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Say What?? Mommy of Twins Vent

As a mother of multiples, it is expected to get a lot of extra attention when I am out in public.

While it is expected, it is also redundant and gets annoying. People flock to me left and right. I feel like I’m walking around with a six-foot monkey on my head.

The comments really began when I was pregnant. At 6-7 months pregnant, many people began to comment that I must be due any day now. Well, thank you for reminding me how gigantic I am, I almost forgot that I was pregnant. When I told people that I was having twins, some people followed up with, “I’m sorry.” Really?

It is a fact that I cannot go anywhere with the girls without people stopping me to ask the same questions or make the same comments. I understand that people are fascinated by twins, but sometimes people have no filter, and sometimes the comments and questions can get annoying and frustrating because I hear them so many times.

Here are the Top 10 remarks that I receive at almost every public appearance.

  • “Are they twins?”
    • Really? What tipped you off? They are usually wearing the same outfit, sitting in identical car seats in a double stroller. Yes, they are twins. Ok, a better response, OMG? What? NO, they are actually triplets. I may have lost one! Then, run in the other direction.
  •  “You’ve got your hands full.”
    • They usually look at me like they are sorry for me. Don’t be sorry, I would not want it any other way. However, If you could open the door for me, that’d be great.
  • “Do twins run in your family?” or “Are they natural?”
    • Since we are getting personal, Hi, my name is Hollie, nice to meet you. I guess this is a sneaky way to ask, did you have IVF? Not that it is any of your business, but no.
  • “Double Trouble.”
    • This comment just offends me. Thank you for your opinion, but I feel very lucky to have twins and NO, my girls are not trouble.
  • “Better you then me.”
    • Absolutely, I could not agree with you more.
  • “How do you tell them apart?”
    • Okay, they are fraternal twins. They are sisters who happened to be born at the same time. They are two completely different people. How do you tell your children apart?
  • “Do they have different personalities?”
    • No, they even blink at the same time. Of course they have two different personalities, they are two different people.
  • “Who is older?” or “I can tell which one is older.”
    • Really, they are four minutes apart and you can tell me with certainty which baby is older? (Usually, they are wrong anyway) Plus, at 240 seconds, does it really matter who is older?
  • “Did you know you were having twins?”
    • This is the 21st century, and we do have ultrasound machines. I was not on the TLC show, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”  I was fully aware that there were two babies growing inside of me.
  • “Guess you are done having kids!”
    • Thank you for offering to plan ahead for my future. I am glad that you think that families should have no more than 2 children, but I think I’ll keep that decision between my husband and I.

Okay, I am feeling a lot better after getting the “Twin Mommy Vent” out of the way and that was only the Top 10! Maybe I can do a follow up with the Top 20 later.

If you see a Mommy of Multiples the next time you are out, just take a minute to think about this post. I’m sure she will appreciate it.

Vent over.

Twins on a Schedule!

It finally happened. The girls are on a schedule.

For the past couple of months, I have made plans to meet up with new moms (of singles and multiples) and the question is always asked, “What time do your babies eat and what time do your babies nap?” The question is always posed so we can figure out what time to meet up, preferably after a feeding.

I realized, I could not answer this question and felt like I was one of the only moms who really had no idea. Every day was different. Some days the girls were eating around the same time, but usually not. Naps were often at opposite times, feedings were sometimes 30-60 minutes apart and I was never getting a break.

After talking with several new moms, and three new moms of twins, I realized, I was making my life a lot more stressful and did not even realize it.

It was time to at least get one thing in order, feedings. Before Thursday evening, feedings were all over the place. Sometimes the girls would cry an hour after they just ate, only to eat one more ounce. It was chaotic and I was feeding babies around the clock and it was non-stop. I was always exhausted.

After four months, I saw the light and this Momma has a new plan, which surprisingly has been a fairly easy adjustment for the girls. It all started Thursday night with a 6 p.m. bath, 6:30 p.m. feeding, and 7:00 p.m. bedtime.

Normally, the girls wake up twice at night, but something must’ve been in the bath water Thursday night because they only woke up once!

Friday morning came. My husband left for work at 6a.m. and today was the true test to see if I could get my life on schedule. Miraculously, both girls woke up at 6:30 a.m. and so it began, the first feeding. My day went like this:

Feedings:
6:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
     <6:00 p.m. BATH>
6:30 p.m.
     <7:00 p.m. BED>
One nighttime feeding (between 1 a.m.-4 a.m.) 


Having both girls eat at the same time was outstanding. Coincidentally, it led into napping at the same time, which meant, Mommy got a break. We followed the schedule again today and it was a success!

I used to be extremely stressed out running errands because it seemed like someone was always hungry. I never knew what a good time was to meet a friend because one girl was eating and one was sleeping. I feel like I was missing out on a lot of things because I was worried about leaving the house.

Now, this schedule has helped me get my life back.  It is so great knowing exactly what time the babies will eat and that I could plan my day around it. I was finally in charge again… okay, I am in charge for the first time! How could it take me four months to start this?

Special thank you to my new friend, Erin, mother of beautiful 5 month old twin girls, for showing me the light. I can finally say, “Yes, 10 a.m. sounds like a great time to meet up for coffee!”

