Twinthusiasm: Survival Lessons for Your First Year Parenting Twins

This week I met another Twin mum who is an author and written her own book on Survival Lesson on the First Year of Parenting Twins. I was given the opportunity to review this book and what a beautiful guide book it is. Something I would definitely wish I had read with my babies were little. The book covers tips on how to be prepared medically, by organisation and personally. It then discusses survival lessons on help, sleep, schedule and self-care.  My mum (who coincidentally also had twins – my sisters) would always say it does get easier, and it did. Now my girls are 5 I read this book with fondness of how the hell did I survive the first year? Well I did and you will as well! Read on and enjoy Cara’s interview and if you are a new Twin Mum you can buy the Book on Amazon by clicking the link below.

What inspired you to write this book?

TwinthusiasmWhen I first found out I was pregnant with twins, I really had no idea what to expect and was more than a little nervous! I was a first-time parent and didn’t have any friends that had undergone a similar experience. As I came to find out, a twin pregnancy and the first year with two babies is crazy in a way only a multiples mom can understand. I felt that there needed to be more encouraging voices out there for twin moms-to-be. I started my blog www.twinthusiasm.com in 2011 during my first pregnancy as a way to document my experiences as well as reach out to other moms. Over the years I compiled a range of hopefully useful tips and wanted to share my successes (and frustrations) with other parents who could use a virtual “cheerleader.”

Now, my twins girls are four years old and I have a six-month-old singleton boy. Having a singleton child gave me additional perspective on my first year as a parent. Twin moms are truly super-parents!


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Navigating a twin pregnancy and the first year with two babies can be more than a little crazy. Twinthusiasm: Survival Lessons for Your First Year Parenting Twins offers moral support and useful tips – served with a dash of humor – to help you survive the wild ride.

Twinthusiasm includes helpful insights on preparing your home during your pregnancy, asking for the help you’ll need, breastfeeding, getting your twins on a schedule, handling sleep deprivation – as well as time savers, money savers, and sanity savers. Bundling encouragement with practical advice and Cara Krenn personal anecdotes, this book serves as a cheerleader for multiples parents everywhere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cara Krenn is the mother of fraternal twin girls and a singleton boy. Her writing on parenting twins has appeared on Babble.com, in Multiplicity Magazine, Twins Magazine, and others. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Read more at www.twinthusiasm.com.

 

First Time Father of Triplets Shares his story

Father of Triplets

The Featured Blogger Interview today is from Paul. He has recently started blogging at First Time Father Triplets  where he is sharing his journey from conception to the pending birth to Fatherhood. If you are a Triplet mum or dad feel free to reach out and connect with Paul and his blog as he asked the big question we all once asked ourselves, “”How do you do it?” Ha, ha, I mean seriously!!!”

Why did you start your blog?

I started writing the blog as a way for me to capture the feelings and emotions that I was going through as a first time father at age 48. Plus it was a good way for us to go back and relive each step and emotion as they happened. I have never blogged before and I wasn’t sure how I would come across in written form. Hopefully in the future our kids will be able to go back and experience the feelings and emotions we were going through during this wonderful process…

How did you find out your partner was carrying Triplets?

So we go in for our first scheduled appointment and Melanie the Nurse Practitioner asks us about our family history, etc. She gets Rachel ready for the sonogram and just like we expected we’re having a baby!

Melanie measures the fetus and it is approximately 9 weeks 4 days. While measuring – Melanie shrieks “Oh My God!”

ME: What? What’s wrong? Is there a problem?

Melanie calmly says: No, not really. She then asks us if we were using any fertility drugs or if twins or multiple births were common in either of our families.

Rachel’s father has a cousin that had natural triplets. Nothing on my side of the family.

Melanie: “Well, you are having TWINS!” I was shocked, but extremely happy.

She starts to measure the baby B and it’s about the same size 9 weeks, 3 days. Again she shrieks “OMG!”

I had already asked her not to do that!

ME: What’s wrong, is there a problem?

Melanie: Do you guys see what I see?

ME: Yeah you mean that third one right there? I thought you were talking about that one to begin with!

Melanie: “You’re having TRIPLETS!!!” Then she looks at me and asks “Are you all right, do you need to sit down?”

ME: No, no, I’m fine, it is what it is, right??? :-) BREATHE, breathe!!!

OMG – talk about your mind racing, how did this happen? (I know how it happened, SILLY!) At this point Rachel has this shit eating grin on her face! I am pretty sure she was in shock, but extremely happy. I am too!!!

How did you announce your pregnancy to your friends and family?

