California girl living in a Texas world. Lover of Jesus, wife to my handsome hubby Austin, and soon to be mother of twin girls. My hope is that this blog inspires moms and fellow moms-to-be to live a life full of adventure, style and joy.
Planning for a baby can be overwhelming. Planning for two babies can sometimes feel insane, but I promise it is not as hard as you may think. The day after we found out we were having twins, Austin Googled “How many diapers do twins use in a month?” If you estimate 10-12 diapers per day per baby – that makes 24 diapers a day – 168 diapers a week – 720 diapers a month. The thought of that many diapers is enough to make your head spin. Thankfully there is Amazon Subscribe&Save that not only ships diapers to your door, but offers the best price. Plus, now that the girls are older, we only go through a total of 12-14 diapers per day.
I wanted to wait to write this post until Emma and Olivia were a little older so I could give my honest opinion on what you truly need. Remember, not everything has to be new – your babies certainly won’t care and your bank account will thank you. We found great deals at Mothers of Multiples garage sales, Facebook Mom Groups and had wonderful friends who let us borrow or have some of their baby equipment and clothes.
You are going to go through a TON of diapers, but it is not as bad as you may think. Through Amazon Subscribe&Save, we typically spend less than $100 per month on diapers and wipes. Since you will have less space in your nursery because of two cribs, I recommend having your dresser double as a changing table. It saves space and the top drawer works well for holding supplies.
Diapers – I know people say to stalk up on diapers, but unless you receive them as a gift, I would hold off on buying too many because you don’t know what will work for your babies. We received tons of Pampers, but they gave our girls diaper rash so we had to switch to Huggies Little Snugglers. Huggis OverNite diapers are a must once your twins start sleeping through the night.
Wipes – To avoid diaper rash, we only use Pampers Sensitive Wipes. Our friend, who is a pediatrician, recommended these wipes and our girls have been relatively rash free since switching to them.
Diaper Cream – We have tried several different creams. Depending on the type of rash, our pediatrician recommended either Aquaphor or Lotrimin followed by A+D Ointment, but as always, I recommend checking with your pediatrician on what is best to use.
Wipe Warmer – At first I was not going to use a wipe warmer because I did not think it was necessary and did not want the girls to get upset when we were out without one. After several weeks of traumatic diaper changes, I started using the wipe warmer and we were all much happier. Good news is they don’t seem to mind regular wipes when we are out. A little storage tip, we cut a hole in the back of the dresser for the cord and placed the wipe warmer in the top drawer of their dresser to eliminate cords lying around.
Changing Pad – This is a great option that sits on top of your dresser.
Changing Pad Cover (2) – The changing pad is plastic, so this cover makes it softer. If your twins are prone to accidents, you can throw this additional cover on top of it so you don’t have to wash the whole pad every time they have an accident.
Ubbi Diaper Pail – I know it seems a bit expensive, but I guarantee it is worth the splurge. The steel locks in the odor MUCH better than plastic and you can use any standard kitchen trash bag so you end up saving money. Plus they come in lots of fun colors.
Diaper Bag – This bag is a great size for daily use. I know you may think you want a larger diaper bag, but that will be a lot to carry around if you are running errands or going to dinner. I purchased some of these wipe holders to keep in it. I also have seen some cute backpack options like this one.
Crib (2) – At first, your twins will be small enough to sleep in the same crib, but soon enough, they will need their own space. We love this one from Pottery Barn. You can read more about it in this post.
Mattress pad cover (3-4) – We only have 3 and this has worked fine because we have yet to have two blowouts at once. It is smart to always have at least one spare so you are not left with nothing to use while you clean the dirty one.
Sheets (2 sets) – I would purchase two sets of sheets so you have a clean one on hand if there is an accident because sometimes you just don’t have time to do laundry right away. We purchased a set from Pottery Barn and this one.
Crib Skirt (2) – While not necessary, a crib skirt allows you to hide boxes under the cribs.
HALO Sleep Sacks (4) – These are what our hospital used and make swaddling so much easier. We still put the girls in them every time they go down for a nap or to bed at night. I think it now helps signal that its time to sleep.
