Double trouble: Life with twins

If you think you have your hands full having to take care of a single child, you probably haven’t thought what it must be like to have twins. Personally, I have always looked at twins and felt that there couldn’t have been a better way to have two children at once but apart from that I used to wonder if parents would confuse them (in case of identical same sex twins). How would one distinguish one twin from the other?

While the joys double so does the work. We interviewed Sufia Farook, 34, settled in Bangalore with her husband. She is a mother to three adorable children including a set of twins. She is lively, dedicated and a fitness enthusiast.  Being an active member at NammaCrossfit she participated in the obstacle run called “Devils Circuit”, which is a 5K run with obstacles and crossed 12 of the 15 obstacles. She also came 46th among the many thousands in the recent Pinkathon which is a 10K run. She firmly believes that exercising gives her peace and it has calmed her post the twin pregnancy. She spoke to us about a typical day in her house with her twins Kiyan and Kyra who turn 4 in March, her thoughts on breastfeeding and the challenges she faced in the first 6 months of their birth.

 

1. What was your first reaction when you found out you were expecting Twins?

At my first scan I was told I was expecting triplets but the doc needed 2 more weeks to be absolutely sure so I had to go back. I bawled like a little child! I was scared! Turned out that the third foetus had disappeared on its own, the term is called ‘disappearing twin’. No one knows why.

mom expecting twins

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2. How did you cope with the first few months after delivering? 

The first 6 months were a nightmare! I hardly slept! They were premature so I had to feed them more often than a normal baby is fed.  I would just nurse, burp and change their diapers the whole night. I stopped nursing when they were 6 months old! Since it was 2 babies I considered it as 1 year.

twin baby - ZenParent

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3. Since you already had a child before having Kiyan & Kyra, did you feel that bringing them up was different than bringing up Ahaan? If yes, in what way?

Since I had Ahaan already I would say it was easier mentally although exhausting physically. I fussed less and I didn’t panic when they got sick. I knew exactly how long it would take for them to recover from a cold or fever and what medication needed to be given. I didn’t have to rush to the doctor very often like I did the first time around.

mom bought up twins - ZenParent

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 4. What was/is your biggest challenge with the twins? 

I think nursing them together was my biggest challenge! It’s nothing like what you see in the movies. No one prepares you for how hard it is. In my case both of them always got hungry together, slept together and pooped together. Nursing them both at the same time is easier said than done. It was an arduous task.

5. You must be getting or would have been asked a lot of silly questions about twins in general; could you share some with us?

Initially I always got asked if it was IVF, and I would think to myself that even if it was why would I tell them that? The other silly question was if I underwent a C-Section for both?! That really annoyed me, so till date I tell people that one was normal and the other was a Caesarean, they are left puzzled.

6. What’s a typical day like with the kids?

Now that the kids are older and go to school, my life is getting back to normal. I drop them off to school by 8.30AM and head straight to the gym. I spend an hour at the gym and then run for about 4 kms at the park on weekdays. This is my time! I need this to keep my sanity! I like to take it easy on the weekends so I don’t stick to schedules except for their afternoon nap.

7. What’s the equation between Kiyan & Kyra? Are they similar when it comes to their behaviour, nature, habits etc.?

They are both poles apart. Kyra is extremely calm and caring and loves to sit and watch me in the kitchen while I cook. She loves food and socializes easily but on the other hand Kiyan is a total brat. Although he is very loving, he enjoys his space. He plays by himself all the time and is generally happy even with a broken toy car or truck.

8. Any tips/lessons learnt for our expectant mother of twins? (Things you should have done or do to ease out the stress when dealing with 2 children at a time).

I tell all my pregnant friends not to stress over breast feeding. I agree it’s very important and the doctor will stress that you must only breast feed. But sometimes it’s physically not possible. So it’s okay to give them formula once in a while and not kill yourself with guilt. Listen to doctors but do what works for you and your child. Most importantly, have patience with a new born. Remember this is new to them as well.

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