What Expecting Twin Dads Really Need to Know

If you’re a soon-to-be twin dad, there’s probably a million things running through your head each day, as it gets closer to The Big Day of your twins’ arrival. You probably have a long to-do list of things that your partner wants you to do and you might be anxious about how you’re going to manage all these details. You want to be supportive and well-informed, but just don’t have the time to sort through all the information out there. That’s where you need to get the low-down from a twin dad expert who can break it all down into what you need to know most. Today we’re talking about what expecting twin dads really need to know with expert Joe Rawlinson.

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Featured Expert

  • Joe Rawlinson

    Joe Rawlinson is a father of four with his last two girls being twins! He has a podcast outlining how he navigated being a new twin dad and helps teach families what to expect as they navigate the joys of parenting times two!

    Read Bio >

Episode Transcript

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 0:00
If you're assumed to be twin Dad, there's probably a million things running through your head each day as it gets closer to the big day of your twins arrival, you probably have a long list of things that your partner wants you to do. And you might be anxious about how you're going to manage all those details. You want to be supportive and well informed. But you don't have all the time to sort through all the information out there. That's where you need to get the lowdown from a twin dad expert who can break it down into what you need to know most. Today we're talking about what expecting twin dads really need to know with expert Joe Rawlinson. This is twin talks. The ultrasound shows your babies to be healthy.

Speaker 1 0:32
What did you say babies? You're huge. Are you having twins? Are they natural? Which one do you like? Better? Winds? Ha my neighbor's cousins, brothers. uncles have twins. So can they read each other's minds? How do you tell them apart? Twins, you got a two for one twins when in your family double trouble. You're not having any more. You just you're

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 0:51
not Octomom. If you're pregnant with twins, or you're an experienced twin parent, odds are you've heard it all before. Now it's time to hear from the experts. This is twin talks, parenting times two. Welcome to twin Talks. My name is Christine Stuart Fitzgerald, and I'm your host just a little bit about myself. I have a set of identical twin girls. And then they were followed by a singleton girl. So my husband pretty much gave up and we got a male dog named chateau. And so today, we also have some guests with us. And we're going to introduce them in just a bit. Now, so if you haven't already, be sure to visit our website and new mommy media.com And subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes we release each week. And another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app. If you're looking for ways to get even more involved with our show, then check out our membership club. It's called the mighty moms. It's where we chat more about the topics discussed here in our show. And it's also an easy way to learn about our recordings so you can join us live. Well okay, let's meet our guests. today. We have Jose and Monique Roma who join us as twin parents of toddlers, almost one night thing get and we also have our guest speaker Joe Rawlinson, author and fellow podcaster of the dads guide to twins. So as we get started, I would love for all of you to introduce yourselves to our listeners and share a little bit about what was like when you first found out you were having twins. So what were your first thoughts and what are you most worried about? So let me let me turn this over to let's see Jose and Monique.

Jose Romo 2:34
Yeah, so again, my name is Jose Ramon, my wife Monique Rameau. We're from Fresno, California. And we have twin boys, One boy, one girl, and they're going to be one next week. So the past year has been pretty crazy. So from what I remember, when we found out we were having twins, it was actually very early on, it was the very first ultrasound. And I remember seeing the screen, I can't really read ochre sounds well. So I remember sitting down and I see two black dots on the screen. And my mind was when like, all over the place, like it was just, it was crazy. It was our first time having kids and I didn't think we were gonna have twins right off the bat. So it was definitely a sense of excitement, some fear, because it was just a lot. So yeah, it was it was a it was Ohio time.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 3:35
I can only imagine. And so as your dad, what was your first thought? Were you? Were you What were you? Were you worried about anything? Um,

Speaker 2 3:46
I mean, yeah, I think there is always like a natural feeling of being worried because I guess that I was my first time dad was gonna be my first set of babies. So I think I was just worried about, you know, not being able to live up to the being a father in a way but also I was there's a lot of worry about the see me my wife kind of have like a, we're always waiting for the other shoe to drop kind of feel because so we it was kind of hard to be fully excited, because we were we knew it was a high risk pregnancy coming up. And it was just like that worry about like, Are they okay? Are they going to be? Are they healthy? Are they going to make it the full nine months. So it was a lot of worry in that aspect. And in terms of financially or financial problems, I wasn't too worried about that. I had just gotten a new job at that point. It was just a matter of saving up and looking at what we need for the babies. But I will say my worries definitely came from the are we going to be able to to make it the full term or the baby's gonna be healthy because it's a scary thought, you know, because he can't do anything once they're in the belly. You know, I can't protect them that much. So it was definitely I think that worry came from it. that aspect of things. Oh,

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 5:01
yeah, I can I can only imagine. And Monique, you were obviously, as the mom, probably in shock even more. So. Oh, yeah.

