Congratulations I just found two heartbeats,’ says the ultrasound tech as she does a quick scan of your barely pregnant belly. ‘You are having twins!’ The news can come as quite a shock for even the most prepared mom and dad. Twins may be something that you thought about at some point in your life. You may have ogled a mother pushing a double stroller in the grocery store feeling secretly envious that she was chose as a mother of two babies. You may watched all those pregnancy shows completely touched to watch a mother of multiples giving birth wondering how amazingly exciting the experience must be. But having twins is one of those things in life that happens to other people like car wrecks and bankruptcy! No matter how close come, you never quite expect to be one of the few.
The fact is that having twins is more and more common now than ever. More than likely this is because of fertility treatments that cause the release of more than one egg during ovulation significantly upping the chances of multiple pregnancies. Today, your odds of being one of the chosen few to find out you’re having twins is a little over 3% according the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the older you are when you give birth, the higher your chances.
Ironically, most of the people who are either a twin themselves or have twins in their family and on many levels expect to have twins, don’t! It is the unsuspecting parents who find themselves pregnant- never giving thought to two babies at once; who end up bearing the seeds of responsibility that come with multiple births. The news can be troubling and immediately causes a whirlwind of activity to flutter around your pregnancy that ups the ante on your medical care and family involvement. Suddenly, you find out that you are having twins and you become a celebrity of sorts family members will come out of the woodwork just to see your belly with the hopes that they will offered a chance to hold them once they are born and doctors begin treating you like a piece of rare and fine china. For many moms to be it is the behavior of others that can be too much too handle.
If you found out you are having twins, there are a few simple rules of advice that you should follow. First, keep it to yourself for a while. Not because of superstition, but because telling everyone in the world will prompt a premature reaction that will make early pregnancy even more stressful than it already can be. Let the news fade from the headline of your own life before announcing to others. This way you will be prepared for the malady of cliche phrases that will no doubt head your way. Secondly, stay away from twin mania. Don’t join mothers of twins groups just yet and try not to blow it out of proportion. Having two babies at once isn’t the end of the world and certainly has a lot of benefits along with being a little more trying in the beginning.
Your next important thing when you find out you are having twins is to find a doctor that wont treat you like a laboratory rat. You need to feel like you are still in control of your body. Many doctors begin treating you as high risk unnecessarily. There are plenty of women who have multiple pregnancies without having any complications whatsoever. If your doctor begins rattling off gloom and doom stories and warning you about diseases, premature births and bed rest before you are even out of the first trimester find another one. The truth is that you can be pregnant with twins without any complication at all and keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy is the most important thing. If a doctor treats you like you are sick, you will begin feeling sick and will eventually end up on bed rest. Get in with a group of doctors who are experienced with twins and who will allow you to have freedom of delivery choices and be realistic about your care every step of the way.
The news can be quite a shock. Many parents to be, finding out they are having twins begin purchasing newer and larger homes, minivans and engage in refinancing actions because they fear the future will be double trouble as well. In the first year especially, you do not need extra space, extra bathrooms, a huge car or two pairs of everything and a matching set of toys in order to parent your newborns. In fact, the only thing you will need two of is a car seat. Other than that, you can get by with singleton purchases and you will find that the simpler you keep things in your life the easier it will be once you come home with the twins.
One suggestion is also to find out a little about twins before they even grace your presence. Twinship is something that is often misunderstood by the world and one of the most difficult aspects of having twins or being a twin is the inundation of attention that is unduly placed upon you and them. You are not a circus act and neither are your children. They will be compared to one another for the rest of their lives and raising them you need to be careful to always see their individual identity.
Moms to be should also be prepared for the major let down that can happen after birthing twins. It’s as if the minute they come out of your body, you are an insignificant part of life and all the hysteria and attention turns to the babes. Mom can feel left out of the loop and with far too many people eager to be helpful, can lose sight of raising her own children. The first few weeks and months after having twins is a vital time to adjust to the duplicity of it all. Learn how to take care of them by yourself and ensure that the parental role is respected. It is okay to turn down help if you don’t want it and learning how to do for two simultaneously takes time. The sooner you master it, the better off you will be.
Finding out you are having twins is one of those rare moments in life that you will never forget. The minute you see or hear the two separate heartbeats, you will feel like you have joined an elite crew of mothers saved only for the special few. In many ways it is true! Feel grateful for the news, pray for their health and be confident about a positive future without complications and you will be prepared and able to handle anything and everything that comes your way. One day, when the hysteria dies down you will truly feel doubly blessed.