Parenting is no cake walk, even if the rewards are sweet. Becoming parents to twins, triplets or higher-order multiples requires even greater reserves of patience, a near-fanatical devotion to organization and, ideally, a few extra sets of arms.
Haley Terry, mother of twin girls, attests, "Sometimes you are literally juggling them, one in each hand. After a near-drop experience during week 1, I never did that again." Terry, a life-long athlete, describes parenting multiples as the most physical job she's ever had, likening the lifting, squatting and carrying to a CrossFit regimen.
So in the future, you'll have great biceps and find untapped wells of patience. But you can work your way to the planning expertise -- starting now.
First, prepare for the realities of carrying multiples. It's likely that bed rest will be involved and possible that the babies will be premature. A C-section may be necessary, and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may hold your infants for a little while. A good way to avoid feeling overwhelmed by negative possibilities is to learn as much as you can. Touring the NICU, for example, will make it less of a shock to see wires and tubes connected to your babies later -- you'll know what each machine does and how it's helping your newborns get stronger.
Because of the possibility of bed rest and premature birth, you're also on a shorter timeline for getting things ready. You'll want to finish the nursery and all your baby-proofing prep ahead of schedule, because after you're taking care of two, three, four or more little ones, you won't have the energy -- or the time.
We've got your next step -- on the next page.