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  • "aramass" started this thread

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 5:01pm

A few questions for parents of twins

Hello

I've got a few of those niggling questions that are keeping me up in the night and hope some of you might be able to put my mind at rest!

1. I'm terrified of very premature birth. How can I stop obsessing about this?
2. I"m worried about not being able to move around very well with a double pushchair. I live in London and don't drive so would be reliant on public transport, is this doable with twins and a pushchair?
3. I want to go back to work part time after 9 months. I hear that child-minders are the cheapest option but do they take children part time? Is it worth going back to work if 75% of my salary goes on childcare? What do other twin mums do about childcare?

These are my silly niggling doubts that I probably shouldn't be having at this stage!

Thank you!
x
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Mavis

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 6:29pm

1. I don't know - I obsessed too and I think we all do! Just don't let it take over the joy of being pregnant. There is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening, nothing at all, so enjoy every second that you are pregnant and I hope that is for a very, very long time.
2. I do a lot of walking, and I prefer the pushchairs where the babies are side by side. I have found that *every* single inch counts! My main pram is a Mountain Buggy and it is the narrowest side-by-side pram. I love it! Its expensive, but it is 3cm narrower than most prams and that means the world to me. I can just about squeeze it on all types of buses and its the only one that fits through my front door and internal doors too. I have had others, including the long prams where one baby seats infront of the other, and these types of prams are much narrower but the turning angle was so huge I kept getting stuck!
3. I'd delay the decision about going back to work, if you can. See how you feel. I went back to work with reduced hours at 12 weeks, so very early. And to my surprise, I really liked this. I missed the girls like crazy, and couldn't wait to see them again, and was over the moon to be reunited with them each day. Whereas I think if I didn't work, I wouldn't have been the best mama I could be all day long on my own. Does that make sense? But there is no way I could have known that before. And trusting your childcare makes all the difference with this decision.

Hope that helps!
M
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  • "aramass" started this thread

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 7:06pm

Thanks Mavis. That's so helpful. Would you mind posting a link to your buggy? I hadn't thought about the long prams and their turning angles. Also, they'll be spending a lot of time in the buggies so it might be nice for them to be able to see each other. What do you do for childcare and does it eat a lot of your salary? I can see your point exactly about appreciating your time as a mother more when you work. I think part-time sounds like an ideal situation. I worry that I'll go a bit mad at home alone with two babies for too long as I'm used to a a job where I communicate all day long and would miss this. Thank you. You've given me lots of food for thought.
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Mavis

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:03pm

I'm glad I helped!
If you want to check out the buggy I have (there is a thread here about double buggies, we all feel loyal and passionate about a different one!), then search for "Mountain Buggy Duo" (new, from 2010), or "Mountain Buggy Urban Double (from 2009 and earlier).
http://www.mountainbuggy.com/duo.htm

http://www.twinsuk.co.uk/products/101366…-Pram-NEW-2010/


I love this buggy more and more each day - when I am walking with my DH, he says things like "you'll never squeeze past that car parked on the pavement, you'll have to go on the road to walk around it". And then I amaze him by squeezing by it (and I yet again thank MB for being 3 cm narrower!). Our walks are for 2-3 hours a day and save my sanity when I have been home alone with them - being outside calms them, and therefore calms me too. So is very important they are comfortable etc.

They are extortionate new, but you can get a couple of hundred quid knocked off e.g. use price-match from Kiddicare. I can give you more info if you are interested. There are also lots on eBay second hand, and they stand the test of time extremely well. They normally sell for about 200 quid used. I used carrycots on the pram chassis when the babies were little, and then switched to the regular seats when they were older.

Childcare - we are currently relying heavily on family. When they resign (!) we are thinking of getting a nanny, mainly because we think the girls will catch less coughs and colds than if they were at a nursery. This is not because we care about their coughs and colds (!), its because it will be very difficult for us to take time off work to take care of them if they are poorly because we need to work to pay for the nanny. We haven't got anything sorted yet though, I'll guess we'll see what happens!


