From the moment you discovered your twin pregnancy, you’ve probably experienced a lot of emotion about the pending arrival of your little ones. How did you manage all those feelings? Did your feelings differ from your spouse or partner? What piece of advice or words of encouragement helped you the most?
Managing Emotions During Twin Pregnancy
Episode 22, May 6th, 2014
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Every twin parent remembers the very moment when they found out they were having twins – the initial shock, the disbelief and later the worry about the risks of twin pregnancy and birth. It can be a roller coaster of emotions that are normal but need to be addressed to stay healthy.
Our expert panellists are here today to talk about: “Managing your emotions during a twin pregnancy.” This is Twin Talks Episode Number 22.
[Theme Music/ Intro]
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.
Have you heard about The Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.
Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks App. It’s available in the Android and iTunes Marketplace. Well, first of all – let’s get started. We’ve got some great panellists here in our studio. So, let’s go around and introduce ourselves.
JESSICA YOUNG: Okay, hi. My name is Jessica Young. I’m 38. My occupation – I am a post doctoral fellow at UCSD. I have two children – twins, boys. They are about eight months old.
LARISA SHULIKA: My name is Larisa. I have three children. The oldest two are twins: James and Ana. They are four years old now and I have a little one. Well, not so little anymore. She’s two now and her name is Sasha, another girl. It came very unexpectedly.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. Okay.
SUNNY GAULT: Hi everyone. I’m Sunny and I’m going to be running audio in today show. I’m the owner of New Mommy Media which produces Twin Talks, Parent Savers, The Boob Group and Preggie Pals.
So, I’m a mommy to four children. My boys are my oldest. They are singletons. I guess I should point that out. So, my oldest is about four and my middle guy is just about two. Then, I have identical twin girls; one of them is in the studio right now. The other one’s in the other room in the other side of the wall. So, you may hear her squawking a little bit. Yes, they are great. They’re five months old as of yesterday.
SHELLY STEELY: I’m Shelly Steely. I’m 30. I’m a high school history teacher and I’m also the producer here at Twin Talks. I have two boys – Greyson and Sawyer. They’re identical twins. They’ll be two in July. I’m also expecting a little girl in August. So, I’m excited about that.
Before we get started, I want to let you know about a program we have where you can stay connected at home. You can follow us on Facebook or on Twitter with Twin Talks. If you want to participate in the conversation from home though, you can use hash tag #TwinTalksVP and that allows you to be a part of our Virtual Panellists Program where you can participate in our conversations, ask questions and get some answers.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Awesome. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. I’ve got identical twin girls that are 4 ½ years old. I also have a singleton and she is just turning 18 months. She is just now sleeping through the night.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: My gosh. I thought twins were hard but it’s a whole different story there. But I’m happy. I’m just starting to get some sleep.
SHELLY STEELY: Today on our Annoying Comments people make to twin moms. We have Jamie in San Francisco.
I have fraternal boy-girl twins. Yesterday, I almost smack this lady for being so ignorant. She was telling her son while pointing at my babies: “Look son. That’s our future right there. Those are cute boys. Are they identical?”
I said: “No, they are a boy and a girl not two boys.” Not to mention, my daughter was in a pink dress. After I tell this woman that it’s a boy and a girl, she had the nerve to say: “Well, she would make a cute boy.” Really? It took everything I had not to call her the names I wanted too.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Today’s topic is: “Managing your emotions during a twin pregnancy.” Today, we’re talking with our expert panellists who are here to talk about: “The range of feelings and concerns that they had during their pregnancy and how do they manage them.”
So, thank you for joining us today everybody. So, I know everybody remembers that moment. So, what was your initial reaction when you heard that you were carrying twins?
LARISA SHULIKA: Well, we did want to have twins I guess in a way that some fertility trying to have children and we didn’t have any. We were just hoping for one and then I almost have a miscarriage sort of and we were really scared.
