Help! expecting twins and don't know how I'll cope

(26 Posts)
soverytired14 Sun 24-May-15 09:23:55

I am 11 weeks pregnant and have just found out I'm expecting twins. I already have an 18 month old and whilst we very much wanted another one, we had to plan carefully so that we could manage financially. Both me and my partner have to work to cover bills and when I go back to work, along with the extra increase in costs that come from having one more the extra childcare cost means we won't be breaking even every month. Not only is this financially unsustainable, we don't have the kind of practical help I know you need with twins.my mum lives in Italy and my partners mum is nearly 70 and has alreadyadmitted she doesn't think she can help look after 3 sma children. Of course we won't have the money to pay for help ofany kind either. I manage well with one and we would have managed with one more but I just don't know how we can do this. Please don't tell me we'll just manage! I'd like to know how if anyone out there has had a similar set up. Oh and we live in a small two bedroom flat. Just about big enough for one more!

soverytired14 Sun 24-May-15 09:30:17

I'd like to add I'm really worried about the quality of life we will be able to give them given how much financial pressure we'll be under and how exhausted I'll be! they are identical twins sharing a placenta so it's a high risk pregnancy to boot.

Helish Sun 24-May-15 09:44:12

It is a shock finding out you're having twins. I have an older one and my twins are coming up to their first birthday. The first few weeks can be hard work while you get used to having two and look after an older one, is there any way your mum could come over for the first few weeks? If there's a twins near you I'd suggest going to visit, it's a big help meeting others with twins as they'll understand your concerns, offer support and generally 'get it'. I know of a couple of mums who had support via their health visitor so worth asking if such a service is available locally. You will be fine, I promise!

FadedRed Sun 24-May-15 09:49:32

Have you looked on the TAMBA website? You might find some help and support locally from them.

soverytired14 Sun 24-May-15 09:56:19

My mum can come over for a couple of weeks but there won't be any space for herto stay and her health isn't great so she won't be able to do nights or too much. It seems like everyone I know who has twins pretty much had a mum or in law help out constantly the first few months and money to pay for a night nurse or cleaner or the bigger car and didn't have to think about going back to work. I have hardly slept in a week I'm so stressed out and scared. Tamba have mentioned homestart but nothing that solves the finances

andadietcoke Sun 24-May-15 10:02:40

Whereabouts are you? I didn't have constant help, but then I didn't have a toddler too. I think you've just got very lucky friends! I know a few people from twin club with toddlers and then twins and they're doing fine with little external help.

It's just about finding coping strategies and routines, and when they're a bit older 'safe' environments. There are tons of hints and tips people will be able to give you about the logistics of coping with three children at the same time. If you're on Facebook there are loads of twin groups too that are great for things like that.

andadietcoke Sun 24-May-15 10:11:23

Oh, and I didn't have a cleaner or a night nurse either.

littlesupersparks Sun 24-May-15 10:14:48

Try not to worry, it's such a shock!!

I have 1 month old twins, a nearly 3 year old and a just 5 year old. We are lucky in that the financial implications aren't a huge concern for us but I was worried about the practical issues.

Turns out my mum was more a hindrance than a help!! She has stayed for 2 weeks and it has just been too much. I appreciated the help with dinners and washing but we would have survived using the tumble drier and ready meals. All she wanted to do was push the pram for me and leave me with the boys lol!! We are really looking forward to finding our new normal and getting on with stuff ourselves.

I do use my labour saving devices - for my a travel system with click on car seats has been essential for the school run. I am going to see a sling library consultant as they both like being carried and if I had an easy way to hoist them both around it would be handy!

We have boys clothes from our oldest but all the new stuff we have bought is unisex. You don't need twice the amount of clothes. You don't need two cots or two Moses baskets.

It's definitely not as bad so far as people made out to me - it's not 'twice the work', once you are changing one nappy it's not so hard to do another. If you can feed at the same time that's good too.

Oh and they are so so so adorable!!

littlesupersparks Sun 24-May-15 10:18:15

Oh and I don't have a cleaner or night nurse!!!! Nights don't feel any different to having just one baby - the nappy changes in the first 2 weeks were a bit more work but now they only have one change each.