M
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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:08pm

I worry that I'll go a bit mad at home alone with two babies for too long as I'm used to a a job where I communicate all day long and would miss this.
You might go mad (my DH says I would have done), or you might absolutely love it! Some mamas from my twins club got themselves into a very good routine, which meant they always got out of the house, always got play time, and even always got a nap. It can be done! And you will figure out what will suit you best. And of course, your twinnies will help you make that decision!

M
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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:11pm

Hiya



I worried a lot about Premature birth,my DD was born at 37 weeks so I was pretty certain that the twins would come earlier than that.I discovered in my twin PG that I have a short cervix and was put on Progesterone support.The twins came at 35 weeks.I think like Mavis said,you just have to try and enjoy every second and trust the people looking after you.It is a very natural worry.



I haven't got much pushchair advice,I am always crashing into shop display's! Maybe a sling and a single buggy could work for a while? I'm not sure how cold it'll be when your babies are due.I couldn't really get on with a sling,I'm not very strong I think!



Re going back to work,I work 32 hours over 3 day's which is considered part time.My child care costs are fairly low (although obv I have had the twins now!)You ask if it's worth paying out 75% of your salary to childcare......tricky one,I guess short term it won't seem worth it but when the twins are 3 they will get government funding for nursery etc (15 hours a week),so if you have a good job,have worked hard to get qualifications etc you may feel it is beneficial to carry on in your job. Does your employee offer the salary sacrifice scheme as that would save you some money.



I really have no choice about working but I suppose in a way it's good as I personally couldn't leave the work place for 5 years (or whatever),and find a job that pay's the same as what I'm earning.



Sorry for the waffle!



xxxxxxx

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:38pm

Thanks so much for the very helpful replies.
Mavis: I CANNOT BELIEVE the price of that buggy new! Seriously: 700 quid!!!! I had no idea they cost that much! I think I"m going to need that info on kiddicare. That's good to hear you do lots of walking with it. I was a lot lighter and fitter pre IVF and did a lot of running. I'd love to get half as fit as that again. I don't suppose you can run with this buggy can you?? How much will you be paying for a nanny, if you don't mind me asking. Are you outside of London?

Csam: Thanks for your reassurance about premature birth. Lots of women on here seem to make it beyond 35 weeks. I accept they'll probably be early but I'm just worried about them being 'dangerously' premature. I think that paying for childcare might have to be a way of hanging onto my job. I've got quite a good position in teaching and I need to stay 'in the loop' as things change so frequently in education. Also, I enjoy it most of the time.

I'm also worried that it's too early for me to be worrying about the above as I'm only 15 weeks!
Thanks again ladies. Is it worth me joining Tamba?
xx
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Mavis

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:51pm

Mavis: I CANNOT BELIEVE the price of that buggy new! Seriously: 700 quid!!!! I had no idea they cost that much! I think I"m going to need that info on kiddicare. That's good to hear you do lots of walking with it. I was a lot lighter and fitter pre IVF and did a lot of running. I'd love to get half as fit as that again. I don't suppose you can run with this buggy can you?? How much will you be paying for a nanny, if you don't mind me asking. Are you outside of London?
I know... you can buy a car for that, it's shocking. But for me, I'd say this pram was a necessity not a luxury. Its pretty barebones really, but the width was essential. And also things like if you end up carrying one baby in a sling and loading the empty seat up with very heavy shopping, it is still a dream to push despite the uneven load. I'll PM you the email I sent to kiddicare to get the price match - remind me to do this if I forget!


You can run with this pram, a member of my twins club does. But its not a proper running pram - those have big bicycle wheels, a fixed front wheel, and a handbrake. So it depends on how much of a serious runner you are? But it does take a while for your body to get back into shape, so whatever you decide I'd recommend lots of walking first. The last thing you want is an injury. Do take a look at the double pram thread in here though, there are very decent and excellent value doubles like the Nipper 360 that lots of people absolutely love.

Nanny - I am outside London, but I'm still too scared to look at prices. We are preparing to pay 15-20 quid per hour... but haven't done much research to see how realistic that is. Bit scared to if I'm honest. Family is free!

