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Help with Twins... Opinions appreciated!

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Help with Twins... Opinions appreciated!

Postby divinagracia » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:43 am

Hi Ladies,

A question to those of you with twins... We just had twin girls 4 weeks ago and I am finding it difficult to look after both of them even with hubby helping me. NOT that I would change this for the world! He is at home full time for 7 days then goes abroad to work for 4 days then back for 7 etc. When he is here he helps me feed then all through the night and during the day as well as him doing the housework etc. When he goes away his mother comes to stay and she helps. I have even stopped breast feeding because i find it too difficult.

I am wondering how many of you with twins have hired live-in helps like Nannies or Au Pairs? I am thinking that most of you do but my husband says most people dont and manage without. I am worried about taking an Au Pair because I am basically letting a stranger from Eastern Europe who's age is around 19 - 26 yrs come to live with us and look after our babies and I dont even know anything about them! Au Pairs have no official qualifications and you read in the papers about children being hurt or abused by helpers so I am frightend to hire an Au Pair. I also feel I am all alone with my husband and that everyone else with twins has hired help is this the case for you all?

Because I don't breastfeed now and want to keep the feeding times synchronised my husband feeds one while I feed the other. This is the case all through the night too where they wake every 3-4 hours. On the night before my husband is due to work I keep waking him to feed one of the girls and even though he does it I can see it does not set him up for a good day when he works - He is a Pilot and needs to be awake and alert when he goes to work as if he makes a bad mistake due to sleep deprivation it could cost him his job or the lives of hundreds of people. He has suggested to me that the night before he goes to work could I maybe let him miss out on one feed so he can rest for work the next day. I dont want it as this will lead to them going out of synch by about 45 mins to an hour as I will have to feed one after the other and this will then make things worse with our sleep patterns. He explained how important his performance is at work and if he makes a bad mistake then he is out of a job and so no income, leads to no house etc and it escalates and things would get real bad. I said I rather he wakes with me still and that way they stay in synch - Am I being unreasonable to my husband?

Any opinions would be appreciated and even though these girls are hard work I am so thankful they are here and my husband and I would never change it for the world

Jen
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6th attempt (IVF/BT)-11.05 +

Aleisha and Makayla arrived 8/8/06
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Postby AngeWG » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:34 pm

Hi Jen

I dont have an Au Pair, Nanny or other hired help. However I do have a lot of help from my family and my MIL while my DH is at work during the day. He does have a normal 9-5 job but he helps me with the night feeds and has done since they were born.

My babies are now 18 weeks and it is a lot easier now than when they were 4 weeks old. They dont take as long to drink their bottle. ( I realise that this is no help to you at the moment but it might give you some light at the end of the tunnel) They do not always wake up at the same time during the night now.

I understand why you want your girls to feed at the same time. Otherwise the time you spend feeding them will outweigh everything else and you feel like every time you pick them up you are shoving a bottle in their mouth and you are getting no play/quality time with them.

Can your DH nap during the last day of his time off to catch up with his sleep?

It will get easier.

Best wishes
Ange

Me 40 DH 41
1st IVF Aug 05 +ve - Twins!
Stefan and Mollie arrived 02.05.06
We may have double the work but we get double smiles, double kisses and double cuddles.
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Postby JustinesBaby » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:21 pm

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Postby DeniseM » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:14 pm

I've found that with my girls, Alyssa will sleep for long stretches where as Lily can't yet. Feeding one through the night though is alot easier than two, so if Alyssa wants to sleep I let her.

I'm doing it on my own too. DH talked big about helping with night feeds but he's more work than they are in the middle of the night. And my mom - who said she was going to be around all of the time didn't stay over at all, and pops by only once or twice a week. You get through it. Either that or go crazy.

Get out of the house if you can, and leave both with hubby. Have some alone time.

And if one gets off the schedule for a day or two, its not the end of the world, babies are surprisingly flexible.

Good luck - I'm there too!
IUI twins ~ July 2006
IUI singleton ~ due Jan 15 2009
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Postby Toni » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:36 pm

Hi

I have twins who are now 14 months old. Yes it is a lot of hard work. We did not have any help with nannies or Au pairs. Nor did we get much help from our families. We coped basically.