Spottygreentowel Sun 24-May-15 10:21:04

I have children of exactly the same ages as yours will be, although they are much older now. We didn't have any help either, family lived 200 miles away and not any local people we could count on then.

We coped by getting into a routine with feeding and sleeping. We didn't go out much, especially in the first few months. You will adjust to the extra demands, and while it is very hard work, it is totally doable on your own. We couldn't afford nannies or cleaners either. Join a local twins club if there is one, join tamba, there is lots of support from other families in the same situation.

In terms of making it work financially, we had to adjust both of our working hours when we went back to work, eg I started work ridiculously early, but finished early, so we only paid for the childcare hours we really needed. Plus a super tight budget, and trying not to let the lack of any spare money get us down- it's only temporary until they go to school (although it is a long time, it's not forever!).

Hope some of that helps, it's a daunting time ahead for you. While it's hard work having 3 so close in age, we really see the benefit now - they really are great pals!

momtothree Sun 24-May-15 10:21:46

Hi I had the same with literally no help. You will manage because you have to. First lower your standards. Ask at colleges for `placements` for girls training to be nursery nurses, theres a shortage for training on twins. I gave up work as it didnt pay well enough to cover childcare - unless its changed you only get financial help with the youngest. We scraped through!! Lots of second hand stuff. Take help where you get it, and twins tend to be more independant because they have to be, they wait their turn better, can settle to sleep by themselves, cling on to your arm without throwing themselves back... much easier than the first single child. Good luck.

soverytired14 Sun 24-May-15 10:22:31

We're in London, hence the crippling expense! We're looking into moving out of London but obviously we need to keep our jobs and not have really long expensive commutes so it's complicated. In a way I am less worried about getting through the mad first few months cos I guess you just survive if you have to (although I'm interested in how you found it andadietcoke ) but it's the ongoing financial struggles and debt for years to come and I think also trying to balance working 4 days a week with 3 young kids. Our original plan was that I'd be able to go down to three days to spend more time with my first one but not now!

littlesupersparks Sun 24-May-15 10:24:06

Oh and I will be going back to work too eventually but lucky enough to Be able to take quite a
Long maternity leave

momtothree Sun 24-May-15 10:30:16

Think Zombie! Little things help- colour coded bottles - putting them in the same moses basket - not being too fussy - getting out every day - walk park etc having a day off from house work - sitting when they sleep etc. I look back and think how on earth did i do it?

andadietcoke Sun 24-May-15 12:36:41

How did I cope? Online grocery shopping, very little housework, meals that could be chucked in the microwave and eaten with one hand. Bouncy chairs so I could shower/cook/eat. Colour coded bottles a good idea too by a PP. I slept in between the girls in Sleepyheads so barely woke up to feed them. I would ring DH to come and help if it got really bad. Dummies. Jumperoos when they're a bit older. One spoon, one bowl.

quesadillas Sun 24-May-15 13:36:21

I had many of the same worries when I was told I was having twins. I'm now 21 weeks and the panic has subsided somewhat. Still have no clue how we'll cope but just assuming we'll manage somehow. My family are miles away so we won't have much help. I'm just thinking that when they're born (September-ish) until about this time next year will be difficult and we just have to battle through it. We're also In London and the expense of going back to work is terrifying but we're trying to figure it out.

It's a tough thing to get used to. Just take one day at a time and try not to panic.

soverytired14 Mon 25-May-15 07:43:59

Thanks for all your advice everyone. So fortthose of you who did it or are doing it with no help how long is it really hard for? when can you honestly say you got a bit of you back again? twin mums are telling me it's about five years?

momtothree Mon 25-May-15 07:59:59

As they are your second babies you have had a lot of practice with the first one, so some things are easier, like you just know that they are tired or hungry - rather than try everything! Your eldest will be a set of helping hands and someone to talk to. I think once they are sleeping through you start to feel normal again, and if hubby is hands on then he will cope while you go out. I would just leave and not look back! It is different with second babies, but you`ll find that routine and work round it - all 3 would sleep at the same time - most of the time and that was my down time - not housework -

momtothree Mon 25-May-15 08:01:20

Twin first time moms are different to second set!

neversleepagain Mon 25-May-15 09:38:15

It is hard, there is no point in saying its not. I really disagree with an earlier comment that it isn't "twice the work", for me it certainly was. My twins were 6 weeks early and for the first month I couldn't feed them together as they were tiny and vomitty. At 2am double night feeds, double happy changes and double winding when you are alone takes nearly 90 minutes and certainly feels like double the work!