I rushed to the doctor and found out that I’m having two. I had two healthy heartbeats. So, it was a shock of heaven too and at the same time just really blessed that we were pregnant. That was exciting.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, you were happy and relieved all of the same time.
LARISA SHULIKA: Yes, all of the same time.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I could imagine.
LARISA SHULIKA: Yes.
JESSICA YOUNG: I remember I was for my first OB appointment, not at all thinking I was going to have twins – never had crossed my mind or my radar. So, we went through the whole appointment health history. Describing how I could have a midwife or OB or whatever at UCSD which was a great place.
Then at the very end, they did the first ultrasound and she just looked at me. She said: “Somebody’s having twins.” I literally thought: “Somebody in the next room was having twins that she could hear.”
SUNNY GAULT: Why would she say: “Somebody?”
JESSICA YOUNG: I don’t know. Then, she showed me the screen then we saw very clear two gestational sacs and my husband and I just looked at each other in utter disbelief. Yes, then the rest of that day was just a blur. I was about 10 weeks along at that point.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I heard in some where’s experience as well where the first pregnancy and thankfully we got pregnant. Of course, there was no history of twins and my girls are identical. So again, yes it was not in the radar in the least bit.
So, literally I remember looking at the screen where they showed the two sacs, the two heartbeat and she’s pointing out and saying: “Did you see on this side, there’s a heartbeat and over here there’s a heartbeat.” Logically, I could put it together but emotionally like: “What?”
JESSICA YOUNG: I just remember walking. I have to go to work that day too. I just remember walking up the stairs where I work and just being like: “I cannot believe this.” I don’t even know. It was weeks after that before I could actually wrap my head around doing work again.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, I kind of have the same experience. I didn’t have any fertility troubles that I knew about. But, I have PCOS and so my husband and I decided to start trying right after our wedding thinking that it could take a while.
I’ve been told by my doctors that: “Sometimes women have trouble.” But, I got back from my honeymoon thinking I was jet lagged and ending up to be positive pregnancy test. Same thing I went in – I sat down with the nurse at UCSD.
I wanted to see a midwife because that’s what my mom had done. We went through all these great possibilities. Then, they turned the ultrasound machine on and she goes: “Twins.” I’m like: “Excuse me. What?”
There’s a nicer way to break this to somebody. Just kind of throw that out there and then all of a sudden: “Well this is the doctor you’ll be seeing. This is when we need to see you next. It just didn’t seem real.”
Here I was thinking that: “The first ultrasound would make the pregnancy seemed more real to me and it had the exact opposite effect.” I just entered this weird like quasi dream world. I think for the rest of the pregnancy.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. After you guys, after that sort of initial shock like: “Oh my gosh.” What were your feelings about having twins? Was there some level of excitement? I mean it’s sort of this special club to be in or were you just: “Were you scared or anxious?”
LARISA SHULIKA: I was plain scared. I’m just scared. No one knew anybody was twins. Never had experience; I mean I real have experience with babies and having two at the same time – not having family around. I was just: “Whatever.”
My husband was happy all the way; right from the beginning, into the ultrasound and until we had them. So, I was always worried.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Were you worried about it just like the pregnancy itself and caring?
LARISA SHULIKA: Going back, I think a lot if it is just the hormones. I really think so. I cried more of course. I just smiles that were irritating to me. It was all just kind of a ball in me. But, I think going back; it’s just hard to remember. The pregnancy and the first year with the twins, it’s just all one big blur.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.
LARISA SHULIKA: I remember just not being as happy as my husband was. I remember that he was just ecstatic – like two boys. I’m ended up having a boy and a girl.
JESSICA YOUNG: Our situation was a little different. I was very scared at first. Then, I got pretty excited because I was sort of older when I got pregnant. I thought: “Well, if I have one, I’ll have to try again to have a second.” So, the fact that we had twins, I suddenly started thinking: “This is great. They’re going to have each other their whole life.” I got very excited.
