Dealing with the Surprise
The day of my first ultrasound, my toddler, Anais, was sick, so my husband stayed home with her. The plan was I was going to video chat him during the appointment. His phone was on mute, so despite my calls, he wasn't able to join. As the doctor is looking at things, I see a flash of something, and then another flash. I knew twins were a possibility because we had transferred two embryos. I also thought *maybe* it was twins because I started getting pregnancy symptoms immediately. I remember coming down for breakfast one day, looking at eggs, and thinking I never wanted to eat eggs again.
So I asked the doctor, is that two? And yes, it was. Even though I knew there was a chance, it was still completely overwhelming. I didn't want to tell my husband over the phone, so I waited till I got home. His first words were "I'm going to need a bigger car." Spoiler Alert! He didn't. At this point we are just using my van whenever the twins need to go somewhere. His car still has a car seat for our toddler, but we couldn't justify purchasing another larger car, when we could just always make sure to use my car if we were going to have the twins with us.
If you are expecting twins (or more!) I strongly recommend the book, "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads: Proven Guidelines for Healthy Multiple Pregnancy." I loved that it based on actual research, and not just some mom sharing just her experience (which is exactly what you are getting with this blog, by the way). Reading this book allowed me to be very well informed when I had my appointments with my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, and allowed me to ask better questions to ensure I understood what they were telling me. I did try to follow much of the guidance in the book. I ended up having a healthy pregnancy (albeit a miserable one) and delivered my girls at 38 weeks and 2 days, which for twins is pretty amazing. I have no idea if any behavior changes I made from the book helped me get there, but it certainly didn't hurt. I also appreciated their honest advice about just needing to rest so much more with multiples. At 34 weeks I went on short term disability and started my two nap a day regime - at least until Covid made us take my toddler out of daycare - then we did a long nap together each afternoon (which was probably my favorite part of the day).
Finances and Other Adulting Things
Before you start buying up cute twin outfits, and an expensive matching crib set - take a look at your financial situation. I calculated our take-home pay after taxes and other deductions, and then used Mint.com to figure out my average monthly spending. Then, I added in diapers, formula and daycare (yikes!). It wasn't pretty. I dropped my 401k contribution to only net the match to start saving more before they arrived. I actually contemplated moving! If we moved to a less expensive house, either a smaller place, or further away in the suburbs, it'd free up money each month. But I was quickly talked out of it - given we'd then probably want to move again in the future, and right now we are in a home I hope will last us along time.
We also prioritized getting life insurance. We both had some through our employer, but definitely not enough to help pay for three kids. If you have life insurance through your employer, I'd suggest also getting supplemental life insurance that isn't tied to your employment. Also, do it while you are relatively young and healthy - you don't want to try to get life insurance later once you are older and perhaps find out you have a medical condition which will prevent you from being insured.
And don't forget a will! Even if you expect everything will go to your spouse or your kids, having a will makes it significantly easier for whomever is taking care of your estate. And in the horrific event both you and your spouse or partner were to pass away, you'll probably want some say in who your kids go to. (Just be sure to ask them first).
Ask for Help
If you are pregnant - twins or no twins - it can be rough. Please don't be afraid to ask others for help. If a coworker offered to grab me lunch when they went out to get something I'd say yes! Forgot about inconveniencing other people - you are growing a baby! Later on, when I was very large and uncomfortable, and working from home all the time, my mother -in-law started picking up my toddler from daycare and bringing her to my house for me. Our house has two flights of stairs from the front door to our driveway, so that was literally a godsend, as I was so exhausted, even if I just got up from a chair, much less huffing up two flights of stairs.
Find Free or Used Stuff when Possible
This deserves it's own post later, but remember up above when I mentioned before you go buy matching cribs to take a look at your finances? Yeah, well after I looked at mine, we didn't buy a matching crib set. We used my toddler's old crib, moving her to a new big girl bed (which was actually my sister in law's bed when she was little), and then we got another crib from our neighbor for free. (Thank you to all the generous moms and dads out there!). And new decor with fancy personalized names, and wall decals, and new matching sheets? Yeah, that didn't happen either. This may have also been due to sheer exhaustion carrying twins this time around, but these girls ended up in a room that was pretty much exactly the same as my first kid - and we never even really decorated her nursery, beyond some bison crib sheets, a changing table cover, and a bison picture my sister found at Target. I mean, I think all those nurseries online look absolutely amazing, and if you are passionate about it and it will make you happy - go for it! But if you don't care, that's also fine. Now, there are some things I'd definitely recommend for twins, but I'll make a separate post for that later.
Our local Buy Nothing group on Facebook was incredibly helpful, as were the two Moms of Multiples groups I was in locally. Between them I received so many free things - and after my delivery, people were offering to just drop things off at our house for us so I didn't need to go get things! And while not everything is in perfect condition, I can't fathom having to have purchased everything new. And I also love that when I'm doing with these things, I'm just re-gifting them back to the group. I already have someone coming over tomorrow to take some 4oz bottles we are ready to get rid of.