We’ve all heard the claim—twins run in families and skip a generation, but in fact, one of the most common reasons for multiple pregnancy is the number of embryos transferred to the uterus during IVF.
For Alli Kasirer, founder of Robyn, a company committed to empowering families with the tools and resources to prioritize maternal wellness, twins and IVF were her reality.
Her experience started with many months of trying to conceive, doctor’s appointments, tests, and then finally, the decision to start IVF treatments. Alli says IVF was probably one of the most challenging experiences of her life. Beyond the physical and financial impact of IVF, the emotional component is real. Alli had to learn to mother herself and ask for help—building a tribe before she had even become a mom.
After two failed IVF transfers, Alli decided to transfer two embryos, not even thinking twins was a possibility. The third transfer was successful and soon Alli found out she was pregnant with fraternal twin boys. DOUBLE the excitement!
Twins Double Your World (Literally)
When Alli found out she was pregnant, she really didn’t consider that TWO newborn babies were on their way, but soon, everything doubled…literally! In a few months,s have two new babies to breastfeed, two new babies to pay for, and two new babies to care for. For every new mom, adjusting to life with newborn babies is different, but for new moms of twins like Alli, their norm is bringing not one, but two babies home. It took Alli months to adjust to this new normal. Months to learn how to ask for help. Months to learn how to be kinder to herself, and months to unlearn her perfectionist tendencies. So today, we’re giving some expert advice on how to navigate and adjust to this new normal of bringing two new babies into your world.
Breastfeeding can be double the challenge at first. After all, you have two mouths to feed, two little bodies to balance and grow, and three (including you) people who are trying to figure this whole thing out. It’s important to get your babies on a twin nursing schedule. At first, try nursing them on the same schedule, however, this may not work. Try to tune into the needs of each. You may have one hungrier baby than the other! Whatever you decide, just keep careful records to make sure each baby is well fed at each feeding. We tapped Lindsay Liben, LCSW for some insight. Lindsay works with individuals facing distress around life transitions, fertility challenges and parenting struggles, like adjusting to life with newborn twins. As Lindsay says, with time, a closeness will forge and as you get to know one another, true intimacy will develop, which will help with breastfeeding your two littles. It’s important to know that it’s ok to click with one twin more easily. Once you get the hang of things you will find that not only is it double the work, but more importantly, doubly rewarding!
The Struggles of Parenting Twins
All moms are rockstars. And if you’re adjusting to life with twins, you’re double the rockstar. So don’t for a second think you are failing this parenting twins thing. You’re going to be ok! However, the change of becoming a mother to twins can feel like the rug is being pulled out from under you, says Lindsay. The postpartum experience can bring up a lot of strong feelings, especially if you are bringing home preemies. A harrowing delivery can take a toll on your mental health. Lindsay recommends embracing that it will be a stressful time. She also says it is necessary to give yourself space to develop a bond with your little ones, and not to expect it to be instantaneous.
Many twin moms go through a difficult pregnancy and delivery. For Alli, she was lucky to have a very easy pregnancy, though it was technically “high risk” since she was pregnant with twins. She delivered both babies vaginally in the operating room in case there was a need for an emergency C-section mid delivery.
Many twin parents also struggle with lack of sleep, finding one-on-one time with each twin, managing logistics (you can’t be in two places at once), cleaning up double the mess, ensuring individuality and learning to navigate simultaneous situations (shared milestones). But you get through it, and it just becomes your normal.
Managing Your Postpartum Anxiety
Lindsay says that any major life event, both happy and sad, can trigger a wide range of emotions and often the adjustment phase resembles a grief response. She recommends staying alert for symptoms of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, which may include weeping, feelings of hopelessness, or a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Some of the best advice for new moms, which Alli embodies, is to mother yourself. Kindness, self-compassion, and self-care can help you survive this wonderful, and chaotic time.
For Alli and her husband, they learned to thrive as a family in no time. She recommends working on the things she waited too long to address: asking for help, being kind to yourself, and releasing perfectionist tendencies. But most importantly, find a community of other twin moms that you can ask questions to and swap hacks with. These moms are other rock stars like you, and are the people you need to be leaning on the most.