If you’re pregnant with twins and you’re already a parent to a singleton, you may be wondering how different your experience will be. How will you prepare your singleton for the arrival of the new babies? How do you encourage closeness between all your children? And then there’s the semantics of day-to-day life, such as traveling with all your kids at the same time, making time for their activities, etc. Today we’re exploring what life is like when you have singletons before twins.
Singletons Before Twins
Episode 20, April 22nd, 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: If you’re already a parent to singletons and you just found out that you’re having twins, you’re probably wondering: “How it is so very different?” How will your children react to having twins invade their home? How can you get around with three plus children in toe and how can you spend time with each child?
Our expert twin parents are here to share their tips about: “How to balance the changes when welcoming their new two-some into the family?” This is Twin Talks Episode Number 20.
[Theme Music/ Intro]
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, 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.
Now, have you heard about the new Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You can 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. So, before we jump into the show, let’s get started with them. We’ve got some panellist here in our studio and on the phone. So, I’m going to start with Kimberly on the phone. Can you introduce yourself?
Kimberly Williams: Yes, I’m Kimberly Williams, I am from Portland, Oregon. I have two singletons in the home ages almost eight and 17 months; an identical twin girls that are eight months.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Pretty wow. So, we’ve heard that your twins were born I think nine months after your youngest singleton?
Kimberly Williams: Correct.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Wow. Okay, I’m going to go into our studio. Andrea?
Andrea Lehman: I’m Andrea Lehman. I’m 43. I’m an economist. I have three kids – a 7 year old boy and 5 year old twin girls.
Kasey Haynes: My name is Kasey Haynes. I’m 37 years old. I’m a middle school special education teacher. I have a five year old girl and 21 month old boy-girl twins.
Sunny Gault: I’m Sunny. I’m mommy to four kids under the age of four. I have two older boys. My oldest is 3 ½ and my middle guy is almost two. Then, I have identical twin girls that are four months old.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. I don’t have the older singleton before twins. So, I’m listening to all of you as the experienced twins but I do have a four year old twin girls and then I have a singleton after my twin who’s a 17 months.
Shelly Steely: So, here at Twin Talks we’d like to keep a price of twin-related news and share that with you. An article published recently talks about what we would call: “An epidemic of twins.” So, nearly half of all babies born with advanced fertility help are multiple births; we’ve all heard about: “The octo-mom or the case of the implanting tons of embryos in the help of getting one.”
But this article’s really kind of talking about the: “Instead of the issue of three versus two embryos implanting which used to be a conversation. Doctors are now having the two versus one conversation with patients.” They mentioned that a lot of people want twins or dream of having twins or think that they’re getting some kind of two-for-a-one. But, as we all know – caring twins has a huge risk associated with it.
So, what they’re trying to do is look at ways that they can increase the possibility of single embryo transfers being successful in order to reduce the amount of double embryo transfers. So, we’re looking at possibly lowering the percentage of twin birth at some point.
The article quotes that: “In 2007, only 4% of women under 35 were using single embryos. In 2011, that was 12%.” So, a three-fold increase in the amount of people using single embryo transfers instead of double embryo transfers.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I think that the guidelines – I mean they are long overdue and I’m sure it’s in reaction to so the over-used of implanting multiple embryos. I’m sure if we have the perniatologist on here and the fertility experts, they could talk about how all the process has improved over the years. So, the rate of success has gone up.
So, there’s so many different reasons why implanting one or less embryos would work. I’m sure a lot of people are looking at the cost of doing the fertility treatment and they’re like: “My gosh, I can’t afford this $20,000. We can’t go through this again and just all the injections and everything else associated with that.” Let’s just get it done.
So, I can totally understand from the parent-stand point of: “Okay, it’s more cost effective and less time-consuming to just do it at once.” But, of course, they just don’t know what it’s like on the other side of things.
Sunny Gault: I feel like such a hypocrite with this story because I was literally that person and you guys have kind of heard me say this story before but like: “I was the person that always wanted twins. I knew that my last pregnancy was going to be the last time we planned to get pregnant. I didn’t know what I was going to do.” I had fertility treatments with my first son and that’s how I got pregnant with my first son.
