“Shock and Awe”, it’s not just a military mission; it’s also the initial reaction of a twin mom, and the folks she tells that she has two buns in the oven.
There are a few things that can ease the transition from being a gal about town to a mommy on duty. For starters there are some basics that we should cover.
-Does it feel like you are constantly going to the doctor? Well actually you are. Mothers of multiples visit their doctor 30% more than a singleton mom. A great side effect of so many visits, is that you get to see your babies a lot more! So make the best of it. Ask your doctor if you can bring a VHS tape or a DVD to record your sonograms. It will be a great thing to show the twins when his/her first date arrives to pick em up.
-Something that is pretty important to investigate during the early days of your pregnancy is to find out if your company has a flexible spending account (sometimes called a Cafeteria Plan). Not all companies have them, but if yours does, invest in it. Occasionally you need a “qualifying event” to make changes to your plan, and the birth of your twins is just that. You can use your FSA to help pay for any medical necessities. From acupuncture to prenatal vitamins, it will cover a lot of stuff.
-Speaking of prenatal vitamins, you know, the cost of those puppies gets higher and higher every year. Any good mom of multiples (or any mom for that matter) should always think about saving money. The cost of two college educations is enough to drive a gal mad. If you feel comfortable, ask your doctor for extra samples of prenatal vitamins. The doctor usually gets a ton from the pharmaceutical representative, so ask for more than just your share. If the doctor can spare it, why not?
-Normally, a mom of a singleton could wait till her 30th week to schedule her hospital tour, but for us, we usually go into labor a bit sooner. Start thinking about taking your tour around 24 weeks and schedule it for around your 27th week. You definitely want to be comfortable while touring the hospital. Also, while on your tour, make sure you double check that you have seen ALL the areas that you could potentially stay in. Sometimes if a hospital has a new wing or new floor, they will proudly only show you that one, and not the floor that hasn’t been renovated since 1962!
-Skip Lamaze! What? Well I’m not saying you should skip it 100%, but there are alternatives if you are on bed rest or just want to skip the extra trip to a class. There is a great DVD called “Laugh And Learn About Childbirth” by Sheri Bayles. You can watch it in the comfort of your home while you are resting in your PJ’s. This is a great option that not many moms know about, and you can even rent it on Netflix!
-What classes SHOULD you take? If you could only attend one, it should be CPR. It’s an unfortunate fact that CPR needed to be performed on my daughter, not once, but twice. I decided when they were in the NICU that I would make it mandatory for anyone who was going to be spending time with my twins alone, that they needed to be CPR trained. This was my safety net that I’m glad I had in place. Another great class to take would be a twins prep class, like the one offered by Twiniversity. To find a class like this near you, contact your local twins club.
-Pre delivery, it’s also best to get your finances and legal life in order. It’s a great time to set up as many online bill payments that you can. Don’t wait till you realize your fist payment is late to set this up. Once the kids come it will be one less thing to worry about. And boy oh boy, will you need less weight on your shoulders. It’s also a good time to find a lawyer to write your will. Yeah, not the best time to think about these things, but it’s good to know that you have all your legal ducks in a row should something catastrophic happen. On the brighter side, it’s also a great time to cash in your extra credit card miles/points to go on one final pre-birth hurrah with your honey. Smooch it up folks, you babies will be here soon enough taking your valuable romantic time away for a while.
– gotten your sonograms on VHS
– scored a few packs of complementary pre natal vitamins
– you’ve taken your CPR class
– watched your Lamaze DVD
-attended your Twiniversity class
All the while, you should have been keeping a journal. Have you? It’s a great idea to keep a journal from the moment you read this, if you haven’t started one already. When you have questions in the middle of the night, write em’ down. Don’t get out of bed and start googling, which rarely turns out well. Keeping all your questions in your journal will help you get the answers to them when visiting your doctor. Mommy brain doesn’t just begin post delivery. It’s probably already happening if you are currently pregnant with twins.
Side note: when at the doctor, use your journal to write down your most recent test results. Those late night googling sessions might require remembering what your latest results were, and it could help you sleep better that night. Also, should you require a quick trip to labor and delivery, having your most recent results will help the physician there that evening.
Finally, the most important thing you should do while waiting for your new arrivals is… rest. But get good rest. Catch up on the past seasons of True Blood or Top Chef. Lay in bed and read your favorite classic novel. Go to the park and watch the moms of twins chase their kiddos. That will be you soon enough, so enjoy the peace while you can.
From my HOT (Have Older Twins) moms…what would you add to this list? Leave your comments below.