The Twin Source - The Twin Source Thu, 21 Oct 2021 23:10:01 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Naming Twins: Interview with Pamela Redmond Satran

Naming Baby Twins

Twin Mom Carrie consults with the Nameberry cofounder on
picking monikers for your duo.

Hi Pam! Thank you so very much for delving into baby names with The Twin Source. Nameberry is one of our favorite naming sites, so it is an honor to talk about twin names with you!

My pleasure, Carrie. We love The Twin Source too! And naming twins is certainly challenging and exciting.

Naming two babies can be overwhelming. How do you suggest parents-to-be get started?

It can be useful to start with your thoughts about how you want to raise your twins in general. Do you see them as a unit that you will treat pretty much the same? How close do you hope they'll be? Will you dress them alike? Will they share a room and a teacher, or will you try to separate them?

Like sibling names, twin names should be compatible in style and feel. There are many approaches in terms of matching. For example:

  • Names that are variations of each other, like Emma and Emmett or Mia and Maya.
  • Names that are distinct from one another but that start with the same letter, such as Owen and Oliver.
  • Names that have the same feel but that are further apart in sound and don't start with the same initial, like Sarah and Catherine.

Shall we talk trends? What are the top five most popular names today for boys and girls? Any surprises?

The top five girls names are mostly feminine and traditional, really beautiful names with long regal histories whose only downside is their popularity: Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, and Ava.

The top five boys names are more of a combination of traditional and modern: Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, and Noah.

Mason is the biggest surprise, catapulted to Number 2 because of its choice by Kourtney Kardashian.

What are the top five most popular names for twins?

The Social Security Administration came out with a few lists recently.

For girl/girl twins, the top five pairs of names are Olivia and Sophia; Gabriella and Isabella; Ella and Emma; Faith and Hope; and Makayla and Makenzie.

For boy/boy twins, the most popular pairings are Daniel and David; Jacob and Joshua; Isaac and Isaiah; Jayden and Jordan; and Ethan and Evan.

For girl/boy twins, the most popular combinations are Madison and Mason; Olivia and Owen; Jayda and Jayden; Emma and Ethan; and Isabella and Isaiah.

More details can be found at

With twins, there can be a lovely opportunity to subtly unite their names through symbolism, first initial, or some other means. Can you speak to that idea and how one might go about researching possibilities?

Nameberry explored some of these opportunities in a recent blog post called "Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link."

You can pick names that have the same first initial but a different starting sound, such as Patrick and Philip, or different first initials but the same sound, like Chloe and Keira.

Finding distinct names with a shared meaning can be fun: Clara and Helena both mean bright, for instance.

Or you can look for names with a similar reference, like Stella and Luna, which mean star and moon.

Nameberry believes in style consistency when naming twins. How can parents-to-be choose names that "flow" and have a consistency to them?

Trying too hard to find flow can make names too matchy-matchy.

Look for names that are consistent in one area—that fall into a similar place on the popularity list, for instance, or that have the same number of syllables, or that end with the same sound. But then make sure other important aspects are different, like maybe they start with a different letter.

Think of it like modern clothing style: Most of us don't match all the colors of our outfit or wear exactly matching jewelry or bag and shoes anymore, and you don't want your twins' names to match exactly either.

Monograms are all the rage these days. Is it important for parents to be mindful of monograms when considering names?

You want to avoid initials that may prove negative or embarrassing, like P.I.G.

How can a couple navigate baby names openly and honestly together without ending up at a standstill?

It can be important to realize that choosing a name brings up a lot of deep and important feelings about things like family obligations, ethnic and gender identity, control, and our sense of ourselves vis à vis our own names growing up. Rather than fighting over the names themselves, it might be helpful to try to explore the feelings and issues behind why we love or hate certain names. That could bring about a deeper understanding of what our name choices symbolize about our hopes and dreams for our children.

Pam, thank you so very much for taking the time to chat with The Twin Source. It has been a pleasure!

Thank you so much, Carrie!


Nameberry is a baby name site created by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz based on their 10 best-selling books about names, including "The Baby Name Bible" and "Cool Names for Babies." Twin-related blog posts on the Nameberry site include "Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link," "Twin Names: Guide & Ideas,"and "Twin Names: Choosing Names With Contrasting Meanings." 


