Twinning!

Sometimes I feel like there’s so much I could write about on my little corner of the internet…but then other times, my mind is blank. I frequently come across posts on Pinterest that go something like this: “101 blog post topics ideas to get your stuck mind moving!” or “10 things every blogger could talk about.” and “25 topics you should never post about!”…ok those aren’t literally posts I’ve seen…but close 😉 I’ve flipped through them occasionally and one piece of advice I do remember seeing was this: “blog about what you know, or what your experience is.” Pretty good advice and I’ve thought of that many times when I’ve been stuck topic wise. And one topic that keeps popping up in my head is blogging about raising twins, and I think I’m going to start doing just that! In the past I haven’t talked about them much from a “this is what I have done about XYZ” standpoint because when we just had the first set, I didn’t really feel like having a set of twins was some kind of odd occurrence. To us it was all new…but would it make for interesting blog posts? Maybe not.

However…I have found myself wishing I would have blogged about many things back when A&H were little. I’m having trouble remembering what I did about certain things, and if I had blogged about it, that might have helped me out! Also, occasionally I do get other twin moms asking questions about gear or sleep training or how to get out of the house on time…and I know years from now I will forget all of those things and that won’t be super helpful to that poor twin mom who is looking for suggestions. Hopefully blogging about “how I do it” will jog my memory!

Now please know a few things: I’m not the kind of person who offers unsolicited advice. I’m kind of like “If people want my advice or opinion they will ask for it.” Also, I do not ever want to sound like an “expert” or like I think I have all the right answers. These posts will be from my own little perspective, my experiences, and my viewpoint. And even though I don’t like to just throw advice out there, I figure, this is a blog…read it if you want, don’t if you don’t want to. If you gain something from it, great! If not, no sweat. There’s many ways to do things. If you try out something I liked or that worked for our twins and it suits you and your family, that’s awesome! If you try it and you’re like “no way. Doesn’t work.” No big deal. So much of raising kids can be trial and error. (Makes me think of sippy cups…if you’ve gone through that, you know what I’m talk about!) Also, since I’m coming at these twin posts from my own little realm of experiences, there’s some some things I can’t speak to like co-sleeping, baby wearing, nursing, or how to fit a family of 6 into a 500 sq ft apartment…amoung many other areas in which I have no experience. So, like any blog, there are somethings you won’t find here 🙂

So where am I coming from exactly? Glad you asked! I’ll just quickly lay the foundation of our “twin journey” that way you can have a general idea of things I can speak to and topics I cannot. (I’m sure at some point I’ve mentioned all the following in other posts…but I’ll just sum up the important stuff here!)

Nathan and I will be celebrating 11 years of marriage next month. We decided right off to wait 4-5 years to start a family. Because we waited so long to have kids (and the fact that there was 4, almost 5 years between both sets), a lot of people assume we went the fertility treatment route, which I can understand. From an outside perspective, that’s what it looks like! However, both our sets are 100% naturally conceived. (We are not aware of any family history of twins, so that theory is out!) I’ve heard few theories about why this has happened, but my last OB put it pretty plainly: “Your body was just made to have more than one baby at a time!” Ok then!

We found out we were having twins the first time March 1st, 2010. It was a very smooth and fairly easy pregnancy. (Ok I didn’t think so at the time because I felt like a house and was always tired…but now that I’ve experienced a hard and difficult pregnancy, the first was a cake.walk.) A little over 6 months later, on September 20th, 2010, our babies arrived via C-section because they were both breech.

38 weeks, off to the hospital!
38 weeks, off to the hospital!
Healthy girl (twin A) and boy! (twin B)
Healthy girl (twin A) 7lbs, 7oz and boy (twin B) 6lbs, 5oz
First family picture :)
First family picture :)
Me and my babies!
Me and my babies!

Because both were healthy and doing well, we went home about 48 hrs after they were born! Taking two babies home was absolutely a shock and took a lot to get used to and we really don’t remember much about the first 3 months…but all in all, our transition to being twin parents went well! I’m also very blessed that I have a supportive husband who works super hard to provide for our family so that I’m able to stay home. There’s many reasons we choose to structure our family this way andI’m not going to lie and say it’s wonderful everyday…but we know this is one way we want to obey what God has called us to.

About 1 week old
About 1 week old

Before we knew it they were sleeping through the night, eating food, crawling, walking, using sippy cups, talking (and they haven’t stopped since!), and becoming fun little people! We don’t remember life without them.

