It is crazy to think how much life has changed since having the twins. While things are now going well we had a really rough start. Shortly after we brought them home from the NICU I made an appointment with my therapist because I felt like I was not handling thing well. She asked me what was the hardest things about taking care of twins. I told her that I constantly felt like I did not know what the hell I was doing. I felt completely unprepared and incapable of keeping two babies alive. What she told me next completely changed my perspective on things even to this day.
She told me that it was ok that I did not know what I was doing. I needed to accept that I can not do this on my own and instead I should focus on building a strong support system. Since that day that has been my number one goal. I am so thankful I have found some wonderful people and resources that have helped not only care for the twins but have helped them thrive.
Before I talk a little more about this journey I thought I would share some pictures 🙂 The bottom one is from Halloween.
I like to think of our support system as our twin dream team. Here is the lineup!
Our pediatrician is amazing! One time when Luke was sick I took him in. That evening our pediatrician called after he had left the office just to check to see how he was doing. I can also email any question I have and he takes the time to make sure he addresses all my concerns.
Lauren has had some feeding issues. Our GI doctor set up a Barium swallow study to check for structural abnormalities and make sure she is not aspirating. Her swallow study came back okay but he still keeps an eye on things. He is also very patient and takes time to answer all my questions.
When we had to go back to the hospital we were told that Luke has a heart murmur. The echocardiogram came back okay but we will continue to monitor it and know who to go to if we have future issues.
I will admit that taking your child to a neurologist is scary. Our PT recommended we do this due to Lauren’s feeding issues. Luckily her neurologist has a wonderful bedside manner. She said that Lauren looks great but we will continue to monitor things. She also told us that later on Lauren may benefit from occupational and or speech therapy. Even so, she told us that the brain at this age is very changeable so if we do find problems, with the right therapy, she has a bright future. This is assuming she even needs therapy which may not be the case. I have been so worried about her and I can not adequately express how comforting that is to hear. I am also incredibly thankful that if issues do come up, we have a plan in action to get her the best help possible.
Both Luke and Lauren are in the process of getting fitted for Doc Bands for Plagiocephaly. While this is really expensive I am thankful we are doing it now where treatment only lasts 5 or 6 weeks. If we did it later they would have to be in the bands longer and would likely not have as good of a result.
Pediatric Physical Therapist
We actually have 2 PTs. One is a family friend. She has been instrumental in helping us set up resources for both twins. The other PT is also wonderful. She comes to the daycare weekly to help Luke with his torticollis. He has made noticeable improvements even after only a few sessions.
Early Intervention Team
I love love love this program. Early intervention provides services for kids aged 0 to 3 who may need extra help in any area of development. Since the twins are preemies, they do need a bit of help catching up. While it does take a while to get set up, it is a great program once things get started. They were the ones that help us get weekly PT set up at the daycare for Luke. His torticollis has made it difficult for him to develop good head control, but he has been very responsive to treatment. EI assigned us a case worker that frequently checks in with us. Any time I have any concerns at all I can discuss them with her and she provides me a wealth of resources.
Going back to work was a hard decision for me. There are definitely pros and cons to staying at home or going back to work. I ultimately decided that I am a better mom when I am working outside the home. I did decide I would not go back to work unless I could find someone I could completely trust to care for the twins during the day. The day care we found is wonderful. Their teacher actually has a grandson born at 26 weeks so knows all about the potential issues preemies face. She has even taken the time to show us stuff we can do at home to help them.
Therapist (For Me!)
Taking care of twins is hard! It took me a while to realize that I need to take care of myself if I want to be the best mom I can be. My therapist is great. She gives me wonderful advice that has helped me manage the struggles of being a twin momma. Other times she lets me vent, which I enjoy too.
Psychiatrist (For Me!)
As I mentioned before, I was not in a good place when the twins came home. I ultimately made an appointment with my psychiatrist. He prescribed a combination of SSRIs and it changed my life. If anyone is curious, my magic combination is Trintillix and Wellbutrin. It still amazes me how much of a difference it makes!
Local Mothers of Multiples Group
No one understands what it is like to have twins like a veteran twin momma (or daddy!). Their advice is priceless. For example, I never thought of how difficult it would be to get two babies into a car and to the doctor at the same time. They gave me some tricks and tips that make stuff like that easier. It is also nice to connect with people who face a lot of the same struggles as I do.
I am thankful for every friend who has brought us a meal or even came over and held a baby for a while so I could take a nap. It is always appreciated.
We are very lucky to have an incredibly supportive family. My mother in law frequently stays at our house. During her visits she not only helps with the babies but also helps with the chores and also cooks homemade meals. My parents have also been invaluable. Shortly after I had the twins, they sold their house and moved 10 minutes away from us. I honestly do not know what I would do without them. They are my lifesavers.
Of course it goes unsaid that my husband always plays a huge role in caring for the twins. Now that we are both working we take turns with night duty. He can handle the twins on his own, which means I am able to get a full nights sleep when it is my night off. Also, one of my favorite things is to watch him interact with them. He is one proud dad.
Well there you have it! That is our twin dream team. While I have learned a lot, I still feel like I don’t know what the hell I am doing. Even so, I think that if we continue to receive the support we need we will be ok.
Thanks for reading 🙂 – Jennie