Disclaimer: I am obviously no expert, just one twin momma able to share from my experiences and be part of your parenting village.
When you first get the news that there’s not ONE, but TWO (or more!) babies inside of you (or your partner), you probably fall into one of three categories:
1. You had hoped and planned for this whether due to fertility treatments or known genetic probability, but now that it’s real, you are in shock!
2. For some reason completely unrelated to fertility treatments or genetics, you had always dreamed of having twins (especially boy-girl twins) because that would be the most amazing thing ever! I didn’t even know there were people like this until we started announcing our twin pregnancy. Nevertheless, now that it’s real, you are in shock!
3. It had never occurred to you that you might become pregnant with twins or multiples, and well, obviously, now, you are in shock!
By the way, we belong to the third category.
Our first pregnancy (singleton as we expected) was SO ridiculously and perfectly timed. I mean, I am an educator, and our son was born on the last day of school. I spent the summer with my bundle of joy and was ready for a new school year exactly 12 weeks later. (Which means I didn’t lose any pay for maternity leave. Teacher Triumph!)
About a year later, we started talking about plans for a second baby, but… Surprise, I was already pregnant. Super surprise, we were having twins! Shock and jubilation! You can read more about our twin pregnancy story here.
I almost wrote “once you get over the shock“, but the truth is, the shock might take a while to diminish, plus your brain is likely to go straight into hyperdrive with a million questions, doubts, and realizations related to this exciting news!
You’ll have to face a few facts pretty quickly:
- Your pregnancy will be considered at-risk.
- Depending on the type of twin gestation, those risks may be even greater.
- You might have to tell people sooner than you would with a singleton, because you’ll need work to be understanding and your support system to be ready when needed. Trust me, you’ll need support, even if it’s just emotional.
You’ll quickly learn that di-di twins (dichorionic-diamniotoc, like our monitos) are cozied up in separate amniotic sacs with separate placentas, mo-di twins have two sacs but share one placenta and mo-mo twins are good little sharers, sharing one placenta and one sac. (Again, I’m no expert, so read and learn more. Click on the image to start.)
- You’ll have way more frequent doctor’s visits than if you were carrying just one baby.
- It will get annoying, exhausting and difficult to juggle. That’s basically warming you up for twin momma life, but you’ll also enjoy seeing and hearing your babies more frequently.
- You’ll worry twice as much (so seeing your babies often is a real blessing).
- They’ll call the babies Baby A and Baby B, which will come to sound much sweeter over time.
- 38 weeks is the new 40 weeks.
- Average twin gestation is about 35.5 weeks.
- If twins are hereditary, then it comes from the mom’s side and is due to a hyper ovulation gene resulting in fraternal twins.
- People have a lot to say about twins and some of it will get very repetitive. Get ready.
- And yes, you’ll probably need a new car. (This is the first thing hubby said when the OB left us alone to process the big news. Sorry babe, you are never living that down.)
That’s probably all your pregnant brain can handle at first, but you’ll quickly need to have some serious discussions about work, money, and if you have enough support.
After those big decisions, you can start worrying about all the other stuff like that awful “morning” sickness, books to read, gear to buy, dealing with sciatica and growing pains, birthing options, baby feeding options… don’t worry, you’ve got this! (If you say that enough, it will be true, right?)
So, stay tuned and congratulations on the biggest, best shock of your life.
Leave me a comment if you have a specific question or request for information. And check out the Twins Page for more.