The day I found out I was expecting twins, my mind exploded into a million different directions. I almost couldn’t fully comprehend the news. My hands shook and my body shivered as I tried to wrap my mind around this unexpected future ahead of me.
After being a mom to two singletons, I had no idea what to expect being a mother to twins. I knew so little about the challenges twin moms face, and how my life would really be impacted, good or bad.
Honestly, having twins has both broken me, and made me stronger than I had ever thought possible. Other than hearing the typical twin mom rants about the bizarre and often inappropriate things strangers say, I don’t really think that people can really understand what being a twin mom feels like.
Here is my experience…
I think for every mom, finding out they are expecting more than one baby, one of the first things they realize is that they are now a spectacle.
A side show.
From the excitement that comes once the announcement is made, to your body and the invasive curiosity you experience, your private life, as you know it, is over.
I made the decision early on to ride the wave and play the fun “let’s shock them card.” When people made comments about having my hands full, I loved (and still do) watching their faces when I dropped the bomb that I also have two more kids. When people were curious how my body was adapting to two humans growing inside, I would flash my belly and get it over with.
Then there’s life after pregnancy.
By this point I was kind of over the attention and quickly mastered the art of avoiding eye contact and quick grocery shopping excursions.
However you handle it, there is no way around it. People are naturally curious about everything twins.
Once the initial shock-and-awe dust settled and the morning sickness and reality of two on the way sunk in, I was finding myself feeling eerily alone. I was surrounded by mothers, each with multiple children, but I quickly realized that when you are pregnant with twins, you just want to be around other people who have been there and can relate.
This feeling of wanting to be surrounded by your multiples tribe doesn’t disappear after your babies are born. You long for other people who get it. Get the exhaustion and the pain and how much you are constantly giving of yourself.
When I was pregnant with my twins I received a long email from a twin mother who a family member had reached out to for me. This, I thought, was the connection I had been craving.
As I read her email filled with negativity, preparing me to give up everything, plan to not step foot out of my house for at least a year and prepare my husband to be woken up for every feeding, a fire lit within me.
“Thank you twin mama,” I thought to myself, “you have just set the bar that I will be hurdling over.”
From that point on I researched like crazy from my couch. I watched YouTube videos on how to tandem breastfeed twins and I read every book possible and highlighted any tip that would give me independence.
I was a twin mama on a mission. Guess what? All of that research, planning and even rehearsing in our twins’ empty nursery paid off. I killed it from day one, and I couldn’t get rid of the help I had set up fast enough.
In my life I have endured my fair share of pain. I have had stitches, a broken ankle, back injuries, given birth vaginally twice and have had major surgery. But nothing can compare you for the constant agony of your body shifting organs and moving bones to house more than one baby.
It’s not the intensity, but the endless affliction that other than giving birth, there is no relief from. From the pain in my hips, to the heartburn that can only be described as blades being swallowed, almost broke me.
But I persevered. I moved from bed to bath and then to bed and bath again and again. I clenched my teeth when I had to stand longer than five minutes and braced myself when I’d have to go up a flight of stairs, ready for the inevitable black-out.
But going through that kind of constant pain for so long does something to a person. I would compare my current pain tolerance to super powers.
It’s not just cause for celebration when your babies are born, every week passed during a twin pregnancy is a milestone. The day my girls were out of my body, I sat and watched, filled with satisfaction as my family and friends passed them around.
I had done it. I created these two beings.
The pregnancy was a marathon and I had crossed the finish. No one can ever take that feeling away from me.
Getting out the door with twins is doable. But is it always worth it? Going out without help, even to this day is a major challenge, and sometimes I opt-out because I know I am setting myself up for a disaster.
The isolation when you are a parent to multiples is inevitable. But I have found my peace with it. I have mastered many scenarios on my own, but there are just some situations I honestly think “why bother.”
The thing is, I am okay with sticking to my rigid rules, like bedtimes, schedules and opting out of participating in some events. I know that the backlash from messing with a twins’ schedule is hell compared to when it’s just one baby.
What is frustrating is the other people. The people that don’t get it. The people that think they know better because they’ve popped out a few kids. But what they don’t get is when your baby won’t sleep, or wakes screaming, there is about a 95% chance that their twin will too.
Unlike the other people’s children that are different ages, at different stages and need different things, you have to make a choice…
Almost everyday as a twin mom is like a scene out of Sophie’s Choice. Both cry… who is currently my favourite? Haha, no. That isn’t how it goes.
But yes, you have constant difficult choices to make and many of them involve choosing one twin over the other. How do I do it?
I start by triaging the situation. Who was the original cryer? Is someone faking it? Who is dirtier/hungrier/in more pain? Is one of the cryers at risk for making themselves throw up?
All three of us have thankfully learned that this is the way it has to be and my twins have the kind of patience my older kids will never know.
I don’t think that there is a person alive who is as efficient as a mom of multiples. We know how to so many things at once it would blow your mind.
It’s not possible to double up? We have also nailed the art of creating an assembly line.
Oh, and don’t forget the body parts. My legs, feet, elbows and chin have finally found their purpose in life, post twins. I am pretty sure moms of singletons still use their hands for everything… ptff… amateurs .
Honestly, growing, birthing and raising twins is the most impressive, selfless, bravest thing I have ever done. I still look at my girls and examine their perfect little fingers, toes and ears and think what an amazing thing my body has done.
The fact that countless things had to go right to create my girls is not lost on me for one second.
Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Facebook and Instagram! You can also follow our family’s journey on YouTube…
21 thoughts on “Honestly, This Is What It Feels Like To Be A Mom To Twins”
Thank you so much for your posts, I have been following you for more than a year now and read your stories with delight. This one in particular made me feel I was reading exactly what a feel and think. I have two beautiful twin girls that just turn 2 years old a couple of days ago, so I am looking forward to keep reading your experiences.
My daughter has 13 month old twins and I want to have a better understanding to help.
Very informative . I will understand what my daughter is going through as a pregnant mom of twins due in Aug. and with 2 other young ones at home. I want to be as supportive as possible, and not be in the way at the same time!
Loved this so much. And everything you said here was so honest and true for us mommies of twins. I love following your blog and reading all your wonderful stories of twin life. Thanks for sharing with us.
I am a twin mama to a 9-month old boy and girl set. I love this article and totally relate. Thank you for sharing the honest truth of raising twins! Many blessings!
This was fun to read. I’m an identical twin. Since I can remember, my twin and I have called ourselves “the freak show”. You think being a mom of a twin makes you a spectacle, having another person who looks identical to yourself, acts and sounds like you, and is CONSTANTLY compared to you, (both in good and bad ways)…I’m still amazed at how brutal and rude some can be. To give you an idea, I was always considered “the fat twin”, which I wasn’t (fat), but compared to my twin…
In spite of this, my twin and I have always been SO CLOSE. Maybe the closest person in the world to me, and that includes my husband. I’m 47 years old, and we still have an incredible and special bond that not many in this world can relate to. It is such a unique life. I, too, am drawn to all things twin, and feel an instant connection with other twins I meet! I am really excited to read more about your life, and gain a new insight and appreciation for the life my mom has led in raising us! (My older brother is only 16 months older than us! She is quite an amazing woman, my mom!) Thank you for this perspective! ❤️
I am currently 14 wks with twins, and I have a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old. There are many things I could say, but I guess the most important is: THANK YOU! For validation, for helping me see it can be done, for writing this blog for those of us who are just starting to realize how isolated and broken we feel as we start this crazy adventure. You have a new follower, and I’m so glad I found you!
Yes! All so very true. I have 3 kids (5 year old and 2 year old twins). If I head read this post when I was expecting I think some of my anxiety would have dissipated. Bit walking through and learning this on my own is also a huge source of pride for me too. Thank you for writing this and being so positive. I hope all future twin moms come across this and feel encouraged.
Thank you so much for all the advice you have given through your blog! I have 2 kids already and expecting twin girls in August. I love your blog so much! Thank you for being real. You have helped me feel more at ease abour having twins! Thank you again 🙂
Joanna you truly nailed this post! I can relate to many of your experiences. I had my twin girls in June and the pregnancy pains were on point! Some days I didn’t think I could last any longer. Caring for two newborns in addition to my other three (ages 7, 3 and 2) can really be a challenge and twin mommies really go through a lot before and after the birth of our babies…but it is so rewarding!
Yes, yes, yes!! I have two older boys (7 and 9) and twin girls who will be three in a few months. Reading this was so reassuring. It’s nice to know there is someone else out there who knows and gets it!
Yes! This post really nails it!
I gave birth to twin girls April 3, 2012 at 36 weeks. Many people ask me how hard it was when they were babies. I reply that babyhood had NOTHING on the pregnancy. Lol! You’re so right: my pain tolerance is MUCH MUCH higher!
Now they are four and truly best friends. We struggle with that “fairness” issue. They are constantly keeping tabs on each other. It’s always a new/ different struggle for them compared to a singleton (a have two boys as well, 7 and 3) but I, too, still get caught up in the beautiful adventure of creating, caring for, and nurturing twins.
I recently found your blog through YouTube and I absolutely love it…. As a twin mom no one gets you like another twin mom and living in a small town they are far and few between. Thank you so much for this.
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Thank you! I am 20 weeks pregnant with twin boys! I tear up just typing that. My husband and I have four daughters (9,7,4,2). It’s all been quite a surprise to us and we are so excited. I also have many moments of overwhelm. When at 16 weeks or so, I was already feeling like I couldn’t get a good breath when trying to go to sleep, I thought, “Oh goodness! I’ve got a long way to go!” 🙂
I also choose to embrace the shock factor of having my four daughters in a grocery store and telling the person that asks that we are expecting twin boys! I get far less rude comments than I did when pregnant with our fourth because they are shocked and don’t have anything else to say
I want for our family to do as well as we can with the transition when we bring the twins home. I appreciate this post so much. I do believe it will be a lot of work, but also believe we can do it well (well might not look well to all people ) by God’s grace. I have also received the negative insights into twins (you’ll never sleep again, etc) but positive as well. I too use a good routine/schedule with my other babies and am sure it will serve us this time even more.
O am expecting twins- in my first pregnancy. What books do you recommend??
Oh my gosh! I just happened across this blog post today and I want to simultaneously hug you and high five you! I can relate to so much in your post – especially the “side show” part. Our older girls were 6 and 2 when we found out we were pregnant with twins. I never imagined myself with 4 kiddos but talk about pride in what my body was capable of and the little blessings we have! Thank you for posting 🙂 Good luck mama
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I hope you and your kids are well! I found out we were having twins when my oldest my 9months old. Complete shock. I remember that day so vividly but almost nothing from when they were born. That first year was a haze. Trying to keep up with 3 young kids. Now I have a 4 year old singleton and two 3 year olds. It’s fun but still very hard. Thanks for sharing your story! Finding other twin moms to share experiences with and who can relate was important!
Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for posting this! I’m currently 4 months pregnant with twins! When they are born, we will have 6 kids and the oldest will have just turned 7…..3 kids under 2! I’m super excited but a bit overwhelmed. I feel more confident that I can do this after reading your post, though. Thank you! Hugs!
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