Questions for MOT's

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Questions for MOT's

    24 weeks today and I need to figure some things out. I'm not sure if you'll be able to help since I think most of you moms of twins do not have older sibs for the twins, but I need to ask and hopefully get some answers since I haven't been able to make the MOT group yet and the friend of a friend I know who is a mom of twins was supposed to have a playdate with me last month and then she went MIA. Right now, I'm a working mom (out of the house - I know...we ALL work hard!) and ds is turning 2 in early March. For those of you that worked before, how far along were you before you went out on leave? How would you handle taking care of ds? We're still planning on sending him to dc through all of this, but I'm concerned about being home before I'm due and taking care of him in the evenings before DH gets home. Did you have any help before the birth? What about afterwards? If so, who did you use (family/baby nurse/post-partum doula, etc) and how long did you use them for? We are considering using someone for the first week or two and then having my parents help for a week or two. Then DH and (maybe) my IL's would help some. Any feedback would be much appreciated!! I'm starting to stress because it feels like there's such a vague timeframe with the possibility of delivering early with multiples and going out on medical leave before then. How do you plan for this???
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    RHM - Hooray for the 24 week mark! I worked full time until week 32 when I begged my OB to put me on house arrest just because I was tired! I didn't deliver until week 37.
    If you are put on bedrest I'd keep your toddler in daycare if possible.
    And you may need a mother's helper or something if there is a gap between the end of daycare and your DH getting home.
    As for post delivery. We used the Bluebirds
    They come 9pm to 7am. You can have them as much or as little as you like...and can afford.  Since I couldn't nurse, the nights they came (2 or 3x a week) I could sleep. It was a godsend. They also do the baby laundry, wash and refill bottles, or wash and store pumping materials (or both - I was still pumping at the time.) They empty the dishwasher...and of course, take care of the babies all night.
    My parents would come often during the day - but I found daytime pretty easy once we got into a routine.  Eat, play, sleep. I'd bring them downstairs in the morning and keep them there until the 7pm bottle when we went back up to the nursery. Nights I didn't have a bluebird, I slept in with them a lot so DH could get a good nights sleep and be ready for work. I had a twin bed in the nursery and a fridge cube and bottle warmer upstairs. I could pull out two bottles, change the babies, while the bottles warmed, feed, and putthem back down and go back to bed myself - all without leaving the nursery.
    If people are coming to stay - put them to work. Laundry, grocery run, getting up to give a bottle at 2am if you need to sleep - whatever. And you do not entertain. If they are hungry or thirsty, make them help themselves...and get something for you too!
    If you don't have them - get Juggling Twins, and Ready or Not, Here we come. Both available at Amazon.  Both written by MOT's with 2 year old toddlers. I will say that it took me a while to figure out the mom in REady or Not was feeding on demand instead of on a scheudle - I think that's crazy, but that's just me. When the first baby woke to feed, I woke the second one too. Otherwise you get back in bed for 20 minutes and the other one wakes up anyway. The term "never wake a sleeping baby" doesn't always apply to twins.
    Good luck!!! and keep asking - we're here to help.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    two other suggestions:

    1. don't warm bottles - leave a set out at one feeding for the next feeding.

    2.  use a headlamp at night - don't turn the lights on.  get the twins into knowing the difference between day/night as early as possible.

    i worked until 36 weeks, had the babies at 38 weeks.  i also used the bluebirds; in my experience they were OK - depends who you get - and very $.  i didn't use them until 8 or 9 weeks; before that DH and i could handle it.  once we did start using them we used them 2 or 3 days a week for a month and then we were "out of the woods" by around 3 months.

    our twins were super easy the first 2 weeks (eat/sleep/go to the bathroom/repeat - no fussiness or other "needs" at all) - maybe b/c they were born 2 weeks early or maybe that's normal for a newborn to be easy... but you might need the help a little later rather than right away - so you might want to adjust your plans accordingly.  and i would imagine you'll def. want to line up help with DS.

    and like lily said make sure you keep the babies on the same schedule, at all costs!  ;) 
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    I think I maybe the only MOT on here with an older child, so here's my 2 cents/story.

