Expecting Twins? 15 Must-Have Items for your Registry

I’m a twin fanatic! My best friend growing up was a twin, my high school crush & college sweetheart was a twin, I studied the psychosocial and emotional development of twins in grad school, and have provided care for…umpteen number of twins as a professional, including the two I’m caring for now.

Twins are fascinating to me; however, if you’re a mother of twins, you might say, “Yeah, I love my twins, but they keep me uber busy”, or if you’re expecting twins you may be wondering what exactly you’re getting yourself into (and potentially wondering if you can get a redo).

Have no fear, the twin master is here! 

Not only do I LOVE twins, but I also have a super high chance of having twins. Twins run on both sides of my family, I’m in my thirties, AND I’m undergoing fertility treatments so, according to statistics…I’m having twins.

This has got me thinking of what my “dream registry” for twins would include and I’m happy to share:

1. Orbit baby Double Helix Stroller/Carseat: Chic, modern, clean, functional

2. Stokke Sleep Basinettes: They start small for your newborns so they can easily fit into the master bedroom or other “nook” of the house or nursery

…but they grow with your child/ren, too! They convert from basinettes to cribs, to toddler beds, to a full size kid’s bed.

3. Two 4Moms Mamaroos: When you’re a mom of twins, you need lots (I mean, lots) of places to set your babies. Rockers, swings, cribs, carriers, etc…but the Mamaroo is not just another place to set baby. It rocks, swings, swivels, with the touch of a hand (or toe) and lulls baby gently to sleep.

4. Baby K’tan Twin Carrier and a Happy Baby Wrap

5. Two Keekaroo Peanut Changers, Height Right Seats and Cafe Boosters.

6. Two PateMM Pads

NOTE: As a twin mom you can never have too many places to change a baby. Keep a Keekaroo Peanut Changer in the nursery/playroom and/or the main living area. Keep a PateMM pad in the car AND a diaper bag.

7. 50 Rumparooz Cloth Diapers and 10 wet bags: If the average person spends $3000 on diapers for a singleton, that’s $6000 for twins so…I’ll go with 50 cloth diapers that’ll take me from NB-3y and only spend $1000

Photo credit: Gilt.com

8. Kiinde Twist and Store Feeding System

9. 4 EzPz Fun Mats: 2 for my house, 2 for grandma’s house

10. 4 Mimijumi Bottles, 6 5Phases Bottles, and 2 Pacific BabyWorld Bottles

11. MimoBaby Smart Monitor and bottle warmer: this monitor actually signals the bottle warmer to heat up with the babies start to wake up. You’re welcome. 

12. Simple Wishes Hands-free Pumping Bra & Freemies!: Functionality during pumping, but also a way to save every precious ounce is vital to mom’s survival. Get the Freemies and get some milksavers.

13. So-Ro Twin Rocker: Again, never enough places to place a baby when you have two.

14. My Brestfriend Nursing Pillow (for twins)

15. Table for Two Feeding Pillow (buytablefortwo.com)

Need I say more?

Obviously you should also register for all the other necessities, swaddle blankets, infant care kits, thermometers, breast pumps, humidifiers, clothing, etc., but these are in my opinion the things one does NOT forget when they’re expecting twins!

Also, when you have twins, triplets, quads, quints…anything other than a singleton, organization is your friend. Channel your inner pre-k teacher and create a designated space for everything. Label, color code, and sort to your heart’s desire. 

What would you add to this list?

I Want My Kids to Get Hurt

Hold up…before anybody gets up in a tizzy and reports me to the authorities for my title, hear me out. 

I Want My Kids to Get Hurt

When I was about 7 years old I stubbed my toe on our driveway and knocked about 1/8 of an inch off the top. No, it wasn’t a scratch or a stubbed toe; I’m talking O-F-F,  toe hanging by a thread.

When I was 8 or 9 I floated the river with my family and got separated from the group. They went right and I went left. I flipped out of my tube and was stuck in the undercurrent of the rapid for what felt like an eternity until a nice man put down his oar and pulled me out.

