« Sleeping Around | Main | Swings or bouncer seats? »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Of course it is hard! You are going to be okay, like you said, you know this. I'm sorry you are struggling so much, but know that you are so strong.

The babies look absolutely wonderful, and THRIVING. Of course you worry, of course you stress, but looking at your children it is obvious to me you are doing a great job. They are downright plump! ;-)

Just remember to breathe. Look to other twin moms online and get advice. You are doing all the right things, T.

Tertia I feel your pain - and I only have one. I was exhausted for at least the first 2 months. It is hard freakin' work. In the beginning there is not much feedback/reward from the little ones either so that makes it tougher. All of your thoughts are valid and as sane as an insane-sleep-deprived new mom can be. It will get better, I promise. It will be so much easier and more rewarding and more fun. Really, it will. They will smile soon. Make cooing cutie-pie noises. Reach for toys hanging over them. Your heart will ache with the happiness and joy you'll feel at each new milestone and amazingly after going through all you've gone through you will actually catch yourself thinking "How did I get so lucky?"

(Forgot to add:
OOOOOHHHH they are so cute!!!!!) Send them a kiss from Florida, ok?

Gorgeous! Just beautiful babies. You are doing an awesome job.

I have to admit that after 4 IVF's I was disappointed to have only one on my first sono. After moving to a pregnant after IVF board and hearing twin pg complication stories and loss stories I got over that real quick. Long story short, I loved having one baby. He was held constantly and we never let him cry. That is just what worked for us.

When I went back to IVF for #2, I only wanted one but I did want a positive. We transferred two. Another long story short my FET beta came back high on day 14. RE guessed twins and I was freaking out. A toddler and then twins?! This time I was grateful to "just" have one.

Not that an infant and a two year old is a walk in the park but I could not imagine two screaming infants.

Hugs and well wishes. Adam and Kate look great and that is due to your great mommying.

I love you & your honesty.

It [b]will[/b]get better.

But in the mean time: You have BEAUTIFUL babies!


Aww! Kate has a very worldly look on her face. And look at Adam's mischievious smile! Oh Tertia - you are in for some fun times ahead. But for now, I can only imagine how hard it must be. Maybe you can find a live in nanny for a few months, just to help out with night feeds, until they babies start to sleep through the nights? Your days seem to go much easier than the nights - why not see if someone would be willing to come for the nights instead of days? Just a thought. I live near NYC so there's always nannies with specialties around here - don't know how easy it would be there though...good luck and keep up the good work though Tertia - you've earned every second of the happy times you know! And you're my hero for not sugar coating motherhood after infertility. I still can't wait to read your posts every day first thing!

hmm - sorry - was trying to emphasize the "WILL" part of that note. :)

They are very, very cute. Just look at that picture - well dressed, matching, no stains or spots. I couldn't manage that and I only had one!

I think no one tells you what a difficult time they have with newborn babies because new parents are supposed to be transported by joy and thrilled. Kudos to you for telling the truth - it is damn hard work.

AMEN SISTAH! As a mom of identical twin girls, I have often thought about how I could put into writing what it all felt like... you did it for me!

they are absolutely gorgeous Tertia. Of course it's hard but you are doing a great job!

Hard vv hard -- thank god you have help, and your Mum.
I cannot believe that they look like such a BOY and so very much a GIRL! and it's not just their outfits... they also have a wise look about them, what we call, the look of an old soul. Them's mighty interesting babies, and beautiful too. I think, but don't know for sure, that in a few weeks (which will seem like a lifetime) They will learn more about keeping themselves a little bit more comfy while they wait their turns. Thumbs or dummies, or blankies or something and mayabe they will seem less pitiful while you help the other in a clean nappie or with a bottle? Maybe....

I have a 5 yr old and a 19 month old. Every day there are times when they are pulling me in both directions, so I can't imagine what you are going through. If Kate wants to eat all at once look for one of those things especially made for babies to hold their bottles so you don't have to. Something like this http://www.bonnybabies.com/handsfreebabybottles.htm

It's tough to be sure from just this one photo, but....Adam looks like his mommy, doesn't he? Your babies are a beautiful matched set, and I would give anything to be able to help you out in the hugs department. Hang in there, Tertia...lots of virtual support coming your way.

When you get through the non-sleeping part, it will get a lot easier. I have 3-yr-old identical twin girls (and a 6 yr old)and it is still very difficult in many ways--getting them out the door in winter, with hats, boots, gloves, and coat is not easy, and making sure they have all they need at mealtime is tough, and the terrible threes whining and the complete irrationality!--but I think that people quickly forget how hard things are once they've passed, and I know the first two months were impossible (thankfully, we had good sleepers who made it through the night at 2 months). I remember my SIL commenting when the twins were 1 and a half, in that stage where they wander out the door if it's left open, and generally go wherever they want and you have to follow them around constantly to stop them from going into a lake or up the stairs, that she had forgotten what it was like--and she had a three yr old at the time! I was on my feet constantly at that time--and in public! It was difficult keeping up with the two of them then. Now, they follow in public, and generally are organized in their activities--but MESSY!

I now look at my 6 yr old and think, how civilized! If the twins were like that, my life would be one of ease and relaxation! She puts on her own coat without being asked! She can buckle her seatbelt! She's polite and cleans up after herself, and can make a sandwich! But I'm sure though by the time they are 6, I'll forget how tough 3 was, and I'll think 6 is tough.

My point: every month is an investment that will pay off. It does get easier, incrementally but appreciably, each and every month. In terms of exhaustion and not feeling like yourself, you are at the worst now. It will always be a tough (if wonderful and exciting) job, BUT IT WILL NOT BE THIS WAY FOREVER!

