant.  I found it a fantastic resource.

Kelly Mom - this website is devoted to all things breastfeeding and is a hugely valuable resource when you're "in the trenches" and have questions.  From latching issues to fussiness to gassiness to milk supply, Kelly Mom covers it all.  The site is easy to navigate, well written and very, very helpful.

The Fourth Trimester - This is a great post about the first three months of a newborns life, referred to in some circles as "the fourth trimester".  In this article are some great tips and perspectives on how to handle life with a newborn and a great explanation of why newborns want and need constant touch from mama, and why you shouldn't try to fight it but embrace it.  This was a breath of fresh air for this semi-attachment parent, and we used many of these same techniques with Isla.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child - This book was and still is my parenting BIBLE.  I cannot stress enough how much I love this book and the "sleep schedule" and how hugely beneficial it was with Isla.  In my opinion (and there is ample research to back this up), sleep is just as important as food and love for a growing baby, and this book helps new parents establish healthy sleep habits from day one.  Isla is still to this day an excellent sleeper  and a very happy child and I credit this book and the principals we established early for this.  Dr. Weissbluth also has a book specifically for twins, but I find the original to be more or less the same.  It is very technical and a bit dry, but don't let that scare you - this book is amazing.  Healthy Sleep > Happy Child...Happy Child > Happy Parents.  It's pretty simple, really.

There are a number of Facebook Groups that are geared towards moms of multiples (M.o.M's) and they have been HUGELY helpful to me.  Whether I'm looking for advice on what stroller to get (I got the Valco Tri-mode Twin Stroller with joey seat for Isla) to offering words of support when I wonder how the heck I am gonna do this, these communities have been very helpful to me.  Groups I love are:

3 comments:

sarah.frank814 said...

It's so funny -- I have the same exact nursing pillow with my twins *almost* in the same exact milk-coma position :)

Here's a pic of them(sorry for the crazy long facebook link): https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10420093_10101071558600022_2418043172679630121_n.jpg?oh=cba4dcf8ef51f5c89298e1eb73092871&oe=553888C7&__gda__=1429667490_f8f8dc90513a20509e2de4af92ace9c5

We have three under three, too. Our oldest turns three in February. I'm new to your blog -- was looking up ways to carry these babies around. Just ordered two lite baby slings from a link you provided. Thanks! Now, I hope, grocery shopping won't be so hard!

sarah.frank814 said...

Also, are you in the FB group "Multiple Munchkins"? That's a great group! It's a private group at the moment due to someone invited their non-twin-momma friends to join, but maybe in a month or two it won't be secret anymore. LOVE it.

Claire Goodwin said...

A friend just sent me the link to this blog - really enjoying it. We sailed with our boy/girl twins locally during their first year but were thinking of selling our 24 footer now they are toddlers as we're finding them a handful on board. You are making me reconsider! (of course being the the sunny BVI rather than rainy Northern Ireland might help!). Good luck - from a fellow 'Naturally Parenting Twins' member.

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