A MoM recently asked:
Help! Our twin boys are almost 3 weeks old. I’m feeling so miserable and having a hard time finding any joy in this experience. I’m just so exhausted and full of heavy guilt because I can’t stop wishing it was only one baby, so I could give them all my attention. Honestly, half the time I think we made a terrible mistake having any babies! It’s just too hard with two – it truly feels impossible. My husband and I are taking shifts through the night so we can get some sleep since the boys eat every 2 hours – sometimes even more often. Then it takes about 1.5 hours to feed/change/burp them both so there’s hardly any time after that. The hardest part is the night shift where I take care of them myself. It’s just impossible to feed them both at once. I'm so overwhelmed with twins. I don’t know if I’m starting to have postpartum depression or if it’s just normal to feel this way. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Here's what our Twiniversity fans had to say:
– Hang in there. We are at 4 months and only now am I starting to feel like a human being, rather than a high-functioning zombie. Our floors got mopped for the first time tonight since they were born. Let that sink in, 4 months. Moral of that tidbit was to tell you we are all on the struggle bus together. You are not alone and I promise you it will get better. I don't know how we survived the first 3 months. You just need to do what works for you and your little family. I got us on a schedule as quickly as possible. I still get dirty looks or confused faces but I wouldn't survive without being on it so I just shrug it off. ∼ EW
– That time in our life was awful! I remember thinking I had Postpartum Depression. I just felt angry all the time. It does get better, I promise! Both my girls had awful reflux and I swore I thought I would never stop being covered in spit up. They eventually get better, they eventually sleep for a bit longer. What worked for us with me pumping was to have my husband get up and get the girls diapers changed, while I got up and got myself hooked up to my pump and bottles in the warmers. By the time both babies were in front of me ready to eat, I was already 10 min into pumping which helped me a lot. Then I would feed both on their Twin Z pillow, which was the best purchase ever. All said and done, I was back to bed in 35 min. You got this momma! ∼ JT
– I promise you, you're not crazy. It's not easy. It gets better. Put them up in Boppy pillows and feed both at the same time. It takes time to get used to, but it really helped me! Twins are such a blessing, but it doesn't come easy. I had guilt too. Ask for help and accept it. It truly takes a village to raise babies. They will be grown before you know it. One feeding at a time. You've got this! ∼ LS
– The first year is the HARDEST. I was so sleep deprived and depressed that I barely remember any of it. It is normal, but you may have a touch of Postpartum Depression. I had it. I saw my doctor and she gave me medication. It helped, but it didn’t fix everything. Sleep deprivation is no joke. Soon they will sleep through the night and it will ease up. I was feeding every 3 hours AND pumping every 3 hours, so I barely slept. However, after a little while, I decided to stop pumping at night. The best decision we ever made was to alternate nights. One night he got up with them and I slept all night in a different room, and vice versa. Once this part is over it will seem like you blinked and they were 5. ∼ SB
– It's OKAY. I literally have no memory of the first few months. I would call my husband crying telling him he had to get home *now*. It does get better. Deal with one baby at a time, crying does not hurt a baby. Get AWAY. Just for an hour, go to the mall, the library, anything. Just step away for a bit. ∼ KG
– You are right in the trenches, mama – this is hard! Check in with your doctor if you think you might have Postpartum Depression. Even if you don’t, twins are a lot of work and it can get overwhelming. Do you have family who can help, or can you swing a night nurse for a while? It might be expensive, but think of it as an investment into a good routine and more solid sleep for you. If you’re breastfeeding maybe there are some tips to make tandem feeding easier. As far as the guilt, remember they only know life as being a twin and will get used to sharing you. Sometimes twins just have to cry. Physically you can’t meet every demand at the exact moment. Just stay calm and let them know you hear them and you will be there as soon as you can. Before you know it you’ll find your sea legs and it will get easier. ∼ PT
– I struggled myself with feeling any joy in the first 3 months. I’d cry every evening because I knew nighttime was coming and I wouldn’t sleep. It was awful and exhausting. I honestly didn’t understand why people would choose to have more children. People would tell me it gets better and I just tried to trust them. It’s SO hard and you are not alone. I was adamant about a nighttime schedule so they would start sleeping through the night because I needed my sleep. After about 3-4 months it gets so much easier. I completely understand that each day feels like an eternity to get to 4 months. My twins are now 15 months old and getting more enjoyable each day. You got this! ∼ SWL
– I prepped all the bottles for the day/night in the morning. They make great sectioned containers that have spouts that you can put the powdered formula in. Everything was ready to just dump in the bottle. Preparation was key for us. Just constantly having everything nearby made it so much easier. I kept a pack n play in the living room and one in the bedroom so they could sleep anywhere. If they are going less than three hours between feedings I might see if you have to increase what they eat. The first 3-6 months are just guesswork and once you get it figured out, they change. ∼ KP
– Everyone is different, but based on my experience I couldn’t do all night on my own with 2. Are you waking them at the same time to feed? Our bigger baby started sleeping longer so we took a baby each into separate rooms at night to get more sleep. Anytime during the day that they sleep, you need to sleep too. My husband would come home from work and go straight to sleep on the sofa. Then we’d have dinner and literally, go straight to bed. You’ll get through it. Looking back it is just a matter of a few weeks it’s like this but there’s no getting around the fact it is an absolute shocker at the beginning. We started a bedtime routine at 10 weeks. Hang in there it gets easier. ∼ CS
– I don’t remember the first 9 weeks of my twins life. You are NOT alone! It does get easier. I had family come 2 nights a week, Tuesday and Friday night. They would drive 3 hours to do those night feedings and what a difference it made. You do what you have to do! Again, not easy, but I couldn’t be more blessed to be a mother of twins! ∼ KS
– It will get better. You're exhausted right now. Nothing to feel guilty about. If you're having symptoms of Postpartum Depression, please say something to your doctor. ∼ CD
– Nap every chance you can! Seriously, if the babies are asleep you need to be asleep. I didn't listen to that and I regret it. Also, let things go, dishes, laundry, showers. Dry shampoo is your friend! All those people that said they would help before you had those babies, don't hesitate to call them out on their offers. They know how to throw clothes into a washer. Take them up on it. Really, do it! ∼ LO
– It gets easier as time goes on. The first year is the worst, especially if you are a first time mom. There's no learning curve. You become an expert quick! At 3 weeks, the babies are just getting used to the world outside the womb. As they get a little older you'll find you develop a routine. It gets so much easier! Make sure you ask for help and give yourself a break! ∼ TD
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, contact a local physician. You can also find support in your area by visiting Postpartum Support International.
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