My second baby was like: “Wow, we did it on our own. Yes.” My thought was: “I actually really wanted four kids and I really wanted twins and I did.” I went back to my fertility doctor and I said: “I know this sounds crazy but I really want twins.” I did. I really did.
He said: “Well, because we’re talking about getting back on Clomid.” I wasn’t going to do the IV after. We don’t have the budget for that. I knew we could conceive just fine so I wasn’t going to go that route but I really wanted to get back on Clomid to increase my chances of having twins. I only did that on appointment.
We talked about: “What to do and once you’ve been on Clomid, you can kind of jump right back on it and they don’t make you do a bunch of stuff.” They need to maybe run some basic tests on you to just make sure that you’re okay if you haven’t had it in a while and you maybe do an ultrasound or whatever. But, other than that, you can hop right back on.
I came home and I talked it over with my husband. He’s like: “I don’t think we should try to manipulate this.” He really just wanted to keep it to three kids. The more I thought about it – I kind of was that way too because I thought: “If we got pregnant with twins that way by trying to make it happen so hard would I have any guilt?”
Especially if it didn’t turned out, if one of them had some sort of disorder or something and I forced that. So, I just had to let literally nature take its course and just sit back and go whatever I’m supposed to have, I’m going to have – then spontaneous twins.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: You got what you wanted.
Sunny Gault: I did. I was that crazy person that went in saying: “I really want twins. What can I do?”
Shelly Steely: When I think that we’d all agree that – I mean given the chance to go back and do it over again, I don’t know anybody that would give their twins back.
Sunny Gault: No.
Shelly Steely: If you had given me the option of one instead of two, sure it sounded really tempting in those early days. Nothing can compare to the experience. So, I definitely – I wouldn’t fall to anybody for wanting two babies. If they were fully a price of the risks like you’ve said – I’m willing to take that on. I think: “There is kind of conflicting views.”
Some doctors were saying: “They’re seeing women that want those twins.” But some doctors are saying: “Women who just want a baby.” So, new researches are showing with improved screening techniques and frozen embryos, they can improve the success rates of single embryo transfers. So, what they’re trying to do is really give women an option.
If you are willing to take on the chance of twins and that is what you want to do considering the risks, go for it but if you really just want to be pregnant no matter what – let’s try to give women that single baby without having the risks.
Sunny Gault: It’s nice to have that option. It really is. I’m really thankful that medicine is evolving where we have more choices like this.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So it will be interesting in the next few years to see if we see a lot more twins with fertility treatments. So, today’s topic is: “Having singletons before twins.” Today, we’re talking with our expert twin parents who are here to share their tips. So, thanks for joining us everybody.
So, as our experts – so you knew what it was like to have a single baby. So, what was your initial expectation for having twins? Kimberly?
Kimberly Williams: My gosh. I was absolutely terrified. I was nervous. I did not know what to expect and with that being completely unexpected, it made it that much more nerve-wrecking on me.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Let’s see. At this point, you had three. You had the two and a nine – well, just a few month old baby right when you found out that you were having twins.
Kimberly Williams: Correct, yes. I had my daughter in September and I found out in November that I was expecting the twins.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yikes. But, you were an experienced mom. So, at least you knew – I think probably did some breastfeeding and things. So, you knew a little bit of the routine. So, hopefully that was helping.
Kimberly Williams: It was helpful. I knew what to expect having a baby but I don’t think I could have ever prepared myself what to expect when the twins came.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Big surprise.
Andrea Lehman: Well, when we had the older one. So, the expectations with the others is – I can really too terrified. You know, we cleared all decks. We moved. So, we left the city where we’d live for 20 years and we moved back to where my parents live because we knew we needed more help.
We held on to my husbands’ Mustang which was completely impractical. You can’t even fit a car seat in the back of that. So, that got traded in for the minivan. My mom took 12 weeks off from work with the family medical leave act to help me.