We wanted to hold on to it for a couple of weeks, because we had lost a baby in October 2014. We manage to hold off for a few weeks, and we started out by sharing with some of our close friends and family. After about a month, we could no longer hide what was going on. Rachel was definitely showing and missing a lot of time at work. We finally came clean and had to tell everybody (including co-workers, we work together at the same company) so that was a little awkward! Everybody was in shock at first, but seemed really happy once they realized we were not joking! (It didn’t help that we started to tell everybody our news on April 1st!)

How are you preparing for a Multiple pregnancy and birth?

At first I went to the internet and started reading every blog that was out there. I joined various forums and searched high and low for anything that I thought would be helpful. There is a ton of information out there. Maybe too much! It seemed like the best advice came from a book on multiple pregnancy written by Dr. Barbara Luke. She gave us realistic goals on weight gain and the amount of nutrition that was needed to carry the babies for as long as possible. We also saw Dr. Danny Wu at Kaiser San Francisco and he was able to answer any questions/fears that we had on the pregnancy/birthing process.

What question or questions do you have for the families in the community?

I guess the biggest question I have is – “How do you do it?” Ha, ha, I mean seriously!!!

What is your favourite blog post to share with the Multiples and More?

I think one of the best blog posts that I have read has to be Tips on Triplets. I really like how it was written from the father’s point of view and I can totally relate to everything that they went through in early pregnancy. It is also a grim reminder that no matter how prepared we are, things can happen that are totally out of our control and that we need to relate our experience to help others that might be on the same path. I think that was a goal that I had in mind when I started to blog about this process. If I could help just one person/couple – it would be totally worth it!

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Join our Featured Interview Twin Mom Blogger Danielle

Let me introduce you to Danielle, mommy to twins Brooklynn & Lincoln and wife to Alain. Danielle lives in lovely Ontario, Canada and blogs over at WayOffScript.  What I love about Danielle’s interview is her letter to her twins who recently turned 2. Blogging gives us the freedom to document our stories, our learnings and inner thoughts that one day our children can maybe one day read (if that is our desire). Thank you so much Danielle! I hope the community enjoys the Featured blogger below. If you would like to be featured just send me a message on the Contact me page above.

Why did you start your blog?

I started blogging years ago. Actually, It was a mess of ideas and emotions written anywhere I could find in the moment. This past year I have followed some really terrific blogs and even though their stories are about mundane and vanilla parts of life rather than lengthy philosophical pieces, I loved reading them. Realizing that you don’t need to be a pro writer and that usually, the best posts are written from honesty, I felt compelled to create a space where my thoughts were organized and maybe one day, my kids can look back on my posts and understand some of the crazy things that mom has going on in her head :) My intention of having a semi private space to work out my thoughts turned into a really fun place to connect and meet people all while sharing pieces of my life with friends and family. The response has been overwhelming and I am so thankful that I haven’t met any haters yet!

Were you surprised to discover you were carrying twins?

Our story is a little unique in that we knew our odds of multiples were quite high. Twins run in my family on both my mother’s side and father’s side. I also suffer from PCOS, so needing hormonal stimulates from a fertility doctor also increased our chances for multiples. Needless to say, the idea of twins was very present and when it was confirmed at eight weeks, I think we both just smiled and thought it was funny.

Twin Mom BloggerWhat was your pregnancy like?

I am certain I will get hate mail for this, but my pregnancy was nearly a dream. No morning sickness, minimum swelling and I carried right til 36w 6d without a single hiccup. Yes, I was sore and was threatened several times to take it easy or risk complete bed rest, but I felt pretty great and really enjoyed bring pregnant. I think I can attribute a lot of my comfort to the doctors and nurses who kept such a close eye on me. I had been closely monitored before we even conceived and was seen almost weekly until I was twelve weeks along. In the remaining twenty-four weeks, I had seven ultrasounds and thirteen stress tests. All standard stuff for multiple moms around here. But having the extra attention and care really helped to ease my mind.

What has been your biggest accomplishment these past 12 months?

Whew…this last year has been wonderful and excruciating. They kids turned two in March, so we are FINALLY over the teething mountain. Boy that was not fun! I would have to say though, even after surviving many colds, hand, foot & mouth disease, two 20hr road trips, and moving across the province, our biggest accomplishment came just a week ago. We put our feet down and implemented a strict bedtime routine. A modified cry it out if you will. We are on night nine and I can truthfully say, it is THE hardest, most rewarding thing you can do for your kids and yourselves. In the crying moments, it can be rough but everyone sleeps better and is more rested for the day, so it is all worth it. My only advice, is to start early! The eight month marks seems to be the golden age.

What is your best advice for a new parent of multiples?