    I worked until 30 weeks at which point could no longer handle my hour long car commute into Boston.  I went into my OB and said "I'm can't do it anymore" and she wrote my note.  I was healthy as could be with no major problems but just couldn't do it any longer and the next week I started having multiple doctor appointments anyway so I would have been "wasting" my sick time instead of using it to cover the period between stopping work and my disability kicking in.  There were weeks where I had four appointments with different people (my OB, the high risk OB, the NST, the nutritionist (I partial failed the sugar test and almost had GD).  It was crazy!!!!

    We were "lucky" that DH was laid off just before that (we knew it was coming for a couple of months).  So he was around to drive me places and deal with DD.  I absolutely would not have been able to handle her on my own for any long period of time.  So if you're going to be home with him for more than an hour you will want help.  And you may find that there are things that you physically can't do as you get further along like get DS in his car seat depending on you car.

    My mom stayed with us for a week after the babies were born and my MIL the next week.  We had DD stay at my in laws while I was in the hospital and had her come home the day after we got home from the hospital so we could get an idea of what having two babies was going to be like.  I did a combo of BFing and formula feeding from birth and I did feed on demand but that really only worked because DH was home.  We each took a twin and that is still how we work it for the most part with putting people to bed and middle of the night wake ups.  It keeps us from arguing at 2 in the morning about who needs to get the crying kid.  If it is DS I get him.  If it is DD2, DH gets her.  It' not set in stone but it's a general policy for us.

    I liked using a lava lamp as a night light.  We had in on all night and it gives enough light to see by without being too bright (as long as you get one with colored liquid.  I spent the extra money on prefilled 2 oz bottles that you just slap a nipple on (the tops for gerber bottles are the right size.  Wicked expensive but sanity saving in my opinion.

    It's not going to be the same (as easy) as when you brought DS home but as my mother likes to say "and this too shall pass"  which you actually know 'cuz you've (sorta) been through it all before.

    Now that I've written a book I hope you sind something useful in my novel. ;-)

    ETA: I forgot to say I went into labor at exactly 38 weeks and had a c-section that evening.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    I delivered at 37.5 weeks.

    I went to work on Monday, went for a doctor's appt., had high bp (AGAIN), got sent over to L&D triage for bp monitoring (AGAIN).  Work was between doc's office and hospital, so I made a quick stop to get my stuff, back up my computer, call my boss, etc.  Spent a few hours at L&D triage.  Kindly informed the OB on service that no, I would not be getting a c-section that day b/c I didn't have my stuff with me and wasn't ready.  She strongly disagreed but spoke with my OB and I guess he told her to let me go with a promise that I'd come back in 24 hours with my stuff and a couple jugs of urine for protein testing.  So I worked from home on Tuesday and DH went to work.  Around 4, my Mom picked me up and dropped me off at the hospital (I told her she didn't need to stay b/c I'd probably be cleared to go home), went up to triage and got settled in.  A little while later my OB came in (probably the reason he told the other OB to let me go--he knew I'd at least give him a chance to convince me it was time).  We had a discussion about my plans for the evening, the risks of preeclampsia and why continuing to be pregnant was a bad idea, and when it was clear I didn't have anything better to do that night, he suggested that I might as well have the babies.  I called DH who was finishing up at work and he came over to the hospital and I had the babies at 9:01 and 9:02 that night.  :)

    So, I worked the day I gave birth, BUT, I had been working from home 3 days/week and only in the office 2 days/week from ~20 weeks or so when I had to get a cerclage.  But it wasn't like I was working 9 - 5 5 days/week in the office.  I was making/taking phone calls and monitoring emails and doing what I could from home off and on all day when I was home.  If I needed to take a nap, or run a quick errand, I was able to.  I think that allowed me to stay reasonably sane.  If you can work out a reduced schedule or work from home a couple days/week, that's an option I'd highly recommend.  I didn't want to use any of my MMLA/FMLA before the birth and working from home a few days a week made that possible.

    I delivered on Tuesday night after 8 pm, so I had the option of staying an extra night in the hospital.  We went home on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  DH had taken the week off and was with me 24/7 in the hospital.  He had Monday off b/c of the holiday and took Tuesday off to bring the kids to the doctor and went back to work on Wednesday.  My mother was acting nutty those first couple of weeks and was not at all helpful.  We didn't have any night nurses (I've heard mixed reviews about the bluebirds, but there are others who are highly recommended and less expensive that others in my MOT group have used--definitely ask around for recommendations if you're planning on that route).  I was pretty much on my own during the day those first couple of weeks until my mother snapped back to reality.  After that, she was more-present and more-helpful.  She'd come over a couple mornings a week to take care of the babies while I got some rest.  She'd bathe them and do laundry and run the dishwasher and other light housekeeping stuff, so that was VERY helpful.  But other than that, we didn't have any outside help.