Twitter: @nameberry

]]> (The Twin Source) Featured Pregnancy Wed, 06 Mar 2013 22:12:24 +0000
Carrie On: Babymoon Bliss While Pregnant with Twins

 BabyMoon Twins 1

The idea of the babymoon is a somewhat new fad in today's pregnancy culture—and one that I recommend couples expecting twins embrace if they can.

Wikipedia describes the modern babymoon as "A vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the many sleepless nights that usually accompany a newborn baby."

For couples expecting twins, this definition could realistically be modified to "A final vacation taken by a couple that is expecting twins in order to allow the couple to enjoy time together before the months of sleepless nights that will accompany caring for newborn twins."

You may be thinking, "It can't be that bad, can it?"

In my experience, the first 90 days with twins are basically survival of the fittest. So if you can, go ahead and take that babymoon with your partner.

BabyMoon Twins 3Lasting Memories

My husband, Andy, and I opted for a long weekend trip to Manhattan—my favorite city in the world. We stayed with dear friends, visited one of our favorite couples who was raising twins in the cramped city (believe me, I learned a thing or two from their organization!), walked the city, ate delicious meals, and took the time to shop for the twins' Pop Art-inspired nursery. We even brought our "firstborn," a furry little pug named Ruby, on the trip.

It really was a wonderful weekend and one that I needed psychologically to prepare for what was ahead. You see, I was just a few weeks away from going on bed rest. My doctors had indicated that things were moving in that direction, so for me that time in New York gave me the strength to deal with what I was facing—two months essentially confined to bed.

I look back on the trip so fondly now, even remembering how tired I was at the end of each day. It was such a special trip for my husband and me as we celebrated the babies' impending arrival and how far we had already come over the course of the pregnancy.

Planning Tips

If you can find the time to escape with your partner for even just a weekend, I say do it! Here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your getaway:

  • Schedule your babymoon early in your pregnancy. I was smack in the middle of my second trimester when we went. The timing was ideal on two fronts: I still had a good amount of energy, and I was not so large that I was constantly uncomfortable. More important, it's unlikely you will have to cancel the trip due to unforeseen bed rest or complications that keep you local during the final weeks of your pregnancy.
  • Take weather into consideration. Arizona in August would be a very, very bad idea for a pregnant woman whose internal temperature is already soaring well above average. Consider climate when planning so that you are as comfortable as possible.
  • Check with your doctor prior to traveling. As a precautionary measure, let your doctor know that you are going to be traveling and ask if he or she has any advice or thoughts on your getaway.
  • Rest when you need to. If you feel tired while on your getaway, remember to take a step back and listen to your body. Don't overexert yourself.
  • Spend within your means. You don't have to go far or spend a lot of money to have a great babymoon. This vacation is all about you and your partner savoring your time together. It could be as simple as a night in a quiet B&B. Just remember that the point is to appreciate what you are building together.
  • Take lots of photos. Your bump will look amazing and you both will have fond memories of the trip, so be sure to record it for posterity. Plus, you will probably want to share the experience and the joy of it all with your twins someday!


Want more Carrie? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow! You can also follow her on Twitter: @TwinSource.

]]> (Carrie) Featured Pregnancy Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:34:45 +0000
PCOS and Pregnancy

Loyal readers of The Twin Source know that Melanie is part of our fantastic Consumer Research Team and that she is chock full of amazing parenting tips. Even though she does not have twins, Melanie felt compelled to share the story of her pregnancy journey with The Twin Source community because many of you may be able to relate to it. Complications in trying to conceive her firstborn led to a medical diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for Melanie. Many women with PCOS turn to fertility treatments to aid in pregnancy, which can lead to having twins. Melanie wanted to share her story to provide a personal perspective on PCOS along with some sage advice.


It started with a single moment: I had an angry outburst over my pants not buttoning up that led to crying hysterically and finished with a deep belly laugh. It was my breaking point and the reason I decided to make an appointment with an experienced specialist in reproductive endocrinology.

