Dads in Twin Shock! Yes, They can get it to. How to Cope, Ease Fears, and Help Your Spouse Out & Vise-Versa.
Dads in Twin Shock! Yes, They can get it to. How to Cope, Ease Fears, and Help Your Spouse Out & Vise-Versa.
Our miracles are 14 months and 3 weeks old.
I know we have talked about twin shock before, and that is because I couldn’t have had a bigger case of it myself. If there is such a thing as twin shock, I was completely electrocuted and crispy, like a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, for some LONG, long time after the shock 1st set in.
What we haven’t talked about are dads, and their feelings when mom brings home the, ‘Honey it’s twins’ news, or the couple sees two heartbeats up on the ultrasound screen, with jaws on the floor.
Of course men have feelings to, so I thought we might talk about fathers of multiples. Father’s of multiples to be, in paticular. Twin shock, and how to overcome it, and be strong for your wife..working as a team. It makes all of the difference.
My husband’s reaction to twin shock was that he just didn’t talk about it. In my mind, I saw it as being cold and heartless. See women get shocked, but they absolutely NEED somebody to talk to, most preferably you, however, sometimes men regress and just stay quiet as their minds are racing.
This may be a good defense mechanism for you fellows, but a bad one for the wife involved. We easily feel shut out, which can cause depression, and overall sadness. Though I do now believe this is never intentional. I was at the point where I felt like my husband would rather me abort then have two babies, but I later found out I was dead wrong. I just felt so shut out and lost at the time.
Why do some men regress at this moment? What are on the minds of men while their lips aren’t speaking? Chances are more is going on upstairs then we women might think. We need to be more understanding ourselves. You do also have a lot to think about, and worries of your own.
Common things dads worry about when they learn the big news.
1) How will I be able to support two babies at one time?
2 babies at once is a tough expenditure. We were just doing ’alright’ as it was. (Men stress heavily over money. More so then us ladies who simply say, ‘Everything will work itself out’, while nickel and dime everything, think about the long term, and keep the weight of the world on their shoulders about the money coming into the household, especially if he’s the only one bringing in any sort of income. This is huge when the news hits.
2) Fears for their wives and their babies’ health.
Though less of a high risk pregnancy then say triplets or quads, having twins is still considered a high risk pregnancy, and despite the amount of healthy twins we see out in the world, the facts are that there are increased risks to the mom, and to the babies involved. They are real, and they are scary, but fortunately in today’s day and age chances are well in your favor for a glorious outcome for all!
The human body really was made to carry one passenger at a time, that is true, and men inwardly may fear something grave happening to the person they love and married, and also that perhaps a bad outcome will befall their babies because some risks are increased. These feelings are natural, just remember a vast amount of women and baby twins remain healthy and thriving, without any bad befalling them.
I have since learned to understand these fears men have, and that just because a man is not talking, does not mean that he is not thinking. It does NOT mean he doesn’t care about his girlfriend or wife, nor his unborn children. He is human. YOU are human!
3) They worry about their lives with their wives after twins.
We women worry about keeping things together. Keeping the passion alive, and being able to juggle things, and make it all work, but we know that it will. Men might simply think, ‘When will we ever be able to get freaky and intimate again? Will we again have time alone together, and crazy sex like it once was before?’ It may require some work, but heck yeah you can! I’m proof of that!
We know men think about sex every 6 seconds or so, so it’s not a big surprise that they can fear a second baby will make it that much more impossible to keep the sames fires burning, however let me just say you do have to juggle things around, but at the end of the day, you will have sex. Then as time goes on it gets even easier, you will see.
At first you and your wife will be tired, and not thinking about sex. (Believe it or not. She has to wait 6 weeks anyway. Tough I know.) I know you can’t imagine waiting, but after a short while, routines are made, schedules are set into place. You know when they are napping and where, when they are falling asleep at night, and tired or not, you do all you can to steal those special moments and make things as they once were again. Your sex life, your intimacy, and times together, are NOT over.
4) They fear losing time for themselves.
I think moms have this fear as well. When you think about twins when you have no experience with babies and children especially, you just predict absolute chaos, disorder, insanity, morning, noon, and night, and perhaps an episode of the show Nanny 911 might pop into your mind, and you’re thinking ‘I’m doomed.’ Ok, let me tell you this:
A) Time for yourself alone may be scarcer yes, but anything you strive to make time for, there will be time for. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Everybody needs to recharge their batteries, and dad works hard to, so of course he deserves some time to breathe. Wives can help out in this respect, and husbands can then return the favor from time to time. That’s what marriage is all about.
B) Don’t go looking up the subject of twins and multiples online. BIG, BIG mistake I made! All they share online are war stories, except here, where I am 150% real and honest. If you do this, mom or dad, you get yourself scared silly, because nobody cares to share the positive side of things. Twins are not going to turn your house into the Nanny 911 set.