I commented a while back on when one of my best friends had twins at 17. We just used to look at each other in awe and say, "How the hell do the triplet moms do it?" But there are quadruplet and quintuplets! and more! and somehow they don't all starve to death- I am not being facetious here- I really don't understand how it's done. Twins seem to stretch you to the absolute limit as far as how much you can do at the same time. Especially when you're alone with them. And, not to scare you, but especially when they start walking.
The cool thing is if you could observe yourself from the outside, I bet you'd already notice that you've formulated tricks, shortcuts, and special movements to adapt to your baby's needs. It's amazing what the human mind and body can do. The more time goes along, the more you add to your repetoire of "twinisms" and someday if Marko or your mother takes one out while you stay home with the other, it will seem remarkably boring and lonely. Right now, and every day after this for the rest of your life, you are developing and mastering skills to simultaneously parent two children of the exact same age. This is truly an amazing thing. Some day when you have a moment of peace you will reflect on everything you've accomplished. Nothing will ever compare.
You're doing an absolutely wonderful job, and your babies are perfect in every way, they're so beautiful.

Hi Tertia- never commented before.. I have twins that will be 2 in Feb. What I used to do was put them in their car seats and feed one with each hand, then take turns burping them. ALso, the car seats rocked so I would rock one w my foot while holding the other and vice versa!

Your post so perfectly captured my experience with my infant twin girls. I really felt the loss of that body-to-body bonding that my friends with singletons had. Thank you so much for putting it into words.

In exchange, here are the lessons that worked for me:

1. Feed them at the same time. This is hard when they are still so floppy, but it was the Great Discovery of my experience. I was using bottles, too, so what I did was lay one twin on my right propped up on a pillow in the corner of the sofa, fed with a bottle in my right hand, while I cradled the other in the crook of my left arm, holding that bottle with the left hand. This meant giving up the cuddling of one-on-one feeding, but having one scream while I fed the other wasn't exactly cuddly either. The satisfaction of getting food turns out to be a good thing in itself. We cuddled at other times.

2. Do whatever it takes to get them on the same schedule, so that you CAN feed them at the same time. This may mean waking one to feed with the other, or trying to cajole the wakeful one into waiting. This is totally opposite of the demand feeding concept, and I wept to give it up -- but hey, I was weeping a lot anyway, so what the hell. Babies are fairly easy to train (or maybe just mine were) when your life is at stake.

3. Because this was a long time ago, my pediatrician said I could offer my twins rice cereal much earlier that it's done nowadays. I think I started them on a couple spoonfuls by one month. This helped the sleeping. Of course, it's so against advice given today that I'd better hope the statute of limitations on child maltreatment has run out. Do note, however, that pediatrician advice is not the absolute truth we've been led to believe.

4. You are a general, attempting to cross terrible terrain, with poor supplies, at night. When you look back on this time, you will note how much it sounds like descriptions of boot camp. Like boot camp, it will end, and you will be amazed at how strong you feel. It is truly glorious to greet each step in childhood with two (or more!) babies. But this first part is head-down, wall-butting hard.

Last note, dear writer. Thirty-plus years later, I was able to hold my daughter's singleton child for hours while she slept in my arms. That child, Tallulah Way Klein, breast-fed and smiling, is one year old today. The future has good surprises for you.

Hang in there,
Tallulah's NJ Grandma

Tertia thank you for this. I don't have twins. I have 4 kids from 2 to 13. We never planned on having 4, but through circumstances too complicated to explain we ended up with 4. There are days I sit and remember what it was like to have 2. Its very hard to deal with multiple children some days. Sometimes I sit and think its so unfair that 2 year old has to wait while I work with the 6 year old on reading. Or that the 13 year old has to babysit because I have to attend the 10 year old's meeting. I wish for a smaller family. I rarely admit this, because people assume that I don't love or want my children, which is totally untrue. I sometimes just wish circumstances were different. Like you I see the good points and love the good times and know it gets easier as they get older.
Thank you for admitting mothering is sometimes hard. Thank you for admitting you wish it were different. Thank you for doing all the while, while showing how much you love your children.

Tertia thank you for this. I don't have twins. I have 4 kids from 2 to 13. We never planned on having 4, but through circumstances too complicated to explain we ended up with 4. There are days I sit and remember what it was like to have 2. Its very hard to deal with multiple children some days. Sometimes I sit and think its so unfair that 2 year old has to wait while I work with the 6 year old on reading. Or that the 13 year old has to babysit because I have to attend the 10 year old's meeting. I wish for a smaller family. I rarely admit this, because people assume that I don't love or want my children, which is totally untrue. I sometimes just wish circumstances were different. Like you I see the good points and love the good times and know it gets easier as they get older.
Thank you for admitting mothering is sometimes hard. Thank you for admitting you wish it were different. Thank you for doing all the while, while showing how much you love your children.

And that is why, T dahling, once you have a bit more time in your hands - HA! - and are a bit more rested - *SNORT* - you must, hear me carefully, you MUST put this into book format. And said book will be published. And then you'll be rich, and famous, and travelling w an entourage will be sooo easy, and you can just hop over so a) I can spoil your babies and b) you'll hold an autograph session in Lisbon and the world will be a much better place. Bcs I must be able to gobble up those babies, surely you see THAT.

They are gorgeous, Tertia! Utterly devine! And EXHAUSTING! {{{hug}}}

You are doing a superhuman job, and managing fabulously. Adam and Kate look healthy and happy, which is what counts the most. I would gladly help you during the nights to give you some rest - darn the logistics! Are there any multiple clubs in your area - veteran twin moms, who might be able to lend a hand, or at least offer helpful tips?

Thank you for your continued posts. I love FINALLY hearing all about your adventures in motherhood! And HOORAY for pics!


