- US Japan Fam (yours truly): twins plus 1 in NYC
- The Baby Gang: triplets plus 1 - You may remember them from their OH SO CUTE viral video (over 5 million views) featuring mom changing triplets' diapers on the bed)
- Mandie Hearts Life: 2 sets of twins 16 months apart
- The Walkerpedia: 2 sets of twins and a singleton
- Mom Life with Twins: expat family with 5 kids (youngest are identical twin boys) in Dubai
- Stevie's Life: twins plus 1 in Kentucky
Whether you're a parent of twins or triplets, about to become one, or are simply fascinated by multiples, I am very excited to present to you an awesome video I created featuring the fun tell-alls of a handful of YouTube parents of multiples!
We've got parents of triplets, twins plus one, and twins twice over (yes, 2 sets of twins, it happens!!) weighing in on everything from how they reacted to finding out they were pregnant with multiples to what the hardest and craziest parts are of being a mom or dad of twins or triplets.
Here are the amazing YouTubers featured in the video:
Alright, now what are you waiting for!! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be in love!!! Watch the video below and don't forget to like, subscribe, comment, and watch the other videos in the play list!!
An infant compatible lightweight double stroller that has an easy and compact umbrella-style fold, great push, loads of storage, huge canopies, and can haul a ride on board? Sounds like an impossible order and yet Joovy has somehow made our wildest dreams come true with their TwinGroove Ultralight! I received one free for review, but as always, you can count on me for the truth and nothing but the truth. In a nutshell, we absolutely love it!!! Read on for my full review and what I have found to be the hits and misses in the design and functionality (and don't miss my demo video at the bottom!).
What I love about the Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight:
It has an extremely compact umbrella-style fold (measuring 15" x 30" x 13"). If you keep the wheels unlocked it's very easy to pull it along behind you or push ahead of you, and if you lock the wheels it's easy to store upright against a wall (no, it's not self-standing). The process of folding is multi-step but super quick once you get the hang of it: 1) lock all 3 front sets of wheels, 2) push seat backs forward all the way, 3) pull up 2 locking levers at back of stroller, 4) step down on the folding mechanism on the side, 5) push handles forward and down until stroller is locked shut. Once you've done it a few times it takes literally 15 seconds (much easier than trying to direct someone else how to fold it while you're getting 2 screaming kids into car seats LOL).
I love the full range of these independently reclining seats - from quite upright with a great view all the way down to nearly fully reclined and infant compatible! There's even a mesh foot enclosure that flips up and over the foot rest for newborns (of course, if using with newborns you would also want to buy and use a full infant body support pillow or at least a head support pillow - shown in use in below left photo). How you actually recline and straighten the seat is not my favorite feature, as far as I can figure it does take two hands, but it's fairly straight forward and simple (check my demo video to see it being done). There are also nice leg rests that go up and down easily. We haven't had any major grime to deal with yet, but yogurt and other snack mishaps have easily cleaned right up with a quick wipe down with a wet towel.
It has 2 decent sized storage baskets under the stroller that are only accessible from the rear and only when the seats are upright. The left and right underbaskets are separate and there's a 5 pound limit for each, so you can't fit anything HUGE or super heavy down there, but the mesh bags hang on top of the metal frame, so you can't stretch the basket out like I've had an issue with on other strollers. I decided to ditch my double diaper bag and instead pack smaller bags to go under the stroller - diapers, wipes, nursing cover and toys on the left, snacks and water bottles on the right. It's been working great!
You can also go without an add-on parent console since they have built it in for you! The back of each seat features a small zippered compartment where you can store wallet, chapstick, keys, etc as well as a small open mesh compartment good for a small water bottle or cell phone. The stroller comes with a plastic cup holder that hooks on the side, but I had a terrible time with it not staying in place (maybe I wasn't using it right?), so I gave up on it and took it off.
Finally, each seat has a little mesh pocket where you can keep stuff you want accessible to your child, such as a toy, bottle, or pacifier!
I wouldn't recommend hanging anything heavy in the back from the handles, I haven't tried and this stroller seems much sturdier than most umbrellas, but it could potentially flip the stroller backwards. If you need more storage, the SureShop bag by Hatch Things is awesome, it hangs and clips onto the side of strollers, you could even use one on each side, though it would make the stroller significantly wider when in use.
The Weight & Weight Limit:
With an in-use size of 32.25" x 30" x 42.75", the TwinGroove Ultralight weighs 26 pounds, not exactly light, but as far as double strollers go it makes good on its namesake "ultralight"! I'm 5'8" and the handles are at a very comfortable height for me, and were fine for my 5' sister-in-law, too. But here's where it rocks... each seat has a whopping 50 pound weight limit, with a total weight limit of 100 pounds!! Yessssss!!!