    As has been mentioned, if one baby wakes up, feed/diaper that baby and then get the other one up.  It's the only way you'll ever get any sleep. 

    I didn't have a toddler to contend with, so it was different, but if DS is in daycare, you probably could handle most of it on your own most of the time.  You're fortunate in that you kind of know what to expect from newborns and won't have a steep learning curve with the basics--it'll mostly be figuring out the twin thing and balancing them with a toddler.  And that's not to say that you shouldn't take help if it's offered or if you want help--but you might be ok without it.  Other MOTs I've known have made lists of things that need to be done around the house and keep a running grocery list on the fridge.  If someone says "what can I do to help?"  Refer them to the fridge.  :)  That way they can choose something they're comfortable doing (e.g. some people might not be comfortable folding your laundry, but would love to empty your dishwasher or run the vacuum) that will actually be helpful to you.  I still remember when one of my friends came over with her 4 year old and 15 month old in tow a few days after we came home from the hospital.  She brought frozen pizzas for us to eat, but between my sheer exhaustion and needing to attempt to nurse the kids, bottle feed them and pump while her two kids were running around and constantly interrupting us, I wished I hadn't agreed to have her come over.  It was more stressful than anything--she didn't mean for it to be, and I wanted to see her, but I was really happy when she left.  Which brings me to:  don't be afraid to tell people that you're not ready for visitors.

    So...I would wait to see how things go before lining up help.  If you need it, get it, but if you don't, it won't be worth it.  The bottom line is that you really can't plan for any of it and you won't know what it's like until you're neck-deep in it.  You might have the two easiest-going chill babies in the world, or you could have two babies that both want to be held all.the.time and have colic.  Once you know what you're dealing with, it will be clear what kind of help you need and when.