ALL children are different, and as well I know, you can have 1 singleton that is harder then two twins put together. So keep in mind, it’s nature and nurture, not the ‘having twins’ part that is going to move your home into crazyville. Grab a good raising twins book, and prepare yourself and any siblings you have, well in advance. It makes the transition easier, just don’t read online.
C) Accept help when offered and needed. It’s important not to just get alone time with yourself for some peace, but also as a couple to keep the love light alive. (Going to the movies, a romantic meal, etc.) This doesn’t just go for twins, but for a new parent of a single baby as well. Lean on friends, family, even the community if they offer help where you are.
If you can afford it, you can start trying to hunt down the perfect sitter or part time nanny for your babies, before they have even arrived yet. Of course if they are not recommended by a dear friend, or known personally, you want the whole shebang: References, background check, resume. The whole deal! There are ways to get that much needed time in, just hang in there, and don’t think so negatively about it.
5) How can we handle this. How can I handle this?
I promise this won’t be you!
Whether do to advancing age, like my husband was a bit freaked out about, or simply the sort of lifestyle you are used to living that maybe is a bit carefree, or just more structured. It’s hard to imagine two little people coming into this, and not making the boat tip right over.
You have heard the saying that ‘God doesn’t give you more then you can handle?’ Well, I now know with 110% certainty, that this is true. It gave me zero comfort while I sat in twin shock for 8 months, but hindsight is always 20/20, and I assure you that the thought of twins is one of the scariest things in the world at first, and very hard to grasp. However, since I have been through the fog and into the clearing, I do know this is true….
YOU CAN HANDLE THIS!!
The money WILL indeed work itself out, the relationship between you and your wife can actually grow stronger, not weaken with twins, because you learn how to lean on each other for help and guidance, and you work with those babies like an amazing team. Me and my husband were never as close as when those babies came home, and I do admit, I expected the complete and total opposite.
Then he took a $20,000 a year pay cut at work right after their birth. He would stress over it of course, and about the subject of money in general, but didn’t talk about it. Men seem to find it taboo to talk about money issues, unless it’s a good thing, like they won some money in a card game,or got a raise at work, etc.
To a man his income and job position becomes who he feels he is, and so to lose some of it at that crucial time is devastating in more ways then one, but it works. We don’t need help from anybody financially. Twins aren’t as draining to the wallet as I honestly expected…As we expected, and I mean that in every way.
If you were to ask my husband he will reply the same way that I have since the twins were born, after preparing myself for Armageddon, we both say, ‘I expected much worse. It’s not so bad.’ And if you asked him who he could part with, he will shut you off like a TV set. None of them. He can’t imagine his world without one of those girls, even though only 1 baby was in the plans.
Honestly he was quite content with things as they were, so I pushed for the baby mostly, and ended up with two. Imagine that weight on my shoulders. He wasn’t talking, and I felt like he’s going to be mad at me, because this wasn’t supposed to happen, and then I felt like I was doing my 5 year old daughter especially, a disservice.
Now the twins would have each other and she’d be left out, and I just got so sad and depressed about the pregnancy when I thought about that, along with worrying that my marriage would break, and we’d be struggling so. It would have helped immensely to have someone to talk to and hold me. Tell me that everything would be alright. That someone needed to be my husband. Maybe he needed me for the same.
Guys I understand your fears. Even if some of ours differ from yours, a woman has to carry and bear these two beautiful lives, and it’s scary stuff! No matter how frightened you are, please…..SUPPORT YOUR WIFE! DO NOT SHUT HER OUT!
Wives with a husband in twin shock, which is pretty easy to see, they may shut you out, or just seem stunned for a time, please do the same…Be there for him. Patience and understanding is the key!
I can not tell you how many days I cried in the silence of my room, simply because I felt like I lost my husband because he turned so seemingly cold. Now he’ll just say, ‘I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say or to do. I wasn’t trying to be an as&hole or hurt you. My mind was going round in circles so much, I didn’t even know I was hurting you.’
During a pregnancy is when a wife needs her husband the most. During a twin pregnancy that goes two fold because it’s a scary time for us, and yes wives admit it’s a scary time for them to, don’t take all the glory for yourselves. Understand his feelings, and don’t add stress to an already stressed out person. Be there for her, and trust me, she will hear you out and be there for you, just please….
1) Talk like you have never talked before in your life.
Instead of one extreme, try the other. Go out to dinner, park the car at the beach, sit in the bedroom but turn off the TV, and simply communicate your feelings to your wife and allow her to do the same towards you. You will realize you have many of the same fears and thoughts in common.
You do not want to make your other half feel alone in this, and you don’t want to deny yourself the gift of a support system around you either. Feeling alone, trust me, is the saddest ting in the world, when you find yourself pregnant with multiples and terrified. Embrace one another.
2) Erase any blame.
Yes some couples are over the moon to have twins, but many have doubts, and many still have twin shock which can range from mild to extreme. And believe it or not, Sometimes blame gets placed on one of the parties. Do NOT allow this to happen. This can be devastating to a marriage.
