Kim and her husband John waited anxiously for a long time to have children. But the wait was worth it when they were blessed with twins: a boy and a girl. Kim tells us about the joys and frustrations of life with two infants and her philosophy on parenting twins.
When did you find out you were having twins?
We found out very early in the pregnancy that we were expecting twins but we weren’t really surprised since we did IVF and 2 eggs were transferred. We were a little bit scared, well, mostly me since I was going to be the one carrying them. John was excited. I eventually got over my fear and was just simply happy since we’d waited so long to get pregnant.
What was your biggest fear or anxiety when you learned you were having twins?
My biggest concern about having the twins was mostly pregnancy related. I was afraid of having to have a cesarean section, which I did not want, but knew it was a distinct possibility. Luckily when it came time for the twins’ debut, they were in position for me to have them ‘naturally’. Our other concerns were logistical, like what was I going to do when I was alone with both of them and they’re both crying….
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Breastfeeding. My milk supply wasn’t enough. Then they wouldn’t latch, I believe it was because they had been bottle-fed at the beginning. I tried to train them to breastfeed using a nipple shield, but they were fighting it. So I decided to just exclusively pump and bottle-feed them.
I thought breastfeeding would be a lot easier than it was. It was just a shocker when they wouldn’t latch and I ended up having to pump to feed them breast milk. But I did the best I could and I don’t beat myself up about it.
To get my milk supply up, I had to take herbal supplements (Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle). I love baking, so also made lactation cookies.
What was the biggest life adjustment for you, after having the twins?
Trying to get ANYWHERE on time. No matter how much time I give myself, or how early I start prepping to leave, they either will nap longer than usual or have an explosive diaper.
Now I just accept that, for the most part, we’ll always be late. I’ve started planning to leave the house an hour before I’m supposed to and then by the time they’re done diddle daddling, we’re leaving on time.
Did you have any help?
John worked shift work. So the days he was off, he would be home with me and we would divide and conquer with the twins.
Times he was working… I had a little help. Some days more than others.
My brother would come over once a week to see the twins and play with them to give me a little break. And our extended family would come over once in a while. It was liberating having other people dote on the twins instead of me.
My mom lives 6 hours away… so every other week I would have her in town to help out for 4-5 days. She would cook and clean and do all my grocery shopping. When I was feeling stir crazy, she would stay home and watch the babies while they napped to give me an hour or so of sanity and time to regroup. Or I would just nap during that time undisturbed.
I never thought my mom would be able to help without driving me insane, but as a first-time mom with twins, I gladly took all the help I could get.
When it comes to multiples, what’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
Don’t sweat it if one baby is crying and you can’t get to them right away because you are with the other one. It’s amazing how quickly they learn to be patient. When you are by yourself, sometimes you have no choice but to let one cry. That one piece of advice from a fellow parent of multiples saved me a lot of heartache. You only have two hands.
What’s your parenting approach when it comes to twins?
My philosophy raising the twins is to just roll with it. I have my schedule and timing, but it is not rigid or set in stone. They will always let you know what they need and want so I just roll with it.
We try not to give them multiple options for food because the last thing we want is picky eaters. That’s probably the only thing we’re rigid with. They eat what they get served and if they don’t like it it’s too bad. I’m not going to make separate meals just for one. Luckily they love vegetables and fruit!
What’s the greatest thing about having twins?
Twins are so much fun and so rewarding ’cause you get two sets of hugs and kisses and two ‘I Love Yous’. You do get double the mischief… but then again you only get potty training, doctors appointments, shots, and all the hard stuff once, (unless you also have other children).
They entertain themselves and always have a buddy to play with. They talk to each other all the time and conspire with each other too! I honestly cannot picture my life without my twins. They are the joys of our lives and I’m forever grateful.