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Saturday, July 26, 2014

seeing double - TWINS! - Jennifer Smith

Thanks to Jennifer Smith for sharing her very sweet family with us in this next part of our new series Seeing Double - TWINS! She found out at 20 weeks pregnant that she was carrying twins- yikes! And a zillion laughs and ups and downs later, she's here to share her ideas for what works - labeling all cups and bottles, what a great idea! 

Thanks, Jennifer, you have an adorable family!

All photos from Jennifer Smith

1. How did you find out you were having twins?
Well, that was a huge surprise!  

My "mommy intuition" told me I was having another little girl, so I mentally prepared for another little girl. I had gone to my usual OB check ups and everything was normal. I was due for my 1st ultrasound and that fell on my 20th week. My parents were watching my 1st child (Maddie) at my house while my husband and I headed to my appointment.  

The minute the ultrasound Tech placed the Doppler on my belly I knew something was off. She paused, took the Doppler off and asked if this had been my 1st ultrasound this pregnancy (she couldn' t believe I was finding out this late). I said "yes, why?" trying not to panic!  

She then told me there were 2 babies! My immediate reaction was "no way" and she said " I wouldn't lie about that"  

I started to ball like a baby, my husband went from shocked to dancing around the roomy fairly quickly. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the thought of 2 babies, at the same time!! Then she really threw me off, Boys! I had previously worked for an OB/GYN office and my mind had gone to all the possible complications that could occur! Anyway, my normal 1 hour ultrasound turned into 2 and a half hours. My parents were worried, but there was no way I could call and share THAT info over the phone!
2. What was your original reaction to finding out you're having twins? I was absolutely shocked and worried. We had a 2 bedroom house and a car that could not fit a family of 5.
3. How old were your other children at the time you found out about twins coming? My daughter Madelyn was 2. I remember feeling guilty when I found out I was pregnant because she was pretty used to being the only child that was getting lots of attention. How was I going to prepare her for 2 babies and all the attention they were going to need?

4. What were you most nervous, scared, worried, etc. about with having twins? What thoughts ran through your mind initially? My first thought was the possible complications and of course the financial part. I knew I could go early and the babies could possibly spend time in the NICU.

5. What helped you to prepare for twins? How specifically did you prepare for twins? After the news finally sank in and I realized, this was really going to happen, I started to nest immediately. I joined moms with multiples groups and read their advice and then started searching for 2 of everything, mostly used.  

I bought books, that helped a little but it mostly scared me. I didn't want to know too much as far as schedules for feeding and napping, it was too much pressure. If I couldn't get them on a perfect schedule then so be it, I didn't want to feel like a failure before I even started!  
6. Any good books, Web sites, etc. for those having twins?  
I love Dr. William Sears, I purchased a book called "The Breastfeeding Book" by him and his wife. I needed some advice about feeding. I also liked " The Everything Twins, Triplets, and more book" by Pamela Fierro, it was almost like the Dummies books.
7. What were some lifesavers to you, things that helped you when the babies were born - baby must haves? Lifesavers were, Boppys, I would place the boys in there for everything. Anything that could be labeled, I bought bands with their names on them for bottles and sippies. I luckily had lots of help and It made it easier to have everything labeled!
8. How did feeding twins go for you, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, what worked, what was challenging? That was hard! Probably the hardest! I breastfed both babies until day 4 of being home. It hurt, one would fall asleep while feeding and the other is next to me crying and waiting his turn. I tried tandem and it just didn't work:( I also was so sleep deprived that I could barely function, I needed help! So I decided to pump and had a strict schedule of every 2 hours and if I didn't, I wouldn't have enough to feed them both! It was such a terrible feeling to not "have enough". I barely left the house but when I did, my pump always came! I pumped for 14 months :)

9. What is the best part about having twins? I love that they always have each other to play with. They are best friends and have great imaginations together. I used to think wow this is so hard, how am I going to handle this? Now, I've realized how truly lucky I am and how blessed I am!
10. What are some challenges overall with having twins? Challenges have always been making everything fair. Right down to hugs and kisses, toys, spoons, cups, clothes and anything you can think of. They want things to be fair, not always the same but even.
11. How do you manage two at the same age at the same time, meeting their needs, etc.? What helps you? Sharing my time is tough. It's hard to not get one-on-one time with them very often. I try to make time for that but it's hard, It's usually to the doctors and the grocery store. Even that to them is amazing though!

12. What is unique or special about having twins? I love that they have this great bond between them. They argue and bicker but they love each other and enjoy doing boy things together.
13. What is your advice to a new mom with twins? Don't put pressure on yourself. Things are not going to go as planned or perfectly, so learn to laugh because if you don't, you'll cry.
14. What do you wish someone had told you about having multiples? I wished someone had told me how hard and exhausting the 1st 3 months were. My husband and I joke now that we literally were walking zombies. Oh and always accept help!

15. Can you share a typical day in the life with twins or a great story of the two of them? A day in the life, they wake up around 8 and get right to playing. They can keep each other amused all day with Legos and inventing things. It's adorable to listen to their conversations too. They also love the outdoors, they love playing ninjas. Boys are definitely born to play differently than girls. I spend most of my day keeping them safe and out of trouble.
16. What are three things you know for sure about twins? They are challenging They are fun They have very different personalities

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