Monique Romo 5:15
When we had gone like Jose said, we had gone to the our ultrasound. And we were, I saw one little bubble pop up on the screen and like, Oh my God, thank God, there's a baby in there, because we had miscarried six months before. So we had finally seen that we have a baby with a heartbeat. And then seconds later, we see another bubble pop up, and I'm like, maybe it's maybe it's something else, you know, maybe it's not. It's nothing. And then they said, Do you have twins in your family? You know, because Ultra, you know, ultrasound techs can exactly give you medical advice, or you know, give you your diagnosis or whatever. And that's when it confirmed Oh, no, we were having twins. And I was kind of shocked, but a little freaked out. Because, you know, I first time mom, I've got to have two babies at the same time. It was pretty crazy.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 6:03
Pretty Yes. We all remember that moment. Right? And

Monique Romo 6:08
then And then because it was twins, it was it was high risk. So we couldn't exactly. We were excited. But like Jose said, you know, we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. I ended up getting preeclampsia later on in my pregnancy. So I mean, throughout the whole pregnancy, I had to go to the doctor all the time, you know, once or twice a week. And then and then it up being twice a week to the hospital visits. And then we're in the hospital for two weeks. And on 11th day, we delivered the twins at 37 weeks. Wow, they're healthy, they can be healthy. Oh,

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 6:43
that's so great to hear.

I'm gonna turn this over to Joe. Unlike Yeah, how about a quick introduction? So and then what were your first thoughts? And how did you get into become the you know, the dad's expert?

Joe Rawlinson 7:05
Hey, everybody, this is Joe Rawlinson. I'm a father of four teenagers, I've got to do singleton boys, 18 and 17, and have identical twin girls who are 15. They're all in high school right now. They're all driving. I'm sorry. That's true. And the expensive. Yeah, don't ask me about car insurance. that'll break the bank. So as you could tell, they're all really close in age together. And so when we found out that we were going to be having twins, I started looking for information for dads for twin dads, and everything I can really find out there was by moms for moms, the books, if there was books, there was like, we got a paragraph as a dad, or maybe a footnote at the end of the book. And so I thought, Okay, well, if I'm having the same experience, I must share what I'm learning along the way with other dads and help them out. So I just started sharing on my website, dads Guide to twins.com. And that ultimately turned into a podcast and a couple books. And so it's been fun to help help dads that are coming up to the path behind me, all over the world. And that's been a great adventure. As far as our own twin adventure goes, when we first found out we're having twins, we knew that we were pregnant, my wife had taken the pregnancy test. And we were excited to have our third child what we thought was be her third child. And I had gone with her previously to the first appointment with a doctor and ultrasounds. And so I said, Hey, I'm just going to take care of our twin, or I'm sorry, your toddler boys. And you can go the doctor so you don't have to worry about them running around the office and stuff. And so of course, she goes by herself and finds out she's having twins, we're having twins. And so I got the news over the phone while I'm waiting in the car with her boys. And somehow I safely drove to the hospital, the doctor's office to get her to bring her home. And it's been an adventure ever since.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 9:01
So you and you definitely took on the mantle, you know, and but you know, much more I mean, so I gotta say, I mean, that's, that's awesome that you're providing kind of beacon of light for a lot of the twin dads because I agree there really isn't a whole lot of information. I mean, most of the you know, let's just say are like podcasts and stories and medical information is directed to moms. So we love that you're providing a resource specifically for dads. So that's really awesome. So, um, so I'm just curious, then, we know, specially for Joe, when the dust settled down, and you were first finding out that you're having twins. So so what were your top priorities? You know, as a dad, I mean, you had you had to, you know, babies or toddlers at that time. So I think at that point, you kind of had an idea of of what you needed to do, but I'm sure when you find out every two it's just sort of things things change a bit. So what did you decide you needed to do when you got the news