This part probably can't be endorsed by Joovy as I don't think they've done any testing or approved any after markets such as this, but I do want to mention that we've been using it on a daily basis for a month now to carry our 18 pound twins in the seats and pull our 38 pound 4 year old on his Englacha Junior X-Rider sit/stand board. I was nervous if it would be compatible with this, and if we would somehow break or warp the Joovy's frame, but it has been kicking butt! Another reason the Twingroove Ultralight does well pulling a ride on toddler board in my opinion is because the stroller handles are independent, so there's no across-handle to get in the way of the child when sitting or standing behind the stroller.
These are great full coverage independently operating canopies, with UV protection and (small) velcro closing plastic peekaboo windows.
I didn't realize this when we first got the stroller in January 2017, actually I didn't realize it until our first summer with it, but the 2 back flaps of the stroller (which house the cup holders and zippered pockets) can actually be flipped up over and kinda hook onto the canopies. If you do this when the seats are reclined, they get a wonderful cross breeze and it's such an amazing surprise bonus to this stroller in summer!!!
What I don't love about the Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight:
As soon as I started posting photos and professing my love for this new stroller on my social media, I got a couple of warnings from friends that it wouldn't do well in snow. I brushed them off until I tried to take it out a week ago when there were a couple of inches of fresh powder on the ground. And you know what? They were right... we didn't even make it off of our block. We were skidding around and there was no way I was going to make it up and over the mound of snow that had accumulated at the corner. Abort mission. Repeat: ABORT MISSION!!! As an umbrella stroller, the wheels are just too small and gripless to be able to do well in snow (a dusting if fine, as is relatively smooth compact snow, but that's about all it can handle). But other than that it's done well on many types of terrain, even horribly cracked sidewalks and pot-holed roads - thanks to the 3 sets of double wheels (if one set hits a hole the other 2 sets carry the stroller over without a fuss!
It also doesn't have a belly bar or snack tray as add-on options, but those are pretty standard losses in an umbrella stroller, I mean, they would take away from the compact fold! But, you can always get those velcro tethers for snack cups.
One of my favorite things about the stroller is the great view the kids have from the seat because they're not reclined deep within a pocketed seat. But, that's also a slight hazard I have found for my own very curious toddlers. It is a tight squeeze into our building's elevator and through the grocery store aisles, and there is nothing to keep their arms and legs inside the stroller. So, I have to be very vigilant, steer clear of breakables, and go slowly in and out of the elevator making sure limbs are clear.
So, who would I recommend this stroller for? Just about anyone with 2 or more kids!! It's great for twins (from infancy til they reach 50 pounds each), twins plus one or 2-3 singleton siblings (with ride-on board). It's great for travel, as a spare in the car, and even as your daily stroller! Other than the not-great-in-snow issue I mentioned above, the main thing that might make it not the best stroller for you is if you have one or two infant car seats that need to be hauled in the stroller since this does not have the ability to do so.
The Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight comes in black, grey, or turquoise (like our beaut) and can be purchased for $299.99 on their website, Amazon, and in many stores.
RAIN COVER OPTIONS:
When I originally wrote this review back in January 2017, I don't think they'd come out with a custom rain cover for the TwinGroove Ultralight yet, but I was happy with how the Manito Elegance Alpha Stroller Shield performed (see my full review on the Manito cover here). Basically, It creates a fabulously warm and cozy greenhouse in winter, protects them from the rain, has a front window that zips opens so you can hand kids snacks or give them fresh air or take kids in and out without having to remove the cover, and fits this stroller fabulously!! The only real negative, and it's a pretty big one, is that you cannot make use of the peekaboo windows when this is on, meaning you cannot see your kids. If your kids require snacks in the stroller like mine did, this can wind up being a bit risky.
In June 2017 we were sent the new TwinGroove Ultralight Rain Cover to test out and it's pretty great. My favorite point is that it's entirely see through meaning you can see your kids at all times if you keep the peekaboo top open or if you flip the back panel up over the canopy. Also, because it's made for this stroller, it's a perfect fit. And finally, it can be folded in a way (shown below) so that it sits on the stroller conveniently out of the way without you needing to fold it and put it away every time it stops raining or you run inside a shop. It velcros shut in several places meaning you can quickly unzip one side to hand your child something without having to expose them to the rain. My only negative is that while it has a velcro tie on each front corner, it wasn't enough for my escape artists (see below). Though it's tied into place they still managed to get out from under the cover. Whomp whomp. Anyway, it's still a great cover and I would say it's the best cover for this stroller as long as your kids aren't mischievous little monkeys like mine are... It retails for $49.99 on Joovy's website and Amazon.
Here's my demo video - check out the TwinGroove in action!!
If you found this post helpful, here are some others you may love by yours truly!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
I wrote a post a couple of months ago (see it here) after receiving our TwinGo Carrier. Our twins were too little to wear on the back yet, so my husband and I had been wearing it as single carriers and loving it that way. As previously mentioned, as a single baby carrier the TwinGo is very comfortable and my favorite part is the large storage pocket in the front. So, if you're running a quick errand, or if having to park the stroller and wear your baby into the play gym, let's say, you can throw your phone, wallet, and keys in the carrier and be on your way!
