This week on the blog we have Elle from @elle_thetwindiaries_sharing with us some of her top tips for expecting parents of twins and telling us more about the arrival of her own twin boys.
It’s Monday 3rd December 2018. It’s around 10.15am ish and my husband and I are sat waiting behind a big curtain in hospital. I’m wearing my blue gown, arse out and feeling like a beached whale, while my husband (Liam) continues to crack jokes in order to keep me calm.
My c section had been booked in for 9.30am, but with two emergency sections understandably going in front of us, we are still waiting and the nerves are beginning to kick in. After a few minutes of pacing back and forth, we we are finally called and as I waddle towards those theatre doors, I can’t help but think “How on earth am I about to give birth to TWINS!”
I had always known from a young age that I wanted to be a Mother one day. I dreamt of the fairytale cliche of finding love, getting married, building a home and starting a family. I was born in to a big, fat Greek family full of women popping babies out left, right and centre, so I had always been given a tiny insight in to what having kids would be like (not that I had any clue).
Whenever I had imagined myself with a baby, I had only ever pictured having one baby at a time and never thought in a million years that I would be the one out of everyone in my family to carry twins! Little did 17 year old me know, that 11 years later, I would be laying on an operating table , feeling drowsy, listening to Ed Sheeran (courtesy of one of the lovely nurses we had) and about to meet my TWO little boys for the first time!
The actual birth was pretty chilled (considering what was going on around my lower body) and after around 20 minutes, George was born at 11.13 and Louie came flying out straight after him at 11.14. I didn’t get to hold them as Louie needed a little help taking his first breath, but they were wrapped up and taken out with Liam, while I was cleaned up and taken back to where we had been waiting.
Fast forward to today and Liam and I have had a rollercoaster year with the boys. We haven’t been parents long and believe me when I say, we are definitely WINGING this whole twinning thing! I feel like there is a lot we don’t expect before becoming parents, especially for parents of multiples. There are things we don’t think to prepare for and things no one tells us that sometimes makes us feel like we are doing it all wrong, when in fact, it’s all completely normal.
Becoming parents for the first time is beautiful, emotional, overwhelming, magical, stressful, amazing, tiring and so many other things all rolled in to one. If I could give any advice, top tips or even just some preparation for those about to introduce two bundles of joy in to their world, it would be something like the following…
• Invest in a double pillow!
• When it comes to giving birth, you have to do what’s best for you and your babies! I felt pressured to give birth naturally, but in the end I had an elective c-section because I felt that was the best decision. It doesn’t matter whether your babies come out of your vagina, stomach or arse! What matters is that you get them here safely!
• If you choose to formula feed, invest in a prep machine. It saves waiting for boiling water to cool down and it’s a lifesaver for those sudden 3am night feeds!
• Speaking of feeding, no matter how many opinions come flying your way on how you should be feeding your babies, the main thing is that you actually FEED them! If you breastfeed, amazing! If you choose to formula feed, awesome! If you prefer to express your milk, perfect!
• The mum guilt is REAL and your are going to feel it quite a lot. I get it quite often when both boys are crying and I can’t comfort them both equally at the same time. Just know that there are millions of other mamas out there feeling exactly the same and your bubba’s aren’t going to love you any less. Also, the double pillow helps!
• Prepare to be the most tired you’ve ever been in your life and accept that it’s going to be on and off like that for the next 18 years!
• Prepare a bag of supplies like nappies, wipes, dummies, nappy bags etc to keep in your car. That way when you forget to pack things in the baby bag, you’ve got back up when you go out!
• CALPOL is literally the best!
• Bathing twins can be a challenge and for me personally, investing in the bath rings for the boys was definitely worth it!
• You may get anxious when it comes to going out with your twins, especially on your own. Again, it’s normal to feel that way, but once you overcome it (and you will) it makes the days run so much smoother. It also gets you out of the house!
• If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family around that offer you support , TAKE IT!
• Don’t worry about the housework and have more cuddles instead!
• Lastly, the loneliness! Now this is one I did not expect at all. Like I said before, I have a big family who are constantly around me. I’m lucky to have a lot of support and I have my husband who goes above and beyond for me and the boys. However, there have been times through the past year where I have felt completely alone. It didn’t matter if I was in the flat all day with the boys or sat in a room full of people.
It was that feeling of no one around me being able to understand. It was saying no to meeting up with friends and then watching them enjoy their night without me on Instagram!
There will come a point where maybe you do start to feel lonely. I started feeling a lot better when I created my Instagram account and started connecting with other twin mums. Even just scrolling through other accounts and seeing that I wasn’t alone and that I had people to talk to, even if they were strangers made me feel much better! Those are the main things I can think of right now off the top of my mum brain, although there are so many more things that you will discover and learn along the way.
All you can do is your best. Loving your babies and wanting to do anything for them means you’re already doing it right! The rest will come naturally. You will be fine! You’ve got this and if you feel like you don’t, you have a whole community of mums and dads waiting to remind you how amazing you are, including me!
Thank you so much for sharing this blog post @_thetwindiaries_ and if you would like to follow along or know more give her a follow on Instagram x