Muslin Swaddles (4-6) – At the beginning we had to wrap the girls in sleep sacks and then swaddle them to make sure they stayed warm at night. Once they got a little bigger, we could skip the swaddling step but these blankets work great on the floor or for a light layer in the car seat or stroller. We love the Aden + Anais swaddles.
Pacifiers (8) – We like the WubbaNub and AVENT ones best. Some babies like pacis and others don’t, so I would not buy too many until you you’re sure your twins like them.
Pack ‘n Play (1-2) – For the first 8 weeks, the girls slept in our room at night. We loved this twin Pack ‘n Play and the girls could fit in the bassinets until they were 8 months. We now use a second pack ‘n play from a friend when we travel since they are too big to sleep in the same one.
Baby Monitor – We wanted a video baby monitor with two cameras that would not use our home’s Wi-Fi for safety reasons. We heard good things about the Summer Infant Side by Side Split Screen and have been very pleased. This is the updated version of the monitor we have. The primary difference seems to be that it has a better color picture.
Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play (1) – We only used this for the first 8 weeks when the girls were still sleeping in our room. We mainly would use it if one of the girls woke up in the middle of the night and would not go back to sleep. You want to make sure you don’t use it too often or you risk your baby getting a flat head. This would be a great item to borrow from a friend.
Fisher-Price Swing (1) – We received this as a hand-me-down from a friend. At first I was hesitant to use it because I did not want the girls to get flat heads or it to become a sleep crutch. However, we went through several months where one of the girls would always wake up earlier from their naps than the other. We would place the one who woke up early in the swing and they would either fall back asleep or stay entertained until the other girl woke up. Now the girls think it is a special treat if they get to sit in the swing for a few minutes while I get their bath ready or clean their high chairs.
Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed your twins, it is a lot of work, especially in those first few months. I promise it does get better! At first, our feeds would last 1 – 1.5 hours but now are done in 10-15 minutes.
Boppy Pillow (2) – I found the best way to nurse the girls was to stack two boppy pillows on top of each other. I am fairly long-waisted so maybe if you are shorter, one will work. I tried the My Best Friend Twin Nursing Pillow but there was too much space between the pillow and my body and it was a little big for our rocker. You can find lots of cute covers for your Boppy Pillows on Etsy.
Burp Rags (12) – I find cloth diapers work best, but you can always get a few cute ones for when you are out. I like these ones from Aden + Anais.
Bottles (4) – If you are breastfeeding, I would still purchase several bottles for when you decide to pump and feed your twins. The only bottles that work for us are the ComoTomo ones. They come with the medium flow nipple so make sure you order the slow flow nipple. I thought it was crazy when people said your baby would decide what bottle works for them, but they were right. With every other bottle, the girls would spill all over. I have heard the Tommee Tippee and Dr. Brown’s are other bottles that people like. Make sure you get a bottle brush for cleaning. We just use the brush and some Dawn dish soap to clean bottles and pumping parts.
Breast Pump – Check to see if your health insurance provides you with a breast pump, most will. I received a Medela Pump from mine and have been pleased with it. If you will be pumping exclusively or feel the pump from insurance is not sufficient, you can ask your pediatrician to write you a prescription for a hospital grade pump which is more efficient. Since you will produce more milk with twins, I would order both 8 oz. and 5 oz. bottles to pump into. You also can order extra pumping parts so you do not need to wash parts every time you pump. Medela milk storage bags and wipes are also a must. Some storage bags let you pump directly into them, which is a great option and keeps you from having to wash as many pumping parts.
Pumping Bra – Funny story about this bra. My brother, Brian, saw it on my registry and gave it to me as a joke for Christmas. It has probably been my most used baby gift:)
Nursing Bras – In my opinion, it is not worth getting a nursing bra with twins. It is pretty difficult to discreetly nurse two babies and just easier to take everything off. Also, you will most likely need the support of a real bra if you produce enough milk for two babies. Sports bras with an underwire that close in the front have been a great option.