My best advice for new parents is two-fold. Trust your gut and ask for advice :) Hook up with your local multiples chapter and get to know some of the families. Without sounding completely rude, parents with singletons will try their best to help and understand your struggle, but they will never get it. Being a parent of multiples is a completely unique situation that requires a lot of adjusting and patience. Controlling the chaos is your main priority and only other parents of multiples can truly understand your struggle. So connect with some locals and look to them for advice. They will have LOTS to share! Whatever advice you get from friends, book or the internet, take it all in stride. Figure out what works for YOUR family, and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for the choices you make. I can guarantee you will hear hundreds of opinions, but yours is the only one that matters.

What question or questions do you have for the families in the community?

Ooooh so many! Our next big hurdle will be preschool and kindergarten. We are enrolling the kids in french immersion, so for parents who have made this transition already, what are your best tips/things you wish someone told you etc that helped with your transition?

What is your favourite blog post to share with the Multiples and More?

My favorite post recently has to be my letter to the kids on their 2nd birthday. I hadn’t intended to write such an in-depth piece. I sat down to write a quick Happy Birthday message and the rest sort of flowed out if me. You can take a peek at blog post “You Are Two.”

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this community!

If you loved this interview like we did please send us a comments and share via Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Julie of Smiling Watermelons

The featured blogger of the week is Julie of Smiling Watermelons! Julie is the proud MoM of 17 month old twins Talia and Jordan.

Why did you start your blog?

I started blogging as a way to keep both my parents and my in-laws in voles in my pregnancy since they both lived far away, my parents a few states per and my in laws in Israel.

Were you surprised to discover you were carrying twins?

Surprised is a nice was of putting how I felt when I found out I was having twins. I was in shock and horrified. I was scared of having a baby, especially since I barely had time to think about it before I found out I was pregnant. I just didn’t know how we would handle two babies physically and financially. But, it didn’t take long, maybe two weeks before I was thrilled and proud of the opportunity to be a mom of multiples.

What was your pregnancy like?

My pregnancy was a hard one. I think the worse mom feels the better baby does. I felt awful. Morning sickness in the first trimester and by month 6 I was pretty uncomfortable. But when the carpal tunnel, pupps, and sinitus set in I was ready to be done.

What has been your biggest accomplishment these past 17 months?

Aside from raising two smart, beautiful, fun little people my biggest accomplishment would be changing out the blinds in my house for sheers. I know it’s not moving a mountain or anything but I love the way the sheets soften the light in our house and I did it all my self, removed the old, made and hung the new.

What is your best advice for a new parent of multiples?

My favorite advise to give to moms of multiples is to tell them that when they feel sad that they can hold both babies when they need to be held it’s ok, they will be ok and will have so much fun just a few months down the road being a twin.

What question or questions do you have for the families in the community?

As my girls get older I find my self with more questions related to general toddler development rather than twin development, but then there are the concerns about separating them at school or even during free time between my husband and I.

Be sure to leave your answer in the comment section and then head over to Smiling Watermelons to leave some bloggy love!

Sarah of OMG There’s Three

The featured blogger this week is Sarah of OMG There’s Three! Sarah is the proud MoM of two-year-old triplets, Andy, Ben and Cassie.

Trio 5 Days

What made you decide to start a blog?

I stated my blog during my last IVF cycle. It was a way for me to work through my feelings, knowing it was going to be my last regardless of the outcome. When I found out I was not just pregnant, but pregnant with triplets, my blog became a way to keep my family updated. Once the word got out, I was fielding 6-10 emails a day from various family members, so keeping the blog was easier. They really are the reason I’m still going. Whenever I go too long between posts the emails start flooding in.

Trio Six Months

Based on the title of your blog, I can only assume finding out you were having triplets was a shock, how did you tell everyone?

It started about 15 mins after I found out and took all of a week to travel around my world.

As soon as I got a positive pregnancy test, a co-worker of mine began teasing me that I was going to have triplets (“With beta’s like that, it’s gotta be triplets”). The day I found out I actually was having triplets, my aunt and I left the doctor’s office and went to a restaurant for some lunch. Sitting there waiting on my order, staring into space in complete shock, I get a text message “So, how are the triplets?” My first thought “How does she know already?” It took me a second to realize she still thought she was joking. I don’t remember the exact text back, but it was something like “I think I hate you! Why did you wish triplets on me?” It took much convincing and a snapshot of the ultrasound before she believed I wasn’t the one joking. She told the other girls eating lunch with her, and all were sworn to secrecy.

I called my sisters later that day. One of my sisters was out to dinner with some friends and was so shocked, she stood up and announced to the whole place “My sister’s having triplets!” The grapevine started working its magic.

I called my Dad a day or two later. He’s a worrier and wasn’t too thrilled about the whole single mom by choice thing, so I needed a little time to sit with the idea before I told him. I ended up telling him when I did because I found a triple stroller on Craigslist that I needed him to check out.

