My friends who are parents of twins and all the books I have read so far are very right, when you are pregnant with twins you get lots and lots of questions. I don't mind the questions so far as I think they mostly come out of not knowing a lot about twins and just curiosity about twins and how we are planning to run our lives after they are born. Trust me, they are a lot of questions I asked myself also at first.
Here are the frequently asked questions:
1) Do twins run in your family?
I get this question pretty much everytime I tell people we are expecting twins. After we found out, I found out that there have been 4 sets of fraternal twins (which are the only ones genetically determined - identical are not genetically determined, they just happen randomly) in my mom's extended family. My maternal grandfather had two sets of twin siblings and of his 8 brothers and sisters, two of the grandchildren (my generation) had twins. So, I guess it is genetic. Also, I have read that overweight women (which I am right now) can potentially release two eggs (how you get fraternal twins).
2) Are they identical or fraternal?
I really think they are fraternal. They are in individual sacs with a thick membrane between which is a big hint that they should be fraternal (not always, but generally). I am guessing this also with my genetics. If one is a boy and one is a girl we will know for sure (as you can't be identical twins and different sexes). Until they are born, we might not know 100% and I have even heard of cases where people still don't know for sure even when they are born.
3) Do you have a preference of the genders?
Lee and I both are very non-caring of what genders our children are. We know that God gives us the family He wants for us and whether that be 1 boy and two girls, 2 boys and 1 girl, or all boys after the twins are born, we are fine with anything. I do have a strong feeling at least 1 will be a girl, but it is hard to know for sure with twins as a lot of what I am experiencing is because they are twins.
4) Will you find out the genders?
If they cooperate, yes. We are both major planners (in case you couldn't tell) and we want to do as much gender-specific things as possible. I don't want the babies to be wearing or living in green and yellow all the time.
5) Do you have any names picked out?
We have two solid girls' names - Alexis Faith and Anna Grace
We are still working on boys' names - Nathan Elijah (like a lot), Owen Isaiah (???), Ben _____ (???) - open to ideas (we want at least one name to be Biblical)
6) Will you still send Luke to preschool in the Fall?
Yes. We thought about it a lot, especially the financial aspect since preschool is $165 a month and we are adding two mouths to feed and two bottoms to change 8-10 times a day, but we figured out that if we didn't send him, he would be sitting at home bored a lot. We think it will be great for him to have interaction and something separate from the twins 9 hours a week. Lee will be driving him and I (or whoever is staying with me the first few weeks) will pick him up.
7) Will you still homeschool Luke next year?
Yes. Our reasons for homeschooling are very strong and they aren't going to change just for my convenience. In case people are wondering what the reasons are, 1) I don't want Luke indoctrinated from 5 years old with the things they teach in public school until he has a really strong understanding of Biblical truths so that he can discern for himself truth vs lies, 2) I don't think 7 hours away from home is necessary for kindergarten when we can accomplish the same (or more) in 2-3 hours, 3) I want to spend time with Luke molding him into a Godly boy, and 4) I really want him to be a part of his siblings lives and if he goes to school all day he won't be. I don't mean to sound harsh, but a lot of people have given me the impression that all of my previous plans will change just because we are having two babies. I am very solid in my view of homeschooling and even though I know it will be challenging with two little ones, it is not impossible. With God, all things are possible. Plus, God has called me to homeschool and unless He "uncalls" me, I am going with it.
8) Will you breastfeed the babies or use formula?
My hope, prayer, and plan is to breastfeed the babies. I have been learning all sorts of tips from friends and books on how to "tandem nurse" (nurse them both at the same time). My theory is I want to do for both what I did for one. I am also a realist and realize that it might not go perfectly and I might not be able to do it a year (I only nursed Luke for 3 months), but I am going to give it all that I have to give them the best start possible.
9) Will you schedule the babies like you scheduled Luke?
Background: We followed BabyWise with Luke and he did beautifully with it. He ate and slept like an all-star. He was sleeping 8 hours straight at 8 weeks and 12 hours straight at 12 weeks and has always been a great sleeper (including naps).
Again, my hope, prayer, and plan is to schedule the babies. I have been learning all sorts of tips from friends and books on how to feed them at the same time, have them play at the same time, and have them sleep at the same time. Otherwise, my life will be totally consumed by just the basics of the twins all day and all night and I have other commitments (Lee, Luke, household duties, and hopefully a little time to myself). Again, I want to do for two what I did for one. Again, I realize it might not go perfectly and may take more time and effort, but I am going to do my best to get them on the same schedule ASAP to make life better for everyone.
10) How will you set up your house for two babies?
Background: We bought a 5-bedroom house last year so we have lots of room. We are currently using the master bedroom, Luke has a bedroom, our office is in a bedroom, the nursery is set up in a bedroom, and the guest room is set up in a bedroom. We also have a living room on the first floor and a playroom on the third floor.
We are planning to use a pack-n-play with a built-in changing table and bassinet feature in our bedroom where the babies will sleep together for a couple months. We will also set another pack-n-play (same model) up downstairs in the living room so we don't live in the master bedroom. Their nursery will have two cribs, a changing table, armoire, and glider for when they move into their own cribs. Around the house we are going to place various baby holders/entertainers (bouncy seats, swings, Bumbos, exersaucers, blankets with soft toys) so they can have something to do (and somewhere for me to put them down) everywhere. Eventually we might put them in separate rooms if they want.
11) Are you going to have more kids?
Background: Lee and I always wanted 3-4 kids (leaning more towards 4 kids).
For now, we aren't going to decide as we both believe that God should lead that decision.
Those are the FAQs for now. I will share more as they come. If you have a question you would like me to answer, please comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am always happy to answer any questions people might have.