I can't even pretend to know what you're going through. I remember w/ my 1st one that is was hard. She had colic and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. It did settle when I went back to work. The 2nd was much easier b/c I had some experience and he was just a nicer baby to his momma (still is :)

I can say - it will get better! It will pass. They will eventually sleep through the night. Hang in there - you are an awesome mom!!

They are beautiful and look....what's this.....well taken care of! I can not imagine the difficulty. I have 3 kiddos and am still trying to get my almost 1 year old to sleep through the night!
I think the feeding at the same time idea has merit, it can't hurt to try. (((Tertia)))

Wish I was there to lend a hand. You're doing fine and being real, as always. ;)

Boy, Kate already knows how to mug for the camera!

Tertia, you are my hero and those babies are truly scrumptious!

I think no one told you how hard it would be because we didn't want to rain on your parade. You were so happy and, well, if we started telling you how delusional your fantasies of maternal bliss were, well, that wouldn't have been very welcome assvice I don't think.

Every baby is so different, I wouldn't think of telling you how it's going to be with even one, you just don't know how long they will take to settle or anything!

All I know is that when I got pregnant for my second and youngest I just kept repeating this mantra until I had my ultra-sound, one baby, one baby, one baby!

Tallulah's grandma sounds like a great source for advice! She's a keeper!


You gotta try the bottle props. The ones with the elastic to hold the bottles. Yes, some of the how-to books say to never use them because "feedings should always be a special bonding time between baby and mommy". Pull-eeze. Like there aren't enough bonding opportunities throughout the course of a day and night? You don't always have to use them. But when they're both clamoring for bottles, why not feed them simultaeously while you sit beside them stroking their heads and supervising? Also, synchronicity is the name of the game. If you keep them eating and sleeping at the same time, your life will become a lot easier. And they'll disturb eachother less.
Good luck.


beautiful! they look so healthy.

My brother and sister are twins. That doesn't make me an expert by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I was old enough when they were babies to remember that it does get better but in the meantime it is HARD.

And there's nothing wrong with admitting that.

Is there a local group for moms of multiples? We have some here and some of my acquaintances have been able to connect with someone who could give them insight, tips and sometimes some much needed help.

You can do it sweetie.

OH, and a friend of mine says that one thing that sometimes helped her was feeding the twins in their side by side double stroller. You can hold both bottles, pick up whomever needs burping and then keep a hand on the 2nd baby. I don't know from experience how well that works, but it might help.

T, I'm afraid this is going to be a bit of ASS-vice, so if I'm talking out of said ASS, please just toss this aside as coming from someone who doesn't know what I'm talking about. Which is most of the time.

Anyways, I have no idea if this will help, or if you've already tried this, but two things came to mind when I read this entry ... swings and slings. Both of these saved my life when A. was a baby. When I couldn't console him, it often helped to pop a pacifier in his mouth and put him in his swing. The constant motion totally chilled him out. It also helped him to go to sleep when his tummy was hurting, b/c he was slightly reclined, and I think the rocking helped with his tummy pains as well. I wondered if this might not keep one baby more calm while you're feeding/dressing/changing the other. Here's a link to a swing that's similar to the one we used. We particularly like that it could swing back and forth AND side-to-side. http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=2005&e=detail&site=us&selCat=bgsw&pid=31332

The sling (actually, it was a Baby Bjorn) really saved me, b/c I could "hold" Aidan, and he THOUGHT he was being held, but my hands were free. Do you think it would work to put one baby in a sling/baby carrier, and then hold the other? I know this sounds like a lot, but it might be worth a try.

All this aside, you are doing a wonderful job Tertia. This is a really hard time, and I am really glad that you're being honest with yourself about how you're feeling. I think when we try to "put on a happy face", we put ourselves on the road to being totally overwhelmed, especially when new babies are involved. Keep telling it like it is!

It's so hard, Tertia. It is. Even though I read a ton of books on parenting twins and higher multiples, it was still hard.

When my husband went back to work, we had our girls on a 30 minute staggard routine. So E would start the day at 6 am with a feed and L at 6:30. We kept on that with staggard naps, diaper changes, and feedings. That way not only did we rarely have to listen to them cry at the same time (although it did happen~more than I liked), it wasn't for very long. We also got some one-on-one time with them, not only during the feedings but while the other one was napping for 1/2 hour. It didn't always work, but when it did it was fabulous.

I can't tell you the overwhelming guilt I've felt at cheating one of my girls out of parent time and the jealousy I've had toward parents of one baby. I'm glad you know it gets better and easier.

Remember, also, that Adam and Kate don't know any different. They don't know that it could be any way but the way it is. You know it could be and your heart breaks, but really, they are fine with being a twin. Yes, they'll learn about waiting and taking turns and sharing a bit sooner than a singleton first child, but they'll also share the special bond of twinship (so I'm told, I'm not a twin) that singleton babies miss.

Please email me personally with any questions. I also have some sad, frustrated, and angry blog entries from the first few months of my kids lives. And, truthfully, some from now, too, even though they're 8 months old.

Shoot, I was trying to make you feel better.

I forgot to add that around 5 or 6 months when they got better at eating quicker, we got them on the same diaper change/feed/nap schedule.

Going through IVF I did think about twins. I think my mother was not-so-secretly hoping for them. However, because I was going through it after already having one child, I knew how hard that was and imagined twins must be twice as hard (and I'm sure twice as rewarding). So although I may look like I am carrying twins, it is only one.

You're doing a wonderful job. I love the picture with the little outfits. Kate looks like you in your picture. Same face, I can't get over it every time you show a picture of her. Makes me wonder if Adam looks like your Marco.