My husband on the other hand was completely freaked out the whole time. So, I think he was really not expecting to get two at once. It felt suddenly a weight of a lot of responsibility on him.
He was of course very happy but and he went with me to every single doctor’s appointment and everything. But I think it really brought home this like: “This is big responsibility is coming up to him.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Two kids at once.
SUNNY GAULT: I always wanted twins. So, my husband and I – nobody has twins in the family. So, I never thought it was really going to happen. I just kind of – when I found my spouse, I was like: “Okay, I’d literally kind of check that off.” Okay, I’m not having twins. It was just in my head that it has to come from the family or whatever because it’s so random to have identical twins.
So, I just kind of went about my life. We had two babies, two kids prior. I really wanted to try for a girl because we have two boys. That was even a struggle to try to convince my husband to go for a third. We never really talked about the number of kids we were going to have until we had two.
He said: “I think we’re done.” I’m like: “No.” So, in my head, I kind of had the number four in my head and he had two. So, we kind of came to the understanding that we would try for a third. Yes, I know I’ve shared this story before. But, they didn’t catch at my first ultrasound. They didn’t catch the twin pregnancy. So, it was a complete shock to us.
I think I went home. I was doing the first trimester screaming. So, they’re looking for defects and stuff like that – chromosomal type things. So, I came home from this appointment in tears. My husband’s thinking something’s wrong with the baby because I’m just in shock in tears because I’d always wanted a twin.
I would tell everyone: “I wanted twins because I knew it wasn’t going to happen.” I was just like: “You’re a twin mom. I have always wanted twins.” Just that annoying person that would walk off to twin parents; so when I told him – he was in complete shock, disbelief, looked at the pictures.
Of course, I’m like crying hysterically and I think then, he was: “I need to go and get some alcohol.” I don’t even think he’s processed it now. I think when he sees two babies he still: “I don’t know how that happened.” I’m like: “You know I said I wanted four and it happened.”
LARISA SHULIKA: There it is. I have to ask you a question if you don’t mind. I’ve got so many moms come up to me and say: “You have twins, how lucky. I wish I had twins.” I always say: “How could you ever want it?”
SUNNY GAULT: I was that annoying person.
LARISA SHULIKA: Have them one by one. I was like: “Why?”
SUNNY GAULT: Well, I think growing up, I was an only child.
LARISA SHULIKA: Okay.
SUNNY GAULT: So, I think that mentally had to do something to do with it for me. I think that’s why I knew I wanted to have more than just a couple of kids. But, I don’t know. I think even now, I would understand why people would want twins. I don’t know.
I know it is extra work but I wanted them my whole life. I still obviously want them. I think they’re the greatest things ever. I don’t know.
LARISA SHULIKA: I do too now.
SUNNY GAULT: Four and it wasn’t anymore than I thought it was going to be or less. It’s just perfect.
JESSICA YOUNG: I find that the people who say that to me don’t have children yet.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.
JESSICA YOUNG: So, just looks cute. When we go out with the double stroller and they are all happy. Everyone’s: “They’re so cute. You’re so lucky.” Which I am and they are very cute but it’s like: “Look at them and I think you don’t know.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You don’t know what you’re in for. Yes. You guys have mentioned that your husbands have sort of have a little bit of anxiety that you might having. Oh my gosh. We’re going from two to four or from two kids to four all at once. What were they doing? Did they change their lifestyle or planning?
I can say: “My husband when we announced it to our parents, we actually ended up getting them on the phone just this little mini conference call.” My husband is such a planner. He once everything lined up – so we kind of told them at the same time; we said: “Well, yes we’re pregnant and well we need help.” There’s this sort of pause. Okay, sure you’re going to need help. We’re happy as well.
We’re going to need double help. What twins? Yes. So, my husband – I think when we found out at the beginning and he went on to planning mode. He was just like: “Okay, we’re going to line everybody up. Get the family there.”