We were in a similar position to you financially, two babies instead of one planned for one changes everything. I am now a sahm, we struggle financially and life is very different for us. My family live abroad so we have no help with the children at all, my mum came to stay when they were born but nothing since.

You will survive and it gets easier. My twins are nearly 3 and things are much better now. We get told almost everyday how lovely they are smile I am biased but they are smile

andadietcoke Mon 25-May-15 11:00:54

For me it got easier at about 7 months. It got fun at around 8. I went back to work at 9. It was utterly miserable for the first few months. I had no idea what to do with the as a first time parent. They're 22 months now and they fight, but they also play with each other and don't need entertaining - I think it might be easier than having one at some points!!

Helish Mon 25-May-15 11:09:21

From 8/9 months it started to get really easy, they dropped bottles and when down to one nap so I didn't feel on the treadmill of bottles, feeding and fitting in naps while entertaining the eldest. It also helps having an older one as they are so entertained by him and love playing with him and he has two people to try and boss about. I found it easier having had a baby before, you know what you're doing and know that they change quickly in those first few months so phases really only last a few weeks whereas with my first I was so overwhelmed by it all.

Doublethecuddles Mon 25-May-15 14:35:20

My twins were my first and only children. They are now 8 and play together a lot and are good company. The first year was very tough. My DH left for work at 7.45 and got home at 6.30, by which point the DC were in bed. My parents helped for the first 6 weeks but then I was on my own. I found I had to be very organised. I was often getting the evening meal ready at 9.00 am! I got my twins into a firm routine which really helped as I knew I could go out and they wouldn't be hungry. I BF and in the early days there was. I way I could sit in a cafe for an hour feeding. In the night if I woke one I always woke the other to feed after. I never rocked or cuddled mine to sleep, which meant they learnt to self sooth from a very early age. Once they start feeding more quickly things get easier as you aren't spending your life feeding. I did one bottle of formula at about 6.00pm. I had no milk left by this point in the day.
The first few years are more challenging and tiring than with one, but you get great pleasure!

littlesupersparks Mon 25-May-15 17:19:28

Definitely agree that having twins as second/third babies must be much easier than first time! I would have been terrified first time but agree they are just slotting into life as third/fourth babies. Sleep deprivation much much easier to bear after the shock of the first child. I don't notice it now. They sleep when doing the school run. I have to be out of the house by 8.30 so none of the 'how do I get out of the house' panic you get with the first. The new twins are much easier than the older ones lol! They sleep and eat. No doubt I will be thankful I retreat to work when they are both toddlers though ;-)

slightlyinsane Tue 26-May-15 21:44:07

My girls have just turned 1 and I can't believe how quick it's gone. I had a good couple of months panicking about how I'd cope seen as they are #4 & #5 for us. My dh works stupid long hrs and gives no help at home. My dad is local ish and takes the big 3 for a night at weekends every now and then. But for the most part it's just me. The 1st month once they were home wasn't too bad, the nappies and bottle washing is tedious but manageable. My girls have got multiple allergies and spent 8 months screaming all night every night and its all been fine. The sleep deprivation goes in cycles so you have good wks and bad weeks. But at the end of the day you are going to have something amazing that so many people will never get to experience, walking into a room and getting 2 smiles, 2 hugs, 2 laughs it's a great cure for a really crap day.
I found that the whole nightmare of 2 I'd created in my head was way worse than it actually is.
Take care of yourself and give it time to sink in before you even attempt to make any decisions, identical twin pregnancies are tough and have a lot more complications attached saying this stay the hell away from Google ask any questions on here or fb xx

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