Joe Rawlinson 10:06
was first worried about my wife, I was working full time. And she was a stay at home mom to our toddler boys. And I couldn't imagine how she was going to handle four kids at once, especially, you know, babies with the toddlers. And so that was my my biggest concern was, how are we going to logistically help her get through this challenging? I mean, we didn't know what was going to be happening. So this challenging time as infants, we knew, what if a single infant meant we knew what single toddler meant, we didn't know what to at the same time would be. And, of course, naturally, I also had the concerns about how are we going to fit everybody in our house? How are we going to fit everybody in our car? How are we going to pay for everything. And so all that swirling emotions of, of me trying to make sure my family was was provided for and taking care of as well as supporting my wife, you know, emotionally and supporting her through the logistics of caring for twins, those were kind of my top of mind concerns at the moment.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 11:04
And so I can imagine, then you're, I mean, yeah, again, you had a little bit of, you know, the idea that the magnitude of it, I'm sometimes I have to say, I don't know, which is, which is better or worse to, you know, have twins at the beginning? Because you really don't know, and you don't know what you're getting into. Or if you've already had kids, you're like, Well, okay, I think I have a general idea. This is maybe going to be a little bit more than what we had and just having a singleton, baby. So I don't know, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I know. And in my case, where our twins were, the first two that we that we had, so we had no clue. I mean, it's until say, my, my husband, when we knew we're twins, we knew we were not gonna be able to do it on our own. I mean, we knew we need help. So I think that was, in some ways helpful that we could just say, hey, it's we got to pull out the big guns. So I remember we told the grandparents, we actually got them all on the phone at the same time. And we said, Okay, we have some some big news. And you know, they kind of knew, like, we weren't trying to get pregnant, they said, Oh, you're gonna have a baby and says, it's bigger. What do you mean, and there was like this pause, and like the goat, you could hear them going through their head. And it's like, what twins are like he up. So we asked for help, like, right off the bat, because we knew we need them to come down. And we're going to have, we're going to spend some time. So I know, it's, it's kind of tough when you, you don't know what you're getting into.

So I'm curious. So when you look back at the things that you thought were important, then you know, sort of the like, I don't know, if you'd mentioned, you know, kind of getting, you know, maybe more, give it like a bit Do you have enough car and space, that kind of thing, but we're the top we're priorities? Would you make the same priority that you did, then?

Joe Rawlinson 13:12
I would I mean, my, my first priority had to be for my wife and making sure the babies were were fine and healthy. And so everything else kind of we figured we can just solve those problems as they came up. I think I was overly concerned about the logistics of fitting in our house and our car and in finances, because all of those were problems that we were able to resolve we I mean, we stayed in our same house. The car was fine. I mean, it was a tight squeeze, still was a tight squeeze. Our teenagers all share the same bathroom still. So it's the only they've only known that experience their whole life. So it sometimes you just have to take a pause and evaluate what what is the most pressing urgent thing in the moment. And that was making sure my wife was healthy babies are healthy, happy, everything's cruising along. And then we could sort out the rest of the household. Oh,

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 14:03
yeah, I can imagine. And Jose, how about for you? So what were your top priorities when you were when you first found out that you guys were pregnant with twins, it was

Speaker 2 14:11
about the same way it was more about educating myself as much as I could on you know, expected to win dad. But most importantly, it was how to be as supportive as I could from my wife, and how to be there, and how to cater to her and her needs, especially with the pregnancy. That was pretty much my top priority is making sure that I'm there for her as much as I could be. Because I know it was gonna be a tough road ahead. And you know, there's only so much I can do so there's a lot of reading and researching and on how to just be there for her on the end. And then everything else came second in terms of house space and living space and all that

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 15:00
Right. Yep. But no, that's I mean, that's great. I just say I, you know, I love to hear that, that you're like, Okay, let's make sure she's got what she needs and both physically and emotionally, that's wonderful. So are we just just to shift over a little bit, so I gotta say, So Joe, in your in your book that the dads guide to twins. So you lay out a number of things that dad should focus on. And I think one of the first things is how are we going to afford to having to at once. So what do you tell dads who are hit with this big question about finances?

