Being a parent of twins is amazing, bewildering, and extremely rewarding.
For a first time Mom, expecting twins can be very daunting.
Here are 10 thing I wish I knew about before the girls arrived.
Number one: Don’t buy too many baby clothes!
Before the girls made an appearance I did the usual. I stocked up on all the essentials. I managed to fill a wardrobe and chest of drawers full of baby clothes ranging from tiny baby, newborn, and 0 to 3 months.
I should have been stocking up on size 3 to 6 months and bigger, as our lovely family and friend bought us lots of beautiful baby clothes.
We needed an extra-large washing machine, let alone a new wardrobe.
Number two: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
As I have mentioned before, being a first time parent of twins can be extremely daunting.
And it can take a small thing like a rash to appear on your baby’s face or not being able to bring your baby’s wind up, to send you in to a panic.
When the twins first arrived I didn’t want people to think I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt like I could prove to myself that I could cope and that my motherly instincts would see me through.
This caused me a lot of anxiety which was unnecessary. Sometimes all you need to do is ask.
Number three: To wind or not to wind: that is the question?
Winding a baby can be really simple or the excruciatingly hard. In my case it was extremely hard.
My husband and I would spend hours trying to bring up the girls’ wind. We tried all the usual techniques and a few that we invented ourselves, only to get a small burp or nothing at all.
I had always thought you had to bring up wind after a feed and sometimes half way through, and if you don’t it could give your baby tummy pains and make them extremely uncomfortable.
We learned the hard way that sometimes they just don’t need to burp!
Number four: Napping when your baby naps is essential.
I’ve never been someone that could take power naps throughout the day; it would always make me feel worse. My mummy friends and family kept telling me that I need to catch up on some sleep or I would burn myself out. They were right.
After a few weeks of long night feeds I was struggling to function and my anxiety was worse than ever. So I started taking the odd nap when the girls slept and I felt more myself again.
Number five: You will become a worrywart.
Honestly, before we got pregnant I didn’t think being a mom would change me. I was laid back and disorganised.
As soon as I became pregnant the worry started and I’m not sure it will ever go away.
But I wish I was more prepared for this uncontrollable emotion. We had the worst winter last year as the girls were ill for the most of it with every bug going, and the worry was just soul-consuming. We seemed to be constantly at the doctor’s/hospital.
I have now learnt that babies do get poorly and can get high temperatures. Stay calm: a bit of Calpol or Nurofen should do the trick.
Number six: A simple cold can take weeks to overcome.
It really is amazing how long one cold can last, but when a household with twins catches a simple cold it can take weeks to get over!
One baby would come home from nursery with a cold and by the end of the week the other baby would start to show symptoms. With all the lack of sleep and your immune system lowered, the bug then moves on to you and your partner.
It would seem we just keep passing it back to each other.
Number seven: You will never feel love like it.
I had heard about this intense love you’re meant to feel for your newborn baby and also of women that struggle to bond at first.
I was lucky enough to bond with my girls as soon as I heard them cry. The love I felt was incredible and has only grown more with every day, even with them going through the terrible twos.
The first few weeks was just amazing and the best feeling I’ve ever had. It was like we were in this little bubble of happiness and nothing could pop it.
Number eight: You can’t just nip to the shop.
So I did know this before but I didn’t really believe it. Quickly nipping to the shop is near impossible.
When you’ve got two babies to get out of the car in the pouring rain and you’re struggling to put the pushchair together and the rain covers on it, becomes a whole military operation.
I soon realised it just wasn’t worth the hassle.
Number nine: TV becomes amazing after the hours of 2 am.
With newborn babies comes night feeding. With two babies to feed, burping and changing, those nights can be very long.
Luckily I had my husband to help me through the majority of them.
After a couple of weeks one thing we both found hard was try to stay awake during the feeds.
And when we were asleep we would wake up in a panic as we couldn’t remember putting the baby back in her Moses basket. It was this frightful feeling that we might have fallen asleep during a feed.
One thing that really helped us stay awake was putting the TV on. I couldn’t get over how good TV is in the middle of the night! A few years ago all you would be able to find would be shopping channels. Now you can find all your favourite programs on repeat.
Number ten: Sometimes you just need a little help.
I love being a mom of twins – it’s the best job in the world.
But when my hubby went back to work after his paternity finished I was truly terrified about how I was going to cope on my own.
A friend of mine told me to schedule as many friends and family in to help as possible.
But me being me I didn’t feel that I could ask for the help from others, especially as we all lead busy lives. Also I didn’t want it to seem I couldn’t cope or that I was struggling.
Luckily when the time came, we didn’t have to ask; our amazing family and friends rallied around us and gave us all the help we could have ever asked for.
We even had dinners brought round every night for the first few weeks by our friends, which really helped.
No matter how much you think you can do this on your own, your closest and dearest will always be there for you and my advice is to take as much help as you can! You will need it…!