After meeting with the specialist and undergoing several rounds of blood work, bimonthly ultrasounds, and a hysterosalpingogram, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and partially blocked fallopian tubes. Relief set in: I was finally able to understand what was going on in my body and why I was suffering from so many strange symptoms, although there is still a lot of mystery surrounding PCOS. But wait, what the heck is PCOS anyway?

What Is PCOS?

I am part of a growing statistic. I am part of the 5% to 10% of childbearing women who have been diagnosed with PCOS.

The formal definition, according to the American Pregnancy Association, is "a condition that affects a woman's menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, circulatory system, and appearance. Women have both male and female hormones, but women who have PCOS have higher levels of male hormones and experience irregular or absent menstrual cycles and small fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries."

What this means is physical symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, fluctuating weight gain, bloating, and severe pelvic pain from the cysts on my ovaries—which is especially bad when I have a full bladder. Oh, and did I mention the mood swings? Let's just say PCOS takes PMS to a whole new level (or at least that's what I blamed it on).

A pair of pants can fit one day and not the next, depending on the bloating and weight gain. Overnight, my weight can go up or down 5 pounds or one to two dress sizes.

My cycles are irregular and can range anywhere from 28 to 56 days, which can present a problem when trying to conceive. Irregular cycles make it extremely difficult to track ovulation, and fluctuating hormone levels cause inaccurate readings on several at-home ovulation predictor kits—not to mention prolonged periods of PMS and other discomforts.


Increasing Fertility

Getting pregnant can be extremely challenging when you have PCOS. I found the combination of acupuncture, medical assistance from a reproductive endocrinologist, and improved diet and exercise to be the perfect recipe. It's time-consuming and can be stressful, but in the end it worked for me and I was able to conceive naturally. 

  • Acupuncture and cycle regulation. Acupuncture and herbal medicines have been extremely helpful in regulating my cycles and minimizing the discomfort of my PCOS symptoms. Frequent and consistent acupuncture treatments are very important. When selecting an acupuncturist, consider someone who specializes in fertility for best results. Your acupuncturist may consider supplementing your treatments with herbal medicines, such as custom Chinese tea, vitex pills, maca root powder, or green powder. (For a tasty way to consume fertility-boosting foods and supplements, see the Fertility Smoothie recipe.)
  • Medical assistance. Weekly visits to the reproductive endocrinologist were essential in monitoring my cycles to pinpoint ovulation for timed intercourse. Weekly exams consisted of ultrasounds to check cysts, follicles, and uterine lining. Blood work was used to determine hormone levels. Because PCOS causes irregular hormones, it's very difficult to track ovulation using the ovulation predictor kits. I found the blood work and weekly exams to be much more reliable, but obviously way more time-consuming. It's very important to select a reputable reproductive endocrinologist who is board-certified and who has experience treating patients with PCOS. Select a location that is convenient for you and an office that provides flexible hours. For example, early morning hours or weekend hours are a plus for working women. Flexibility and reliability are important, especially if you are going weekly.
  • Diet and exercise. Proper diet and exercise are also essential. Balancing your carb intake is very important for managing your insulin levels. Overproduction of insulin can have a direct impact on androgen (male hormone) production. I love all things bread, so it was not easy for me to cut back on carbs. But once I did—wow!—what a huge difference it made in how I felt and how much energy I had. In addition to watching your carbs, devote at least 30 minutes a day to exercise, which increases production of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. Thirty minutes a day of exercise is doable—park far away from your office or the store, take a walk at lunch, or walk with your family after dinner. Make the time and do it. In my experience, the months where I consistently exercised and monitored my diet, my cycles were more normal than the months I "fell off the wagon."


There Is Hope!

PCOS is frustrating and complicated, and it adds a level of complexity to getting pregnant. Making changes to your diet and exercise habits, and obtaining proper care from Eastern and Western specialists, may help you as it helped me.

After 16 months of trying to conceive, my husband and I were blessed with the news that I was pregnant! It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Miracles do happen!


Melanie is an honest-to-goodness California mommy. Residing in Malibu, she is ever-conscious of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family.

Photography by Stephanie Kleinman.

NOTE: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.

]]> (Melanie) Featured Pregnancy Sat, 28 Jul 2012 15:38:32 +0000
Lauren On: Fertility Treatments and Twins


I had an amazing and easy pregnancy with my twins, but the months before that were filled with a number of negative pregnancy tests and multiple failed fertility treatments. It was very difficult, especially because having kids was always part of my plan.