We were living in a condo at the time – a two-bedroom condo which was fine for us. But, there was no storage I don’t know where we put the double stroller. So, we’re like: “We need a house.” So, we started to search for – okay, we’ve got to move. So, there are all these things and my husband is like: “Okay, what are we going to do to support this of having kids?”
SHELLY STEELY: My husband kind of had the same reaction. I mean I guess a little more. We just gotten married and he had just started a new job. I was a teacher and at the time, I have been laid off two years in a row. I actually got laid off while I was pregnant. But, I was really excited. I had always I mean not wanted twins like tangibly.
But, when I was little, I had an imaginary friends who were twin boys. Believe it or not and then, I would always buy two dolls and say that they were twins. So, I was excited but at the same time, we were living in a one bedroom apartment on the second story. We shared one car which was a Two-door Civic Coupe. We had two small dogs.
It was just like our entire life is about to be completely turned upside down. We need a bigger place. We need a bigger car. How are we going to take care of these animals? How are we going to take care of me? Do I even get to have a job next year?
So, I think for me, I was worried about physically caring the twins and mentally managing the stress of it. My husband was just seeing dollar signs and basically left and right.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How are we going to afford this? Double of everything.
JESSICA YOUNG: I think that’s what my husband stressed too was dollar sign thing and he just kind of was in denial until they were born. I did all the planning. I think: “Yes, for him it was really worrying about how to provide for all of us even though we both work. I work too.” So, were just was this something he thought about a lot.
SHELLY STEELY: He was thinking: “How are we going to pay for college? When are we going to buy them a car?” So I was like: “Let’s take a back a step and think about like – when would we buy them cribs and how much clothing will they need?” Let’s slow down.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: One day at a time. That’s great advice. Now, how about just even just about the pregnancy itself? I mean by definition: “A twin pregnancy is considered high risk.” There’s of us who’ve either had some medical issues or fertility or advance maternal age – all of these sorts of layers of complications.
I’m sure there’s some degree of just concern. What did you guys feel about that?
LARISA SHULIKA: I had a very good pregnancy. I was just really blessed. I had maybe a little bit of a discomfort in the beginning and a little bit of bleeding in the beginning; so it kind of made me worried. But other than that, it was a great pregnancy. I stayed active. I swam the whole time which probably helped a lot.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes, that’s great.
LARISA SHULIKA: I swim like three times a week. I think I went to the pool. But, what was really sort of had it all for us that they supported us. They surrounded us with people that supported us, It was just positive. Everyone’s like: “You’re going to make it. It’s going to be fine. We are going to help you – whatever you need.”
Not necessarily things actually happened – not necessarily lot of people helped but just having a lot of positives around us was what’s really good. People said: “How are you going to do that?” If people were saying those things to us then it would have been hard.
It would have been like: “Yes, how am I going to do it?” But, we had more: “It’s going to be so great. You’re going to have two kids; a boy and a girl “wow”– all at once. Look you guys wanted kids so long and look like what’s happening.” It was really good for us. So, the people made the difference for us.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Absolutely. I know like joining a twin’s group – we did an episode recently about: “The importance of joining a twin’s club.” I know so many parents join when they find out they’re having twins. Then, you get to talk to other twin parents and get their stories then you can kind of normalize that. Okay, this is a normal twin experience.
JESSICA YOUNG: Yes, I wish I had done that earlier. So, I didn’t join anything until I met Shelly which was towards the end of my pregnancy. She got me on her Facebook group. I was the head of a very good pregnancy; it’s also very active. I was an athlete before I got pregnant.
So, my idea was: “When I thought I was just going to have one baby that I would be able to run, swim and do all of these things that I did during my whole pregnancy.” But, I was very sick in the beginning. I had to dial back a lot.
I did also swim the whole time and that helped a lot with me. But, also I was one of those people who would never have any medical problems. I had never gone to the doctor. Then, all of a sudden I have to go every two weeks and then every week. That was a big shock for me.
