Like many terrified women pregnant with twins, I signed up for my local hospital’s “Preparing for Multiples” birthing class. It promised to take me through everything I needed to know about being pregnant with multiples, giving birth to multiples, and caring for newborns. I came ready to learn with pen in hand and reluctant husband in tow. It turned out, however, that not unlike every single class I have ever taken in my life, I am a terrible student.
Those lovely instructors tried their hardest, but I happen to be highly skilled at ignoring the things that people say are best for me and just doing it my own way. At the spur of the moment. Without much planning. My only goal in this whole “giving birth to twins” thing was for everybody to still be alive at the end of it. And I was pretty sure I could do that and still eat many donuts. Which leads me to number one:
1. Maintain a sensible nutrition plan = FAIL
I have been on a diet for most of my life. Now I was pregnant, with twins, being told that I needed to put on 35 to 45 pounds. It was freeing. Specifically, it was freeing bavarian cream donuts. Because I had nine months in which I was expected to gain weight, and kale just wasn’t going to happen.
2. Taking care of baby dolls = FAIL
During one of our classes, each couple was given two baby dolls and told to take them with us on our dinner breaks so we could see what it was like to have two babies. First of all, get the fuck out of here. Second of all, I knew even then that baby dolls were a bullshit comparison to real babies. So my husband and I left them in the classroom. On the table. Because we’re monsters.
3. Learn how to swaddle = FAIL
You know those people who require directions like this: “Now take your right hand…no, your right…wait, other hand…no, the first hand…oh Jesus never mind.” I am those people.
4. Vaginal deliveries are totally possible with twins = FAIL
When I was admitted to the hospital to be induced, one of my babies was head down, and the other one was breach. I was given the option of trying to give birth vaginally or having a c-section. I thought for a moment and considered the stories I had heard from other women about having a doctor stick their arm halfway up their vagina to turn their breech babies and pull them out. Long story short, I chose a c-section. I know, I’m part of the problem, Ricki Lake documentary, yadda yadda yadda. I’m also not familiar with the feeling of having an elbow in my uterus, so I’m pretty comfortable with my decision.
5. Breastfeeding twins is a wonderful thing = FAIL
Oh boy did we talk a lot about breastfeeding twins. A lot a lot. Guess who learned that they had flat nipples and was willing to trade breastfeeding for an extra 45 minutes of sleep? This formula-feeding bitch right here..
6. Listen to parents who said, “sleep now” = FAIL
One thing all of those tired, miserable people said to us was “sleep now.” Oh, we had a good-natured chuckle about it. What I should have done was get into bed and never get out until forced to by nature. Instead, I stayed awake during the day and giggled about insomnia. I was a fool.
7. Make a detailed birth plan = FAIL
Our instructors were very serious about the importance of having a birth plan. They handed out packets of paper that had questions like, “Do you want the door open or closed?” “Do you want the lights dimmed?” “Do you want your doctors to discuss only birth-related topics?” My husband and I skipped to the end and wrote, “We want everybody to live.” Mission accomplished.
(photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock)