15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth to Twins

My life forever changed the day that I learned my husband and I were expecting twins. It was not part of our plan and turned our worlds upside down for a brief moment while it all sank in. Our oldest daughter was just 19 months old when I went into premature labor. I never would have guessed that twins would become part of our family’s ‘story’ – I never dreamed that something so seemingly terrifying could make my heart so full. It’s exhausting, demanding, overwhelming, amazing and wonderful all at once.

After my oldest daughter was born, I wrote a post entitled ’15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth’, today I’m going a step further and sharing ’15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth to Twins’.

  1. You instantly become envious of moms who are lucky enough to sport a mini-van! Yup, that’s right – you will WANT a mini-van.
  2. There’s really no point in trying to leave the house without spit up or other bodily fluids covering your clothing. Don’t get me wrong, I still shower and get dressed every day… but for what? Spit up no longer fazes me!
  3. They will often not be referred to as individuals but as ‘the twins’. This is not great for individualization and will start to drive you crazy. Don’t let it – almost everyone will say it. So unless you specifically request them to stop, it will continue. And if they have a sibling, be sure to be extra intentional about including the sibling. A lot of times strangers will gravitate to make over the ‘twins’ but try to keep the singleton included (same for when making plans and play dates… don’t leave the singleton sibling out!)
  4. I hear that some day I will get to sleep again. And by sleep, I mean all night. Ah, all night long – sounds like a dream! But don’t worry, you will somehow be able to survive (and thrive!) with very little sleep!
  5. Don’t expect to go anywhere without someone stopping you to ask if they are twins. People will come out of nowhere to ask you this.
  6. You will then be asked, ‘Are they identical?’ (For me I just stare blankly because – NO – boy/girl twins CAN’T be identical). Followed by ‘Were they a surprise?’ (Obviously…) Followed by ‘Are they natural?’ (What does this even mean?) Followed by ‘Do twins run in your family?’ (Which when coming from a stranger this seems like a transparent attempt to find out if we struggled with infertility!)
  7. Getting everyone changed, fed, bathed and clothed is a major accomplishment and deserves a reward. You will literally celebrate the things that used to seem so simple!
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  8. You will quickly learn not to compare milestones – one might roll over first, while the other is the first to sit up. One may walk while the other crawls around talking. It doesn’t matter – don’t compare!
  9. When diapers go on sale, stock up! Whenever Cartwheel has our brand of diapers, we buy in bulk! Don’t worry – you can never have too many. You will use them ALL!
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  10. If one baby gets sick, immediately expose the other. It is inevitable and the only thing worse than having two sick babies is having the sick baby get better right as the other baby gets sick.
  11. As long as you are using bottles (whether breast milk or formula), the dishwasher will likely be running for at least a year straight.
  12. Same is true for the washing machine.
  13. Everyone knows a twin and you will hear about it. “My cousin’s neighbor is a twin.” (Very interesting.)
  14. It’s not a competition – everyone will agree that whether you have one child or 5 children, raising kids is hard work. Don’t look down on parents of singletons. But when someone tells you that you have your hands full, remind them that your heart is also full.
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  15. Twins mean twice the smiles, twice the laughs, twice the love.
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Shortly after my babies came home from the hospital, I was still running on empty. I was feeling exhausted and spread thin. I was at an ice cream shop on State Street with all three kids and a perfect stranger looked at my newborns and said ‘you are SO lucky.’ At the time, my toddler was having a major meltdown and ice cream was the only way to get her to calm down (yes, I was rewarding terrible behavior). I thought the woman must be joking – but I looked at her and she repeated – ‘you are so lucky.’ She meant it. Six months later I know she genuinely felt that I was lucky and I now agree with her. I AM lucky. Blessed beyond measure and we have such a bright future to look forward to. So if you see a twin mama out and about, looking frazzled, remind her how lucky she is… she will thank you later!

You may also enjoy my post: One Year With Twins!

31 Responses to 15 Things You Learn After You Give Birth to Twins

  1. Jill September 29, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    12 & 13 are my faces. I am resigned to the fact that I will never be done with laundry.

  2. Rachel October 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Loved this post. #6. I too have b/g twins. I was even asked if they would BECOME identical. My twins are 22 m older than my son. Life is crazy but it gets SO MUCH BETTER and you’ll look ate the past wondering where the time went.

