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Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years Paperback – October 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

When Meghan Regan-Loomis discovered that she was pregnant with twins, she searched fruitlessly for the book that would explain how to manage the logistics and challenges of caring for two babies at once. Discovering that it didn't yet exist, she vowed that she would figure out the answers and one day write the book herself. A veteran high school English teacher, she specializes in American literature, Shakespeare, Milton, and, more recently, How to Burp Two Babies at Once. A competitive tennis player who received her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College, she lives near Boston with her family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Getting Them Close to Term

In my twin travels since having our boys, I have met so many families with multiples who have moving, sometimes tragic, sometimes nearly heroic stories about childbirth: the setting is usually the NICU, and the protagonists, two or three tiny babies who come much too early. Neonatal care has become astoundingly effective, and many of these stories now end happily after a frightening start and much arduous effort. But even when all seems well after the crisis period of weeks or months in the hospital, the lingering
tragedy of the hidden harm produced by an early birth remains, and the eventual emergence of these problems is a slow drip of agonized worry and coping over years, whether the problems are as mild as slight learning differences or as severe as cerebral palsy.

It is a difficult project for a woman's body, be it twenty-four years old or forty-three years old, to grow more than one baby at once and take them to term. Actually, it's a pretty tall order to do so with one baby. As common as having multiples is becoming, it is tempting for us to think that because everyone seems to be doing it, it must be a reasonable proposition. But in spite of the numbers of us having twins or more, it remains a daunting task right from the first trimester. While it obviously can be done, it is worthwhile to bear in mind that we weren't truly designed to make two at a time. We cannot simply assume that our bodies will figure out what needs to be done and obligingly provide, regardless of the level of our more conscious efforts.

Dr. Barbara Luke's book, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads (coauthored with Tamara Eberlein, published by Harper Collins, 1999), is a great resource for helping to ensure a healthy multiple pregnancy and delivery. When I was pregnant, we read it, re-read it, highlighted it, re-re-read, and marked important passages with stickies. It was completely dog-eared by the end of my pregnancy. In a nutshell, the author, who is a prominent researcher in prenatal nutritional issues, argues for the importance of substantial maternal weight gain in order to bring multiples to term. But please don't be
contented with the nutshell version. Go get the book.

Eat More and Slow Down
The truth is that you can do a lot to increase your chances of getting your babies to term. Ironically, the most important elements to success are two ideas that have become completely counterintuitive for the modern western woman: to eat more and to slow down. Very quickly, you need to reorient your thinking so that you can see weight gain and rest as good things, even if they have been your tacit enemies since adolescence. The concept of needing more rest when gestating two babies would seem self-evident at some level, and yet most of us are so accustomed to catapulting ourselves through hectic, overscheduled days and into evenings of re-grouping, bill paying, housecleaning, and scheduling tomorrow's madness that "rest" or "slowing down" means doing all that except, perhaps, the dishes. It's difficult for us to imagine how life would proceed if we truly eliminated or lessened the activities that fill our days. The dry cleaning can't get itself. That disgusting bathtub won't self-clean. One ought to pay one's bills. Right? Sort of.

Yes, life goes on. But your contributions to operations of the household must, must, must be diminished, and this is true even if you love being pregnant and have never felt better in your life. This is not simply a remedy for the suffering. It is a preemptive measure that will help ensure the babies' health. You need to rest every day, and at times of the day that would normally embarrass you as indulgences. This means a nap after lunch, or as soon as you get home from work, and an early—as in right after dinner—bedtime, even if you lie in bed and read for hours before sleeping. Even if you feel capable of pushing harder and getting more done, don't. If you wait until you are totally beat and aching to rest, you have waited too long. It's like getting an oil change for the car: if you can feel a difference in your drive afterward, you waited too long. This is preventative rest, not restorative rest. And someone else will simply have to pick up the slack on everything else from bathtub scrubbing to board meetings. You will probably be surprised to see how much more adaptable others are to your new status as a slug, compared to you yourself. Give yourself permission to give these babies the best chance they can have, knowing that it involves some sacrifices.

Reality Check
Research points repeatedly to rest and nutrition as crucial in determining the health of twin babies. Yet as convinced as I was by the logic of this research, I still struggled with the notion of pursuing a substantial weight gain. That is, at the same time that I was willingly and healthfully gaining seventy pounds over thirty-nine weeks, I was simultaneously sickened by the thought that perhaps I would only lose, say, eleven pounds of it. I had a hard time believing faithfully in my being able to lose that much, having struggled with my weight in the past. This was a strange emotional position to
occupy: half of my brain saying, "Eat. Eat!" and the other half saying, "Oh Lord, will I weigh over two hundred pounds for the rest of my life?" The answer for me was no; in fact, I weigh less now than I have since high school. (My high school friends will tell you that this isn't terribly impressive, which is just one of the many reasons I no longer hang out with them…but you see my point, right?) Gaining more weight than your entire body weighed in fourth grade needs to become a goal, not a dread.