When I was growing up, some people wanted to be doctors or lawyers—and then there was me. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted a big family with at least four kids. I think big families are fun. Plus, who will take care of me when I am old if I don't have lots of kids?

Supposed to Be Easy

My mom had always told me that she got pregnant easily, so I never thought for an instant it would be any different for me. After my husband and I tried for six months to get pregnant with no results, I started charting my ovulation, taking my temperature, and buying ovulation predictor kits to help my chances of getting pregnant. This was supposed to be easy, and I was pretty darn sure I was doing it right!

My friends were getting pregnant right and left after just a few months of trying. Some even got pregnant the first month they tried! I celebrated my friends' great news and held tightly to my mantra that that was the way it was supposed to happen for people. It just wasn't happening for me.

The worst was when people would ask when we were going to have a baby. "It's not for lack of trying," I would tell them.

Fertility Treatments

After a few more months, I made an appointment with a fertility clinic to see if something was wrong. I was supposed to be pregnant already. I thought it was going to be so easy, but it had not happened after a year of trying. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong, so they started me on infertility treatments. We did three medicated IUIs (intrauterine insemination) with no success.

Infertility treatments are expensive and at that time were not covered by our insurance. When we ran out of money, we took a break from the treatments to see if we could get pregnant on our own.

After another year of negative pregnancy tests, we went to a different fertility clinic. The new doctor came highly recommended by a family friend, so we hoped that he had a different approach to our situation of unexplained infertility. At our first meeting with the doctor, we told him we would like to have twins. "If we had gotten pregnant on our own, we would have two kids by now," we explained.

Our insurance now covered IUIs, so we decided to do three more cycles. If that didn't work, we would move on to IVF. Insurance didn't cover IVF, so we were crossing our fingers that we wouldn't have to shell out the money for it. It cost a minimum of $20,000!

The first IUI cycle was a failure. I was heartbroken and just wanted to move on to IVF. It had been 27 months now and four unsuccessful IUIs, so I felt like that approach was not going to be my route to a baby.

My husband begged me to try one more IUI cycle before we spent the big bucks on IVF. I agreed but was convinced that it wasn't going to work. While doing the procedure, the doctor joked, "There you go. You are pregnant now." I laughed and said, "Yeah, right!"

Luckiest Mom on the Planet

Two weeks later, I got a positive pregnancy test for the first time in 28 months! We went to the doctor's office for the blood test to confirm. My beta numbers were a little on the high side, making twins a good possibility.

We had to wait two weeks for a sonogram. We had already convinced ourselves that it was twins; when we saw the two little black circles on the screen, we were elated. It was one of the best days of my life.

I went on to have an amazing twin pregnancy with no complications. I joke that I'm not so good at getting pregnant but am really great at being pregnant. I really feel like the luckiest mom on the planet to be blessed with such an amazing family.


Want more Lauren? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow!

]]> (Lauren) Featured Pregnancy Tue, 24 Jul 2012 12:56:52 +0000
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome


Sometimes during pregnancy, complications arise without warning. Other times, your body will provide clues that you should call the doctor. Both scenarios could happen with twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS): Your doctor might pre-emptively prepare you for this possible diagnosis, or you yourself might sense that something is not "right."

There is great hope for babies diagnosed with TTTS, according to The Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation, but you must be a strong advocate for your medical care.

In order to do this, you must know the facts about TTTS. This article focuses on the facts, and provides links to resources and expert opinions. If you have questions or concerns, always consult your doctor. If you are dissatisfied with the answers you receive, always get a second opinion from a high-risk pregnancy doctor such as a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist or perinatologist. In fact, when you are pregnant with multiples, you should always have regularly scheduled appointments with your high-risk pregnancy doctor, who should work in partnership with your OB/GYN.