That would help is because I had was: “Keeping myself active. Every appointment I went to, you’re doing great. You look good.” I had a great OB who was calm and answered all of our questions. But, yes I wish I had joined the group earlier because I didn’t know what to expect for at least the beginning part.
SHELLY STEELY: I think having a good support system is a key and I also think your medical care is really important for me in dealing with my concerns. I was stressed about everything because I’m a researcher. I mean I have to look up everything.
So, I was reading every book and every article in the statistics related to multiple pregnancies can be a little bit scary. In the first trimester, it’s like: “You’ve got to deal with the idea of vanishing twins and then it’s like your cervical length, your blood pressure and your fluid.”
We found out that one of my babies had something like Velamentous Cord Insertion which is where the cord instead of going into the middle of placenta is actually inserted to the top. So, it’s kind of a precarious positioning. It’s not dangerous. We’re aware of it but don’t even Google it because the stories are terrifying.
JESSICA YOUNG: Yes, we had that too.
SHELLY STEELY: But, what was really helpful for me is every time I would go to the OB and tell them my concerns; that’s normal. This is fine. We’ll manage it. You’re normal. This is fine. We will manage it.
So, I think just knowing that I have a care-provider that was informed and educated and just aware of concerns was really comforting to me. I had a really easy – they always call me “boring pregnancy.” I was miserable.
I got like this weird rash on my arm. I got reflux and I had morning sickness. I ended up developing Cholestasis which makes you itch from head-to-toe. But, every single appointment, my babies were doing great. I think for me: “That was really re-assuring.”
JESSICA YOUNG: Yes, I’ll just second that. I mean my husband and I are both in Science. We work in molecular biology and genetics. Because I was an older mother, I had a lot of concerns at the beginning with genetic abnormalities and had studied a lot of this.
We debated a lot of whether to have an Amniocentesis twice. Again, that’s where our doctor was very helpful letting us, ask all of the questions. My husband was actually really worried about it as well. In the end, we elected not to have the Amnio based on the screening and I did the Maternity 21 test at the beginning which I highly recommend.
I found that very reassuring and very easy and very accurate. Between that and talking with our doctor and having educated conversations that really eased our worries a lot from that front.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I think you guys raised a really great point. I mean there’s a lot of information out there and especially if you have access too much information.
JESSICA YOUNG: Don’t Google it.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I mean it can really overwhelming. I know recently, I was looking at a Facebook Group that talking specifically about identical twins. There are so many pros about some of these different medical conditions – the twin-to-twin transfusion Syndrome. There are so many of them.
By reading it, you would think: “This is a really common thing.” It was like: “Oh my gosh.” But, the reality is: “It really isn’t.” So, I’m actually thankful that I didn’t read all these stuff when I was pregnant with my twins because I probably would have freaked out a lot more.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, when we come back, we’re going to talk about: “Some of our concerns about being parent and the parenting once they’re born. Then manage the stress during the pregnancy.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, welcome back. Today, we’re talking about: “Managing your emotions during a twin pregnancy” with our expert twin panellists. So, now when we’re thinking about becoming the twin parent and oh my gosh. I’ve got two little babies. How do I deal with that? What were your concerns about that?
JESSICA YOUNG: I had never held a newborn baby before I had my own; and suddenly I had to hold two at once. So, my concerns in the beginning are what every new mom who’s inexperience has that I was going to break them, drop them, somehow wakeup and have them not be okay. So, that took me a while to get over.
I remember in the beginning in the hospital, I had them next to me and I would just try to sleep with my hand on them to make sure that they were still breathing. I just couldn’t imagine how they could continue to breathe on their own when they were just so little. So, that was my thing.
It took about a couple of months before I realize they were a lot tougher and not as breakable as I thought they were going to be.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely. Yes.
SHELLY STEELY: My main concern was not being able to give them the individual attention. I think I remember some other twin moms talking to me about this when I was pregnant with a group that I went to.