Joe Rawlinson 15:33
Yes, one of the biggest concerns I hear about from dads is how they can afford everything I know, I shared that same feeling when we found out about our twins. I mean, the first thing is you kind of have to have a handle on where you're spending your money right now, I know people may or may not like to budget their money, but at least in to take an accounting of where your money is going. So that you can start to make adjustments if you need to. A big issue a lot of dads I talked to is both both partners are working. So like mom and dad are both working and they have to make the decision of should one of the parents become a stay at home parent? Or should they both keep working and put the twins in daycare, which has its own exorbitant costs depending on where you're living. And so one thing is that you kind of have to look at what are essential expenses. And you have to be honest with yourself about what these really are. And what are our discretionary or optional expenses that can be not necessarily gotten rid of forever, but maybe for a season of your life as you're adjusting to life with twins. And then you can start to bring those things back. As you get used to the finances of twins, diapers, food, clothes, clothes, baby gear, all those things. So first, evaluate where the money is going, what you could cut, or optionally how you could make more money. Can you raises switching jobs? Who works? Is it the mom or the dad? You know, maybe who's which of the two partners is making making more money? Should you put the kids in daycare? Is it cheaper to have parents stay at home? Lots of lots of parents I talked to decide that it's not worth one parent working full time just to pay for daycare, when they might as well just stay home and enjoy that experience being with their kids when they're really young. So it's a lot of things to consider with the finances. But definitely, you know, there are always ways to be creative with your finances to make it work. So don't just throw up your arms and give up. There are ways to make it work in the end.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 17:29
Yeah, no, I absolutely. And I and for Jose and Monique. I mean, were you did you have any concerns about finances? Like oh, my gosh, how are we going to make this work?

Speaker 2 17:40
too? Right. Yeah, kind of like Jill said. I know earlier, I said that. When we first found out about twins, I wasn't thinking about finances too much. But after the dust settled like your previous question I did, we did start to talk about it. And that same topic came up about who was what are we going to do after the twins were born because we were both working full time at that point. So we were starting to look ahead and how we were going to make it work with one of us working. One one of us working or daycare. So we were considering our options early on. And uncannily just that it just didn't look twins. I guess, you know, everything's double. So they care what's going to be super expensive. And we've already gone that route. And that was that was a big topic between us two is just how we are going to make it work in terms of finances and money and who was going to stay home. So there was a lot of talk about that. And it only got pretty worrisome for a while but you know, I'm a very optimistic person. I just, you know, I believe everything will work out. And I think so far we're doing okay.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 18:54
Right now, I hear you. And you know, the thing about daycare, you're so right that, yeah, sometimes it just logistically, I just find it doesn't make sense to have, you know, pay for daycare have two people working and I know myself, it's I found, you know, my plan was to stay working full time, you know, after the babies were born. And it just, it just didn't work out that way. And we're just looking at that and think, okay, maybe you know, it's time to just to stay home for a little while and take care of the kids. And I'll just say I think that's a time when Yeah, that is as partners, then you have to have those those conversations about how the roles are changing and evolving. So it's not just about parenting, but sometimes you have to have some deeper conversations about you know, your relationship as well and how you're supporting each other. So yeah, I think that's that could be a whole topic in of itself. Like the relationship right.

