As a mother to twin girls, I get asked A LOT of questions about my pregnancy, the early days with two babies, and what life is currently like for us. I thought I’d share some of the most common questions I get asked and my typical responses. If you have additional questions, I would be happy to answer those as well.
FAQ about having twins:
1. How did you carry twins? Were you huge?! I always laugh at this one and say something like I did it just like every other pregnant woman. I previously wrote about what was helpful for me during my pregnancy, but I truly believe the body is capable of extraordinary things. I will be the first person to say I oscillated between elated and terrified when I was pregnant. I tried to take it day by day and that seemed to help me immensely. Yes, I was rather large at the end. In a word: torpedo.
2. How did you tell them apart when they were born? Madison and Ashlyn are fraternal twins so while they do look like siblings, they are not identical. I was a bit worried before they were born that I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. I heard stories about other parents who would paint one of their twins’ toenail, keep a bracelet on one’s arm, or draw a dot on one twin’s forehead with marker (yes, someone told me that!). When the girls were born they looked so different from each other we knew right away we’d never have an issue.
3. Do you have to buy two of everything? Sometimes. When the girls were infants, we had to buy twice the amount of diapers, wipes, and clothes. And we had two cribs, two pack N plays, and two bouncers. Larger items, like a baby swing, we only had one. I was glad we did because the girls weren’t big fans of the swing and it didn’t get that much use. We bought a lot of items on consignment and used hand-me-downs from family which was great because the girls only used them for a short time. I still try to buy toys and clothes used when I can or shop sales.
4. What happened when both babies were crying? This is a question I get asked often by other moms. Truth be told, this was one of the hardest parts about having twins (for me). It was heartbreaking to be unable to comfort both babies at the same time. And this happened a lot when I was on my own. Often I would place one in a floor seat and bounce her with my foot while holding/rocking the other one.
5. Do you dress them alike? Before the girls were born I was adamant that I wouldn’t dress them alike. I can still remember my mother dressing my sister and I alike (we’re almost 2 years apart) and HATING it. Then I had my own kids and I wanted them to be in the same outfits all the time. When they were infants it was really easy to just pull two of the same outfits out of the closet. I didn’t have to think about it. Nowadays, I try to dress them alike, but they each have their own style and favorite colors (Maddie – anything orange and dresses; Ashlyn – blue anything). I try to let them express their individuality with their clothes.
6. Did you breastfeed them? HOW? Yes, this is a personal question, but I don’t have any hesitation about sharing my experience. I nursed both babies until they were just over a year. I weaned the summer after their first birthday. Breastfeeding was time consuming for me when they were young. I nursed them separately until they were around 3 months old. Then I started to nurse them together. It got easier for me when I was able to feed both at once. It made me feel good to have the connection with both girls in that way.
Breastfeeding is challenging in general. It doesn’t matter if it’s one baby or three. And it’s a personal decision. But as my mother-in-law would remind me: at the end of the day as long as your child is getting nutrition and growing then what does it matter if you were nursing or using formula? Or doing a combination of both? Do what works for you and your family.
7. Are their personalities the same? Not at all. The girls are quite different from one another. Madison is insightful and imaginative while Ashlyn is spirited and very outgoing. Because they have different natures, I’ve had to adjust my parenting approach with each. I have to be more direct with Ashlyn and choose my words thoughtfully with Madison. I suppose this is how any parent would behave with their children – understanding that each has his or her own unique needs and interests.
8. Which one is older? Only my family and close friends know this one. Yes, one is technically “older” because she was born 60 seconds earlier, but I’m not going to disclose that information. I haven’t made up my mind if I want to let the girls know who is the eldest. You know the whole, “Well I’m the oldest!” maneuver.
From around the web:
THIS mom’s response had me cracking up! It’s true.
And this video of mom vs. twins (been there!)
Check out One Twin Mom blog by my friend Megan for more posts about life with twins!