  3. Judy December 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    My daughter and her boyfriend have a blended family, her three and his four, so they now have seven. His kids include a set of girl twins. and all the kids keep them busy. I am finding that even though they were born one right after another, and sleep all curled together, they have very different personalities. Love all my grands but yes people do tend to notice the twins where ever they go, and the two older girls roll their eyes. 🙂

  4. Cheryl December 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    it was eight months before it first occurred that maybe I had been blessed by my twins, since they were babies four and five! Plus I had prayed for a girl that time and God sent me two more boys! Ah well, for two weeks after the first ultrasound, one was a girl.

  5. Nealy January 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Your “twins” are so cute Alisa! Looking forward to meeting you!

  6. Meagan C January 10, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    Love this! #6 and #8 for sure 🙂 And I can tell you, I’m 4 1/2 years into the twin journey and it just keeps getting better. Yes, you still get #6 all the time. But you will sleep again – all night. And my favorite part is their incredible bond, plus built-in playmates! I’m more of a referee now which is awesome.

  7. Chris January 30, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    mom to 2 sets of twins here 18 months apart. I refer to my younger set as “the boys” all the time and people get it. They know not to group the older twin boy in with “the boys”. Drove me nuts as people would ask if they are ID because not only is the first set b/g but he’s all Italian and she’s all Irish (day glow white & red hair) so my answer always was “except for the penis they are” and keep on walking. Ran into the same issue with “the boys” because there’s another redhead there. The “are they natural” question didn’t bother me as much once people started to follow that up with “how did you deliver them?” Yes they are natural and please remove yourself from my vagina.

    • Loni January 30, 2015 at 8:30 am #

      YES to all except #4… my 10 mth boys sleep!!!! they do get thrown off once in a while but Im well rested!!!

  8. Bree Wilkinson January 30, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    I’d say the same except my first was 13 months old and my twins went full term. #7 is sooo true, still is and the kids are 4 & 5 years old now! 🙂 If I found out I was pregnant, I’d hope for twins all over again!!! (There’s were many times when twins were actually easier than a single baby!)

  9. raena wynn January 30, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    I have 15 month old identical twin boys, #4 & #5 for me. I get asked all these questions plus the dreaded “are you done now” I don’t understand why people think that’s an appropriate question . I love being a mom and the twins are my double blessing after losing a baby at 5mos pregnant.

  10. Lisa January 30, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Mom of 14 yr. old b/g twins. In the back of my head I knew I was having twins but it didn’t hit me until I was in recovery after my c-section. I sometimes see them as babies the day they were born. It was hard in the beginning BUT I would never change anything. These kids drive me crazy but I love them with all my heart. They changed my life and I can’t thank them enough.
    I love you Chanse and Bailie.

    O…PS…I never want(ed) a mini van.

  11. Sierra Jennings January 30, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Alisa, thanks for sharing your story!! Our lives are practically identical at the moment because I too am a mom of three children two and under. Your blog couldn’t have been written better if I would have written it myself! Surprisingly my little ones even have similar birth dates as your sweet babies. My two year old son was born July 31, 2012 (originally due in August like your daughter) and my boy/girl twins were born 6 weeks premature in March of 2014. You’re exactly right, our hands are full… But not as full as our hearts! I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m sure you wouldn’t either!!

  12. Kathleen January 30, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    My identical twin boys will be 4 years old in a few weeks. I agree! So true the last statement about being lucky. Blessed for sure.

  13. Amanda January 30, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    #2 & #4 never applied to us beyond the first few weeks. I don’t undrstand why everyone seems to accept that “spit up is normal”! It’s NOT!!!!!! I changed mine to a different formula until they no longer got sick in any way (some would cause an issue one end or the end). It’s VERY rare that mine EVER spit up after that. We didn’t even use burp cloths.

  14. Kelly January 30, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    My b/g twins just turned 10. I remember all those very well, especially #6!! I was once asked “Did you take pregnancy pills for those?” I did struggle with infertility, but twins in fact do run in my family. A good answer to that is “Yes twins do run in my family. They run, jump, and climb.”

