Raising Twins a Blessing and What it RequiresBy
WeeklyInterview : What are the greatest challenges of raising twins vs. a singleton child?
Shelly B. : The lack of any extra hands for starters! One baby requires a mom to have 2 hands, even 3 at times, so as you can imagine, adding an extra baby to the mix, can at times have you shouting to your partner, ‘I need help and now!’
It’s definitely a more rewarding experience then it is a challenging one, but the juggling act between two infants and trying to keep the peace in the rest of the home, meaning sibling jealousy, making time for everybody, getting every day tasks accomplished, etc. are definitely the hardest parts about raising twins.
Sometimes you just have to let the little things go, like the daily chores, and focus on the most important thing….Your ever growing family.
WI: It’s hard enough getting your body back from a regular pregnancy, how is it possible to do so with twins?
S.B.: Well, there is partial truth in that it comes easier for some then for others. We are all made of the same materials: flesh, bone, blood, and fat, and while some people naturally seem to lose weight faster or easier then others, it doesn’t make the postpartum recovery impossible for any woman on the planet, be it one baby or two. Yes, it may take some extra time if you have a hard time losing weight or have more weight to lose, but nothing is Twinpossible.
As I always say, belly binding was my absolute savior in my stomach’s recovery after the twins. I don’t believe I could have gotten back my former waistline without my squeem, and you can avoid stretch marks to some degree anyway, by avoiding drying soaps while pregnant, using moisturizing body washes instead, and keep the skin more taut, with over the counter products such as belly butter, which I think does help, because moisturized skin, is younger looking, more soft, subtle, and tight looking.
Be patient with your body, don’t compare yourself to others, set reasonable goals for yourself, and try to reach them, one goal at a time. Don’t get all depressed and hung up in the thought process, that it’s never going to happen, because negative thinking equals a negative outcome.
WI: Did you want twins? How did it feel to find out?
S.B.: No, you could have knocked me over with a feather for the entire 8 and 1/2 months of my pregnancy. I had the worst case of twin shock one can possibly have, and really, in all honesty, found it incredibly difficult to think positively about the pregnancy in general, and to bond with two babies, while they were still inside of me. It was too much for me to wrap my brain around really. Absolutely in a word ‘surreal’.
I had never thought in a million years I’d be hearing the news of twins, with the way my cycle had gone down, that it made it all the more hard to swallow. I didn’t think I’d get pregnant at all, but there were moments in the very beginning, where I honestly wished we could start over, and go for one, because it just seemed impossible.
I’m totally pro-life, so I’m not talking about abortion here, it just it crossed my mind that one was just what our family needed to feel complete, and I had so many doubts about two, that I admit to having singleton envy for some time.
There were just a tremendous amount of fears. How would they fit inside of me and make it to term? How could we afford it, and handle them along with our other children. They surely weren’t our first kids. It was really hard sinking in, and took a great long while to do so. I do feel guilty for some of the thoughts I had back then, but have forgiven myself for them now.
I always wanted to be a twin, but never to have twins, because even as a child I thought ‘Man that must be really hard’, and while it is, and I couldn’t foresee it back then, it truly is double the blessing, and it’s ok to feel negatively about being pregnant with twins, not every woman will be jumping for joy over it. The risks are greater, the miscarriage and mortality rates are greater. The stress and financial burdens are greater, and it’s just a scary thing for some, more then for others.
Having a great support system, even if that is only your husband which is most important, is the key to managing the daily tasks with twins with smiles on your face, and a spring in your step, not to mention a having a happy home and an all around better marriage to boot.
Don’t be afraid to lean on somebody if you are scared, and remember, in the end, if someone reading this were to find themselves pregnant with twins, they should feel at ease knowing they are not alone in their thoughts and fears, and that in the end, they won’t be able to imagine their lives without one of those smiling faces inside of it.
WI: What is the best part about raising twins?
S.B.: Looking at their little faces smiling up at you from their cribs every morning. Hearing the word ‘mama’, as they race over to you feverishly, crawling into your lap. When they are sleeping, and you stroke their hair, and realize what an amazing gift God has give you, and how special you must be to have been given that very precious gift times two.
I always say it. God makes no mistakes. Even through my losses, I have grown stronger, and I think twins was God’s way of helping to make up for some of what I lost. It certainly does help ease the pain, though you can never, ever, replace a lost loved one. They do keep me busy, so it is less time to stress and think, which most times I think is nice, since I am a chronic worrier and over-thinker by nature.
WI: Why did I create the web site Twinpossible.com?
