Have you ever wondered what it’s like to parent more than one set of twins? It’s rare that twin parents become twin parents again, but it certainly happens. Today we’re chatting with three mamas who have given birth to at least two sets of twins. How did their birth experiences differ from one another? How did their lives change when they realized they were having another set? And how in the world are they able to survive those first few years?
MoMM: Mothers of Multiple Multiples
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SUNNY GAULT: All twin parents know that having a set of twins presents unique challenges and joys that are unheard of with singletons. But have you ever wondered what it’s like for parents with multiple sets of twins. How do they handle it? And after conceiving their first set of twins, did they have concerns about conceiving another set? Today we have several moms of multiple multiples, say that five times fast, who are here to talk about life as a parent to multiple set of twins. This is twin talks.
SUNNY GAULT: 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 of twins. I’m Sunny Gault and I am filling in as host for today. 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. And another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app it’s available in the Android, iTunes and Windows marketplace. So, we have three lovely mommas that are joining us today to talk about being a mother of multiple multiples. And we’re going to start with Brandi here on the studio. Brandi, tell us a little bit about yourself
BRANDI WALLACE: Hi there, my name is Brandi Wallace. I’m not giving you my age sorry
SUNNY GAULT: That’s okay, we don’t need it
BRANDI WALLACE: It’s classified. I have two sets of twins. I have identical boys that will be five in just a matter of days
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
BRANDI WALLACE: And I have a fraternal boy girl twins that recently turned two
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
BRANDI WALLACE: And my occupation is being their mother at the moment
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely
BRANDI WALLACE: My other occupation is on hold
SUNNY GAULT: Got it. Okay Natalie, tell us a little bit about yourself
NATALIE TAYLOR: Hi, my name is Natalie Taylor, I’m twenty six years old. I am a mother of three sets of twins. And I’m currently expecting my first singleton due in January. I have one set of fraternal and two set of identicals. And they are three, one and nine months. And my current occupation is a stay at home mom. And on the side I do some maternity fashion design but it’s kind of just a hobby
SUNNY GAULT: Well, I love that you’re trying to do anything but take care of those babies. That’s amazing Natalie. Thank you for being with us today. And then Shannon’s on the phone too, Shannon tell us a little bit about yourself
SHANNON: Hi I’m Shannon, I’m thirty three and I have a, almost six year old singleton. I have almost two year old fraternal toddler boys and two month old fraternal girls
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, it is time for one of our favourite segments it is called “We’re expecting what?” And it’s where we share some of our funny stories of when we found out we are pregnant with twins. And Amy writes to us and says: We have four boys, oh my goodness, Amy. Saint, saint Amy is what I’m going to refer to you now. We have four boys, so we thought we would try for one more due to the large age gap between our last baby and my husband’s youngest son, nine years apart.
When we went for our first ultrasound at twelve weeks, the tech was super quiet. Finally she said “well” and held up two fingers. I said “that better be a peace sign”. Sure enough, twins. Now we will have six kids LOL. We don’t even have a vehicle to hold us all right? They need to make some twin mobiles for all of us parent’s out there with twins and singletons. So, Amy, thank you so much for sending this. And if you guys have a funny story you want to share about finding out you’re pregnant with twins, send us an email or call our voicemail at 6-1-9-8-6-6-4-7-7-5
SUNNY GAULT: Today’s topic is having multiple sets of twins. And we’re talking with our panellist who are here to show what it’s like to have multiple sets of twins on a day to day basis. So ladies thank you for being with us today. We’ve kind of got, you know the geography here covered. We’ve got Brandi here on the studio. And Natalie is joining us on the phone from Texas. And Shannon you still live in San Diego, and Shannon, I know you’re in the car now. You guys actually still going out to your new home?
SHANNON: We are somewhere in Indianapolis heading towards Massachusetts right now
SUNNY GAULT: Massachusetts. Oh my God! We’re like all over the place here. We’ve got the whole US covered. That’s awesome. Okay, so, I guess the first question that a lot of people have when they hear that you’ve got multiple sets of multiples is, does this kind of stuff run in your family? How did you feel about having another set of twins?
So, I know everyone kind of has their own story. I’d like to actually start with Natalie. Because Natalie has an amazing story of, I mean she’s got three sets of twins, a singleton on the way and many more sets of twins and even triplets in their families. So Natalie, tell us a little bit about your situation?
