Help! & a bit of support please(26 Posts)
I'm 31 weeks with twins and just hoping for a bit of help & advice please.
My dad passed away a couple of months ago and Ive been struggling to feel excitement about the twins without him here to meet them & see them grow up. I feel like it's a waste of this incredible miracle if he's to miss out on it. I've been having some grief counselling and she said yesterday that it's inevitable that I am going to feel sad when they arrive (along with other emotions) but she said I need to get practically prepared so it's one less thing to add to any emotions when they arrive.
So what I'm asking for is the essentials I need to have now?
So far I have 2 baby carseats. I have a toddler who I EBF for 10 months but I don't want to put any pressure on myself so I have bought lots of bottles and formula already. I do have lots of clothes but I probably need more teeny baby stuff. I have lots of newborn nappies (but perhaps I need more!).
Sleep wise I have a cot that needs to be put together (but no mattress), 2 moses baskets, and the promise of 2 chico next to me cribs on loan... I don't know which to choose to set up in my bedroom?
I don't have a double pushchair yet although have my eye on the bugaboo donkey unless anyone has any horror stories!
Thanks in advance for any one that has any advice or any words of wisdom to make their arrival as smooth as possible on my mental state!
I'm sorry about your dad, it's totally understandable that you feel differently about the birth knowing that he won't meet them. You sound pretty well prepared if you ask me. We found baby bouncers v useful. Also a cheap sling has been worth its weight in gold for times when one won't be put down. You can never have too many newborn clothes, cheap white onesies are a good bet. Have you thought about lining up support - a cleaner if that's an option, or people who will hold babies for a bit? Twins can be overwhelming at times and if you are going through a lot already you may really feel like you need another pair of hands to give you a break, even if just for ten mins here and there.
Btw I had Chicco next to me, both slept happily in it for 4 months. Didn't bother with Moses baskets, they napped in the next to me (or on top of me )
Hi snowsuit thanks so much that's very kind of you. And comforting to know I sound a bit prepared!
You have reminded me that I have one bouncer so will get another, and will get a sling. We have just got a cleaner in preparation although she only comes every other week but we'll see how we get on. I'm lucky that my mum is near by and I'm hoping the twins will at least provide some distraction for her. I'm sure my in-laws (also close by) will want lots of time with them I'm just worried about feeling overwhelmed by their presence to be honest (they are very excited and I am struggling with that). Especially as I fear I'll feel a bit jealous that my FIL will get to enjoy what my dear dad won't. I have briefly looked into a 'mothers helper' but I'm not sure i'll be able to justify any additional expense while on Mat Leave.
That's great to know re the Chicco. I'm assuming you mean they had one each? I think i'll do away with the Moses Baskets, they're in the way and I hope to use the carrycot of the donkey for any downstairs sleeping they might do
I feel like I have no idea what's about to hit me...
Hi Mimi, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's really good that you are seeing someone to talk it all through.
With regards to preparations you sound fine. As you have good support close by, remember you can send people out to the supermarket to buy onesies and nappies etc. from the supermarket once the babies arrive if you don't have enough.
At night ours shared a cot in our bedroom (until about 4 months) and in the daytime they were either in the bugaboo donkey carrycots but more often on a person (me, DH, MIL etc). When they got bigger they went in their bouncers.
And yes be kind to yourself when the babies arrive. My mum passed away almost 9 yrs ago, and I cried a lot because she can't meet them (my twins are 7 months), your dad is a recent bereavement. I get on very well with my MIL but I find it tough every now and then, she understands.
Do you know what you are having? Boys, girls, one of each?
Label to bottles - so you know who's been fed in your half asleep state put a sticker on one set
Use bouncers to help with hands free feeding
Swaddle to help settle rather than rock
No mine shared one Chicco for the first 3 months (but they were a month early and quite tiny). Good that you will have people around to help - make sure it's on your terms not theirs! I mean that make sure they are doing things that are genuinely useful to you, even if that's just washing up bottles etc.
Thank you all! You are all so lovely.
snowsuit great that's reassuring as I have only technically been offered one crib so far! I can always buy another of course. I will have to psyche myself up for the help part, I find it very difficult asking or accepting help but I'm sure i'll be so desperate when the time comes!
Astro55 thank you - definitely things I wouldn't have thought of
mellysam I'm so sorry for your loss I truly am. Thank you very much for sharing that with me. I assume you still find lots of happiness in your twins, and also it is comforting to me that you feel that way about your MIL - not that I wish that on you, but that my feelings towards my FIL are not completely unjust.
Great that you had a donkey too! Will look to order that very soon.