My hubby was great - but when he went back to work after 2 weeks leave it got harder during the nights. However the way we worked our feeds, just so it was easier for me, was so that i fed one after the other. The situation was pretty much forced on us as my little boy has a problem with feeding - in that he was sick after EVERY feed. we were told to wind him every ounce so it would have been impossible to feed both our babies at the same time! However, i think i would have done that anyway. during the night i did the feeds unless they woke at the same time, and then my hubby pitched in. as time went on and the night feeds became further apart (trust me i promise it DOES happen!!), we took on a baby each. My little girl was still waking 3 times so i took her on during the week, and our little boy only woke once so my hubby took him on. at the weekend we switched so that i could catch up on some sleep.

Maybe you could try getting your hubby to take over on a couple of his days off during the nights so you can catch up on sleep. then u do that night before he is off to work all on your own. How do u feed them? a lot of twin mums prop their babies up on a pillow and stick a bottle in each mouth.

I also have a very good friend who hads twins, and she got some help from a local college. She asked for health and social care at our local Further education college, and they do placements - they are btec students and they come into your home once or twice a week. even if its just hanging your washing out or washing and sterilising your bottles its all help! Speak to your health visitor and see what she can suggest. there might be something similar in your area.

Also check out www.tamba.org.uk and they might have some ideas if u contact them.

I'm not sure how much help i have been but let us know how you get on!

Love

Toni xx
Trying to conceive for over a yr
First ICSI - Nov 04 - Twins!!!
Thomas and Charlotte born 06/07/05 :D
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Postby JustinesBaby » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:29 pm

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Postby JudeM » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:00 pm

Hi Jen

We have 10month old twin girls & yes, it is still very hard work as we have had no help (just me & DH).

Have you tried contacting your local Twins Club? Details can be found through the TAMBA website or your Health Visitor. They will put you in touch with other mothers with twins & often they can recommend help(Au Pairs/Mothers' helpers etc) It is also a fantastic way to meet up with other mums in the same situation as you.

I acn understand you wanting to feed your twins together - otherwise it feesl like you are doing nothing but feeding babies all day & night. When DH wasn't around to help I starpped them into their bouncy chairs & sat between them & fed them together. It took a bit of practice but eventually we all got used to it!.

Hope this helps.

Jude
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Postby nes » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:27 pm

Hi, How's it going?

I just read your post so I thought I would send you a reply whilst the twins are between feeds!

I had twins, a boy and a girl, on 1st June 2006, and they are 16 weeks old now. :D :wink:

I don't really know if this will help you or not, but I am finding that as the twins are getting bigger and I am able to predict their behaviour a bit more, I am finding things a lot easier and I am managing to find a little bit more time to sleep and do my own thing - even though I am still a little bit zombie-like at times!

I have found that everyone tries to tell me how to do things and what things to try, but I am of the opinion that unless you have had twins, you can't possibly have any idea of what things are like, as it is no way near having two children of different ages, so I just end up saying 'yep, ok, thanks for the advice' and still doing things my own way anyway! a
At least now I know what works for the twins or not! :D

I had my twins by emergency c-section at 8 months. I had been going back and forth from the hospital for various things for about 4 years, when me and my partner were blessed enough to have a boy and a girl during our first cycle of IVF.

When we came home, my partner was off work for about 2 months, and helped me with the feeding, changing and general care of the twins; but now that he has gone back to work, I don't have any help from anyone and I mostly look after the twins on my own.

When my partner is in he does help out, but I have mostly just plodded on on my own. I don't suppose that it's such a good thing all the time, but sometimes it just has to be done, as getting him to do things when he is half asleep or tired from working all day just seems like more problems, work and stress for me!

When I was pregnant, I had lots of people saying that they would help me and come over all the time when they found out that we were having twins... but since they arrived, I could count the people who have actually come round to help out on the odd occasion on a few fingers.

The fact that the twins can be a handful and quite demanding at times has caused a bit of tension between me and my partner. He thinks that I should ask people for help, or ask if I could get someone to come and give me a hand during the days when he isn't here, but the more that I find ways of doing things myself I just think that they are my twins and I want to be able to care and look after them myself. I just don't like the idea of having strangers in my home, or minding the twins when I'm not around.

When the twins were born, they came early and were born at 36 1/2 weeks. I had every intention of trying to breat feed them both, but as I didn't produce enough milk and they wouldn't latch on properly I had to bottle feed them. I did manage to breast feed them a few times since, but I had to give up in the end as it was becoming such a palava - all I was doing was bottle, breast and changing... then starting again!