So do I know that, you know, we've kind of mentioned that, you know, when you have twins, you I mean, you, obviously we need to have more more space or carve out space. And you know, wherever you're at, you know, more rooms and a house more seats in the car. And I know that a lot of times, you know, couples find themselves looking to buy a bigger car or look for a bigger house. And as I say, I can share my story. So I mean, my husband, I were living in a small condo, and like, just it was a two bedroom condo. And you know, we thought, oh, you know, initial thought was, oh, yeah, we'll make the second bed that bedroom that the nursery. But we realized, I mean, this was we didn't have a garage. I mean, it was in a, you know, urban area. So there was no storage space. And I mean, there would literally be like no place to put a double stroller, would it be like sitting in front of the front door, and like, Okay, this is kind of crazy. And this was back in the days of the real estate market crash, so it was just kind of crazy. So we said, Okay, we got to look, we need a bigger space, we need a house. Somewhere, we can, you know, have a place for the mother in law to stay overnight and, and put two cribs and all of that. And I just I just remember, you know, we, our whole process of buying the house kind of went south pretty quick. Just because of the the time. And we were on the verge of being homeless literally just weeks before our girls were due. I mean, it was insane. And I remember thinking about what it was going to be like to take care of newborn twins in a hotel, or stay at my parents house. And of course, neither of those was something I'd want to do. But thankfully, my husband was really persistent in getting putting the strings together and getting the right people. And so we got the right person, and we moved into our house 10 days before our girls were born. So I can say sometimes that as an expecting twin dad, my husband when he was seriously having to go through, you know, a lot of stuff he went to bat for us, and he figured out the logistics of having expanding family. So I guess so let me ask you. So Joe, do you have any suggestions for dads who know they need more space? If I mean, if if How did you carve out space in your house? I mean, if you already had to how did that work?

Joe Rawlinson 22:25
Yeah, space, more space is like linked to the cost of more space. And so first, it's like a budget decision. Like if you have the if you have it in your budget to get to a bigger house or get the bigger car, then by all means do it. Because if you don't need the space right away, you'll need it eventually, once your twins are mobile, and beyond. But if you can't really afford that extra space, you're kind of forced to be creative. I mean, my first instinct was to go look at house listings. Let's go get a bigger house. We live in a in a three bedroom two bath house. And so you know what used to be like a guestroom that yeah, that's gone. What used to be an office space. Yeah, that's gone. Each room, our boys have a room and our girls have a room. And like I mentioned earlier, they share a bathroom, I thought that we would need to immediately move to get extra space. The reality is that newborn twins themselves do not take up a lot of space. So like you mentioned, if you have room for cribs, and that stroller you may be good enough for for a while. Now once they start becoming mobile crawling walking, then a little more space becomes more of a necessity. But if you're in a pinch financially and you're like I can't move right now I can upgrade to a bigger space. Maybe you can make it work in the space that you have by repurposing space like can we get rid of our little office space and turn that into the nursery. You can also think about we found great success in like vertical storage like if you look above your head or look look above the flat table tops there's always space on the wall above you that you can turn into extra storage IKEA maybe your best friend I know we dropped a lot of money at IKEA doing that kind of stuff so the extra space will come in handy a lot a lot later like I said we have four teenagers still in the same space and the teenagers are are bigger than me now so it's it's still feasible and workable if you need it to work you just need to be again creative with what the solution you come up with.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 24:20
And how about okay so Jose in my neck so did you find yourselves Did you did you have to did you end up expanding getting you know more Did you move? Did you get a new car what was your situation?

Monique Romo 24:33
I wanted a new car that's one new car doesn't have new car. But we have a full size sedan. So we made it work you know as a giant trunk so that's where we stick like the strollers and all that stuff in there. Don't have to worry about keeping it in the house. But we live in a three bedroom home. So when we had we first had the twins we kept them in our room in a twin bassinet so that save a lot of space. And then once They were ready to move into their cribs, we have put two cribs in one of the spare bedrooms. And now that they're getting older, I feel like there's a lot of clutter. Like there's not enough space to put everything. Recently, not too long ago, we actually got a giant playpen from them to play and so all their toys are in there. So that kind of minimizes the, some of the clutter. But yeah, we, we, I mean, we would, we looked at bigger houses, but I feel like right now is not that wouldn't be the time you know what I mean?

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 25:30
Oh, yeah, I hear you. I know.

Speaker 2 25:33
Yeah, cuz, like Monique said. I mean, at least we had the space to begin with, you know, go to extra bedrooms. And, but as time went on, we just started seeing more stuff build up and up, like two swings, two walkers, two of everything. What we thought we had space now it seems like we don't have enough. So it seems like space is always getting taken up. And we hope to upgrade, you know, houses in the future as they get older new car and a bigger living space. But we're trying our best to make it work with what we have right now.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 26:09
Yeah, no, I hear and so many, you know, that's really great to know. I mean, it's I think maybe a lot of our listeners out there are going hey, you know, I feel like, you know, I'm in a small space, I don't know if I can make it work. So it's, it's good to know that you can. So sometimes that might be, you know, have to just be a little bit creative with where to put this stuff. So I don't know, maybe we should do a whole episode on on how to do organization for the twin nursery, that might be a good topic, too. So we're going to take a break. And when we come back, we're going to talk more about some of the key things that twin dads need to know.

