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Elsabe's Story (Part 1): Having Twins

Finding out that you are having twins or higher multiples when you expected only one baby is a great blessing. It can also mean spending more time and energy on preparing yourself and the surroundings for twins arrival. Here is how one mom did it.

Elsabe is a proud mother of three kids: a boy (6) and twin girls (almost 3). She is my hero for being able to multi-task and find time for being a mother, owning an e-business (Nurture Through Touch) and sharing her story with Breastfeeding Quest.

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Elsabe and her family live in South Africa. After graduating from high school Elsabe studied at the Professional Child Care College and planned on studying Midwifery and Neonatology.

When she had her first baby-boy Jayden, she decided to stay home with him. “Having children and letting someone else raise them made no sense to me” – Elsabe says.

Jayden was a preschooler, when Elsabe got pregnant again. This time she was having twins!

Having twins and a preschooler

I asked Elsabe what her take on mothering multiples was prior to finding out she was having twins.  And I find her reply particularly cute:

Hubby had joked about twins when we tried to conceive the second time around. It started with a name he liked for a girl (of course hoping for a girl after having a boy already)... Tammy. When I learned it meant "twin" I said no way, I only want one baby at a time thank you very much. It became a teasing game with his parents too. And for some weird reason even our GP who removed the Mirena greeted us that day saying good luck, hope you'll be blessed with twins. My reply again, as always, thanks but no thanks, one baby at a time for me. Wahaha, all laughing, big joke and out we went. I kept saying no to every person teasing, because I honestly didn't think I'd be able to handle twins. The thought scared me to death.

Surely enough... that first ultrasound showed not one, but two growing babies. Shocked does not even begin to describe my feelings!

Elsabe was also very kind to answer other questions I asked:

1. What was your first reaction when you found out you were pregnant with twins?

I was in utter shock. I actually started laughing and crying at the exact same time. Poor doctor asked if I was happy or not, even he was confused!

2. What was your number one concern in preparation for having twins?

How on earth will I handle two babies and a toddler on my own?!

Throughout my pregnancy I would wake up at night from feeling them move or kick. At first I'd love the sensation, then I'd realize there are two babies in there and then I'd go into a complete panic (sometimes literally struggling to breathe) thinking I can't raise two babies plus a toddler. And just the logistics of going from one kid to THREE. Everything just seemed so overwhelming.

3. What were the first two weeks after delivery like?

The first two weeks were actually the easiest of all. But that was because Hubby was on paternity leave and our family made turns to come visit and meet the babies, so I had lots of help and extra sets of hands in the first two weeks.

Reality set in after everyone had to return to their lives and Hubby to work. Suddenly I was thrown into the deep end having to take care of three kids all day with no help. (Our family lives 3 hours drive away from us, so regular visits don't happen). Hubby helped with whatever he could whenever he was home - he's the hands on type of Dad. But for the biggest part of every day it was, still is, all on me.

Elsabe's baby-girls - Tammy and Alizah - were born at 35 weeks and 1 day. By breastfeeding, increasing skin-to-skin contact, nurturing through touch and with no supplements at all, Elsabe’s twin babies were gaining weight steadily and are now thriving, active and very cute toddlers!

Also read Elsabe's Story (Part 2): Breastfeeding Twins Basics.

There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.



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