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Nurse Chickie

Written by Carrie


Twin Mom Carrie Carroll

Twin Mom & Twin Source Founder
A curious first-time mother still finding the everyday wonder and awe in twin parenthood

Quick Stats
Twins: Fraternal. A boy, Drew, and a girl, Celeste
Twins’ weight when born: Drew: 6 pounds, 0 ounces; Celeste: 4 pounds, 1 ounces
Age while pregnant with twins: 33
Current occupations: Art Director, Twin Source Founder, Mommy
Do you have other children? No

Pregnancy and Delivery
How far along were you when you delivered (i.e., how many weeks)?
35 weeks.

Were you on bed rest? If so, when did you go on bed rest and for how long?
Yes. At week 24, I went on full bed rest for 11 weeks for a few reasons, including gestational diabetes. Bed rest is a highly personal and emotional time. My story is no different.

Did you deliver naturally or via Cesarean?
Cesarean. The surgery was tough, but I knew what to expect thanks to a good friend who told me about her experience. The moment I heard the babies’ cries—Drew’s first, then Celeste’s—it was like hearing sounds straight from heaven. I will never forget their distinct voices making sound for the very first time.

Recovery and Hospital Stay
How long did it take you to recover physically?
The hardest part was the first two weeks. Things got better and better every day after that. I felt healed and ready to exercise after about eight weeks. My body is still not back to what it was pre-pregnancy, but I work at it all the time.

Did the babies have to stay in the hospital for an extended time?
They both stayed in the NICU for a period of time—Drew for five days and Celeste for a week. That time was no doubt the hardest period of my life. They were there for different reasons, but both came home healthy and ready to grow.

Did you breast-feed? If so, for how long?
I breast-fed for six weeks while also pumping and supplementing with formula.

Tip: Buy your formula from Costco or a similar chain. Big savings.

Did you pump and then feed from the bottle?
Yes. I breast-fed, then supplemented and pumped as well. The feeding process in the beginning was a joy but also very, very challenging to keep up as a new mother of twins. When the babies were on their three-hour schedule, I had about 45 minutes of downtime between. So I’ll be honest—it was not easy.

Any breast-feeding recommendations?
Try your best and do not pressure yourself. If it does not work out, that is okay; remember, you have multiples. Just give it your best shot. Every day you breast-feed is better than not, but don’t be afraid to supplement with formula if your twins still seem hungry. Well-fed babies are happy babies who sleep well. The most important thing is that your babies are full and happy.

Did you plan anything unique in the twins’ nursery?
We created a “twin pantry” in a small storage space in the twins’ room. It contained bottles, pacifiers, medicine, a fridge, a bottle warmer, and a nightlight so night feedings could happen quietly, in dim light, and without having to go downstairs to the kitchen.

How long did your twins sleep in the same crib?
For the first 10 weeks.

When did your babies start sleeping through the night?
12 weeks. They were sleeping almost 12 hours a night at 12 weeks.

How did you schedule your babies for sleeping and feeding?
I followed most of the direction from the book "Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old." This book was very easy for me to grasp and also apply. The author is a twin mother herself, and her story is amazing. My twins still sleep 12 hours. It is attainable and manageable and gave me as a mother back the rest I so needed. It also gave Drew and Celeste their own healthy sleep habits.

Because the babies were in the NICU for a week, they came home with a schedule, and for that I am grateful.

Do you have a stroller recommendation?
For the early weeks, when we weren’t outside very much, we used a Snap N Go. It was fantastic for those first doctor’s visits. Just snap the car seats in place and you are mobile! We invested in the BOB double stroller and to this day still love it. I believe it will be the one and only double stroller we will own. The quality is that good.

Tip: Check out the Twin Source Registry Guide for more information.

You, You, You
What did you do to take care of yourself in those early tough days and nights?
Keeping my twin log was a huge help organizationally.

I also made time for a sanity hour every day. At 4:00 a.m. each morning (I know that seems like the exact opposite of sanity!), I got into the habit of 45 minutes of me time. This was the time when I showered and washed my face. Each predawn morning, I would light a nice-smelling candle in my bathroom while I did those most simple things—showering, brushing my hair, and quietly calming and nurturing myself.

Did you go back to work? If so, when?
I did go back to work after 13 weeks.

If so, who watched the babies?
Those first days back were difficult. But we found an excellent nanny to come to our house and care for the babies. We had “training days that overlapped my last week of maternity leave, which allowed me to gain trust in and reach a level of comfort with the nanny.

Words of Wisdom
Any other general advice or tips?
A dear friend and father of twins once told me, “Carrie, I am not going to lie. The first 90 days feel like climbing a mountain. You have to stay focused, keep your head down, and push through it. Before you know it, you will reach the top, the skies will clear, and all will be bright.”

And it was.

Want more Carrie? Follow her many musings on the left above, and check back often as the list will grow! You can also follow her on Twitter.

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