Looking back, I think we should have cashed out more of our retirement for extra help because it was just – we didn’t do that.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, I knew you were really pulled out all stops in getting prepared. You knew: “This is going to be a big thing, a big change.” That’s awesome. You really took so much timing.
Andrea Lehman: Well, it’s still an adjustment. I think we all did this. I have this theory that Type A parents are the ones who get less with twins. But, you can prepare and that’s still going to give you lots of thinking on your feet.
Kasey Haynes: When I first found out I had twins, I was by myself at the time and I remember my first thought was: “No, I’ve got to tell my husband.” I was kind of okay with it. But I was like: “No, how’s he going to take this?” I remember I told my mom. I was like: “Don’t tell him, just keep it a secret from him.”
I’ve got to tell him. He was fine. He’s like: “I told you this was going to happen.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: He knew?
Kasey Haynes: That’s why I said: “That’s when we stop with these two because I think if we have gone again, it would have been triplets.” We needed to stop. Also, our house is a lot smaller. We lived very far. We were at least an hour of drive to anything. So, we did have to move closer.
I think my only like what I kept going to my mind was: “Finances, day-care costs, two-of-everything.” So, I’d kept everything from the first. So, I knew I was set with certain things but not other things. So, I kept the financial. It’s just what kept rolling to my mind over and over and over.
I don’t even think I took the time to be like: “What’s going to happen when they’re actually here and I have two of them?”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: To think of all the logistics around that.
Kasey Haynes: Exactly.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, let’s see. The more the emotional, social side of things – you think about your singleton and if you had like in Kimberly’s case – multiple singletons, how were you thinking about introducing and prepare your singleton for the arrival of the twins. Of course, you knew things are going to change for you. But, for your little one
Kimberly Williams: For me, it was my youngest one, I didn’t really have to think too much growth because she was too little anyway, she wouldn’t understand anything. My oldest one, he thought it was the coolest thing in the world but at the same time he thought: “It was kind of creepy that were two babies in there boobing around.”
He didn’t understand how it really worked. But, overall, they expressed them. I think it’s over and he just couldn’t wait for them to finally come.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Wow. So, that’s a great thing. So, he knew that he was going to be the big brother?
Kimberly Williams: Yes.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Third time over.
Sunny Gault: That’s kind of what we did with my oldest too. He kind of understood it and we would just say: “Two babies, two babies, two babies and I point to mommy’s tummy and stuff like that.” So, he would go around and he would tell people about the two babies that were coming which were kind of cool.
We actually got him two little babies to kind of play with. These babies looked like little preemie babies which actually after my twins came out looked really creepy like close to what they actually look like. They’re in the closet now. I couldn’t look at them. It’s weird.
But then, he would take those babies around the house and I would talk to him: “He would want to put a diaper on those babies and want to tuck them in, give them a pillow like they need pillows, right?” Give them a pillow and a blankie and night, night. Because I knew he can kind of understand a little bit and now he’s really great with them. So, did that lead to him being great with them? I don’t know but it was kind of fun to see him be part of the process.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: What a great idea though giving him two baby dolls.
Sunny Gault: Yes, like hard not super hard, not plastic-plastic like soft plastic, right? They may have babies that looked baby dolls that look really real and so we did.
Kasey Haynes: I’ll say with Riley, at first my whole thing was – my husband was co work I’m with one. Now, that you’ve got to have a sibling. You’ve got to have a sibling. At first, I was like super excited. I’m like: “Not only she could have one; she’s going to have two.” She was excited in same thing that she told everybody about her two babies.
Then, all of the sudden because I always do is: “The fears of in it – wait a minute, what if she feels singled-out?” What if they ganged up on her? What if like all of that started to kick in to gear which I still struggle with that now. But that, all of a sudden, again the excitement went to: “Wait a minute, what about?”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: How did you do the actual introductions? So, once the babies were born – I mean how did you introduce it? Did you have any sort of special gift or sort of unique introduction?