The rest of my world found out a week later. My first appointment with my OB took longer than I expected, so I went in to my boss’s office to explain where I had been, why it had taken so long and let him know I’d probably have a number of appointments in the near future. My co-worker couldn’t stand keeping the secret any longer, so she caught me as I left his office and drug me and my ultrasounds around the office telling everyone in her path.

That night, I emailed the rest of my family and announced it on Facebook the next day. The grapevine was in full force at that point, so for a lot of people I was just confirming rumors.

What was your pregnancy like?

Eventfully uneventful. The actual pregnancy part went very smooth. All the horrible things they warned me about either never happened or were very mild. I ended up on modified bed rest at 25 weeks primarily because driving to work was becoming difficult (the whole belly behind the steering wheel thing), and my office chair had become a torture device. The most eventful part was falling and breaking my ankle at 27 weeks. Crunches and huge, pregnant belly don’t mix. I think it was God’s way of telling me to slow down. The babies arrived at 34 weeks 4 days via planned C-Section on my Dad’s birthday! I think I earned favorite daughter status that day; no birthday present could ever compete.

Trio at Zoo

What is your best piece of advice for a new mother of triplets?

Take every bit of advise with a gain of salt. What works for one family, may not work for yours. What works for a singleton may not (probably won’t) work for multiples. You have to figure it out as you go along. Micro-organizing works for some, while flying by the seat of your pants (my personal style) works best for others. I know families that have charted every bottle and BM from birth to three years, while I took a must more relaxed approach. If they’re hungry – feed them. If they’re dirty – change them. If they’re tired – sleep them. We do have a routine, but it came about naturally and my kids are pretty flexible when it come to change.

What are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids?

I love getting out of the house and goofing off with the kids. We try to get out and do something every weekend. Our go-to outings include the zoo, the children’s museum, the aquarium or window shopping. I love searching the internet for new things to do. We’ve gone to farm shows, car shows, kite festivals, street fairs, air shows, events at the library – anything to get out of the house. A few months back a gentleman commented on how bald my stroller tires are becoming. I took it as a compliment – those were well earned miles of fun!

Trio in the Snow

What question or questions do you have for the other families in the community?

My kids have turned into such picky eaters. If it doesn’t contain noodles, it probably won’t be eaten. As and a Mom who didn’t eat noodles for 22 years (due to a traumatic noddle experience in kindergarten) – this is pure torture! I’d love for them to eat more veggies, but at this point I’d settle for a meal without noodles. Any tips for dealing with picky toddlers?

Be sure to leave your answer to Sarah’s question in the comment section and then head over to OMG There’s Three to leave some bloggy love!

Katie of The Zawislaks

The featured blogger of the week is Katie of The Zawislaks! Katie is the proud MoM of 8 month old twins Noah and Molly.

photo-8

What made you decide to start a blog?

I wanted a way to document my journey through infertility. I didn’t know how many courses of treatment we would need, but I knew that I wanted a way to keep track of it all…the appointments, the drugs, the emotions.

What was your road to parenthood like? Do you have any advice for families in a similar situation?

My road to pregnancy was relatively short, as far as infertility goes. “Luckily” (I use that term loosely, as no one who struggles with infertility is lucky!) we knew going in that we’d have trouble getting pregnant, so I didn’t have to go through the agony of charting, temping, peeing on sticks every month and seeing only one line. The flip side, though, is spending age 18-30 wondering if I’d ever be able to have kids! My pregnancy was fairly uneventful as far as twin pregnancies go. I would recommend anyone seeing an RE or other fertility specialist do their research, not only on their doctor, but also on the procedures and drugs. And if you’re lucky enough to be pregnant with multiples, read up on that too! Take care of yourself. It’s not easy gestating twins or more. And finally: take any advice from a singleton parent with a grain of salt.

photo-10

What was your pregnancy like?

“Boring” according to my MFM! :) I carried the babies to 35w6d. I credit my husband for a lot of the success, because he really made me stick to my high protein diet and took good care of me. I hated it at the time! I loved being pregnant. I’m only 5 feet tall, so I started showing pretty early, and by the end, I was the biggest pregnant woman I had ever seen. I loved it though (until the end when I was too swollen to be comfortable)

photo-9

What is your best tip for a new parent of twins?

Accept any and all help that is offered to you. People would come over and offer to watch the babies while I took a nap, but I rarely took them up on it. Nap when you can. Naps are glorious. And love your babies for the two unique individuals that they are. Lots of people want to lump multiples together, or compare them to each other etc. My babies are like night and day!

What question or questions do you have for the other families in the community?

When will people stop asking me if my son and daughter are identical?!?

 Be sure to leave your answer to Katie’s question in the comment section and then head over to The Zawislaks to leave some bloggy love!

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