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:53pm

Hi Aramass

I have also worried about some of your concerns so I thought I would chip in too.

1. I am still worried that they will come too early (almost 30 weeks now) just hoping they will last until at least 35 weeks.

2. There are so many things to think about with buggies - I have gone for the Jane power twin pro as it has compatible car seats that slot in. In answer to your question on Tamba - I joined up and have saved so much money on various purchases including this buggy. I got a brand new one for £250 (normally about £700). So Tamba has really been beneficial to me! There are often loads of buggies and other things for sale on their forum (members only).

3. It is hard to say about going back to work as I have not even finished for mat leave yet, counting down the days. I am planning to go back to work after 9 months and I will put them in nursery as we have a great one down the road from us, but it will cost a fortune. To be honest I have no choice financially but I do also enjoy work and will try not to go back full time.



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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 8:54pm

Is it worth me joining Tamba?
Probably, yes. I think you get a useful discount and good support.
(But I have actually forgotten if I joined or not.....!)

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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 9:02pm

Hiya,

My MIL is a childminder. They are ofstead registered and have to complete certain qualifications. Basically they have to be like a little nursery with policies etc etc. Prices are from about £2.50 to about £7.00. My MIL is one of 2 highly qualified ones and she charges £3.00 per hour. My MIL works different hours depending on who she's got. Sometimes she even gets up for 6 to get a child! Also she has to have a folder for each child and has to make sure she writes what each child has done and where they are in their development. A lot of people think a nursery is better than a childminder, but providing you get a good one it's pretty much the same except in someones home. There will also be other children there, my MIL has some kids from primary, toddlers and babies.

Also, some jobs will exchange your wages before tax for childcare vouchers so you end up with a few extra pounds!

Can't help with anything else though!






Our miracle was born on 25.02.2010!!



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Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 9:27pm

Mavis: Yes. I think I will be literally running before I can walk and need to stop the running 10 k fantasies! But I'd like to be really mobile and that buggy does sound fantastic! I can't believe I'm starting to get so fascinated with buggies, that pic you sent was like proper buggy porn! I will start investigating. I also don't think a nanny will be as much as you quoted. I've sort of been investigating and I found out that it was 10 pounds an hour for a level 3 qualified nanny. You can get a private tutor for 20 pounds an hour so I reckon you might be pleasantly surprised as a nanny has to be much less expensive than that.

Ros: congratulations on being relatively near the end! How I wish I was that far along! I think I will join Tamba. 9 months sounds a perfect amount of time off. Forgive the nosey question, will you be making any money after you've paid for two nursery places? In London I'm counting on it being about 2200 per month for two so I really won't be making much at all but like you, I enjoy going to work.
!
Flic: 3 pounds an hour!!!! Wow! I don't think your MIL lives in London does she? That's amazingly cheap! She needs to put her prices up especially if she's qualified and does paperwork! I'll investigate the vouchers.

Thanks again everyone! It's exhausting having to just think about all this let alone actually have to do it!
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 8:06am

Hi

Just wanted to put in my twopenneth! :D

I was totally the opposite about prem birth. was so sure it wouldn't happen to me! My babies were born at 34 weeks but didn't need any help and were good weights... So it doesn't matter what you worry about. They will come out when they come out and I'm sure all will be fine whether early or not!

We have a nipper 360 and love it but I don't use public transport so not sure whether that would work.... It's very light and easy to move and I have taken it across fields and round shops with no problems...

Workwise I will be going back after my year is up but my hubby will be taking over the childcare. We are however employing a nanny to help out at the moment. I found her on a website called find a babysitter and she has references, full CRB check, well qualified and part owns a local nursery! She is a real find. Nannies on the site varied from 6 to 10 pounds per hour so a lot less than you thought Mavis!