Now that our twins are 6 months old and sitting independently, I finally built up the courage to start tandem wearing them occasionally. The first time was for a quick 30 minute walk through the neighborhood with my toddler. Going out without our massive double stroller was exhilarating!! Having my hands free to play with my son or hold his hands was amazing. By the end of the walk, I have to admit my shoulders were aching and I was totally ready to get the girls out. But still, I was so excited to have the ability to throw them both on and go out without a stroller! And they were happy little campers all snuggled up tight with mama!
Wearing two babies definitely requires some building up of strength and endurance, there's no way around that. I try to wear my girls for at least 30 minutes twice a week so that I build my strength, can last longer, and can keep wearing them as they get bigger.
The TwinGo is hands down the best tandem carrier option out there and here's why:
The TwinGo isn't just for twins - it works well with a baby and toddler as well since each carrier is good up to 40 pounds! When tandem wearing, just wear the heavier child in back.
You can purchase a TwinGo on their website or Amazon for about $215, or try to find one secondhand in a local MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) group. Used ones usually go for about $100 but are hard to find because they're in such high demand (which is a good way to justify purchasing one new - you'll get about half of your investment back after you're done using it!)
So, what do you think?? Do you tandem wear your kids? Would you? How do you get around with your littles? Share in a comment below!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product and service free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
In celebration of our twins' half birthday, I'd like to present you with the products I deem must-haves for baby twins - the things we simply couldn't have survived without! I'll also throw in a few which may not be *essential* but are fun to add to your baby registry or splurge on if you have the budget! Ready, set, GO!!!
Twins Prep Book & Classes
"What To Do When You're Having Two" will educate you on how to eat for three and get through your pregnancy, what to expect at the birth, how to tandem breastfeed or bottle feed, create schedules, interview pediatricians and nannies, you name it!! While you're at it, check out author Natalie Diaz' awesome website, Twiniversity, and in-person and on-line twins prep classes!
Tandem Nursing / Feeding Pillow
There are 2 awesome pillows out there for tandem feeding twins. Mothers tend to be divided over preferring one over the other, so I really can't say definitively that one is better. Personally, I preferred the My Brest Friend Twins Feeding Pillow but only because I found the height of the pillow higher and better for me. The Twin Z Pillow (see my review here) is the other beloved one, especially if you have a c-section or are bottle feeding. It also doubles as a baby lounger, and has built-in back support for mama.
Newborn Twins Baby Carrier
For newborn twins, some parents are able to figure out how to tandem wear using the Moby or a woven wrap. This mama? Not so much. For me, the WeeGo Twin Carrier was a lifesaver. Seriously. (Check out my "Life With Newborn Twins" video featuring the magic of this carrier!). The WeeGo is good from 3 pounds until they're about 6 months, however I found that once they hit 10 pounds each I couldn't use it anymore. I never got it to fit right and it hung from my shoulders quite painfully... still, when both newborns were screaming and they'd been fed and changed, this was often the only thing I could do to get them both quiet and asleep!!
Tandem Baby Carrier
For older twins, or even a toddler and baby, the TwinGo Carrier is amazing!!! You can wear them as 2 separate carriers (one for mom and one for dad, let's say), or remove one set of shoulder straps and hook them together so you can wear one child on the front and one on the back. They also have great pocket storage allowing you to forgo the diaper bag! Check out my full review here.
Stroller for Twins
Strollers all have various features which may or may not be what you are looking for. Many twin parents will go with a twin snap 'n go followed by a Baby Jogger City Select, or something like that, because they get the job done and are budget-friendly. But my family had some unique requirements. Being city dwellers with a toddler, newborn twins, and no car, I needed a stroller that had infant-compatible reversible seats, and preferred side-by-side over tandem alignment. The ONLY stroller out there that fit the bill was the StrollAir MyDuo. (If you're thinking Bugaboo Donkey works, no... it's not infant compatible - you have to use the bassinet until baby is 6 months or so). Overall, we LOVE LOVE LOVE our StrollAir!!! You can use with 2 seats (good for infant or toddler), 2 car seats (with universal adapters), 2 infant bassinets, or any combination of those! You can get standard never-flat tires or upgrade to the air-filled tires for a smoother ride (what we have). It's really an amazing stroller!! We also purchased the Englacha X-Rider sit/stand toddler board which has been a GREAT add-on, and later used the Lascal BuggyBoard Maxi+ with Saddle (which doesn't have as sturdy a seat but is easier to take the seat off while out and about to use as a stand board, or to pull the whole thing up and out of the way when not needed). The StrollAir MyDuo comes with 2 plastic rain covers, but we prefer the Manito (see my review here).
Eventually, unless you plan on one giant "family bed," you will need your twins in their own separate cribs. Some choose to go straight there from day one, others wait a month, six months, a year... It's up to you! You can start them off in co-sleepers, Rock 'N Plays, sharing a crib, or whatever, but one really unique option is the Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle (see my full review here). It rocks smoothly and has the babies' heads slightly elevated (good for reflux) and when they grow out of it at around 6 months it flips to the side and becomes a storage shelf (or a fun bartender's nook as some friends advised me!!)