I LOVE traditions! It doesn’t matter how big or small. My parents always made Christmas such a special time for my brothers and me, so I knew I wanted to do the same for the girls. Now I know they won’t remember anything from this year, but that is ok because we still have lots of great pictures to show then.
For me, Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. On this day, it is socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas music 24/7. The Pandora “Christmas” station is on in our house the majority of the waking hours of the day. We took a trip to Magnolia Market to check out all their Christmas decorations. Olivia picked up a wreath ornament made of jingle bells before we even realized it. Both she and Emma were so excited about it that we got one for each as their first ornament.
Growing up we always had an artificial Christmas tree, but when Austin and I got married, I insisted on a live Christmas tree. Going to get our tree was a bit of an adventure this year. We started at Home Depot like we usually do, but they had hardly any trees, which was a shocker to us. While I Googled “where to buy a Christmas tree in College Station”, some new loud noises made Emma start crying hysterically which then made Olivia cry. Thankfully I found a tree lot just down the street, and we hurried out to our car as fast as we could. Side note to anyone looking for a Christmas tree in College Station, save yourself the hassle and just go directly to the Farm Patch Christmas Tree lot on University Dr. I think we may have looked a little disheveled walking into the tree lot carrying two babies with swollen red eyes from crying because the kind manager came up to us right away to give us a run-down of the lot. We were in and out in 15 minutes with a gorgeous tree! After the girls went to bed that night, we put on Christmas music and started decorating so the girls could be in for a Christmas surprise in the morning. We opened our family Christmas jammies from Burt’s Bees that night to kickoff the Christmas season.
Christmas Cards are another tradition I love about the holidays. I look forward to both sending and receiving cards. We leave all our friends’ and family’s Christmas card photos up well into the spring. The girls love sitting by the door where we hang them, just studying all the pictures. One of Austin’s classmates is an excellent photographer and took some family photos for us this year. Trying to capture two 8-month-old twins is no small feat, but he succeeded and I can confidently say this was our cutest card yet. For the last few years, I have used Mixbook to create our card because they offer great customization options for a good price.
I had to be in Dallas for work the first week of December and Austin had exams, so my parents met me to help with the girls. We stayed at the Four Seasons – Las Colinas, which was decorated impeccably for Christmas. The girls LOVED the huge tree in the lobby. Since my parents were going to be in California for Christmas, they gave the girls a little Christmas present each night. It was so fun to see them excited over the wrapping paper and then realize there was even something else underneath it. When I was little, my grandma started the tradition of giving me an ornament each year. My mom carried on the tradition with the girls by getting them an ornament too. Before my mom left, we visited Highland Park Village, which puts thousands of lights in all their trees. The girls were in complete awe of all the sparkly lights.
Another Christmas tradition is putting up Christmas lights on the house and driving around on “sleigh rides” to look at the lights in the neighborhood. The day we put up the lights, it was still 75 degrees out so the girls and I decided to give Austin moral support by sitting on a blanket on the front lawn. At night, we flipped on the lights and pulled the girls outside to see them all. By the look of amazement on their faces, I would say they approved. College Station in general goes all out for Christmas. They even decorate a park called Central Park in over a million lights during the holidays. One night we bundled the girls up in their stroller and took a walk through the park to see them all. We also took multiple strolls around our neighborhood with Christmas music playing from my phone to look at the lights. The girls would yell and squeal for their favorite houses.
Browsing through Pinterest before the girls were born, I always came across the cutest twin costumes. However, when it came time to actually choose their first Halloween costume, I was stuck. Everything that I remembered either was still too old for them or just did not seem right.
In preparation for Halloween and still working through the costume dilemma, we took these adorable “Pinterest Inspired” pumpkin pictures. A few tips if you want to attempt these pictures and not end up with a “Pinterest Fail”.
Make sure your baby is fed and still at least an hour out from naptime.
Don’t carve the hole at the top of the pumpkin too large.
Stuff blankets in the base of the pumpkin to make it more comfortable.