Jessica and Chelsea on bikes in Alaska

When I was 10 I let a friend talk me into “pumping” on her bike, which means you stand on the front or back pegs that stick out of the wheels while they drive they bike. Of course she wrecked while I was on the back and the wheels (very hot I might add), burned into the sides of my calf muscles. I still have scars.

In sixth grade I rode my bike down on hill behind our house in England and passed out on the bike due to fear, heat, and the rocky path and I slammed into the wooden fence of the neighborhood pub, flipped over the bike and landed in a thorn bush. Climbing out of the bush once I came to caused even more scratches.

In 8th grade I packed only my cutest outfits to youth retreats and was usually freezing my ass off every night, miserable, and getting sick.

childhood road trip

My sophomore year I attempted to dive off my friend’s decorative waterfall in the backyard pool and the rocks broke, sending me sliding rump first down the rocks and causing a bruise the size of the infamous one in “A League of their Own”.

I’ve been on bad dates, gotten food poisoning, been in horrendous car wrecks, fallen down stairs, bumped into walls, sprained ankles, and had close encounters with the death far more than I want to admit. But, the fact is- I’ve learned something from every mistake. People don’t learn from being told; they learn from experience.

  • I wear shoes when I’m outside and I NEVER run barefoot unless I’m on a beach.
  • I always hold someone’s foot or hand when approaching rapids and wear a lifevest whenever I’m in dangerous territory.
  • I never stood on the front of anyone’s bike again and in fact, I learned in adolesence that me and bikes don’t mix- period.
  • I always check the weather when I’m traveling anywhere and I pack for all possible scenarios. I’ve learned to agree with my dad that, “Warm is beautiful”.
  • I don’t dive, EVER. ‘Nuff said. I suck at diving.

Rollercoaster with mom

I’ve got stories to tell and I’ve learned to try new things, be adventurous, how to protect myself, and not be afraid. If you fall, you’ll get back up. If you get sick, you’ll heal. If you fail, try it differently next time.

I don’t want to be one of those parents who follows their kids around so scared that something bad will happen. I don’t want to send my kids the message that without me they can’t survive or figure things out. How will they learn to wear a coat if they’ve never been cold? Why would they eat a decent meal if I’ve always got snacks? Why pack their homework when they know I’ll bring it to them? How will they know what it feels like to get up if I never let them fall?

How can we expect them to take initiative if we’ve always told them where to go, what to do, what to watch out for, and what to be afraid of? How many times do you say, “be careful” to your child a day? I don’t want my kids to “be careful”! I want them to grab life by the horns and go for it! (within reason, lol)

The point is- we have to let our kids get hurt from time to time. Let them struggle. Let them fall. A stubbed toe, exposure to germs, or a broken limb are part of childhood.

A parent who always remembers, has a child who always forgets.

Finding My “Happy”

I wrote a blog on Monday that I deleted shortly after publishing and I never do that, but it was angry, bitter, and hateful, which is NOT like me at all. As I wrote it though I felt powerful; like putting my anger out there for the world to read would somehow accomplish something, but all it did was make me feel worse.

But on Monday, I was angry.

Finding my

I went over to my best friend’s house for dinner that night thinking it would be just like every other Monday. Dinner, wine, The Bachelor, and catching up on life. I was wrong. Both her and her husband had an agenda that night. It was to call me out on my anger. Truth is, since getting the diagnosis of “infertile”, I’ve let anger slowly, but surely, consume me. I try to fight it with optimism, but then disappointment follows, which quickly transforms right back to anger.

After three years of fighting the anger, sadness, confusion, and disappoinment, I had finally lost the battle and hearing from my best friends that they missed the old me was eye opening.

The very next day, my loving husband sat me down and held his own, “come to Jesus” meeting with me. He told me I was losing myself and putting “us” at risk. He was right. I’d turned into an Eeyore! I’ve wanted nothing more than a family my whole life, but I’ve been allowing my desire for a baby to consume my life at the risk of losing friends, family and self.