So cute! And so well-fed looking! Looks like you're doing a great job getting the right amount eaten!

Forgive me now if I am about to suggest something insane...but I saw a show once about a mom of quads... she had some sort of contraption that was a nipple on a long cord so that the baby could lie and once you put the nipple in it's mouth, could feed alone, since the bottle sat in the bouncy seat w/the baby. Just a thought - it might help at least keep the other quiet and eating just a bit while you're working w/the other? But it was on TV, so it must be a good idea right? :-) Just a thought - thought it might help free you up just a bit.

Hang in there!

Good on you for saying this, Tertia.

Luckily, before I was ever infertile, I was a twin nanny. Four times over.

I have always felt disturbed by how many women in infertility circles (and IRL, too) see twins as some cute fantasy, when the brutal reality is one child crying, because you must tend the other, and always, always having to split your attention between two little kiddies.

Last year, I nannied a singleton for the first time, and WOW! I'll never forget the look on the mothers face when she got home on the first day and I was raving about how easy her colicky jet-lagged daughter was. "and then, I gave her her bottle, and I HELD her to do it, it was so sweet, such a special feeling to have her look up at me, and then, when she was crying in her cot, I wasn't worried that she'd distort her sister's nap time, because there IS no sister!"

No way I'm ever getting more than one embryo transferred.

Hang in there, Tertia - all my twin mothers say the first three months are the worst.

I had a twin fetish, once, long ago. I dreamed of having twins, expecially identical twins. I thought, "How fabulous! How efficient! Get through all the baby stuff in one fell swoop and then instant playmates!"

When we filled out our adoption application, I initially checked (ticked) the "twins" box. I don't know what made me change my mind, but I crossed it out. Maybe it's just that Nico was meant for us, and he was telling me how to fill out that form. Who knows.

When we brought Nico home, at age 7 months, he started sleeping through the night for 13 hours and I STILL thought to myself, "How do people handle two of these at once?"

When I got pg, I really worried about the possibility of twins. It was a small possibility, but I did have concerns. I didn't want complications, and I didn't want two infants at once. I was over it. How relieved I was when the u/s showed a singleton! HOORAY!

So. I have the hugest amount of sympathy, respect, understanding, etc. for you, T. I had the world's easiest newborn seven months ago and that was enough. ONE baby needing to be fed every two hours. ONE baby for my older son to compete with. ONE baby to fall ass-over-teakettle in love with and wonder if my heart would burst at the seams.

They are gorgeous babies, T. They get better looking every minute. By the time they are 15, they will be deadly hot.

Well, Love, what can I say? It sounds like hell on earth mixed with angels sent from heaven. A paradox. A pain in the ass. A mixed blessing. But you're surfing the wave in style. Great job.

They are so beautiful.........

Your babies are so precious! Give them kisses on their toes for me. ;o)

I can't imagine twins, Tertia. You're right, at first it seems like a great "2-for-1" deal for the IVF'er. But after witnessing the aftermath on mom trying to handle twins, well... I made sure my chances of twins were less than 15% this last transfer.
Thinking of you... hang in there.

I remember chuckling at my RE when he discussed the 'risk' of a multiple pregnancy. Risk?! Ha! I wanted twins, was dying for twins, for all the mentions you list. Then my sister's twin girls arrived, and v shortly after I became pg with my singleton. When I saw how hard it was, I counted my lucky stars I was 'only' having one. Also a friend with triplets recently said that she and her husband used to say how easy it would be with twins. Its all relative I guess. Do you have a local chapter for Moms of Multiples?

Your babies are beautiful, by the way, but you already knew that. And I agree with

Tertia, you're doing a fabulous job. No newborn twins here—my son is 21 mos. now—but I remember v. vividly how exhausted I was the first few months...and angry at myself for feeling so sad when we'd finally gotten the miracle baby we'd tried so hard for. I'm de-lurking for 2 reasons: 1) to thank you for your honesty, and 2) to suggest an idea that hasn't been mentioned yet. Ever heard of a Supplemental Nursing System? (http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/specialtyfdg.html) I think you said a while back that you were planning to both breastfeed and formula-feed. If that's the case, this gizmo might allow you to feed both kiddos AND cuddle them both simultaneously. You could use 2 SNSs at the same time. Just an idea...don't know if it'd work in practice...but I bet a lactation consultant could find a way. [Nod to Julie at A Little Pregnant...Maybe she could solve all your sleep issues, fix your car, do your laundry, and whip up a nice gourmet meal for you, too. :) ]

A Podee bottle - that's the first thing I thought of, and the name of the contraption VHMPrincess was describing above. I never used them, but a friend who had triplets did and swore by them. You could prop Kate up next to you, or on you even, with the Podee bottle next to her, while you fed slightly-more-labor-intensive Adam. Here's their website, I don't think they sell directly, but maybe their "where to buy" will help you find a distributer who will ship to South Africa.

It is hard. Probably no twin mom warned you because they didn't want to scare you. It is completely survivable, but it's hard.


Those are gorgeous babies T! Just gorgeous. Hang in there - it will eventually get easier. It has to. They'll sleep longer and go longer between feedings. And one day you will sleep again. Believe me, the day where you can sleep even a 4 hour stretch is going to feel good, if you can believe it.

On the singleton envy thing, I feel for you. All my friends with twins told me they spent the first 6 weeks or so crying. It gets easier, and the rewards will come. But right now it sucks! "However regarding when you eventually get your baby to sleep, that’s it. Your baby sleeps" - not necessarily for all us singleton moms. You can get lucky like me and have a crappy sleeper and still be waking 7x a night. It sucks. That's why I implore you after 3 months or so to start putting them down awake and letting them learn to put themselves to sleep. Luke still can't do this, and I have only myself (and dh!) to blame.