Have at least one other person around to help make your baby/babies smile and look the right direction.
Feed your baby squash baby food at least a few days before to ensure they are not allergic. It is inevitable that they will start chewing on the pumpkin.
We did not do this, but I heard you can blow hot air from a hair dryer on the inside of the pumpkin to help warm it up.
“Pinterest Fail” for you
Now back to the costume dilemma. I went back and forth, which is really quite silly considering they have no idea they are even dressing up, until I settled on bumble bees. To be honest, the real reason I chose this costume is because it was on sale from Toys ‘R Us and looked cute online. At first I thought I was going to have them be little chickens and turn our stroller into a chicken coop. However, DIY costumes really add up, not to mention the time it would take. I also came across an easy beekeeper costume made from a painters suit, jungle hat and netting – I was sold. Austin and I could be beekeepers and the girls bumble bees.
Well, it rained for the girls’ first Halloween so we did not end up going Trick-or-Treating, We did still put them in their costumes to help hand out candy to the dedicated kids that came out in the rain. To be honest they probably preferred this and had more fun playing with the bags of Skittles than if they were sitting in a stroller.
For you other twin mama’s out there, here are few other twin costumes I came across that were adorable.
I love to celebrate…it doesn’t matter the occasion or season! Before we had the girls, I dragged Austin along with all of my holiday traditions and thankfully, he was a good sport about it. Now he even looks forward to them:) This year though, my little traditions seem even more exciting because we have the girls to share them with.
A few of my fall traditions include….
Burning a fall candle, even if it is still 85 degrees out.
Visiting the pumpkin patch and picking out at least one crazy pumpkin.
Pumpkin carving complete with pumpkin seed roasting.
Taking a picture involving fall leaves
Pulling out the fall table runner and baking pumpkin bread.
A walk or hike to see the leaves changing.
NOT listening to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. You can’t cut fall short.
Right up the road from our house, there is an adorable pumpkin patch that benefits Habitat for Humanity. We walked up there with the girls to check it out, and it did not disappoint. The girls were just too cute in their overalls and trucker hats. These are complete Austin outfits, and I could not love them more. Ever since I became pregnant, he has been excited about the girls wearing overalls. We both love our Patagonia hats and when he found these little North Face ones, he could not help but get them for the girls. Now I admit they are more than we would normally spend on a baby hat, but they are so cute and the girls love wearing their hats backwards like Daddy, so it was money well spent.
I think I may have to add wearing overalls and trucker hats to the pumpkin patch as a new fall tradition (for as long as the girls still let me dress them).
Our two boxers, Kane and Keelie, are very much a part of our family. Friends who have boxers said they were great with their kids, but there was still a part of me that was a little nervous. Boxers have lots of energy and I wasn’t sure how they would adjust.
I am happy to say that our dogs have done better than I could have even expected with the twins. If the girls are awake, I can almost guarantee that Kane and Keelie will be in the room. If they hear one of the girls crying, they will come and find me. Only once or twice have they grabbed a baby toy or pacifier thinking it was their own toy. Recently Emma and Olivia have started to notice Kane and Keelie, which is adorable. They will give them a big smile and sometimes reach out to touch them, which often results in a “puppy kiss”.
There were definitely some things we did which I think helped prepare the dogs and allow them to adjust so thought I would share a few.
1.Set up the nursery early and let the dog spend time in there.
Babies come with a whole new set of accessories that dogs are not familiar. By allowing your dog to investigate and explore before you baby arrives, it will allow them to feel comfortable. It also gives you the chance to teach them what they can and cannot touch.
2.Train your dog.
Thankfully Austin is amazing when it comes to training dogs so I did not have to worry about this. However, if your dog is not well trained, I recommend working on this before your baby arrives. With a baby, you need to know your dog will always listen to your commands. Babies are a lot of work and I can almost guarantee you will not have the energy or time to train your dog once your baby arrives.
3.Play YouTube videos of babies crying.
If your dog has never been around a young child, a cry can be startling. Helping them recognize the noise will ease the transition.
