This month our twins will be one year old! Oh my goodness. How has this year been the fastest and slowest year ever? The last 11 months have given so much meaning to the phrase, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Becoming a mom of twins was a surprise for us and a blessing, and I was extremely overwhelmed when I was expecting. Just being real, I was pretty terrified of it all. As I have been preparing for their first birthday and have all of these thoughts of the first year, I thought I could offer some insight for others expecting twins. There has been so much I learned this first year of being a twin mom.

Being pregnant with twins

One thing about pregnancy and birth is that it is going to be so different from one woman to the next. I was involved in some twin mom groups when I was expecting, and there were just so many variables – especially when you’re expecting twins. I was able to carry my babies to 37 weeks and 3 days. I know, I was lucky. I have met many others who have had similar stories and also many others that had their babies much earlier. I did have my share of challenges with the pregnancy, and it probably is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I ended up in the hospital on my baby’s birthday with pre-eclampsia and after delivery had to have magnesium. I barely remember the first 48 hours, but the babies were born big, healthy, and had no NICU time and so I feel truly blessed.

The first few weeks

One of the things I am the saddest about was that I didn’t get the beautiful hospital pictures of the babies that I thought that I would. I got some pictures from when they were first born, but I was so out of it that I didn’t want any pictures of me those first few days. Now I feel kind of sad that I don’t have those. I should have photographed their little arms with the hospital wristband and their little feet with the heart safety device. Our first family picture is just a snapshot a few days after we were home. I wish I would have been feeling better those first few weeks and made it a priority to get more professional newborn pictures. At the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things as I feel pretty capable of photographing my kids. But now, well, I feel kind of sad about it. If I could have gone back, I would have made sure I had pictures of me in the hospital with them (especially both of them together with me). Also, I would have had someone else take some newborn pictures. Lots of hospitals have a photographer now that comes and offers them. We had this but turned her away because I was not feeling up to it.

The first few months were a blur. It is just so much adjusting in that first little bit. One thing that helped was having food in the freezer. Go-to things like energy bites and homemade hot pockets were a lifesaver those first few months. Hubs grilled out for us a lot those first few months and I had support to help me relax and recover. I needed way more time to recover than I ever expected and I’m lucky to have had support so that I could take some extra time.

Being flexible

Things are just not going to go according to how you think they will. I had to learn how to go with the flow and let some things go. One of the hardest things for me was my recovery time. I planned and expected to recover much quicker than I did. My body had been through a lot with the pregnancy, so it is understandable that the recovery would be longer than with my singleton. But I didn’t think about it, and when I was still struggling a few months postpartum, it discouraged me. I had to learn how to be flexible and adjust my mindset to be able to accept where I was at that time and keep moving forward. That was hard.

Adjusting to the babies and all of their individual needs was also hard. Our little boy was a very difficult eater (still is, that little stinker). It took so much time and energy to take care of his needs. Having anything be more challenging than normal is always hard when there are double the responsibilities. Making sure to get out and have a little personal time here and there helped us get through those challenging times.

Getting to know your individual twins

These two sweeties are opposites in every way. I am continuously getting to know their individual personalities, and it has been amazing to see them grow and change this year together. They are so different from each other yet experience everything at the same time. Having twins has been so different than experiencing these differences between siblings that are not the same age. It’s amazing and it is hard. I have one baby that demands so much of my time, attention, and energy, and the other is much more laid back and is fine with others helping or just playing alone. Almost everything is different, and I had to learn pretty early on that they were going to have different needs and that was okay. I love their uniqueness already, and I hope I always go out of my way to make them feel like individuals first and not just “the twins.”

Making life easier

One thing that hubs and I always agreed on was that we should and would get baby and twin items that would help make our life easier as twin parents. Especially for that first year! There are so many baby items and gadgets on the market that are completely unnecessary, and you make choices as to what you should spend money on and what things are not needed. Let’s be real, in reality, we do not need everything out there. I did lots of research while pregnant and also through just trial and error found several baby things that we purchased for the sole purpose to make our life easier with the twins. None of these items were necessities. Some things were given to us as gifts, which was nice because we were given things that were useful and made a difference in our everyday moments. To this day, when I wear my Twingo Carrier, I think of how my sister and her husband gifted this to us and how it has helped me so much this year. To this day, when I make a bottle using our Baby Breeza, I think about how proud hubs was when he came home with it as a surprise gift. I rolled my eyes and said, “We do not need that! That is a little over the top don’t you think?!” And yes, I have been eating my words ever since, and he loves that he was so right.

