Once the initial excitement of finding out we were having twins subsided I was left with a sudden sinking feeling. It first started as we drove home from our three month scan - questions swirling in my head like 'will we need a bigger car?' 'how will we know what car seat to put in?' 'how will they both fit inside Sarah for that long?', and the all important recurring question 'will I be a good father?'
For those of you that have already started or completed your antenatal classes (blog post coming on that!) you will have been told to the point of nausea that the secret to dealing with any problems or stresses during or after pregnancy is open discussion between the two of you, so that's what I did, I started asking Sarah the questions...
Me - "Will we need a bigger car?"
Sarah - "I don't know"
Me - "How will we know what car seat to put in?"
Sarah - "I don't know"
Me - "How will they both fit inside you for that long?"
Sarah - "I don't know!"
But then the cloud lifted when I asked the next question.
Me - "Will I be a good father?"
Sarah - "YES! That one I know." She finally stopped looking stressed and smiled at me. I looked her in the eye and said "you too - you will be a great mum."
See that was the thing, we had millions of questions and absolutely no answers - in fact many of those questions still have no answers, but the one thing that we keep telling each other is that somehow we are going to be good parents... still not sure how, but I guess you never know until it happens.
However, being the type of people we are we didn't let it rest, we had to find the answers!
Now this is where we made our biggest rookie mistake and probably learnt our biggest lesson - we started asking anyone and everyone we knew for advice. While this is a great idea when you have a specific question like 'what sort of car seat do we need?' and the answer can be as simple as, get something that can go from car to buggy, is simple to get in and out of your car and has a universal base. It's not such a great idea when you ask a question like 'should we use disposable nappies or cloth nappies' or 'how long should you breastfeed for?' - it seems these questions lead to a tirade of personal opinions that are stated to you as fact!
It's funny how polarizing a nappy can be... I always thought of it as such a humble tool for collecting our cherub's poo! But for some, it has become their personal crusade, a passion if you will. I think we are going to try to use cloth nappies, but this definitely is worth a separate post, I will see if I can have a tilt at a man's guide to picking a nappy.
So what are my pearls of wisdom, my take away messages?
1. You will all be great parents - that part is in your hands and if you are reading blogs on babies, as you are right now, then you are probably already a fantastic parents. The sheer fact you care enough to be looking for answers to your questions dictates you will be a great parent, that's the Freakonomics of it! - If you haven't listened to this podcast you must!
2. For those questions like what car seat to use, you probably know the answer already, use the best you can afford because it is your little baby we are talking about! There is a plethora of information out there on this stuff and you can probably make a choice on your own.
3. Finally, seek advice from people you trust and listen to their answers, but form your own opinions. I am almost certain there is no one-way to do anything when it comes to babies and I certainly don't think any of us should feel we have failed because we didn't use cloth nappies or breastfeed for the World Health Organisation's prescribed six months. Oh, and I know what you are thinking, but my midwife said that the WHO say two years of breastfeeding? Well I'm not sure who made that up but from what I can see they say six months, just goes to show that a lot of this stuff is personal opinion and over exaggerated! Make your own call on this stuff, going back to point one, you will all be great parents!