At The Hospital / Coming Home
4.Introduce your dog to your baby’s smell.
Take one of the blankets your baby was swaddled in at the hospital back to your dog before you bring your baby home. Whether it is your husband, parents or a friend, allowing your dog to “smell” your baby before they come home is important to the adjustment process. Allow your dog to keep the blanket in their kennel or wherever else they like to rest.
5.Greet your dog without your baby.
When you come home, make sure to greet your dog before introducing them to your baby. If you have been away for a few days, your dog will be very excited to see you…probably not the best time to introduce a baby. Love on them for a little bit and if you are worried about them jumping on you, have someone else there to help.
6.Make sure your dog is calm.
Whether you need to walk your dog or allow them to play fetch for a bit, make sure they have burnt all their extra energy.
7.Put your dog on a leash.
If you are holding your baby, have your husband or another person hold your dog’s leash. Even if you 100% trust your dog, they are animals and it is important to have a quick way to control them.
8.Allow your dog to observe your baby from a distance first.
Don’t rush the process. First allow your dog to observe your baby, then bring him/her closer so your dog can smell them. It is important that you say calm throughout the process because dogs can sense your emotions. If your dog gets too close, try growling at it. This may sound weird, but the Dog Whisperer recommended it and it worked well when Austin tried it with our dogs.
9.Never leave your dog and baby alone.
No matter how much your trust your dog, never leave them alone with your young baby. At the end of the day, they are animals and it is not worth the risk. As your baby gets older and stronger, you will get comfortable with the amount of supervision you need to provide. At first, I would be right next to the girls if the dogs were in the room because they were still very curious and sometimes stepped a little too close if the girls were on the ground. Now the dogs know their boundaries so as long as I can see or hear the girls, I do not worry about the dogs.
10.Involve your dog.
If you are going on walks with your baby, bring your dog. If you are playing with your baby on the floor, point out your dog so they can start to recognize him/her. Hold your baby and help him/her pet your dog. This will help both your dog and baby start to become friends.
I know, I know you probably thought I gave up on blogging. I really had every intention of keeping up with it, especially while I had four months of maternity leave. However, life got in the way, and I am not the least bit upset about it. In fact, I thought my first post back could be a summary of some of my expectations around having twins vs. reality. So, here it goes….. Expectation 1: Babies sleep a lot, I will have time to rest.
Yes, babies sleep a lot in the beginning, but that time is also your only time to get things done. And I am not just talking about fun activities, but the basics like eating, showering, brushing your teeth and laundry. The first few months, it was a constant struggle between should I take a nap vs. do something on my list for the day. I think God gives new moms an extra bit of energy because amazingly I was tired but not completely exhausted most days. This is pretty impressive considering I did not sleep for more than three hours at a time. You learn to be much more efficient and prioritize what is most important. In the midst of the craziness, I learned (and am still learning) the importance of making sure I still take care of myself. If I am constantly giving, there is no way I can be effective at taking care of those I love.
Expectation 2: My husband or my mom can take middle of the night feedings.
In theory, it would be great if someone could feed the twins in the middle of the night so I could get some more rest. However, there were a few roadblocks to this. One, when there are two young babies, you need two people to feed them. Two, I still had to pump in the middle of the night to keep up with the demand of feeding two babies. Three, the babies slept in our room the first two months so I would still wake up when they cried. While it was challenging to do those middle of the night feedings, they also were a very sweet time for Austin and me to sleepily look in wonder at our two little girls. Also, in the scheme of things, it did not last too long because the girls were sleeping through the night by 10 weeks.
Expectation 3: Nursing will be an enjoyable experience.
You always read about how feeding your child is a beautiful bonding experience. Maybe with a single baby it is like that from the start, but at least with my twins, it definitely was not. We were blessed to be able to bring our girls home from the hospital after only four days, but they were still VERY little and it was crucial they received enough nutrients. Since nursing for a full feeding would cause them to burn too many calories, I had to nurse for half of their feeding and then finish up with a bottle of pumped milk. This meant I also had to pump after every feeding. The whole process would take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, and most the time required three people. Doing this eight times a day was emotionally and physically exhausting. It took a lot of work to get them to latch correctly and those first 4 weeks were pretty painful. If I wasn’t committed to breastfeeding, I would have given up early on. At times I would get so stressed that the girls were not getting enough nutrients. It wasn’t until 3 months that Emma was finally strong enough to breastfeed exclusively.