I prefer BB Blocks (wooden numbered blocks) for weekly and monthly photos, but Milesone Cards have a twin-specific set with cards such as "We came home today" and "We smiled at each other for the first time today" which are really fun to use and keep (if you ever find the time to put together baby books for them)! They also include a set for each individual baby because let's face it, they will hit most milestones such as rolling over, sleeping through the night, and crawling at different times.
So there you go, my must-haves for twins! As far as diapers and toys and bathtime and all that, they need pretty much the same products as a regular singleton baby. I took the advice I received at my Twiniversity prep class which was to get one of each and get a 2nd after we're home and decide we NEED another. For example, we started out with two auto-rocking Rock 'n Plays (which they slept in for the first month - we didn't know about that the twin cradle yet!), and decided after a few weeks to go ahead and get a 2nd Baby Bjorn Bouncer and Fisher Price Swing. We still have only got one exersaucer, one play mat, one Bumbo seat, and one activity seat, and I just kind of rotate them through those! We also have one baby bath because I can only bathe one at a time, HA! You will most likely eventually need two cribs, two high chairs, and if you drive, two car seats.
My final piece of advice is to search for your local Mothers of Multiples group. You can save a TON by buying all of these products used and/or selling them used after you're finished with them!! This tip and many others are offered in my article "How to prepare for having twins" - check it out!
Did I miss any great twin-related products? Do you have some I should check out for older twins? Share in a comment below!!
Published originally on Mommy Nearest
To find out you are expecting twins or super twins (triplets or more) can be the shock of a lifetime, especially if you hadn’t received any sort of fertility treatment and have no multiples in your family, as in my case. I feel that the infamous five stages of grief can be flexibly applied to the kind of whirlwind emotional journey that I (and probably most) go through after receiving the news. For me, it went something like this:
Stage 1: Denial
The morning sickness and other signs of pregnancy may start earlier and be much more intense. You chalk it up to every pregnancy being different and just brush it off. But when your OB places that wand on your belly or up your hoo-ha for the first ultrasound and announces, “There are TWO babies!!” it’s pretty hard for your first reaction to be anything but denial. My exact words were something like, “WHAT!??! NO!!!! WHAT?!! ARE YOU SURE!?? HOW!? WHAT??,” followed by dozens of expletives. There must be a mistake, a malfunction of the machine where it’s seeing double images. In the words of David After Dentist, “Is this real life!?!???”
Related: How To Prepare for Having Twins
State 2: Anger
The next stage might be brief, but a bit of anger is likely to be lashed out. First, at the poor dear operating the sonogram. I believe I half-jokingly blurted out something along the lines of, “I kind of hate you right now!” The next stream of anger might be directed at your partner (“How could you do this to me with your super sperm!??!”) or even yourself.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Some thoughts that passed through my mind, ever so briefly...
If only we’d waited a bit longer to get pregnant, maybe it would have been a singleton or at least our first child would be a bit older and this would be easier to deal with!
Maybe we should give one away to a family member who can't have kids. Or… we could sell one?? (Note: we did joke about these two options but the were *never* actually on the table for us.)
Stage 4: Depression
I wouldn’t go so far as to say a confirmation of twins will lead to any sort of depression, but it definitely can bring on many negative thoughts and anxieties that are only increased by turning to Google, as we all do, of course! My initial reaction, while still laying on the examination table looking at the two sacks and beans on the sonogram screen, was pretty in line with “HOW can we DO this??” A toddler and two newborns, in our tiny Brooklyn co-op?? Physically, emotionally, and financially, it just didn't seem possible!! Our world had just turned upside down and it’s terrifying. Then, you get home and go straight to Google where you’re overwhelmed with terms like “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, “Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome”, and all the statistics of your increased risk for preterm labor, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc. It can be overwhelming and frightening.
Stage 5: Acceptance (and JOY!!)
After about a week of insomnia, tossing and turning with worries over the logistics of having twins, I finally reached the stage of acceptance. And not just acceptance, actual joy and excitement! With the help of books such as When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads and What To Do When You're Having Two, and amazing Facebook groups such as Private Page of National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, it’s very easy to get both informed and empowered. Twins and super twins are so incredibly special and we were thrilled to be joining the very small club of families with multiples!! With none in either of our families, it felt like an honor to provide such a unique and exciting change in family dynamics for all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I kneww the road would not be an easy one: the pregnancy could be tough (thankfully it wasn't too bad!), taking care of a toddler and two newborn babies would be a challenge, and money would be a struggle (for the next 21 years or so!!). But it will all be worth it and it’s going to be an amazing ride!
How did you handle the news of a multiples pregnancy? Or how would you? Share in a comment below!
Need an instant mood booster? The following 2 videos of our 5 month old twins laughing is the cure for what ails you!!