Eat as much healthful, protein-filled, vitamin-packed food as you can manage. And then eat more. And then take a nap. There are all sorts of reasons that multiples sometimes come early, so it is simply incorrect and unfair to surmise that a mother of preemies didn't do everything she could to get those babies to term. At the same time, eating and sleeping are two behaviors that you can control that will help to give your babies the best possible chance they have to stay where they belong until they are fully cooked. As we used to say during my third trimester: in spite of the aching back and sleep disturbances, they are much, much easier to take care of while they're still inside you.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402214057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402214059
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have now read three of the books that are out there on handling twin babies, and I have to say this one is absolutely the best. First of all, it is hilarious, which really makes it fun to read. But more importantly, it gave me meaningful, specific ways to cope. Not just "get help" but "here's how, exactly". I just felt like, reading it, I had a best friend or sister guiding me through the whole way, reassuring me that I could do this and telling me HOW. I feel so much better prepared for twins than I did before I read it, even though I had already read "Here They Come" and "Twinspiration." It wasn't until I got this book that I started to feel like I can handle these babies. This one is definitely going to become the go-to book for expecting twin moms. As my due date nears, I am actually now RE-reading some parts.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike most of the "expecting twins" books I have read, this one was heavy on (mostly) practical tips for living with twins and light on the all-the-horrible-complications-and-risks-of-having- twins. It was refreshing to hear someone who had twins close to full term, and is managing raising twins with a decent strategy.
My issues with it were the author's attitude in some of the chapters. Especially on the topics of diapers and helpers. I am all for being prepared, but she acted as though everyone owed her for wanting to visit or bring a gift and one should take full advantage of the novelty of twins and milk it from visitors and well-wishers. Her take on diapers was to invite every man, woman, child she met on this earth to a party and require a case of diapers as an admission ticket. It was a little off-putting.
The chapters on helpers were worse though, stating that if someone wishes to come visit you after your babies are born, they should be met at the door with cleaning supplies and earn their keep. The toughest to swallow was that it's nearly impossible to raise twins in the first couple months without a DAY and a NIGHT nanny, whom you should expect to pay $100/$200 a day, respectively. Since that would equal a large portion of my salary at at time I would not be working, that doesn't seem like well-rounded advice for most people. If you can afford it, awesome. But most people can't even fathom that sort of payout.

As for the good points, I really took away some good ideas. For instance, stockpiling food before the babies are born, making casseroles and quick-reheat meals and freezing them. And a "corral" for playing instead of baby-proofing the whole house. Worth checking out of the library, but not the the inclusive guide I was looking for.
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Format: Paperback
As a mom of twins,I have found Juggling Twins to be an invaluable reference source. Regan-Loomis' approach to expecting and parenting twins is realistic and undaunting. With great wit Reghan-Loomis explores all facets of having twins. She touches on relationship issues that may arise due to lack of sleep, additional financial stress, who should do the midnight feedings (and two o'clock feedings), and needing individual personal time when you barely have time to fit in a shower. Included in this book are also GREAT tips for how to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks such as feeding both babies at the same time, getting laundry and dishes done (accept offers of help from ANYONE who offers), getting the babies on a schedule for sleep as well as feeding, trying to find time to get to know each baby as an individual, how to let your babies explore and grow while keeping them safe and not losing your mind trying to keep track of where each is (picture crawling and toddling phases of developement), and potty-training twins.

This book has helped me to realize that I'm not the only mom who has sat in my twins' room at two o'clock in the morning wondering which child I am holding and whether that child will forever be known by the other's name because I accidentally switched cribs at the last feeding. This book is the instruction booklet that should come with every set of twins!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At 32 weeks pregnant with twins i purchased this book. After focusing my entire time in just making it to 30 weeks in my pregnancy, it was time to be prepared for the actual babies!

This book started out scaring the crap out of me! I NEED a night/day nurse? Its that bad??? OMG! I can't do this on my own? My poor husband had to listen to me freak out. I didn't WANT a night/day nurse. I wanted to do this on my own besides the obvious first week my mother in law comes and helps!
Than the book goes into a few great tips about feed timing and schedules. But soon the book was COMPLETELY USELESS TO ME.
Listen, i don't mind asking my friends and family for a bit of help here in there. And most of them are waiting to be asked or are going to ask me over and over again. But the things she suggests is down right rude. I would never ask any of my friends and family for such things. For goodness sake they threw me an amazing baby shower and i got some amazing gifts! Thats good enough for any type of financial support from them!
Most of the book was filled with how to get things out of your friends and family and its just sad. If my family comes over and wants to do help. They will. I do NOT need to ask them. if they want to bring food to me they will. Thats the thing i hated most about this book. If you are blessed enough to have people in your life that love you. Than they will help you where they can. Not where you think they owe you.

Please buy another book.


I will first state that my twins were NOT easy babies. They weren't terribly difficult at first either. They slept a lot. They ate a lot. They cried. I came home from the hospital the next day after my c section.
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