The Facts About TTTS

  • TTTS affects identical twins while they are in the womb sharing one placenta. It has been reported to occur with fused placentas, but this is extremely rare.
  • TTTS occurs when one twin, the recipient, begins to receive more than normal amounts of blood flow from the placenta and the other twin, the donor, begins receiving too little. As a result, the recipient will create excessive amniotic fluid and the donor will have little to none. This is the first sign of TTTS seen on ultrasound.
  • TTTS affects up to 20% of identical twin pregnancies, but the percentage is believed to be higher as it is not tracked well and numbers do not include losses prior to 20 weeks.
  • TTTS cannot be prevented, is completely random, and has not been found to be genetic or hereditary.
  • TTTS is very serious and can threaten the lives of both twins.
  • There are two main treatment options available. The first is amnioreduction, which can be used to help drain excess fluid from the recipient twin. The second is intra-uterine laser surgery, which is used to cauterize the shared blood vessels between the babies and stop the imbalance of blood flow. Early delivery should also be considered, as placentas can fail toward the end of pregnancy and some babies have less than half the placenta nourishing them.
  • In addition to the treatments above, it's important to pay attention to the health of the mother-to-be. Treating maternal malnutrition is crucial, and bed rest is common. A mother-to-be can start both of these treatments immediately.


Things to Consider

  • When you find out you are pregnant with twins, ask immediately if there is one placenta or two. If there is one, you are at risk for TTTS until the second cord of the second baby is clamped at birth. If you have two fused placentas, you still need to watch for symptoms of TTTS, but the odds of getting TTTS are extremely unlikely. You should know if you have one placenta or two by 8 weeks into your pregnancy, but definitely by 12 weeks.
  • Your doctor should always answer your questions clearly and appropriately. The Twin to Twin Syndrome Foundation suggests 15 questions you should ask your doctor if you are having twins or triplets.
  • Make sure you and your babies are monitored very closely. Regular weekly appointments and sonograms should be occurring with any and every twin pregnancy. It is crucial, as with all twin pregnancies, to be in the care of a high-risk pregnancy doctor, who should work in partnership with your OB/GYN, and to get weekly ultrasounds starting by 16 weeks through delivery even if you have no signs of TTTS.


Resources and Support

The Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation:

From the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

From the American Pregnancy Association:

From The Fetal Treatment Center:

Raising TTTS Awareness:


NOTE: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.

]]> (The Twin Source) Featured Complications Pregnancy Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:59:33 +0000
Hormonal Swings Post-Pregnancy

Post-partum hormonal swings and longer-lasting depression are arguably the most taboo topics concerning pregnancy. Discussing both is becoming more and more accepted every day, but these topics are often still kept quiet or talked about in secrecy.

The fact is, both experiences are very real and can be very scary and disturbing for women who experience them to any degree. We at The Twin Source feel it is better to arm new mommies with knowledge in hopes of helping in any way possible. We also want to let you know you’re not alone.

If you are feeling “off” in your early days of twin motherhood, as Twin Mom Carrie was, talk to your partner about what you are feeling. In fact, you should probably talk to your partner about the possibility of these things occurring before your babies are even born. Taking a proactive approach and lining up support in advance will mostly likely give you a bit of comfort.

There are many great resources at your disposal:

  • Talk to your pediatrician during those early appointments about how you are doing, and follow up with your doctor as well.
  • Take a moment to read about post-partum depression so that you are aware of the symptoms. There is a good overview in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Encyclopedia (
  • Check out the website of Postpartum Support International (, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.

Remember, you are going to be the most exhausted you have ever been in your life, you are not going to know day from night for weeks, and your body will be healing while at the same time trying to provide for your twins. It’s overwhelming, so prepare yourself psychologically for it. Know your limits, ask for help, and verbalize your feelings.

Please Note: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.


]]> (The Twin Source) Featured Complications Pregnancy Tue, 10 Apr 2012 11:06:10 +0000
Ashley On: To DOC Band or Not to DOC Band

“I think you guys should consider taking Aedan to Cranial Technologies for an evaluation,” our doctor said during a regularly scheduled appointment. Aedan, one of our twins, was a little more than a year old at the time. I was overcome with panic, fear, and sadness at the idea there could be a problem with his head.

I think my husband, James, and I both knew early on that the back of Aedan’s head was flat, but we didn’t really talk about it. I knew the twins had been crushed inside my stomach, and I guess I just hoped it would work itself out. It didn’t.