I was doing dishes the other night and heard some thumping around and crazy baby giggles. I rushed into the living room, with my camera of course, to capture big brother entertaining the heck out of his sisters! How cute!!?!
Here's some fun I captured on our vacation in Mexico. Daddy doesn't get a lot of time with the kids at home, so it was really nice to see him bonding with them during our trip. It doesn't get much better than baby tickles, giggles, and cackles!!
Originally posted on Mommy Nearest (since edited) on 3/10/2015
As soon as I found out I was having twins, I became more or less obsessed with understanding everything I could about twins and twin pregnancy. Thanks to great books, Facebook support groups, and Google, here are some of the crazy, cool, and scary things I learned and am happy to pass on to you! Enjoy!!
1. Factors that increase your chance of conceiving twins
Besides IVF and fertility drugs, there are many other factors that increase your chances at having twins. Fraternal twins often run in families because of a gene causing hyperovulation (releasing more than one egg per cycle). Fraternal twins can "skip a generation" because boys don't ovulate, of course, but they'll pass the gene on to their daughters! A mother who is a fraternal twin herself has a four times higher chance of producing twins.
Other factors include advanced maternal age (moms over 30 have more chance for twins), height (taller women have more insulin-like growth factor <IGF>, which results in increased sensitivity of the ovaries), breastfeeding (moms who are breastfeeding when they get pregnant are 9 times more likely to conceive twins, due to elevated IGF levels, and even moms who have weaned but nursed for at least 20 months will have a higher chance of twins), and diet (women who consume dairy may be up to 5 times more likely to conceive twins than a vegan, arguably because cows are given synthetic growth hormones and produce IGF, which is released into their milk).
So, there you have it! You want twins? Do all of the above and you might just get them!! As for me, I had age, height, dairy, and extended breastfeeding (and had only weaned 2 months prior to conception) going for me and didn't even know it. Whoops!
2. The rate of identical twins is universal.
It's not effected by race, nationality, or genetics, and is about 1 in 285 births. Identical twins supposedly do not run in families (though some families with them in each generation will argue BS here), and they are much less common than fraternal twins. There are theories that there is a genetic factor in sperm that can increase the chances of the fertilized egg splitting, but nothing has been proven just yet.
3. Twins have been shown interacting in the womb at as early as 14 weeks.
4. Timing is everything!
Identical twins are the result of one egg splitting post-fertilization, but the timing of the split determines if the twins will each have their own sacs and placentas (split on day 1-3, called di/di twins - the lowest risk), share a placenta (split on day 4-8, called mo/di twins - higher risk), share an amniotic sac *and* placenta (split on day 8-13, called mo/mo twins - quite high risk), or be conjoined (split on day 13-15 - extremely high risk) - the latter of which is of course the most rare, only 1 in 200,000 births.
5. Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)
TTTS can occur when identical twins share a placenta, when one twin is getting more nutrients and blood volume than the other. It can happen at any point in the pregnancy and can result in the death of one or both twins, and is thus a huge concern for parents and caregivers. There are treatments available, so frequent exams and ultrasounds are necessary to keep an eye on the situation.
6. How do you know if twins are identical or fraternal?
For one, if they are boy/girl they are fraternal (well, actually there can be identical boy/girl twins but this is EXTREMELY rare). If they share a placenta or amniotic sac, they are identical (unless they had two placentas that fused together, which can happen but isn't too common). Other than that, you’ll have to wait until they're born to take a look at them. However, fraternal twins may *look* identical, and "identical" twins don't always look *exactly* the same, so the only way to be sure is to do the Zygosity genetic testing (which we did - read about it here), which is via a simple swab of the cheek. Knowing whether twins are identical or fraternal is not just to satisfy your curiosity, it can help you be prepared for certain health conditions identical twins would share, or warning your kids that they are likely to have twins of their own!
7. Same Same but Different…
Identical twins have nearly the same DNA (99.9% identical) and almost nearly identical brain wave patterns, but different fingerprints and teeth marks. They can also have subtle differences resulting from how they were squished in the womb, such as different head shape, or their size may be dramatically different due to nutritional differences resulting from TTTS.
8. Twins have a higher rate of left-handedness.
22% of twins are southpaws as opposed to 10% of singletons.
9. Did you eat your twin?
An estimated 1 in 8 pregnancies begins with twins with only 1 in 70 actually producing twins, thanks to “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, where one of the babies doesn’t survive. This is usually quite early on and the embryo is reabsorbed by the mother’s body or by the surviving twin, causing no issues for the remainder of the pregnancy. So, it’s quite possible that you had twins for the first few weeks of your pregnancy and never even knew it! For others who already had twins diagnosed, only to find out later there’s just one remaining baby, it can be devastating news. Rightfully so, it’s something every mother carrying multiples worries about until they are all delivered safely.
10. "Full Term” is Relative.
