By Natalie Diaz
Congratulations! Instead of the traditional one bun in the oven, you’re expecting a pair. Yes, it’s overwhelming. Yes, it’s a tad bit scary. But you just hit the parenting lotto! Now if you could only hit the real lotto to pay for those college tuitions, we’d be all set.
I want to introduce myself. I’m Natalie Diaz, founder of Twiniversity.com and author of What To Do When You’re Having Two, the bestselling book for expectant twin parents. What? You don’t have a copy? No worries! I’m going to give you some quick tips today and you can Google me later. For now…on with the tips!
A twin pregnancy has a lot more challenges than a singleton pregnancy and often has some additional bumps in the road. Stay on top of the bumps and ask plenty of questions at your doctors’ appointments so you’re always on top of things. A support network is key, so connecting to your local twins club is a must (and if you don’t have a local twins club, you have us here at Twiniversity). Having real twin parents to talk to who’ve been there and done that will help ease your fears on what twin parents consider “normal” when it comes to pregnancy. I’ll warn you now, you’ll have more doctor’s appointments, more ultrasounds, and more tests than an expectant singleton family, but realize that most of it is totally typical in a multiple birth, so don’t get worried.
With the average twin pregnancy lasting around 36 weeks, you won’t have as much time to prepare as your friends who are expecting one. Do your homework on strollers, car seats, cribs, mattresses, and more. Twiniversity’s expecting twins classes were made to help you prepare, and a full suggested registry list can be found in my book as well. Start with a realistic budget and try to stay within it. Often folks think that twins are double the cost, and while that can be true, there are a lot of ways to save, including buying from companies with Multiple Birth Discount programs. Did you know that many major retailers offer a discount to twin families for buying two of the same large item, such as cribs and car seats? Yup! It’s true.
Get Ready to Play 20 Questions
When your friends, family, and even strangers find out you’re expecting two, get ready for the questions! They will want to know if they are girls or boys, if you’re planning to deliver vaginally or via C-section, and more. After the birth, people will always ask: “Who was first?” and they will ask you if your clearly fraternal boy/girl twins are “identical” (that one is my personal favorite). When people see twins, they lose their natural socially acceptable filter and start asking some deeply personal questions. Don’t be shocked to hear from a stranger on the bus: “Whose sperm did you use?” “Where did you get the eggs?” and more. Yup, it’s going to be a wild ride.
When we first found out there was a second heartbeat, my husband’s first words were: “We have to move!” Literally. I’m not joking. It was hard to celebrate the awesomeness of our twin pregnancy when our minds were racing 10 steps ahead. We were thinking about living arrangements, finances, our car, and even our dog. We were thinking that everything would have to change, and wondering if we could even handle it. It took us a while to step back and celebrate with our friends and family and toast our joyful expectant delivery. Everything did fall into place. We did eventually step back and take a breath, but I had wished we did it sooner.
These are just some quick tips to get you on your way. If you don’t have it yet, I strongly recommend you get our book and check out a local in-person class if you’re in NYC or Chicago, or an online class anywhere else in the world. Cheers to you and your upcoming bundles of joy!
Natalie Diaz is the founder of Twiniversity—the world’s leading twin resource and support network for parents of multiples—which offers a selection of classes and resources. She is also the author of What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year. Learn more at twiniversity.com!