After doing a lot of research, I learned that it appears flat-headedness can be caused by babies sleeping on their back too much. Takeaway for moms-to-be: Lay those sweet little angels on their side sometimes when they sleep!

Lots of Questions

Without knowing anything about Cranial Technologies, we immediately booked an appointment at our local office to consider whether we should try to fix the shape of our son’s head.

Our first appointment was a consultation, and it became evident to the doctor immediately that Aedan had Brachycephaly—which is a nice way of saying a head shaped like a walnut. We discussed the options and their pros and cons. At the end of the consultation, the doctor recommended that Aedan wear a DOC band for at least three months.

We left feeling overwhelmed and devastated at the thought of our son having to wear this awful band for almost 24 hours a day for a minimum of three months. These were some of our concerns:

  • Would he hate it? It certainly didn’t look comfortable, but they kept assuring us that it didn’t faze the children one bit, especially at such a young age.
  • Would he be sweating in it all the time? It was the summer months, after all.
  • Would people look at him funny?
  • Would wearing it affect his self-esteem?

We became consumed with the question “to band or not to band.”

Seeing Clearly

I clearly remember stopping by the gift shop to buy a drink after an appointment at Cranial Technologies. I was feeling totally confused and depressed about the situation. In the checkout line, I fumbled through my purse to locate my wallet. When I looked up, standing right in front of me was a middle-aged man who had a severely flat head in the back. When I say severe, I mean severe.

That was the moment I decided that, as painful as it was going to be for me, we were going to get the DOC band while Aedan was young enough that he would not remember it.

I realized that the things I worried about most were really my own issues. Aedan wouldn’t even know the band was on after a few hours, and who cared if people looked at him funny? I had to put my own insecurities aside and ensure that we gave our little man every chance possible in life to be the best he can be.

I called James right away, and we agreed to proceed.

Just Do It!

I’m not going to lie: Holding Aedan down while they took a mold of his head was just about the worst feeling ever. But—just as the doctors said—once Aedan started wearing the band, he didn’t even notice it was on. He couldn’t have cared less!

After the initial three months with the band were up, we were told that Aedan needed to wear it for an additional three months. By this time, we were all used to the band and could see the difference it was making.

Football season was about to start, so my husband decided to have some fun with it. We painted Aedan’s band to look like a Washington Redskins helmet, and everywhere we went people loved it! They would high-five Aedan and ooh and aww over how cute he was!

So, to wrap up: If you are considering getting a DOC band for one of your children, just do it! It was the best decision we ever made. Think about the long-term effects and consequences and not the short-term inconvenience.

Want more Ashley? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow!

Please Note: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.

]]> (Ashley) Featured Complications Pregnancy Thu, 05 Apr 2012 02:07:40 +0000
Carrie On: The Hormone Spike

It hit me out of nowhere. But looking back, it’s no wonder a wave of intense emotion and fear came over me. I was dealing with the physical pain of my healing body, exhaustion, and worry over my tiny babies—not to mention post-pregnancy hormone swings.

I gave birth to my twins via emergency C-section on a Monday morning. They were beautiful and tiny. Both of them had health concerns that needed to be monitored in the NICU. Celeste was very small, and her umbilical cord was wrapped twice around her neck when she was delivered. Drew, my firstborn, was extremely pale upon delivery and needed to be screened for a cranial issue that had been detected via ultrasound two weeks earlier.

The days that followed were a blur. In addition to being immersed in the NICU world,whenever I was not with my twinsI was trying to heal and rest in my hospital room three floors above where they were being cared for. The stress and separation began to take a toll on me.

I Started Reeling

On Thursday afternoon, my wonderful husband, Andy, was wheeling me down to the NICU for a feeding with the babies. We were waiting by the elevators. It was a gray day outside—dreary, as I recall. Andy and I were chitchatting about the twins, and I was saying how excited I was to be going back down to see them, when Andy mentioned that I might be going home tomorrow.

In that moment, I looked outside and it dawned on me: I would be going home without my babies. They would have to stay, and I would have to go.

I started reeling. My mind literally started spinning. I began to cry hysterically.

We couldn’t get in the elevator because I was frozen in fear and pain and would not continue.