Thanksgiving weekend 2012
Thanksgiving weekend 2012
Halloween costumes 2013
Halloween costumes 2013
Spring 2014
Spring 2014

We moved to Ohio Spring of 2104 (read about it here and here) and shortly after moving, both Nathan and I felt the Lord was calling us to expand our family. So we starting looking into foster care, foster to adopt and also praying that the Lord would prepare our hearts for whatever He had planned for our family. You can read more about the beginning of my second pregnancy here, but in January of 2015, I saw a familiar sight on the ultrasound screen: two heart beats. This time around though, things were far from easy. No longer living close to family, A&H went with us to every doctors appointment, for which we drove an hour north at least once a week…not to mention we drove an hour north for church every Sunday too. Our home was also in constant fixer-upper mode, trying to get as much done as we could before the babies came. I was on light bedrest for pretty much the entire time due to multiple complications. The plan was to deliver the babies around 36 weeks via C-section because I had placenta previa.

In the beginning of June last year, we took one last vacation as a family of 4 to North Myrtle Beach.

FTT! ((For The Twin!))---> eventuallycomplete.com

It was so much fun…but looking back, I think that trip did me in. The next week I landed in the hospital for 4 days due to bleeding. It subsided so they sent me home. I made it almost 48 hours at home before I was back…this time baby A’s water had broke, this was at about 30 weeks. And this time I didn’t leave until the babies were born.  The goal was to make it to 34 weeks…and we made it 34 weeks and 1 day! But that hospital stay was so so hard.

My regular visitors who brought games to play!
My regular visitors who brought games to play!
Last picture as a family of 4!
Last picture as a family of 4!

July 09th, 2015 our second set of blessings were born in the evening via C-section. Both were stable, put on C-Paps and taken to the NICU after delivery. (More on their delivery/NICU stay here.)

FTT! ((For The Twin!))---> eventuallycomplete.com
2 1/2 weeks old…first picture together
FTT! ((For The Twin!))---> eventuallycomplete.com
Almost one month old and everyone finally home from the hospital!

Life has not slowed down one bit since they were born. When E&J were about 2 weeks old, we put our house on the market and started to make preparations for our move to Kansas City. When they were 3 months old, we accepted an offer on our Ohio home, packed it up and on October 30th, we moved to Overland Park, Kansas! I thought moving with two 3 year olds back in 2014 was quite the thing…this took the cake! We were sleep deprived, trying hard to keep the house clean for showings, keep the babies on a schedule, and pay attention to the older two and adjust to being a family of 6…to be perfectly honest it’s all starting to get a little foggy how that all worked out! Only God could have gotten us through all that! And now…I can’t picture our lives without these two little people who make us laugh and “oooh” and “awww” at their cuteness! I personally love watching how different they are than A&H were/are.

Our first outing...my mom was still with us at this point ;)
Our first outing…my mom was still with us at this point ;)
FTT! ((For The Twin!))---> eventuallycomplete.com
2 months old…so tiny!
Heading out with two sets alone for the first time...it had to be documented!
Heading out with two sets alone for the first time…it had to be documented! (This was about late August 2015)
FTT! ((For The Twin!))---> eventuallycomplete.com
A few weeks ago…they seem to like being together!

Now we are settled into our home in KC, MO and my days are filled with bottles, laundry, schoolwork (for the older two…not me!!), doctors appointments for miss J, reading, walks, playing outside, music, laughs, crying…and coffee 🙂 It’s been quite a ride so far and this past year has flown by….hard to believe the babies will be one year old in 2 1/2 months. Their first year has gone much faster than it did with A&H. And to be perfectly honest…a lot of my days are also filled with trial and error 😉 So I plan on sharing things I’ve tried and didn’t quite work so well!

Trying my best to take good quality pics...
Trying my best to take good quality pics…that’s one of our fav books btw!
Surrounded by twins!!
Surrounded by twins!!
Took both sets to the zoo alone...it CAN be done!!
Took both sets to the zoo alone…it CAN be done!!

A few other points of interest/experiences that I may mention from time to time: both our older son and younger daughter were born with torticollis and needed cranial bands (helmets), our younger daughter was born with bilateral clubfeet, we’ve moved three times in the past 2 years (twice with both sets), I’m going to attempt to homeschool the older two for kindergarten next year but we’ve done preschool stuff at home off & on since they were two, I often take all 4 to many things flying solo but have not yet attempted full-on grocery shopping with all 4, we’ve flown with our older set but not both sets and (Lord willing!) we are planning a road trip to Washington in the late summer and finally…we do NOT own a mini-van and have no intention of ever driving one 😉

So that’s a brief history of our “twin-experience”! I have lots of ideas for twin posts, but if anyone has any ideas or questions,..fire away!

Press on and have a great week!

Jaimi S.

Comment away, friend!