Twins. I don't know about you, but the very thought of having twins makes me shake in my rubbah slippahs. I was so overwhelmed with one newborn that I can't even imagine having two. But what I really can't imagine is having twins not once, but twice. You may be thinking, well that could never happen, I mean, what are the chances, right?! Well as Jenny Miller of Maui found out, the chances of her having a set of identical twins, followed by a set of fraternal twins, are 1 in 10,000. And she was that lucky #1.
Below, we chat with Jenny about what life has been like with two sets of twins and try not to feel totally unworthy in her Super Mama presence. Read on...
What was it like to find out that you were pregnant with twins the first time? How did that change the second time around?
Total shock BOTH times!!! For the first pregnancy, I had a thought cross my mind the morning of my first ultrasound: "what if there are twins in there?!" My husband had just been deployed so my mom attended with me. The image of two distinct sacs pops up on the monitor! My mom & I look at each other and just start cracking up!!! Like, what in the world?!
At that point, I had no idea I had a family history of twins. Upon some research, I found out that my Great Aunt on my Dad's side of the family had TWO sets of fraternal twins. My first pregnancy I had a set of identical twin girls, Kapili & Kamalu. While in talks for "trying for a boy" I warned my husband to be prepared for another set of twins because I had read that since I had twins my 1st pregnancy my chances were higher for having twins again.
We moved over to Maui from Redondo Beach, California in October and conceived shortly after. On my birthday, 12/12, we had our first ultrasound. This time my husband was by my side and my mom was in the waiting room with the twin girls. He holds up his phone to video the ultrasound and drops it in shock when he sees the two sacs! I scream with shock, surprise, and a combination of stress and joy! Then my mom walks in and we just start cracking up!! Haha!! Like, what are the chances?! Again?! Well, apparently, 1 in 10,000!
It took a few hours for the news to sink in. Honestly I was really hoping for an "easy" singleton pregnancy and wanted to experience what it was like to bond with one baby at a time. But God had bigger and better plans for us. So shortly after the news set in, shock and fear quickly turned to joy and excitement! After all, I have had twins once before so I will only know how to do it even better the second time around ;)
Had you hoped for twins, either for your first or second set?
Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to have twins! The thought of two sets never crossed my mind though!
What were you most excited about during your pregnancies?
Honestly, I believe I used to be a pretty selfish person before the babies came along. So with my first pregnancy, I was most excited about transforming into a selfless person for a change. Second pregnancy, since I knew what to expect, I was really excited to embrace the transformation my body would go through since it was so foreign and uncomfortable the first time around. I felt so empowered knowing my body could create two miracles at once.
And what were you most nervous about?
Since both my pregnancies were "high risk" since I was carrying multiples, I was terrified of miscarriage. Even though I have always been perfectly healthy, active, and followed every rule in the book, I was just terrified something might go wrong. So when I reached full term with both sets it was a huge milestone for me!
What does a typical day look like for you right now?
Right now includes a lot of time cuddling on the couch, binge watching Netflix and Wendy Williams, and struggling to get the gang out of the house to walk over to the park to release a little pent up energy.
What is the best part about having two sets of twins?
So many babies to snuggle and honi (kiss)! And it's so amazing how they each have a built in best friend for life!
And the most challenging part?
I am a busy body and love to be active, so it's been difficult to accept that at this point I just can't get us all out of the house everyday. I'm reminding myself to accept this time and just slow down and enjoy it while it lasts.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone expecting twins, what would it be?
Try your best to keep your babies on the same schedule from birth and on. If they eat at the same time they will even poop at the same time. Like an assembly line, feed, burp, change diapers and put them down for naps at the same time. That way you get some rest as well! If not, they will both be so off sync and you will be going crazy.
How have you been able to balance your needs with those of your family? Have you been able to carve out some "you" time?
I have been able to work around my husbands work schedule and sneak off to the gym for some cardio and group classes here and there. I have also snuck in a few workouts at the park while the 4 year olds are playing and the baby twins are sleeping in the stroller. It's so vital to have that time to decompress and achieve that mental release so you can be your best self for your family. You must take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually in order to efficiently take care of others.
What are some of your favorite baby products that have become your go-to essentials?
The 'Twin Z Pillow' has been a life saver! It's a 6 in 1 twin nursing pillow that I ordered on Amazon (sign up for Amazon Prime...it's a life saver!).
Also, my girlfriend introduced me to Coco Moon and gifted the Pot O'Aloha swaddle blankets for the twins' arrival! We have used them as receiving/swaddle blankets since the day they were born! We prefer them over any other blanket since they are the lightest & softest I have found. Perfect for this hot, humid Hawaii weather and the babies love to grip them in their hands. It's their favorite blanket to snuggle up and fall asleep in! I'm also just obsessed with the simple yet beautiful prints!
What is your support system like and what role has it played for you and your family?
My Mom came from California to stay with us for a month to help before, during and after the birth of the newest twins. I have also had some in laws come to help out. Luckily, my older sister just moved to Maui so she is here on island with me when I need her. My husband's side of the family is also here on Maui. I have some amazing friends that are always dropping in to check on us also. So it's safe to say we have a pretty nice support system going on here. We are so blessed to have the amazing family and friends that are present in our lives.
If you are interested in being a part of our Family Feature series, please send an email to email@example.com. We'd love to get to know you and your 'ohana better!