I looked around and at my husband, and I looked outside. Then, for a brief moment, I looked down the four stories to ground level and thought to myself I should jump—that if I could, this pain and fear would stop.

My Day 4

But then in the middle of this agony—the darkest moment I have ever felt in my life—my mind cleared.

I remembered what my best friend since childhood had told me just a few weeks before. She was a new mom in California. Her son had been born a few months earlier, and we had talked on the phone all the time while we were pregnant and after she gave birth.

One day while I was on bed rest, she had told me to be very mindful of my hormone fluctuations after giving birth because it is a highly emotional time. She talked a bit about herself but also about other friends that had experienced shifts and almost irrational emotions. For her, it happened on day 4 as well.

In the midst of my own hysteria, recalling this information reminded me that I was in a moment—it was my day 4—and that it would pass. I believed it would pass and that it was in my control.

I verbalized this to Andy, who was leaning at my eye level. I told him that I realized I was intensely emotional and that I thought it was due to hormones. I said I knew I needed to ride it out. I was aware of it.

I know he must have been relieved to hear me speak of my dismay and be able to realize and have faith that it would pass.

And it did. The high intensity passed with every second and eventually became a dull ache that was gone a few days after my babies came home.

Be Prepared

I was fortunate that my experience was fleeting. But I will never forget how my emotions were able to take over my entire being. It was truly intense, and I don’t know if I would have been able to ride it out if it had not been for my friend’s advice and her sharing her story.

This is why I am sharing this with you.

Brace yourself.

Love yourself through it.

And communicate your feelings to everyone you care about.

You will be able to ride it out and land safely on shore.


Want more Carrie? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow! You can also follow her on Twitter.

]]> (Carrie) Featured Complications Pregnancy Tue, 10 Jan 2012 04:26:14 +0000
Maternity Fashion: Interview with Kelly McKee Zajfen

 Kelly Pregnancy Style

Twin Mom Carrie talks to fashion blogger and twin mom Kelly McKee Zajfen about how to keep things fresh and beautiful as your bump expands

We met Kelly after crushing on her gorgeous twin nursery. It turns out that this talented lady knows a little something about style and fashion as well! Her blog, Oh Hello Mommyhood, is overflowing with sweet reads on the things Kelly adores, fantastic resources, and valuable bits of advice.

Oh thank you! I really love fashion and design, so blogging ideas about maternity wear has been really fun for me. Mommyhood is certainly a new world for me, and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget how to be cute while my twinsie belly grew.

I also felt like soon-to-be mommies don't have a ton of options when it comes to fashion, although that is starting to change thanks to designers like Nicole Ritchie and—one of my favorites—The Hatch Collection. The Hatch CollectionThey have really great choices, but some of the pieces are more expensive than others. I wanted to find reasonably priced great maternity wear and then share my finds with others.

Would you tell us a bit about your personal style and how you maintained it during your pregnancy?

My personal style is bohemian-meets-preppy. I love a great pair of jeans and a vintage top or an easy, flowy, slip-on dress that I can wear over and over. I think with each trimester it got a little more challenging to find key pieces. I found a few by scouring my favorite websites that also offer maternity clothes. I got some on-trend items as well as some vintage items that never go out of style. Most vintage flowy tops actually can be worn even when you're not pregnant.

What pieces of clothing did you grow to love during your pregnancy? What are the items you just couldn't live without?

Believe it or not, I really liked more form-fitting styles that hugged the belly in the first and second trimester. I thought for sure I would want to wear bigger clothing, but it was fun to show off the bump once I started to show. Being pregnant is incredibly beautiful, after all, even when you feel "big." As I neared the end of my pregnancy, the bigger, more flowy tops just felt better. Tight, restrictive pieces were no longer an option.

As for what I couldn't live without, I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't fit in any of my regular jeans or shorts, so I needed a great pair of denim shorts and a good pair of jeans. I went the expensive route and bought Paige jeans; however, they were way too low to wear, so I ended up buying a pair of Sevens that I literally lived in. I also couldn't live without basics. I bought a ton of T-shirts in many colors and tank tops for the Los Angeles heat. That way, I felt comfortable every day and could reach into my dresser knowing that whatever I pulled out was going to be easy and would fit.