When you imagine yourself with your first baby, I mean in my mind it was like: “Bonding with this new infant and going to the park together. Taking them out places and having this connection. It’s not like that with twins. It’s not like that really at all.”
It’s hard to bond with two babies at once especially when you’re recovering from major abdominal surgery. You don’t really feel like you connect with them because quite frankly, all you have time to do is feed them.
So, I would feel a little bit of guilt to seeing all these other women with their one baby that they could just hold in their arms all the time – or like wear them in with a wrap and get things done and around the house.
I just felt really like a guilty and kind of upset just a little bit of regret over that experience that I wouldn’t have. But, once they were here, it was much easier to manage because I got to know that it was really easy to love two babies at once.
I mean you care about people expecting their second saying: “I don’t want to give up this time with my first and how will I ever love two?” I was like: “It was really quite easy. Don’t even worry about that at all. You’ll have the time.” You’ll have time for them and you’ll have affection for them.
So, I think just realizing that it was okay to feel that way but to kind of like excuse myself for it – that’s nothing. It wasn’t my fault I had two. They weren’t being deprived in any means at all. They have all kinds of cool things that one baby doesn’t have; so just kind of that emotional aspect of it.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s interesting. Yes, I think for me: “It was more of just about the logistics.” I felt like: “Oh my gosh. Up until then, I really didn’t have a lot of experience with kids. Okay, I have baby-sat when I was a teenager.” But, I didn’t have any nieces or nephews.
I think a lot of my friends sort of waited. They had the careers and then decided to have kids. So, was kind of having kids a new time and sort of trying to figure it out as we go along and thinking: “Oh my gosh. How do you manage just the day-to-day and the feeding?” I mean that was probably the big thing like: “Oh my gosh. That just seemed like it’s going to be a daunting task.”
Some people are like: “You can breastfeed twins?” Just you don’t even think it’s possible. So, I just want to just get my head around like: “What is the day to even look like? How do we fit in little eat – just eating for mama?”
LARISA SHULIKA: I think it’s important when your husband pitches in. My husband did everything. I think the first six weeks, he changed all the diapers. I don’t think I touch any of it because I was feeding them like you said.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wonderful.
LARISA SHULIKA: He was just so hands on and he took about four weeks off work which was so helpful. The first day he left for work, I was: “I’m going to call you.” There’s no way I can’t do it. You know what?
You just kind of settle into the routine:
• You wake up
• You feed him
• You go for a walk
• You come back
I felt like breastfeeding was so much easier than formula for me because I just fed them at the same time. Then, I was done. My daughter was always done first – so I would put her and she will fall asleep.
You kind of do what you have to do. It sort of just becomes your day and there is a routine about it. People say: “It’s unpredictable but it’s really not.” They were horrible sleepers and my shock was that: “They cried all the time.”
JESSICA YOUNG: I had that too.
LARISA SHULIKA: Why are they crying?
JESSICA YOUNG: I didn’t know if they were just crying all the time or if it was double extra loud because two or one would stop and the other would start. So, it was this continuous crying.
LARISA SHULIKA: You constantly are afraid they’re going to wake each other up.
JESSICA YOUNG: I didn’t know what that was normal. If the babies were crying too much or it just seem like they were crying too much because they were two of them. You know first babies. So, that was hard.
LARISA SHULIKA: I think mine cried more than usual because I look at all the babies. Look at this one. Mine would not be like that at all. It was just no way.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I’m jealous.
SUNNY GAULT: She had seen her milk coming out of it.
LARISA SHULIKA: Before milk or after milk and they are still like that. Everybody has a different personality.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, how about during the pregnancy, did you have any just key activities to manage your stress? I think Larisa you’ve mentioned you are swimming and you went swimming. Was that kind of your go-to relaxation?
LARISA SHULIKA: It was.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Does anybody do yoga? I did prenatal yoga and not seemed to just help. I mean with some of that joint stress too. I know I did a lot of stretching.