Andrea Lehman: I wish I had done that. My son came to the hospital and he would not even talk to me. So, when the babies were born, he was like in a little – he was one so he didn’t like Kimberly was saying they’re so young that they didn’t understand the whole lot.
Though, he would talk about the two babies but he would just – he was just not happy. The hospital is not the greatest. But, when you have the two babies then the older one of course went to grandma and grandpas. So, they are because it’s weekend.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: They feel like they’re being shuffled off.
Andrea Lehman: Yes, he wasn’t too thrilled about that.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, Kimberly since this was really the third round of I guess introductions, did you do anything special?
Kimberly Williams: We give him the little bracelet that said: “I’m a big brother.” We got him the t-shirt that said: “I’m a big brother that he could wear to school.” Then, we actually brought him into the NICU and shortly after the girls were born because they were doing so well. He got to come in and look at him in their eyes and let him see.
Once I think that he saw that everything was good and there was nothing wrong with them, he was so excited. Then, we finally brought in work when my younger daughter did the same thing with her. It just seemed natural. It just seemed really normal.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes, that’s great. I had never heard about the bracelets. That’s really cool that you were really affirming their roles as the big brother and then they got to see them right away.
Kasey Haynes: We did the other shirts and special things that said: “Big sister” to kind of give her that – hey, I’m special. Even though there’s two coming, I’m the big sister. I’m in charge. She thinks she is. She likes to be.
Sunny Gault: I think it’s different too when you have – if you just have one singleton before your twins, I think it’s a little bit different than having two single babies before your twins because they have the opportunity to kind of partner together.
If they are feeling left out then I don’t know what age that really sets in. But, I know: “I don’t feel as guilty spending time with my twins because I know my boys are playing together.” They’re close in age too.
Actually, my middle guy is closer and age to the twins than his older brother but you would never know. The oldest and the middle guy played together all the time.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I’m sure there’s probably something. If you have either the same sex or opposite sex – with your singleton versus the twins then there might be some different dynamics there as well. I was wondering now – let’s say the twins they’re a few months old and you got your routine established, how many thing that you did to encourage closeness between your singleton and the twins, Kimberly?
Kimberly Williams: My older singleton actually helps the feed the babies. He didn’t – at first, did not want to hold them because they were so small. He thought that: “He would drop them or he would hurt them.” Then, we finally get over. We said: “You know its okay. We have a pillow there.” He would finally hold them. Now, it’s gotten to the point that he will help feed them. He will help make bottles. He will get binkies. He was just like the super big helper around the house.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s amazing.
Kasey Haynes: As we say – the piggy back on that. I honestly and people think that I don’t know what they think I’m saying but: “I would not have survived the first year without my five year old.” I have my mom who would come by or my sister to stop by. My husband, he was working, he was in school. So, it was me and the three.
She was kind of my sole support which is so sad at five but she was. She was my big helper and I made a big deal out of it. She did the special stuff. Same thing, she was a little bit scared at first to hold them. She didn’t really want to do that but she helped feed. She helped get things. She helped play with them. But yes, she is my rock – my five year old.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s a great and really encouraging now that even at a really young age, they can still be a great help. I know the big complains about being a twin mom is like: “My gosh. I just feel overwhelming, an extra set of hands.” Maybe we don’t even consider that some of the siblings can do the little things.
Kasey Haynes: They want too. They want to partake. They want to help.
Sunny Gault: My oldest wants to pump for me which he’ll go and get the pump parts out and he’ll actually put him on his tummy trying to get milk out and I’m like: “No, honey. Mommy is going to do that. That’s really not going to work.” But they do.
It’s just could be simple as just holding the bottle if you’re pumping. Holding the bottle for the babies; so it’s an angle – so they don’t get as much air in there; you know what I mean – whatever but they do. They do want to help if they’re at that age. Then, I have my middle guy is a little too young and I can’t trust them with the babies.
So, sometimes it’s a matter of trying to keep them separate that’s difficult just because you don’t want him to not like the babies and think like they’re off limits per say. But, you also don’t want them to accidentally hurt the babies.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s great that if they can be helping then it’s also kind of two-fold that you’re keeping them occupied at the same time.