S.B.: I said to myself, if I ever survive this twin pregnancy, body, mind, and soul, that I would have to give hope to the rest of the world, because my mind was no negative about it, it really ruined my entire pregnancy experience, and I will fight hard for the rest of my days, to try and lessen those feelings and fears in other women’s mind, as there really isn’t a tremendous amount of support out there on the subject. All I read was gloom and doom, and there is obviously so much more. Happy stories, stories of success and inevitable elation.
Women don’t need to hear about how hard the journey ahead of them will be, and how their bodies will be wrecked forever and how their marriages will be strained. Those things are not the truth. Me and my husband were having more difficulties before the twins. Somehow, these precious bundles have brought us closer together as a couple, and we appreciate each other more now then ever.
My body did not get wrecked at all. I thought it would be, based on all I read and saw, but was very pleasantly surprised. There is little positive information out there, because a lot of people on the Internet like to shoot off war stories, and the people who have a happy outcome, rarely share it, they just go on with their lives, so the ‘bad’, is all we read about.
That is why Twinpossible.com was brought to life, and I love to write, I enjoy helping others, so it seems as if this was just my calling, and I’ve finally found where I belong in this big, crazy world.
WI: When did you first become a mother, and what does motherhood mean to you?
S.B.: I became pregnant with my 1st child way back in 1995, and not by choice, but it happened, and I never looked back. I was 18 going on 19 when I found out the news, which devastated my parents, and for some time, tossed me out of their lives, and their home. My friends all abandoned me, and all of the support that I did have, was an abusive boyfriend, who I wanted to flee from, but was too weak to get away from at that time.
Only hindsight is 20/20, but in 1996, after the birth of my second son, is when I finally got the strength, not for my own sake, but for the sake of my children, to leave him, though I did spend years looking over my shoulder, which is a very sucky and sad way to live.
My trails and tribulations in life have made me a stronger person, and I believe a better mother as well. I appreciate the little things so much more, knowing I probably wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t become a mother when I had.
Everything has a purpose no matter how tragic it may seem at the time, and I was hooked from the second I laid eyes on my first child. I knew I wanted many more, just not with ‘Him’. I knew in an instant I was meant to be a mom, and had zero regrets.
I was fortunate to get therapy and find the will to think better of myself, and realize how much more I deserved, so I finally in turn was attracting a new breed of man. One that would never hurt, never hit, never abuse me in any way shape or form. It was a slow process, but God sent my husband to me, that much I know, and just when I needed him most.
He’s man that makes me laugh, dealt with the after effects of a woman getting out of such a turbulent relationship, and for that I honor my husband. He had to deal with so much, and never walked away from me. To this day that still impresses me.
I owe my life to my kids, and my happy life now, to my husband and my children. Motherhood couldn’t be a more special gift to me, and even after suffering from losses and infertility issues, God has only tested me. I have never broken.
In all honesty my strength since childhood actually amazes me when I look back now, because I never felt so strong until after my son died back in 2005. That was the worst tragedy I ever endured, or ever will, and it made me realize that life is so fragile, and every second, every single moment, with our kids should be cherished and enjoyed, because we don’t even know. It’s something we don’t want to ever think about, but it’s true. Anything can happen, as I have seen.
One day we can be here, and the next minute, we’re gone. My message is that life is short, so make the most of the time that you have, and like the song says, ‘Live like you were dying.’ Never let an opportunity for happiness pass you by, you may never get it back, and never let an opportunity to tell the people you care about, that you love them. I do so every day without fail, at least once a day.
Also, if you are feeling weak and in pain, never hold that pain in. I went through denial over my son’s passing for so long, it nearly crippled me, when the emotions finally burst. This is when I realized just how devastating it is to deny yourself the right to grieve and to express your inner most feelings. It isn’t weakness, it’s called being human.
Enjoy your children, enjoy everything they say and do. Record every event that you can, and photograph every memory, because being a mother is such a special job, and time it passes by so fast. We moms are not paid in money but in love, which is worth far more in my book.
BIO- I’m a mom who loves to write. It’s been a passion of mine to write in my journal, write poetry, and short stories, since the age of 10 or 11. I believe writing is absolute therapy for the soul, and so obviously blogging is something I am truly enjoying, though still relatively new to it.
I have given birth to 5 beautiful children, one loss before birth, and 1 loss after, so I have angels in heaven, and 4 children here with me on Earth. 3 princesses and one teenage prince.
I had twins, now 9 months old, back in March, 2010, and am loving every minute of it.