I feel for you with Marko returning to work. He may have to pull some weight at night, regardless of the fact that he has to work the next day. One is tough by yourself - two is insane. You need enough rest to be able to function well enough to care for two babies all day.

Tertia -

THANK YOU! You wrote EVERYTHING I felt early on, but was afraid to admit to anybody. I felt bad that I was feeling such envy for my friends w/ singletons. I felt guilty. The first 3 months are so difficult, learning to feed them at the same time, burp one while feeding the other, etc. all with TWO HANDS.

But trust me, it does get easier and you will figure it out. I found it was helpful to try to feed them alone at least one time per day to get that one-on-one bonding. THe key is to do it when the other isn't screaming mad with hunger. Easier said than done, I know.

They are absolutely beautiful and soon they will be 9 months old like mine and holding their own bottles and you'll wonder where your little babies went. And cry.

Hang in there. You are doing a fantastic job.
Kristin in VA
mom to Sascha

I can't even imagine how hard it must be to try to care for two babies at once! Here in the states they have something called the Podee bottle or hands free...basically it allows you to feed a baby without having to hold the bottle. Here is a link to a picture of it http://www.nossgalenbaby.com/podee.html maybe something like this will allow you to feed kate while she sits in a bouncy chair and still be burping Adam so no one has to wait! either way...you're doing a great job and will eventually get a routine that works for you all! Good luck!!!

Did the singleton envy thing too. I saw Celine Dion on the news shortly after my boys were born and she had done IVF - she had a singleton. I said to my mom "boy did she get lucky" Mom was quite taken aback. But I did feel that way!

The reason no one says how hard it is, especially when you're post IF is because we all know how annoying it is to be pregnant with twins and hear from commplete strangers "better you than me", "you have no idea how hard it will be" etc. And since you rarely see the mother of newborn twins out in public ( :) )...you never hear the horror stories. And us experienced moms of twins know that you will forget about the worst of this time and go on to absolutely LOVE having twins. It took till mine were about 6 months old...but I said to my husband at that time "I wish they would stay this way forever".

Not gonna lie though...I have a singleton too, and twins are about 10 times the work of one baby. Not TWICE the work. TEN TIMES.

You're doing great. You are in a difficult situation and you are doing really well. Remind yourself of that.

Could your Mom spend the night at your house with Adam and Kate while you sleep at her house? Or is there a friend who would do that for you? I used to work as a nanny and I've done it for friends as a baby gift. Or perhaps hire a night baby nurse for a few nights a week?

Oh, so cute. it is amazing how feminine Kate looks and how masculine Adam looks at such a young age!

I don't have twin envy tho.

Tertia, you make me smile!! - you have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself, even when it's something so hard like what you're going through right now. It makes me remember it all like it was yesterday the way you describe it and my twins are almost 1.5 yrs. The thing is, it's all relative - as you say you can only shudder to think what the trips + moms are going through. Even a singleton mom can't quite believe how life-altering having one baby is, so she pities twin moms, and we pity triplet moms etc...there's always someone worse off which helps us cope! I wonder if you've considered a night nurse? It's amazing what a night's sleep will do for your resolve the next day - I guess you have help during the day but could you afford at least a couple of nights a week? We had a night nurse 5(!) nights a week until the girls were 4 months (a bit excessive I know) but for me it was a life-saver. I felt I could cope with anything during the day on a good night's sleep. As for the letting one cry thing, as you quite rightly point out, it is unfortunately a fact of life with twins and nobody prepares you for that beforehand. The upside is the twins will learn to be more self-sufficient very quickly - I see the difference between my first-born son and the girls who are so much tougher than him - I think it's a good thing - but I remember precisely what you're talking about when one would wail uncontrollably whilst I did my best to roll the other one onto her tummy on the pillow so she could burp herself!! - we humans are definitely not designed to have more than one at a time! Just remember, it will get much better very soon - as one pediatrician said, babies should be born at 3 months - we're really not equipped to deal with them before that. Good luck!

Forgot to add those 2 are the cutest little things I've ever seen - you must be so proud!

Tertia, I can totally relate to your post. I was miserable for much of the early months w/my twins and was incredibly envious of singletons. I know this time seems endless but it will get so much better - maybe not easy, but fun and much more rewarding. Keep up the good fight.

Beautiful babes, by the way!


Coming out of lurkdom here. Your post brought back so many memories. You're right; it is so damn hard in the beginning. No one who doesn't have multiples can understand. You're stretched in every direction, and the guilt of not being able to give full attention to each of your babies is overwhelming.

I remember getting quietly annoyed when singleton moms complained about having to be up every four hours, or how their baby wouldn't sleep well, etc. I wanted to yell, "You think that's hard? Try every hour. Try putting one down, only to get up with the other. Try having two babies that won't sleep, and cry all night."

I would also get annoyed when someone would say that their babies were born close together (11 months, 15 months, 18 months apart), so they "knew what it was like to have twins." Um, I think not. Having a toddler and a baby is NOTHING like having twins. It has it's own challenges, but it's not the same.

Now all of that is a blur. Those first months were such a shock. It was quite a rude awakening. I remember sitting in between their cribs, after getting only two or three hours of broken sleep a night for weeks on end, alone while my husband was at school, with them screaming and me sobbing uncontrollably. I thought it would never ever end. I felt like a horrible mother. I loved them both desperately, and wanted them both, but wished they had not been twins. I wondered if I should put them up for adoption, because I felt so incompetent. PPD kicked my ass for a long time, obviously.