However, now that I am on the other side, I can promise it does get better. Now, it only takes about 20 minutes to feed the girls and is a much more enjoyable process. The greatest challenge I have is trying to keep them from hitting each other in the face. For other twin moms, my advice is do what works for you and keeps you sane. Maybe you breastfeed and maybe you don’t, but either way is completely fine. If you do decide to breastfeed, I highly recommend seeing a lactation consultant. I cannot say enough great things about them.
Expectation 4: My body will take forever to heal.
While those first few days were pretty painful, and I remember wondering if I would ever be able to walk without pain, that only lasted for a week. After two weeks, most of the baby weight was off but I still was pretty weak. My Belly Bandit wrap did an amazing job of providing core support, which allowed me to be more active. Walks around the neighborhood were an absolute lifesaver. For someone who is very active, this time outside made a world of difference and also gave the girls a chance to get fresh air and take a nice nap. Around 9 weeks out, I went for a short run and over the next two weeks, worked myself back up to 3 miles. Amazingly, it did not take long to get my endurance back. Now that being said, my core strength and abs are not what they use to be. I have been very careful to give them enough time to heal and primarily focused on strengthening my transverse abdominals with exercises from a physical therapist. I will go into more detail in another post about fitness after baby because I found some great resources. I am trying my best to be patient and remind myself that it took 9 months to grow a baby so it will take time to fully heal. The beauty of having twins is that you are so busy you rarely have time to sit and think about being frustrated with how your body is recovering. Even when you do get down on yourself, a little smile or laugh from one of your babies and you completely forget about your frustrations.
Expectation 5: It will take some time for the twins’ personalities to show.
I figured that the first few weeks, the girls would primarily just eat and sleep. One of our nurses predicted Emma would be our calm, relaxed baby and Olivia would be a little more unpredictable. I remember thinking she was crazy to already have an opinion, especially because Emma was the fussy one in the hospital and Olivia was very calm. However, she ended up being correct. It still amazes me we could tell so many differences between the girls from the very start. What comforts one, won’t necessarily comfort the other. Their cries and little noises are very different. A toy that interests one may not be exciting for the other. I think seeing these differences from the start engrained in us the importance of treating each girl as an individual. Now we still make sure they stay on the same eat/wake/sleep schedule (which I highly recommend), but try our best to learn what each girl prefers. Depending on their developmental stage, we have seen them flip-flop personalities several times, and it is so much fun to see them becoming their own unique self.
Expectation 6: People will know they are twin girls.
We quickly learned that having a double stroller attracts MAJOR attention. Now if I saw a double stroller with two babies the same age, I would assume they were twins. However, I cannot tell you how many times people ask if they are twins. They then will proceed to ask about gender and often will ask if they are a boy and girl. While this doesn’t bother me, most times the girls are wearing outfits that make it pretty obvious they are girls…I am talking pink and bows. I have learned to always budget extra time whenever we go anywhere because I can guarantee we will be stopped at least five times. I see it as a blessing that the girls can bring a little joy to others’ lives and it provides me the opportunity to meet people I may have not even spoken to.
Expectation 7: Of course, I will remember what the girls look like as newborns.
I had heard so many people say the first few months were a blur and they could barely remember what their child looked like as a newborn. Before having the girls, I thought this was ridiculous. How could you not remember? While I do remember key moments, those first few weeks definitely blur together thanks to sleep deprivation. I am so thankful for ALL the pictures and videos we took those first few weeks because they help jog my memory. Around 4 months, I came out of that newborn fog and realized, I was starting to get the whole twin mom thing. The girls were both growing and developing well, we had a schedule and I was sleeping at night. The days are still tiring, but you also feel a bit like super mom when you consider that you made it through those first few months.