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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 8:20am

Aramass, Childminders shouldn't be anymore than £7 per hour. She has about 5/6 children at varying times throughout the day. So if there's 5 kids it works out at £15 per hour. She used to be £2.50 but recently put her prices up. The childminder has to have certain toys for children, and help them develop and reach certain milestones. They have to be up to speed on everything too. But no she's not in London.

I like that its a much smaller group of children. She goes to play group with the younger ones while the older ones are at school and they go out to places in the town, like down to the nature reserve and the river and talk about the animals etc etc.

She had an ofstead inspector come over and my FIL was talking to one of the babies and playing with them and the inspector said that she had just been to a nursery and asked some staff why they weren't talking to a baby which was just laid there and they told her there was no point cos it didn't understand anyway! She was fuming. It actually put me off nurseries. I mean I know they're not all like that but I don't like the thought.

A lot of childminders are a lot cheaper. But no matter where you are you shouldn't be paying anymore than £7 per hour.






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Duffymoon

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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 1:34pm

Hi Aramass

I think being preggers with twins naturally makes you more concerned that the babies may be premature. But like the others have said, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. Personally, once I got to 24 weeks I felt a lot happier and similarly after 30 weeks there was a feeling of if they came now it wouldn't be great but the babies would be ok. Just tick off the weeks one by one and you'll probably find you become less anxious.

there are very decent and excellent value doubles like the Nipper 360


I have two buggies, one of which is the Nipper. I'm a bit like Mavis and her mountain buggy in the sense I couldn't be without this! It still surprises me that the Nipper is so reasonably priced as it's a such a fantastic buggy. Pros are the weight (10kg) (the mountain buggy is 16kg ), it's dead easy to move about - even though my twins now have a combined weight of 36lbs, i can push it across long grass with one finger!! I KID YOU NOT!! I used to go to buggy fit and would be easily going up the hills whilst friends of singletons were sticking out their bottoms with straight arms and puffing a lot! It's certainly a buggy for door to door walks. The only con as far as I'm concerned is it's bulkiness in the sense it folds in half width ways so it will take up the whole of your boot and isn't the easiest thing to lift in and out. it's also that extra 1" wider than the mountain buggy and there are shops in my village I cannot get into. However I also ahve a Cosatto stroller which I use when I shop or if i'm travelling into town. It folds like a regular stroller so much more car friendly. have to say though, once you've pushed the Nipper, anything else is like a shopping trolley in comparison!!

I haven't joined TAMBA but I may still do. I'm going to look at joining a twin club which isn't too far from here too.

Can't answer the work one as i haven't worked for a few years now so i'm very lucky in that regard....I think just see how it goes once the babies are born. You may find you're desperate to go back to work, you may find you want to wait a little longer, it's impossible to say. Personally I have found it hard to be the babies carer 24/7 but once you get over the initial tough weeks, it does become easier and you can start doing normal things again! it's all individual really. If your work income will equal out any outgoings for childcare it just comes down to a question of how much you want to work really. I know many mums are keen to return to work even if it means not earning a great deal. As I said above, perhaps just see how it goes but just to say as well, don't forget those early weeks are by far the hardest! My babies are nearly 6 months now and it's a really lovely time in their development and I feel very fortunate to be witness to it all!! Thank heavens for email/texts etc for keeping their daddy up to date with daily changes!!

Best of luck with your pregnancy :D

xx


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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 4:39pm

Thank you Duffymoon. This is very helpful. I'll investigate the nipper. I don't drive but will be reliant on travelling by tube/bus if I'm to get about. Do you think it's narrow enough for that? It think it sounds like a very good idea to have a cheap, emergency stroller for the shops you can't get into. I was even thinking of getting a cheap singleton stroller in case I want to just take one baby out and leave one with my partner. Do any of you do this? I quite like the thought of having alone time with just one at a time.
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 5:04pm

Do any of you do this? I quite like the thought of having alone time with just one at a time.


Hello again :smile:

I've only had one baby on my own once! i took my baby girl to the garden centre and carried her in the baby carrier. I did think about getting a single stroller and still might. you'd certianly be able to pick up a cheap one as there are far more single buggy/strollers around!