Right now, my focus is on the feeding schedule, next we will work on consistent napping, and then we will focus on eliminating the night time feeding. Hello world… this Momma is back!

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Nonstress Testing Twice a Week

It’s hard to believe that we are now 35 weeks pregnant. I have hit the point in twin pregnancy where I not only have a doctor visit every week, but also go to the hospital twice a week for non-stress testing. I know the next few weeks could drag on, but having 3 weekly appointments to see my girls will definitely help out in the waiting process!

Non-stress tests (NST) are a painless procedure used to evaluate the girls condition. We start off with a quick ultrasound to check the positioning of the girls… and, great news, they are both still head down!!

Next, I sit in a big comfortable, reclining chair and the nurse straps three devices to my stomach. Two of them monitor each of the girl’s heart beats and movements while the third one records contractions in my uterus.

During the test, the nurse monitors the girls’ heartbeats, first while each baby is resting and again while they are moving. As you would expect, the heart rate should go up while they are kicking and moving.

I was told to eat a good breakfast to give the girls a little boost and get their feet kicking.

If the baby’s heart beats faster while she is moving, for at least 15 seconds, on two separate occasions, during a 20-minute span, the result is normal and she passes the test! A paper printout monitors every movement and is later sent to my doctor for further evaluation.

Depending on the cooperation of the babies, the test could take anywhere from 20-60 minutes. At our first visit on Monday, we were done in 20 minutes, and the nurse said the girls received their first “A”. I am so proud!

We have our next NST tomorrow morning and I’m hopeful it will go as smoothly as the first one!

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26 Weeks and a Glucose Screen

UPDATE: In order to PASS the test and avoid the 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test, your score needed to be less than 130 mg/dL… and.. mine was 106 mg/dL. PASSED!

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As the second trimester winds down, the girls are becoming more and more active. Today, we had our 26 week check up and everything is looking good!

Both girls are head down (crossing our fingers they stay that way) and weigh in at just under 2 pounds each. If I were only carrying one baby, my belly would be measuring 32 weeks! I’m definitely working on building them a nice house.

We had a special treat at today’s appointment, and it came in a little bottle, also known as the glucose screening test. The glucose screening test is recommended between 24 and 28 weeks to screen for gestational diabetes. This initial screening test will not give a diagnosis but will identify women who may need additional testing.

When you arrive for the glucose screen, you are given a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The beverages come in different flavors, and I was blessed with an orange drink. Some doctors may require you to take the test on the spot, but I was given the option to bring the drink home with me and return for my blood draw later.

You are instructed to drink the entire thing in 5 minutes. After consuming the drink, you will sit and wait for exactly one hour. I was told that if you wait an hour and 15 minutes, you will skew the results. When the clock strikes an hour on the dot, the technician will take a blood sample to check your blood sugar level.

If the reading from the glucose screening test is abnormal, (high blood sugar) your practitioner will call you back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test. It is important to know that 15% – 23% of women may have an abnormal reading on the screening test, but only 2% – 5% of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes.

I plan on taking my glucose screening test first thing in the morning. This way, I can bring a book or magazine and monitor the clock for my blood draw.

It is hard to believe that there is only one more week left  in my second trimester! Time sure is flying by!

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Preterm Labor: What to Look For

Kaiser Permanente offers a multitude of prenatal education classes including breastfeeding, prepared childbirth, and preterm birth prevention. The majority of the classes are offered at no charge and it is a great way to not only learn about your pregnancy and what to expect, but also to meet new moms that are on the same page as you.

We have signed up for all of the classes and last night, we attended the preterm birth prevention class. The class is intended to help you recognize the signs of preterm labor and decrease the chances of preterm birth. It is recommended for women between 20-24 weeks of pregnancy. I learned a lot of valuable information and think it is important to share.

Babies born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy are considered to be born premature. Being pregnant with multiples does put us at an increased risk for preterm labor. Some other factors which can place women at an increased risk include:

  • A history of previous preterm birth
  • A history of preterm labor in another pregnancy
  • Carrying more than one baby
  • An abnormally shaped uterus
  • A history of 3 or more miscarriages or abortions
  • Frequent uterine contractions in pregnancy
  • Changes in the cervix this pregnancy
  • Frequent bladder of kidney infections
  • Cigarette Smoking / Alcohol / Drug Use during this pregnancy

Even though you may have one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean you will deliver a preterm baby. In fact, over half of the women who deliver preterm babies have no risk factors. It could happen to anyone, so it is important to know what to look out for.

If you experience any of the following preterm labor signs, you should immediately call your healthcare professional.

  • Low, dull backache – the pain is constant; starts in your back and comes around to the front
  • Cramps – could resemble the cramps you get with your menstrual cycle or abdominal cramps
  • Leaking fluid – could be your water breaking
  • Changes in discharge – notice an increase
  • Pressure – feeling that your baby is pushing down low in your pelvis
  • Contractions – abdomen tightens like a fist and occur 10 minutes apart of closer

For more information on preterm labor, you can visit the March of Dimes website.

The hour-long class was very educational. I learned the importance of recognizing the preterm labor signs and getting to the hospital as soon as possible so the labor can potentially be stopped.

I love the Kaiser classes and overall, we have had a wonderful experience. Although, we cannot predict everything (such as having twins), we can try to be as prepared as possible for what’s to come!

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