Welcome back to Twin talks. Before the break, we were talking with Joe Rawlinson of dads guide to twins and our panelists, Jose and Monique Romo about the prep that's leading up to the birth of their twins. And I, you know, I just wanted to kind of switch gear here a little bit. And so I think we know, we've been talking about some of the, like, the finances and some of the logistics of that. But I was gonna ask, you know, how about birth plans? I mean, you know, I think for for all the moms out there birth plan is such a big thing to figure out. Okay, you know, how are we going to have? are twins going to arrive? Is it? Is it planned? Is it you know, are we going to do like, just, you know, induction or natural or hospital or home birth? You know, all of that. So I'm curious from from the dads perspective. So Joe, what are some of the the ways that you could help your wife or you'd suggest that you would, you know, the dads can help their their partners in preparing for the in the birth plan?

Joe Rawlinson 28:02
Well, one thing that I always kept in mind was that it was my wife carrying the babies, it was my wife, who was going to deliver the babies. And so I was going to go with whatever she wanted to do if she wanted to try natural birth. Okay, let's do it. I'm going to support you all the way if she wanted just to have a C section. Great. Let's do it. I'll support you all the way. And so when we, when it came time to decide what we're going to do in our in our case, each of our Singleton's had been born via C section. Our first was an emergency C section after about 24 hours of labor. And our second with our with our second born son, she aside just let's go straight for a C section. And so that was the decision also with our twin girls, was let's just plan for a C section. So once that decision was made, it was you know, talking over with the doctor to figure out what are what should we expect, as far as twins go, you know, how can we plan for that at the hospital. And having already gone through a couple of C sections. I mean, we knew what to expect, as far as procedure goes, and what my what my involvement as a dad would be where I would, I would just be hanging out waiting for the babies to come out. So one thing was talking through that logistically with a doctor also with twins, because they always come so early, you know, premature compared to singletons, our boys were born, you know, close to 40 weeks, which is normal for one baby. And our girls were born at 36 weeks. And so you kind of the give and take of when the hospital would actually schedule A C section. Versus when you might want the C section or hospital when scheduled till 38 weeks. Turns on my wife was started going into labor at 36. And that's one thing led to another when we had the twins. But talking through you know what your partner wants was critical and I wasn't going to force my desire for one thing or the other upon her. I just wanted my wife to be healthy. I wanted my babies to be delivered healthy and I was willing to go and support whatever whatever needed to happen there.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 30:00
Oh, absolutely, yes. So I want to ask Monique, how did Jose support you when you were, you know, putting your birth plan together. And as it was, you know, being as it was unfolding.

Monique Romo 30:11
Oh my god, Jose was amazing. Everything I needed, he made sure I had, even before I even mentioned it, he made sure that every single appointment doesn't matter if it was a 15 minute appointment or a quick phone appointment, he went, he was right there to make sure he was in the loop. I had a million things on my Amazon cart, he made sure to get all that stuff too. So I was never, I was I was, personally I'm a procrastinator. So he was the one getting everything together. And when we thought we were ready to to have our babies, you know, preeclampsia hit, and all this stuff hit. So it kind of changed how, how we were going to do things in order, like finish the nursery and get the car seats ready. And so we had the C section at 37 weeks, and my health took a kind of a turn for the worst. Almost had a stroke, my blood pressure was dangerously high. So everything was pretty much on Jose to two. You know, he's kind of a single parent for a second. You know what, since the baby was born, he was doing in diapers, bottle feeding taking care of me. And that wasn't part of our birth plan, I thought I was gonna be able to get up and be able to do everything after the C section. And he was amazing. He made sure everything was perfect. Thank you to add Jose.