50% of twins are born before 37 weeks gestation, which is considered “full-term” for twins, and most practitioners will induce by 38 weeks (the risk of still birth goes up significantly after this point for twins). The average birth weight for twins is just 5 pounds 5 ounces (as opposed to the robust 7 pound 7 ounce average singleton).
I feel so lucky our girls made it to 39 weeks 6 days before we were finally induced and had a beautiful safe vaginal delivery (read about it here). Our girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces.
11. Twins can have different birthdays.
While extremely rare, it’s possible to birth one twin days, weeks, or even months before the other! The current record is twins born 87 days apart (the first twin was born 4 months premature).
12. Twinning highs and lows.
Nigeria has the highest rate of multiple births (4%), whereas China has the lowest (about 1.1%, though it should be noted that they waive the one-child-policy in the case of multiples, which are just counted as a single birth). The rate in the US is about 3% of births.
13. Baby A / Baby B
Baby A refers to the twin located lower in the womb with Baby B being higher. For higher order multiples, the lettering of babies continues for all in order of their closeness to the cervix.
14. Twins put you in the “high risk” category but don’t necessarily mean a Cesarian Section.
Many practitioners will agree to try for a vaginal birth if Baby A is head down and larger than Baby B. Once Baby A is born, Baby B should be able to be born in any position or a practitioner may try to manipulate them into a head down position. Most hospitals and doctors will require you to deliver in the OR, just in case you need an emergency c-section for the second baby (the dreaded "double whammy" birth and recovery).
15. The average time between delivery of the first and second twin is 17 minutes. (Mine were 6 minutes apart).
16. Many parents worry about telling their identical newborns apart.
If there’s no easy distinguishing factor (such as size, birthmarks, cowlicks, or moles), some take to painting a toenail in an identifying color, using infant-safe jewelry, or color coding wardrobes. Also, once the umbilical cords fall off, their belly buttons can be a giveaway.
17. Polar bears most commonly birth twins (and very rarely singletons or triplets).
18. About 25% of identical twins are “Mirror Image Twins”.
This means they are exact reflections of one another. For example, if one has a freckle under the left eye, the other’s freckle will be under the right eye, cowlicks will run in opposite directions, etc.
19. Polar Body / Half Identical Twins
These are the result of one egg that split, and then each half became fertilized by different sperm. They will share 75% of their DNA - which is more than regular siblings or fraternal twins but less than identical twins.
20. Healthier moms have twins?
A study in the Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that focused on mothers in the 1800’s suggests “Twins could be an evolutionary adaptation in which healthy moms take the chance to pass on double their genes at once.”
21. Twins can have different fathers!
It’s extremely rare, but let’s say the women releases more than one egg and goes on to have intercourse with two different men in her window of peak fertility… boom… fraternal twins with different dads!! And a whole lotta explaining to do! HA!
22. Twins can be different races!
Fraternal twins (i.e. two eggs that got fertilized separately) can look identical or completely different, even black and white. It’s basically a genetic roll of the dice which genes each baby will receive from mom and dad. Fraternal twins are no more alike than any siblings, they just happened to share a womb and birthday.
23. 40% of twins develop their own language.
Sounds cool (and is super cute, have you seen this viral video!?, but actually this can happen when any similarly aged babies are around each other a lot and developing language skills at the same rate. This made-up language usually disappears once the children learn the real language that allows them to communicate with others.
24. If two sets of identical twins married each other...
Their children would technically be cousins but the cousins would have the same genetic closeness as actual siblings. Mind. Blown!!!
25. Celebrities with twin siblings:
Scarlett Johansson has a twin brother, Kiefer Sutherland has a twin sister, Ashton Kutcher has a fraternal twin brother with cerebral palsy, Gisele Bundchen has a fraternal twin sister, Napoleon Dynamite (aka Jon Heder) has an identical twin brother, Isabella Rossallini has a fraternal twin sister, Alanis Morissette has a twin brother, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are fraternal twin sisters, Vin Diesel has a twin brother, and Tia and Tamera Mowry are identical twin sisters (though they didn’t find out til they took the test at 35 years old!).
26. Celebrity parents of twins:
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon, Celine Dion & Rene Angelil, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony, Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick, Ricky Martin (via surrogate), Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O'Connell, Julie Bowen, Holly Robinson & Rodney Peete, Marcia Cross (via IVF), Elsa Pataky & Chris Hemsworth, Lisa Marie Presley, Jon & Kate Gosselin, Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra, Diana Krall & Elvis Costello, Zoe Saldana & Marco Perego, Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka, and Sarah Shahi & Steve Howey.
27. There is a Twins Day celebration held in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Pretty awesome, huh? Did I miss anything crazy, cool, or scary about twins? Are you a twin, parent of twins, or hoping to be? Share in a comment below! And don't miss this post about how to prepare for having twins!!
Our twins are di/di (they had two sacs and two placentas - the lowest risk for twins). With di/di twins, many docs and ultrasound technicians (including 2 of mine!) erroneously announce to parents as a matter of factly that they're fraternal. The truth is, if di/di twins are the same sex and blood type, there's only one way to know for sure that they are fraternal: a genetic test!
