How I (almost) got over the shock of having twins
STEPHANIE, NEW JERSEY
Ben was nearly two when we found out I was pregnant again. Right away I felt nauseous, very different to my first pregnancy, so I thought it must be a girl. Then at about 5 weeks I just ‘popped’. I told my mom I was showing, that I felt really pregnant already. She didn’t believe me, but it was true, I even had to get my old maternity clothes out.
Then at 8 weeks we went for an ultrasound and there they were, two big strong heartbeats. We were shocked. Bewildered. Twins don’t run in either of our families so it was totally unexpected. It wasn’t really a happy feeling, we were just freaking out to be honest. My husband Jared wasn’t even sure about having one more baby, and now we were having two!
It was so massive. We live in a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment in New Jersey. It’s a great area but really expensive. We thought we’d be here for another 5-10 years but now I just couldn’t picture it. How would we manage? And what about cabs - you can’t get 5 people in a cab, we’d have to take two cabs everywhere we went! I was pretty stressed, got overwhelmed really quickly.
But Jared was great, helped keep my thoughts calm and rational, take one day at a time. And that’s how we got through the pregnancy. We got organised, sorted out all the baby gear we’d kept from Ben, tried to spend less money. It’s easier in some ways the second time round as you know where the finish line is. You know the first few months will be tough, but you also know it will end. That made a big difference, helped me stay a bit calmer.
The twins are now 8 weeks old, feeding well and getting into a routine. But there’s so much guilt. I feel bad that Ben’s not getting the same attention anymore. I feel bad that neither of the twins get 100% from me, they only get half what Ben got. And I keep having to remind myself to treat Charlie and Drew as individuals, as two people. It’s really easy to treat them as a unit, and that creates more guilt. So I’m trying to spend more 1-to-1 time with each of them, and I’m making two different baby books, with different photos, different experiences. They are each their own person, and it’s really important to me that we respect that.
Life is definitely hard right now. But we can also see how fulfilled our future will be. Ben’s already an amazing older brother - he loves to kiss them, give them a bottle, help with their diapers. And I know when Charlie and Drew are older they’ll be able to help each other walk and talk. It’s not what we planned, and there are still loads of unknowns, but I know our future will be really special. We’re looking forward to it.