  15. Suzanne January 30, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    I, too, had a 19 month old when my boy/girl twins arrived! I thought then and still do that I was blessed beyond measure! Every point you made is so true!

  16. Maggie January 30, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    Ha! My (fraternal) boys will be 18 in July – it has been a ride.

  17. Kaustubh January 31, 2015 at 3:34 am #

    Hi There..Just loved your article. Me n my wife are a pround parents of twin baby boy n girl. They are just 3 months old. We enjoy everday every new moment with them..and yes we do feel that we are lucky n special!! So all of you guys are..

  18. Candiegirl January 31, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    I have boy/girl twins….they are my life…I had someone ask me at church…they look soo much alike! How EVER do you tell them apart? Ummmmmm…..errrrrrrr….well, if I really get stumped…..I just take off their diaper….in which my mother shoots me the evil eye! Hahaha

  19. Pami January 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Its not often that I read my own thoughts by someone whose story is so close to mine. My oldest was 13 months when the twins came and they were 21/2 when my son was born. The comments became tiresome, but I guess people try to fill an awkward moment. Thanks for the article.
    BTW mine are now 16, 14 and 12….it doesn’t get easier its just that the challenges change almost daily. I do sleep now though.

  20. Laura January 31, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    I have 3.5 year old boy/girl twins that really don’t look very similar. I get a lot of, “How far apart are they?” I respond, “One minute.” It takes them a few beats to figure it out. By then, I have had a chance to move along and avoid any more questions.

    • Theresa February 2, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      This made me laugh! Because I would say the SAME thing! My girl has always been taller than my boy so most people think they are at least one year apart. 🙂 Glad I’m not the only one to use that line. 🙂 (Mine are 4 years.)

  21. Deb February 2, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    I have two sets – older twin boys, single girl, and younger twin girls. The boys are 28 years old and are both daddys! (The “little” ones are 21 years old!) To all the “young” twin mommies out there…know that you DO get to sleep again (although I still remember the feeling that I never would) and know that all of the kids ARE a blessing, Enjoy every moment…time passes WAY to quickly!

  22. Theresa February 2, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Funny story about #6 (I have 4yo b/g twins): My brother has twin boys and a cousin of mine has twin girls. So most people think they DO run in my family. However, all sets are fraternal and none of the moms are blood-related. (For those of you that don’t know, the female has to release two eggs for fraternal twins to happen.) So really, they don’t run in my family (and none of us were taking infertility drugs)…it’s just a happy blessing we all get to share! 🙂

    #13 is so true.
    #15 is also SO true! 🙂

    What a great article. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Sherry February 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    My B/G twins were a surprise right up until the second was born. They were my 6th and 7th children, the oldest being 12 at the time. I had 3 in diapers for a while. My previous baby had been 10 1/2 lbs, and the twins were each just over 5 lbs. at birth (home births). I was a La Leche League leader so I had knowledge of and support for nursing. It was definitely faster nursing 2 than one. 10 minutes and done due to more milk and nursing two at one time. As for #11, I never needed bottles, weaned right to a cup. That was a long time ago. My twins will be 26 in April and I am Nana to 15 grandchildren, so far, no twins in this next generation.

    • Sherry February 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

      Also, my stepsister had fraternal twin boys, no blood relation. All “natural” twins. My paternal grandmother had twin cousins who were killed in WWI. That’s the only twins I know of but then I don’t know much about my mother’s family. I lost her and touch with her family when I was 2.

  24. Lynn February 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    I have GGG triplets who are now 15(two being identical) and BG twins who are now 6 from a previous marriage. While my husband has a B singleton who is 18, and a B singleton who is 9. My husband being 44 and me being 39 never considered having another child, but we now have GG twins who are now 8 months. I never thought I would have three sets multiples but life always have something to throw at you. My twins were ecstatic and so was his younger son. While the four older kids hated the thought but are now ok and love there little sisters. We weren’t to thrilled at the thought of having two more kids because of money reasons. But we are doing ok. Yeah the kids may not get my everything they want anymore but everyone is okay. And we are living.

  25. Becky K January 15, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Twins are awesome 🙂 Mine are 4 and totally unexpected! Once we “survived” the first year – it was all good. And you get used to the questions etc. I really consider myself lucky with the kids I have!


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