People always talk about moments when life flies by and stands still all at the same time. I never really understood what they were referring to, but after these last four weeks, I know exactly what they mean. On March 23, 2017 at 7:48 AM and 7:49 AM, our lives changed forever with the birth of our twin girls, Emma Austin and Olivia Marie.
Emma Austin Olivia Marie
I am not sure about you other mamas, but for me, I spent my pregnancy wondering what these two little girls would be like. Except for what I saw on the ultrasound photos, I had absolutely no idea. It is a strange feeling being “with” someone 24 hours a day but not knowing them at all. The beauty in it is that as I spent my time thinking about our two little girls, I had so many opportunities to pray for them and their future.
Because Olivia was breech and Emma was not growing at the same rate as Olivia, our doctors decided it would be best for us to deliver via C-section at 37 weeks instead of 38 weeks as originally planned. We had to arrive at the hospital bright and early at 5:30 AM. Normally this would be an early wake-up call, but Austin and I were so excited that we both were awake by 3:45 AM.
The first hour and a half at the hospital was filled with paperwork, vitals and blood work. Then all of a sudden, it was go time. Next thing I knew they were wheeling me into the operating room. My sweet OB-GYN, who has twin girls herself, grabbed my hand and let me know just how excited she was to deliver our girls. They administered my epidural, which made me pretty sick for the first 5 minutes, but once it set in, I was relaxed. They brought Austin in and we were ready. I had a hard time staying awake so in what seemed like seconds, out came Emma. Even though I couldn’t see her, I heard my OB say, “Dark hair! Lots of dark hair!” Soon after Olivia was born. Emma had a hard time starting to breathe on her own, so she had a team of doctors surrounding her for those first ten minutes. Thankfully by the time Austin could bring the babies to me, both girls were breathing well on their own.
Seeing Emma and Olivia for the first time was one of those moments when time truly stood still. We both were in awe that these two girls were finally here and ours forever. The waiting was over and we got lost in their sweet little faces. Emma was 4 lbs. 9 oz. and 18 in. long. Olivia was 5 lbs. 4 oz. and 18.5 in. long. When it came to naming the girls, we knew we wanted to use our middle names (Austin and Marie) as their middle names. We loved the name Emma and decided the first-born twin (Baby A) would be Emma Austin. We had a much harder time deciding on a first name for Baby B. The morning of their birth we were pretty sure we wanted to use the name Olivia Marie, but I wanted to see her before deciding for sure, since a name is such a permanent decision. However as soon as she was born, the nurses started calling her Olivia because we told them that was what we thought would be her name. From that moment on, we knew it was the perfect name for her.
Since the twins are coming on Thursday (yes, I can hardly believe it!), I figured I better play catch-up on the blog. This means trying to capture three wonderful showers into one blog post, so hopefully it is not too long.:)
Austin’s mom and sister hosted an adorable shower for me at Sironia, a cute little shop and restaurant in Waco. Lots of Austin’s family were there as well as Waco friends. The decorations were the absolute cutest! A diaper cake, cake ball rattles, sippy cups for flower vases and even two Baylor footballs with tutus to name a few. For lunch, we had a delicious salad trio of chicken salad, pasta and fruit.
Austin’s dad is a dentist in Waco and the sweet ladies he works with hosted a shower for Austin and me. This shower was fun because Austin was there too and got to help me open gifts. We played “Guess how big my belly is…” and one of the ladies made a yummy princess cake.
Before getting pregnant I was super active. Running, road biking, mountain biking, free weights, yoga….you name it, I probably have tried it! Once I found out I was pregnant with the twins, I knew I would have to tone down my activity level, but also still wanted to stay as active as possible during pregnancy. Sitting still is not my strong suit so I had to get creative on what worked best for me and my ever growing baby bump. One of the things that I love about my OB-GYN is that she understands and values the importance of staying active during pregnancy, but also is realistic about what is healthy. She is a marathon runner and has twin girls herself. For the first 20 weeks, her rule of thumb was I was fine to continue most activities as long as I could continue a conversation while doing them. Once I reached 20 weeks, she had me tone my activity level down some more. Of course I couldn’t do potentially dangerous activities such as mountain biking because of the risk of falling while clipped in, but besides that, I could still do modified versions of most activities. The one thing I had to cut out by 12 weeks was running. I could have physically continued running, but having to stop every two minutes to use the restroom was not enjoyable. As with anything else, always consult your physician to determine what activities are ok for you during pregnancy.