I'm actually having a surprise, I never thought I would with twins but the gender scan was so soon after dad passing that I wasn't even bothered either way, so at least now the time is getting close that's something to look forward to. I have a little boy of 2 already
You can ask at the local college - those who do childcare qualifications as they have to have experience with babies and twins are a sort after placement (free)
It may just be one morning - but it's a help all the same
With a young DS ( I had a toddler as well) try and be a bit lore hands off - but use talking and singing to play games - get him to sit next to you for a story and not in your lap
Also - tell him these are your babies - and at things like 'mummy has to change the baby' 'mummy is just feeding the baby' so he understands that it's you and not the babies - it really helps them - and my DD was great at keeping quiet when they slept so we could play playsoh or read - some quiet downtime - she was also brilliant at conversation which helped when nobody else was around to talk too!!
A double breast feeding cushion. I propped it up with a few cushions. Very helpful for feeding two hands-free.
Thank you Astro55!
That is SUCH a good idea, I'm definitely going to contact our local college - I would never have thought of that!
Great to know you also had a toddler and have lived to tell the tale! You've made me very reassured. I've steered clear of forums so far as it all sounded so overwhelming when you have a child already, but I will take on board what you said and hopefully he & I will adapt ok. He's a great conversationalist too hopefully that will be good for company!
Thanks whippet - very helpful also
Im sorry for the loss of your dad. My dad passed away 2 weeks ago, I am so grateful he got to meet and love my twins but I am finding it so hard to accept that my children wont remember him. It's just so painful.
My twins are 4.5 now, it sounds like you're well organised despite feeling so rubbish.
Mine shared a cot until they were 14 months. They would squash up together, which was very cute to watch. They are very tall for their age (114cm) and i still find them sharing a toddler bed at night.
I formula fed and had pink bottles for one twin and clear bottles for the other. In fact, everything was colour co ordinated to make life easier. From muslins to dummies to bottles and blankets. I would get a feeding and changing diary where you can record who is changed and fed, how much they fed and when. If you have family helping you is easy to forget! I found cold water sterlising easier. Each twin had their own tub.
Sort out a sleep plan with your dh. I would sleep from 8pm-2am and do the night feeds.
Good luck and congratulations!
Hi neversleep I'm so sorry for your loss too. You will cherish those years he had with your little ones & you can keep those memories alive forever, but yes I completely understand that it's no consolation. I hope your twins are coping ok too? It's awful when you are grieving but also worried about how your children feel. My DS is 2 so doesn't totally understand what's going on but at the same time had such a special bond with my dad that it breaks my heart every day, especially when he asks for his 'pops'. I can't get over what my dads missing out on. I would give my right arm for 5 more years with him. Sending you a big hug.
That's really helpful thank you, I think I will build the cot & the next to me crib so that I have options. I hadn't even thought of colour coding, that sounds very helpful. I do happen to have some bottles with black on & some with white so I'll gear myself up for that, it actually makes very good sense thank you!
I'll add a diary to the list also. Sleeping in turns sounds good, I feel i won't see my DH for a good few months but needs must! Thanks for taking the time to offer advice, really helpful indeed xx
If you have a toddler, imminent twins and are grieving your DF, maybe think some support?
Homestart weekly volunteer might just help a little bit during those first hard work months. Whether it's another pair of hands to hold a baby, play with a toddler, or simply someone uninvolved and non judgemental to unload to.
Takes a few weeks to set up, so maybe contact them now.
for you. Losing a parent is hard.
Hi OP so sorry about your dad, it's only natural to feel this way. My twins are 20 months old now, prepare to be very busy! It's probably a good thing as you really won't have time for much other than looking after your lovely babies.
Don't listen to anyone who tells you, that you don't need two of everything, you do!
Get a perfect prep if you are planning to bottle feed, it was a life save for me. And lots of bottles! We also had fisher price rainforest batter operated swings, great for getting them to nap without too much effort!
When they're on their feet a bit I would recommend jumperoos. We sectioned off a bit of the living room with the lindam hexagonal play pen (you can stretch that out and Asda sell wall fixings) and foam mats and their toys. Meant I had a safe place to put them if I have to pee or answer the door etc (happy to DM you a picture if you like)
I also bought scaffolding protection for round table legs etc it's hard to have your eyes on both sometimes!
Baby gates galore, recommend the babydan auto retractable safety guard, means they can never climb it!
My two have always slept in the same cotbed and now bed, not sure when I'll separate them.
There are loads of great twin products out there. I have an Amie and Gracie Twin Trike which is a brilliant alternative to the buggy. Appreciate you won't be at that stage for a while yet though!