My husband then volun-told me for a 90 day break. He asked/told me to stop all things medical and fertility related for 90 days and find myself again. No pills, no shots, no procedures, no doctor’s visits, no acupuncture, etc. for 90 days. At first I was sad because I felt like I was being told to quit by the person I needed on board the most, but then I was just relieved! I get a break without feeling like I’m giving up!

For these next 90 days I’m searching for my “happy” again.

  • I’ll face time my niece and nephew and record myself reading stories to them

    Facetime with Evie

    Facetime with Evie

  • I’ll do zumba like a boss 3 days a week without worrying about twisting my ovaries
  • I’ll finally pay OFF debts and med bills I’ve accumulated
  • I’ll eat whatever I want because I won’t have “infertile bloat” to battle
  • I’ll try a pole dancing fitness class and a trapeze class with girlfriends
  • I’ll fill my calendar with events, not obligations
  • I’ll throw myself into building my client load and growing my business
  • I’ll tackle some DIY projects on our house
  • I’ll increase my speed and distance as a runner again
  • I’ll take hot baths and get massages
  • I’ll try new restaurants around the city
  • I’ll enjoy my coffee in the rocking chairs on my porch
  • I’ll work on getting my pre-fertility body back!
  • I’ll hang out with my husband and enjoy his company without having a hidden agenda

Cloudy and Chelsea

For 90 days I won’t have to worry about being anywhere at a certain time on a certain day. I won’t have to worry about what this appointment will cost me. I won’t find out good news just to have it quickly followed by bad news and I won’t have to eat or drink nasty things just because they’re supposed to have “super powers” for fertility. I’m free for 90 days!

Boom, baby! I’m finding my happy again already!

Skyler and Chelsea Christmas Cracker Crowns

I Can’t Even Buy a Baby

For those of you who have been following my journey towards motherhood for the last three years, (holy shit, it’s been three years?!) I am here to sadly report- it’s over. I can’t even buy a baby. 

I Can't Wait to Meet You. Love, Mom

Here’s the recap:

April 2012: We started trying

Sept 2012: I knew innately something was wrong

Jan 2013: Saw an advanced fertility specialist in Houston who took about 3 gallons of blood and then told me I was fertile and sent me on my way ($200)

April & May 2013: ClomidIV

June & July 2013: Double clomid

August & September: Triple the clomid

Referred to the “big dogs”, Austin Fertility Center

Each doctor visit (2-3 month)= $250, each ultrasound= $250 (2-3 per month), Ovidril= $140, Pills= $120, Injections=$440, IUI= $700 Blood Work= $80-120

Each month’s total= $2,400-$2,700 a month

October 2013: HSG ($1000)

2013/2014 total: an estimated $33,600

Nov 2013-April 2014: Femara, FSH Injections, several failed IUI

May 2014: Laparoscopy to remove endometriosis

June/July 2014 2 more failed cycles of femara, injections, and IUIs

August 2014: Almost died from heartbreak

Sept 2014: Switched to Texas Fertility Center $650

October 2014: uterine septum removal and uterine reconstruction $2,000

Chelsea Vail, infertility surgery

I spent November & December healing physically and emotionally to prepare for a new doctor, new meds, new hope in January only to find out that I have to triple my dosage of meds, meaning triple the price. The quote from the specialty pharmacy was $1300.

$364 a month for Blue Cross Blue Shield GOLD PPO that doesn’t cover ANYTHING concerning fertility except the $650 doctor visits (although that helps)

$1300 for medicines to bring my chances of having a family from 0.5% to 15-20%

$400-500 for each IUI at this center

Monthly total: $2,064

Infertility journey, chelsea vailI have depleted all of my resources in the last three years. I work 3-4 nights a week from 10pm-6am only to cover the costs of debt accrued in previous years. I literally have nothing left; therefore, my journey has ended. Because my husband makes “too much money” to qualify for financial assistance, our chances of having a baby together are nill. Zip. Zero. He makes money to provide for our family: cars, house, gas, food, LIFE. Does anyone have $2200-2500 a month jut lying around that they can throw out the window every month for 3 years?! We sure didn’t.