Actually, 30% of di/di twins are identical, or monozygotic. Here's the timeline of how the different types of identical twins happen: If the fertilized egg splits early enough, in the first 3 days, the babies will go on to develop their own sacs and placentas (di/di twins). If it splits in the next couple of days, they'll have their own sacs but share a placenta (called mono/di). If the split happens in the next few days they'll share a sac and placenta (called mono/mono, which is very high risk). And if the split happens later they will be conjoined twins (extremely rare and dangerous). There are some other interesting things that can happen. For example the egg could split before being fertilized, which results in "half twins". And it can also happen that the two placentas of fraternal twins fuse, making it appear that they share a placenta, in which case they could wrongly be assumed to be identical. Phew! This stuff is crazy complicated, right!??
Anyway, back to our story! When our girls were born, they did look different. They had different skin tone, slightly different facial features, and different colored and textured hair. However, they shared the same blood type and eye color, so we weren't 100% they were fraternal. As the months have passed, some things have gotten more similar and others more different. Right now, Mia has brown eyes and Emi hazel. Their hair is now pretty much the same brown color but Mia has a lot more of it (probably because I picked Emi's cradle cap out along with lots of hair, whoops!)
From what I've read and heard, even "identical" twins can have many differences that result from differences in environment in the womb, and slight genetic changes that can happen after the egg splits. Sometimes they end up with different head shapes, birth marks, hair color, etc! So, every time someone asked us if our girls were identical or fraternal, my answer of "fraternal, we're pretty sure" annoyed myself and probably the inquisitor.
I knew I couldn't live with this uncertainty. I just had to KNOW FOR SURE, you know?? I'd heard about the zygosity test in my Facebook twins group and went ahead and ordered the test through Affiliated Genetics (check out their YouTube video which explains twins and the genetic test really well). It was pretty straight forward. You get some swabs and rub the inside of each baby's cheeks and under the tongue and then press on a grid that absorbs the liquid and cells - you have to do this 4 times per baby (luckily the girls didn't protest).
We mailed in the tests and then the hard part... waiting! It took just over 2 weeks but finally the results came. Drum roll please....
OUR TWINS ARE FRATERNAL!!!!!
Without getting too technical (because I don't really understand it much myself), they looked at 15 different STR markers in their DNA and noted whether they were discordant or concordant. Our girls were only concordant on 4 of the 15!!! So, the results were without a doubt that they are dizygotic (fraternal). We're not a bit surprised, but are thrilled to finally know for sure and be able to answer with certainty the bazillion times a day we get asked! HA!!
But it's not just out of curiosity that parents and kids should know their twin status... if twins are monozygotic, it's very likely they will share most medical issues. They will also be an exact blood and organ donor match for each other. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, are no more similar than any siblings (siblings who just happened to share a womb and birthday). They will have an increased chance / risk (depends how you look at it LOL) for having fraternal twins themselves, though! That's because hyperovulation can be genetic and passed down (it "skips" generations with sons, since they don't ovulate obviously, but they will pass the gene down to their girls).
There are other things that increase your risk of ovulating more than one egg at a time, including IVF and fertility drugs, but also the following (which were all in play for me): increased maternal age (the eggs are having a going out of business sale and jumping ship 2 or 3 at a time), being a dairy drinker/eater, being tall, and practicing extended breastfeeding or having recently weaned. Because my husband and I have ZERO history of twins on either side of our families, it's not likely my hyperovulation was genetic, but it's possible I've started the trend. We'll see! Maybe I'll get a whole bunch of twin grandbabies in about 30 years!!! How fun!
Now that we've gotten our feet wet with this whole genetic testing thing, I'm really interested in doing an ancestral / ethnicity test for all 5 of us. It breaks down what percents you are (again, noooooo idea how this actually works, but I love the idea of it!). Our son Kenzo looks pretty much half Asian and half caucasian, but our girls don't look very Asian at all (yet?). It would be really interesting to see if their blood shows them as not having gotten much of the Japanese DNA! Maybe my husband would like to throw in a paternity test while we're at it, LOL!!!!
Here are some related posts you may enjoy:
We're Pregnant... With Twins!!!
How To Prepare for Having Twins
My Positive Twin Birth Story
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product and service free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
As soon as you discover you're having twins, you start googling... How big will I get? How much should i eat? Will I have to get a c-section? What will my belly look like after twins? Well, for the latter question, one catch phrase comes up again and again... TWIN SKIN!
Twin skin is basically saggy wrinkly skin that will never bounce back to its former taught self, no matter how much weight you lose or how many crunches you do. Not every twin mom will get twin skin. Some moms will bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies in a split second, without a stretch mark or ounce of fluff to show for it. Good for them... but most of us are not quite so lucky.