    Sorry this was kind of ramble-y.  Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and try not to worry about the stuff you can't control (delivery date, being able to work or not) until you need to.  Easy, right?  ;)
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    As far as paying for Bluebirds or other.  I loved one bluebird - she was planning on leaving them and going out on her own so I ended up hiring her directly. I was glad, because as Stefani said, some are better than others and you can't always get the same women. And paying her directly meant more money for her - even though she charged us a lot less per night.
    There is also Mother and Child LLC and I hear they are good and a little less $$$. Isis has a list of respite care agencies.
    I felt I needed them right away when my kids were eating every 3 hours or even more. Once we got to eating at 7pm 10pm 2am 6am I felt DH and I had a handle on it.  If I fed them at 7 and went to bed, he could do the 10pm and then when I got up at 2am I had had a decent amount of sleep.
    Of course - as I said before - if you have family coming - get them to help. If you are planning on nursing - introduce a bottle as soon as possible so you can sleep once in a while and someone else can do a feeding.  It's also helpful so you can nurse one and someone can feed the other. There are MOT's who can nurse both together, but it does take some practice - and it's not something you want to do with a lot of people around - you basically have to get naked to do it!
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Thanks ladies!!! I am planning on trying to pump and formula feed (I did this ridiculous combination of bf'ing/pumping/formula for the first 12 weeks before because my milk never really came in much, but that was waaaay too much time/work and I never really enjoyed the bf'ing part) and I'm not sure if my parents will get up in the middle of the night to help. Actually, I'm not sure how much help they will be overall. Last time, they cooked and may have gone grocery shopping once - they were with us for about 10 days, but things were different - DH was out of work so he did some stuff, too. They did no laundry or cleaning. DH will take a few days off right when I give birth, but let others chip in in the beginning and take time off afterwards. I just broached the subject of working p/t from home before I fully go out on medical leave this week, but I'm not really sure if that's going to be an option. I'm with you, daisy - hoping to prolong the FMLA. I do have a long commute (1.5 hrs door to door w/train and T) so who knows how long I'll be able to keep this up. Ds will definitely continue w/dc - even after I give birth, we may just keep him there 4 days instead of 5 for expenses sake, but we'll see. He just loves it there and I know the routine will be good for him. I found the first two weeks/first month the hardest the first time so that's when I think I'll be needing this help. My parents are coming up from FL so they are driving up and my IL's live about 50 minutes away. The irony is if my parents lived close, they would be there to help for a month every day (if they didn't drive us crazy and actually did some work around the house) while my IL's don't seem overly interested in being over to help on any consistent basis. We're hoping they will both spend lots of time with ds so he's not feeling ignored and we know he's being looked after. I did see postings on the MOT list serve about post-partum doulas and similar services so I am writing all of those down and will contact them this weekend so we can get an idea of what they would do and how much they charge.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    RHM - I used to take the commuter rail and walk about 10 minutes to work. At 20 weeks i could no longer do the walk. I felt like the babies were going to fall right out onto the sidewalk! I ended up having to drive and park in my building for the next 3 months.  It was expensive, but so worth it.
    You're already at 24 weeks - but be prepared to have to change your commute...just in case.
    And if you say to your mom - can you run that basket of laundry down and throw it in the wash? she'll say yes...right?...right? Sometimes you have to ask - and with twins and a toddler...don't be shy about asking!
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    I hope you don't mind if I go on a tangent for a second.  I had a question for the MOTs so I figure this is a good place to ask!  An acquaintance has girl twins and doesn't know if they're identical.  Is that common?  Just curious!  She said they'd have to do expensive genetic testing to determine.  I think the frequent posters have boy-girl twins, so you may not know, but I figure you know more than I do! 
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Fram--I had actually asked this to my MOT group a while ago.  A mother had posted that she wasn't sure if her twins were identical or fraternal and was asking about the testing.  They looked different enough to her and her husband and other family members, that they always assumed they were fraternal, but as they started getting older and more social, the family realized that other people had great difficulty telling them apart.  Apparently this isn't uncommon.  Sometimes the twins just happen to look a lot alike and sometimes they're actually identical.  Beyond that, I know nothing. :)
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Fram--I taught a set of girl twins for 2 years in a row and could not tell them apart on the fly except by the color of their individual backpacks (thank goodness they did choose different colors!), but they swore that they were fraternal twins. I think I was often so scared to mix them up that I had a harder time noticing any dissimularities. But, they looked AWFULLY alike.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    wait - shouldn't the mom know if the twins are identical or fraternal due to the quantity of sacs in utero while she was PG?  would this really not ever come up during a routine ultrasound?  am i off base or is this weird?!
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    I'm with you Stefani. I thought fraternal twins would have two sacs and two placentas and identical twins shared one sac.
    All I do know is that fraternal twins are from two eggs and identical twins are from one egg that splits. I also know that you can be identical twins and not look exactly alike. You can also be fraternal twins and look really similar.
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Stefani and Misslily - That's exactly why I'm asking y'all if it's common to not know!  I'm assuming since you all had b-g twins, that you had 2 sacs and placentas?  (I could probably google that duh.)
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

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    Yeah Fra - all b/g twins are fraternal and have two sacs and two placentas. And I knew anyway since they had implanted the only two decent eggs I had during IVF.
    You'd be amazed at how many people asked me if they were identical when they were tiny. They did look alike then, but I always had them dressed as a boy and a girl.
    One man said to me "Are they identical?" "No, they are boy/girl twins." "Yeah, but other than that, are they identical?" (sigh) "No - it's not possible to be opposite genders and be identical." "Really?" (sigh) "really".
    My DH almost bit his lip off trying not to laugh during that exchange. :)
    I'm sure Daisy and Stefani had the same question a million times.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    So I had looked this up before (I don't know why since I don't have twins) and fraternal twins have separate sacs and placentas (except in some super rare case).  HOWEVER, *identical* twins might have the same sac and placentas OR they might not.  It depends on when they split.  If they split early enough, they will also have separate sacs and placentas, just like fraternal twins.
    There is also an intermediate case where they have separate sacs but the same placenta.
    So.  If they have separate sacs and placentas in utero, you don't know for sure if they are fraternal or identical unless they are boy/girl.
    Wikipedia, baby!