NATALIE TAYLOR: Okay I guess my situation when asked is always interesting and people love to hear the answers whether they believe it or not. I am a husband of triplets. I am a triplet of girl. My mom had eight of us, me and my sisters are triplets. My brothers are triplets, we have a set of triplet brothers and then we have a set of twin boy girl, brothers and sisters
SUNNY GAULT: Oh my goodness
NATALIE TAYLOR: So, so multiple genes has not missed a beat in our household
SUNNY GAULT: You know why I’m amazed by with you Natalie is that you have two sets of identical twins because we keep hearing that there’s no, you know, it’s completely random and all these kind of stuff. So, I mean, what in anomaly it would be to have, I mean, two sets of identicals plus you know, the fraternal sets. It’s crazy
NATALIE TAYLOR: Oh most certainly, I mean I get it all the time. And I mean it’s not a question maybe in the beginning that used to bother me and now it doesn’t. It’s you have to have done fertility treatments and the honest answer is, I just am lucky I guess. I mean, I know the ratio is bizarre but
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah and you’re, I know that you always wanted to have a large family and even now you said you’re pregnant with a singleton, are you planning to have more kids after, after this knowing that you’ve got this history of multiples
NATALIE TAYLOR: When me and my husband we wanted twelve kids. And we do have kids in our future obviously but maybe twelve is a little too much
SUNNY GAULT: Well but you’re, you’re very efficient at creating those twelve kids though
NATALIE TAYLOR: Yeah I look at it this way, I won’t have to do many pregnancies if that’s the case. If I keep going on the record that I am right now
SUNNY GAULT: Or for all do you find that it’s been more of a blessing to have, you know, twin after twin after twin as opposed to you know taking longer time to achieve your goal. I know it’s a lot of work when they’re young, but overall, you know how do you feel about it?
NATALIE TAYLOR: Obviously we took a hit financially and for a while there we definitely took a hit emotionally because unlike some of my other friends who are mommies of multiples, they, you know have support via their parents and their families. Well both on my and on Scott, my husband’s side, we haven’t have that so we have to do everything solely on us. It’s been hard but through me backing him and him backing me we were able to get through it
SUNNY GAULT: Now, absolutely
NATALIE TAYLOR: You also going to get me to cry on the phone
SUNNY GAULT: (laughing) not my intention. We’re going to toss things over to Shannon. So Shannon knowing that you already had a set of twins, I was actually following you on Facebook, we’re Facebook friends. And I remember when you posted that, you know, you were having a second set of twins and I’m like “Oh my gosh” like, I mean, what, what was going to your mind, you know. I think you thought you were having a singleton babies. So, what happened there?
SHANNON: Well yeah we did know that we have that [inaudible] we had that every first. So we knew that after having the first set of fraternal twins there is a [inaudible] chance of having it again. And then we also found out if you are breastfeeding, it didn’t matter if you can have twins anymore. You also had a 1 in 10 chance of conceiving twins. So we knew like, we had a like “okay I’ll have them again, there’s a good chance we’re twins again” and so we found out pretty early on at six weeks that it was twins again.
I mean it’s always a shock. I feel like, I feel like it doesn’t matter like if you, like there’s a twin in family or there’s not twins in your family, if like, you know, you know the odds or you don’t know the odds. The second you find out that you’re having any type of multiples, it’s pretty shocking no matter what
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, absolutely. Okay so Brandi , your situation, you had identical and again we keep hearing, okay there’s you know identical are completely random. And so, I don’t know if I got pregnant again, I wouldn’t even think it would be possible for me to have another set of twins so
BRANDI WALLACE: Oh I was the cocky mom with the cocktail parties with the other mothers with multiples. Saying “well I don’t have to worry about having twins again” I don’t have that one in twelve increase likelihood. My first set are identical, my first set. My at the time, my twins are identical. And then of course my body released more than one egg at the time and I have fraternal now
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so twins in your family, did you
BRANDI WALLACE: We’ve learned that in the 1800’s, my great great grandmother had identical girls and, you know, if the old wives tales is true that it skips a generation. It skipped a generation of women because that’s my mother’s father’s side of our family. There were lots of men in that, in that lineage. So, if there’s any truth to it who knows. People say, so do twins run in your family? And my husband says they do now
SUNNY GAULT: That’s a good, I like that, that’s a really good answer to that question
SHANNON: I thought my husband says too, I think that’s great
SUNNY GAULT: It is. That’s a perfect way to answer that
BRANDI WALLACE: And not to discount it. My father, my father-in-law is also a twin
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
BRANDI WALLACE: But again, not supposed to have any bearing on my fertility
SUNNY GAULT: Right. Exactly
NATALIE TAYLOR: My husband says the same exact thing. It’s because like these multiples are like a running river in our family so. He’s like “there has to be twins somewhere”
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah everywhere. They’re all around you
NATALIE TAYLOR: There are twenty four seven, trust me. Three sixty five
SUNNY GAULT: Regarding you’re guys birth experience and in giving birth to your twins. Were there similarities? We’re you kind of going into your births thinking that it was going to be similar
NATALIE TAYLOR: I wish I could say mine was similar like by no means, none of my labour deliveries, conceptions were cake walk.