Since we used insemination to have 1 last child, that I had been pushing for, I did feel some guilt. I was afraid of multiples and made sure to take all precautions to only have one baby. I asked the doctor during that cycle, ‘is there any chance for multiples’, because this time for certain, I knew we just wanted one, and we were done.
The doctor replied, ‘You only have one viable egg which doesn’t even look good as is. There is zero chance for twins.’ Now how that got twisted into blame on me, when I triple checked, and made sure to be safe unlike the time before with our 5 year old, he still managed to say, ‘Yeah Shell, no chance of twins. And you believed that?’ ‘Only you.’
Obviously if it’s in God’s plan, it’s in his plan, and now we both see it, know it, and are in love with them, but at the time it was tough. I felt to blame, when if I knew what was in store for us, I would have been celebrating.
If your husband or wife has twins in the family some might look at each other and say, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ or ‘Your the reason we had twins instead of one baby.’ All of these things you can say are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, and you will eat those words and feel very guilty for them, when your beautiful babies arrive. It’s easy to do but stop looking at it like twins are a bad thing.
Once the shock wears off you will see all the good in them, and if you need further support on the subject, moms OR dads, feel free to write me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s my life’s passion to help others, which is why I am here!
3) Your wife being pregnant with twins is not a curse.
It’s a scary time for mom as her body continues to grow and stretch like she never imagined, and hard for dad as he starts wondering if he can work extra hours and try and build up some savings. However, no matter the hardships, no matter the struggles you had maybe as a couple or financially before the twins.
The struggles you had making these babies or if the pregnancy was completely unplanned, in the end you will come to realize you have been blessed. I couldn’t call it a blessing my whole pregnancy, and I feel guilt for that now. Great guilt. I forgive myself, as should you if you feel the same way right now.
I never knew my love could stretch so far.
But oh how it can, and it does.
Don’t believe me? Just wait & see!
Twins aren’t easy. They don’t come with instructions as no single baby does. But they are a whole lot of fun, a whole lot of joy, and all of the other stuff…sibling jealousy, financial issues, marital stress, worry over pregnancy complications, and then worrying over the babies, after it all works out, and the babies are here and things fall into place, you’ll realize you are lucky indeed.
There is NOTHING quite as amazing as having multiples. My marriage is stronger then it was before, and yes we still have sex, and wonderful sex at that.
Some things you can do with your wife to help bond with your babies’ to be.
1) Go shopping with her.
I remember trying to make the experience ‘real’ by shopping, and over-shopping at that. After getting this news and falling into some ‘shell shock’, you may not feel up to it, but trust me, you’re wife will be thankful, and you will more quickly be able to come to terms with the thought of twins, if you do make it seem more ’real.’
Don’t buy a whole wardrobe early on, because in the first trimester anything can happen, including what is called ‘Vanishing Twin Syndrome’, which is quite common. Just buy one cute outfit for both, and hang it up in the closet or leave it out. You can bond through heavier shopping later on, and hopefully by then, some if not all of the shock will be worn off.
2) Go to her doctor appointments, and especially important ultrasounds with her.
There is nothing worse then a woman who feels alone and pregnant with twins, much less at a special ultrasound appointment. I know work schedules for some might be tough, but try and juggle things around, at least for the important sonograms. This will really make your wife feel special, loved, and is an incredible experience for you to dad.
It again, not only makes things seem more real, but you start to realize that as they are growing, these are your little people, and you will become amazed by them as time passes. I haven’t met a father yet who can stand like stone and not fall to putty after hearing their childrens’ heartbeats, and seeing them move on a big ultrasound screen.
Incredible how they go from this…
To this, so quickly. Don’t let a moment pass you by.
It’s incredible, it will help make your wife feel so much better to know that you care, and are sharing this experience with her, and you will connect much more quickly to your bubs-to-be. I really regret how twin shock stole a lot of this amazing experience for me during the pregnancy. Don’t make my mistakes. Enjoy it all. Start to finish!
3) Talk baby names & discuss plans. (The happy stuff.)
No, I’m not talking during the 1st 3 months. Likely, it will take that long to come around to the whole ‘twin thing’ for many men, but after a certain point, be sure to not shut your wife out. Discuss names, discuss nursery ideas, and future plans. Everything positive and happy. All of this helps your marriage, keeps you from sleeping on the couch, (just kidding), and prevents you from landing in my own personal dilemma.
Sitting on a hospital bed after discharge time like we did for hours, still without names on the birth certificates, because my husband couldn’t or just didn’t discuss these things with me, during my pregnancy, try as I might. That hurt, so don’t make that mistake. This is one of the most exciting things to any new mother to be. Do it together. (Even if she does blow 90% of your name choices out of the water.) It shows that you care!
Hang in there guys, and NO silent treatment. Talking is so beneficial in general, and even you need it more then you know. Never be ashamed of your feelings. One day you will forgive yourself for them, and be living a more wonderful life then you ever imagined. Kiss your wife, tell her you love her, and are there for her, and welcome aboard the twin train. Remember.. I am here if you need me!
You’re going to be an amazing father!