I don't know about the Nipper on the tube, I used to live in London but never paid attention to how mums and buggies worked on escalators or the trains! Rush hour could be interesting! Buses would depend on the type of bus. don't most have to be collapsable and stacked in an area in a bus? The Nipper definitely wouldn't be suitable for that. As i said, love it to bits but it's a bulky thing! If I were you, I'd probably go and take a few bus rides to see what the space islike and if you have to stack them or get on at the back. I would definitely go and visit shops that stock these buggies so you can practice collapsing them etc too. The first time I had to use the Nipper, I had to take the babies to hospital and couldn't work out how to fit it in the boot!! It needed to go backwards and the wheel squished down!! John lewis certainly stock the nipper and other big names. If you fancy a trip to Peterborough, go and visit Kiddicare. They have a whole floor of buggies and it's a fab place to wheel them around.

xxx


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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 6:11pm

Hi Aramass

If you are thinking of joining Tamba it is worth joining up sooner rather than later ie when you are making all of your purchases. You can get some great deals on new or nearly new stuff for twins on their for sale board (including buggies). I have tended to decide what I want and then see if I can get it on tamba. Apart from that the forum is interesting with lots of interesting discussions about multiple pregnancies and parenting issues. I do tend to spend more time on FZ though as I am used to it on here.

In terms of nursery costs - it is £39 per baby per day at the nursery that I am intending to send them to but I think you get a 10% sibling discount. So if I put them in for 4 days a week it would certainly be nowhere near the £2k that you are talking about. But I do live up north so presumably the prices are not as extortionate as London. It is definitely financially worth me going back to work, and quite necessary as well! It is also worth visiting nurseries before they are born (which shocked me) - the best one in my area has a year long waiting list! The others that I have visited haven't much of a waiting list at all but I wouldn't consider sending them there.



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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 8:29pm

Hi Aramass,

I can't offer much on most of your questions - but I would definitely recommend looking into a single stroller, or even two for if you want/have to seperate the twins for a while.

I have been out quite a lot with just one twin, but unfortunately not anywhere exciting, just our numerous hospital visits! However, I do wish I had a second buggy as if we're in hospital all day with one twin, it means the other is housebound with whoever is babysitting. We have two front carriers which were great for the early days, but I'm not very strong and once they got to a certain weight I was struggling to carry them! We did buy the weego twin front carrier, but only used it once when the girls were a few weeks old - they grew so fast they were soon too heavy for DH to carry them both!

xx


Moonshine



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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 9:54pm

Thank you all again for the advice. I've registered with Tamba but haven't joined yet but definitely will. I've also looked online at Kiddicare and there is a fantastic sale on at the moment. The nipper is going for 350pounds but I still feel it's slightly too early to buy anything (15+3) What stage did you start buying things? I'm having a paranoid private scan on Sunday and will also find out the gender (although I don't really care about that bit, it's just the reassurance I want) so maybe I"ll feel confident enough after that.

ONe more question seeing as you are all so co-operative. I can't imagine feeling them kicking. Can you actually feel two of them in there kicking? Do they every have a uterine war and kick each other? Does it hurt/get annoying/stop you from sleeping?? I can't wait to feel them kicking but see how it might have a flipside!
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 9:57pm

Hi Aramass

Many congratualations on your pregnancy!

1. I didn't worry particularly about premature birth (I worried about absolutely everything else!) and my twins arrived at 33 weeks. Yes, it was scary at the time and my girls spent 3 weeks in special care, but it looks like there was no real harm done and the care they received was absolutely fantastic. Even if your twins arrive early they

2. There is another thread specifically about twin buggies so I won't go into a lot of details here but we have the ICandy Peach Blossom Twin (http://www.icandyuk.com/products_detail.php?id=peach_twin) which is even more of a fortune than the Mountain Buggy but it is perfect for me. It is brilliantly flexible because the frame can take car seats, carry cots or regular seats and it is much narrower than a side-by-side buggy but it is staggered rather than one behind the other so no one has to have the 'bad seat' - difficult to explain so take a look at the website. People stop me in the street several times a day and tell me how amazing the buggy is without even looking at the girls!