I needed someone to acknowledge that I was working hard, harder than other people with one baby, and it wasn't happening. Tertia, you ARE working hard. It is harder than having one. Not twice as hard. More like ten times as hard. It's not like you just have to do twice as much work, diapers, feeds, etc. You have to feel your heart break while you care for one and not the other. Everything is more complicated and more difficult with two at once. You're doing a good job. You really really are. And you have every right to have these feelings. Good for you for talking about them.

Now my boys are almost two, and we are dealing with tantrums and jumping off the furniture. It is SO much easier now. So much more rewarding. They are friends, and sometimes enemies. But they have each other. Now people tell me they don't know how I do it, and I laugh and say it was hard in the beginning, but now I think it's easier than having one.

I'll tell you something a mother of older twins told me once, a stranger who happened to see me when I was struggling with my little babies in the stroller in a grocery store parking lot, looking very haggard and tired. She told me it's hard, but I will have memories that few people ever get to have.
Like when they held hands while they were sleeping.
When they first noticed the other, really noticed, like "Hey! It's you!"
When they first smiled at each other, and even better, laughed at each other. Prepare for your heart to melt into a puddle on the floor.
When they crawled to each other and fell asleep on the floor cuddled together.
When one woke up, and jumped up and down in his crib yelling at the other until he woke up as well, so they could talk and laugh at one another.
When they see something they think is funny, and they look at each other and giggle, like they are sharing a joke.
When they both curl up in my lap to read a story, and my arms are full of my children and my heart is full of love, and I can kiss their sweet heads side by side, and swear that my heart will break, I'm so happy.

It's so so hard Tertia, but it's worth it. Every second. And of course you know that.

Tertia, you did win first prize this time, you really did. You have two AMAZING looking babies. Even if you'd had them dressed identically, I'd still be easily able to tell Adam from Kate. He looks like a boy, she looks like a girl, and that's unusual for babies so young. They're going to grow up to be gorgeous, but how could they not, with you and Marko as parents?

You have my utter respect and awe for taking care of two newborns at once. I've got no advice, no words of wisdom, just... wow.

I have a twin brother and although my mother (who had no help) tells me that she also had 'singleton envy' for the same reasons as you describe, I don't feel any less of a bond to my mum. In fact, I'd say she's my best friend in the world.
I keep looking at my singleton daughter and thinking how sad it is that she doesn't have a twin brother like I do. I love being a twin. I can't imagine what it must be like not to have a sibling the same age, but I'm sure she'll be okay!
Kate and Adam are adorable, beautiful.

Oh my lord, look at the little baby beans. They are way too cute.

I don't blame you at all for having "singleton envy". Sleep deprivation is a very effective torture device. Do you still have your nanny/helper? You should have her take the night shift, at the very least. Hell, If I were you, I'd probably lock myself in my room till they were 3 months old. But I am a major wuss and not worthy.


I don't have children, but I'll never forget some advice I received from a friend when she had her first.

She said that if the baby got a bath, and she got a shower, in the same day she felt like she had really accomplished a lot. And she said "whenever I see a mom with twins, I just want to bow down and kiss her feet!"

Consider yourself honored!

No words of wisdom here...just thinking of you and sending you love.

I find two children bloody hard let alone two the same age..at least my son could hold his own bottle and feed himself by the time Riley arrived.

Tertia -
They look so beautiful and healthy :) Congratulations!!!
I have been reading you since that phone call from your doctor when you were drinking and smoking and he called to say "she was wrong."

Heya Tertia. I can feel your pain..And the same argument made against twins, would be the same argument made against having a large family. With my own 4 kids, someones always waiting for thier turn. I grew up in the same kind of family, and I gotta say, it never even occurred to me to have just one child that would get all my love and attention..Why? Because even with all the waiting I myself did with 2 brothers and a sister, I wouldn't trade those 3 lives for anything. Ask Kate and Adam in about 20 years if they wish they had been a singleton. Watch them as they grow older..Into thier toddler years when they play together, or more like make mischief together. Or when they are school aged and Adam is always there to back up Kate when someone picks on her. Or in high school when some slob breaks her heart and Adam goes and sets the crazy guy straight.
You see where I'm going with this..A couple years of things being a bit harder is no comparison to what Adam and Kate have gained as a result of thier unique bond, for a life time.
Hang in there! Take a deep breath, and repeat the mantra "They don't stay like this forever". Cuz it goes by fast, and in a few years, you'll be wishing they were that small again. :)

Soooo! Adorable, I just want to nibble on both of them! I love those little sleepers - they always look so soft and cuddly when they wear them!

I wish I had the time to read all replies and write out a long supportive post, but as time is short, I wanted to pass along my biggest lecture I always gave my new moms when dad was going back to work.

Yes, Marko is working and you're "not". So you will feel the pressure to be the one who gets up all night so that he can get up and function during the day. But, I want you to remember that when he goes to work, if he has a bad day, nobody's life is in danger, while your day involves keeping two babies alive for the rest of the day. (that did backfire on me only once when the dad was an air-traffic controller, oops). So, don't be a superhero. When you need help, wake him up and ask for help. Keeping babies alive is far more important of a job than whatever it is that Marko does.

Good luck. I know you're going to come out of this phase with great style and will be able to look back and write on it with great wit. Just focus on surviving right now.

T, they are gorgeous - and you are remarkable - and I'm trying not to be scared SHITLESS by this post!

My only saving grace is that my best friend, my college roommate and my stepmother ALL have twins (via IVF or IUI - my half-brothers are 15 year old IVF "babies"!) and they have ALL told me how horrible the first few months are and not to be afraid to complain about it.

So listen - you're surrounded here and at home by people who love you and support you - and thank you for putting this out there!


Tertia, big hugs for you! My husband keeps telling people that our "best case scenario" would be twins and I keep wanting to slap his silly mouth shut. It all must be so frustrating for you, you must wish you were able to miraculously make 4 arms to take care of both babies at once.