Speaker 2 31:36
The Yeah, I was the birth plan was kind of tricky, especially once the end of the pregnancy came around. Because we just didn't know when the babies were gonna come. It was hard on all fronts. Like I didn't know when I was gonna leave work, I didn't know, when we need it, we just have the hospital bag ready. We just prepared for whatever was gonna come. And once the preeclampsia kind of hit a peak, then that's when everything just kind of went full, full, full motion the head. And yeah, I just I just tried my best to be there in any way I can. I stayed in the hospital the full two weeks with there. And when the babies are born, I was trying to do what I can. And it was a tough time, because it was hard to plan for all that. And I think it was one of those things where you can't fully plan for it until you're in that moment, especially in your being a first time parent, it was a lot. So the birth plan was pretty tricky for us to do with the preeclampsia and just the unexpected birth date and all that. Yeah,

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 32:38
I it's it's I you know, and it's scary, too. I think, you know, I can imagine I know when as you know, the moms having maybe some kind of health issues, and it's like, okay, well, you know, this is we'll figure this out. But I can imagine as a dad to just try to figure out well, what how can I help, you know, what can I do? Or, you know, and maybe felt kind of, you know, a little bit helpless, like, Okay, I'll you know, help with the kids. But that that's probably there's probably a deep emotional, you know, component going on, like, ooh, so it's, that's I, I've heard that from some other dads do they just say Yeah, it's like, it's just really hard. Give me the anytime when you see someone going through, you know, like some type of a health crisis, and you just, you just can't do anything. Like, it's there's a lot of emotions going on. So I just wanted to also just turn this back over to Joe. So I know, we've been kind of talking about, like, you know, what are some of the essential things we talked about finances and, you know, birth plan, even through like the let's just say, the first year right now, and this is probably another another episode, but But in those early, really early days, are there other things that you think that that the dads really need to do? Or think about? And as well as what are the things that, you know, maybe we don't need to stress about? I mean, I think there's just there's so much information out there, you know, saying, Oh, you need to worry about this. And there's like the creates this really long list. So I think there's probably things we should consider. And then there's the things like, Hey, we got that you got this, don't worry about it.

Joe Rawlinson 34:21
I think a key mindset is only worry about stuff that you can control. And only because that stuff is in your, let's say your sphere of influence. So many things about twin pregnancy, and the twins are totally outside of your control. So any amount of stress and worry, although it's natural to do those things, is not going to help you solve those problems. And there's so many possible health scenarios with twins that if you just go searching on the internet, you're going to be scared to death that everybody's going to die and you're It's everybody's toast. And the reality is that's that's not the case. Every pregnancies is unique. Every delivery is unique and everyone has their own little set of challenge. Just so our mindset was, okay, when something comes up, we're going to then you know, absorb the information from the doctor, then we're going to learn about that, see what we can do about that, and then tackle that problem. So staying out of the hypotheticals will help kind of with your mental health during that the term pregnancy, for sure. And then when challenges do come up, you step up as a dad to support your partner in whatever's whatever you can do to support her emotionally and with, with whatever treatment plans and stuff that may be required at that point. So I had to just say, hey, it's, it's out of my control, and I can't control that thing. So I'm going to focus on what I can't control, which was maybe you know, preparing the house, getting the baby gear, as you know, supporting my wife, stuff like that. During the one thing that logistically is really important to plan, we talked about birth plans, but also like, if Dad is working, you have to think through your your leave, like your paternity leave what you're going to be taking, and each company is different, every countries have different laws about that as well. But you have to come come up with a plan with with your manager, with your boss, with your employer, to figure out what kind of time you can take off with the time is going to be paid time off, if it's unpaid time off how much time you'll have. In our case, I was working full time at a company and we had a two week leave policy for dads when they had children. They wouldn't double that to four weeks, even though there's two kids. So I had to figure out what am I gonna do with my two weeks off. And so the first right as our girls were born, it took one week off. And then I talked with my manager about okay, the for the second week, how about I do half days. And so we had my mother in law came to visit and my sister in law, we had a bunch of family come visit take turns. So there's always like three adults in the house caring for, for my toddlers and the twins for maybe the first couple months. So I took that first week off, and then I just went back to work full time. And then what's all the help I left all my Arlo family and friends and left, and I took off the remainder of my paternity leave during during half days. So that helped kind of ease the transition for my wife going from somebody to be home to support her to her being on her own. So think through the paternity leave aspect. And some employers and bosses may be more empathetic to that than others. But you have to have kind of a plan of how, when or when you will not be home, when it comes time to for that.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 37:18
That's a really excellent point. Yeah, just just the logistics of being there. And you know, even if it's on a part time basis, I mean, I have to say, I know like my my husband had he was able to I mean, in California, there's there's a state plan, you can get some leave family leave or actually as a state, state or federal, I always forget, but you get family leave. And he had some benefits where he could take some time off paternal leave. And we divided it into kind of like, part time. So he was home for a couple of weeks after their birth. And then for the probably couple months after that he was just taking off some afternoons for a few days a week. And that was just helped. It helped so much, even you know, had my mother in law, but just just to know that he was he was there. And you know, he'd be home a little bit more so. Yeah, I agree. I think that's definitely something and when you find out it's probably one of those things yet talk to your employer right away, find out. And I was gonna say doubt, just kind of a I have one last sort of question for all of you guys here. So I know as I can say, speak as a mom, I just really appreciated when my husband sometimes just did the little things, you know, it's so easy to get caught up in just the chaos of you know, managing that the twin stuff. And sometimes my husband would just do little things like bring me lunch, you know, because I couldn't get out I was stuck on the couch. You know, breastfeeding twins for you know, pretty much the whole day. So he got out and he'd bring me lunch from you know, we when he was coming home. So we'd be what's what's one thing I wonder if you could think of something that and you know, maybe I'll put this to Monique first? Is there is there something you maybe you remember that Jose did for you? That really meant a lot and just made you feel good and just felt like he was saying, Hey, I'm here for you. I'm excited being a twin dad, and I'm here supporting you. Um,