Sunny Gault: Yes.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I mean that’s always a challenge. In line with the same thing, you want to keep that communication going with your singleton. What are some other ways that you can really show them your attention and make them feel special?
Andrea Lehman: Well, we would have our routine because my mom was helping look after my twin girls. She was helping me with the kids when the twins were born and what I do is: “I have the twins once a day and she’d have my son most of the day. Then, we do the switch in the afternoon or early evening.”
At that point, I’d take my son and we’d go – it’s wonderful at that age that they’re so happy with so little. We go to Target and that was great. We’d call the popcorn store because I was always hungry and I always had a sweet tooth.
We’d go to Target and we got to buy a bag of popcorn or we go to the doughnut store and buy doughnut hole; or go to Costco and buy an ice cream cone. Of course, I’m getting diapers at all the whatever, wipes – whatever it is we needed. So, we have that as a little routine where I would try to spend some time with just him even if it was just an errand.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: If you got multiple singletons, Kimberly how did you do it?
Kimberly Williams: We went to do the same thing. The twins were down for a nap, either myself I will take him with me to the store to do whatever shopping that needed to do or my husband would take them out to the arcade and they would have an hour to just themselves to just get away out of the house and kind of do the guy thing. So, they’re surrounded by all women in the house.
Kasey Haynes: I’ll say with ours: “I will try to do yet special outings.” She knows like right now, every Wednesday is our shopping. The twins aren’t with us. It’s me and her. We go shopping together.
I really like the time because her and my husband actually bonded more after the twins came because especially if I was busy with them, she’d go outside and play with dad or go in the garage and see what dad was doing.
When they went down for nap, we’d use the time to paint our toe nails or do a puzzle or draw a picture; anytime that we could squeeze in together.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Hold that thought and when we come back, we’re going to talk about some of the logistics of having a singleton plus twins and getting around.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Well, welcome back. Today, we’re talking about: “Singletons before twins” with our expert twin panellists.
So, when you’re running around and you’re going grocery shopping and out and about with your kids, so what’s your strategy for keeping them all together. If you’re in strollers or shopping carts or baby carriers, what’s your typical way to get around?
Kasey Haynes: When the twins were little-little, I swear life was easier only because they were in their carriers, in the snap and go. Especially shopping or any things like that – they would be in their stroller. I would usually pull whatever else shopping cart, whatever else behind me and my daughter was old enough that she could stay with me and help out and it would still be an exciting trip.
Going out with the singleton is easier. The strollers were smaller; the amount you have to take is smaller. I remember with Riley, it was literally I could just do a carrier and I was gold and everybody went. I didn’t have to take anything. The twins, it is harder. We had to get a bigger vehicle, bigger strollers, bigger everything.
But once you get it down and once you set up at work for you, you just have to do what works for you. Don’t worry about anybody else. Don’t worry about what everybody else tells you just do what works for you.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I think you mention getting a new car and Andrea you mentioned: “You just went out and bought a new car. This is it making the change.” Is that pretty common when you’re getting, going from one to three?
Andrea Lehman: The minivan is just a life saver.
Sunny Gault: My god, it is.
Andrea Lehman: I was driving my wide and here my grandma’s Buick before that which was really wide. Then, I was driving and when I was pregnant with the twins and so, at large times I couldn’t get out of the car because the doors and the opening outside.
So, I would park then I couldn’t get out then I have to re-park and re-climb out of the back seat. So, the minivans are with the doors and kids like kids fleeing open doors with the retracting doors and the minivan that is just and I had an auto door which is so nice because the one I hate about having twins is you’re always leaving the baby in the parking lot. It drives me crazy.
I had some close calls where people are like not paying attention to back up and there’s you’re holding one baby and can’t get both infant seats in the same because they’re in the different sides or whatever. But, that would drive me crazy. So, I go on the parking lot, scatter around just like a military operation.
