Becoming a mom of twins

by Olia

Becoming a twin mama was the most difficult, brave, and beautiful thing I’ve ever done in my life. Today I want to share with you my twins’ birth story. I hope that my post will help not only to twin mama-to-be who wants to know more about pregnancy and birth experience but also will help someone who has a twin mama in a family or as a friend to realize that having twins is not just a “double-trouble”! Help and compassion of our loved ones are the two most important factors to help a new twin mama to live this experience without losing serenity and postpartum complications.

Pregnancy

My twin pregnancy was the second one, and I was sure that I am ready for this experience. That I do not need to do any “homework” to prepare myself for the new adventure. Big mistake! Every pregnancy is different, and twin pregnancy has so many particularities and things to pay attention to! Luckily I realized it not too late and joined a prepartum course for moms-to-be. It happened that in my group, there were three other moms expecting twins. They were my angels, my tribe, and my most significant support during the last two pregnancy months (the most difficult ones).

My main advice for pregnant twin mama:

  • Try to make all the necessary arrangments for the nursery and buy all the things you might need for the baby before the 6th month. Leave easy tasks you can do staying at home for the rest of your pregnancy. Last two months, I could barely exit the house, and the few meters to go from the living room to the bathroom were feeling like a hiking trip!
  • Even if you already gave birth before, join a prepartum course. I had already done this course during my first pregnancy. But to my surprise, I learned a lot of new things anyways and met many amazing mamas who helped and supported me a long time after the course was over.
  • Make your health a priority. Your body now works for three, not even for two people! So it needs extra care, attention, and love. Mental health is not less important than the physical. Surround yourself with things that help you to stay in good spirits – music, books, hobbies, movies, etc. Whatever works for you!
  • Reading books and finding useful resources about twin motherhood helps a lot. I managed to find only one book, written by Italian mama of 4. It helped me so much to be ready for upcoming changes. The advice from this book that helped me most was: do not plan more than 1 -2 big things to accomplish for one day. Did you manage to do more than those? Great! But if you can’t, it makes you feel down, and this is not what you need. Feeling like a failure and losing confidence in yourself will make you unhappy. Trust me, just doing one thing the entire day – keeping your tiny humans alive – can be a big win!

The pregnancy went well until 28 weeks. Then, I started to have contractions every evening and were risking miscarriage or premature birth. It was like to give birth every day for eight weeks. All I could do, pray to God to keep my babies inside at least one more week or day. But this was not the only “inconvenience.” Besides huge belly and serious difficulty to sleep, because the boys were big and moved all the time, I almost could not move and had to do the lymphatic drainage every day. I was feeling like a big balloon and needed assistance to do everything, even simple things like put on slippers. Imagine now that I was home alone with 19 months old child who needed my full support.

My daughter did not speak yet, and she could say just a few words. No matter how hard I tried to explain, she could not understand why mommy doesn’t go with her in the park any more or why she can’t jump on me crushing into my belly (it was her favorite way to cuddle). My child was feeling abandoned, not loved anymore. I could see this unasked question, “Why you do not love me anymore?” in her eyes every time she looked at me. And no matter how hard I was trying to get her “back,” she stopped letting me hug and kiss her. Seeing my baby girl feel this way was the hardest part of my pregnancy.

Last two weeks of pregnancy, I could not bear it anymore. I asked my doctors to do something. The plan was a natural birth with no epidural. But I was exhausted, had a horrible cold, and was not so sure if I could give birth without medical assistance. I’ve chosen a smaller hospital not far from the town I live in, and I had great support plus the maximum attention of all the doctors in the department. On the night before the scheduled induced birth appointment, the twins decided it was time to say hello to this wold.

Birth and our first night together

The first picture snapped with a pocket camera after the birth of my boys

They say that Moon phases influence the giving birth cycles. What can I say, on a night my twins were born, the Moon had a big party! I was not sleeping that night because my baby girl had a fever, cried, and could not sleep. I put her inside the stroller and were going around the house, hoping she will get better after the medicine and will fall asleep. And at 3 am my waters dropped, we called grandparents and ran to the hospital. When we arrived, the waiting room was full of women who were about to give birth. Doctors said that they never had a night like that before – they had to improvise and turn every room of the department into giving birth space. I gave birth naturally (no c-section or anesthesia). I was so scared about it, but it was rapid thanks to the fantastic assistance I got from the hospital staff. I entered the surgery room transformed into giving birth room at 04.30 am, and at 5.10 am, both boys were already crying in my arms. One of them weighed 3 kg, the second – 3,5 kg. You can imagine now how big my belly was. I was so big that I could not look at myself in the mirror. Hint hint – never say to a pregnant woman that she is growing big. Even for a joke!

I lost more than a liter of blood and did not feel well. Doctors made a check, and it turned out I had bronchitis that was risking to become pneumonia. I was attached to 2 different drips to start the cure immediately. My misfortune continued – I had to stay alone on my first night at the hospital. My baby girl still had a fever, and the grandparents were helping her, my husband had a stomach bug and was not allowed to enter the department. This night is the one I will never forget.

Because of the Moon or other mysterious reasons, many more women came to the hospital to give birth that night than the night before. The doctors and nurses were working in critical conditions, and even all cleaning staff was busy helping giving birth. I had a very high fever, and doctors attached me to 3 different drips, making me look like a big octopus. During the night, one of my boys started to feel sick, and I had to stand up from the bed and hold him in my arms. I could barely stand, felt dizzy, and with all the pipes coming out of my hands, could not make even one step. The other twin was hearing his brother cry and got worried. Had to pick him up too. I tried to call for help, but with all the mess going on in the department that night, it came a few hours later. A couple of times, the cleaning lady was coming to check on me and to hold the babies for 10-15 minutes, so I could sit down and catch a breath. Then she had to go back to a “birth boom zone.”

When the new hospital’s staff shift came into the room early in the morning, they found me in a pool of my blood holding two shouting newborns – coughing nonstop ripped off all the stitches made by doctors. They stitched me again, changed my bed and drips. I could not believe that it’s over. My babies were taken into the department’s nursery room and taken care of by the nurses so that I could finally lay down and rest.

Our first Christmas together, my boys, were 1 month old and Sofia had 22 months.

Two days later, we were back home safe and sound. And with this a bit rough start, a new chapter for all our family began.

Any twin mama here? What helped you most during pregnancy and giving birth? Please, share in comments below.

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