Twin Mom Ashley
A no-nonsense mother of three with a high-powered career
Twins: Fraternal. Two boys, Aedan and Logan
Twins’ weight when born: Aedan: 6 pounds; Logan: 5 pounds, 1 ounce
Age while pregnant with twins: 31
Current occupation: VP for Account Management
Other children: younger daughter, Chloe (aka Head of the Household)
Pregnancy and Delivery
How far along were you when you delivered (i.e., how many weeks)?
I went 39 blissful weeks. I swear I could have gone 50. Being tall helps a lot when carrying twins.
Were you on bed rest? If so, when did you go on bed rest and for how long?
No bed rest. Who has time for bed rest?
Did you deliver naturally or via Cesarean?
I opted for a scheduled C-section. I got up that morning, had a leisurely breakfast, showered, shaved (ladies, please shave yourself before a C-section—seriously!), and slapped on some makeup. I remember walking down the hall of the hospital in my heels saying, “Let’s do this thing.”
Recovery and Hospital Stay
How long did it take you to recover physically?
My recovery was amazing. I was expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. I literally had lost most of the pregnancy weight by the time I left the hospital, and I was going up and down the stairs the minute I got home. I honestly believe that if you are in good shape when you get pregnant, your body bounces back quickly.
Did the babies have to stay in the hospital for an extended time?
We were all discharged together after the normal five-day C-section stay. Aedan was in the NICU for a couple of days but joined the rest of us shortly after. My husband, James, stayed with him the entire time he was in the NICU. We felt strongly about the importance of skin on skin right after birth, so James took his shirt off right in the NICU and put Aedan on his bare chest every second he could during those two days. I did the same with Logan, and I swear to this day Aedan has a special bond with my husband and Logan with me.
Did you breast-feed? If so, for how long?
I tried to breast-feed both of them. While Logan was pretty good about it, Aedan wanted nothing to do with it.
Did you pump and then feed from the bottle?
I ended up pumping a lot and mixing that with formula for about two to three months. I really wanted the babies to have some breast milk, and this was the only solution that worked for me. After three months, I went to straight formula.
Any breast-feeding recommendations?
My advice is to not put pressure on yourself to breast-feed. It is almost insane to think that one woman could breast-feed two kids for a long period of time. I mean, have you seen pictures of the football hold? Give me a break!
One other thing: Once you switch to formula, don’t make the mistake I did and get the babies used to warm formula. I thought I was so cute warming up the formula for my little babies. What a great mother I was becoming! For the next year at each and every feeding, I had to warm up formula for two babies! In hindsight, I should have put a room temperature water dispenser in the twins’ room; that way I could just fill up the bottle, add formula, shake, and serve.
Did you plan anything unique in the twins’ nursery?
Once we had transitioned to bottle-feeding, we bought two additional infant car seats (without the bases) off craigslist. We kept them in the nursery closet and pulled them out every night. Then for the night feedings, I put both babies in a car seat and sat down on the floor between them. This way I could hold a bottle in each of their mouths and feed them at the same time. Then I would burp each one, change their diapers, and put them back to bed. You can do all this in 20 minutes vs. the 45-minute nightmare of trying to feed each one separately. The real bonus to this plan is that your husband can help. He can do the 1:00/2:00 a.m. feeding, and you can do the 4:00/5:00 a.m. feeding. That way you both get some sleep!
Other than that, we just had two cribs, a changing table, and a cozy rocking chair with an ottoman and side table. Don’t waste money on fancy diaper warmers or any of that crap. They never work.
How long did your twins sleep in the same crib?
One month. They started moving around at that point, so it made sense to separate them.
When did your babies start sleeping through the night?
Four months, often referred to as The Best Day of My Life.
How did you schedule your babies for sleeping and feeding?
I had a journal for about the first three months so I could remember who ate when, who pooped when, etc. It sounds silly, but you are so sleep-deprived you can barely remember your last name let alone who pebbled last. Also, my twins were on the same schedule all the time. If one woke up, they both woke up; if one ate, they both ate—whether they wanted to or not. Do yourself this favor for the sake of your sanity.
Do you have a stroller recommendation?
We live in the city, so I had to have one jogger, one side by side, and one front and back. The jogger was for obvious reasons—to walk off my fat a#$. The side by side (loved the Maclaren) was lightweight and easy to maneuver in stores. The front and back was essential in the grocery store because the side by side strollers never fit in the checkout aisle. Spend money on one good stroller and get at least one more off craigslist. It is nice to have a backup. I kept one in my car at all times.
You, You, You
What did you do to take care of yourself in those early tough days and nights?
I tried to drink a lot of water and rest. I slept when the babies slept. And if someone offered to help, I let them. My sister-in-law would come help with laundry, people offered to bring us dinner, etc. Just say yes! My mother-in-law also blessed us with a night nurse to help us for the first two weeks. That was the best gift anyone could have given us. It was great to have an adult at the house who knew what we were supposed to be doing!
Did you go back to work? If so, when?
I ran—I mean, went—back to work right at three months.
If so, who watched the babies?
My parents and a nanny (she is still with me to this day) watched the kids. The second I found out I was having twins, I joined a local mother of multiples organization. It was an awesome source of information. I found my nanny through the message board and received great recommendations from her previous families. You want a nanny who has handled twins before. It’s a different animal.
Words of Wisdom
Any other general advice or tips?
Get ready for total chaos and the best time of your life! I feel sorry for people who don’t get to experience the joy of twins. It truly is a gift from God.
Want more Ashley? Check out her many musings on the left above, and check back often as the list will grow!