Since I quickly get bored of the same workout routines, I wanted to share a couple of ideas and resources that I have enjoyed throughout my pregnancy.
Prenatal Yoga – With all the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy, yoga is a great way to stay relaxed and flexible. I took several regular yoga classes at local studios and just asked the instructor to provide modifications, especially for moves that required me to lie flat on my back (avoid laying flat on your back after you reach 16 weeks). YouTube also has great prenatal yoga videos that are free! One of my favorite accounts is Sarah Beth Yoga. She has several prenatal specific videos that worked well for me.
Barre Classes – Barre Classes are great because they use low-impact moves to provide a full-body workout, toning your hips, thighs, glutes, abdominals and arms. The instructor can provide modifications when it comes to abdominal exercises. There are many Barre Studios such as Pure Barre or The Bar Method, but also online options too. I have heard great things about barre3.
Free Weights – While my free weight use has trickled off the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I enjoyed using them earlier on. When it comes to workouts, I prefer to have a routine to follow and found Michelle Marie Fit’s “Fit Mom-to-Be” workouts very helpful. You get a new pregnancy workout each month, which consists of three separate workouts that have both a gym and at home version. I only purchased a few months worth of workouts and then mixed and matched what I had. I also liked this pregnancy workout video I found on YouTube created by Angelina Layton.
Diary of a Fit Mommy – This website is by far one of the best resources I have found when it comes to staying active while pregnant. It provides numerous workout routines and tips. She also has lots of ideas on how to incorporate fitness into your life as a new mom.
Walking – It may sound obvious, but I have found that even when I don’t have time to actually workout, even going for a short walk makes a difference. Since we have three active dogs, they make sure to remind me they still need their daily walks. I also try to take a short walk at work to keep from sitting at my desk too long.
Since I will be having a C-section, I know it will be a little while before I can be as active as I was pre-pregnancy, but I am looking forward to wearing cute workout clothes again. Since I am long-waisted to begin with, all of my maternity shirts are too short at this point so I have resorted to wearing Austin’s t-shirts and even those are somewhat questionable. There is one tank though that I could not live without and wish I had ordered earlier in my pregnancy. It is the Blanqi Maternity Belly Support Tanktop. It provides compression and support in all the right places, is great for working out, but also pairs wonderful with a cardigan and jeans. It is a bit pricey, but I promise you it is worth every dollar, especially if you are carrying multiples.
Y’all, I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I feel by all the sweet friends and family who have hosted baby showers for us. It reminds me of during our engagement when friends and family from all parts of our lives gathered together to celebrate. These girls are so lucky to be born into a circle of people who already care so much for them.
The future Aunt and Grandmas
About a month ago (yes, I am a little behind on blogging) my college roomies threw me the most adorable “Twice the Blessing” shower, complete with a light pink and gray color scheme to match the girls’ nursery! My friend, Lisa, was so gracious to host the shower at her home in Fort Worth, even though she is due just a few days before me! A rustic rag banner of fabric to match the nursery adorned the mantle. A “Blessing Ring” where friends were able to share a prayer, blessing or story for us turned out too cute. And Chloe, my old roomie who has the BEST handwriting, made so many fun labels and signs.For this shower, I decided to go all out in a bright pink tank dress. The stretchy jersey material is super comfortable and flattering. I layered it with a jean jacket for the shower, but have added a blazer as well as a long cardigan for work. If I were pregnant during the summer, this dress would be perfect by itself. The dress also comes in numerous colors, so if I had discovered it earlier in my pregnancy, I would have definitely ordered more.