Twin mom interview with MaHogany Jackson: “I feared my life was over when I learned I was expecting twins”

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Black Moms Daily: Who are you and what do you do?
My name is MaHogany Jackson. I am a Wife, Mother, Mentor, and Entrepreneur. It is my passion in life to help every woman I encounter become the best version of themselves whether it’s through my mentorship, social media or a women’s empowerment event I’m hosting.

BMD: What was your first reaction when you found that you were carrying twins?
I was shocked! I literally could not believe it. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I had my first ultrasound. I remember the technician, discovering the first baby and seconds later saying: “I  think I hear another heartbeat”. I knew that she had to be kidding me. But no, she was completely serious. All I could do was smile and say to myself how I could not wait to tell my husband this.

BMD: Did you take any special care to cope up with your twin pregnancy?
In terms of special care, since I knew I was carrying twins, I was always extremely cautious about everything. I would call my doctor’s office anytime I felt uneasy. I honestly felt like they knew me by heart there because I called so often. Other than that, there were no special care
requirements required by my doctor.

BMD: Do you have any complications during your pregnancy or delivery? 
No, I did not have any complications during my pregnancy or delivery. I had a very smooth pregnancy, no preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. I did have to be induced at 35 weeks. At my final doctor’s appointment before being induced, the MD reviewed my ultrasound results
and my twin boy’s weight estimates had dropped within the 6-7% percentile. The MD suggested that I be induced the very next day to avoid the possible passing away of one of the twins since
they were no longer growing well in the womb. She stated that allowing the twins to remain in the womb would just be us “waiting for something bad to happen”. Hearing that news nearly paralyzed me; however, on the day I gave birth, several nurses, the NICU team, and others
crowded the delivery room during their delivery to see what the odds would be post-birth.

Thank God, our boys each came out weighing nearly 2 lbs more than what the doctors suggested. They were both healthy, with no concerns or abnormalities and we are forever grateful.

 BMD: Were your they born Premature?

No, the twins weren’t born prematurely. Justin (Baby A) was 5 lbs and 12 oz and Marcel (Baby B)  was 6 lb 5 oz. They were both able to go home with us when I left the hospital about a day ort after giving birth.

BMD: What are the ups and downs of being a twin mom?
I would say the “ups” of being a twin mom is having two adorable babies to love. You
get to watch two babies learn to sit up, crawl, walk and meet other milestones. It is truly a heartwarming experience. The “downs” would be the amount of energy it takes to properly mother twins. I tip my hat off to mothers of larger sets of multiples. It’s two to bathe, two to
feed, two to discipline and so on. I wouldn’t count it as a “down” of being a twin mom, but it’s more tiring than it looks.

BMD: What’s your typical day like?

My typical day as a twin mom fluctuates. In a perfect world, I would say that I have this amazing routine in place and my kids go by it every single day, but if I can be
transparent, my boys are 13 months old and I am still trying to find the right schedule for them. Our typical day entails 3 meals, two snacks, bottles of milk, juice, and water. I brush the twin’s teeth, bathe them, get them dressed and style their hair, I read to them, play games and we do
educational activities.

BMD: What fascinates you the most about twins (especially your own)?
That would be their creation. I am still
fascinated by the fact that we as women can bring more than one child into the world at once. That’s pretty amazing. Alongside that, I love the bond the twins have with each other as well as how unique and different their personalities are.

BMD: What was the biggest fear you had going into twin motherhood?
I feared that my life was over. I had encountered so many parents who complained that having kids caused them to put their dreams and goals on the back burner. They complained about no
longer having free time, alone time, and the toll kids had on their relationships. So, on the day I gave birth to my twin boys, I was overjoyed yet a small piece of me feared what would life be like now. Did giving birth to my babies mean that I was burying my dreams in exchange? As the
weeks went by for me as a new mom, I soon realized that giving up on your goals as a parent is a choice. Not a direct requirement. Being a mother doesn’t mean that your life is over. Yes, it
requires you to be selfless, creative and proactive in managing your time but not purposeless.

To all my mom’s out there, you are not JUST a Mom. You’re a mom AND SOME.

BMD: What has surprised you the most about your twins?
It’s definitely how smart they are at such a young age. I’m constantly discovering that my kids understand and know more than I think. They have gotten over on me a bit in the past because I thought they didn’t understand what I was saying. Now, I’m learning that they know what I’m saying, sometimes they just choose not to listen.

BMD: What is the number one myth about having twins you would like to debunk?
A myth I would like to debunk is that having twins is just like having 2 kids that are less than 14 months apart. I always hear moms say, “I practically had twins too since my kids are only ____ amount apart” when trying to compare whose motherhood tasks are harder. No, it’s not the same. Having two kids, the same age does not measure up equally to having two kids of different ages in diapers at the same time. Twin motherhood is a lot of work. Give us all the credit we desire.

