Interview with Becca Miquel: On life as a mother of twins
Blisshood: When you found out that you were going to have twins, what was your first reaction?
Becca Miquel: I started crying. I was happy and sad at the same time. I mean, I was happy but I was also terrified. I kind of expected it because I did IVF with two embryo. But, nothing will prepare you for the shock of actually knowing “okay, I have two babies coming”.
Blisshood: How long had you been trying to get pregnant before you got the official news?
Becca Miquel: We had been trying for about a year and a half and when we got the news, we knew immediately that they were identical twins. So, we had all the information and we got lucky that the IVF worked the first time.
Blisshood: Are there any main differences between a “single” pregnancy and being pregnant with twins in terms of care? Do you need to take any extra supplements or have additional tests?
Becca Miquel: It totally depends on what kind of pregnancy you have. In my case, it was a high-risk pregnancy because I had two amniotic sacs but one placenta. So, I was followed in the hospital. I did ultrasounds every two weeks. Anybody else does it about every two or three months.
Blisshood: When it came to getting ready for the twins to come home, how did you handle it? Also, in terms of budget…buying things for one baby is expensive so for two, I’m guessing the budget just explodes…
Becca Miquel: I think people underestimate how much you can get away with not buying that much. Living in Paris, we have to deal with space-saving.
I did a lot of blog reading on what we really needed two of and all I came up with was: we got two cribs, we got two sets of pajamas and things like that. They had one bouncy chair and one play-mat so, they shared most of their stuff. It was only really high chairs and cribs that we needed two of.
Blisshood: Do you have any advice for moms of twins, particularly for the first couple of weeks?
Becca Miquel: I would say, buy as you go. Otherwise, you can get stuck spending a lot of money on useless things that take up space. I really had to figure out how to do things as I went. For instance, I did not use the double stroller that much at the beginning.
Blisshood: That’s surprising!
Becca Miquel: I know! I ended up carrying one baby and pushing one in the stroller because I couldn’t get in my elevator or into a lot of doorways or just small Parisian streets and coffee shops. So, things like that, I just realized along the way, which you do in any case as a mom, you learn along the way.
I think that one thing a lot of people don’t realize is how hard it is to get around. That is the hardest thing with having twins. The fact that I can’t walk up a staircase with two sets of carriers, for example. I mean, it is dangerous and scary. I can’t do things like that easily. One of the most frustrating things is that people will be like “okay, meet me across town” and I can’t take the metro. It’s like I can’t carry a stroller like someone with one kid can. So, things like that were kind of a challenge.
When I had friends come to my place, it was really nice because I could deal with one baby at a time and I wouldn’t have to be so stressed at somebody else’s place trying to figure it all out.
Blisshood: Did anybody volunteered to help you out while you figure out a routine?
Becca Miquel: No. The best gift I ever got was from my mom. She got me a night nurse to come every two weeks for the first two months. I was able to have one night of sleep every two weeks because otherwise I wouldn’t.
Blisshood: How did you deal with the lack of sleep and exhaustion? Were you breastfeeding?
Becca Miquel: Yes, I was breastfeeding. I did not breastfeed for very long because it became really hard and I was crying at night.
Blisshood: Would you breastfeed the twins at the same time?
Becca Miquel: Yes; you have to put them on the same schedule as soon as they are old enough. At four and a half months we put them in a partial schedule. At six months, they were on a full schedule and they were sleeping from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every night.
Becca Miquel: For us, being on a schedule is the thing that saved our sanity.
Blisshood: How was the first time you had to leave the twins with a nanny?
Becca Miquel: I’ve never been so happy in my life (laughs). I found a nanny that was recommended and I hired her once they were three months old. She came two afternoons a week just so I could get out and go to the grocery store. She was great…I felt human again.
I wished I had figured out the nanny and all that stuff before.
Blisshood: How do you follow your bliss as a mom?
Becca Miquel: By not expecting perfection. Too many moms put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect. I just try to let myself live the emotions that I’m living and if that means crying all day or whatever, it just means that I’m living in the moment. I think that when the moments are great with your kids, then that’s where the bliss is.