Some of the unluckier moms will even end up with Diastis Recti, which is a permanent separation of the abdominal muscles. The abs separate during pregnancy, but in some cases, especially multiples pregnancies, the muscles never go back together. This can leave you looking 6 months pregnant for... forever! A physical therapist can guide you through certain exercises that may or may not help, some only find a fix with surgery. On the bright side, they can couple that with a tummy tuck - et voila beautiful belly (minus the hip to hip scar, that is).
We're all so excited to watch our bellies grow through the pregnancy, I even made a stop-motion video about it!
But the belly that remains after your little ones are delivered is not quite so exciting. For the first month or so, you still look very much pregnant. I remember being on the elevator one week postpartum and my neighbor asking in disbelief, "You haven't had them yet!?" Ugh. I nearly socked her!
The fact is, it takes a while for your very overstretched uterus to shrink back, and all the extra fluid and bloating to ease away. But sure enough, little by little your belly disappears, leaving small reminders of the amazing journey your body has been through to carry and birth two beautiful miracles. So, yes. I have twin skin. I have stretch marks. But you know what? I'll take 'em, because I also have the most amazing little twin girls in the world!! And on top of that, my squishy pug-like belly provides endless amusement for my toddler. HA!
Have you learned to embrace your postpartum body, or are you struggling to come to terms with it? Share in a comment below!
UPDATED April 18, 2017!!!
I've been using Nerium Firming Body Contour Cream nightly for 3 months now, it's made a pretty dramatic difference on my twin skin!! It's not gone, but definitely better! I waited until 15 months postpartum, down to pre-pregnancy weight, so my body did all it could do naturally. No more weight to lose, haven't been working out, and still have about a 1-2 finger gap in my diastasis recti. I didn't edit the pix. It's a true before and after, with only the cream at work. Pretty cool, huh? I got my cream free for review, but you can reach out to the rep to try out her Nerium goods here!
Sometimes a stroller isn't allowed or appropriate. Sometimes you want the freedom (and cuddles) that babywearing provides. Lucky for us there are TONS of babywearing options out there, from wraps to slings to mei tais and soft structured carriers (SSC's). But what about tandem babywearing, i.e. wearing two babies at once? We just got our hands on a carrier that, in my opinion, blows all other tandem wearing options out of the window. I give you, the TwinGo!!
The TwinGo carrier is a 2-in-1 SSC that works together or apart. This means, for example, mom and dad can each wear one baby, or one caregiver can wear one child on the front and one on the back! What makes the TwinGo really stand apart from its competitors is that you can remove one set of shoulder straps when wearing the front and back configuration, cutting out a lot of unneeded bulk!
On our maiden voyage with the TwinGo, my husband and I each wore one of our twins in the front carry position... for 6 hours straight (only breaking for boob and diaper time)!!
At almost 4 months, they're weighing in at about 14 pounds a piece and by the end of the day we were relieved to take them off but in no way, shape, or form would I say it was painful for anyone. The TwinGo shoulder and waist straps are well padded and designed in a way to distribute the weight extremely well, and the carrier holds the baby from knee to knee, which is ergonomic for their hips and spine.
Some features that really stand out to me as exceptionally awesome include:
Here's a quick demo of how the carrier unfolds out of its own pocket. This was my first time and you can see how genuinely impressed I was, haha!!
The TwinGo can accommodate a total of 70 pounds in tandem mode, or up to 45 pounds in single carrier mode. Because you cannot wear a child in the back carry configuration until they are at least 4 months old and have good head neck control (and many babywearers would suggest waiting til they can sit independently), our babies are not quite ready for this mode!! But, I have a feeling I will be rocking that setup a LOT!!
We haven't worn our toddler in over a year, so I don't think wearing him in this carrier will be something we start doing now (it's a different case if you start when they're little and your body strengthens as they grow), but just to test it out I threw him on in the back and one of the babies in the front. It actually wasn't that bad!! As I mentioned above, the TwinGo is well padded and designed to distribute weight across your hips. So in a pickle (like if we were out and my toddler just couldn't possibly walk any more, I could totally make this happen!
Looking at the photo below, I'm horrified to see that I didn't have my baby situated in there correctly - she was a bit askew with one leg not pulled out all the way. BUT, this is a great time to mention there is an extra safety strap that buckles in place for the child in the "attachment" carrier when tandem wearing (the safety strap is built into the shoulder straps for the "base" carrier and also the "attachment" carrier when wearing it solo). So, god forbid I actually went on my merry way without realizing my baby wasn't seated correctly, the safety strap should keep her from slipping out the side... So YAY for safety measures, and a good reminder that practicing at home with a spotter is key, as is always triple checking every time that everyone is in there safely before you take off! TwinGo's instructions include great visuals and flagged safety checks to confirm that you have it on correctly, and don't miss their "how to" demo for the dual carry!
Stay tuned for my review of tandem babywearing our twins in the TwinGo, coming in a month or two! In the meantime, you can check out TwinGo and if you like, buy it on their site or on Amazon (for about $215).
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC mom blogger, Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel, product reviews & giveaways, galore!