Feeling trapped at home with your twins +? On edge and overwhelmed about how to manage normal day to day life? You are not alone and you are not failing or broken.

With support you can even learn how to enjoy and love your unique situation with your twins. Learn to embrace the CHAOS!

Welcome to the twin club. I'm here for you Momma!

As a twin mom myself, I understand the unique challenges that come with twins +. I can support you and fully understand where you are coming from on any stage of having twins+. From the intimidating high-risk pregnancy to the possibly traumatic births; adjusting to taking care of 2 babies at the same time and learning how to do things that were once simple and now are scary stressful with twins; life has changed and you may feel like most people around you can't relate. 

There are many times during the parenthood journey where you may feel all alone in what you're going through. It may be hard to talk with other moms because you don't think they will understand, or it is just hard to leave the house and you feel like you have lost all your friends and support. No matter what the hardship is, I guarantee there are many out there that can empathize with what you are going through, and that it feels so much lighter when you have people to talk to about your struggles. 

Why talking to me is different than going to a mom group... Mom groups have great benefits and I do highly recommend them for support and connection. But it is NOT therapy. In working with me, you will not be told other people's stories or take on additional worries. With me you will feel unconditional acceptance no matter what. You may even be feeling too overwhelmed or anxious to go to a group, but I can help you manage those feelings and figure out which ways work for you.

 

Are you currently pregnant or postpartum with your twins? Here is some information to help you determine if counseling might be a good option for you:

A Letter to Twin Parents About Stress and Moods

Ever hear that you should expect the first 6 months (or year) of having twins to be SO HARD? Ever hear rumor of higher divorce rates among parents of multiples? Both of these so-called warnings are extremely common among twin parent groups and articles about twins, but what is the reality? 

When I was pregnant with twins, it was my second pregnancy but I did all the research and wanted to know what would be different this time around now that I was dealing with twins.

I came across these warnings repeatedly and it shifted my expectations. I knew that the first 6-12 months were going to be a huge challenge for me personally and for my relationship with my husband. Newborns take a lot of work and it can be stressful adjusting to huge life changes like this.

 

Here is where the messages go wrong though… We were in survival mode, chugging away at tasks day and night to keep those little babies fed, clean, healthy and we didn’t think that it could be any better than how it was. We assumed it would be miserable because of those warnings, and it was. Once 6 months came and passed, I looked around and it hadn’t gotten any easier or better for us…. 

That was when I started to question if this is normal or if maybe we were struggling with something more. It took another month for me (a mental health expert) to recognize that actually we were both struggling with postpartum mood disorders.

It didn’t look the way I had expected it and it happened in the midst of chaos and sleep deprivation that I had thought before that this amount of stress dealing with twin babies was normal. 

How can we tell when we are dealing with a ‘normal’ and expected amount of stress or when there is something more going on?

While pregnant, we all imagine having these wonderful, magical bonding moments with our new babies and soaking it all in. We dream happily of the beautiful connection that moms have with their new babies and all the adorable little baby toes and fingers. 

What if you don’t get those magical moments with your newborns? What if it’s all hard work and you don’t feel those happy, blissful moments when the babies are here?

It turns out that postpartum mood disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD) are all too common in the twin world, but we don’t really talk about it. Twin parents (yes partners too) are at a much higher risk of having a mood disorder in that first year. Ever hear “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy”? Well it turns out that can be pretty true on how a mom’s mood impacts her household and partner. 

 

Baby Blues: The first 4 weeks after giving birth, it is completely normal to have extreme emotions and hormonal mood swings because your body is going through major changes. Any woman going through the intensity of hormone changes in her body will have some adjustment period. It is NOT depression or anxiety. If it continues, then it can be helpful to check in on how you’re really doing. 

 

Did you Know:

• If you have ever experienced depression, anxiety or any mental health issue before pregnancy that you have a much higher chance of developing postpartum (or prenatal) mood disorders?

• Parents of twins/ multiples are more likely to get depressed, anxious, etc.?

• High risk pregnancies, pregnancy complications, NICU time, and problems with breastfeeding can lead to more struggles with mood?

• Outside stressors like financial problems, little/no social or family support, teen parenting or military parenting can all put you at a higher risk?

• Perfectionists &/or people with high expectations are more likely to suffer?

 

I wish that I could have known earlier that my struggles were more than they needed to be. So here is a checklist of some common things to look for so that you know if your struggles cross the point of needing something more.

 

Checklist for Postpartum (or during pregnancy) Mood Issues:

o Zoned out or distant

o Irritated very easily

o Overwhelmed most of the time

o Not feeling connected to kids/babies, partner

o Feel like you’re just barely surviving day to day

o Worried about _____ most days or for long periods of time

o Fighting with your partner more than usual 

o Yelling at your kids often

o Feeling like a failure

o So much guilt!

o It’s hard to be around other people

o Not interested in things you usually enjoy

o Scared that something bad will happen to your babies

o Trouble sleeping even when the babies are sleeping

 

Checked a couple things on the list? It may be time to talk with your doctor, OBGYN/ midwife, or call a therapist to figure out how to make things better. 

You CAN feel good while surviving the chaos of newborn twins, and you CAN enjoy moments with them and feel like yourself! It’s a big adjustment Momma, and you may need some extra support. There’s nothing wrong with that.

When Something’s Gotta Change ASAP:

At any point during pregnancy or afterward, if you ever experience thoughts about your babies being better off dead, thoughts of harming your babies, or supernatural beliefs about your babies (being a demon or something similar), then you need to go to the hospital for treatment right away. This does is nothing to be ashamed about. It just means that these symptoms really do need to be addressed right away. 

 

Where to go for HELP: Postpartum.net 800-944-4773 is a reliable place to help any parents and caregivers that may be struggling and in need of support. They offer a hotline, online support and have a therapist directory to help you find someone in your area that knows specifically about perinatal moods. I’m now one of them too and would love to help you!

 

Now I'm offering an online therapeutic support group for Colorado moms in the 1st year postpartum. See group information listed here for Having a Baby is Harder Than I Thought!

Videos:

 

More Resources for you:

Why It Isn't Selfish to Put Yourself First

Things You Can Do When There's No Time For You

When Everything Goes Wrong with Your Birth Plan: How to Handle Birth Trauma and NICU

The Joys of Parenting Twins

10 Tips for Relaxing a Restless Mind

Guided Mindfulness Meditation

8 Ways to Survive Holidays with Negative People

Or check out my blog here for more tips and tricks

Postpartum Support International http://www.postpartum.net/ 

    Toll Free Helpline in English & Spanish 800-944-4PPD (4773) or TEXT 503-894-9453

Great articles about self care, anxiety, and dad's mental health found here through PSI. 

Colorado Crisis Services https://coloradocrisisservices.org/ Phone 844-493-8255 or TEXT "Talk" to 38255

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 support 800-273-TALK (8255)