3. I am going back to work in November and I have started interviewing for a full time live in nanny. They work 12 hours per day plus 2 nights baby sitting and the going rate in London seems to be £415 - £580 (inc. tax and NI) per week. Live out nannies seem to be significantly more expensive and if you have the space the live-in option gives the most flexibility.

Best of luck.

NW
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 10:05pm

Even if your twins arrive early they

I meant to say Even if your twins arrive early, SCBUs are very experienced at dealing with all the problems that can arise and your twins should be absolutely fine.
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 10:10pm

Thanks for the reassurance NW. I think I'm just going to have to accept the fact that it's worth spending a fortune on a buggy as it is for 4 years isn't it? Sigh. But in the bigger scheme of things it costs less than a quarter than a round of IVF! Do you live in London NW? If so, have you any experience of using the tube with your buggy? A nanny might be an option but would definitely have to be live out which would probably be too expensive. Are there not child minders who will come to your house? Or is that a nanny?
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Thursday, August 26th 2010, 8:15am

Hi Aramass,
Just to calm your fears a little on the risk of prem birth, our own lovely Mavis did a small survey here A poll for mamas of twinnies!. You will see that the vast majority of twins (76%) arrived after 34 weeks and 48% arrived at full term. Only one baby arrived before 28 weeks. With increased use of assisted reproduciton techniques, more and more twins are being born all the time. As NW says, hospitals are increasingly experienced in looking after smaller, earlier babies. Try not to fret.

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Thursday, August 26th 2010, 1:50pm

You will see that the vast majority of twins (76%) arrived after 34 weeks and 48% arrived at full term. Only one baby arrived before 28 weeks.


It is an interesting poll!! I think also that as a lot of us on here have undergone fertility treatment, we've all got ourselves pretty healthy before pregnancy and I'm sure this is a factor in the high percentage of twins born after 34 weeks.

ONe more question seeing as you are all so co-operative. I can't imagine feeling them kicking. Can you actually feel two of them in there kicking? Do they every have a uterine war and kick each other? Does it hurt/get annoying/stop you from sleeping?? I can't wait to feel them kicking but see how it might have a flipside!


Mine were pretty quiet babies....they were both head down for the majority of their time inside and Jasper was more at the front so I did feel him a lot but not my baby girl as much, plus her placenta was at the front which can make a difference. I don't think I felt them really kicking to well after 20 weeks whereas some feel them a lot earlier. I did have quite a few Braxton hicks, especially as the pregnancy went on, they were nevery painful and just a very strange sensation! The kicking/punching never bothered me, it was just a bit strange but I did find I got a lot of rib ache, especially when sat down for long periods of time (like driving). You will love feeling them moving about! The thing that is most hard when you're carrying twins is the nighttimes. I love my sleep and what with needing to pee more often and finding a position that was comfortable, you really don't sleep too well....i didn't anyway! You'll need a degree in pillow positioning for the most comfy sleep! It's all good though I assure you and I just used to tell myself that I'd do a zillion uncomfy nights if it meant I was cooking the babies for longer :D I went to 38.5 weeks and had really good sized babies that even singleton babies would be proud of!

Have you got a pg diary? Might be a nice record to look back on and help pass the time!

xxx


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Thursday, August 26th 2010, 2:47pm

Are there not child minders who will come to your house? Or is that a nanny?


Basically nope. Childminders look after more than one child at a time in their own home. They are (or should be) qualified and registered where as nanny's don't have to have any qualifications and they don't have to be registered but they can choose to be registered. A nanny would look after your children in your home.






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Saturday, August 28th 2010, 12:18am

I don't drive but will be reliant on travelling by tube/bus if I'm to get about. Do you think it's narrow enough for that?
I know for a fact that the Nipper 360 won't fit onto a bus (single decker or double decker). It's 3 cm too wide. That ruddy inch and a bit was a deal breaker for me unfortunately, which was a huge shame because it is an excellent buggy.

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