BMD: Is there any advice about having twins you wish you had been given?
No. I honestly feel like I read so many articles and talked to so many moms that I was over-prepared when it came to the twin aspect. I’m not at all saying that it hasn’t been hard. I’m just saying that when I came to an issue, I was like “oh yeah, that’s why _____ recommended
this/that”. General baby advice I wish I would have understood better was the importance of maintaining a schedule. Whew.

BMD: What do you do when both babies are crying?
When both babies are crying, I try to figure out what they both need so that I can give it to them both at the same time. For example, if they both are hungry or thirsty, I would prepare both bottles and fix both plates. When both are crying for something, I have to do one at a time
(for example diaper changes) I try to do it as quickly and efficiently as I can to calm each baby. Sometimes it’s hard because you want to soothe them both at the same time, but the quicker you do each one, the faster they both will feel better.

BMD: Do twins run in your family?
Yes, twins run in my family and on my husband’s side of the family, this is their first set of twins. My family, on the other hand, has so many sets of twins. I can count at least 5 sets in my family
off the top of my head. I think the trait skips a generation in our family. People always ask was I  expecting to have twins or was it always in the back of my mind that I could, and the answer is no. With my family being so big, I would have never in a million years thought that I would be
the one to have twins next.

BMD: How do you handle their sleeping pattern?

In the beginning, it was tough because I had to get them on the same sleeping schedule. Now, they are pretty much on the same schedule. Sometimes one will wake up in the middle of the night and his pattern will be a bit off during the day, but it ultimately evens out by that night.

To all my twin mamas out there, I know your distress in the early stages, but rest assured that their sleeping schedule will eventually become in sync.

BMD: What are some tips/tricks you would share with a new (or pregnant) mom of twins?
For the pregnant moms of twins: USE THE INTERNET IN MODERATION. What I mean by that is when it comes to the symptoms you feel, always speak with your doctor. I used to google my
pregnancy symptoms and I always ended up more stressed and worried than I needed to be. 9 times out of 10 it’s not what you think or READ. Also, I know once you pass about 28 weeks, it gets so hard to sleep, but hear me out. GET YOUR REST. Pregnancy insomnia cannot compare to
the sleepless nights as a new mom. Believe me when I say this.

For new moms of twins: Pace yourself, Mama. You got this. I promise. Don’t second guess yourself or put too much pressure on yourself. You’re not perfect. You will mess up, but that does not mean you’re not a good mom. Stop worrying and comparing yourself to others. You’re
doing just fine. I also share tons of Motherhood tips/advice via my Instagram. Feel free to check it out at @mahoganyj_

BMD: Do you have any tips for breastfeeding twins? Do you feed them formula? 
Breastfeeding twins long term is possible. However, if you chose to feed them formula that is okay. I breastfeed my twin boys for about 4 months. It was tough, but it wasn’t impossible. I could have continued breastfeeding them but it honestly would not have been the best
decision for me. Does that make me any less of a mom than those who breastfeed their twins exclusively for 12+? No. Are moms that chose to breastfeed their babies better than moms who chose to use formula? No. Remember this, fed is fed always.

BMD: What will be your supporting words for new twin moms?
God made NO mistake when He made you a Mama. You got this today, tomorrow and in the weeks and years to come.

BMD: Have you ever been overwhelmed with mommy guilt and felt that you couldn’t do justice to your twin mom role? 

Most definitely, and 13 months in, I still get swings of those feelings. However, I overcome this by reminding myself that God could have easily blessed me with one baby, but He decided to bless me with two because He knew I was capable of the task. I also have to slow down at times
and remember that there is no such thing as a super mom. Despite what we see on Instagram, we as moms are all trying to figure this thing called motherhood out. No one is perfect and no one has it all down packed.

BMD: How would you describe motherhood in your own words?
Motherhood is being selfless. Motherhood is being strong. Motherhood is making the best decisions for your family. Motherhood is making sacrifices. Motherhood is loving in spite of the
circumstances. Motherhood is being a place of comfort and a source of love for your children.  Motherhood is a precious gift from God.

BMD: How much does it cost to raise twins?
TOO EXPENSIVE! I’m kidding. I’ve been blessed to have received tons of support and resources. Having twins is quite expensive when it comes to having to buy nearly two of everything. Just think of how much it costs to raise one baby…now times that by two! On the bright side, there are tons of resources (ex: WIC, Medicaid, etc.) out there to help families who need it. Do not be ashamed to use them if you have too.

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