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

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    What Medford said.... :)

    I STILL get the "are they identical" question.  They really don't look anything alike:  DS has dirty blond hair and fair skin; DD has medium-brown hair and a darker complexion.  There was a point in time where I considered the merits of carrying around a note card with the definition of "Identical" on it to give to people who asked but decided that wasn't the way to go.  :)
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from LowellwTwins. Show LowellwTwins's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Regarding rhm327's original question: As far as when to go out on leave, can you try to be flexible and see how it goes? I was told by so many people I would be early and we planned and planned to be ready for anything at like 32 weeks--my office was ready to give me the boot--but I didn't deliver until 38 weeks exactly. I ended up working until 36 weeks. But it was a super long commute with commuter rail and walking and the last month or so I had to alter my commute because I just couldn't handle it physically. So, I'd say prepare for the worst, but see if you can wait and see how it goes. You'll know when it's getting too hard to keep up, or your doctor will advise you. My doctor never thought I needed bedrest or anything special other than a shorter commute (they didn't want rush hour between me and the hospital just in case).

    Try to get as much help as possible for as long as possible--you'll need whatever you can get. My husband was able to stay home for 3 weeks! and then my MIL took a week of vacation to stay with us and my mother took a week of vacation and came by during the days. That covered me for about 5 weeks. I had some complications with my delivery, so it physically took me a long time to heal and I needed the extra hands. We didn't pay anyone, but we were really lucky to have family around and friends who offered to stop by regularly. We also didn't use any help at nights--that we handled on our own and used daytime helpers to catch some naps.

     When friends offered to drop off meals, I got used to saying YES. It was hard to accept so much help, but we needed it. I kept a running list of chores that needed to be done in the house: gather recycling, put out the trash, laundry, fold laundry, etc. When someone was over and asked what they could do--they could pick from the list and I didn't feel like I was making them do something they really didn't want--they could choose.

    Whenever friends/family wanted to come visit to see the babes, we said YES. Now this might sound crazy, but our arms literally needed a rest and the babies adored being held. We didn't entertain, but used the visitors as a chance to go take a shower, a nap, eat something, etc.

    I'm sorry I can't offer advice specifically on handling another child at the same time, but I'm sure you'll be fine! (You won't have the all the new parent things to figure out like us first-timers.)

    My last bit of advice: If you want to read any books people are recommending, do it NOW. I haven't had a chance to read anything in 5 months! I'm desperate to get through the Weissbluth book on sleep: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins. I wish I had read it before they arrived.
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Questions for MOT's

    Not a twin, but had a friend who was an identical twin (although I never met her twin) and she explained that there are many "grades" (although that isn't the right medical term) of identical twin-ness - and there are mirror image twins and non mirror image twins.  So they will naturally look alike if they are standing next to each other (look VERY identical, hair parts on same side, mole is on same side of face, etc) vs. mirror image twins will look most alike when they face each other - mole on different sides of face, hair parts on opposite sides, etc.  so those mirror image kinds look VERY alike but a wee bit not as alike....  this friend was a mirror image identical twin and  she had a cyst on her ovary and the minute her doctor found out she had an identical twin he insisted the twin get checked out, even though she hadn't had any symptoms - the same cyst in the same place on the OTHER ovary!  Kinda cool in a spooky way.

    But I didn't know that identical twins could be in different sacs with different placentas... that's cool to learn!
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from JMcW. Show JMcW's posts

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    I have 5 month old b/g twins and a 2 year old. I worked until the day before I delivered (37w 1d) but began working from home 5 days a week beginning at about 33 weeks. No big complications, just hard to get around by then and a long commute. Baby A was a bit smaller so I was on restricted activity. I was on my own a lot of evenings and in terms of taking care of a toddler I went and got a very lightweight step stool to minimize lifting. I had him climb up to get in his crib at night and would just kind of help him over. We did a lot of activities that did not require me to be on the floor - I'd never get up lol :) We had my parents come for two weeks when they were born and my husband took the same off. ODS went to DC everyday for 1/2 days so I had just the twins. DC was great about bringing him out to me so I did not have to haul the babies in and out. My MIL came to help about 2x a week during the "witching hours" which really helped get ODS some special time with grandma. We never had overnight care. I EBF and when they were still waking in the night DH would get up and do diapers. Cant say enough good things about the arms reach co sleeper btw. We have a nanny now that I am back to work. Look into your leave - MMLA offers 8 weeks per child. That's 16 weeks maternity! Check out the baby center "got twins" board - lots of great info out there. HTH. Hang in there Mama!