Happy to answer any questions you have, and send you pics of our play area set up.
Twins are great, lots of work!
Oh yes, totally agree get a Prep Machine if bottle feeding. I had hoped to breastfeed, couldn't, we ordered Prep Machine from Amazon, next day delivery, total lifesaver.
Sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mum when my twins were just a few weeks old and it's hard managing 2 babies when you're grieving.
I agree about getting some help. I had a volunteer from a charity similar to Homestart - she came as a 'befriender' and that gave me someone to chat to as well as helping me get out of the house!
Good luck, and enjoy your babies as much as possible when they come.
Thank you for all your suggestions of getting some help, it's made me feel like it's ok to feel like this. Thank you for such kind words all of you xx
I do have a perfect prep machine! It's actually the first thing I got (well MIL got for me). My DH is worried about the mould reports but I want anything that will make my life easier & as you've all recommended it too that's made me feel reassured.
Dancingledge I had no idea about homestart volunteers I will definitely look into this. Thanks for the xxx
BigGrannyPants great to know you lived to tell the tale with a child already! Really kind of you to offer photos too, will bear that in mind. The swings for naps sound like a great idea. I do have a playpen from before so will have to dig that out - wall fittings are a good idea.
Whatsmyusername I'm so sorry for your loss. That must have been a very difficult time with your hormones & emotions already all over the place, & the added stress of 2 babies not just 1. How old are the twins now? I hope you managed ok & were able to enjoy them. So sorry xx I will definitely look into some help, thank you
OP also make sure you join TAMBA (Twins And Multiple Birth Association) lots of information, support and discounts in loads of shops online and otherwise. They have a helpline as well if you need to talk to someone
Oh yes thanks! I have joined but haven't done anything with it yet - am hoping to get the discount on the donkey in mothercare (they said I could but I won't believe it until I see it!)
You just show them your card number OP they don't send out actual cards anymore, usually just an email
Very sorry for the loss of your Dad. It must be such a bittersweet time for you.
You do sound very organised already. I was lucky that my twins went to 37 weeks as I was in no way prepared any earlier.
I am here to second the idea of colour coding. It really helps with knowing who has had what when you're bottle feeding, and when you move on to solids. It can all get a bit chaotic at times, but if you know that X always has the blue plate and Y the orange at least you can see who ate what (which can be useful if one is a poor eater). It is also helpful if one has a tummy bug. Frankly the chances of the other one not getting it are minimal, but it gives you the illusion of control!
I also have an older DS, and the colour coding helped him as we also ensured that we bought him cups, plates etc in his favourite colour. This meant that at a time when he felt a bit as though he had lost his mum to the babies, he was able to know that we respected that some things were 'his'. It also meant that he could help me out because he soon learned that DT1's stuff was always blue, and DT2s stuff was the other colour (both are boys, and there was lots of blue stuff about but it was harder to be consistent in finding stuff in one other colour). Now that they are all older (7 and 4) it still helps to avoid arguments and 'whose coat is this' moments. The twins mostly share clothes but big items such as coats and wellies still follow the old colour codes.
With your Dad, I don't know if this would be too much and too raw right now, but would it be possible to get together some nice photos of him and make a very simple board book about him for your son and the twins. Just very brief details about his life and the things he enjoyed doing so that they know he was a real person in a kid-friendly way. Then they will have a 'memory' of him even though they never met him in person. I know it is the sort of thing all my DSs would love and spend time looking at. If you do this I would recommend that it is only looked at with you or another adult and kept in a safe place at other times. The ability of 3 small children to destroy stuff is frankly astonishing. There is something about that third little person that tips the balance into chaos within seconds.
Good luck. You will be ok. Three is madness, but a lot of fun, and it does get easier after the initial blur
and once you accept that either your standards or your sanity have to go, and let the standards slide
Hi washingfairy thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I would never have thought of colour coding anything so I'm grateful to everyone who's suggested that..& everything else too! Especially about giving DS1 his own colour & making him feel special. I am very worried about how neglected he may feel.
It's good to know you have an older one & the twins & you lived to tell the tale! I also think I'm having 2 more boys (although clearly I am no sonographer).
That's such a lovely idea about a special photo board. It's definitely something I want to do, I just find it quite painful at the moment, & im also not sure I'm doing a very good job at explaining to my son where his pops has gone so I need to get my story straight first. I definitely need to find a way to keep him in their lives, hopefully there's no a timeframe on it & I'll be able to do it when I'm ready & my son will still remember him a little.
Thanks again to everyone. Ordered my pram & we bought a bigger car to accommodate them so at least the ridiculously expensive stuff is out of the way xxx
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