Where is the side walk where I can unload because I have a squirrelly toddler that’s going to – you unbuckle him last; the double stroller, the two car-seats, unbuckle the toddler. I had a harness on him very well too.
So, I had the double snap and go is so easy and then the one in the harness for a while then we moved up to the double bob and the toddler where would ride on the hump in the front. So, that worked for quite a while.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, I think it helps if you have a toddler that can walk.
Andrea Lehman: Yes.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I could imagine – no. Sunny, I think you have a triple stroller.
Sunny Gault: I do.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Because your toddlers really not at the point where walking around.
Sunny Gault: No, he will run away. He’ll get into some sort of like mischief that I can’t deal with at the moment. So, I have a triple stroller but I do have four kids. My oldest, again he’ll be four in a couple of months. I don’t really think he needs it.
Now, he knows he could hold my hand and it would be fine. I could tell him to stay close unless we were in a parking lot or where there are cars and then I don’t trust him. But, most of the time, if it’s just walking on the hall or something, it’s not a big deal. So, I did contemplate getting like what is that called even a quadruple stroller; do they even make those?
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: They do.
Andrea Lehman: They’re like stadium seating, double rows.
Sunny Gault: Okay, I did consider that. The other thing I considered was getting one of those – I don’t know if they call them a boogie board but those things, they can attach to the back where if you have an older child, they can kind of stand and mini skateboard on the back.
So, what I ended up doing though was a triple stroller that allowed for two infant car seats but you didn’t have to do it that way. They could just be two regular seats. Then, the older toddler seat, it’s kind of could be a sit and stand or you could purchase like a separate sit that actually made it a full seat with a five point harness or whatever on the back.
So, that’s when I’m using now and because my older son is in day-care during the day if I’ve got doctor’s appointment so whatever I have to go to. I really only needed a triple stroller. That’s working really well. It is huge and I do have a minivan. I am now a proud owner of a minivan. We went from two to four.
My husband and I looked each other where like: “That SUV is out the door.” I’m right with you and the sliding doors, that’s a life saver. But, one thing you do have to pay attention to is the triple strollers as you can imagine: “Double strollers, bigger than a single. I know triple no matter how they try to design it is bigger, right?”
So, even with the minivan it’s really hard to kind of manoeuvre it and get it in the car. It’s kind of a pain in the butt. But, that and food, if I didn’t have a stroller and like: “A little goodie bag from my toddler, I wouldn’t be able to do anything seriously.”
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Packing all that gear. Now, I mean Kimberly since of course you’ve got the last three that are close in age, are you using a triple stroller?
Kimberly Williams: I am not. I just have a double stroller. But, I will say: “I will never go shopping alone.” I always take my husband and I always enlist my mother or I have my oldest with me because I have – I put the twins in the double stroller. I put the one year old in the shopping cart so somebody is got to push. It’s just chaotic.
I would never recommend going out close to one year old and still being able to keep your sanity. But, yes along with the minivan owners I joined that club which I said: “I never would.” Yes, there’s not easy getting the strollers in and out and getting the kids in and out but you just make it work. You do it together and make it work.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: I know for me, my singletons younger but having three plus – sometimes I do target different stores that have the larger shopping carts. The big whole sale, the Costco, BJ’s, The Sam’s Club with having the double seats plus the huge basket, I think that seems to help out quite a bit in giving, moving three kids around.
Andrea Lehman: I think they should valid park those things. They’re not by the cars. So, how am I supposed to get the three kids into the store, into the triple things? So, cruise the lot like where do they get left?
Sunny Gault: Right.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: All the logistics. Well, we just touched on earlier about having the singletons helping out when you’re feeding and taking care of the twins. What are some of the other ways that you can keep them occupied when you’re in the middle of feeding, pumping and changing and what-not?
Sunny Gault: Food. If you guys have other ideas besides food let me know but food always work.
Kasey Haynes: I was going to say: “That especially when I was pumping, I would do – that would be an iPad time.” Otherwise, you wanted to be on it 24/7 but it’s like: “No. iPad time is only for when mommy is completely occupied then you can have iPad time.”