SUNNY GAULT: Right
NATALIE TAYLOR: On my first twin pregnancy with my boy girl set, I have my water broke in I hopped. I don’t imagine that I could have loved any more bad. So there was that. And then twice in my second set which is Kaye and Tiffany who are my identical girls. I suffered from abdomen reptie. So I was not able to even come anywhere close to full term for them. I ended up having them at thirty six weeks. I guess one similarity between all three of my pregnancies that I’ve been lucky to have is that all of mine have been a natural vaginal deliveries. I’ve never had a c-section
SUNNY GAULT: That is so awesome. Natalie that’s amazing
NATALIE TAYLOR: My girl downstairs doesn’t look the same but due to some obvious stretching but I’ve been lucky enough to miss that [inaudible]. . .
SUNNY GAULT: That is awesome. Shannon, tell us a little bit about the, your births with both your sets
SHANNON: The first set we had, I went to about thirty seven and a half weeks. Uh oh we have a baby crying, sorry
SUNNY GAULT: No that’s okay
SHANNON: I would say like it’s definitely was not a very comfortable pregnancy so saying I got through it you know, and I ended up having a vaginal and a C-section because B was breached. So doctor wasn’t willing to turn him so he ended up being a c-section. And that was with my boys. And now with my fraternals I found this amazing doctor who is willing to do a VBAC and deliver baby B breached or transverse whatever and she was going to be, he was going to deliver and then they both ended up being transverse so I had to have another C-section.
And I have to say the recovery the second time is much much harder recovering from that C-section first time. Probably because I had twins or I have twin toddlers who were just like running around. And they were still nursing at the time so they are like trying to chomp on me while I’m trying to, you know nurse the new borns. And so, it was definitely a lot harder trying to recover from that c-section the second time. But the second pregnancy I did go almost full term, it was like almost forty weeks when I have those girls
SUNNY GAULT: Oh that’s awesome
SHANNON: I’d say pretty good. But I mean other people say pretty good but I did that. I was ready to get them out at like thirty six weeks. And say like “get these babies out of me”
SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh I think we can all relate to that feeling
SHANNON: They’re like “why? You did so good” I’m like “yeah you carry them”
SUNNY GAULT: Okay and Brandi tell us a little bit about your birth experience
BRANDI WALLACE: Oh sure, no. The first set I was induced and deliver them at thirty nine weeks then both sets I did have vaginal deliveries as well. Both sets were full term. The second set were thirty eight weeks and two days and I have to be induced both times. Apparently there’s a great wall of China keeping babies inside of me I don’t know why. I never got to experience the water breaking. Everything had to be done for me because everyone wanted to just stay put.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah
BRANDI WALLACE: Apparently. But we went home with you know, two day old babies each time
SUNNY GAULT: Wow
BRANDI WALLACE: Which is a big shock to the system
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. I’m so glad they were able to stay in there. That’s, doesn’t always happen
BRANDI WALLACE: Yes, yes it does not. But were, yes it. Recovery the second time was even still slow because again like Shannon was just saying “I had two year old toddlers jumping on me and wanting to be held and cared, you know”. It was just like, second time around, you have another set of twins
SUNNY GAULT: I know
BRANDI WALLACE: That you’re taking care of that you didn’t have the first time you got pregnant with twins
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I mean , you may even, do you do hear that even with parents of just singletons that it’s hard the second pregnancy but I can only imagine all the extra step you go through you know when you’re pregnant with twins. And then to already have toddler aged twins, that’s stuff, that can be a lot for sure. Okay. Well ladies when we come back, were going to talk about some lifestyle changes that occurred with a second set of twins and really just how you guys manning all of these so, we’ll be right back
SUNNY GAULT: Alright welcome back, today we’re talking with our panellist about what it’s like to have multiple sets of twins. Okay so really, what would you guys say as some of the big changes that happened after you know, lifestyle wise after you had your second and then also Natalie in your case even your third set of twins
NATALIE TAYLOR: Honestly it was more kind of where are we going to be next? Because we basically can’t re buy a new house with every new addition as well as a new car so that to save. Honestly were running out of rooms. And we can’t sugar coat it. With baby one and two we started off in a two door Ford Focus sports for my husband and then me in a two door Acura. And so we’re like “oh yeah, there’s babies on the way, we need a new car”
SUNNY GAULT: Wow. And you, did you have to change you said houses, how often did you have to change your home?