And speaking of the babies - omigosh, SO cute! Kate looks so attentive. I can't tell if she's merely curious, or plotting her next night of keeping you awake for hours... ;)

Naw, twins rock! Especially in your situation. I have a friend who also had IVF and boy/girl twins, so happy for her that it worked out the way it did. Yes, the twin thing is tough in the beginning but I believe it evens out in the end. Really!

When I did my first IVF, I really wanted to end up with twins. I thought I'd get two for the price of one, and be done. I was thrilled to be pregnant with one, but felt bad it wasn't twins. After I had my son, and we did IVF again, I most decidedly did NOT want twins. I knew how hard one was, and how hard being pregnant with one was, and I never wanted more than two children, so I only wanted one. I never thought I'd actually get pregnant with twins, considering that I'd had to transfer a total of 8 embryos to have my son. My first post-son IVF, I transferred four gorgeous embryos, and got a BFN. So on our last IVF, never thought about twins. It never crossed my mind. As we walked back to the transfer room, the doctor casually said "we don't want to transfer five, we don't want triplets, but we'll do four. I assume you are okay with twins." I just nodded dumbly. A few weeks later, when we found out it was two, I was in shock. And I did NOT want twins. I was TERRIFIED, unnaturally so, about being pregnant with two. I would have out-and-out panic attacks thinking about it. I was worried about money, my firstborn dealing with two babies, childcare, my career. I thought we'd never have money time or fun again. Never go out to eat, or travel, or sleep. I got depressed, and had to take antidepressants to get through it. It WAS an awful pregnancy, and they were born 9 weeks early, and spent 5 and 6 weeks in the NICU. And two babies is damned hard, and complicates everything. But it is amazing, wonderful, exhilirating and just plain fun to have twins. I adore each of my babies individually, but I also just love having twins. I love them as a unit. It is very special. Sure it is hard. This first part is very hard. But from someone who spent 31 (minus the 2ww) weeks NOT wanting twins, I can tell you that I am a true convert. I wouldn't have it any other way. And now that the girls are one, it already is easier with two than one in some ways. They already entertain each other and keep each other company. You'll survive this first part, and then you will love having twins. I have no doubt.

I have 3 (and a fourth on her way) children - ages 6, 4, and 2. My first two are 18 months apart and although I'm not dumb enough to think it was "just as hard" as having twins (puhleeze), I do indentify with your feelings of guilt as one baby or the other was (and still is!) always waiting around for his turn at Mommy.

I think one of the hardest things about mothering twins (besides the physical labor of it all .. gawd I need a nap just thinking about it) must be dealing with the "guilt" of spreading your love/attention/time between siblings.

Those of us who have singletons at least have a few years to adjust to parenthood in general (and it takes about that long to adjust) before adding the new Motherguilt of "there's just not enough of me to go around". I guess the good news (?) is that although that feeling never entirely passes, you soon realize how much your kids benefit from their sibs.

Hang in there girl.

Most mums of twins I know just deal with it, because of course they have to, and they do a wonderful job. However, my doctor has urged me not to transfer two embryos when I try for child number 2, saying that it IS hard to have twins - not just in terms of the pregnancy and risks, as you pointed out, but just in terms of having them. Looking after them. The amount of support you have. The fact that it's harder to get the support you need from grandparents, etc.

I think it's great of you to point this out to those of us who DO have this choice next time we undergo IVF. You're right, it does seem like a great fantasy. I remember when I was pg with twins (one embryo didn't make it - I have one healthy singleton as a result), my RE said, "Now you get to catch up to all your friends." At the time, I thought YEAH, but I think he kinda missed the point.

Having said all that, I'm sure you'll be grateful after the 12 month mark. But a lot of people who have twins have said, twins are NOT twice the work - they're about four or five times the work.

You say: 'You are a better person than I am, because I am finding it incredibly hard.'

Hey, take it easy ! Finding things hard, coping or not coping, has nothing to do with being better or worse person. If you didn't care about your twins you wouldn't worry, isn't it? If you just hired a couple of night nannies, you wouldn't think it is hard to raise twins (simply expensive).

We do what we can, the best we can. we cannot be expected to more.

Pd Thanks for your thoughts, my SIL has a multiple IVF pregnancy and reading your site is helping me to understand her better.

ooh i remember this. i was so jealous of my friends who got to go to dinner with their one little baby tucked under the table in the car seat or the movies or even to a playgroup while i never left my house. too dangerous with two little squalling babies! but now they're 7 and you know what? i never, ever worry that they need a playdate. they totally amuse each other which gives me oodles more free time than my friends with singletons. so there.

Tertia - I am a stay at home mom to 2.5 yr old b/g twins. All I can say is I understand. My husband and I did it all after the kids came home and it was so.very.difficult.

Some suggestions if you haven't tried them already.

Hands free bottle feeding - I highly recommend Podee bottles. Not sure if they are available in S. Africa but they are worth searching out on the internet. The bottle has a pacifier-like attachment with a long tube like a straw connected to the bottle. Allows you to have hands free and have 2 babies feeding at the same time.

Feeding at night - For night time feedings try propping up in car seats if you don't yet have a bouncy seat. The car seat will give enough support and you can rock the car seats with your feet if you have to pull Adam out to burp him while kate is still having her bottle.

Feeding at same time when they are less floppy - Once they have sturdier neck muscles I found that I could sit on the floor spread eagle and rest each baby on a leg. Bend your knees and rest them in the crook of your knees. That frees hands up for holding bottles.

Burping - Try burping them at the same time by sitting down and resting them horizontally across your lap so that their bellies are pressed on your thighs and their legs are dangling off your lap. This puts pressure on their bellies and lets you burp 2 at once.