And, to add insult to injury, I had to quit teaching because I couldn’t manage a full time job AND full time infertility treatment.Currently, my main source of income is my e-commerce site, shopwholeheart.com, but let’s face it, people would rather shop on amazon where they can get free shipping than support a small business like mine where the person’s livelihood solely depends on the success of the site.

I have written this post in hopes that something will change. Shop small businesses and support the person behind them. Petition for change within the insurance companies. Speak up against the injustices. My only prayer know is for a miracle.

I’m out. Finished. Finito.

Ultrasound

From Wine Bottles to Baby Bottles

Several words in your vocabulary as a woman change meaning when you become a mom and a few phrases get misinterpreted. Wine becomes whine. When your husband says, “Baby, the waitress brought our change,” you hear, “the baby needs to be changed”. Shopping rows of wine bottles at the liquor store has been replaced by browsing your local baby store for the perfect bottle. But, your lil’ bambino is totally worth the changes!

Mimijumi-w-baby

With all of the options out there for baby bottles, finding the perfect one for your baby can be overwhelming! At shopwholeheart.com we offer 3 bottles. That’s it; just 3. We only offer three because we have browsed the aisles, shopped the expos, attended conventions, read the reviews, and ultimately decided that the three bottles we hold in our selection are THE three best bottles on the market.

We proudly introduce you to…

mimijumi_logo

The Mimijumi “very hungry” bottle and “not so hungry” bottle. These BPA free bottles are designed to mimic the breast to prevent nipple confusion and help baby transition smoothly between breast and bottle. This bottle is also super easy to assemble because it only has two parts! There’s no insert or outer sleeve, no gas preventing tubes, no adaptors, etc. Just bottle (with an easy to hold shape) and a nipple that snaps on. It’s dishwasher safe, nontoxic, prevents gas and colic, and is FABULOUS. Is it worth the price? Um…yeah! You will love it and only need 2-3 bottles per kiddo.

Mamachi. No, I’m not suggesting a new sushi roll. The Mamachi is the newest, and the creme de la creme, of baby bottles. I discovered this lil gem walking through the ABC Baby and Kids Expo in Vegas this past year. I wasn’t in the market for new bottles because I thought I’d already found the best that was out there, but I was wrong! The team behind the Mamachi stopped me and asked me to feel the bottle. “Feel it?”, I asked. Well, once I touched this bottle I knew why they wanted me to touch it, lol. It genuinely feels like the female breast! Soft, squishy, maleable, ha ha. I can see how a little baby would be drawn to it and adjust easily to the Mamachi when mama can’t be around.

The Mamachi is the ONLY 100% Silicone Bottle in the world! Made of food grade Mamachisilicone this plastic free bottle is free of harmful BPA and Phthalates.

  • BPA Free (zero detection of endocrine disrupting BPA) and pthalates
  • Highest grade silicone
  • Anti-colic
  • Wide neck for easy cleaning
  • Microwave/Dishwasher Safe
  • 5oz / 160ml or 9oz
  • Shaped like the breast

5PhasesThe 5 Phases. I LOVE the 5 Phases bottle because it’s a glass bottle without the added fear of breaking a bottle. The glass part holds the milk and allows you to feed baby without fear of BPA, toxins, pthalates, etc. Glass is the safest way to heat milk and truth be told, the only surefire way to protect your baby from toxins brought on by plastics. The glass gets inserted into a no-slip silicone sleeve. If the bottle is dropped, it’s protected by the silicone and is unlikely to break. Even if it did break, the glass is contained in the silicone sleeve! The 5Phases bottles comes with individual bottles, or you can order a starter kit that comes with 1 fully assembled bottle, 2 additional glass inserts, and extra silicone nipples.

Check out the rest of our feeding products including:

  • The EzPz Fun Mat
  • Squooshi Reusable Food Pouches
  • Keekaroo Height Right High Chairs
  • Keekaroo Booster Seats
  • AhGoo Baby Bibs
  • Keep Leaf Lunch Bags, reusable sandwich wraps, reusable baggies
  • Kiinde Twist and Store Milk Storage Starter Kits

Evelyn with Zade

 

What bottle did you use with your kiddo? Which of these would you like to try?