I had entered the doctor’s office assuming I’d see the little embryo growing in my womb. Instead, I saw two. Amid congratulations, I did my best to seem excited, but inside I crumbled, trying to absorb the news and its implications.
It didn’t feel real, not when I saw the sonogram nor when I returned home later to face these new changes. I had plans. This was supposed to be my second child—I even imagined having a little girl.
Except it wasn’t a girl (it was, I would learn later, two boys). I cried, then felt guilty for crying. The worries began: How will I carry twins? How will we afford them, with childcare and education costing so much? And I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want people ‘ooh-ing’ over the fact that I was pregnant with twins.
I thought I had this pregnancy in the bag, this being my second time around. But no, I was once again in new territory.
Googling images of twin bellies didn’t help. (Note to new soon-to-be twin moms: don’t ever, ever Google images of twin bellies when you just found out you’re expecting twins.) I literally threw my phone across the room.
I needed information, and support. I wanted practical how-to’s as well as advice to reassure my fears and doubts. And since I didn’t know any twin moms in “real life,” I found support online, on a twin mom board.
I met women from all stages of twin pregnancy. Those like me just learning about their twins to those further along encouraging us to hang in there. I also found reassurance from moms somehow surviving twins in the newborn stages to those with twins much older enjoying their little ones.
And the photos! Moms posted photos left and right of their adorable twins. Videos of twins babbling and laughing with each other in ways only twins can. Whenever I’d feel scared, I’d find photo threads of twin babies. The positive testimonials reassured me that having twins will be okay, that I can handle this.
Once I gave birth, I relied on these nameless women for support once again. My questions (“How am I supposed to feed them at the same time? How will I put them to sleep?”) were met with practical advice and a reassuring “You can do it.”
And when things seemed downright impossible and I was ready to throw my hands in the air, asking “How did you all do this?!”, these ladies said, “You just do.”
There were women who did things I never thought I could, like taking their twins to the grocery (why don’t grocery stores make their shopping carts like Costco?). They inspired me to challenge myself and believe in my capabilities.
Years later, I’m still active on those twin boards, hoping my journey thus far can be a lifeline to those who were once in my shoes.
Had I not had that support from the beginning, I’d have a lot more self-doubt. I’d feel alone. I’d have to learn the hard way to care for twins. Instead, I’m so glad they told me having twins would be okay. And two years later, I learned they were right.
Your turn: When were you glad to have received advice from others? Let me know in the comments!