Interview

Twin mom interview with Johari – “when both babies are crying I used to cry with them”

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BMD: Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Johari (IG @jcxjc_) I’m a nurse who loves taking care of people who are in need.

BMD: What was your first reaction when you found that you were carrying twins?
When I found out I was carrying twins my jaw dropped. I never thought I’d be the one to have twins! And the craziest part is two days before I knew I was having twins I had a dream that I was having twins.

BMD: Did you take any special care to cope up with your twin pregnancy?
Because I was having identical twins I had doctors visits every 2weeks to make sure there wasn’t any twin to twin transfusion (TTTS)

BMD: Did you have any complications during your pregnancy or delivery? If so, can you share your experience?
Yes! I had complications at 30weeks, I was 5cm dilated & 100% effaced. I was in and out of the hospital until I delivered at 33weeks, after delivery I lost a lot of blood and I almost had to get a blood transfusion, Thank God that wasn’t in His plans. Because I lost a lot of blood and I am anemic I was SO COLD after birth I’m talking about freezing, Titanic cold to the point where I couldn’t even talk, I had a 103 F fever and was vomiting. I felt horrible and I all I wanted to do was cry when I should have been happy.

BMD: Were your twins born Premature? Did they stay in NICU? How did you handle the Prematurity and NICU journey?
I delivered my identical twin boys at 33weeks and stayed in NICU for a month and 2weeks. It was a really big emotional roller coaster for me, having to see my babies in an incubator with tubes and cords everywhere. I cried every day. While in NICU my oldest twin Kairo had an IV infiltrate which led to his right arm being swollen for 2days and I broke down. I just couldn’t wait to get my babies home because NO ONE can take care of my babies like I can.

BMD: What are the ups and downs of being a twin mom? And what’s your typical day like?
I was diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD) so it was difficult for me to handle situations. I couldn’t do anything without my fiancé, I couldn’t be alone with my babies because I needed help with feeding and consoling them when crying because I couldn’t hold both of them at the same time. A typical day is HARD! I honestly don’t go anywhere because it requires me to do so much. Especially while breastfeeding every 3hours, I just don’t even go anywhere, it’s easier for me to just stay home.

BMD: When were you diagnosed with PPD and how did you overcome it? 
I was diagnosed with PPD 4-months postpartum. It started around 2-months postpartum but I didn’t seek help until 3-months postpartum. I’m still battling with it, I have doctor visits every month. I still have high anxiety that I can’t control I haven’t fully recovered but I’m slowly getting back to myself. What has helped me a lot is listening to motivational speakers and my fiancé in my corner. I beg every mother out there to please seek help immediately if you don’t feel like yourself because PPD is very serious and I want every mother to feel happy with their baby.

BMD: What fascinates you the most about twins (especially your own)?
What fascinates me the most is that my identical twins were once a single egg that split into 2 and that I find magical!

BMD: What was the biggest fear you had going into twin motherhood?
My biggest fear was how am I going to do this? And trying to unlearn unhealthy habits so that my twins can be better than their parents.

BMD: What has surprised you the most about your twin boys?
EVERYTHING! Sometimes they will laugh, yawn, or smile in unison and it brings me joy.

BMD: What is the number one myth about having twins you would like to debunk?
One myth about having twins is that you do not always deliver by C-section. That’s not always true; I delivered vaginally, with one of my twins in a breech position.

BMD: Is there any advice about having twins you wish you had been given?
I wish someone would have told me about all of the twin necessities, like the twin z pillow.

BMD: What do you do when both babies are crying?
When both babies are crying I get really anxious because I can’t console and hold the twins at once. So I pick up the one that’s crying the most and then I put his brother on my lap so that way I can rock the two. It works sometimes though lol

BMD: Do twins run in your family?
Yes, on both sides, but there’s been a study that identical twins are spontaneous and aren’t by genetics.

BMD: How do you handle their sleeping pattern?
Since the twins were in NICU they were put on a schedule which really helped me a lot, so they sleep and eat every 3-4hrs.

BMD: What are some tips/tricks you would share with a new (or pregnant) mom of twins?
That would be, KEEP THEM ON A SCHEDULE no matter what, when one wakes up then wake the other twin up. Feed them at the same time. Connect with other twin moms they understand what’re going through.

BMD: Do you have any tips for breastfeeding twins? Do you feed them formula? What routine do you follow to feed your babies?
I breastfeed my twins whenever they’re hungry which is every 3-4hrs, I change their diapers first then breastfeed. I would highly suggest the “Twin Z” pillow for breastfeeding, prep your feeding area with pillows, burping cloths, whatever it is that you may need whether bottle feeding or breastfeeding.

[READ also: Interview with Nickelle Solanke: On life as a mom of twins]

BMD: What will be your supporting words for new twin moms?
My supporting words would be never give up on breastfeeding, it’s very hard at first but it’s a process. ALWAYS ask for help, talk to family and friends if you feel alone, I’m still learning myself but I always hear that it’s gets better as the twins get older and I’m finally realizing that with my 5month old twins. It will get better.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with mommy guilt and felt that you couldn’t do justice to your twin mom role? If so, how did you overcome this?
Yes! I feel so overwhelmed when both of my twins are crying at the same time and I can’t console both, I use to cry with them but that didn’t help so I just say to myself that it’s going to be okay and I just breathe in and out and try to retain calm.

BMD: How would you describe motherhood in your own words?
Motherhood is beautiful. I honestly feel that a mother is super woman with super powers. We are always here to save the day. From carrying them and feeling their heart beat to helping them grow in the womb to giving birth to providing optimal care as a mom to your babies is beyond amazing. Looking at your babies face and knowing that they were made from love and God chose me to be their mother is a blessing!

BMD: How expensive is raising twins?
Raising twins is very expensive, they run through diapers and wipes SO FAST! And then I have to buy 2 of everything. We spent the most on their bassinet, car seats, and stroller.

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