LARISA SHULIKA: I was in a lot of stretching too; not yoga specifically but stretching.
JESSICA YOUNG: I didn’t do yoga specifically but I did stretching. I was also a dancer before getting pregnant. So, I continued in one of these class that a little studio near me which was a good challenge for me; because I had to look at myself for an hour in this full-faced mirror and just watch myself get bigger-and-bigger-and-bigger which was something I had struggled with that I forced myself to do it.
Appreciate what my body was doing even though I hurt and wasn’t moving the way I had that used to moving my whole life.
LARISA SHULIKA: Maybe it’s the comparison. You know how you used to move and look and now, it’s like this.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What is this body? Now, were there any bits of advice that you think your health care provider told you or maybe things that you learn about your own pregnancy that were sort of reassuring and gave you that extra confidence that: “Okay, this is going to be okay.”
You went from that initial shock. It concern about: “Oh my gosh. What would I do?” Okay, we’re really going to be okay. What sort of have put you over the edge to feel more calm and relaxed that this is the manageable pregnancy?
LARISA SHULIKA: It’s funny you say that because my sister always when I tell her: “I had a few miscarriages back then and I always before the twin pregnancy.” When I was pregnant, she always said: “Pregnancy is not a disease. It’s a normal state of life. You don’t need to do anything extra special.”
I think a special as twins there is a lot of talk going about: “You have to do this and you have to do that and the weight. Don’t gain too much. Don’t gain too little.” Like Shelly said: “It’s just relax and the more you enjoy ourselves during that time I think the more the emotionally ready we are going to be for the kids because that takes a lot of energy to just worry about that.”
I gain a lot of weight. Why are the pounds piling on like every week? I would come as like four pounds in one week, really? But, it comes off. So, you just go and do it. If you crave that ice cream, eat that ice cream. It’s going to do you more harm than stressing about eating that ice cream than actually eating it. It really is.
I think when women just worry way too much. My husband said it all the time: “You’re just pregnant. There’s nothing bad going on.” So, we shouldn’t treat pregnancy as a disease. I think that’s my biggest piece of advice that came from my sister. That’s how I look at it now. You just enjoy it. It’s a special time of your life. It is.
JESSICA YOUNG: I didn’t have anyone really give me specific advice. Most of my family and friends were just like: “I can’t believe you’re having twins. It was sort of the opposite of – how do you manage it?” How do you feel? I could never do that, things like that. I just said: “Well, I don’t know any different. This is my first pregnancy.”
Again, I think it was going to the doctor and being reassured every time that I was actually very healthy. She said: “You should be our poster child. You’re boring.” This made me think: “My body can do this and I think it was at the very end when I went to a little over 37 weeks.”
Everyone had said: “I’ve read all these stories about people having their twins early.” Everyone said: “You’re after 32 weeks, you’re good.” The fact that I could keep going and I thought: “Yes, my body is actually capable of doing this. I’ve been carrying them almost full term.”
LARISA SHULIKA: Though twin moms expect to go into labour in 30 weeks. That’s what they do all the time.
JESSICA YOUNG: I worked with physicians and I work in a health care related field. I could say: “You’re going to go any minute now. You’re going to pop because at 30 weeks I looked like a 40 week pregnancy.”
But, I think as further as I got along and I realized that: “Even if I did go into labour, the babies would be okay. That I was passed all of these points of where things that were harmful to them could have happened.” I felt more and more confident that I was going to have – my goal is: “I just wanted healthy babies and I did.” I had two big healthy babies.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That is awesome. I can relate to that too. I also delivered at 39 weeks, 5 days and I kind of said: “No to an earlier induction because everything was fine as long as you’re monitoring.” That kind of gave me extra confidence as well.
Things have been tracking; it’s kind of the same thing. Hey, this is sort of boring pregnancy. So, as long as they’re just doing the monitoring and as not in stress test and everything’s fine.
