We are having twins!
If you are expecting twins too, this is the place for you.

This website contains useful, real-life tips on twins.
I came up with the idea after we received the message we're having twins, and I couldn't find one place that really explains and reviews some of the most critical dilemmas you face during a twin pregnancy and birth.

Happy Daddy and Mommy



Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shopping List for Twins

Many of you are expecting parents. Expecting a baby is one thing, but like everything else with twins, the problem just doubles.
What is really needed first, what is better to buy used (if you care for money) are all very common questions.

The following is my set of recommendations, which will be updated as we move along in our experience (writing this 1st version when our sweeties are 2 weeks old):

  • Infant car seats or convertibles - Most parents for twins purchase
  • 1+ crib - Not necessary to buy more than one at first, but recommended. Even if you co-bed, even if you have an attached bed, you do NOT want to shop for a crib while they're already with you. It will be too late to decide on your budget and taste. A good used crib can be a good choice, make sure that it's well built, and that you can easily take down and up one of its sides to more easily replace diapers. Most cribs allow you to change the height of the mattress so the crib can be used further along when the babies are larger.
  • 8+ receiving blankets - They tend to get dirty when they pee/poo on them, babies spit on them etc. You gotta have enough to survive a reasonable laundry cycle
  • Vaselin - if baby/ies are planned for circumcision. You'll need some extra even if the hospital gives you some.
  • Nose drops for babies - To solve these weird sounds they're making from their stuffed noses :-)
  • Cloths - Look for a local twins club. Ours which is great (MPPOM) has a Preemie Closet - so we ended up just taking the donated cloths. Nevertheless, you must have cloths - you'll need some T-shirts, onesies etc. At least 4-5 of each item since they get dirty very quickly in feedings at night...

  • Nursing chair/glider - A very nice bonus to a busy and tired mommy for twins. We ended up interested in a Dutailier, a Canadian brand-name, most expensive choice you can make. Problem - it's a made-to-order, imported, with 8-12 weeks delivery time. Order upfront, do NOT wait to the last moment like we did. Babies-R-Us do carry ones, but they still need to ship to the store from their main stock if they don't have one in their local stock (takes 7-14 days).
  • Mobile/s for crib/s or changing table - Can be used to relax them. I found out that it's a very common gift, so better wait and see if anyone gives you one already.

Toyota Prius and Infant Car Seats for Twins

We have a Toyota Prius 2005. It used to be my "baby" - well, now I have 2 real babies so it can't be my baby anymore.
Anyway, I was thinking all along it will be just as easy as buying 2 car seats. I hate to buy everything new especially if it's not going to be used for long time, so I ended up purchasing two used Graco SnugRide seats, after making sure that there is no recall for this model in the last few years.
Both seats fit well in the car so I was happy all along.

And then came our preemies. Born at 35 weeks, admitted right into the NICU of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. After the amazing work the nurses and doctors are doing there, it came closer to the car seat test they need to perform there before the babies are leaving the NICU. I then realized that small babies require an adult next to them - sitting in the back seat.
Unfortunately, while the Graco SnugRide offers a great combination of price, ease-of-use and safety, it does that with a very wide base. Take 2 of those, and you won't find a place for any adult I know off (maybe except Naomi Campbell or any one else of her type) in the back seat of a Prius.

Final solution - Peg Perego Primo, the most narrow I could find. One like that, and a SnugRide, and my wife can already fit in. Still considering replacing the other one - just another benefit of buying a used seat for $35, instead of spending $200+.

Beware of recalls though - the Peg Perego had a few in 2001-2002.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AFP, MSAFP, NT, Amnio and how to lose your sanity...

All we ever wanted was to have a baby. "Well - congratulations, you have 2 eggs" said the Dr., and our journey began...
Roll forward a few months, and my wife and I faced the first question - whether to go thru an AFP test. Since it's only a blood test, the decision was simple - not life-threatening ==> let's do it...

Well, life is never too simple. AFP, or MS-AFP which is the more correct name these days for this blood test done between weeks 12-15 of the pregnancy, is a test for multiple components of the blood. Some researchers in the 70's have found out that embryos with some development problems, mainly Down syndrome, show specific patterns in these blood components. As a matter of fact - this is all statistics. Statistically, there is higher chance of really having these problems if you see this patterns occur.

Some states, and specifically California, finance the MSAFP test, and dictate that it cannot be re-done. Once results are "bad" - the state will finance the more exact test - Amniocyntesis. Unfortunately, the MSAFP test results are less accurate with twins - leaving more room for concerns and uncertainty - yes, on us, the expecting parents...

We indeed had to face this tough decision - our little babies had shown great results on the NT test - yet the MSAFP test ended with bad signs....

We went thru the Amniocyntesis test after many weeks of debates. Results are good. Life is better now...