NATALIE TAYLOR: We’ve had it, because we originally lived in Nashville and then we moved to Calton for their schooling district because they have amazing day care system. And there’s obviously two years age difference between my eldest set of twins and my next set of twins. And we went from a two bedroom to a four bedroom to accommodate us. The eldest set of twins in the middle. We had to [inaudible] with the new car. So we had two rows of seating for them. And then when this new, when my newest set came along we gave it from a four bedrooms to a six bedrooms. And I finally gave in and I now drive probably a momma van
SUNNY GAULT: Man you need a bus, you need more that a mini van
NATALIE TAYLOR: You know what the van that I have now is three rows of seating and it seats seven not including the driver passenger
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
NATALIE TAYLOR: So if we do have another baby, now we probably have to get a bus
SUNNY GAULT: Oh my goodness. Shannon, what really changed for you between your sets of twins
SHANNON: Yeah we had to do pretty much all that too. We had like a little Kia Optima. And that we shared for the most time so we had to get a second vehicle. We had to get a minivan, you know minivan momma now. And that we have to move off so we’re in a two bedroom and we moved to a three bedroom. And then not only that, after the girls actually arrived, we realize we needed to make an even bigger life change. And now we’re moving from San Diego to Massachusetts because I have more family who’s available to help.
And it just you know, it’s just a lot with the as you all, all you mamas know with the toddlers and the babies and trying to protect the babies from not getting beat up by the toddlers. It gets really difficult like I’ve been really lucky it’s going to change, I don’t know, I have no idea what my life is going to be like in a week. But my husband is at home on paternity leave since I have the girls. And then once we get to Massachusetts, he’ll start working.
So I have no idea what I’m in for. But that’s why we’re moving is so that there’ll be family around to help me out because it’s just when I’m nursing those girls, those toddlers are just coming at them and it’s kind of, it’s almost scary to be honest with you. So yeah we went quite a few big changes
BRANDI WALLACE: You know now that I heard your changes I have to say I can echo a lot of those too. We did get a minivan. I can’t say that I didn’t cry about it
SUNNY GAULT: I went through that stage too yes
SHANNON: You and me both . you and me both baby
BRANDI WALLACE: But I call it my swagger wagon and I just move on. And I also had to actually had to hire someone to help me at home when I was pregnant. When I was pregnant with the second set because the second set pregnancy, since the first set were full term, I was huge the second time, my body just kept going and going. And I was more immobile the second time in my pregnancy. I had no bed rest for either pregnancy, but I was just uncomfortable and immobile. And I could not lift the younger ones in and out, they were still in cribs
SUNNY GAULT: You’re not supposed to pick up all that weight
BRANDI WALLACE: So, I mean we had, I had to hire someone to come in to my home and just to, as a mommies helper. I was still there to help me and then she has stayed on, you know, a few days a week still to help me with everybody
SHANNON: Great. And that was one of the reasons we made that decision as well was because we were like, you know like we’re going to have to hire someone to come help out. And we’re like “oh my gosh we can’t afford to live in San Diego and have a nanny. That’s just ridiculous. So that’s why we have yeah like I’m a single income because I’m a stay at home mom. And that’s for me is a sign to move, you know to Massachusetts so that I could have a little bit of help and we wouldn’t have to pay for that help
BRANDI WALLACE: Right. So we don’t have family in the state that we live in and it’s very difficult and we cannot afford the help and we also cannot afford it
SUNNY GAULT: I know. It’s one of those things you’re kind of in a tough position because you have to have it and you don’t know where, how you’re going to get it but and it’s
BRANDI WALLACE: It was a sanity thing
NATALIE TAYLOR: My God that we moved because we live in a, we live in sunny set California. And we’re glad that we moved from there to Texas because there’s no way that we could raise six children and a number seven on the way on a California south.
SUNNY GAULT: So Natalie what kind of help did you have? Or do you have now? Whether it’s from friends or family to help you with of your children
NATALIE TAYLOR: Sadly it’s not really a big support system. We do have family in state but with all our family members having big families themselves, when we get together we do more damage than good because of all the grand kids. I mean me and my siblings alone have given my mom thirteen grand babies. My only support system is my husband and a lot of my girlfriends who loves to babysit, who don’t have children of their own. Because they’re like “oh girl we can just borrow one of yours” and I’m like “how long do you want to keep them?”