Monique Romo 39:25
throughout my pregnancy I was I was nervous. So he would constantly assure me that I'm going to be the most amazing mom. And I mean, that wasn't just a pregnancy it was it was even up till today. I mean, he's he always tells me I'm doing amazing. And then a little encouragement. Yeah, always encouraging and then little things because, you know, he lets me sleep in whenever I need to, you know, he takes care of the kids when, you know, when he gets home from work. He's straight up dad mode. He does everything. He's excited to do everything to so that's also like one of the little things that makes me happiest and being so excited all the time.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 40:03
We love that. And Jose or Joe, if you've got anything that you remember, you've you've done that your wife was really, you know, excited about or really that made her feel great. During

Joe Rawlinson 40:14
the pregnancy, I tried my best to go to every appointment with her was if it was just a checkup, or if there's an ultrasound, just so that could be there to support her. Or, in some cases, corral or two toddlers that we had to take with us. And I was talking to her the other day about this. And one thing she said to me like, as a dad, I was kind of always focused on the logistics or what can I do physically, you know, preparations, etc. And she's like, you know, one thing you really did was just, you'd be there physically with me, or we cried together when they're going through challenging parts. And so just connecting in that regard emotionally, was a huge support for her. Not every, as a as a dude and engineer my past life and like, always want to try to solve the problems, but most of the time, it can be something very simple, like just sitting together talking to through talking through problems together, and sharing those emotions together in a very even in a quiet, brief moment that you may have together.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 41:14
I love that. Okay, well, that's a great way to to finish out the show. So, thank you so much to our guests today who joined us for this episode. We are expecially thankful to Joe Rawlinson for sharing his expertise. And you can get more tips and tricks for twin dads on his website, dads Guide to twins.com. And be sure to check out new mommy media.com, where we have all of our podcast episodes, plus videos and more. Then Well, that wraps up our show for today. And thanks for listening. If you like twin talks as much as we do, please consider checking out the amazing businesses that sponsor our show the week after week. And we'd also love for you to tell other twin parents about this resource, which of course is absolutely free. And if you want to check out some of the other podcasts we produce, such as newbies, parents savers, the boob group and preggy pals, then visit our website at New mommy media.com. Thanks for listening to twin talks parenting times two.

Disclaimer 42:16
This is Ben and new mommy media production. information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media and should not be considered facts. Will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical visor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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