We believe that accessories can really boost a maternity outfit. Whether it is a great bag or a fantastic pair of boots, non-maternity items that pull outfits together can keep a style current. What are your go-to accessories?

I have to be honest: I'm not a big accessories girl. I have the simplest elegant earrings by Ippolita that I wear every day and that work with everything, and I have a few necklaces that I switch every so often.

I like to wear fun shoes (gold loafers are my current obsession), but my feet swelled up when I was pregnant so I couldn't fit in my shoes at the end.

Toward the end, I wore thin belts to show off the bump more if my dresses were too big and frumpy.

Other than that, I tried not to fuss about what other things to put with my outfits. I just focused on a few good pieces like dresses and tops to wear, and I felt complete.


If you had to share two rules for keeping things stylish while pregnant, what would they be?

1. You can wear non-pregnancy clothing! In my first and second trimester, I bought things from J.Crew, Zara, The Gap. I just bought them a few sizes bigger than what I would normally wear to fit the belly. All the pieces were on trend, and I felt like I fit in with the rest of the world.

2. Find pieces that showcase your best features. The one area that didn't get "big" was my legs, so I wore dresses that were not too short but that showed off what I felt was my best feature. That way, I still felt beautiful.

How about two fashion mistakes to avoid while pregnant?

1. Wearing frumpy clothing. We already feel heavier and heavier as the months go by, so skip the frump. It only makes you look bigger than you really are.

2. Not spending money for maternity clothing. I understand the need to not spend a ton on maternity wear since you'll be wearing it for only nine months. However, how often do you buy pieces for a season and never wear them again when you're not pregnant? Invest in some nice pieces for yourself—you deserve it! A nice black dress, the perfect pair of jeans. These are things you will wear so many times that spending a little extra is well worth it.

Could you share some of your best-kept secrets for bargain maternity style?

I often find really great things on Etsy, especially at Down Home Honey (you have to keep checking periodically as she updates quite often). I also love Adored Vintagethis site has beautiful "going out" pieces.


For everyday stuff, my favorite places to shop for maternity are Topshop and ASOS. These sites have some very reasonable prices and adorable dresses, pants, tops, and accessories. I can't tell you how many times people have asked where I got something and my answer was either ASOS or Topshop.

What are your thoughts on incorporating vintage or even secondhand pieces into a maternity wardrobe?

It's a must. Vintage is classic and adds so much character to your wardrobe. At least half of what I wore during my pregnancy was vintage.

Your pregnancy spanned spring, summer, and fall. What favorite trends did you incorporate into your maternity wardrobe?

Because I live in Los Angeles, it was summer really the whole time. However, each season was roughly a trimester.

Spring was pretty easy. I wasn't showing yet, so I could wear a lot of my regular pieces except jeans and jean shorts.

Then summer hit, and so did the second trimester. This was when I took advantage of the summer dresses and easy slip-on shoes like strappy sandals. I also bought maternity white jeans that went with everything! In addition, I bought some bathing suits from The Gap in a few sizes so I could grow into them. Living in California means a lot of beach time and pool time, so I'm in my swimsuit a ton. Easy cover-ups were key as well. On date nights with the husband, I wore pieces from ASOS. Their summer dresses are adorable and hugged in the right places.

By the time fall began, I was in the thick of my third trimester. It was still too hot outside to jump into the sweaters and adorable trousers that were out, so I stuck to my basics and flowy vintage tops to keep me comfortable and cool. I even stole my husband's button-down work shirts and wore those with jeans.


Kelly McKee Zajfen is a wife and mommy of twins living in sunny Los Angeles, California. Before mommyhood, she stomped down the runways for some of the most amazing designers such as Oscar de La Renta, Giorgio Armani, and Diane Von Furstenberg. She decided to take a little detour into Early Childhood Education and then grad school studying Social Work. However, life took her on a new adventure: mommyhood. Kelly and her husband were not surprised to learn that they were expecting a new addition to the family, but they were very surprised to learn that there would be two new additions to the family. Thus, grad school will have to wait. Kelly has been spending her time focusing on her little boy and girl—the best gifts of love.




]]> (The Twin Source) Featured Style & Beauty Pregnancy Sat, 19 Jan 2013 01:07:28 +0000