SUNNY GAULT: And how many do you want?
NATALIE TAYLOR: Do you want the whole lot or you just want two? Can I pay you more to take all six?
SUNNY GAULT: So last question ladies is what would you say to an expecting mother or you know a dad that’s ready to have their second set of twins? Is there any advice, anything that you’ve learned along the way that uh, any words of wisdom that you like to pass along? Shannon let’s start with you
SHANNON: One thing like when I first came home with the girls, I literally lost myself in the bathroom because I didn’t know what to do because my toddlers were attacking them every time I snack them. And they didn’t mean to but you know there, they don’t know any better. So they were like, first they’re trying to kiss them and then they get excited and they would like start hitting them. And it was really scary because you have these new born babies.
So until I figure out what to do which took me almost like that the girls being six weeks old. And I lock myself in the bedroom every time I nurse them. So we finally figured out to put a play pen in the living room. And it made life so easy because the biggest thing was the boys wanted to be a part of these new girls. You know, they wanted to see them and be a part of them. And then I didn’t have to keep the girls locked in the bedroom which I thought like I would feel guilty about.
Like I would nurse them and then close the door I’m like those girls are in there like hanging out with everybody else like the boys are. And so that really helped with just putting that play pen in the living room so that the boys could see them and know that “hey this is a part, they’re a part of a house now” like you get to see them. They’re going to be here every day, all the time and that they are not going away and that really helped them
SUNNY GAULT: Good advice. Okay, Natalie, what advice do you have?
NATALIE TAYLOR: If they’re starting their first set of twins. Just prepare for any and everything. I mean, I’m talking projectile vomiting, projectile puke and believe it or not, cause me and my husband have been together and he’s fathered all six and number seven. I even have some daddy advice. Is that, for the dad, make sure that you have paternity leave well logged in the [inaudible] Because my husband, when I was pregnant with my girls. I was actually working on a retail store, my husband almost missed the birth of our girls because he couldn’t get his boss to let him off the work. So, yeah, just make sure that both you and your partner have any form of pre-natal leave taken care of before your big day
SUNNY GAULT: Alright. And Brandi
BRANDI WALLACE: I’ll give a list
SUNNY GAULT: Okay go ahead, we were ready
BRANDI WALLACE: Lower your standards
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
BRANDI WALLACE: Good enough is good enough
SUNNY GAULT: Okay
BRANDI WALLACE: Have a sense of humour. Embrace the chaos and have fun with it because you can’t change it
SUNNY GAULT: Right!
BRANDI WALLACE: And take care of mama
SUNNY GAULT: Yes. That’s another good one for dads
BRANDI WALLACE: Thank you Southwest Airlines. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then those around you who cannot do it for themselves. Oxygen mask yourself first. And then my marriage advice for people expecting a second set of twins or even the first one, is to get a new concept of what it means to date. Dating doesn’t happen at night time anymore. You take daytime dates. Somebody calls in sick one day and you go to a park and you have a picnic. You have to consider daytime dates because that’s your new reality
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Your new reality. Alright, ladies thank you so much for all of your insights and for chatting with us today. If you as listeners would like more information about having multiple sets of twins or any information about our panellist that joined us today, you can visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks club. After the show, our panellists are going to talk a little bit more about breastfeeding because I believe everyone breastfed their babies and so I want to talk to you guys a little bit more about that and any advice you have for parents that are about to have a second set of twins. So, if you want more information about our Twin Talks club you can visit our website at www.twintalks.com or www.newmommymedia.com
SUNNY GAULT: Today in our annoying comments that twin moms get we have Christina in New York. Christina says, I have identical girls and people still say “oh a boy and a girl?” I respond with No, they’re both girls and they’re wearing matching outfits. I have people follow me around the store trying to look in the car seats to see them.
I also have people say “awww I always wanted twins” No , you don’t. it’s more of a challenge than one baby. Plus I have two toddlers on top of my four month old twins which makes it even harder. Other questions are always, who’s family do they run in? are they in yours? Or your husbands? I tried to tell them that fraternal twins run in families and ours are identical.
And even if it did run in my husband’s family that has nothing to do with having twins at all because it would have to come from my side. They don’t listen. And one more, people tell me “oh they’re identical? Did you know that’s good luck?” really?
SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two or times two, times two. However many you have.
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.
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