That would be the time that she could pull out like her colouring books. There are certain activities that we try to set aside just for a certain times. So, unless you would grow tired of them but at the same time is I knew she wanted to do that could keep her going. I feel guilty. I knew she wanted to do it so keep her busy.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Something she likes.
Kasey Haynes: It wasn’t punishment by any means but I’ve felt bad. This is how we got to roll.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Kimberly, you’ve got a wide span of different ages. So, how does that work for you keeping them busy?
Kimberly Williams: The older one like I’ve said before, he loves to help out. So, if I’m totally busy he’s the first one saying: “I’ll get this for you. I’ll get that for you or he’ll have his alone time.” He’ll go outside and play. The one year old, she’s a little tougher but I agree with the food.
You can put her in a high chair. You can give her a few snacks or banana and she’s let to go for a quite a while and keep it going.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: So, it sounds like food and high chair, iPad.
Andrea Lehman: I’m with television.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Television.
Sunny Gault: Got to love Elmo.
Andrea Lehman: But then, every 10 and feeding his heart and hard to get to the room out. Grab your remote first.
Sunny Gault: It’s going to be in your little breastfeeding basket.
Andrea Lehman: That’s right.
Sunny Gault: You’ll take anywhere.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Looking at the kids, your singletons that are school-aged. Now, I know that when you got kids that are closed in age, you can kind of do some of the same types of activities at home. But, once they reached school age then there’s the whole new level of being involved in soccer, ballet and gymnastics and then you’re in a schedule.
So, how you deal with nap times and other scheduled activities with the twins when you’re having your singleton in this regular scheduled routine?
Kasey Haynes: That’s where I go to food. My five year old had soccer for the first time in practice. Practice of course, practice was too close to dinner time and the twins – so I would literally make sure I had the snacks so at least I can keep them busy and I would take any kind of toy possible to keep them occupied while she was practicing.
Then, game day, the game’s change; sometimes they were 9 AM. Sometimes they are right at lunch time; sometimes they’re right at nap time. So, I was making sure that they were fed, they had food, and they had toys.
It gets a lot harder and I’m anticipating it being even harder. Now, she wants to do dance. He wants to do soccer again with all the school stuff like carnivals and everything else. It does start to get a little bit tough. They’re not thinking about: “By the way, when do your kids – when they need to plant?”
Sunny Gault: Yes.
Kasey Haynes: Nobody cares.
Andrea Lehman: We’re able to move to San Diego when we found out that we were having twin because my husband’s work said he could work from home which has just been a life saving. So, I remember when the kids are little, the whole day was just a shift.
It would be twins nap, take the toddler out because otherwise, you’d wake them up, come home, put the toddler to bed, take the twins out, come home, put the twins back for a nap, second nap, and take the toddler out. It was the whole day then I remember I had a few months where they all have the same afternoon nap schedule which was like: “Amazing.”
It was amazing but it was brief. Then, nowadays - pass couple of years, my son has been restricted in terms of his extra-curricular activities because we only do them at the Vye (ph) because the Vye (ph) has the childcare.
I have to confess: “I get really jealous of the people – not the brave ladies who went for four. But, the people that have the two that I was expecting where the older one is doing well and they’re carrying the little one or they chasing the one little one.” I could never do that. I can’t do it. It doesn’t work.
So, swimming lessons, we do a rotation of three. So, it’s like: “One goes. Two are in the child care.” Next one goes and the next one goes. So, I go in and out of the child care like eight times by stressing and changing and that’s juggling.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: That’s unique though doing a rotation. I guess I never would have thought of that. Kimberly, again you’ve got kind of a wider age span and then close. So, how does that work with schedules? I imagine your youngest three are have probably pretty close nap times?
Kimberly Williams: Yes, they are all pretty much on the same schedule and sleep around the same time. Eat, wake up and the older one isn’t really into the sport scene yet so he goes to school and then he comes home in the afternoon.