When my daughter was born, she had Jaundice for 3 weeks and didn't really eat properly. As she took a few weeks to regain her birth weight, I ended up having to feed her every 3 hours. My son didn't eat very good either, but was a little better. I had to feed him every 4 hours. It did get a bit much as I was trying to get them in some form of a routine, but since then I have had to try and start a new one every week or so!

I found that for about two weeks until they started eating a bit better, I wrote down a timetable of feeding times, waking the twins up when they were due a feed. When they started managing to have their feeds properly I got rid of the times and feed them roughly every 4 hours, according to how they were behaving. I found that sometimes it was better to feed one then the other, and other times either feeding one baby each together, or me propping them up and feeding them together. It just depended on how I was feeling and if I had anything else to do or if we had to go out anywhere.

Now they are having a bit of a growth spurt I was a bit concerned that they were not eating properly, as they seem to just keep being sick all the time. I spoke to a health visitor who said to feed them according to the instruction on the babyfood pack. I tried that, but they seemed to find it a bit much and when I spoke to my nurse, she said to try feeding them on demand. I have been trying that for a week or so, but I just think that they are eating even less this way, so I am going to try a different routine again and hopefully this time it will work!

At the moment, I can see a big difference with how they were when they were a few weeks old, and now that they are 3 1/2 months old. Sometimes they both sleep at the same time or one is up when the other is sleeping. When they get used to a routine they are like alarm clocks and 5 mins before they are due a feed, they used to both wake up at exactly the same point and fuss until they were fed! lately one has woke up whilst the other is still asleep so I feed that one then do the other. I find that they feed better that way, but when they both fuss together, my partner has one and I have the other,but, if I am on my own then I either prop them up on a pillow in front of me or have one on my lap and one propped up in front of me. I find it a lot easier that way.

Sometimes as the twins are going through a sick-after-every-bottle phaze at the moment, I find that feeding one and winding, then doing the other is better. If I'm really tired, or the twins are really screaming then I wake up my partner, but otherwise I find that just getting on with it is less hassel!!!

Anyway, Sorry, just got carried away with all that hot air that I needed to release! Hope you and the girls are doing ok.

Let me know how things go.
Take care.

Nes, Jessenia & Maqkai.
xxx
Nes X

Mum to Twins Jess & Kai, born 1.06.06

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Postby JudeM » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:33 pm

Nes

Your story sounded familiar.

Like you, our twins were born prematurely & I couldn't produce enough milk to feed them (I was very ill afterwards with kidney failure & was in hospital for 2 weeks).

Like you, friends & neighbours were very supportive before the birth. However, since their arrival it has been a different story. People who we considered good friends & lived within walking distance haven't even bothered to visit let alone offer to take the girls out in the buggy for a couple of hours to give me a break. If we hadn't made the effort to show off the twins I doubt they would have seen them yet (they're 10months old now!)

The only real help I've had is from my SIL who came to stay for a week after we got out of hospital & from my cleaner who takes them out when she can.

It sounds like you're having a hard time at the moment - unless you actually have twins I don't think you know how exhausting it is. Katie suffered from colic for 4 months & cried from11pm until 3am most nights and both had congestion during the winter months & wouldn't sleep lying down. DH & I took shifts during the night (luckily he had leave owing & can also work from home). The girls were sleeping in their bouncy chairs downstairs & one would stay up after the 11pm feed & the other would go to bed. After the 3am feed we would swop roles.

I've learned over the last 10 months to read the books, listen the the professionals and then take from it what I think is right & ignore the rest.

You sound an absolute hero in dealing with them & just wanted you to know that. People say to me "how do you cope?" and I just reply "How can I NOT cope" these two gorgeous, tiny babies rely on me and that makes me get on with things even when I feel like climbing the walls.

I love Katie & Ellie to bits and they make everything I do for them wothwhile.

Keep muddling through!

Jude
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Postby Toni » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:34 pm

Jude and Nes

i just wanted to say that reading your stories sounds so familar! My 2 darlings are now 14 1/2 months old (and i promise you it DOES get easier with time). It is still hard now, as my 2 are constantly on the go and i have to have eyes in the back of my head!!! :lol: :)

I found the hardest time was when they were so tiny and all they did was eat and sleep. As soon as they started smiling tho all the hard work became worthwhile ... it was a really teary moment, as my little girls first smile was while she was lying on my lap looking up at me!