So here are my top ‘make your life easier with twins’ Items

All of these items are ones that I have been using and love.

  • Baby Brezza Formula Pro

Luckily, I was able to breastfeed for the first six months but we had to supplement, and when hubs came home with the Baby Brezza as a gift for me, I thought he was nuts. Ha! Like I was going to give up control of making a bottle (which I knew I would do right every time) to a machine! He must have been out of his mind. You should have seen him, so proud of his purchase like he just solved all of my problems. Haha. It was sweet, obviously, but I was very skeptical. I could not have been more wrong. This little thing sits on our kitchen counter like a Keurig and makes the perfect bottle in a few seconds. Before the babies were sleeping through the night, we also carried it upstairs to the bedroom every night to make bottles in the middle of the night. That alone I think was worth it. Hubs tried to convince me we needed one for downstairs and one for upstairs but I figured that was a little over the top. Of course, I probably would not have objected if he came home with another one.

  • Twingo Carrier

My favorite way to use the Twingo is as a single carrier. But, I love how it can easily convert to a double when I need to use it that way. It’s great because it can be two separate carriers worn by two different people at the same time, or a single carrier, or together at one time as a double carrier. It has so much versatility that I have not had to buy any other carriers. I am not exaggerating when I say I use this almost every day. My little girl loves being snuggled to sleep, and I often use this with her to quickly get her to sleep for naps or bedtime.

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  • Chicco Lullaby Dream Play Yard Changing Table

This is another one of hub’s claims to fame. When we were pregnant, I was of the mindset that we didn’t need every little thing on the market. I was all right with the changing table on top of the dresser in the baby’s room. I hadn’t considered that I would be changing 95% of the diapers downstairs in the main living area (the nursery is upstairs). So hubs convinced me that we should get this and ugh! I hate to admit that he did well with this one too. It has been a great changing table. It holds tons of diapers (which has been essential for the twins naturally). I love how it has a zippered-off cover for easy washing. It also has the newborn bassinet part that you can use in the early days if you take the changer off and on. And now even after 11 months, we are still using it as a changing station on our main floor. When we are past that stage, we will be able to use it as a pack-n-play or a place to nap when we travel. Overall a great purchase because of its longtime use and because it has made such a difference having a nice changing station on the main floor.

  • Joovy Twin Roo Snap and Go Stroller Frame

This snap-and-go stroller was a lifesaver those first few months. You can use it as long as the babies are in the infant seats, which could be up to a year depending on their height. This stroller frame is the best thing to have before you go into labor because the car seats snap right into it (with adaptors for your chosen car seat brand) and you can use it to bring your babies to the car when leaving the hospital. For all of those first few doctor appointments, we used this stroller. It was so much easier than having to carry the car seats. I even used this to go out for walks and get out. It is lightweight and folds up so easily, so it was a stroller that I was able to manage myself for those first few months.

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  • Joovy Scooter X2 (Double Stroller)

This stroller has been a lifesaver for us! Both the babies love going for walks in the stroller, and it has been essential for me to get out with both of them. This stroller has worked great for simple walks in the neighborhood and is perfect for getting out with both of them in tow. We have even used it to go out to eat. We just roll the stroller right up to the table. They both can stay in the stroller, and I can hand them snacks. You would not think that this side by side could fit many places, but it seriously fits through any standard door, any grocery check-out lane, etc. It really can go anywhere. It’s amazing.

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The most amazing thing

I have put my body, mind, relationships, everything to the test — and it’s all still okay! I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to manage twins but we are doing it, and we are doing great. There are always good days and bad, but I think the confidence I gained this first year will help me in the future to handle the new stages.

Are you getting ready to welcome twins too? Or do you have twins older than mine and you are still surviving? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.