So, I felt like: “Okay, boring is good.” We’re going to shoot for the vaginal birth and we’ll just see what happens and keep an open mind. I think I felt better and much more confident towards the end.
JESSICA YOUNG: Yes, I think in the beginning; I don’t know for me because like I’ve said: “I’ve never been to the doctor very much and all of the sudden, all of these medical stuff started piling up and hearing what could go wrong in the beginning and they tell you all of these things and you have to have an ultrasound every time you go in.” They look at the babies and make sure.
I think in the beginning that worried me a lot. Every time I went in, I wanted to see: “Are their hearts still beating? Are they still growing at the same rate?” Then towards the end, I realize: “Yes, they are ready. They’re just incubating there now.” They’re fine.
Once I really wrapped my head around that they were fine, I became much calmer about it.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, thanks so much for each of our panellists for joining us today. For more information about: “Emotional health during a twin pregnancy” or for more information about any of our panellists, visit our episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club.
After our show, our panellists are going to talk about some special moments during their twin pregnancy. For more information about our Twin Talks Club, visit our website – www.TwinTalks.com .
SUNNY GAULT: Here’s the question posted on our Facebook page from one of our listeners. It comes from Danielle in Organ.
I’m in my third trimester pregnant with identical twin boys. We have two children already ages 3 and 18 months, both boys as well. I am a little concern that our older boys are going to be jealous of all the attention our twins will received especially since they are the same gender and easier to compare.
Do you have any ideas on how to reduce jealousy or sibling rivalry between twins and singletons?
NATALIE DIAZ: Well, hey Danielle. This is Natalie Diaz from Twiniversity and Multiplicity Magazine and the author of What to Do When You’re Having Two? First of all, God bless you chick. Four boys under the age of three, you deserve definitely a special medal. So, I think we should make you a trophy.
I’m going to suggest that to the team at New Mommy Media that perhaps we should start making trophies for people like you. But, it’s great. I don’t want you to be too-too nervous. The good news is that: “It’s all boys.” So, you’re going to save quite a bit of money on toys. So, just get some bunch of footballs and trucks and maybe a random doll here or there and you’re going to be okay.
But, I hear you. It’s always an issue with sibling rivalry and making sure that your twins and your other boys feel like they’re getting enough mommy time. One of the best tips that I could give you is: “Choose a day.” Choose a day whether each week, each month, each year whatever you could do and just give a child one whole day.
So, in our home because we have the twins, we do it by week. So, every week, one kid gets to have a day and it’s not we’re excluding everybody else from the family. We’re just having that person make a little bit more choices than usual. So, what do you want for breakfast? Where do you want to go today?
If you can, start spending more time with one child. We have a golden rule at Twiniversity and it is: “Never leave the house without a child.” So, if you have to go to the Post Office. If you have to run to the grocery store, take one kid with you.
Having one kid with you is going to be exponentially easier than taking your entire brood of boys with you to a grocery store. So, you may want to start thinking about: “How can I spend time with one kid?”
Really, don’t worry about being equal. I know that that sounds horrible and I’m not saying that: “All your boys shouldn’t have the same amount of time but I am just trying to say: “Be fair.” If you spend time with this one kid today, try to do that for the next one tomorrow. But don’t get overwhelmed and don’t focus too much on one-on-one time with each kid.
Be the best mommy that you can and just try to do the best that you can. But, I won’t stress too much. I am just so envious because the love that you’re going to feel for those boys – you have no idea how many hugs and kisses are in your future and I’m jealous.
I love my little dude so much that I can’t even begin to tell you. So, I’m envious of your situation as the majority of people will probably say: “My God, four boys?” I’m saying: “Four boys, God bless you chick. You’re one of the luckiest people I know.” So, good luck.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals, it’s for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• We also have Parent Savers. It’s your parenting resource on-the-go.
Next week, we’ll be talking about: “Encouraging individuality with your twins.” This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .
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