When I was pregnant, we read two books extensively (What to expect when you are expecting - recommended by the Obstetrician AND Contented Home with Twins - recommended by a mummy of twins) and attended two prenatal classes conducted at the hospital (Caring for Multiples at home AND Cesarean Births). Prior to being pregnant, we had very little contact with young children so we were absolutely clueless on what it took to care for infants let alone, two at the same time.
These suggestions I am about to share are based on my own personal experiences and as mentioned on numerous occasions, parenting is a very personal journey and what is right for one family may not necessarily be the case for the other. Without much further ado, here goes.
There are more risks associated with a pregnancy with multiples and I wanted to ensure that my health and well-being of my unborn children were at its optimum at all times.
- We went with private health as oppose to government as it enabled us to pick and choose whom we wanted for our Obstetrician - that meant the same doctor took care of us throughout the entire pregnancy.
- We chose an obstetrician who has extensive experience and a brilliant bedside manner. He was also within walking distance of my office so I could see him quickly and whenever I felt the need to do so. On top of that, he was also up front with all his costs so there were no hidden surprises.
- I listened to my obstetrician all the way. When he told me at 8 weeks that I need to be fitted for maternity bras, I did just that on the same day. When he told me to stop all air travel for work at 10 weeks, I told my boss and that was it. When he suggested that I stopped work at 28 weeks, I stopped work at 28 weeks on the dot.
- I was severely constipated for the entire pregnancy, experienced all day sickness for 16 weeks and lost 6 kg in the first trimester. My diet for the first 4 months consisted of rice crackers, dried pears, dried prunes, apples, cottage cheese, fresh spinach leaves, chick peas and soy milk. My children continued to grow at the normal rate despite my shrinking frame.
- I had monthly ultrasounds and 3D ultrasounds every 2 months. Both of which were comforting, assuring and oh so necessary in ensuring me that we were on track.
- The hospital bag was packed at 28 weeks and placed in the boot of our car, just in case the twins came early.
IN PREPARATION FOR THE TWINS
- We made the decision that our twin infants will share a room and not ours. To keep the room neutral as we have girl/boy twins and for the cots to last longer, we kept all the furniture white and bought cots that invert into junior beds. Their bedroom is absolutely pitch dark when the blinds are down and curtains are pulled together.
- We stock piled on infant nappies and bought the best on the market that comes with a wetness indicator.
- I stocked my freezer with home-cooked meals so that I didn't have to cook when we came back from hospital.
- We made the decision to feed our twins on a routine and to sleep train them as soon as the Pediatrician gave us the go ahead.
- We fitted both our cars with baby car seats. Yes, we have 4 car seats.
- PJ dresses with buttons at the front and very comfy full underwear were purchased for post births.
- My birth plan was very straight forward: To be in as little pain as possible.
- I made the choice for a cesarean because I wanted my children born ASAP without any undue stress. I was in the operating theater at 9:00am - Charlotte was born at 9:08am and Daniel at 9:09am. We were all in recovery by 10:00am and back in our private room at 10:45am.
- I followed all the advice given to me by 9 midwives and obstetrician to aid in my recovery: Walked hunched over into the bathroom and had my first shower supervised by a midwife 24 hours post delivery. Took all the drugs that was given to me. Went for very slow 5 min strolls with the husband every evening after dinner and by the 3rd night, we were walking for 15 minutes albeit very slowly.
- We fed the children on a 3 hourly routine from the moment they were born and it was downright exhausting, to state the least. My breast milk did not come in till the 5th day and I offered my children both the breast and formula right from the start.
- When the babies slept, I tried to sleep too.
- The midwives coached me on how to bath the babies on my own so by the time we went home on day 4, we knew what was involved.
It is obvious that there are more suggestions and those listed above. I chose these ones because they were important to us at that time. All the best for the rest of your pregnancy and keep smiling.