You're going to need a tribe because twin pregnancy is so very isolating. For a highly introverted person, the thought of seeking out a tribe is, well...scary. People will compare their experiences to yours and make you feel crazy. You. Are. Not. Crazy.
After Googling Mono/Di pregnancy and immediately being flooded with risks, specialists and all of the things that could go wrong, I decided the best way I could handle the twin journey was to arm myself with facts. I did what any good INTJ would do in that situation and sought to learn every single thing I could about what twin pregnancy would look like. All I knew was that what I was feeling was not how other people had described their singleton pregnancies to me.
Thankfully, a friend from college remind me that a former supervisor of ours recently had identical twins and may be a great resource for me to ask questions and seek advice, and damn was he right! I am so thankful that she reached out so early on in my pregnancy and provided me with all that she did.
First, she recommended that I order the book, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads 4th Edition: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy.Its large, 640 pages to be exact, but is so worth the read for any twin mamas to be out there. It is rather clinical but provides so much information on how a twin (or triplet/quad) pregnancy differs from a singleton pregnancy.
Next, she warned me how hard twin pregnancy was going to be, as someone who had a singleton and then mono/di twin girls. She didn't sugarcoat the risks that I could be dealing with and shared how difficult her daughter's time in the special care unit was after they were delivered in the 34th week. She gave me tips on how to manage the necessary weight gain for a mono/di pregnancy and ways to alleviate some of the pain that was to come. I not only appreciated this honesty at the time but, in retrospect, think it also helped me frame how to approach my pregnancy. My examples of pregnancy up until this point was sunshine and rainbows and picturesque "pregnancy glowing" and I often felt like other people didn't understand what was really going on.
I quickly learned that in most ways, they didn't. I needed a tribe of twin moms and moms-to-be to help validate my feelings, symptoms and perspective and remind me that this journey was not for the faint of heart.
Finding Your Tribe
I typically don't go out of my way to engage with people, especially people I don't know well. I am not shy, but do not gain energy from social interactions. Despite that, I knew that I needed people that understood what I was going through and to help my through that difficult time. For anyone looking for resources during a Mono/Di twin pregnancy, here is my advice:
Join the Mono/Di Twin Pregnancy group on facebook. This is a private group for current mono/di twin pregnancies. This group provided so many resources on minimum standards of care, what questions to ask your MFM, how to advocate for accurate timing of delivery and so much more.
Follow twin pages and blogs. My favorite is Twiniversity, a website that literally covers ALL things twins. It isn't specific to mono/di twins but is overall so helpful. Their Instagram is also super helpful.
Search #monoditwins on Instagram and find other moms that are either pregnant with mono/di twins or have mono/di twins. These women are your people... can't stress enough how essential it is to have women that know what you are going through.
Befriend other twin moms you know but may not have ever talked to or had a relationship with. Trust me, you have more in common than you think.
Last, and probably most important, realize that you are going to get tons of comments from people that mean well (or not) but are so totally offensive. By accepting this early on, you can take these comments less personally... I know, easier said that done. Try to remember that those aren't your people and unless they've carried two babies in their body at one time, they just don't understand.