1) Your belly gets huge. You feel like a whale.
I thought I knew that my body was going to hurt and that I would be this huge walking balloon towards the end. But like…I didn’t know. I had no clue that no clothes, even pregnancy sized XL ones would fit what I had going on. You grow two babies, yet you think it’ll be similar to carrying one. How much extra could one more baby be? A lot. It’s a lot.
2) Not only will you be big, you’ll also experience pain you never knew you could.
I was starting to have round ligament pain around 20 weeks. My pelvis hurt to even walk from 20 weeks and on. It was painful to stand, painful to sit, painful to lay down. Everything hurt and it was hard to do just about anything.
3) They are in fact TWO totally separate humans.
This might sound SO obvious. But people think twins are so awesome and amazing…which they are…but there’s two of them. I don’t know if this beautifully-painted-picture-of-twins that people have in their heads totally capture this reality. We’re talking two babies with completely different needs on different days. Think about the worst night you ever had with your one baby. Now imagine there’s another one who starts crying juuuuust as you got that first one down to sleep again. Now repeat that all day and night long.
Worth it, yes. But so, so hard.
4) The risk of prematurity and NICU time is real.
I had this notion in my head that my girls would never need the NICU. I KNEW it was a possibility but once I hit 35 weeks, I assumed our time there was unneeded. What a wake up call that was when they were both whisked away right after birth and then spent 2 weeks there. You just never know what is going to happen, so I wish I would have prepared my mindset a little more for it. I wish I wasn’t so blind-sided by that reality.
5) In breastfeeding preemies, they can’t get a good latch for a few weeks.
I was devastated when my twins didn’t start nursing right from birth. But they were tiny, had little mouths, and very little stamina. They didn’t start full-time breastfeeding until they were about 5-6 weeks old. I wish I knew that by bottle feeding them at first, it didn’t necessarily mean our exclusive breastfeeding journey was over. They just needed more time to mature and grow before they could get the hang of it.
6) When you breastfeed twins, you won’t have any personal space.
Breastfeeding twins for a year was one of the coolest and best accomplishments I have ever done in my life. But it came with a lot of hardship. It wasn’t easy to be feeding two babies for all hours of the nights. Some days I never got a break. Some days there was always at least one of them attached to me. With my singletons, there would always come a point where they were done. With twins, just because one is done doesn’t always mean the other is.
7) You won’t know what you’re doing with twins, even if you already have multiple children.
I thought I knew how to mom. I had two daughters already, so I felt like I had my parenting style and beliefs down. Then came the twins and ALL of that went out the window. I’m talking….all of it. I had no clue what I was doing, let alone how to cope. I was so overwhelmed. Eventually I learned that I could handle my life again, but it took a lot of tears and surrendering to do so.
8) Even identical twins can have different personalities.
My girls are identical and they each have very different personalities. Our Lennon cried all of the time as a baby while Halen was a very calm baby. Then their personalities switched sometime around age 2, when Halen became more needy. They both are very similar, but still have distinguishing traits. They’re not exactly the same, which I thought would happen since their DNA is the same. But someone told me, “similar bodies, different souls”.
9) TWINS BRING A LOT OF ATTENTION
Everyone will walk up to you and ask if they are twins. People are fascinated by twins and will stop at nothing to ask you 100 questions about them. It’s generally very sweet, but also very overwhelming.
10) People give a lot of unsolicited advice.
Yes I got this a lot with my singleton girls out in public, but I got this A TON with my twins. People are just trying to be helpful, which I understand, but it is overwhelming when you are just trying to grab a gallon of milk and some eggs.
11) You may change your mind about wanting to dress them the same vs not.
Half way through my pregnancy with the twins, I was die hard against dressing them alike. If I was going to dress them alike, it would be in clothes that came in different colors. So if this same style onesie came in both pink and purple, I was all over it. But I wasn’t going to get two pink ones or two purple ones. Fast forward to the day they were born and I was ALL about the matching life. I figured since I only get to do this for a short period of time, why not match them?
I also have friends who had their hearts set on matching only to change their mind once their babies were born for fear of not letting them have separate identities. It all depends on your preference.
12) How bonded your twins will be.
The twin bond is real, folks! Sometimes I will take one of the twins grocery shopping with me so we can have some alone time, but each twin will desperately miss the other. They hate being separated. They really are each other’s best friends and they just long to always be around one another.
13) Online grocery shopping will save your life.
My twins were born in 2015, so I think that was when online grocery shopping was just starting to be a nation-wide thing. But man, it saved my sanity. Not having to take my kids in the store was such a huge win for me.
14) Which products were safer to use around kids.
I was never a really huge “natural” person before having my twins. But I think that I became very conscious of the products I was using when they came home as these tiny little babies straight out of the NICU. I became a little obsessive about the chemicals I was using in our home and started looking for healthier options for our family. I thought it was a daunting task at first and that it would be extremely expensive, but found out that they were a lot cheaper than I anticipated.
15) That you will figure it out.
It sounds so cliché but it was one of my biggest worries. How am I going to hold two babies? How am I going to get all of the housework done? How am I going to grocery shop? There were so many unknowns and I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to just relax. Everything would work out exactly like it’s supposed to.