He gets his homework done and that’s almost likely he’s outside with his friends playing basketball or what not. So, it’s not too hectic quite yet that I just foresee it coming very soon.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Imagine do you have to load the kids up in the car to go pick him up to school?
Kimberly Williams: Fortunately, I don’t. He rides the bus. So, I don’t have to deal with that part right now. But, anything else definitely getting the kids in and out and I agree with all the nap times. Sometimes you have to break the nap time to get somewhere and then put them back to sleep. It’s nice and chaotic, fun, tiresome and everything that goes along with it. But, it all comes around.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: Yes and I can imagine too. I know my youngest; she’s adapted to be able to sleep in the car. I found that to be such a great help if I have to go and run to pre-school and pick up kids or run errands to have sleeping baby and she can kind of just hang out and chill for an hour in that sort of get the check in the box.
So, thanks so much to each of our panellists for joining us today and for more information about singletons before twins or for more information about any of our panellists, visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club.
After the show, our panellists will talk about the things they wish they knew before having twins. So, for more information about the Twin Talks Club, visit our website, www.TwinTalks.com .
Shelly Steely: Well, here’s a question from one of our listeners. This comes from Sandy of Kansas and she writes:
I’m pregnant with twins. I’m not very far along yet. So, I’m still nervous and praying that they both make it through the first trimester safe and sound. But, I’d love some advice in the meantime. Anything different that I need to do with my diet besides ingest more calories, any special gear for pregnancy and beyond that I need to make sure I have? I’m really trying to learn everything I can. So, any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
JonaRose Feinberg: Hi Sandy. This is JonaRose Feinberg. I’m an IBCLC, mom of twins and editor of Breastfeedingtwins.org. As I’m sure you’re already learning: “There are some things about expecting twins that are a bit different from getting pregnant with one baby at a time.” Here are some things to think about and do during pregnancy.
First and most importantly: “Listen to your body.” Some moms finally need to make a lot of lifestyle and dietary changes while they’re pregnant and some don’t need to change much of anything. Some moms are up and about with their normal activity levels and some need to limit their activities early on.
This [inaudible] on so many things:
• Your previous activity level
• Your job conditions and the
• Unique circumstances of your own pregnancy
There’s no single set of rules that is right for everyone. Please check with your own care provider to help you make decisions about your own unique pregnancy. Many nutritionists suggest: “Increase in not only your overall calorie intake but specifically your protein intake while pregnant with multiples.”
Protein helps your babies’ development and while many moms carry their twins to 37 weeks or more, some moms deliver early. It’s important to ensure that your babies are growing well early on. This doesn’t mean you should live on milk shakes and cheeseburgers. But, you may want to incorporate additional proteins lesser than your overall diet.
Lots of moms like making smoothies with protein powder because it is such easy way to get a lot of healthy ingredients and extra protein into one meal. I recommend a book called: When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads by Barbara Luke for a really good explanation of diet and nutrition during a multiples pregnancy.
To keep yourself comfortable, I strongly suggest adding some extra pillows to your sleeping arrangement. You may want several pillows, maybe one behind your back and another between your legs or you may be most comfortable with a long body pillow or other maternity pillow to support your growing belly.
Any moms also find they’re more comfortable using their belly support than later in pregnancy to help support their growing mid-section. Sometimes you can have your care provider prescribe a special brand or get one from a maternity specialty store.
Finally, pregnancy is a great time to reach out to other moms, joining your local twins’ club or reach out to other moms in multiples online. Local groups often have expectance or new moms group that you can attend now to get advice from moms who have recently have been through the adventure of twin pregnancy.
Note that local clubs have different personalities programs and offerings. If one group is not a great match, you may be able to find another nearby or online that will meet your needs. Again, congratulations on your pregnancy. Take it easy. Keep them cooking and enjoy this new adventure. Come visit me online at www.breastfeedingtwins.org for more information and tips.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald: 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 and
• Parent Savers; your parenting resource on the go.
Next week, we’ll be talking about: “Having Singletons after 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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