I have also found that so many people were so happy for us while i was pregnant, and made a big show of how much they were looking forward to meeting the twins. My mother, and my mother-in-law have been great - as has my SIL and a couple of close friends, but others seem to have disappeared into the woodwork! I guess u really do find out who your true friends are when u need them!

Nes - just to say that we went thru the sicky phase with my little boy. He was sick after EVERY feed, literally. And the poor lad was so upset that rather than just letting go he tried to hold it in, then it would come out his nose and cause him great discomfort!! It got to the point where he learnt what it was that was causing him pain so he rejected his bottle (he never took to the breast!). we tried changing to formula, changin the brand of formula, all sorts. In the end we did three things that seemed to make a difference. we put towels under one end of his matress in his moses basket so that when he was lying down he wasn't completely flat, we were prescribed infant Gaviscon for every feed, and also winding him every ounce. And even if i got the tiniest bit of wind out of him i felt happier! Whether it was a combination of these things that worked or just one of them....................... im not sure. But somethng did thetrick so we stuck with it. Nowadays he is totally fine, he is hardly ever sick, only if he is poorly.

Anyway - i hope u get on okay and find a routine to suit .... good luck and let us know ur progress!!

Love and kisses

Toni, Thomas and Charlotte
XXX
Trying to conceive for over a yr
First ICSI - Nov 04 - Twins!!!
Thomas and Charlotte born 06/07/05 :D
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Postby divinagracia » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:51 pm

Hi Ladies and thank you for all sharing your stories.

The girls are 9 weeks now and things are much better, the feeds are 6 oz every 5 hours now and they sleep very well in the night. We do have a good routine going and that has helped.

I am sorry I have not been on earlier to say thanks but I have been flat out with these Angels.

Many thanks and god bless you all

Jen
XXX
6th attempt (IVF/BT)-11.05 +

Aleisha and Makayla arrived 8/8/06
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Postby missathome » Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:29 pm

Duvinagracia

Hi Hope you dont mind me adding to your thread.
You sound like things are much better for you now and i hope they continue to improve.

I am a little ahead of you all in that my twin boys are 9yrs okd now :D
and yes ladies it gets easier all the time physically, but i think emotionally it gets harder :)

Anyway i just wanted to mention something that no one else seems to have in this thread, that is Little chairs for the angels to sit/lie in so that you can feed them at the same time on your own??

My hubby worked nights and slept during the day so feeds were more or less left to me but i had these little lite weight baby chairs that they could go in for short periods of time from birth which enabled then to be fed together.

Anyway just thought id mention this for any mums of gorgeous twins as it certainly made my life much easier!!

Best of luck to you all

xxx
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Postby Toni » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:11 am

Hi

Oh yes - we had a couple of bouncers. They were quite good as it keeps their backs straight...............................

Did not see any chairs tho - that babies can use from birth!!!??? Wish i had.................

Toni xx
Trying to conceive for over a yr
First ICSI - Nov 04 - Twins!!!
Thomas and Charlotte born 06/07/05 :D
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Postby usma3690 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:01 am

Hi Everyone with TWINS

How exciting for you. I'm undergoing IVF as we speak. I would love to know how many eggs you produced, fertalized and were able to transfer as well as your age, if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks for writing!
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Postby Toni » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:28 am

Hi Usma

right - from the top .... i responded really well to the meds and they retrieved 21 eggs, 19 of which were mature (if im remembering correctly!!). However only 14 fertilised, and only 4 of THOSE made the grade. My clinic only keeps fertlised eggs that are grade 1 or 2. I had 3 grade 2 eggs and 1 grade 1. I had 1 grade 1 and 1 grade 2 put back, they both took and ... Voila!!! The other 2 are in the deep freeze sleeping for later on.

Amidst my joy i have also realised how lucky we were as it was our first atempt! You mentioned age and I believe my age was a really huge factor in our success as i was only 25 at the time. But I am aware of the clock ticking and realising that as time goes on my chances of a repeat success with our frosties are getting slimmer.

What stage are you at? I wish you all the success that we have had - our babies are so beautiful!!!
Trying to conceive for over a yr
First ICSI - Nov 04 - Twins!!!
Thomas and Charlotte born 06/07/05 :D
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