Nighttime feedings - Agree with everyone else who has suggested the same schedule. It seems like torture for the one who is resting peacefully but if one wakes up to eat everyone wakes up to eat.

Sleeping - Try bundling them so that they are cozy and then plunk them side by side and get them nudged right into each other in their crib. The babies spent months having contact with each other. It could be that having you hold them at night so they can fall alseep is a means of getting back to that touch sensation that they had when you were pregnant.

many good wishes to you. it will get better! for now survival is the name of the game.


I don't know how twin moms do it emotionally. At times I felt like my son wasn't getting enough emotionally, so I can't even imagine how it would feel to have twins. Mothers of multiples have nothing but my admiration.

I've been where you are.
Look forward to this: Kate running after Adam and they are both smiling and squealing.
My two do that and it's music to my ears! You,too, will hear that music some day.

Hi Tertia...

ooh sweetie , they are just too cute...

Believe me , having one baby is no picnic & I can only imagine how exhausted you must be at the end of the day dealing with 2 little demanding babies....

About letting them sleep in your bed, we started of the same way , we justed a peaceful night's sleep so we did exactly what you are doing now... letting her sleep with mummy & daddy. The only problem is that Sam is now 8 months & she cant sleep by herself. She rolls to the side to snuggle next to mum & when she realises I am not there , the crying starts. I have tried almost everything short of knocking her out with drugs . She still continues to sleep in the bed with us.. at the expense of Luke's sleep.

Its truly a hard decision but in the end , we all deal with it in some way.

Take Care.

"It means that Kate has to cry while I burp Adam. It means that Adam has to cry while I dress Kate. (...)"

Hmmm... Not sure whether they are fasionable in SA, but have you ever thought of buying/using a baby sling?


Let me know if I can help you getting hold of one. :-)



The babes are gorgeous!!! Truly!! I can relate to your frustration and I had only had a singleton from my IVF. I hope things get easier for you soon. I truly didn't get any sleep for about 3-4 months, then I sort of got my little guy on a schedule. Those first few months were some of the hardest in my life.

They have gotten so BIG! You're doing a fabulous job Tertia.

One of my friends had twins about 3 weeks after my son was born, and yesterday she shared a picture of her girls kneeling next to each other, looking out a window, with one baby's arm around the other's shoulder, hugging her.

I know she struggled early on, and she has an almost 3 year old son as well. It's all paying off now for her watching the girls interact with each other, and with her son.

Hey Tertia. I'm still feeling singleton envy, though it's getting less and less, and at almost 3 I am starting to say ways we have it easier. I'm also starting to get some appreciation from those who are juggling 2 for the first time as their second arrives (first same age as mine).

You just get through. Keep asking for help. Let the nanny hold a baby. Don't expect anything to happen other than baby holding. For goddess' sake, don't beat yourself up about where they sleep: if they sleep, it is good. In your arms, on the bed, on the couch. The point is sleep. Slings, boppies, carseats, bouncer seats, swings...it's all good. (I know they say don't let them sleep in a boppy--sue me.) I used to feel a lot of guilt about putting one in a swing, but as long as they're both getting mommy time, happy baby=good. As they get bigger, it will get easier to hold and cuddle them both. A big lounge chair can be awesome. You cuddle up with everyone, and let the nanny keep the house going. Don't expect to stand up except to pee (sound famililar--such good training, that bedrest!). It won't last forever. But it will seem like it, you already know that.

My approach was to do everything I could to take care of the babies and me, and everything else came second. Having newborn twins is a crisis, and you should take advantage of the help offered. Are you asking for help and accepting it whenever it's offered?

It's hard. It really is. I don't know what else to say but that. I didn't wish for twins, but I feel lucky that I have them. And as another commenter said, it's so important to release the guilt and remember that for every time they have to wait because of their twinship, they will have 100 times when they have a special, precious, amazing relationship few others have. That doesn't make it easier on you, but it's good to remember.

I don't know if I'm helping, but hang in there. You can do this. Hugs, Cate

They will sleep. And you will too. Give it another 4 weeks or so. I know that sounds like a world away right now but eventually, they'll just sleep and you'll be all "Hey, I just slept an entire 6 hours!" And pretty soon you'll be sleepin' pretty at 10 hours a night!

wow! of course it is hard. I too went through IVF. My pg started out as twins, but one was lost fairly early. I was sad and envious of other twin moms. Until my son was born that is. He was such a high needs infant, I can't imagine having two at once. Just figuring him out almost killed me. 2 years later, his brother arrived. Reminding me again why I am in awe of all of you twin moms and how you do all you do. My 2 year old had a hard time understanding that he had to wait. After all, he was only 2! Sometimes the baby waited while I tended brother. It was excruciating listening to his cries. Now, it is finally getting fun. They are starting to play together and care for eachother.

Good Luck to you. I hope it gets easier soon

Thank you for so succinctly writing what I've been trying to tell people for 12 years.

Twins are not easy. Ever. Each stage lends itself to new and equally frustrating challenges. My babies are 12 1/2 years old right now and I think this is harder than the toddler years.

I wouldn't trade or change them for the world, but I wouldn't do it again, either. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep and figure out how we'll pay for university. But I do love them. I adore them beyond description and knowing that I've brought them this far leads me to believe that I can handle anything life throws at me... except maybe another set of twins.

This is why I only want ONE more baby. Just one.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Medsitters Au pairs

More Ads

| More


Bloggy Stuff

  • Living and Loving

  • SA Blog Awards Badge

  • Featured in Alltop

  • Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

  • RSS Feed
Blog powered by Typepad
This is the Reviews Design